Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maure Castle "Chambers of Antiquities AD&D Retroconversion

Back in 2005, I “retroconverted” (my own term) Rob Kuntz’s second “Maure Castle” installment in Dungeon magazine, “Chambers of Antiquities.” After that, there was some talk of this file being hosted here or there, but nothing ever came of it. So here it is:

Chambers of Antiquities
by Robert J. Kuntz, 2005
Retroconversion by Scott Casper, 2005

For 4-8 characters of levels 9-13

Iron Door: -1 to open doors checks
Baton Door: -1 to open locked door checks
Magically Treated Reinforced Masonry Wall: 36 defensive points

1. Southern Entrance
Torches have continual light cast on them.

3. Guardian of Antiquity
1 seven-headed hydra stone golem: AC 5; MV 6″; HD 14; hp 63 (9 per head); #At 7; Dmg 3-18 (x7); SA breath weapons — 3″ fire cone (14d6 dmg), 4″ cold line (14d6 dmg), 2″ poison cone (save at -2 or die), 20′ cube slow gas (as per spell) wall of force (60′ cube, but otherwise as per spell), and 3″ cone dispel magic (otherwise as per spell) each 1/day; SD +2 or better weapon to hit, immune to all spells except for rock to mud, mud to rock, and stone to flesh; INT Non; Align N; Sz L (10′ long); XP 9,200.

4. Bookstacks
Bookcase Lids: -10% to bend bars/lift gates

5. Pool of Afterthoughts
Leaving the pool after one hour requires a save vs. spells, with a -1 penalty for each additional hour.

6. Warning Pillars
The door is wizard locked.

7. Room of Randomness
Brittleness: -6 penalty to all non-mental saving throws

9. Robe Storage
The ruby robe of spellwarding grants a +4 bonus on all saves, acts as a ring of spell turning, and as a ring of spell storing (only one spell, but of any level). 8,000 xp; 40,000 gp.

10. Shoe Storage
The shoes of farstriding grant +1″ to movement rate, +2 to CON, and -20% to anyone trying to overbear the wearer. 2,000 xp; 10,000 gp.

12. Study
The bullseye lantern has continual light cast inside it.

13. Brightly Lit Room
The chandelier has three continual light spells cast on it, and the whole effect of the room requires a save vs. rods/staves/wands to avoid being blinded for one round. There are two hellcats (47, 40 hp) bound to this room.

14. Library
The candles have continual light cast on them.

15. Spell Chiselling Chamber
The change of successfully chiseling a spell into an object with the spell chisel is 50% minus 5% per spell level of the spell being chiseled. The gp value of the chisel is 16,000. The price of a diamond bit is 4,000 gp, an adamantine bit is 6,000 gp, a shadow bit is 8,000 gp, and a magic energy bit is 13,500 gp.

16. Furniture Room
6 spittlemaw hordlings: AC 3; MV 6″; HD 6+3; hp 40, 38, 36, 34, 32, 30; #At 3; Dmg 1-6/1-6/1-8; SA gaze (save vs. petrification or stunned for 1 rd.), spit acid glob (1″, 3d6 dmg, every 1-4 rds., save for none); SD +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to mind-affecting spells, resistance to lightning, 75% hide in shadows, water breathing; INT Semi; Align NE; Sz S (4′); XP 845, 829, 813, 797, 781, 765.

18. Tapestry Room
There is a base 1 in 8 chance of finding this secret door.

19. Elluvia’s Secret Study
This room has the following guardians:
2 stone jellies (in statue form; 20, 18 hp),
4 mimics (7 HD, 43, 39, 35, 31 hp),
6 wraiths (32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 21 hp), and
6 rakshasas (43, 41, 39, 37, 35, 31 hp).
There is a base 1 in 8 chance of finding the secret panel.
The robe of transmutation boosts alteration spells cast by the wearer (-1 to save against), and allows the wearer to cast polymorph self, polymorph other, and shape change once per day (with a limit on shape change of only one form). 14,000 xp; 70,000 gp.

