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View Full Version : [4E] Making the Tomb of Horrors/Tucker's Kobold Hall



AgentPaper
2008-10-16, 03:27 AM
So, I've just got an itching to make a dungeon, probably for level 1 players, maybe a bit higher, that uses level-appropriate encounters of monsters and traps in the nastiest way possible to create the hardest dungeon possible. Things like terrain and creatures that are designed to rip apart any normal party. I already have a few ideas, such as:

-Kobold slingers, small passages, and cover to have them appearing all over the place and raining pebbles on the party.

-Needlefang drake swarms coming out of secret door when a pressure switch, right outside of the door, has a certain amount of weight on it. (probably around 50-150 pounds) so that only the characters without much armor trigger it.

-Gelatinous Cubes in alcoves above a corridor that fall when the party is below it, giving them a surprise round and likely devouring most if not all the party.

-The whole dungeon is slowly filling with water, and the lower entrance you used is sealed, so you can't take an extended rest or you drown.

I'm trying to get more ideas, but I think I'll have the standard 8 encounters and a major quest. So, the whole dungeon would take at first level, broken up as such:

400 xp - 4 Kobold Slingers
Many small passages sized for kobolds, with ledges that they can duck in and out of. Party can't follow or predict where they come from.

500 xp - 4 Needlefang Drake Swarms
Hidden along a 10-foot corridor so that they come out right in the center of the party.

500 xp - Gelatinous Cube, Kobold Dragonshield
Room is fulled with acid, doing 5 acid damage a round to everything, no save. (Both monsters resist this)

500 xp - Abyssal Ghoul Hungerer
Hiding in the shadows of a room with lots of pillars and is dark. Attacks from the shadows, and then retreats. Attempts to separate the party from immobilized members, then focuses on the lone member, picking the party off 1 by 1.

625 xp - Kobold Minion, 6 Fire Beetles
The kobold is hidden, and triggers a trap when the whole party is above a 3x7 area in a 15 foot wide corridor. The trap makes them fall 20 feet into a 3x3 room, which has 6 holes in the wall, allowing fire beetles to breath fire into the room. The minion has levers and can see the beetles, only opening the holes when the beetles are charged to fire spray. The walls are slicked with grease, making them impossible to climb, and the kobold closes the trap door that opened, so the characters are stuck in a room 15 feet long and wide and 10 feet high.

625 xp - Snaketongue Celebrant and Kobold Minion
A series of 10 foot corridors in a maze that many times go straight up or have pits of water. Celebrant uses Crushgrip Constrictor form to move about, and then uses normal form to assault the party. Minion uses smaller passages to move about opening and closing doors, limiting the movement of the party.

625 xp - 25 Kobold Minions
A series of 15x15 foot rooms, minions close doors to seal single players in each. After sealing a party member inside one, they seal the rest of the party in the next room. Each room has 6 arrow slits and 9 murder holes that the minions use to rain projectiles from. Each hole leads to a 5 foot square room, with passages leading further, so any area attacks can only hit one kobold at a time. Against mostly single-target ranged characters, the kobolds can move into the room and completely surround the player, attacking with flanking bonuses 9 times each round, as well as allowing 15 other kobolds to attack with their javelins. The throwing posts are stocked with many, many javelins, so there is no need to worry about running out.

875 xp - Bulette and Snaketounge Initiate
Initiate is riding the Bulette. The room is 4x4, so Rising burst hits all squares all the time. As well, the bulette uses Earth Furrow to circle around until all targets are prone, and then bites and leaps up into the ground above, doing extra damage and provoking to opportunity attacks. After, it circles blow again and repeats. The Initiate prepares an attack before the bulette surges up, hitting the character with the lowest fortitude each time.


