Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Crowdsourced Wizard Tower

+Alex Chalk mentioned that he could really use a wizard tower dungeon, one with a live wizard inside.  Not an abandoned structure, but a living one.

I think that sounds like a great idea.  I could really use a random wizard tower, too.  They're awful easy to plop down on one's map.

Here's the tower of Khazan Khiraj, the Machinist.  He's a wizard who makes a lot of mechanically animated shit, and loves improving living animals.  The tower is called the Spire of Righteous Verticality.  Khazan Khiraj is fond of claiming that it stands straighter than any other tower in the world.

He is currently in his artificial moon, putting the final touches on his new body, which he plans to transmigrate his soul into very soon.  It's very fragile work--the tiniest distraction could ruin the whole thing--and so he's sealed the moon off from all distractions, so nothing will rouse him except for the direst of alarms (or if the party teleports into the moon, themselves).

SO!  Help me fill out this wizard tower.  This place depends on YOU.

I'll give a list of the rooms, and you can fill out the descriptions.  This is sort of intended to be a place that you can bust in and rob while the wizard is distracted, but fill it out however you want.

I'm going to post this on G+, since 90% of all the comments/discussion seems to take place there, but if you can't/don't want to post there, I'll reserve some rooms for filling out here, namely:


HERE <-- is a link to the G+ post, if you want to comment there.

Here's an example of how they should be filled out.  (number) (room name) Description.  Please go in order, so we don't get confused.

7 MEAT This is where Khazan disposes the meat that he strips from his experiments.  An otyugh (with wheels for legs) lurks in this room, unable to climb the stairs.  It is enchanted to smell like lilacs and pile garbage/bones into tidy piles.  It is domesticated, but if the PCs knock over its bone piles or menace it with weapons, it will attack.  It will fall asleep instantly if it ever hears the word, "apsa", which  means "meat" in Elvish.

8 STAIRS Stairwell landing has a stuffed sloth-bear on a pedestal, holding a small lantern in each of it's claws.  The sloth-bear has a magic mouth cast on it, and will speak when the PCs approach, saying "Greedy eyes will never gaze upon the wonders of Khazan.  Wisdom only comes to those who do not seek it."  It's a clue to the staircase.  Unless a PC closes their eyes while on the stairs, the staircase will loop back around to the landing, trapping them there.  (Khazan is immune to this, natch.)

I also intend to do a random encounter table.  Feel free to come up with a random encounter, aside from the room descriptions.  Worst thing that can happen is we get a bunch of cool encounters.

Random Encounter #1
: 1d6+3 berserkers arrive on pterodactyls, intent on robbing the tower.
Random Encounter #2: 1d4+2 giant spiders, they're the size of loyal hounds, act like loyal hounds, covered in an extremely soft purple fur, and will launch hit-and-run attacks from the outside of the towers.

And here's a version that you can show your players:

UPDATE: These are the rooms that have been done so far:

1 CARETAKER: This is the home of Bartleby and Bossic, the caretaker of Khazan's tower.  Bartleby was once a singular human, until Khazan cut off his head and put some propellers and mechanical manipulators on it.  He flies around, cleans the tower, and interacts with visitors.

Bossic is Bartleby's old body.  After cutting off his head, Khazan implanted a silver-plated psuedo-golem head on it, creating a new flesh-and-metal servant.  Rather than look freakish, it looks quite refined.

Bossic-the-pseudogolem cannot talk, but communicates by showing the most relevant page of a 30-page phrasebook of common responses.  It usually cleans and cooks.

This operation was done to reward Bartleby for his years of service.  Bartleby is a little over sixty years old and quite loyal to the wizard.  He keeps half a dozen cats, and grows sunflowers beside his small, 2-story cottage-tower.  He is also a secret opium addict and keeps his stash in a snuff box on the mantle.

At any given time, one of the two caretakers is in the mansion, while the other remains at home (determine randomly).  Bartleby has knowledge of all rooms 1-8, but is very loyal to his master, and very insulting to other wizards.
2 TAPESTRIES: This (front) door to this room is usually locked with a large iron key.  Bartleby and Bossic both carry a spare.

This room contains three large tapestries and an elaborate chandelier, as well as a small golden timepiece on a tiny table.

The tapestries show Khazan Khiraj in some of his greatest moments of triumph: defeating the harpies of Bladewing Pass, seducing a succubus on top of a church (Khiraj is a famous blasphemer), and speaking with the God Machine in the astral sea.

