Thursday, March 31, 2016


This is the second in a series of posts about how I have approached various archetypal monsters and how they fit into the Castle. This is just my (strange) vision of bugbears.

Generally, bugbears are bigger, stronger, stealthy goblin type monsters. Delvers have noticed that these monsters come in separate size categories. The smallest are the 'runts' or 'squits', about the size of a goblin, about four feet tall with a similar build. Larger, stronger bugbears are known as 'jacks'. These creatures are about the size and strength of a hobgoblin. Fully developed bugbears are over seven feet tall and can get larger. They are significantly more difficult to kill. Some can reach the size of a hill giant and are correspondingly tough.

Some sages have speculated that the runts represent young bugbears and that jacks are females of the species. Recent research has indicated, however, that runts are actually made from goblins using some sort of despicable process known only to bugbears. What is involved in this horrible transformation can only be guessed at, however. As to gender specifics, the heavy fur of the bugbear makes it difficult to tell if bugbears are gendered at all. Certainly it is not a subject that civilized minds inquire about.

All bugbears are naturally stealthy, surprising opponents 50% of the time, under normal conditions. This includes runts who use this stealth, along with their small size, to ambush and kill hapless travelers or to steal valuable items from human abodes or other monster's lairs. Runts appear to desire the recognition of their ilk and frequently take their ill-gotten gains back to the larger bugbears. It is thought that this allows them to develop into jacks in some way.

While runts prefer to fight using ambush tactics, jacks are not averse to a straight-on fight. They are rude, violent, and cruel, prone to tormenting weaker creatures. Jacks frequently capture smaller humanoids to use as servants and slaves. Goblins in particular are much sought after, to turn into new bugbears and replenish the strength of the band. They themselves are bullied by the strongest bugbears.

The largest bugbears are very strong and can throw larger hand held weapons such as maces, hammers, morning stars, and battle axes as though they were throwing axes, up to 4”, anything under 2” being treated as medium range. They frequently carry more than one weapon, so they can throw the first and blood the enemy before closing for melee.

Bugbears are reasonably intelligent, and can see well in daylight. Like goblins, they can see even in full darkness up to 60 feet. They will eat food and consume drink (especially alcohol, which they enjoy greatly) but do not actually require sustenance as long as they are in their natural surroundings (gloomy dungeons or forsaken wilderness).

Bugbears prefer to wear odd loose fitting clothing of they type favorite by foppish nobles. Thus ruffs, hose, doublets, capes, and bonnets or caps are frequently sported by these creatures. Their servants are also forced to wear similar types of clothing. Usually they alternate two primary or secondary colors and striped, spotted, checked, or plaid patterns. Bugbears of different bands wear different colors and are usually very aggressive towards each other.

Like goblins and other fairy-tale creatures, bugbears do not have awe of the divine. Quite the opposite in fact. They delight in stealing items precious to those who have true faith, so they can defile, hide, or destroy them. Bugbears do not appear to cast spells, although they do use items which seem to require arcane magical talent to employ properly.


55 GUARD ROOM. This room actually acts as a guard outpost, game room, and kitchen. There are five bugbear jacks and three full-size bugbears.

3 Bugbears (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 18, 14, 21; #AT 1; D Morning star or hammer +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 207, 191, 219)

These bugbears hold hammers, which they will likely throw as missile weapons, and large spiked clubs (treat as morning stars). Each bugbear has 2d20 gold crescents, silver spanners, and copper pieces. They wear green and purple striped clothing and caps, like the others.

5 Bugbear Jacks (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 1+1; hp 5, 6, 5, 5, 9; #AT 1; D By weapon type; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 46, 48, 46, 46, 54)

The jacks are dressed in the same way. Two have broad swords, two have hammers, and the last has a glaive. All have throwing axes. Each has 2d4 gold crescents, 2d8 silver spanners, and 2d12 copper pieces.

There are play areas set aside for games of horseshoes, card tables, and targets set up for throwing practice.

Four dead goats are on a table near the south wall, and a fire pit with spit present near the south wall. A spice shelf is present. The bugbear seem to enjoy lots of pepper. Seven casks of ale have been placed near the south wall. Mugs and cups are present on another nearby shelf.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


This staff is made of wood and tipped with a metal ornament resembling a nozzle. It is striped in green and red. It can be used to strike in combat, treat as a quarterstaff +1, or it can shoot out a sticky, sweet, bright orange taffy that can be used to entangle creatures.

The discharge resembles a web spell, cast at the 8th level of proficiency, having a range of 4”.

Like the web spell, the taffy covers an area of up to 8 cubic inches. The taffy must be at least 1" thick, so a mass 4" high, 2" wide, and 1" deep may be created. Creatures caught within the taffy, or simply touching it, become stuck amongst the delightful candy. Creatures with less than 13 strength must remain fast until freed by another or until they eat their way out after eight turns. Creatures with strength between 13 and 17 can break through 1' of taffy per turn. Creatures with 18 or greater strength break through 1' of taffy per round. Strong and huge creatures will break through 1' of taffy per segment. Unlike webs, the taffy is not flammable and does not cause suffocation.

