E1M1: Seat of the Dhakaani Hegemon (5TDM)

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Deep in their stronghold, the an empire of Tiamat-Worshipping Hobgoblins rules a vast empire of subjugated lesser races. Their most unholy artifact, the Crown of Tesh-Naga, affords them the ability to dominate creature too weak to resist. Seize the Crown, and their power will be yours.

What is 5TDM?

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Map Download
1-Page Rules

King of the Hill
Points are only scored by a team with the crown in their possession at the end of the round. Player deaths do not grant points on this map and are only used to break ties.

Respawn
If you start your turn dead, dying or begin your first turn of the encounter; then you may regain all hit points and hit die, remove all failed death saves and conditions, refresh any abilities as if you had taken a short rest, and teleport to a random respawn square (1,2).

If the destination teleport square is occupied, that creature dies.

If you were dying, you die before Respawning.

Killing Spree
If you reduce 2 or more enemies with at least 1 hit point each to 0 hit points or fewer on a single turn, gain one of the following:
– Take another Action (as per the Fighter’s Action Surge Class Feature)
– Regain all Ki-points, Bardic Inspiration, and Rages
– Regain your lowest level expended spell slot

Humiliation
A creature rolling a natural 1 on an attack roll or saving throw is knocked prone immediately after the attack roll or saving throw is resolved. Tiamat then lashes out at their incompetence, and they take 10 damage (fire, cold, acid, poison and lightning) from the pillars bearing her likeness.

Terrain
A swirling ritual vortex fills the vaulted dome in the center of the map. The dome is supported by five pillars carved in the likeness of dragons. Every player death on this map will cause 1 random pillar to weaken, threatening the collapse of the dome above. After five deaths, the dome collapses releasing Tiamat’s Hoard of priceless gemstones, coins and jewelry onto anyone below.

Players under the dome when it collapses will take 50 bludgeoning & piercing damage (DC 12 DEX save for half damage).

The area covered by the Hoard (yellow squares) counts as difficult terrain.

Aspects of Tiamat
If you are under the dome (yellow squares) at the start your turn, suffer 10 elemental damage (fire, cold, acid, poison, and lightning).

A shattered pillar deals no damage, and is effectively off the map until restored (see above).

Corruption
If you’re wearing the Crown, you are corrupted by Tiamat’s Infinite Greed and have disadvantage on all saves.

Crown of Tesh-Naga
The crown is located on a raised altar in the center of the map, on a 15ft high pedestal that is covered with the slick bones and blood of the Dhakaani’s enemies (DC 15 Strength/Athletics to climb). Players may enter its square and claim it as a part of their move action. It grants the possessing team 1 victory point ON THE DM’S TURN (at the end of the round before anyone acts) plus one more at the end of the match. The bearer may also add 5 elemental (choice of fire, cold, acid, poison or lightning) damage to any weapon attack they make, and may use a bonus action to do the following:

  • Enslave: Targets any creature you can see. They make a DC 12 CHA save or takes 15 psychic damage and gains the Charmed condition (cannot attack the charmer or target them with harmful abilities/effects), and also grants advantage to enemy attacks until the start of the charmer’s next turn. The attacker may also force the target to immediately move up to the target’s full speed. Half damage but no other effects on a successful save.

The crown can only be moved off of its pedestal by the dungeoneer who bears it (i.e. not by any magical or non-magical means while unattended). Only PCs may claim the crown (not companions or familiars).

If you become unconscious or incapacitated, you lose possession of the crown immediately and it teleports to the central pedestal.

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E0M0: Dead Simple (5TDM)

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A basic map for pure combat. Plays on any 5×5 grid.

What is 5TDM?

Dead-Simple

1-Page Rules

Respawn Terrain Power
If you start your turn dead, dying or begin your first turn of the encounter; then you may regain all hit points and hit die, remove all failed death saves and conditions, refresh any abilities as if you had taken a short rest, and teleport to a random respawn square (1,2).

If the destination teleport square is occupied, that creature dies.

If you were dying, you die before Respawning.

