|Display a Printer Friendly Version|
Beneath the Serpent Tower
Author: David “Dr Skull” Nelson
System: d20 Dungeons and Dragons
Requirements: 5th level
A classic dungeon crawl that you can fit into any D&D campagin.
Beneath the Serpent Tower
A 5th level D&D dungeon
By David “Dr Skull” Nelson
INTRODUCTION: This is a self-contained module that can be placed into any campaign. The assumptions are that this is a section of an ancient stronghold of a vanished race of serpent-men. Elf wizards sealed the dungeon around 4000 years ago and locked the door with a crystalline key. To being the adventure, allow the key to fall into the hands of the players as best fits your campaign, use the key to open a sealed door, which leads down to area #1 in the map. The sealed door in area 25 can also be opened with the crystal key and either leads out through a cave to the upper world, or leads to a large dungeon complex, at the DM’s will. The dungeon is set at a level 5 of difficulty (well, more or less).
Accompanying the key is a strange scroll written on a sheet of thin silver. It is written in an old dialect of Grey Elf. It is in bad shape, but the following can be read: “It is accomplished, the doors are sealed….Verebor attempted to free hostages….trapped…mirror…great evil…beneath serpent tower.”
NOTE ON TREASURE: because this dungeon was sealed over 4000 years ago, there will be no conventional coins. The serpent-men instead kept their precious metals in 1-pound and 5-pound bars, equaling 50 and 250 coins each respectively.
Beneath the Serpent Tower: Room Key
1 ENTRY WAY: When the crystal key has opened the door, there will be an overwhelming scent of staleness and a the air will feel very dry. Six ancient, iron forks lie in the corridor, and will be discovered on a Search (DC 5). Each character walking down the corridor has a 1 in 6 chance of stepping on a fork, save vs. Fortitude (DC 14) or take 1 point of damage.
2 SHADOW CHAMBER: The single door to this room is locked with a large ancient lock (DC 25, drops to 22 if oiled). There is an inscription in Celestial which says “sealed, move on”.
Monsters: Inside are the shadowy ghosts of ancient serpent men. There are 3 of them Hit points: 25, 32, and 27, treat as Shadows in all respects.
Treasure: 10 small gold bars, each 1-pound (500 gp total); 1 star ruby (1,200 gp);
1 banded eye agate(8 gp); deep green spinel (90 gp).
3 CHAMBER OF THE RED SIGN: on the north wall is inscribed the evil sign of the serpent, in front of the sign is a small pool that has some unidentifiable sludge at the bottom and next to it is a stone bin with some ancient pieces of charcoal at the bottom. In the center of the room lies the skeleton of a long-dead elf with a long cedar-wood pole in his hands, a circle of small mushrooms grows around it.
Monsters: 5 animated skeletons of Large-Sized Lizard-men (a breed once used by the Serpent men as guards, but long vanished from the earth). They are hit points: 16, 10, 4, 10, 19, use stats for Large Humanoid Skeleton.
Treasure: 6 small bars of gold, 1-pound each, (300 gp), 1 rhodochrosite (10 gp), 1 jasper iolite (70 gp).
4 BOWL ROOM: There are 6 shallow black bowls and a rusted iron key sitting in this room.
5 SPIDER ROOM: when the dungeon was first sealed there were some living monstrous spiders dealing inside. They all were killed by the lack of food and some were animated by the evil energies in the place. Now, three of them lurk dormant on the ceiling of this room. They have a Hide Skill of +12 and will try to drop by surprise.
Monster: 3 Ghoulish Spiders: hit points: 35, 25, 35
Treasure: 10 5-pound bars of silver (25,000 sp), 1 long sword (MW) and 1 dagger (+1), a brass ring (10 gp).
6 THE BLACK POOL: a pool of black oil sits in the center of the room, If the oil is touched in any way, it ignites, at the same time a Summon Monster spell is activated and 5 Azers appear and attempt to kill the players or force them into the fire pit. There is an ancient whetstone in one corner and a false secret panel in the wall (Search DC 15), if the panel is opened it springs a trap.
