Friday, October 13, 2017

Lesser Underworld Encounters

 Lesser Underworld Encounters
Roll 1d20

[1] You hear screaming or moaning behind a nearby wall. It sounds creepily close, as though breaking through this wall will lead to hell itself.

If players actually crack through the wall they find nothing but a few skeletons with 1d6 gold teeth. The screaming fades.

[2] 1d8 Lost Souls huddle around the corpse of a deer, abandoned and killed in this dark place. They hiss at the party and tell them to leave, enjoying a few moments of living strength.
The deer corpse is fresh enough to be edible.

[3] The party comes across a fragile silver demon statuette on a pillar. Lore or Demonology roll to determine that it is a Fractidigitator or 'Finger Bone-Breaker' demon. Touching the statue causes it to break 1d4 random fingers on that hand. This effect penetrates through gloves and gauntlets, but has no effect on hands that already have broken fingers or grasping things without bones.

That statue retains this property outside of the dungeon and is worth 1d6x10 gold. If the statue is destroyed a Fractidigitator is summoned on the spot to kill whoever broke it. The statue is fragile enough that will break if dropped.

Fractidigitator (3HD, +2 to hit, 1d6+2 magic mallet, finger breaking hex)

This demon has been sent to kill the breaker of the statue but its true pleasure lies in breaking fingers. Every round it will either attack or cast a hex upon a random enemy, breaking 1d4 fingers on their hand. It prioritizes hands grasping weapons and each broken finger counts as a -1 to hit negative to whoever tries to fight with broken fingers.

If offered a position in the mortal realm as a torturer or finger-breaking this demon may actually forgive the statue breaker as long as whoever offering the position has the authority to do so, or can supply them with easy victims.

[4] Hundreds of stalactites crowd overhead in a cavernous chamber. Roll once for each party member; 1 in 4 chance a stalactite drops on their head, save or take 1d6 damage.

[5] Twisted stones line the path here. If detect magic is used or active the area will feel quite bad and negative.

If path is followed party members who cross it will take 1d6 damage to their Strength stat as their muscles twist like the stones.

[6] Sulfurous fumes rise from glowing holes in this area. Passing through here without protection causes a save or go unconscious, if unconscious for more then a turn save vs death each turn after or die.

You can also trap some of these fumes and thick yellow smoke in jars or magical airtight containers, sell for about 5 silver each on the surface to alchemists and demonologists.

[7] Screeching can be heard from a ways off- the party will be beset by demonic harpies in a Turn's time. The Harpies mostly just like to drop stones/shit onto the party and harass them, never getting close enough to be hit by melee weapons.

They'll lose interest in 1d6 turns, but if any of their number is hurt by the party (arrows, spells, etc) they'll all immediately swoop in to attack.

Demonic Harpies (1HD, +1 AC and attack, 1d4 talons, flying, 3 of them can pick up a man)
Appearing; 2d6

The harpies look a bit like a human crossed with a bird, but with subtle demonic traits like tiny horns, black talons, dark rotting wings, and so on.

The Harpies will try to scratch, peck and bite people's eyes first, and will also try to pick people up and throw them off ledges or into other hazards. 3 Harpies can pick up a single unarmored man, but someone wearing heavy armor will require 1 or 2 more harpies. Additionally, Harpies will sometimes try to fly people to [8].

[8] Demonic Harpy nest. Made in stunted trees that look a bit like people who thought about suicide, but didn't quite have the guts to go through with it, a lesser layer of ironic hell.

The harpy nest contains another 2d6 Harpies- they alternate who goes out hunting every other night. Otherwise it is filled with bones packed inbetween the long dried straw that makes the nest.

There are 1d6 stunted eggs that take have not hatched in decades, but a heartbeat can still be heard inside, the loathsome things clinging to life. Additionally, the Harpy nest has a silver locket and two golden wedding rings hidden under one egg.

[9] Death Cultists stand in a circle of bones and blood. Each holds a goblet of acid hemlock poison, and they toast to death and damnation. They will invite the party to join them, and if at least one party member or hireling agrees to join them, they will tell the party a path leading to [10] and [11], and the secrets within both.

They won't give up this information unless somebody agrees to join them, but you could always fake drinking the poison, use an antidote after they give up the info, and so on.

Death Cultists (1HD, d4 daggers, hemlock poison deals 1d6 if thrown on someone first round)
Appearing; 1d8

[10] This room contains a pile of rubble, as if fallen in from above, but the ceiling is intact. Searching or moving the debris for 1d6 turns reveals a small box underneath it.

Desecration Box. Dark cherry wood box with no ornamentation or markings. Magically enchanted and deeply sinister. If a holy symbol for any religion (or in a game with alignments; lawful and neutral religious symbols) is placed within the box and the lid is closed, the symbol will never again be holy. It cannot be used to perform Turning spells or be used on Clerical magic ever again, and the stink of devilry is forever upon it.