Creatures within the area of effect may make a saving throw vs rod, staff, or wand at -2. If the saving throw is made, two results may have occurred. If the creature has room to escape then it is assumed to have jumped free. If there is no room to escape then the taffy is only ½ strength.

This staff may not be recharged, When all of its charges are expended it turns into a big candy cane.

XP VALUE: 3,000

GP VALUE: 6,500


54 BUGBEAR WAR ROOM. Four bugbears, dressed in bulky purple and green striped clothing, are seated around a table. Three similarly dressed xvart are serving them platters of steaming meat and cups of frothy ale.

Dukes (AC 4; MV 9”; HD 4+1; hp 25; #AT 1; D Bastard sword or battle axe +2 due to strength of 18; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 335)

Dukes is the largest and strongest bugbear. He carries a battle axe, which prefers to use for throwing, and a bastard sword for melee. He carries a pouch holding 84 gold crescents, 14 silver spanners, and 16 copper pieces. He wears an elaborate frayed rope necklace with three sapphires woven into the rope with metal wire. They are worth 200, 200, and 50 gold crescents, respectively.

Simeon (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 23; #AT 1; D By weapon +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 292)

Simeon is the master of the Indoctrination Room, responsible for converting goblins into new bugbears. He wears many pieces of brass and bronze costume jewelry (worth perhaps 40 copper pieces), as well as two gold earrings (30 gold crescents each) and a silver and jade ankle bracelet (150 gold crescents). He attacks with the Taffy Staff. It has 21 charges.

Lagramore (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 17; #AT 1; D Long sword +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3, +2 to hit with long sword; XP 203)

Lagramore is unusually tall (nine feet) and thin for a bugbear, making his clothes fit even worse than the others do. He is an expert with the long sword. He carries a leather belt pouch with 65 gold crescents and a pair of silver marbles engraved with strange runes filled with lapis lazuli, worth 50 gold crescents each.

Rattle Bat (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 18; #AT 1; D Scimitar or horseman's mace +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 207)

Rattle Bat alone goes without a hat. His hair is fashioned into a topknot by a jeweled silver wire worth 80 gold crescents. He carries a horseman's mace, which he uses for throwing, and a scimitar with a bloodstone set in its pommel (200 gold crescent value).

Dukes is the boss and the rest of the ones in this room represent his brain trust. They are discussing plans to attack and pillage other factions in the dungeon.

3 Xvart (AC 7; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 5, 3, 4; #AT 1; D Small sword for 1d4+1; XP 15, 13, 14)

These xvart are just servants, without money. There is a large table near the east wall holding more food and a tapped keg of ale.

The table is actually hollow. There is a secret trick to opening the top. A small stud is on the rim of the table where Dukes is sitting (the north edge) that will open it when pressed firmly. Inside are four sacks holding a total of 2676 gold crescents, two opals worth 1000 and 1500 gold crescents, a closed jar holding a wriggling gray worm sacred to the Worm Cultists (treat as a rot grub) and a stolen royal froglodyte egg in a shallow bowl of water (see Room 148).

Sacred Gray Wormling (AC 9; MV 1”; HD 1 hit point; hp 1; #AT 0; D Nil; SA Burrow into flesh; XP -)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


53 GOBLIN PRISON ROOM. This room is a prison for thirteen goblins, shackled to the walls by their necks. Four bugbear jacks are also here, sitting at a table and munching on loaves of pumpernickel bread.

4 Bugbear Jacks (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 1+1; hp 7, 6, 4, 5; #AT 1; D Footman's mace and throwing axe; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 50, 48, 44, 46)

Each has 2d4 gold crescents, 2d8 silver spanners, and 2d12 copper pieces.

13 Goblins (AC 6; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 1, 3, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 1, 3, 1, 5, 7, 5; #AT 1; D By weapon type; XP 11, 13, 13, 14, 12, 15, 16, 11, 13, 11, 15, 17, 15)

The goblins are unarmed and have no money. The bugbears will get around to turning them into bugbear runts sooner or later, or maybe eat them.

Monday, March 28, 2016


52 INDOCTRINATION CHAMBER. This circular room is dome-shaped, with a ceiling reaching eighteen feet at its apex. Twelve stone slabs are here, and seven of them have goblins strapped to them, their eyes held open with metal clamps. A central glass disc, about six feet in radius, is affixed to the floor. It is emitting swirling lights, like a projector, onto the ceiling. The disk is also giving off awful screeching sounds, and producing a strange mist which affects the senses of taste, touch, and smell in the most awful way imaginable.

7 Goblins (AC 6; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 2, 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 7; #AT 1; D By weapon type; XP 12, 13, 14, 12, 15, 16, 17)

The goblins are bereft of weapons or money. The effect of this room is slowly turning them into bugbear runts.