Monsters: 5 Azers: hp: 9, 14, 9, 7, 13
Trap: magic piston (Search DC 25, Disable DC 24), when secret panel is opened piston attacks the opener (melee +12, 1d6 damage) and throws him into the fiery pit. Make a Reflex save (DC 23) to roll over or to the side of the pit. Each round someone is in the pit he suffers 4d6 points of fire damage, and suffers 2d6 the round after he emerges.
Treasure: 14 1-pound gold bars (700 gp)
7 SKELETON ROOM:
Monsters: 10 animated skeletons of Large-Sized Lizard-men (a breed once used by the Serpent men as guards, but long vanished from the earth). They are hit points: 16, 10, 4, 10, 19, 8, 17, 7, 5, 20 use stats for Large Humanoid Skeleton.
8 EMPTY ROOM
9 EMPTY ROOM
10 THE GHASTLY RAT: when the dungeon was sealed ages ago, the rats inside began to turn on one another until only one remained. After eating all its fellows, this rat began gnawing on cursed substances and magical remnants until it died and rose again as a hideous undead monster. It has grown gigantic and lingers menacing in the room, silent and deadly. In one corner there is a large oaken pole with bronze tip.
Monster: One Huge Ghastly Rat: hp 66.
Treasure: 2 1-pound bars of platinum (100 pp), 1 silver chalice with semi-precious stones (100 gp), brass mug with jade inlays (350 gp), wand of summon monster I (25 charges).
11 TREASURE ROOM: In the center of the room is a secret compartment in the floor (DC 25 on regular search, DC 20 if specific attempt is made on the floor). It requires a Strength Roll of 23 to lift the floor tile (which triggers trap). Remember helpers each add +2 to check (if DC 15 Strength check is made) as will using a proper crowbar.
Trap: CR 3: Falling Blocks: (Find DC 20, Disable DC 25), when the floor panel is lifted to reveal the treasure, several boulders drop from the ceiling attacking anyone who is helping to lift the panel: +12 melee (4d6 damage)
Treasure: 8 5-pound bars of silver (2000 sp), 2 emeralds (1000 gp each), 4 black pearls (500 gp each), +1 Large Steel Shield, Amulet of Natural Armor +1
12 EMPTY ROOM.
13 EMPTY ROOM
14 CHAMBER OF THE GREAT FIRE: a strange black candle sits in the middle of the room, if disturbed it triggers a Summon Monster spell that summons 3 medium fire elementals who will fight for 15 rounds or until defeated.
Monsters: 3 Medium Fire Elementals: Hit Points: 20, 37, 33
Treasure: 10 5-pound bars of silver (2500sp)
15 THE RAMP TO NOWHERE: when the players enter this room they’ll see 10 large skeletons of lizard-men vainly clawing at the southern wall. There is a ramp built up towards the wall. If the players do nothing, then the skeletons just keep clawing, but if any action is taken against them, they turn and attack.
Monsters: 10 Large Skeletons: hp 15 each.
Treasure: if the ramp is examined (Search DC 20, DC 12 for Dwarves) it proves to be made of small bricks. It turns out that many of them are tarnished silver bars. There are 116 silver bars, each weighing 5-pounds (29,000sp).
16 SECRET CORRIDOR: capped by secret doors at either end, empty.
17 TREASURE ROOM: in this room are several rusted scimitars and some roasting spits lying in plain view. There is, however, a hidden treasure guarded by a trap. There is a secret compartment on the southern wall (DC 23 to find) protected by a Fireball trap and containing the treasure items.
Trap: CR 3: Fireball: 20 foot blast, 4d6, reflex for half (DC 15), fills southern 20 foot section of the room (everything south of door ways). To Find DC 25, to Deactivate DC 24.