Burning the box grants +1 permanent Wisdom.

[11] Dark cluster of rooms and chambers with strange glowing fungi. Everything in this area is monochrome- black and white walls. This effect is magical and even works on spells, torches, and other colorful spells and powers. Only true sight will reveal the true colors of everything.

Underneath some of the toadstools in the area the party members can find remains of human and animal skeletons, as well as a tin of rations and biscuits. There is a giant toadstool that is growing out of a large barrel with a tap, once holding a lot of beer.

Some of the floor here is also covered in a grainy, rough sand with bones sticking out. Occasionally, a mold thing will hide in the sand to pop out and attack.

Secret; This sand is actually extremely rough and coarse gold sand- brought under real light it is very shiny and bright as gold. It would take days to shovel all the sand out and is easily worth several hundred gold, but is very heavy and labor intensive, and must be melted into a purer blend of gold to be useful for coinage or jewelry.

Every turn in this area, there is a ¼th chance that Mold Things will attack the party. This will keep happening until either you leave the area, or burn the majority of the fungus.

Mold Things (1HD, d4 flabby claws, spores)
Appearing; 1d2

Mold Things appear as roughly square shaped, ambulatory pieces of mold or fungus. Each 'corner' has a flabby claw-like protrusion that can be used to claw, but they are quite slow and weak. They seem to collect from the filth and mold in this area, suckling on the damp cave moisture to stay alive along with creatures they kill.

Each time a Mold Thing is killed with a blunt or large 2handed weapon, burnt by fire, or slammed it releases a cloud of toxic spores. These spores aren't harmful to humans except for causing a coughing fit. Breathing in spores means you cannot cast spells for 1d4 rounds.

[12] Black Shadow clings to the wall no matter how much light is brought towards it. If inspected closer is revealed to be a Black Portal to somewhere else.

Black Portal – Lvl 5 Conjuration
If you physically move through this one-way portal you appear at its destination, but are forced to travel through the netherrealm without protection for a split second to get there. You take 1d6 damage.
If you roll a 6 you are energy drained by one level or lose 1d4 stat points in 1d6 of your stats. Determined by GM which is preferred. No save.

Roll for where this Black Portal leads. All who travel through it end up at the same place. 1d6
  1. Appear at [3]
  2. Appear at [6]
  3. Appear at [8]
  4. Appear at [11]
  5. Appear at [13]
  6. Appear at [18]

[13] Within this room lay 1d4+2 corpses, lined head to toe in the shape of a triangle, square, pentagon, or hexagon depending on the number.

There is also an invisible spirit that stays here as well, the Reanimation Spirit. As soon as the party isn't paying attention the spirit will resurrect the dead bodies into Undead Minions. Even after defeating these minions, the spirit will continue to follow the party and resurrect any dead corpse they come across into a minion to fight them.

Reanimation Spirit (2HD, invisible, resurrection)
Appearing; 1

This evil spirit can resurrect dead bodies. The bodies only last in the presence of the spirit and will cease animating the moment it is killed or exorcised. Can only be seen with True Sight.

Additionally, the spirit is like a curse as it follows anyone who it firsts contacts to summon undead minions to attack them over and over. It cannot leave the Underworld, but is a much feared foe.

Undead Minions (HD equal to host body, damage equal to host's basic or natural weapons)
Appearing; Equal to corpses

These incredibly basic undead creatures have similar powers to when they were alive, but are extremely weak compared to other more advanced forms of undead and have no intelligence or preservation beyond attacking the enemy's of a Reanimation Spirit.

Neither quite fast nor slow, neither strong nor weak, these creatures cannot be killed by poisons or choking on their own.

Once killed again, the corpses of these creatures cannot again be Reanimated or used for necromancy.

[14] Limbo of Virtuous Pagans. This peaceful area of the underworld is filled with the philosophers, kings and other great and righteous people of the past who did not accept that teachings of the correct, dominant, or 'good' religion in this game setting.

Note; If the game setting has no true religion, or has multiple religions, instead these pagans are people who paid lip service to one or more gods but didn't believe enough to get anything but this limbo as their resting place.

The shades that inhabit this place have stats as Lost Souls but do not seek blood unless offered to them and are not aggressive. If you grant blood to one of the spirits by name you can call upon a dead one to answer a single question per HD of sacrificed blood or 1d6 damage inflicted upon yourself or a hireling.

