Monday, June 2, 2014

Caverns of Chaotic Kobolds for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

Where to go with this one? Well, to start it's a rare module written....and statted....for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. It has a map, somewhere, but I've lost the original, and the remake by Simon Tranter is owned by a local friend of mine who at one time was assisting me with producing The Sorcerer's Scrolls in its reboot a few years ago, and to whom I turned the operation over when I decided that blogging was more rewarding than attempting to do a print/PDF magazine.

I don't know if that final issue ever got off the ground, but if it had it would have included this module. Alas, the map is history....and the cool one which exists somewhere is not mine to share, so I leave you to interpret the layout these rooms as you see fit....


The Caverns of Chaotic Kobolds
Dungeon Fantasy Edition

   Deep within the Chaos Mountains lies the vast and evil valley of the Chaotic Caverns. Here, dozens of ancient tunnels, some natural and others dug deep by monsters, riddle the length and breadth of this valley. One such set of caverns can be found, the notorious Cavern of Chaotic Kobolds, near the entrance of the valley. It is a popular locale for young adventurers to assault, and the wary kobolds have grown used to this barrage of devil-may-care adventurers seeking to steal their plunder…
   The following stat blocks provide some basic stats for the kobold denizens in the caverns. These kobolds are derived from (but not exactly the same as) the kobolds depicted in 3rd edition GURPS Fantasy Races:

Typical Kobold Statistics:
ST 8 DX 11 IQ 8 HT 10 Speed 5.25 Move 5 HP 8 FP 10 Will 7 Per 8 Damage: Th 1d-3 Sw 1d-2
Dodge 9 Parry 9 Block 9 (DB 1 with buckler) leather armor DR 2
Skills: short sword -11, Buckler Shield-11, Climb-14, Shortbow-11, Stealth-11
Advantages: cast iron stomach, dark vision, Flexibility (5)
Disadvantages: short attention span, uneducated, weak will -1
Weapon:  short sword (cut 1d-2 or impale 1d-3) or short bow (impale 1d-3 Acc 1; Range X10/X15, RoF 1)
Armor: small shield and leather armor (torso, groin, head)
Wealth: typically 1D8 animal bones, a rabbit fetish, and 2D6 copper pieces

Kobold Warrior
ST 10 DX 12 IQ 8 HT 10 Speed 5.50 Move 5 HP 10 FP 10 Will 8 Per 8 Damage: Th 1d-2 Sw 1d
Dodge 10 Parry 10 Block 10 (DB 1 with buckler) leather armor DR 2
Skills: short sword -13, Buckler Shield-13, Climb-14, Shortbow-13, Stealth-11
Advantages: cast iron stomach, dark vision, Flexibility (5), combat reflexes
Disadvantages: short attention span, uneducated
Weapon:  short sword (cut 1d or impale 1d-2) or short bow (impale 1d-2 Acc 1; Range X10/X15, RoF 1)
Armor: small shield and leather armor (torso, groin, head)
Wealth: 2D8 animal bones, a rabbit fetish, 3D6 coppers and 1D6 silver pieces.

Kobold Shaman:
ST 8 DX 11 IQ 11 HT 10 Speed 5.25 Move 5 HP 8 FP 10 Will 10 Per 11 Damage: Th 1d-3 Sw 1d-2
Dodge 8 Parry 8 Block -- cloth armor DR 1
Skills: shortstaff/sword -11, Climb-14, Shortbow-11, Stealth-11, Occultism 11
Advantages: cast iron stomach, dark vision, Flexibility (5), Magery 1
Disadvantages: short attention span, uneducated, weak will -1
Weapon:  shortstaff (crush 1d-2 Parry 0F) or short bow (impale 1d-3 Acc 1; Range X10/X15, RoF 1)
Armor: Cloth armor (torso, groin, head, legs and arms)
Magic:  Itch-12 (cost 2), Spasm-12 (cost 2), Pain-12 (Cost 2), Sense Foes-12 (cost 1+), Haste-12 (2/1+), Ignite Fire-12 (1+), Create Fire-12 (2/1), Shape Fire-12 (2/1), Fireball-12 (1d/pt up to 3; ½D 25, Max 50, Acc 1)
Wealth: 3D6 animal bones, a rabbit skull cap, 4D6 coppers, 2D6 silvers and 1D3-1 gold pieces

Description of the Kobold Lair

    The Yeargat Tribe (loosely translated into “Flaming Rabbit Tribe”) has been a denizen in this particular wing of the Chaotic Caverns for centuries now, or so it seems. In truth, the kobolds are frequently cleared out, only to be replaced by a new tribe periodically. For reasons unknown, the Speaker in the Pool likes to surround itself with kobolds, and seems to call to them telepathically.