Anyone who even glances at the ceiling is attacked by a mental attack equivalent to a psionic blast on a non-psionic see the Dungeon Master's Guide combat section, as they are exposed to the most unpleasant sights imaginable.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


51 GUARD ROOM. Three bugbear jacks are here, waiting for the indoctrination to finish in Room 52.

3 Bugbear Jacks (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 1+1; hp 7, 8, 4; #AT 1; D Long sword and throwing axe; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 50, 52, 44)

Each has 2d4 gold crescents, 2d8 silver spanners, and 2d12 copper pieces.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


50 LILA COTTON, MISBEGOTTEN. The walls of this room is decorated much the same as Room 49, except the male faces are diabolic with small horns and goatees, while the female faces are hags. A large stone sarcophagus, raised on a stone pediment is in the center of the room. Three chests are along the north wall and three more are along the south wall, evenly spaced and very tidy. The room itself is dusty and obviously has not seen use in many years.

The chests to the north hold coins: 400 Jalluxian copper galleons, 400 Jalluxian silver stars, and 400 Jalluxian gold dragons, respectively. The first chest to the south holds 400 gems, obsidian stones worth 1 gold crescent each. The next holds 400 gems, onyx stones worth 5 gold crescents each. The last holds preserved rose petals and a glass flask of rainbow swirling liquid. This is an unlabeled philter of love. It smells of exotic perfume but tastes of muddy water.

The sarcophagus has a very heavy stone lid, decorated with a bas-relief of a beautiful maiden in repose. Written along the edge of the rim of the sarcophagus is the following inscription:

Lila Cotton, misbegotten, had all the boys besotten. In the end she turned out rotten. She is dead but not forgotten”.

It will take a open doors roll from the strength table to move the lid. Within is a female wight who will, of course, attack.

Lila Cotton, Wight (AC 5; MV 12”; HD 4+3; hp 24; #AT 1; D 1-4; SA Energy drain; SD Silver or magic weapons to hit, limited spell immunity; XP 400)

The secret door to the east is a sliding wall type, activated by twisting a hag's nose. The secret door to the west is one way only, out of this room, activated by pushing in the horns (both at the same time) on one of the devil faces.

Friday, March 25, 2016


49 SLEEPING CHAMBER. The floor of this room is covered with rugs, mats, rags, and bundles of clothing. Thirteen newly minted bugbears are resting here.

13 Bugbear Runts (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 1 to 4 hit points; hp 2, 1, 4, 1, 3, 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 2, 1, 2; #AT 1; D By weapon; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 9, 8, 11, 8, 10, 9, 11, 9, 11, 9, 9, 8, 9)

These creatures used to be goblins, but were exposed to Room 52 and converted by unspeakable means into tiny bugbears. Each has a small shank, club, or makeshift weapon that does 1d3 damage.

The walls are decorated with stone faces of bearded men and young beautiful maidens. The secret door to Room 50 is a sliding wall type activated by twisting the nose of one of the maidens.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


48 A GUG BEAR. This room smells unclean. A giant figure squats in the darkness.

The Gug Bear (AC 4; MV 12”. HD 8+1; hp 37; #AT 4 claws; D 1d4+4 (x4); SA Grab and bite for 1d8+6; XP 1644)

This huge bizarre mutation of a bugbear has four arms ending in claw-like hands possessing terrible strength. Its mouth runs vertically in its head. This creature can attack up to four different targets with its claws. If it hits a man-sized or smaller target with two claws, it may bring that victim to its maw where it may automatically bite for an additional 1d8+6 damage. Thereafter it holds the victim there, biting automatically every round (and foregoing two claw attacks). A victim of exceptional strength (18 %) may try to break free, having to roll under their % score in order to do so. Thus, any character with a 18(00) or higher may automatically break free after the first round of mauling.

The gug bear keeps a chest holding 914 Jalluxian gold dragon coins, 17 Jalluxian platinum imperial coins, and a silver cup worth 300 gold crescents.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


47 A BUG BEAR. A large gleaming gold statue of a bear with the head of an insect is in the northeast corner of the room. Anyone entering the room will trigger a guillotine blade at the doorway. The first row in the marching order must save versus petrification or take 2d10+2 damage. One such trap is present at each door.

The statue's body is actually just painted gold, but the head is made of real gold (5000 gold crescents value and 1000 gp weight), and screws off. If the head is removed, seven goldbugs will flee the cavity.

7 Goldbugs (AC 9; MV 1”; HD 1-4 hit points; hp 2, 4, 2, 4, 1, 4, 2; #AT 1 bite; D 1-4; SA Poison; XP 47, 49, 47, 49, 46, 49, 47)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


46 BUGBEAR GAME ROOM. Five bugbears are here. They are playing a game where they try to throw a metal ball about the size of a softball into one of several holes in the east wall. One xvart is serving them.

5 Bugbears (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 21, 15, 13, 12, 16; #AT 1; D By weapon +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 219, 195, 187, 183, 199)

The bugbears may hurl their metal balls up to 4”, anything under 2” being treated as medium range. They do 1-6 points of damage on a successful hit. Each bugbear has 2d20 of each of the following coins: gold crescents, silver spanners, and copper pieces. They wear green and purple striped clothing and caps, like the others. Each holds a melee weapon: spear, battle axe, morning star, bastard sword, and military fork.