If no name is called, instead sacrifices can be made and questions asked of a generic spirit;
  1. Natural philosopher
  2. Historian of a dead empire
  3. Firsthand witness of an ancient atrocity
  4. Dead Wizard; Knows (1d4-2) old spells
  5. The first human (looks like an ape)
  6. Distant ancestor of questioning PC

[15] All light sources start to fade and an eerie sensation of dread and panic sets in to all party members, no save. Torches start running out and last only 1d4 minutes, lanterns last 1d6. If the party makes it through the darkness without submitting to it, or go back from whence they came, nothing happens.

But if the party is covered in total darkness without spell or light to guide them, a
Chthonian Lightbringer appears and attacks.

Chthonian Lightbringer (1d4+1 HD, two d6 flailing attacks, totally absorbs the first few hits- number of times equal to HD of creature)

Winged mass of flesh and limbs which glows with an unearthly phosphorescence. It becomes the only source of light nearby and blocks out all others with its malice. Fights until the death.

Despite not carrying anything its Ichor is well known for alchemical uses and is worth 1d6x10 gold for each vial brought back. This ichor turns to water if exposed to any light source.

[16] The distant sound of wood on stone soon reveals the sight of a Hobbled Demon on stilts, picking at tiny screaming men crawling on the rough stone cliffs and shelf of the wall and ceiling.

Eating a tiny person restores 1d4 health or stat points, and the Demon will tell you this, but it will also damn your soul a little more each time.

If you are in any way polite or kind to the Hobbled Demon, who knows no kindness, he will be a dedicated and grateful follower, far beyond the point of annoyance and embarrassment.

As long as the Hobbled Demon follows you (and he will, if he's friendly) his peg stilts and incessant praise will make random encounters x2 as likely.

Hobbled Demon (1HD, d4 peg attack, pathetic)
Appearing as a lumpy red toad-like demon wrapped in tattered cloth and high on pegs. The pegs are attached to his skin somewhat, so knocking him off his stilts requires attacks.

[17] Hellish branding station. Here are many souls that are destined for a respectable afterlife, but first must receive silly or humiliating tattoos for sins in their life or great shame brought upon their families. There are four Brander Demons, who take great delight in shaming people.

If the Brander Demons see the party, they will demand one of them take their rightful brand, the most sinful party member. Otherwise, they will apply them by force by attacking them.

On willing targets, the brand deals no damage and is put upon the upper chest. Enough to be concealed by a shirt or armor, as all lesser sins can be hidden, but always a reminder to oneself and the closest people to you that cannot go away.

The Brand wound automatically shapes itself into a word to fit to the person's greatest sin. If you deny the demons the pleasure of branding you they will simply swing the brands at you as weapons, which can mean the marks appear anywhere. The especially love the face and hands.

If no notable sin is present for a party member struck by a brand, roll on this table for the word.
  1. Sodomite
  2. Flatterer
  3. Abuser
  4. Drunkard
  5. Weakling
  6. Unclean
Brander Demon (2HD, hot brand d8)
Scraggly green demon with black delicate hands. Perverse flicks a forked tongue to smell a warm forge and delights staring into flames.

Attacks with a hot brand that morphs burn marks into a sinful word. The first brand is always the person's worst sin, and each injury after is the next worse one going down the list.

If the brand ever hits someone who has no more sins to mark, or a great hero despite their sins, the brand instantly cools to ice and the Brander Demon falls on their knees and begs for forgiveness from such a righteous soul.

[18] Abandoned set of shiny armor, desecrated and vandalized with pornographic doodles. The entire armor is blackened and ruined except for the helmet, which shines in the darkness.

The helmet, which burns evil to the touch, is a full closed helm with a slight glow and silver wings along the sides. The helmet is magic, anyone wearing it gets +2 AC additional AC against demons and dark spirits, and +1 to all saves.

[19] Corpse of a man laying down in a circle of salt. Sticking out of the corpse are several ancient but still salvageable arrow heads.

Salt can be used in the Underworld which creates an impassable barrier for spirits, ghosts, and Lost Souls of all kinds. However ranged attacks and spells can be cast over them, and if the line is broken by a physical being it becomes worthless. Demons can freely cross a line of salt or destroy it, but they take 1d4 damage if they do.

The corpse has 2d6 bags of salt. Each bag can be used to trace one large line or circle (enough to block an entrance or encapsulate the entire party), or could be sold on the surface.

[20] Covered Wagon pulled by a captive Devil Horse, home to an ancient blacksmith and wife. Surprisingly friendly, only people capable of traveling around here unmolested. They seem to have a special deal repairing the metal brands, chains, and thrones of hell and have no fear of damnation or trickery from the devils and demons; Satan himself is friends with them.

They will also offer party members to nail their special horseshoes into your foot, which will let you cross [5] and [6] without harm, additionally it improves your base running speed up to that of a horse. However if a demon jumps on your back you are forced to become their loyal steed until they dismount you, letting them use your body to travel the mortal world.