20. Preparation Room
The cuirasses provide a +5 bonus to all saving throws vs. alteration magic in room 21 alone.

21. Room of Changes
Each round, living creatures in this room must make a saving throw vs. petrification/polymorph.
01-25: Physical: Either -2 to STR, DEX, and CON or +2 to STR, DEX, and CON (within racial minimums/maximums)
26-50: Mental: Either -2 to INT , WIS , and CHA or +2 to INT , WIS , and CHA (within racial minimums/maximums)
76-100: Spiritual: Roll from the NPC traits tables on pages 100-101 of the Dungeon Masters Guide.

24. Clothing Storage
The small chest must be searched for as if a secret door.

25. Alchemical Laboratory
1 skullreaver hordling: AC 0; MV 15″; HD 9; hp 56; #At 4; Dmg 1-8/1-8/1-8/1-8; SA gaze (save vs. petrification or stunned for 1 rd.), breathe ray of fire (2″, 4d6 dmg, every 1-4 rds., save for half); SD +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to mind-affecting spells, resistance to fire, 75% hide in shadows, regenerate 1 hp/turn, 30% magic resistance; INT Very; Align NE; Sz L (8′); XP 2,072.

27. Guardians of the Ring
5 dragonmasters of Lynn: AC -2; MV 12″; F 12; hp 96, 91, 86, 81, 76; #At 2; Dmg 1-8+5; SA speak with reptiles; INT Very; Align CN; Sz M; XP 2,836, 2,756, 2,676, 2,596, 2,526. Bastard sword +2, dragon slayer; platemail +2, shield +2. Each suit of armor is worth 20,500 gp.
The dragon eye ring bestows on its wearer detect invisibility for 2 hours/day, +3 in 6 bonus to searching for concealed and secret doors, +50% to find traps (or 25% find traps to non-thieves), +50% to listen, and all allies within 3″ radius receive +2″ movement bonus if flying. 5,500 xp. 55,000 gp.

28. Unlocking Mechanism
Granite Door: -2 to open locked door checks

29. Arodnap’s Crypt
There is a chance equal to finding concealed doors of realizing the sarcophagus is made to open from within (or a dwarf’s ability to detect stonework). A listen check at a -5% penalty hears scratching from inside. The boulder atop the sarcophagus has 72 defensive points or takes 10 people with 18 STR to move (or two people with giant strength).
4 dread gnasher hordlings: AC 2; MV 9″; HD 7+2; hp 46, 42, 38, 34; #At 3; Dmg 1-6/1-6/2-12; SA rend for 1-6 dmg if both claws hit, shocking grasp (1-8+7 dmg every 1-4 rds.); SD +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to mind-affecting spells, 75% hide in shadows, regenerate 1 hp/turn, 5% magic resistance; INT Low; Align NE; Sz M; XP 1,285, 1,245, 1,205, 1,165.
Arodnap, vampire lama: AC -3 (ring of protection +2, amulet of displacement); MV 12″/18″; HD 8+3; hp 54; #At 2; Dmg 2-8+4/5-10; SA touch energy drains 1 level, but hair attack drains 1 level and requires a save vs. paralyzation at -1 to avoid being paralyzed for 1 hour, can substitute energy drain for reduce (as if cast at 10th level), cannot charm but can swallow whole anyone reduced (victim is in temporal stasis until consumed in 24 hours), cleric spells; SD +1 or better weapon to hit, regenerate 3 hp/rd., can assume gaseous form at will and does so automatically at 0 hp, immune to mind-affecting spells, poison, paralysis, half-damage from cold and electricity, summon 10-100 rats or bats in 3-12 rds., turned as special, control undead, cleric spells; INT Genius; Align (L)N; Sz M; XP 5,148. Broadsword +1.
Spells: 1st level - curse, command, detect evil, detect magic, cause fear; 2nd level - augury, hold person, resist fire, silence 15′ radius, spiritual hammer; 3rd level - cause blindness, dispel magic, glyph of warding, bestow curse; 4th level - poison, protection from evil 10′ radius, tongues.