Treasure: +1 Great axe, 8 1-pound gold bars (400 gp), Horn of Fog
18 CHAMBER OF THE DEMON MIRROR: when the players enter this room a Summon Monster Spell is activated and 5 Hell hounds appear and attack (will fight for 12 rounds). The players will see the hazy form of a demonic face along the east wall, near the northern corner, the whole time. Any ranged attack against the face will result in a loud “clang”. It turns out that the face is an ancient brass mirror mounted to reflect the image from a painting of a demon along the north wall.
Monster: 4 hell hounds, hit points: 17, 20, 17, 17, 22
19 HORROR UNLEASHED: a threadbare carpet sits in front of the door. A successful Decipher Script (DC 20) or a Read Magic or Comprehend Languages spell, will allow the reader to see that there is an inscription thereon which says in Celestial, Old Harran, and the Elder Tongue “beware this room contains great danger and woe, turn back” If touched, the carpet crumbles to dust. Along one wall is hanging a Mirror of Life Trapping (currently deactivated). Inside are imprisoned the Serpent-man Lord Shtthec and 12 of his minions (6 male, 6 female). If the mirror is broken, the creatures will be released. Their chief goal will be escape. They have no equipment but a full complement of spells. Stthec will be very gracious and promise a reward for allowing them to depart, arning thm of a “terrible demon” somewhere in the complex. He speaks Abyssal and Draconic in addition to the Serpent-man tongue.
Monster: Lord Stthec (sorcerer-5/warrior-2), and 12 Serpent-men (warrior 2/ sorcerer 2)
20 EMPTY ROOM
21 EMPTY ROOM: several pottery shards
22 EMPTY ROOM: an old hook, a spike and some old markings on the wall
23 CHAMBER OF THE SMALL FIRES: Entering this room activates two maximized Summon Monster spells (after two rounds have elapsed) that summon 10 small fire elementals who attack at once and fight for 15 rounds or until defeated.
Monsters: 10 small fire elementals: Hp: 9 each.
Treasure: 6 1-pound gold bars (300 gp)
24 CALDRON ROOM: an iron caldron sits in the center of the room, it is filled with dust and has a coating of thick rust.
25 GATE TO THE TUNNELS : at the end of the corridor is a massive set of double stone doors. There is a crystalline key-hole that can be opened by the same key that allowed entry to the dungeon. Where it leads is up to the DM.
26 JUNK ROOM: in the center of the room is a small pool of mud (a very small trickle of water—2-3 drops per hour) falls form above. On one wall is an ancient brass mirror. mirror, The remains of an iron maiden are heaped near the door. A rickety ebony chest of drawers sits nearby
27 SECRET ROOM: in this room there is a statue and iron cage on the far end from the door. The statue is of a large snake, and the cage is of about man-size and contains some ancient unidentifiable bone fragments. If either the statue or cage is touched, a Summon Monster spell is activated and a group of 5 Hell Hounds appear in room 22 and attack the party from the rear.
Monsters: hell hounds: hit points: 21, 29, 24, 21, 14
Treasure: under the cage is a metal wand of cure moderate wounds (15 charges) cures 2d8+4 points per charge.