The golden timepiece is valuable and nonmagical, but it is still a trap designed to kill thieves.  If it or any of the tapestries are removed from their places, the chandelier will animate, drop down, and attack like a radiant mantis made of steel and crystal.  It will also emit metal shrieks (a mundane alarm), activate the guardian in room #29 (a magical alarm), and the tapestries will all shout imprecations and threats for a couple of rounds.
3 KITCHEN: This is a large but surprisingly mundane kichen.  Fill it with pans and flour and fruit and a cast iron oven in the shape of a pig.  The only thing out of the ordinary is a tiny packet of black lotus poison in the back of the pantry.  Khazan Khiraj is immune to black lotus poison.
4 DINING: This is a dining room.  White, wood-paneled walls.  U-shaped, mahogany table.  Softly glowing globes of different colors and sizes, arranged unevenly around the upper periphery of the room, representing the planets.  The table's centerpiece is a miniature, techno-organic angeloid (modeled after the Guardian in room #29).  If the tiny sword is pulled from its scabbard, it is revealed to be a corkscrew.

Well-stocked, locked liquor cabinet.  (Neither Khiraj nor his caretakers are boozers, but both his apprentices are.)  The room has a couple of small windows (2' in diameter).  Actually, all of the rooms in the west tower have windows unless described otherwise.

The way up is blocked by a heavy steel door.  No door knob.  The keyhole is a false one, and is electrified.  The door is apparently engraved with pictures of faces--many copies of the wizard, the caretakers, the apprentices.  There's even a carving of a succubus' face and the face of a local duke.

The door only opens when you push on it with your bare hand.  However, doing this also allows the door to "take your picture" and add it to the collection of engravings on it's front (potentially overwriting a previous face).
5 TROPHIES: There are six glass cases here, each containing different treasures that Khiraj has accumulated over his lifetime.  These are all fakes, although this isn't apparent at first glance.

<The real versions of the six treasures are all in different room.  I'll add their descriptions in this room as I write them.>
6 PORTAITS: This room is a small gallery for paintings.  It has 12 paintings in it, mostly mundane.  The first 8 paintings are by Khiraj's brother.

#1 - Serafina, his sister, painted walking to the gallows.  Her face is not visible.  (The church hung her for witchcraft.)

#2 - Red horses on a yellow field, gathered around something on the ground.

#3 - A toothless beggar, huddling under his coat.  This is Omezon, who was once Khiraj's former rival, until the latter robbed him over his memory.  Omezon doesn't even know that he can cast spells anymore.  Khiraj sometimes goes into town simply to see his old rival digging through the garbage cans.  The old man's memories are stored in a golden thread, woven into the back of the canvas.  The players might recognize this beggar from seeing him in town, but probably not.

#4 - A dashing young man with a magnificent goatee.  This is a self-portrait of Khazan's brother.

#5 - A clock tower, in the rain.

#6 - Bartleby, the Caretaker, standing proudly beside his sunflowers before his decapitation.  (See Room #1 CARETAKER).

#7 - A voluptuous woman in a black dress, who is sitting cross-legged above a still life (fruits, flowers, and a wine bottle) apparently hovering 3 inches above a table.  This is Ravenna, the succubus.

#8 - An imperious mage with a tremendous nose holds a phoenix egg in one hand, and a complicated gearshaft-staff in the other.  This is a portrait of Khazan.  Although it doesn't detect as magic, Khazan can see through it's eyes at any time, as well as sense where the portrait is relative to him.

The last four paintings were painted by different artists.  Their styles are dissimilar.

#9 - A fungal skeleton, blending into a fungal throne.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GiFZ2zPqc9I/UvO_FO0OmOI/AAAAAAAACPQ/pdj9MS_rtLY/s1600/funguspaladinprimogen1L.jpg (by +Cédric Plante)

#10 - A foul and noisome beast, vaguely sharklike, but on four legs.  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hfU2Nau6KrQ/UdknNBOXP7I/AAAAAAAAGwg/yWxLCR8Ghbs/s1600/zhark.jpg (by +Scrap Princess)

#11 - A girl and an octopus, embracing on a floor.  http://fredericksfreisergallery.com/zaxart/octopus_girls/g03.html (by +Zak Smith)