30. Arodnap’s Box
Treat the winds in this room as a gust of wind spell.
Any Lawful cleric of 2nd level or higher recognizes the omen.
Anyone looking at the prismatic sphere must make a save vs. spells at -1 or be compelled to touch it.
As soon as the beast appears, the wind force requires man-sized beings to make a save vs. paralyzation each round to avoid being knocked down, while smaller than man-sized beings are automatically blown about the room.
It takes a bend bars/lift gates roll to close the box once opened.
“Pandemonium Beast” (double-sized gibbering mouther): AC -1; MV 6″/12″; HD 8+6; hp 56; #At 12; Dmg 1-2 (x12); SA blinding spit (save vs. petrification or blinded for 1-2 rds.; may spit 1-3 times in addition to melee attacks), overbear (if 3 or more mouths hit one target, target must save vs. paralyzation at -2 or be knocked down, DEX modifiers apply, and automatically bitten by 12 mouths), continuing damage (mouths hold fast until dead), continual confusion (as per spell, in 6″ radius, save each rd.), transmute rock to mud at will; SD +1 or better weapon to hit, resist fire (as per the spell), immune to mind-affecting spells, 5% magic resistance; INT Low; Align CN; Sz L; XP 3,272.

31. Ruined Exit
The hole in the ceiling can be spotted as if a concealed door.

32. Bookcases
There is a base 1 in 8 chance of finding the clue (treat as secret door).

33. Pentagram
The residue in the pentagram can be noticed as if searching for concealed doors.
Anyone with a combined STR and DEX of 30 can make the jump across the pentagram.
The globes act as a true seeing spell.
The red motes have a movement rate of 30″ and hit their targets as if attacking with 16 HD.
2 vulturewretch hordlings: AC 1; MV 12″/18″; HD 8+1; hp 51, 37; #At 3; Dmg 1-8/1-8/1-8; SA stinking cloud breath weapon (15′ cone, save vs. poison at -1 or affected as if by spell for 1-6 rds.); SD +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to mind-affecting spells, resist fire (as per spell), 75% hide in shadows, 15% magic resistance; INT Average; Sz M; XP 1,912, 1,744.
Thieves should be allowed to deactivate the endless chute as if removing a non-magical trap, but at a -35% penalty.
The magical treasure floating in the shaft should be a footman’s pick +2, a potion of hill giant strength, oil of sharpness +1, scalemail +1, studded leather +1, two-handed sword +1, battleaxe +2, ring of jumping, and a periapt of health.

35. Zomph’s Menagerie
Those who come within 5′ of the acid lake’s surface must make a save vs. poison or lose 1 pt. of CON for 1-6 hours.
If any creature touches the cube, it and all creatures within a 10′ radius must make a save vs. spells at -1 (or -4 for the one touching it). The time limit is the same as a maze spell, but instead of being released at the end of that time, the PC finds himself in one of the four central chambers.
01-25: 5 displacer beasts (37, 35, 33, 31, 28 hp)
26-50: 3 death slaadi (106, 90, 75 hp)
51-75: 3 umber hulks (58, 51, 44 hp)
76-100: 2 adult blue dragons (60 hp each)
Once a room’s guardians are slain, all PCs in the room must save vs. spells at -1 to be transported back out of the maze.

36. Bookcases
The bookmark can be found as if a secret door.

37. Water Door
1 water elemental-door: AC 2; MV 0″; HD 16; hp 128; #At 1; Dmg (5-30)-5; SD +2 or better weapon to hit; INT Ave; Align N; Sz M; XP 4,770.

38. Watery Columns
1) Any potion made with water from this column has a 50% increase in duration.
2) save vs. spells for half damage. Using this water while creating ice-based magic items reduces gp cost by 25%.
3) save vs. spells for half damage. Using this water while creating fire-based magic items reduces gp cost by 25%.
4) save vs. spells for half damage. Using this water while creating acid-based magic items reduces gp cost by 25%.