Releasing the Devil Horse makes it aggressive, first towards the Blacksmith and Wife, and then it harasses the party for no good reason.

Wandering Monsters
Roll 1d8

(1) Lost Souls (1HD, d6 rusted weapons, gain +1 HD, to hit, AC, and damage if they drink blood)
Appearing; 2d4+1

These souls of the dead and damned wander in a pallor of half life and false strength. They are extremely weak and seem to phase in and out of being every few seconds. They also sound weak and feeble, and even shake when they raise up their weapons.

All they desire is to drink blood and absorb some life force from it, becoming more powerful and whole for a short time. They will do almost anything for the promise of blood, even attack each other, fight demonic tormentors or act as a poltergeist; but the promise of the reward has to be near and too the future, plus they cannot leave this place as the real world cannot support them.

If they hurt anything alive and with blood they'll take a round to drink the blood off their weapon.

(2) Devil Horses (2HD, great speed)
Appearing; 1d6+1

Small herd of devil horses. They look like horses but have bright red skin, horns, pitchfork tails and very prolific and obvious genitals.

Devil horses like to smash up campsites, piss acid in sources of water, whinny to attract other monsters and so forth but don't engage in fights unless forced to. They prefer to torment people.

(3) Ghostly Liege (2HD, d10 grand ghost sword, +2 AC, absorbs first spell to hit him)
Appearing; 1 + 1d6 Lost Souls

Powerful ancient King, demands a blood tribute from the party; 1d6 health points each. Ruthless about gathering blood and refusing to share it to his fellow shades, insisting if he gets enough he'll become alive again.
This is false, the curse of being a Lost Soul can only be lifted temporarily.

(4) Phantasmagore (3 HD, 1d4 attacks each round, d6 damage each, can create half-real hazards)
Appearing; 1

The Phantasmagore appears at a distance like several bubbles with moving pictures within as well as several flickering figures acting things out as if in a play or a memory. The phantasmagore is created from composite memories of many people and is constantly forgetting bits of itself, forcing it to consume more souls and rip apart living creatures to absorb their memories as well.

Each round before attacking, the phantasmagore has a 2 in 6 chance of shifting the surrounding area into a half-real illusion of a hazard. This hazard will still deal minor damage, harm stats, or stun a party member for a few rounds. The Phantasmagore does not attack if he conjured a Hazard.

Hazards are built from memories and fears, for instance the ground becomes thin ice and people slip into cold water below or the ceiling turns into an open sky where a dragon breathes down fire upon everyone.

Hazards require a random save.

(5) Eager Demonologists (1HD, d4 knife, incredible agility, demon possessed)
Appearing; 1d4

Demonologists way in over their head. They are pale men in black robes with evil red symbols, possessed and frothing at the mouth from demons inside their bodies.

Despite only being armed with small ritual knives they are capable of incredible feats of agility like climbing up walls, crawling on ceilings to lay an ambush, bending over backwards, attacking people behind them without turning around, etc.

If hit on the head with a blunt weapon or a mind-affecting spell is cast upon them, 1 in 6 chance of breaking demonic possession. Turning works too.
The men will mumble false gratitude if saved, and will offer their body to the next demon they see.

(6) Demon Tormentors (2HD, gain damage when hit, d6 torture tools)
Appearing; 1d4

Yellow demons with curly horns and long red noses with crooked bumps and lumps. Each one of them looks gaunt and haunted, as if stretched out on a rack. They are armed with with torture devices, always on the lookout for fresh meat.

They absolutely love pain, even when they endure it, and after taking damage in a round the next time they attack they deal double damage.

The demons offer to spare the party's life if they are allowed to torture one of their party members, hirelings, or animals. They are true to their word, but the sufferer loses -1d6 points in a random stat.
Those who offer themselves for torture require a save to do it a second time, no matter how heroic or selfless they are; these demons are master at their craft.

(7) Animated Fire (1HD, can only be hurt by things that douse flames or magic weapons, deals d6 damage per round)
Appearing; 1 or 2

Animated flames that bend and follow anyone they can, in a perverse effort to burn living things to a crisp. The flame possess an animal intelligence, and though it can move like a ooze across surfaces that can't normally be aflame it does require fuel constantly or it simmers out. If no victims are nearby, it will go dormant as embers.

The easiest way to kill the fire is to throw water on it, but that will use up your precious water rations in this otherwise dry hole.

(8) Rotter (2HD, d6 bite, necrotic aura deals 1 damage per round nearby)
Appearing; 1 or 2

Rotten man or woman, psychotic. Undead but fast and clever. Long exposure to hellish fumes and tortures has made them this way. Their stench and unhealthy aura is enough to hurt nearby people; 1 damage per round as long as it lives.

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