STAT CARDS FOR BENEATH THE SERPENT TOWER:
Ghoulish Spider CR 3; Medium Undead (4 ft long); HD 4d12; hp 26; Init +3 (Dex); Speed 30 ft, climb 20 ft; AC 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural); Attack +5 melee (1d6 and paralysis, bite); SA paralysis; SQ undead AL NE; SV Fort +1, Refl +4, Will +4; Str 11, Dex 17, Con – Int –, Wis 10, Cha 2. Skills: Climb +12, Hide +10, Spot +7. Feats: Weapon Finesse (bite).SA—Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by bite attack must succeed at Fortitude saving throw (DC 16) or be paralyzed for 1d6+4 minutes. Elves NOT immune.SQ—Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage
Huge Ghastly Rat CR 7; Huge Undead; HD 10d12; hp 66; Init +4 (Feat); Spd 30 ft; AC 12 (-2 size, +4 natural); Attack +12 melee (2d6+9 and paralysis, bite or slam), SA stench of fear, paralysis, slam; SQ undead; Face 10 ft x20 ft, Reach 10 ftAL CE; SV Fort +3, Refl +3, Will +9; Str 28, Dex 10, Con --, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 16. Skills: Move Silently +8, Hide +8, Spot +12, Climb +14, Listen +7Feats: Improved initiativeSA—Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by bite attack must succeed at Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or be paralyzed for 1d6+4 minutes. Elves are not immune to this paralysis.SA—Slam: the rat can leap upon a 10 x20 ft space, attacking all targets in that space with simultaneous slam attacks.SA Stench of Fear(Ex)—within 10 ft save Fort. (DC 15) or –2 morale to all attacks saves and skill checks for 1d6+4 minutes, those who fail must make second save or flee for that long.SQ—Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Serpent-Man Sorcerer 2/ Warrior 2; (Unarmed)CR 3; Medium monstrous humanoid; HD 2d8+2d4+4; hp 18; Init +1 (Dex); Speed 15 ft; AC 15 ( +4 natural, +1 Dex);Attack +3 melee (1d4 bite+ poison)AL: NE; SV Fort +3; Ref +1 , Will +2 ; Str 11, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 13. Skills: Spellcraft +5, Concentration +6, Swim +4, Climb +4, Listen –2, Spot –2. Feats: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus: ScimitarSA—Poison (DC 13 initial: 1d4 Dex, secondary: 1d4 Dex) Spells Cast Per Day: 6/5Spells Known: level 0: detect magic, read magic, daze, light; ray of frost, level 1: magic missile, obscuring mist
Serpent-Man Sorcerer 5/ Warrior-2; (unarmed)CR 6; Medium monstrous humanoid; HD 5d4+2d8+10; hp 33; Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Feat); Speed 15 ft; AC 16 ( +2 Dex, +4 natural); Attack +2 melee (1d4 bite+poison)AL: NE; SV Fort +2; Ref +3, Will +4; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 18. Skills: Spellcraft +8, Concentration +9, Swim +3, Climb +3, Listen –1, Spot -1 Feats: Toughness, Improved initiativeSA--Poison (DC 13 initial: 1d4 Dex, secondary: 1d4 Dex) Spells Cast Per Day: 6/7/5Spells Known: level 0: detect magic, read magic, daze, light; flare, ray of frost, level 1: magic missile, color spray, shield, obscuring mist, level 2: summon monster II, invisibility
Skeleton, Large Humanoid CR 1; Large Undead (9 ft tall); HD 2d12; hp 15; Init +5 (Dex, Improved Initiative); Speed 40 ft; AC 13 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural); Attack +2 melee (1d6+2/1d6+2, claws); Reach 10 ft; SQ undead; AL N; SV Fort +0, Refl +1, Will +3; Str 14, Dex 12, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 11. Feat: Improved InitiativeSQ—Undead: Immune to cold-based attacks. Not damaged by piercing weapons and take only half-damage from slashing weapons. Also immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Small fire elemental: CR 1; Small Elemental (Fire) (4' tall); HD 2d8; hp 9; Init +5 (Dex, Improved Init); Speed 50'; AC 15 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural); Attack +3 melee (1d4 slam, 1d4 burn); SA burn; AL N; SV Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +0; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11.Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5Feats: Improved Init, Finesse(slam)SA- Burn (Ex): Those hit by the elemental's slam attack must make successful Reflex save (DC 11) or catch fire. The flame burns 1d4 rounds and inflicts 1d6 points of damage per round. A burning creature can put out a fire with a move-equivalent action.
Medium Fire Elemental: CR 3; Medium -Size Elemental (8' tall); HD 4d8+8; hp 26; Init +7 (Dex, Improved Init); Speed 50'; AC 16 (+3 Dex, +3 Natural); Attack +6 melee (1d6+1 slam +1d6 burn); SA burn; SQ fire defenses; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +1; Str 12, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11.Skills: Listen +6, Spot +6Feats: Improved Init, Finesse (slam)SA: Burn (as above)SQ- Fire Defenses (Ex): The elemental is immune to fire and suffers double damage from cold-based attacks on a failed save.