40. Stone Slab Room
3 type IV demons (69, 60, 50 hp).
The demons have improved invisibility cast on them.
The arrows are arrows of elemental slaying.
The gold dragon statuette lets its wielder cast prayer 1/day.
The black dragon statuette lets its wielder cast protection from acid (as per protection from lightning, but for acid).
The curse of the naga statuette can be avoided with a save vs. spells.

41. Study Area
Any magic-user whose combined level and INT are 20 or higher knows the theories are bunk.

42. Dragon Heads
The three dragon heads begin as neutral on the NPC encounter reaction table. Each round, anyone conversing with a dragon head must roll their CHA or less on 1d20 to raise its reaction one rank (i.e., from neutral to positive, positive to friendly). A failed check drops every dragon head one rank (i.e., from neutral to negative, negative to hostile). At violently hostile, the dragon-heads attack. At enthusiastically friendly, the dragon-heads tell the PCs how to enter the vault.
3 mad blue dragon heads: AC 2; MV /24″; HD 8; hp 40 each; #At 1; Dmg 3-24; SA lightning breath weapon (10″x1/2″); SD saves as 10 HD, -1 to hit and dmg from water or lightning, +1 to hit and dmg from fire, detect invisibility 5″ rd.; INT Very; Align LE; Sz S; XP 1,325 each.

43. Treasure Room
The spell is a permanent illusion.
The Codex of Dead Names contains the following spells: dismissal, dolor; monster summoning IV; banishment, cacodaemon, torment; binding; astral spell, and gate. Any magic-user can study and learn to cast one of these spells at a time as a spell-like ability, provided the magic-user is high enough in level to cast the spell and has an INT equal to 9+ the spell level or higher.

Comments: Once again I’ve finished reading a Kuntz adventure and wishing he’d write something in the level range of my campaign! For what is essentially a warehouse, there is a lot of story built into this dungeon level. One story element I don’t understand is why Arodnap would ever have tried opening a portal to Pandemonium in the first place. Did she really think Wee Jas was going to be pleased? Another problem - in 1st ed. AD&D, hordlings came from Hades, not Pandemonium. I tried to convert this scenario and make as few changes to it as possible, so I ignored this detail. If I was actually running it, I would probably switch the outer plane again to the Nine You-Knows. Arodnap mistakenly believed her goddess was there (at least a more logical place to find her than Pandemonium!) and wound up releasing devils. I would substitute horned devils for spittlemaw hordlings, erinyes for dread gnasher hordlings, barbed devils for vulturewretch hordlings, and bone devils for skullreaver hordlings.

Arodnap posed another minor problem because I could think of no precedent in 1st ed. for mummies with class levels — but there was ample precedent for classed vampires.

The problem I had with the “pandemonium beast” has already been documented on Greytalk [the mailing list]. Someone else voiced one of the alternatives I had already considered of making it a super-gibbering mouther.

I don’t care for the placeholder name of Lynn from the Dragon Annual map turning up here. I kept it, but would personally consider Lynn to be a county in West Girion (if Minaria is western Oerik).

I dropped the levels for the PCs because a) 1st ed. AD&D assumes larger party sizes, and b) except for a few encounters that are still exceptionally tough, most monsters have been seriously toned down just by converting their statistics. I did not otherwise lower the challenge level of the monsters, but I did sometimes boost them, usually by adding one or two to the number of monsters to make the hit dice more of a match.

Lastly, there are two encounters here that I feel would be too deadly as-is. Six rakshasas should be a serious challenge for high-level PCs even without the “animated” furniture. I’d cut the rakshasas down to three and keep the furniture, or ditch the furniture. Also, three death slaadi in the maze could be sudden death for the PCs — especially if less than the entire party was sucked into the maze. I would limit that encounter to one or two; or better yet, three grey slaadi instead.

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