Xvart (AC 7; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 5; #AT 1; D Small sword for 1d4+1; XP 15)

He carries no money and is dressed like the bugbears. His job is retrieve the metal balls for the bugbears without getting hit (no easy feat).

The dozen holes in the east wall are numbered, based on size (smallest are numbered larger) from 5 to 100 points. The holes lead to a common shunt exits the wall from a small hole near the floor that deposits the metal balls on a tray (like a game of billiards).

If the adventurers do not immediately attack and the bugbears have a good reaction roll to them, they will challenge the party to a game of 'throw the metal ball in the hole in the wall'. The bugbears always bet on game outcomes (usually about 5 gold pieces per game). Each contestant gets three chances and points are added up afterward. The contestant stands 2” from the east wall and tries to throw it in a hole. He or she should roll a 1d20 to see how they fare. A roll of 8 or higher is a 'hit', they have thrown the ball in a hole.

up to 7
0 (miss)

The balls are a bit heavy, so anyone with a strength of less than 16 must deduct 1 from their roll for each point below 16. Characters with a dexterity of 16 or higher may add their Reaction/attacking adjustment, see Dexterity Table I in the Players Handbook. Modified rolls of greater than 20 are counted as 20.

Monday, March 21, 2016


45 HALL OF TROPHIES. This long room holds mounted heads and numerous shelves holding assorted bric-a-brac, the relics of hundreds of battles. In addition to a lot of useless broken weapons and monstrous body parts there are the following items of value:

  • An idol of Bulg, the god of beastmen. This item was stolen from the Broken Blade orcs. It is made of silver, stands three feet high and resembles a pig-faced entity with ram's horns and heroically muscular proportions. The idol is worth 3000 gold crescents to a man, but is priceless to the orcs of the Broken Blade.
  • A dozen silver arrows in a quiver of fine leather embossed with silver filigree (quiver worth 60 gold crescents).
  • A rare book on herbology “Prenzur's Paradoxical Plants”. Any druid of level three or higher can comprehend the details of this work and they will gain 2000 experience points after studying it for a week. Worth at least 500 gold crescents to a druid or sage interested in flora.
  • A human skeleton hanging on a makeshift wooden frame. It is wearing antique bronze plate armor worth 1500 gold crescents and weighing 480 gp weight.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


44 SERVANTS' ROOM. The door to this room is barred from the outside. This room is where the bugbears keep their servants when they are not needed.

4 Xvart (AC 7; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 3, 7, 5, 1; #AT 1; D Small sword for 1d4+1; XP 13, 17, 15, 11)

The xvart carry no money. They are dressed in purple and green striped clothing, which contrasts horribly with their bluish skin tones. The outfits are outlandish, with ruffed collars, leg hose, and fancy slippers which curl at the toes.

The room holds a small table, twelve tiny xvart-sized beds, and a wardrobe holding extra sets of purple and green striped clothing. The door to the south is made of stone and painted with the words “MONSTER IN THE CLOSET” in big red letters, labeled 'A' on the map. The xvarts were told not to open the closet, because there is a horrible monster in there and they had better behave or it will come out and get them.

This door is heavy and stuck and may not be opened unless a successful bend bars/ lift gates roll is made. Inside the closet is magicked with continual darkness. A few seconds after the door is opened, a spring will be tripped and a wooden statue of a huge ape-like figure in on wheels will come out at a sudden rush. Observers are 90% likely to mistake it for a real monster attacking.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The blade of this short sword is made of an unusual scintillating metal that reflects light back as rainbow. It has the following capabilities:

  • +1 sword, +3 vs incorporeal undead (shadows, wraiths, spectres, ghosts, groaning spirits)
  • Sheds light as normal for a short sword, but this is rainbow shimmery light
  • User may cast color spray once per day as if they were an illusionist of their level , this originates from the sword, not the user's hand

XP VALUE: 1,000

GP VALUE: 4,500


43 GUARD ROOM. Two bugbears, and a dwarf are sitting around a round wooden table in the center of the room, playing cards. They use small wooden tokens in place of stakes. They are serving themselves from a huge jug of sour red wine.

Brok the Bugbear (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 12; #AT 1; D Hand axe or footman's mace +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 183) 6 gold crescents, 8 silver spanners, 12 copper pieces

Belcher the Bugbear (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 14; #AT 1; D Hand axe or battle axe +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 191) 7 gold crescents, 4 silver spanners, 23 copper pieces

As is usual in this place, the bugbears are wearing purple and green striped outfits. Each has a hand axe, which they will throw if they can before closing for melee, should it come to fighting.