   The current leader of the tribe is the warrior known as Warangit, and his chief shaman is the female kobold Katala-Thika.

   Unless otherwise indicated, all doors in the dungeon are locked, but all guards will have a key ring that opens most doors; only the chieftain has a door that opens area 10, however.

1. Entrance
   The main entry is partially barricaded by a rubble barrier of stones that the kobolds have heaped up over time. The barrier was partially knocked over when an ogre named Crothux came visiting a few weeks back, and the barrier remains partially toppled. Guarding from a small stone walk-way along the “ramparts” of the stone blockade are four kobold sentries.

2a., 2b. and 2c. Sleeping Chambers
   These wide den chambers contain eight primary nests each, and huddled within at any given time will be 2D6 female kobolds, 4D6 children and 1D3 off-duty kobold warriors.

3. Storage
   This is the storage room and pantry for the kobold raids, and includes the wealth of several stolen caravans as well as good pilfered from their immediate neighbors. The storage containers within include the following items of note:
2 barrels of 20 short spears each
3 sacks of cinnamon
1 heavy “powder keg” containing orcish firegrain
4 small dwarven kegs of stout
2 satchels (open) of salt
1 heavy open barrel full of ground flower
1 large mortar and pestle
1 loom (broken, needs repairs)
1 stack of approximately 20 deer skins (tanned)
1 skeleton stacked in a corner adorned in nobleman’s garb of Octzel City
1 crate full of leather sandals
4 large amphoras full of water (tepid, with mosquitos breeding from it)
1 ogre-sized chamber pot (full)
12 wineskins stacked in a corner, half are still full of wine, the rest have been drunk and discarded
   There are usually 2 kobold warriors on duty here, but there is a 50% chance they will be asleep.
20 yards of giant-spider silk cord rolled up in a corner next to 50 feet of rotted hemp rope

4. Pool of the Speaker
   Here is the mysterious sacred water in which dwells the mysterious Speaker in the Pool.  The Speaker is an ancient entity which has dwelt here for thousands of years, or so the stories go. For some reasons it is seen as a godlike being by kobolds, who claim they can hear it “speak” though no one else can; when the entity forms it exudes only hideous bubbling noises.
   The Speaker in the Pool is actually a sentient Erupting Slime, a unique creation forged either naturally or by magic eons past. It has IQ 20 and Telepathy 20 (with access to animal empathy, invisibility, mind control, mind probe mind reading, special rapport-kobolds, telesend and terror). It has one huge limitation: the Speaker’s power source is actually within the natural confines of the pool in which it rests, and should it leave (traveling more than 200 feet from the pool) it will lose its power of telepathy as well as its sentience.
   Hidden in the bottom of this thirty foot deep pool, trapped in ancient encrusted calcite is a long-lost Kadantanian Artifact from ages ago. The device looks like a small container, and bears the engraved image of a squat goat-demon with six arms lifting up a gem, which doubles as a sort of “lid.” The Gem is a pure ruby worth 500 gold pieces, and if unstoppered reveals that inside the odd vessel lies a solid crystal skull that pulses with a faint blue light. Any who touch the skull are assaulted by the ghost of the Kadantanian sorcerer Eurenesas, who will seek to possess the target (possible only by touch, however).
   Eurenasas is the source of the Erupting Slime’s sentience, although it does not know that the artifact is the source of its might. Should Eurenasas’s crystal skull be removed from the vessel, or be awakened through the possession of another target, then the slime will lose its sentience in the process.

5. Hidden Cache
   Chieftain Warangit likes to hide his really good stuff down this secret passage that leads to a collapsed region. The discovery of the passage is not too difficult (Perception -3 if actively being searched for), but it requires small hands to reach down a long hole to grasp an iron ring that opens the door. Worse, nestled within the hole is a fat black widow familiar which will bite any arm that does not reek of either the war chief or the shaman…
   The cache contains the “good stuff” of the tribe, including:
A coffer with 345 gold pieces, 53 electrum pieces, 12 iron coins from the far north, 421 silver pieces, 2003 coppers, and 3 mithril bars.
1 tall ceramic amphora in which a pickled undead troll head floats
An ornate high-quality greatsword (very fine; -2 to breakage and +2 to damage)
1 satchel of pure opium in a worked wooden coffer (5 lbs.)

6. Well
   Here the kobolds draw their water from a cistern well, which collects runoff from a slow but steady drip in the stalactite-laden ceiling. The water is the only purified source in this cavern that has not been corrupted by the seeping effect of the  Pool of the Speaker. There is usually 2-4 kobold females here filling urns that they carry on their heads.