Azer CR 2; Medium Outsider (4 ft tall); HD 2d8+2; hp 11; Init +1 (Dex); Speed 30 ft; AC 19 (+6 natural, +2 large shield, +1 Dex); Attack +3 melee (1d8+1, warhammer) or +3 ranged (1d6/crit x3, shortbow); SA heat; SQ fire defenses; SR 13; AL LN; SV Fort +4, Refl +4, Will +4; Str 13, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 9. Skills: Craft (metalworks) +6, Climb +4, Listen +4, Search +4, Spot +5. Feat: Power Attack.SA—Heat(Ex): Metallic weapons conduct the heat generated by the creature’s body, dealing 1 additional point of fire damage (including unarmed attacks) per hit.SQ—Fire Defenses (Ex): Immune to normal fire and receive a +4 bonus to saving throws vs. magical fire-based attacks. Possessions: Large steel shield, warhammer, shortbow with 10 arrows.
Mephit, Fire CR 3; Small Outsider (Fire); HD 3d8; hp 13;Init +5 (Dex, Improved Initiative); Speed 30 ft, fly 50 ft (average); AC 16 (+1 Dex, +5 natural); Attack +4 melee (1d3, claws, and 2, fire); SA breath weapon, spell-like abilities, summon mephit; SQ fire subtype, fast healing, damage reduction 5/+1; AL N; SV Fort +3, Refl +4, Will +3; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 15. Skills: Bluff +5, Hide +10, Listen +6, Move Silently +7, Spot +7. Feats: Improved Initiative.SA—Breath Weapon (Su): Can breathe a cone of fire 15 feet long and 15 feet wide at the base every 1d4 rounds. The cone deals 1d8 points of damage or half if a Reflex saving throw (DC 12) succeeds.SA—Spell-like Abilites (Sp): Once per hour, can cast magic missile as a 3rd level sorcerer. Can cast heat metal as a 6th level sorcerer (DC14) once per day. SA—Summon Mephit (Sp): (not described in source)SQ—Fire Subtype (Ex): Immune to fire and suffers double damage from a cold-based attack on a failed saving throw. SQ—Fast Healing (Ex): Heals 1 point of damage each round provided it is still alive and touching a flame at least as large as a torch.SQ—Damage Reduction (Ex): Ignores the first 5 points of damage inflicted by a nonmagical attack.
Hell Hound CR 3; Medium Outsider; HD 4d8+4; hp 22; Init +5 (+1 Dex, +4 feat); Speed 30 ft; AC 16 (+5 natural, +1 Dex); Attack +5 melee (1d8+1 bite) SA breath weapon; SQ fire defenses;AL LE; SV Fort +5, Refl +4, Will +4; Str 13, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 6. Skills: Wilderness lore +8. Hide +5, Move Silently +5, Spot +8. Feat: Tracking.SA—Breath Weapon (Su): 30 foot cone of fire every 1d4 rounds. Reflex save DC 13 or take 1d6+1 damage, combustibles ignited. Can breath and bite in the same round.SQ—Fire Defenses (Ex): Immune to fire attacks, double damage from cold.
SHADOW: CR3; Medium-size undead (incorporeal); HD 3d12; hp 13; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft; fly 40 ft. (good); AC 13; Atk +1 melee (1d6 temporary Str damage, incorporeal touch); SA Str damage, create spawn; SQ Undead, incorporeal, turn resistance +2, 60 ft. darkvision; AL CE; SV Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4; Str --, Dex 14, Con --, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha13.Skills and Feats: Hide +8, Intuit Direction +5, Listen +7, Spot +7; DodgeSQ--: Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralyzation, stunning, and disease; not subject to critical hits, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage.SQ--Incorporeal: Harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better weapons, or by spells, spell-like effects, and supernatural effects; 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal source; passes through solid objects at will; always moves silently.