Thov Thovisskald, Chaotic Evil male twilight dwarf Fighter (AC 4; MV 6”; F3; hp 13; #AT 1; D Rainbow magic short sword or dagger; S 14, I 10, W 10, D 11, C 14, CH 9; XP 112)

Thov likes to visit Brok and Belcher occasionally. They were prisoners once together in the Lower Dungeons and escaped at the same time, thus establishing an unusual friendship. He wears chain mail armor and uses a shield decorated with a displacer beast rampant on a green background. Thov wields the rainbow magic short sword and a dagger. His belt pouch contains 15 gold crescents, 2 electrum lugdushes, 3 silver khurams, 32 silver spanners, and 5 copper pieces.

The room is dimly lit by a single candelabra with tall green candles. There are four mismatched couches and a coffee table in the western portion of the room. A small crate of forty six green candles and four barrels of salt pork are against the west wall. One of the barrels has been opened and the meat has spoiled. Against the south wall rests Thov's heavy crossbow, a case with seventeen bolts, and a backpack with three changes of clothes and a full water skin.

Friday, March 18, 2016


42 DEFECATORIUM. The floor of this room is covered in sand and it has been befouled by the bugbears in much the same way that a cat uses kitty litter.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


41 FORGOTTEN ROOM. As this room is approached from either the north or south direction, every party member must make a saving throw versus spells at -2. Those who fail the saving throw will walk through the room but believe they have passed through a single long straight corridor, arriving in either Room 38 or 51, depending on their direction of travel.

Those who make their saving throw will realize that there is a rather large room here. The floor is thick with dust, except for a well traveled straight path between the archways. One painting is on each wall (each signed by Patrizio, of course). These are magical one way portals to other places. Coming into contact with the painting surface will transport the individual to that site.

The north painting shows a beautiful forest scene. It leads to the glade, Area 6, in the Forest Perilous in the Grounds.

The east painting shows a huge tripartite Triskelion Statue. It leads to Room 4 on the Ground Level of the Outer Ward.

The south painting shows a throne room lit by red light. There are two thrones flanked by man-sized tripartite Triskelion statues. It leads to Room 48 of Dungeon Level 13, The Red Halls.

The west painting shows a large crystal statue of a vaguely man-like shape in a room whose walls are all mirrors. It leads to the Magic Mirror Level, Room 4.

Each time the room is approached from either direction, a person must make a new saving throw at -2 to find the forgotten room. If they fail they will have forgotten the room exists and pass it by as if they had never found it in the first place. Of course, they may pass this way again and find the room again, in which case they will find their old memories of having been here before.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


40 CREATIVE ROOM. Two bugbears wearing dirty paint-coated smocks are using their hands to paint the walls.

Bugbear 1 (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 14; #AT 1; D Morning star +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 191) 15 gold crescents, 3 silver spanners, and 3 copper pieces

Bugbear 2 (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 17; #AT 1; D Trident +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 203) 13 gold crescents, 14 silver spanners, and 6 copper pieces

This room is covered with splotches of paint. Dozens of open paint buckets of many colors are scattered about. A child sized table with little chairs is here. On the table are colored pencils and thick sheets of paper. One of the sheets of paper is actually a scroll of the cleric spells resist cold and speak with animals.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


39 MONSTER IN THE CLOSET. This room is under continual darkness. The inhabitant is a horrible undead thing. It has a body like that of a centaur, skeletal in its hindquarters but zombie-like flesh in the front horse portion and humanoid torso. Its head is a blot of darkness and each man-like arm terminates in inky darkness as well. It smells like a rotting corpse.

The Monster In The Closet (AC 5; MV 18”; HD 4; hp 21; #AT 2 hands; D 1-6 + 1-6 cold damage; SA Fear; SD Limited spell immunity; XP 259)

All who view this creature must save vs spells. Those who fail will be under its fear influence and attack at -4 to hit for the duration of the encounter (their hands are shaking so hard they have a difficult time fighting). Spell casters under the influence of this effect have a 20% chance of spell failure when using spells requiring somatic component (this is additive with spell failure percent for low wisdom clerics). The monster is immune to cold and spells which affect the mind (such as hold, sleep, charm, etc.) As long as the bugbear skeleton in Room 38 plays its bone flute, the Monster will be at +2 to hit and damage and cannot be turned. When and if the bugbear skeleton is silenced it will lose the combat advantage and may be turned as a wraith. If it is defeated the darkness over its head and hands will disappear revealing that there is nothing there. It will then putrefy and rot at an accelerated rate, leaving only a foul grease stain outlined in its shape.

Monday, March 14, 2016


38 SWEAT SHOP. The door to the east corridor is locked from the room side. In the room are thirteen goblins. They are seated at small goblin-sized wooden desks and sewing clothes. Against the east wall is the skeleton of a bugbear suspended from the ceiling by strings. It holds a bone flute. The door to the north is made of stone and painted with the words “MONSTER IN THE CLOSET” in big red letters. This door is heavy and stuck and may not be opened unless a successful bend bars/ lift gates roll is made.

