Friday, October 4, 2013

Encounter Key: Outer Ward Ground Level

The Ground Level of the Outer Ward is the main entrance to the castle. It features a prison processing area, an auction block, and an execution chamber. The Inn of the Grinning Bear has its primary entrance on this level.

Barracks and lodgings for visitors are also present. The majority of the rooms are of dressed stone, with wooden beams supporting the ceilings. Ceiling height is generally twenty feet. As much of the level is exposed to the weather through broken windows, the place is damp and moldy. Most rooms have wrought iron cressets intended to hold torches, although few actual torches are to be found.

This floor plan follows the British convention, in which the floor above the ground floor is termed the first floor. In the American convention, the first floor and ground floor are synonymous. This Ground Level directly connects to the First Floor and the Lower Level of the Outer Ward and it also connects to the Ground Level of the Inner Ward.

A possible source of confusion exists in the stat blocks for animated skeletons and zombies. In cases where the undead monster has no available weapon, 1d6 or 1d8 is listed as damage. In cases where the monster does have a weapon, that is listed under damage. The Dungeon Master has the choice to use the weapon value or the 1d6 or 1d8, as they prefer.

There are many places where prisoners are being kept on this level and others. In these cases, the damage listed is "By Weapon Type" even though they are not armed. This is in anticipation that they may be armed by their rescuers.


TALON GOBLINS. Talon goblins are somewhat different from the standard goblin of the Monster Manual. They are chaotic evil goblins of yellow complexion and limited intelligence. A full description is provided here. The talon goblins are the principal inhabitants of the Ground Level, First Floor, and Second Floor. The master goblin, Straglietti (Ground Level Room 61), has great personal influence and his main lieutenant is Karpaccio (Ground Level Room 60).

Ulixes the goblin mage (Second Floor Room 39) is his main rival and his chief supporter is Scevelo (Second Floor Room 36). Most of the other talon goblins are true to their chaotic nature and readily switch allegiances between these two.

In addition to the talon goblins, other new monsters such as the batlike dementings, the corpse-loving cadaver spiders, and the bird headed gralkin can be found in the encounter keys or in the random encounter table.

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