OK DM's I need some help. I have an idea for a one day adventure, the main concept is an ancient dwarven temple which was abandoned several hundred years in the past. The temple has now become a crypt of sorts , since the reason for the dwarves abandoning it is they trapped a possessed dwarf in the main temple. Using holy relic chains. Now the new group is coming into the crypt in search of the relic chains as artifact collectors. The problem is I know what I want the big baddy at the end to be, the demon trapped in the dwarf. ( kinda like exorcist). however what else can I populate this sealed crypt/temple with? I am stuck. The adventure is for 8th level characters.
any ideas would be welcome!
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If this temple is located underground, there's always the possibility that darklands creatures crept in from the bowels of the earth. This seems a lot like random chance to me, but a design truism seems to be that for players, variety is the spice of life.
Were I putting it together, it would be a combination of defensive mechanisms put in place through the temple to keep people from foolishly unleashing the possessed dwarf and the undead/tormented casualties of those who had to seal the dwarf there in the first place. For example, maybe the dwarves populated the temple with construct guardians, fearing that the possessing entity would just leapfrog its way out if they used living guards. And maybe the demon managed to incapacitate some of its jailers before they sealed the temple and summoned lesser demons to possess them? Also there are some unique kinds of dwarven undead that could have been victims that you can find ways to incorporate.
If you're using undead, scary monsters like Fext are fun, but don't discount the little guys. Throw in some ghast antipaladins who use charisma for hit points, self healing, hit, AC, and the DC of their paralysis. They're only level 2 (CR 3) so they can swarm in great numbers.
What's your party's composition look like? That would better inform my suggestions to ki- to challenge them and provide a fun and challenging gaming challenge where they all die.
The game is a game I run every six months for friends from my home town several states away. They currently have a halfling sorcerer, a Dwarven barbarian, human cleric, Elf Ranger, and a dwarven mage. I like the idea of constructs, and traps. My question is what monsters would make a good demonic influenced type of monster, since the demon is trapped at the bottom but he is effecting everything around him. I am going for a exorcist type of feel.
Just glancing through some undead creature types, you have a lot of options to choose from. The fun part is developing a reason behind the encounter that tells a story or maybe has some personal connection to the PCs. As an example, there's the Caller in Darkness, a wailing conglomeration of psyches belonging to those who died a horrible and violent death. Imagine one of these haunts a section of the temple. But the question is, how did it get there?
Maybe one of the dwarf's "jailors" sealing him in this temple was actually a demon worshipper, specifically seeking to worship the demon bound within the dwarf. Just before most of them evacuate, this demon worshipping dwarf seals some of the remaining dwarves inside with him, intending to sacrifice them to the demonic entity possessing the other dwarf in the hopes that it will give it enough power to break its bonds. Perhaps because he was several levels higher than some of these other dwarves, he hunts them down in the temple, captures them, drags them to an altar, and sacrifices them one by one to the demonic entity. Unfortunately, once he had sacrificed his ninth dwarf or whatever, their psychic resonance forms a Caller in Darkness and kills the demon-worshipper. Oops.
If your party is open to something a little more challenging/spooky and you're apt to invent some stranger encounters, you can build on this. Imagine that the demon-worshipper set up some kind of trap or lock on the chapel where the possessed dwarf is being held, and the only way to get through it is with information/knowledge that the demon-worshipper possessed. In the absence of Speak with Dead, the demon-worshipper's mind is technically still around...trapped in the Caller in Darkness, perhaps as a dominant psyche. The PCs might then have to find a way to communicate with his fractured mind within the Caller, and help him separate himself from the minds of his tormented victims in order to get what they need. Some people might have a magical solution. My games would involve diving mind-first into the Caller, finding the demon-worshipper, and aiding him in dealing with the bitter minds of his victims, maybe by finding some kernel of guilt or remorse and exploiting it.
|Zog of Deadwood|
Animate Dreams, created by the tortured subconscious of the by now hopelessly insane dwarf. Also, or alternatively, multiple kastamut inevitables (as a bonus, they look like metallic dwarves) who were bound or showed up on their own to prevent the demon's release and therefore see the party as probable enemies.
|Mark Hoover 330|
When Hrothgar Stonetooth, now known as Hrothgar the Mad, was imprisoned in the heart of the Anvil Shrine at Temple Sanktyghyn, the chains used to bind the door were a blasphemy known as The Crux of Droskar. The elders knew that their magic was so great, so terrible, that the possessed Hrothgar could never escape. Unfortunately for them, they also knew the cost of their use.
100 men were bound within the links, against the door. These brave fools volunteered to give themselves to the Crux, to labor eternally to hold the chains in place, so that the rest of the clan could be free. We give thanks every year in their honor, on the Night of Cruxseal.
Over the decades since however, an unintended consequence has occurred. The Crux of Droskar requires that the pitiful souls constantly struggle to hold the chains in place. Every squeeze of their dead limbs causes a sound that the devout of the Lord of Toil can sense, like the call of their unholy lord.
Over the years the Duergar, our hated enemy, have conspired to find the Crux. They sense it's presence so some time ago the Runelord of our clan posted wards to hold the foul slavers at bay but it is only a matter of time. Even now their monstrous vermin and ceaseless labors grind ever closer to the shrine.
That is why you four have been retained. You must enter the ancient halls, descend through the levels to the Temple Sanktyghyn and seek ye The Crux of Droskar. Once there you must defend the blasphemous chains from the slavering horde of the Duergar. The runes in place must be renewed with a battle won before them. Do this, and your efforts shall be recorded forever in the Sagas of the Stonetooth Clan
So... use Duergar too.
Sounds like a good place for a Haunt. The Betrayal haunt would be nice, considering there was probably confusion and stabbing amongst the dwarves in the temple at some point. That lingering confusion hits all of your players at once and they begin wildly lashing out at each other...
There could be a bunch of Haunts, each one occupying his own sepulture. A whole court of ancient Dwarf-Lord incorporeal undead. They might be interacting with each other. They might be ignoring each other, each occupying his own table like Dealer's Row at some kind of Death Con.
Duergar are good. Alternately, monsters tend to move into abandoned temples, often one alpha monster (usually with at least some intelligence) that lets far lesser monsters hang out because they act as guards, slaves, or a backup food supply. The presence of the demon might make things complicated, though.