13 Goblins (AC 6; MV 6”; HD 1-1; hp 6, 4, 4, 4, 1, 7, 6, 4, 7, 4, 2, 2, 2; #AT 1; D By weapon type; XP 16, 14, 14, 14, 11, 17, 16, 14, 17, 14, 12, 12, 12 )

These goblins are prisoners and are sewing baggy purple and green striped clothing and caps, sized to fit bugbears. They sit in small wooden chairs and are chained to their desks by ankle irons. The goblins are unarmed and are dispirited (20% morale penalty, so morale at 30%). They are deathly afraid of the threat of the monster in the closet in Room 39. They have been warned that if they try to escape the door will open and a horrible doom will befall them.

The bugbear skeleton is actually animated, though it will only move if an attempt is made to free (or slaughter) the goblins or if it is messed with.

Bugbear Skeleton (AC 7; MV 9”; HD 3; hp 14; #AT 1; D 1-6; SD Sharp weapons score half damage only, limited spell immunity; XP 92)

Instead of fighting the bugbear skeleton will play its bone flute which will cause the north door to open, disgorging its horrid occupant. If that creature is defeated the skeleton will fight as usual. Its strings are elastic and do not stop it from moving about the room, though it may not leave the room. The bone flute is actually made from the ivory of a cosmic narwhal and worth 2500 gold crescents, or 6000 gold crescents to a sage who specializes in astronomy or mammals.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


37 LIVESTOCK ROOM. Seventeen ewes are here. The bugbears have dressed them in purple and green striped clothing. The floor is rarely cleaned and smells pretty bad. A huge bin holds grain and hay. Another holds reasonably clean water. Metal bowls are scattered about the floor.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


36 WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE. Three bugbears are here. Two are throwing hand axes at a gnome strapped to a spinning wheel mounted on the west wall. The third sits on a chair whittling a statue out of a great hunk of white soap. A female human is tied up and is lying down in the southeast corner of the room.

Bugbear 1 (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 9; #AT 1; D Long sword or hand axe +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 171)22 gold crescents and 16 copper pieces

Bugbear 2 (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 18; #AT 1; D Battle axe or hand axe +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 207) 12 gold crescents, 6 silver spanners, and 3 copper pieces 

Bugbear 3 (AC 5; MV 9”; HD 3+1; hp 16; #AT 1; D Morning star or dagger +1 due to strength; SA Surprise on a 1-3; XP 199) 7 gold crescents, 10 silver spanners, and 19 copper pieces

The bugbears' clothing is very baggy and looks uncomfortable. It is striped in green and purple. They wear caps in the same colors. They will throw their hand axes or dagger before closing for melee, should there be combat.

Barlow Bindingburg, Chaotic Evil male gnome Fighter (AC 10; MV 6”; F3; hp 9, #AT 1; D By weapon; S 10, I 15, W 11, D 13, C 14, Ch 9; XP 96)

Barlow is securely tied on the brightly painted purple and green spinning wheel. He has been sick and smells of vomit. Seven hand axes already stick out of the wooden wheel, some missing him by a hairsbreadth. If freed, Barlow will act grateful, but he is rotten to the core and will turn on any rescuers at an opportune moment. The bugbears have taken his weapons, armor, equipment and money. He is dressed in purple and green, like the bugbears.

Lucy, Chaotic Good female human Ranger (AC 8; MV 12”; R4; hp 31, #AT 1; D By weapon; SA +4 to damage vs giant class humanoids, surprise on a 1-3; SD Surprised only on a 1; S 13, I 14, W 15, D 16, C 17, Ch 16; XP 285)

The bugbears plan to string Lucy up to the wheel after Barlow dies. Lucy is very short and slight for a human (4'6” tall) and dislikes being reminded about it. She is very headstrong and opinionated but extremely loyal. If freed she will help her rescuers however she can. The bugbears have also taken her weapons, armor, equipment, and cash. They have also dressed her in purple and green clothing.

A barrel holding fourteen hand axes is near the two throwing bugbears. A bell hangs from the ceiling near the southwest corner. It will ring if the trap in Corridor 35 is activated. The stairs lead up 25 feet to Room 44 on Level Two of the Upper Dungeons.

Friday, March 11, 2016


35 TRAPPED CORRIDOR. This trap has a 5 in 6 chance of activating. A pressure plate on the floor activates a metal bar that springs from the wall, about three and a half feet above the floor. The first person or people in the marching order will be smacked for 1d6 damage. It will pass over the heads of gnomes, halflings, and other such small folk, possibly hitting the person behind them instead (Dungeon Master's call). The trap is connected to a bell in Room 36. The bugbears there will be impossible to surprise if this trap is tripped and that room is visited immediately after.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


34 BONE STREWN CORRIDOR. The floor of this hall is marked by the bony remains of men and small humanoids and by the empty, dry husks of giant insects. At the spot marked '34' there is a covered shallow pit, the lair of a giant trapdoor spider beneath the floor. The cover is made of stones and webbing and so artfully made that an adventurer has only a 1 in 20 chance (1 in 6 for an elf) of realizing the concealed cover is present if they are simply walking by.