Killing Spree Terrain Power
If you reduce 2 or more enemies with at least 1 hit point each to 0 hit points or fewer on a single turn, gain one of the following:
– Take another Action (as per the Fighter’s Action Surge Class Feature)
– Regain all Ki-points, Bardic Inspiration, and Rages
– Regain your lowest level expended spell slot

Humiliation
A creature rolling a natural 1 on an attack roll or saving throw is knocked prone immediately after the attack roll or saving throw is resolved.

5tdm4

Tower of the Ascendants

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Greetings, dungeoneers!

Today we have a very special treat. Go check out these two videos of Dr. Davy Jones (of Dungeon Oracle fame) laying down the dice and showing people how it’s done! These clips are from our yearly spring retreat, from an adventure we call TOWER OF THE ASCENDANTS: HELL MODE

You, the last descendants of the fallen Ancients, stand broken and bloody at the foot of the primeval Tower. Now, you must ascend its seven levels. Reach the highest chamber, slay the immortal Triumvirate that dwells there, and reclaim your lost godhood.
Or die with the rest of humanity.
A four-hour Dungeon World blitz. Four players enter the Tower at a time, but the audience is a living part of the dungeon, waiting to jump in the game when a crusader dies. The wait will not be long.

Part 1
Part 2

April Break

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GREETINGS, MORTALS!

April is an insane month for us, as we are buzzing around frantically getting ready for and decompressing from our annual gaming weekend retreat. It is here in this crucible that some of our best ideas are created, but it is an exhausting event. As such, we are on break for the month of April.

See you in May!

RUMORS – March 2017

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by Anthony “Deuce” Franchini

  • The Sixty-Six Brimstone Statues of of Moloch can be found in the fiery Kiln of the King.
  • A Purple Worm Hydra Wraith stalks the time-frozen waters of the Inverted Shores.
  • The salt-hungry Silt Mother will bestow a blessed dowry and the Starmap of 100,000 Worlds upon any who marry one of her thirteen squamous spawn.

Next week, we present a new Design Challenge, as well as announcing the winner to last month’s Design Challenge. Each month, we send a personalized letter out to the winner along with a pair of DEFY DANGER skull stickers so you too can #putaskullonit

PUZZLE – DWARF FORTRESS

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PREVIOUSLY

A Reliable Rumor has led the dungeoneers into the dangerous ruins of a once great Dwarven Fortress. Inside, they seek fabulous material wealth and a game-changing magical artifact – the Genesis Tablets of Primordial Stone. These are said to be hidden in the fortress’ treasury vault, accessible only when the 400 lb golem stands before the entrance.

Be sure to convey this information clearly before the player characters enter the room.

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FEATURES OF THE AREA

  • You enter a vast underground chamber of carved stone. Expertly smoothed hematite floors pave the way.
  • Obsidian pumps and aqueducts bring in a constant flow of roiling lava from a churning lake of fire below. The room is lit in a brilliant, bright glow.
  • The heat and stale air are sweltering and oppressive. Sweat pools off your body in rivulets.
  • A massive bronze pressure plate is embedded in the floor in front of the a massive, 10-foot tall door made of solid lead.
  • The door has no handle or visible hinges, but above the door is a row of four glittering cat’s eye chrysoberyl gems embedded in a plate of shining gold.
  • The door is embossed with the image of a large, mechanical golem. It is making a plaintive gesture.
  • There is a massive iron lever set into the wall adjacent to the door.
  • There are a a pair of small indestructible mithril cauldrons on the floor nearby. One has a trio of jade chips embedded around the lip of the cauldron, the other a group of five glittering black tourmaline gemstones. All work is of the highest craftmanship.

EXPLORATION

  • When filled with magma, the small mithril cauldrons weigh 300 lbs (jade) and 500 lbs (tourmaline).
  • If the lever is pulled and there is not exactly 400 lb placed on the pressure plate, a hideous trap is triggered. Upon the second time this happens, the vault is filled with magma and sealed forever.

SOLUTION

  • Fill the tourmaline cauldron with magma.
  • Empty the tourmaline cauldron into the jade cauldron, leaving about 200 lb of magma left in the tourmaline cauldron.
  • Empty the jade cauldron.
  • Fill the jade cauldron with the 200 lb of lava leftover from the tourmaline cauldron.
  • Fill the tourmaline cauldron with fresh magma.
  • Fill the remaining space (about 100 lb) in the jade cauldron from the tourmaline cauldron, leaving 400 lb of magma in the tourmaline cauldron.

