Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Roll All of the Dice: What Lies Beyond the Kobold Caverns…?

D4 — What sort of ruins are back there?

  1. The remnants of a small village constructed by tunnel-dwelling elves that have long since left this plane to travel across the great sea.
  2. An abandoned dwarven mine network. It isn’t immediately obvious if they were interrupted or if they simply played out whatever vein they were delving for. There is some coal, but that may not have been what they were here for.
  3. A hidden military outpost from a now-defunct empire of Men.
  4. Passages decorated with hieroglyphics of various sorts of snake-men and lizard-men. There’s no telling how old these are.

D6 — What sort of natural creatures might keep the kobolds from venturing further in unnecessarily?

  1. Massive numbers of large bats– a swarm of them can be deadly even if they aren’t trying to kill you. Also, the bat guano is noxious and probably dangerous.
  2. A bear has fallen down a sinkhole and become trapped in the cave complex. It survives by eating blind fish and fungi.
  3. A giant ant colony.
  4. Overlarge Coelocanths that spawn on the dry ground beyond the lake area. They become vicious when anyone intrudes.
  5. Pre-intelligent mind-mushrooms that drain the intelligence of anyone that spends too many hours in their vicinity.
  6. Massive, omnivorous cave-millipedes.

D8 — What sort of hazards and traps await those that fail to turn back?

  1. Sinkholes that lead far down into the unknown.
  2. Tremors that threaten to trigger a cave-in that blocks you from the entrance you came in by.
  3. Falling stalagtites that have an uncanny capacity to impale the player characters. (Randomness and chance is not enough to explain it.)
  4. Magic or ancient tech twists the tunnels around in such a way that you cannot go back the way you came. You must solve its riddle or else find another way out.
  5. The air occasionally gets so stale that it can trigger panics, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  6. The classic pit trap with the spikes at the bottom. Sheesh. Who maintains the darn things and why?
  7. Unguarded, beautiful jewels that turn characters into unlikely mystical beasts when they touch them.
  8. Ensnared demons that are deceptively beautiful and who are on the verge of being set free if only their bonds can become just a bit more weak.

D10 — What sort undiscovered treasure is cunningly hidden there?

  1. An undisturbed tomb. He was buried with his magic sword, impenetrable armor, gold, jewels, and the odd artifact of power. Of course, there are warnings in half a dozen dead languages about what will happen if any disturb him!
  2. Some brigands or adventurers apparently hid a cache of supplies and gold pieces back here.
  3. A recent tremor has reopened a lost passage leading to a well stocked shrine. There are several idols hear that are liable to be priceless if they can be transported to a large metropolitan area where a buyer can be found.
  4. There is a vein of mithril back here. It slants downward, so you’ll do some serious digging to get a useful amount. (Does anyone even know how to work this stuff anymore?)
  5. A magic-user’s lab is down here. It’s been wizard-locked, but there a decent library of spells here. Just be careful not to knock over that weird apparatus.
  6. Shards of pottery, skull fragments, an ancient papyrus. If you can haggle, you should be able to fetch a good price for it at port town. Unfortunately, certain cults can use these items to bring about the apocalypse.
  7. An armory that includes many old blades that were created by arts that are now lost to civilization. The quality is almost unsurpassed.
  8. A battlesuit created by the renowned mage of the First Age, Hespurian the Younger. This was long thought to be a myth, but it will actually work… if the players can figure out how to turn it on!
  9. A small factory dedicated to the production of Greek Fire. There’s enough usable stuff here that you can make a half dozen “cocktails.” The containers are sturdy enough, but you probably don’t want to fall while carrying them.
  10. A stack of platinum bars. They’re incredibly heavy, but there’s enough here allow you to purchase a small castle… if inflation doesn’t hit too fast once word gets out that you have these!

D12 — What sort of dreadful horror has the kobolds in abject terror of venturing too far?

  1. A shambling slime type creature that will follow the players down a dead end passage.
  2. A dormant alien refugee that is awakened by psychic energy. He’s famished.
  3. A skeleton army that cannot rest until they fight in an epic battle for an hear to an ancient kingdom that they had betrayed.
  4. The cursed remains of evil sorcerer. It’s really dangerous… but not in the way that you’d expect.
  5. An ageless victim of a powerful artifact is clinging to the last shreds of his sanity as he becomes more monstrous with each passing year.
  6. A beautiful witch this is locked in some sort of stasis. If she is released, she will end time. She’s more or less neutralized at the moment, but she has some limited psychic abilities that are still effective even though they are subtle.
  7. A family of wild trolls that enjoy playing with their food.
  8. Stone age fish-men that hunt down anyone that violates their territory.
  9. Psionically powered  starfish that take over your mind when they attach themselves to your head.
  10. Inscrutable mud men that drag humanoids back the their pits in order to replenish their numbers with their excruciating transformation powers.
  11. Statues that come to life only when you are too far in to the complex to effect an escape.
  12. A diseased corpse that has just enough un-life in it that it can bite or scratch the unwary. The zombie virus is highly contagious and takes about two hours top fully develop.

D20 — What sort of unusual dungeon weirdness is back there?

  1. An obsidian obelisk of unknown significance.
  2. A hall of winged, humanoid statues that line the walls of a passage that leads up to a dais.
  3. A metal maintenance hatch leading downward. It appears to be locked from the inside.
  4. Large round tunnels that go on for miles. Wait… what is this thing at the dead end here…? A giant worm!
  5. An underground river that leads to a series of landings each with their own set of rooms.
  6. A broken gate device that would normally allow player characters to travel to other dimensions.
  7. A glowing meteorite that causes fatigue and headaches to anyone that comes near it.
  8. An elevator. It’s currently on the tenth floor down, but if you hit the button, an all-new monster mating pair will emerge from it and attempt to escape into the wild world.
  9. A forest of crystals. Some of them glow. If an end is broken off and thrown into a lake, it will grow into a crystal castle.
  10. A panel with a dozen levers. What do they do?
  11. A maze of secret passages. Engravings indicate that is an ancient puzzle designed to amuse a long forgotten king, but there is actually a Minotaur at its center.
  12. An elaborate machine that looks like an ice cube tray that is passed through a series of vats and boxes. It creates gelatinous cubes.
  13. A collection of beings from other worlds. They look like statues, but there is actually controls for reviving them on the side of their glass cases.
  14. A shimmering portal that leads to a parallel universe that is almost identical to that of the players… but with a frightening difference.
  15. A set of android companions of varying degrees of sophistication. They appear to be nonfunctional, but they just need replacement power stores. (They returned to their creator for annual maintenance, but he never materialized to assist them.)
  16. A wheel of fortune that can grant all manner of abilities, bonuses, and curses.
  17. And extremely large lake that actually has a plug at the bottom. Pulling it will cause the water to flood into the lower levels of the dungeon while revealing a hidden city.
  18. Carefully tended plots of grain of an unfamiliar variety. It can apparently grow underground without any sunlight.
  19. Specters of previously killed player characters manifest here every few hours. They appear to be in torment and pleading for help.
  20. Several cases with injection devices in them that are labeled as being “mutagenics.” A half dozen devices appear to be missing. Who could have taken them?
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