Giant Spider (AC 4; MV 3"*12"; HD 4+4; hp 24; #AT 1 bite; D 2-8; SA Webs, poison; XP 435)

The spider will wait for the final steps to pass by, then come out and attempt to bite the last person in line. It is deathly quiet and has a 5 in 6 chance of surprise if its trapdoor has not yet been discovered. It will not attempt to attack creatures of bugbear size or larger.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


This item of jewelry resembles a necklace of red beads, each about the size of a large grape. Typically their will be between 11 and 20 (1d10+10) beads when the necklace is found. Each time the wearer fails a saving throw against paralysis, hold person or similar magic that has the effect of paralysis (such as an appropriately worded suggestion, command, etc.), one of the beads will pop and the wearer remains free of the paralyzing agent. The necklace is not effective against petrification of any kind. 

XP VALUE: 50 per bead

GP VALUE: 200 per bead


33 RUBBLE FILLED ROOM. The steep stairs descend 25 feet from Corridor 31 to Room 33. As the stairs are descended the staircase will gets progressively colder, until it is well below freezing at the bottom. The stairs are slippery with ice and negotiating the last ten steps, up or down, requires a saving throw vs petrification to avoid slipping and falling, dealing 1d4 damage as the character crashes to the floor of Room 33. Thieves, assassins, monks, and bards can use their unadjusted climb walls skill first to handle the stairs. Only if they fail the climb walls skill do they need to make the saving throw. Naturally, judicious use of rope and iron spikes, magical flying, or various other means could be used to negotiate the stairs safely, without requiring a saving throw. 

Within, the floor is covered with rocks and debris. A vast hole is present in the ceiling, located about thirty five feet above the floor. This gulf leads to Room 43E of Level Two of the Upper Dungeons. The low temperature in this room will cause 1d4 damage per turn spent here, or 1d4+2 to those in metal armor, unless the individual is protected by heavy clothing or is otherwise protected from cold.

Each turn spent searching the rubble will have a 10% chance per person searching of discovering a valuable item trapped under the fragments of stone. There are four such items. They are:
  • A necklace of proof against paralysis on the broken statue of a woman
  • A small unlocked metal box holding 35 moonstones, each worth 10 gold crescents
  • A golden idol of a squat winged bat headed creature, worth 5000 gold crescents and weighing about 250 gp weight
  • A Tome of leadership and influence

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


32 THE PRISONER IN THE PRISM. The entrance to this room from Area 31 is actually difficult to negotiate, due to the ceiling collapse in the broad hall. Each character trying the path must roll below their dexterity on a 1d20. Gnomes, halflings, and similar small folk get a -2 to improve their roll. Success means a safe passage. Failure means that a small rock slide has occurred with 1d6 damage accruing. Each failure causes a +1 modifier to all subsequent attempts, cumulative. Rolls must be performed for traveling in and out. Obviously flying, levitating, teleporting and similar tricks will obviate the need for the roll.

Within the chamber is a rectangular glass monolith. It is hollow and contains colored sand in beautiful patterns. Difficult to see, a magic circle is etched into the glass. 
This rectangular prism is actually the magical prison of an invisible wind walker. The creature was placed here decades ago to amuse a bored Triskelion magic-user, who then promptly forgot about it when its sand patterns stopped amusing her. It aches to be free and will try to convince any who chance upon it to break its glass and let it out.

Wind Walker (AC 7; MV 15”/30”; HD 6+3; hp 32; #AT 1; D 3-18; SA Attack does damage to all within 1” who are hit; SD Telepathic, ethereal, limited immunity to spells, magic; XP 831)

The magical symbol on the glass prevents the wind walker from using its telepathy to contact the adventurers, but it will use the sand to form words and do its best to enable its release. If it is freed (simply breaking the glass will do), it will perform one service (such as carrying a message, scouting an area, or taking part in one combat) before returning to its home on the Elemental Plane of Air.

Monday, March 7, 2016


31 BROAD HALL. This stretch of broad corridor is inhabited by an ankheg.

Ankheg (AC Overall 2, Underside 4; MV 12” (6”); HD 7; hp 38; #AT 1 bite; D 3-18 (+ 1-4); SA Squirt acid for 8-32; XP 654)

The hall is decorated in the same fashion as Area 1 of this level with horrible faces decorating the walls and orange-green light permeating the area. The ceiling height remains fourteen feet.

Attempting to excavate the collapsed portions at the extreme east and west will likely result in further movement of stones and rubble, causing 2d8 damage unless a saving throw vs petrification is made. Expert miners with proper tools and methods will eliminate that possibility.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


30 CAVERN OF THE LAKE. This large cavern (ceiling about twenty feet above floor level) contains a lake of clear fresh water. The most notable features are an island with a man sitting on it and a central whirlpool or vortex violently spinning in the center of the lake (the black circle). Four ghouls prowl the sandy shore.

4 Ghouls (AC 6; MV 9"; HD 2; hp 6, 8, 9, 11; #AT 2 claws, 1 bite; D 1-3/1-3/1-6; SA Paralysis; SD Limited spell immunity; XP 77, 81, 83, 87)

The young man sitting on the sandy island is the former king of the nation of Flortencia, far to the west.