#12 - An androgynous halfling holding an umbrella.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-oPpFG92Q9wE/UvOuemSQrFI/AAAAAAAAFDM/jxUMXP8l2Ss/w406-h566-no/14+-+1 (by +Logan Knight)
7 MEAT This is where Khazan disposes the meat that he strips from his experiments.  An otyugh (with wheels for legs) lurks in this room, unable to climb the stairs.  It is enchanted to smell like lilacs and pile garbage/bones into tidy piles.  It is domesticated, but if the PCs knock over its bone piles or menace it with weapons, it will attack.  It will fall asleep instantly if it ever hears the word, "apsa", which  means "meat" in Elvish.
8 STAIRS Stairwell landing has a stuffed sloth-bear on a pedestal, holding a small lantern in each of it's claws.  The sloth-bear has a magic mouth cast on it, and will speak when the PCs approach, saying "Greedy eyes will never gaze upon the wonders of Khazan.  Wisdom only comes to those who do not seek it."  It's a clue to the staircase.  Unless a PC closes their eyes while on the stairs, the staircase will loop back around to the landing, trapping them there.  (Khazan is immune to this, natch.)
9 LIZARDS: The walls contain a complex mural of lizards.  Many shapes, many colors.  Every time someone says the word "lizard" in this room, a giant gecko of a random color will leap out of the wall.  These summoned lizards always obey the wizard or the apprentices, but everyone else gets a reaction roll.  The lizards disappear with a poof once 4 hours and 1d20 minutes have passed.

There's a shelf of giant lizard saddles here, as well as a tightly sealed bin full of rancid meat (the gecko's favorite food, aside from fat halflings).

In the center of the room is a raised altar with a complicated clockwork mechanism of some sort.  It's missing a gear, but Khiraj can use this device to submerge the entire tower in the ground.  (The towers spiral down like a screw.)
10 Clean This room is filled with a central work bench and four un-lidded vats. Everything is made of white marble and an itchy heat pervades the room. Mounds of flesh, organs and bones are heaped on the work bench. The mounds are tended by a variety of golems, who dip the myriad of meat parts into the vats. The end result of the golem's work is neatly stacked piles of calcified organs and bones.

The exit from this room leading to the Golem's Crystal part of the Tower is a tubular, glass decontamination chamber. Khazan is loath for any flesh to enter and taint the Crystal. Exiting golems stand in the decontamination chamber until all organic matter is radiated from their bodies. Any organic based life form caught in the decontamination chamber will have their fur, flesh, muscles and organs burnt into nothingness. Their bones will be left behind, clean as whistles. Calcified organs and flesh may be able to withstand the process.  

The background radiation of the decontamination chamber will very slowly start to singe all organic matter in this room, affecting it in the following manner: 24 hours: the flesh suffers first degree burns. 48 hours: severe burns to the flesh and the destruction of cloth and paper armor/items. 72 hours: Flesh is cooked and destroyed,  destruction of leather armor and items.

The four vats are filled with the following substances;

Vat 1: Clear, tasteless and odorless liquid. Turns the outer covering of organic material (ie: skin) translucent.
Vat 2: Looks, tastes and smells like milk. Calcifies organic, fleshy matter into rocky, inorganic matter. The right amount applied to skin may increase it's hardiness, but the procedure may lead to the eventual petrification.
Vat 3: A pleasingly colored blue liquid, the smell of which can't be pinned down but recalls childhood memories. Liquifies flesh. Used to remove large swathes of organic matter from test subjects. Once liquified the flesh can be combined with Vat 2's contents to make a putty like substance.
Vat 4: A beige colored liquid, smelling of oil. This is organic matter sealant. It will close all pores and orifices in organic matter. Could probably be used to close grievous flesh wounds and burns, but the over use off the stuff will affect the skins ability to sweat, breathe and move.
11 EYE
The only entrance to this chamber is a series of long chains connecting it with the floors above and below. The fleshless remains of 6 adventurers lie on the ground here. Only the ends of bones and burned clothing remain, although metal weapons and bits are strangely clean and shiny. The walls are covered in emerald wallpaper in a fern motif and framed in wood paneling. Anyone climbing down from the chains onto the floor must save vs spell or be compelled to walk to the wallpaper and embrace it. Anyone still on the chains will see the wallpaper patterns wink open with a multitude of eyes. The wallpaper is actually a colony of paper thin creatures created by the wizard. Their hypnotic effect is powerful but only works on one creature at a time. Anyone touching the wall takes 1d6 damage a turn from the potent acid excreted by the creatures, who lap up the digested remains with impossibly long, dark tongues. The wallpaper colony can withstand 20 points of damage before expiring.
21 Dust: Players enter the room through an ornate set of solid, wooden double doors. Intricately carved upon the wood on the left door is what appears to be the rear half of an ostrich, upon the right is the front half of what is most definitely a gazelle; the doors appear to be a matching set, and upon closer inspection the carvings together clearly represent a singular creature.  Players proceed through the unprotected door into a room approximately 20 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The room has dark, wood panel lined walls, and smooth well crafted wooden floors. The right wall is lined with a series of thin, yellow leaded glass windows, emitting several small, blinding rays of light that give the room a warm, welcoming glow. Standing on the floor, lining the other three walls, are what must be Khazan Khiraj’s abominations.  Nearly a dozen taxidermied statues representing the mage’s penchant for “improving” animals surround the room; hewn together - some with great care but most haphazardly -  bodies and limbs magically stitched to one another. The suffering of these creatures is permanently affixed upon their lifeless faces.  Curiously, each creature is adorned in bright, garish clothing, the likes of which is not found in this world.  Some wear weapons upon their belts, others hold nautical devices or implements used to perform acts of magic.  For the GM, these creatures provide a red herring to distract the players.  These creatures no longer pose a threat, and their items are worthless.

