Saturday, August 23, 2014

When will this dungeon end? - Oolong the Scarlet Hero part 6

Continuing story from here.

Upon descending down the stairs, Oolong noticed a tunnel leading north-east to the next cave. The cave was empty, except for the long extinguished remains of the camp fire in the middle of it. The only exit from the cave was west, into more twisted tunnels. Upon walking through them, Oolong found herself where she started. The tunnel closed into itself.
Knowing from the wizard's story that the dungeon is bigger than this, she decided to look for the secret door. Then she had an idea. She returned to the camp fire and checked the footprints around it. Yes, there were some, but they were going into the tunnels, where they were erased just a minutes ago, when Oolong walked over them. Tough lack, but a least Oolong knew approximate location of that door.

Successful check later, Oolong opened secret passage into the altar room dedicated to the God of Wisdom. Shrine looked long abandoned, judging by dust no service was performed here for some time now.
Dungeon map, level 3
To the west from the altar room was a vestry. There, Oolong found a trapped chest with 500gp. oolong triggered trap while opening the chest, and was hit for 3d6 damage, but lucky roll (1, 1, 4) reduced it to loss of just 1 hp.
To the north-west of altar room was cistern. A Porcelain servitor was guarding the room. Oolong tried to talk with it, but construct took her for temple robber (can't blame it, really) and attacked. Of course, single creature like this was no problem for our hero.
Further north-west was a room that once served as a hospital. When shrine was abandoned, some sick men were left there to face their doom, and without proper burial they turned into Hungry Ghosts (5 of them). The last patient alive probably feasted upon flesh of his dead comrades, so he turned into Ghoul.
This was a difficult fight, even with help of wizard's staff, so Oolong ended it with only 3hp left.
In hospital, Oolong found a healing potion, but unfortunately it's usefulness expired (1 rolled) so drinking it produced no effect.
The remaining 3 rooms on this level were empty natural caves each with a vertical shaft leading down.
Oolong rested to gain full strength, and the she decided to lower herself down one of the shafts. Since in rooms 41 and 46 she could find no place to tie a rope, she pushed one of the hospital beds into room 45, tied a rope to it and slowly descended to the level 4.

Dungeon map, level 4
Oolong was almost at the ground when the old furniture above broke, and the rope followed our hero down (hazard rolled). Skillful rogue landed on her feet, but the way back to level 3 was closed.
Room 48 was just entrance into vault, ending with locked door.
Oolong unlocked it and entered the secure cell. Room 49, resting place for the Book of Teas! Oolong picked it up, and this earned her an experience point.
All doors leading out of secure cell were locked. Oolong failed to open the one to the south (failed check), the lock broke and this door can't be opened any more. But our hero managed to open door to the east, that took her to another empty temple.
In room 53 Oolong met with her old acquaintance, Necromancer. This time, he was prepared to make his last stand. Necromancer was equipped with spells Seven Small Thunders (Magic Arrow) and Walking among the Coved (Terror) and accompanied by two zombies and one skeleton.
Fortunately, 3 high attack rolls in the row prevented necromancer from casting anything. His minion fell as victims of the fray die.
After bandaging wounds, Oolong looted Necromancer's body. Spoils of the war included 600gp and 5 magic potions: Celestial step (levitation! just what I needed!), Invisibility, Furious might (improves combat for 1d6+4 rounds), Bestial form (shape shift into animal) and Lungs of the fish (breath under water).
Other rooms were basically empty, except for the Study, where Oolong found Powder of green purgation (use once, cure curse or disease or similar).
So, Oolong used levitation potion to return to level 3. She could theoretically find way to tie rope somewhere and check rooms 50 and 51 through shaft in room 41, but she decided there is no need for this. So, our hero returned to level 1. There, she used Potion of Might to finally make a short story out of cultist in the garden, and pick up some more loot. Then, she dropped to say goodbye for now to the Wizard, and left the dungeon.
Clearing the dungeon allowed for additional experience point, and that is enough to make her level 3 rogue. Oolong now has 8 hit points, and +2 combat modifier. Traits: Dungeon explorer (4), Resist Red Tide (3), Perfect Balance (2), Scholar (1), Long Distance Runner (1), Resist Poison (1).
Oolong's next adventure will be the urban one, as she will try to sell the Book of Teas.
At the end, some rules notes.
As I knew that this dungeon is mix of natural caves and man made rooms, I rolled together d6 and d20 to determine the kind of room Oolong is entering. On roll 1-3 it was a natural cave, on roll 4-6 it was appropriate built structure.
For every new room, I rolled d4 to determine the number of exits. If the one was rolled, it is dead end. I skipped rolling if the room was obvious dead end like caved in cave or submerged cave.
This got me into trouble twice during the game. Once at the very beginning and second time on level 3. Both times I decided that there is some secret passage around and made checks to find it.
When features were rolled, their nature was resolved using Rory Story cubes.
I used encounter table I made generic for this dungeon, and I recommend you do the same for your games.
Oolong encountered Necromancer 3 times. Each time I rolled for him to have prepared 3 1st level and 2 second level spells. Than I used just these that made sense in combat. For the first two encounters it were spells that allowed Necromancer to run away. For third encounter these were real combat spells, but lucky for Oolong, Necromancer had no chance to use them.
Everything else was more or less by the book.
I hope you enjoyed this adventure.


  1. Thanks for this. I look forward to reading the next adventure.

  2. I have been following Oolong's adventures with great interest. I can't wait to see what she gets up to in the city.

    I don't know much about Scarlet Heroes, other than having read through the free solo rules PDF they put out a while ago. Your rules notes at the end were a most welcome addition to the series; it's always good to see other people's tricks and tools.

  3. Thanks.
    @Alea iactanda est:
    There is a free quickstart of Scarlet heroes, but you will not get there much. The basics are there, but you can find them also within Solo Heroes, you already have.
    The complete book contains many random tables that make life much easier.
    Also, there is a real Solo system within the book (not one player and game master like in Solo Heroes, but solo solo system) or you can say even 3 different systems - one for dungeon crawling, one for wilderness encounters and one for urban encounters.
    I know that dungeon encounters solo system work, and next thing I'm going to test city encounters solo system.
    The very important thing for me is that system is very simple but works great, and as I mentioned several times earlier, as I'm getting more and more middle aged, the simpler becomes the better.