Santallion Dosflorontimo, son of the God of Rivers, Chaotic Good male Fighter (AC 9; MV 12"; F4; hp 24; #AT 1; D Long sword; S 14, I 13, W 13, D 15, C 15, Ch 17; SD Latent magic use; XP 210)

Santallion is a likable young man who has no idea that he is born of divine heritage. The God of Rivers saw Santallion's mother Isabella at a fete aboard the royal barge and was consumed with passion for her. The god visited Isabella on her wedding night, after putting the real king, Mendagion Dosflorotimo, in a sorcerous slumber. Nine months later, the young Santallion was born, believing all the while that the human king was his father. After the death of Mendagion, a notable tyrant, Santallion ascended the throne, but he proved too humane and naïve to rule for long. Within a month, his father's younger brother Mertallion had succeeded in ousting him in a coup d'etat, and Santallion was forced to flee for his very life. Eventually he found his way to Castle Triskelion, where he was granted sanctuary by the Triskelion family, believing they may be able to use the situation to their advantage at a later date. Since the ruin of the castle, Santallion has experienced many adventures and misadventures, eventually ending up here.

He wears a suit of clothing suitable for a nobleman, though it has seen wear and tear. His long sword is jewel encrusted and worth 7500 gold crescents. Santallion has the following abilities due to his divine nature, though he is completely unaware of them:

  • Water breathing
  • Enable others (up to three persons per day) to breathe water, lasting for 24 hours before requiring renewal
  • Walk on water
  • Swim in water at double his normal land movement rate
  • Speak with and understand the language of all animals and creatures that dwell in rivers or other freshwater, or which require rivers for their livelihood, such as waterfowl
  • Animals and creatures of four hit dice or fewer that dwell in or around rivers will obey his commands. Those of more than four hit dice, or which possess significant free will (such as nixies) are not compelled to serve, but will never attack Santallion unless they are attacked first
  • Creatures from the elemental plane of water will also never initiate combat with Santallion, and will have a +50% reaction adjustment to him

As mentioned, Santallion is currently unaware of these powers. He is aware that he is an excellent, untiring swimmer. He could escape the island, but fears the ghouls. Although he can talk to river and lake animals he has never done so before. Actually they are always silent when near him, as a sign of respect and would not strike up a conversation, although they will readily reply to him, or he might overhear a conversation, if they didn't know he was about.

The vortex in the center of the lake drains to Area 23 on Level 3A Salt Mere. Anyone approaching within ten feet of the vortex who is not an excellent swimmer (such as Santallion or a giant water beetle) will be sucked into it. Traveling this route does 4d4 damage of crushing and smothering. Those who can water breathe suffer only 2d4 damage.

The lake contains three giant water beetles. All of the lake water should be considered holy water owing to the fact that the God of Rivers urinated in it when he came to look in on Santallion while his son was sleeping. This explains why the ghouls will not swim to the island. The holy water may be collected and used by party members, but will lose its qualities within a turn if not stored in a special blessed crystal container. The lake has a depth of up to fifteen feet and is stocked with a good supply of fish. It is fed by springs from below so even the vortex does not empty it.

3 Giant Water Beetles (AC 3; MV 3”//12”; HD 4; hp 13, 17, 21; #AT 1 bite; D 3-18; XP 137, 153, 169)

These creatures will happily obey Santallion, if he so commands.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


29 SANDY CAVE. This room is a natural cavern. The wet and sandy floor is covered in ghoulish footprints. The ceiling is about twenty feet at its apex and the sinkhole from Level 2 Room 96. enters at the point marked 'X'. The corridor to the north descends to pass under the corridor between Rooms 38 and 117.

Friday, March 4, 2016


28 A GHOULISH DILEMMA. This 30 foot by 50 foot room is divided lengthwise into three parts by transparent partitions. In the middle portion there lurk three ghouls. Five huddled human women are in the far portion. On the first partition near the east wall, there is a transparent door with a blue jewel with a key design embedded on it. There is a similar door on the second partition near the west wall.

The partitions are actually glassteel. Mr Sin's medallion will open and close the gates, but it will always open both at the same time and then the ghouls will rush in and attack the prisoners. If the adventurers want to save the women, they will have to figure out a way to prevent this.

3 Ghouls (AC 6; MV 9"; HD 2; hp 9, 11, 12; #AT 2 claws, 1 bite; D 1-3/1-3/1-6; SA Paralysis; SD Limited spell immunity; XP 83, 87, 89)

5 Prisoners, normal active female humans (AC 10; MV 12"; HD 1-4 hit points; hp 3 each; #AT 1; D By weapon type; SA Attacks at -1 "to hit"; XP 8 each)

These women are unarmed. Their gray tattered clothes are the remains of uniforms given to prisoners taken by the Triskelions. They have seen how the doors work and will try to warn the adventurers with gestures (the glassteel walls muffle sound significantly) that opening them will put them in danger. All they want is to escape the castle. One is the daughter of a noble family in Sarcoy who will reward her rescue with a boon of 10000 gold crescents.