EXPERT CHALLENGE: The dungoeneers must find a missing orthoclase cog in order for the lava pumps to work again. The cog is a puzzle item hidden somewhere else in the dungeon.

MASTER CHALLENGE: The oppressive heat and sulfurous fumes of the area means that this is a timed puzzle and must be completed in 5 minutes of real-time.

PROCLAMATION – Do It

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gallerysculpturerhodes3Daughter of Styx and sister to power, force, and zeal; the goddess of Greek mythology Nike is a champion to be revered. Tabletop gaming is not equivalent to television and movies, it is not a passive activity. Each of us, whether as a player or as the lauded Dungeon Master, owns a piece of that table and are responsible for what we make of it. The dynamics of group emotions is a curious thing. People naturally feed off of each other and subtly alter their own state of mind based off of the others around them.

Sieze the day. Set the tone for your adventure. Be the champion of passion at your gaming table. Fight apathy, mediocrity, and laziness. Demand more.

Do this and drag your gaming group onto the path to Nike’s realm – victory.

SPOTLIGHT

The Crown of Charon, a massive deathtrap dungeon for both 13th Age and D&D 5E, is proceeding at a nice pace, scheduled to be released sometime in May. Whet thy appetites with this introductory background and table of contents. Tell us in the Comments below which title of the 32 areas just blew your fucking mind!

ADVENTURE BACKGROUND

Since the time when the gods first created mortal life, Charon, the infernal boatman, has ferried the dead across the River Styx and into the afterlife. In exchange, he has collected an eternity’s worth of tolls, ranging from the simple copper coins of peasants to the mythic and mystical relics wielded by those who shaped the land of the living.

It is these treasures that you seek to claim.

Legend holds that those who pass away without a proper burial are cursed to wander the shores of the River Styx, unable to cross into the Exalted Domain of Elysium. It is on this river that Charon’s pyramid exists, a grim monument attracting all who seek to escape their purgatory.

For a share of the spoils, the Dread Priestess of the Ashen Cloister agrees to poison you and lay you out, unburied, in her courtyard for one night. You will die, only to descend into the underworld in an attempt to enter Charon’s lair. You have until sunrise to liberate all that you can carry from his pyramid, chief among the prizes being an artifact known only as the Crown of Charon. With this relic, one can commune with and seize control of the spirit of any mortal that has passed into the kingdoms of the gods.

When morning’s light breaks, the Dread Priestess will use a ritual to call your spirit and any treasures you have claimed back to your living frame.

The adventure begins with the PCs standing at the steps leading into 1. Pauper’s Shrine, standing in the shadow of the great pyramid.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Adventure Background
A Note to the GM
Time Limit
Primary Quest
Secondary Quests
Area Legend
Resting & Recharging
Death & Respawning
Icon Relationship Rolls
Demonic Script
Scattered Treasure
Demon Abilities
Starting the Adventure
Outside the Pyramid
Pilgrims
Rumors

Areas
1. Pauper’s Shrine
2. Pyramid of Salt
3. Maw of Erebus
4. Scrying Fire
5. Satellite Control
6. Frost-Bog of the Half-Goristo Froghemoth
7. Gauntlet of Bestial Monoliths
8. Sending Circle
9. The Eviscerator
10. Tomb of Frozen Demigods
11. Hand of the Timekeeper
12. Crematorium of the Five Rivers
13. Moors of the River Styx
14. Nyx’s Gate
15. Candelabrum
16. The Mural in the Mouth
17. The Wheel of Mortals
18. The Scales and the Chasm
19. Crypt of Weeping Hieroglyphics
20. Death’s Trident
20d. Stagnant Ossuary
21. Vile Scriptorium
22. Corridor of Mother Memory
23. Shrine of the Brass Circle
24. Terror Core
25. Resurrection Pool
26. Docking Pool
27. Whirlpool Descent

Interjection: Submarine Descent

28. Submerged Catacomb
29. Catacombs: Fane of Nyx
30. Catacombs: Crucible of Erebus
31. Dome of Charon
32. Maelstrom’s Crater

Appendices
I. Tournament Scoring
II. List of Items
III. Cards
IV. Stat Blocks
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