Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some Clarifications on Dreadrock Level 1-1

David, over at Tower of the Archmage, had some questions in reference to the first quadrant of Dreadrock, and rather than simply reply to the comment, I thought the clarifications deserved their own post, because I feel the questions he's raised are really good, and are probably questions many DM's interested in running it might have.

First, I'd like to say that some of these clarifications will be made when I complete the project in the notes on running the campaign in Dreadrock.  For the sake of simplicity, however, and to minimize the amount of text for the first quadrant, I left much of it out of the first quadrant.  The idea being, this dungeon could be used as a stand-alone filler, because many of the "hooks" here that I plan on incorporating could have longer term effects on the entire campaign.  So, I simply included the "one page dungeon" format as a means to get the DM familiar and provide just enough information to run this quadrant.  That said, any DM could feel free to change up elements as he/she sees fit.  Now, I have highlighted David's comments in bold, and provide my feedback in italics below.  I hope this can clarify some of the questions for all.

Initial thoughts in no particular order:

Revised formatting is MUCH BETTER! Still think the margins could be pushed out more, easy a half inch on each side with a slight increase in text size.

I keep wanting to call it Dreadlock Dungeon or Deadrock Dungeon.

Yes, I played around with it a bit.  I did not like the first layout I created because I felt it was too cumbersome and the numbering too difficult to read (my poor hand writing+scanning just didn't work well).  I imagine most people will want to call it Dreadlock Dungeon as well, since that seems to roll off the tongue easier.

That's a lot of orcs!

Indeed it is.  Because of the way I've populated this section, and the adventure seed ideas I have planted, this area has a higher ratio of monsters vs empty rooms.  Much higher.  Essentially this quadrant of the dungeon is home to the Rakshir orc tribe.  They have occupied most of this area for quite a while now and have been in a struggle as of late with a rival tribe of goblins (in another quadrant of the dungeon).  This is why there is a high volume of orcs in this section.

The orcs keep the ogre locked up, but he's unwilling to aid the PC's? Wouldn't he (she??) be more likely to want to beat up the orcs and take over this section of the dungeon with the PC's help? Is he a friend or ally of the goblins?

I didn't go much into Slaveck's role with the orcs, but I plan on clarifying it when the project is complete.  Essentially he is a prisoner of the orcs, but he is more a tool or weapon of theirs.  They keep him subdued and unleash his rage on the goblins when larger skirmishes break out in the dungeon.  That said, they are able to control him to a degree, however, if the PC's were to free him, he would simply try to murder them out of a bloodlust rage (and the fact that he's hungry).  Of course, any DM could effectively change this and easily allow the ogre to aid the party clear out the area.

Sign from note A should be way closer to room 37 to the south.

Essentially I wanted the sign to be posted in the hall as they round the bend there.  But a DM could easily move it to a more suitable location should he/she desire.

Where are the slaves digging their tunnels?

The tunnel itself is still very small and leads to nowhere at this point, and as such, I didn't include it on the map.  Presently it is being dug out of area 44 on the map, which is listed there in the dungeon key.

Rm 22 - Same ax as the Orc chief has?

I was afraid there would be some confusion here.  No, that isn't an actual axe.  It's just a statue of the dwarf lord with an axe.  The entire statue is stone.  I should probably clarify that so it is clear to the DM.

Rm 26 - Why is the chief not wearing the ring of protection? Maybe the captain or shaman should have it?

The simple answer is, he doesn't know it's a ring of protection.  It's just a very shiny treasure to him.  He doesn't know its magical properties.  Of course, any DM could change that and have him actually wearing it.  The chieftain sees it more as an item of value than anything, which is why he doesn't wear it.  That was the thought behind it anyway.

Rm 11 - North wall bricked up?

No, there should definitely be a door there.  I will correct this. Not sure what I was thinking there.  Must have simply slipped my mind.

Rm 10 - Scythe trap leading into the Bar??

Yes.  One thing about having traps in a dungeon is the residents have to know their way around it.  The trap was actually implaced by the orcs and is rather crude in nature, as are most of the traps on this level.  Just a means of trying to protect their place from adventurers and goblins.  The orcs know the pressure plate is there and simply walk around it.  Then again, orcs aren't that bright, and could easily stumble out of the makeshift tavern and strike the plate setting off their own trap.  That would be a rather unique twist in the game wouldn't it?  But yes, it was placed there on purpose by myself.  To provide a more logical answer, the makeshift bar has only recently been set up in that room. The trap was placed there before the bar was set up.

S1A - No one is using the magic armor or weapons?

This is a sub-level area, which is reached from the Orc shaman's lair (the orc temple in the dungeon).  Essentially the idea was the orcs offer these fine weapons and armor to their god as an offering.  The shaman keeps them in the sub-level area below his chamber.  Of course, a DM could easily change this and have some of the orcs using the weapons/armor should he/she see fit, but that was the logic behind having it there.

The goblins at war, but aside from a scout party they don't have a toe hold in the area?

No, not yet.  They do not have a firm hold anywhere in this section.  The orcs have managed to keep them at bay, but how long can that last?  Up to the DM.

Rm 43 - That's a long way away from the front lines.

Yes, they keep the ogre away from the front lines as a control measure for their own safety.  That and they don't want to give the goblins a chance to free him.  They can attempt to contain him within the tunnel there should he escape.

Wandering Monsters - Ogre = Slavack or a free roaming ogre? Same with the basilisk, same as Rm 20, or another one?

Yes, the ogre=Slavack and the basilisk is Stone-eye from area 20.

Rm 20 - what is the thing dividing the 3rd cavern almost in half?

That is a natural ravine in the cave.  I probably should have clarified the depth, but it's 30 feet deep with a land bridge across to the rear of the cavern.

Thanks for having a look over this and bringing these points to my attention, David.  Again, most of these items I plan on clarifying in detail when I get the entire supplement complete, but I see some of them probably need some immediate explanation so the DM isn't scratching his/her head in wonder over why some of the things are the way they are here.