Ghoul-ash, Part III
You can tell I grew up on bad horror movies with bad horror hosts shown at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, can’t you?
For Part III, I figured since the DMG2 includes guidelines for traps and minions, it only makes sense to create, well, a trap and some minions! So we have the Drowning Pit and the Clambering Hordes.
Deep in their lairs, the Underdwellers have many protections against intruders, whether they are humans coming down from the surface or drow coming from below. As dwellers in the middle ground between the surface world and the true depths, the Underdwellers are sandwiched between foes, and rarely feel safe or comfortable.
The Drowning Pit is typical of their ingenuity. A simple enough seeming pit, once a victim or two has fallen into it, the ancient magics of which they are master activate to keep the target there, while cunning mechanisms work to bring in a rain of foul sewage from the pipes and tunnels above. The result is a particularly unpleasant death. If the target is alone, the Underdwellers will often gather to watch his final struggles, peering over the rim. Once he is dead, he is fished out and becomes tonight’s dinner.
Drowning Pit Level 8 Warder
Trap 350 XP
This section of the tunnels looks like all the others… until the muddy soil collapses, revealing a deep pit. Before the victim can begin to scramble out, though, grasping hands of rotted flesh grab him and hold him down, while previously unseen spigots above begin to pour down foul liquids.
Trap: A 2*2 section of floor is supported only by a thin layer of wood, which conceals a 20′ deep pit.
DC 19: The character notices oddities in the floor ahead.
DC 22: The character notices the strange construction of the ceiling.
Trigger: The trap activates when a character enters one of the squares.
Immediate Reacton, Melee
Target: The character who triggered the trap.
Attack: +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: Target falls into trap, takes 2d10 damage and is knocked prone.
Secondary Attack: +11 vs. Fortitude, and target is grabbed. For purposes of escaping, the Fortitude and Reflex defense of the trap are 20.
Miss: Target returns to last square occupied and its move action ends immediately.
Effect: The spigots above the trap open and foul sewage water begins to pour down. On the trap’s initiative count, anyone in the trap who is grabbed must make a DC 20 Endurance check or lose a healing surge. Each round that passes, the check DC increases by 5. So long as the trap is active, it will attempt to grab anyone who enters it as an immediate reaction.
If the trap is triggered and no one has fallen in, the space can be crossed by laying down boards, jumping, and so on. The rushing sewage makes this more difficult, serving as a -5 modifier to Athletics or Acrobatics checks. Failing such a check while crossing results in the characters falling into the pit.
If the trap has been detected but not triggered, obviously, crossing it is much easier.
The sewage will automatically stop after five rounds, so characters can just wait to cross more easily. Of course, this gives the Underdwellers a lot of time to prepare.
The grasping hands are objects, are immune to necrotic damage, have an AC of 20, and 40 hit points. Once they have taken this much damage, they stop grabbing.
An adjacent character can make a DC 8 Thievery check to trigger the floor collapse; this will also start the sewage.
An adjacent character can make a DC 19 Thievery check to strength the floor long enough to cross it.
An adjacent character can make a DC 19 Arcana or Religion check to deactivate the grasping hands.
An adjacent character can make a DC 19 Thievery or Dungeoneering check to deactivate the sewage fall.
The Clmabering Hordes
"They’re coming out the walls!"
Clambering Hordes are the endless legions of the corpse-eaters, the vast swarms of the Underdwellers who emerge to the surface world when they are driven by hunger, enemies below, or just that the Stars Are Right. Their ability to shift and charge while burrowing means it’s very easy for them to strike and then vanish; they do not leave tunnels. Their high Athletics and Acrobatics skills allow them to quickly cross many kinds of terrain; their Climb speed means that they scurry up walls and across ceilings as easily as they tunnel through the ground. They’re intended to be used in large numbers in areas where they have plenty of ways to scurry away, but the PCs do not — they’re a constant ‘hit and run’ menace. Or so they’re supposed to be, like all Breakfast Crunch(tm), they’ve had all the playtesting you can expect from being written in an hour while I nosh on a muffin.