Everything in the room is covered by a thick coating of dust. The statues are so thoroughly encrusted, the details of their appearance are difficult to make out from the entryway.  Cobwebs line the corners of the room, and the sills of the windows look as if they are ensconced in a fresh winter snow. One could kick the dust on the floor into piles and scoop it with their hands if they were so inclined, though this would be unwise.

At the center of the room is a 4 foot tall, thin, smooth brass pedestal with a slightly enlarged platform resting at the top. Upon the pedestal sits an upright, silver tuning fork, and upon the tuning fork sits a perfectly balanced creature. It stands only about 12 inches tall, and 4 inches wide. It also appears to be constructed of smooth brass. It looks innocuous, as it has a gentle smile upon it’s cheerful face, and is sitting with it’s eyes closed, humming an almost inaudible, though pleasant, tune.

After the players have entered the room, the tiny brass creature opens its eyes and whispers ‘dust.’ Regardless of the players response, the creature again whispers, ‘dust...’  Any attempt to attack the creature are rebuffed by a small protective force being emitted from the pedestal.  After several hushed warnings, if the players remain in the room, the creature drops from atop the silver tuning fork, and shrieks, ‘DUST!’, grasping the tuning fork tight, it strikes the fork against the top of the brass pedestal.  The noise is deafening.  

Players have a 1d6 chance of being affected by the sound (no save): 1-2 no effect, 3-5 deafened for 1d4 hours, 6 deafened permanently.  

The vibrations emitted from the tuning fork cause the dust to fall from the walls and statues like cascading water, creating a thick, acrid cloud in the room. Players begin to choke and wheeze, and their eyes begin to burn. Players have a 1d6 chance of being impacted by breathing the dust (no save): 1-2 minor cough with no effect, 3-5 severe, lingering cough causing -1 to hit for 1d4 hours, 6 lungs fill with mixture of dust and blood causing death in 1d4 rounds.

Players have a 1d6 chance of their vision being impacted by the dust (no save): 1-2 no effect, 3-5 character’s vision is impaired causing -2 to visual/spot checks and -1 to all ranged attacks for 1d4 hours, 6 permanently blinded.

The brass creature vanishes in the dust cloud, he’s achieved his goal in deterring the party from continuing on; he has caused an array of lasting damage to the characters.  However, 2 large spiders (very easy encounter) drop from the corners during the confusion to ensure his escape.  The magic, silver tuning fork provides a sizable treasure.
In this room, bound and floating within a summoning circle, is a cyber-demon's mechanical constituents (an arm/gun, a leg, an laser eye, and misc smaller components). The summoning is incomplete, as the demon has fleshy components with a different secret name that is suspended between worlds. 
Anyone crossing the bounds of the circle will be accepted as a substitute body part (the missing leg, arm, abdomen, or head) and effectively killed automatically. A demon completed this way will be free to leave the circle. Any robot parts will similarly be accepted, but a complete robo-demon will be freed and friendly to the party.
Any wizard with moxie can attempt to complete the ritual and summon the missing fleshy bits. This is a bad idea though, as fumbling the process will have a bad result such as:
Possession of the caster
Cyber-NPCing of the caster
Releasing a complete cyber-demon
Caster switching places with the demon in hell

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