7. Kobold Market
   Here can be found a wide deep cavern that has been turned into a warren of small shops and businesses. Approximately four dozen kobolds can be found here at any given time, bartering and bargaining with one another in an effort to make money at the expense or misfortune of others. The kobolds have several small shops here (and by small I mean only gnomes, Halflings, goblins and other short kin can safely enter standing) with salvaged gear and weapons; most gear is priced double the normal cost, and the kobolds will shrewdly haggle at the price to keep it as high as possible.
   If the adventurers have already made themselves a known nuisance, then there may be as many as a dozen guards in this area to protect the merchants. Should the adventurers decide to siege the market, about three dozen common kobolds will flee while the dozen soldiers fight. The kobold merchants, being venomously jealous, will likely depart their shop while setting a variety of deadly traps in place to protect their goods. A sample trap:
Trip-Wire Triggered Crossbow (hits on 10 or less on 3D6; 1D+3 damage if an adventurer fails to spot it (-3 penalty to Perception as it is cleverly disguised); spotting the crossbow as it triggers allows a dodge roll to avoid, but the person behind the adventurer is then targeted.)

8. Camp and Hub
  This chamber is used as a camping spot for foreign visitors and also as a hub for traveling into the deeper caverns. Roll 1D6 and check the following list to see who or what is in the chamber when the PCs stumble on it; re-roll for a new encounter once every 1D3 days:
1.            A trio of ogre traders with casks of deepwater grog; they use a half dozen severely malnourished shadow elves as their slaves.
2.            A lone troll named Thaumat prowls the area looking for stray kobolds to eat. At one of the entrances a half dozen kobold guards have holed up while they wait for pitch arrows to drive the troll away.
3.            A single Mindwarper named Xymurgis is here, guarded by two flaming skulls and a trio of well-armed orcs is visiting. He has a rather impressive animated kiosk that travels on four spidery legs, and he sells any and all potions (usually 150% of the base cost, but he’s wiling to haggle).
4.            Kobolds from the Yaunkak tribe (literally means “Stolen Baby Tribe”) are visiting and there’s the kobold equivalent of a small renaissance fair going on here.
5.            A necromancer named Callous and his three vampire vixens is passing through. He’s offering the kobolds a princely sum for the right to speak with the Speaker in the Pool, but the kobolds (all two dozen, with the lead witch-doctor, wearing garlic necklaces and wielding sacred ankh-crosses of Naril—even though they barely know who the god of goodness is!) are rather mistrustful of the necromancer and his evil maidens.
6.            Seven kobolds, including lead kobold chief investigator Yeenkark are investigating a recent death; in the center of this chamber is a dead kobold known as Yonton, the best merchant and haggler in the community, and he’s been impaled by what looks like a spear from the Yauntak (Baby Eater) tribe…Yeenkark suspects foul play and an attempt to incriminate the other tribe falsely….may be willing to employ friendly adventurers to seek out clues….

9. Warangit’s Throne Room
    The ceiling in this wide but low chamber is only four feet high; it doesn’t bother the kobolds in the least. A trio of stalagmites stretching from floor to ceiling have been turned into a throne for Warangit, leader of the kobolds. Within this chamber the chieftain and at least fifteen guards and usually five or six harem wives can be found. Warangit is open to discussion with foreigners who will pay proper obeisance to him, but he wil order the guards to attack if the adventurers have been assaulting his caverns already.

10. Sleeping Chamber
   Here, behind the throne room, is a much wider and more spacious private chamber for the chieftain, his harem, and his three dozen children (and nests for more eggs on the way). Needless to say, if the adventurers have gotten this far, they will be met by at least ten angry harem wives and three dozen angry kobold children!
   Hidden beneath the carpets of this chamber are three cisterns filled with 10,000 copper pieces (approximately, give or take), 573 silver pieces and 1,021 gold pieces in hidden loot. An adventurer walking on the carpets who makes a Perception check will notice the curious “crunch” when passing over the cisterns.
   The three treasure cisterns do contain ancient traps: at the bottom of each cistern (about three to five feet deep) is a pressure plate held down by the coins. When half the coins are remove, the plate will release, exposing a substance which explodes in contact with air, dealing 3D6 damage in a 15 foot radius around the cistern and melting the coins in the process! The way to avoid the trap is to use the key held by the lead matron on three cleverly disguised key holes each adjacent to the cisterns (Perception -2 to notice the key holes), or to pick those locks (the GM should roll that if an attempt is made, as there is no way to tell if the lockpicking is successful in “locking” the trap or not).


   There are several ways out of the dungeon, that lead to other warrens within the Chaos Mountains. GMs can use this as but one of many such avenues to further adventure, of their own design!

No comments:

Post a Comment