That's my idea so far. Looking for more ideas to make this even harder. I won't be breaking the XP budget, though I will break any DMG reccomendations about it, as you can see by my level 18 minion. :belkar: No traps that would add to the budget, though some things, like my doors and what amounts to a pit trap, can be triggered by other monsters, such as a 25 xp kobold minion. If anyone knows some nice ways to break monsters by leveling them up and down, that would be awesome. Now I'm thinking of a level 4 orcus...:smallamused:

Yakk
2008-10-16, 09:13 AM
A party of 5 level 1 characters should face (100*5*4) = ~2000 XP between extended rests. So yes, you are breaking the XP budget.


No traps that would add to the budget
Why do these traps not add to the budget? By fiat? Or because they simply do not deal damage?

Lappy9000
2008-10-16, 09:33 AM
Making the Tomb of Horrors/Tucker's Kobold Hall

http://www.37signals.com/svn/images/fear_poster_med.jpg

AgentPaper
2008-10-16, 10:48 AM
The 2000 xp before an extended rest is recommended, and one of the things I'm ignoring. I'm trying to get real difficulty in here, not Orcus throwing. These traps deal no damage, yes, and are also triggered by creatures instead of triggers. Mostly I just don't want to make it seem like I could throw a level 30 trap at the party with no XP cost or something like that. The most important thing is that they aren't magical in any way, and would be feasible in a real world with the tools kobolds could lay hands on.

My main decision now is whether I should continue with this as a level 1 dungeon, or if I should make it for some other level. 10 would be my second choice, and 20 or 30 could be fun just to try and challenge players of that level, but I don't have the experience playing or DMing at those levels yet, so I wouldn't know what to use.

I'm also thinking of replacing the major quest with another 500 XP encounter, but I'm not sure what I would use. Maybe more dragonshields in another room of acid, though that seems redundant with the cube encounter. My other option is to just not give out XP at all, and then not worry about how many encounters there are, but I think I would rather have less encounters, so I only have the best evil encounters.

The next thing after encounters will be any non-encounters I can use to consume player resources, without using any monsters or traps. (since they would have to be triggered) The slingers in the first encounter, and the 5 more you run into later, if not killed, will also hound the party the entire way, including but not limited to pelting stones and triggering non-traps.

At any rate, I need more ideas! What low level monsters are over-powered when used right, or have abilities that can be exploited? I know there has to be more out there!

RTGoodman
2008-10-16, 01:31 PM
I see what you're doing now, but before I read the thread I had already come up with my suggestion for running ToH in 4E.

You start out with a modified skill challenge. Players can use any skill they have trained as part of the skill challenge. The skill challenge ends in failure on ONE failed roll. (There is no definite number of successful skill checks needed to end the challenge in a success, but just rest assured that your party'll never reach that number.) The result from failing the skill challenge is determined by rolling 1d6:

{table=head]Roll | Result
1-3 | PC that failed dies
4-6 | All PCs die[/table]

I think that successfully mimics Tomb of Horrors, updated to 4E. When they fail, just pick any single thing from the entire module, and that's what killed them. It doesn't matter if it's the first room or the last - it's not like you'd let them survive ToH anyway!

:wink:

AgentPaper
2008-10-16, 01:36 PM
But I don't want to do stuff like that. I want to create combat encounters from hell (ala Tucker's Kobolds) combined with traps that aren't really traps, and mostly just trick you into killing yourselves. (ala Tomb of Horrors) So, monsters that use devious tactics, and things like the orb of annihilation in the demon mouth. I'd also like to DM a venture into this dungeon in a PbP, hopefully a series of them until someone gets through it all. I'm going to build it from the ground up mostly on my own, but I'm posting some ideas here so I can get some good feedback to make the place even more evil.

For one, I'm not wholly happy on the final encounter. It's hard, but I don't think it's impossible. Especially the minion rider doesn't seem to add much of anything, so replacing him with something better would be nice. I'm gunna look through some more minions, possibly reducing the bulette's level so I can put a better minion in.

Lappy9000
2008-10-16, 02:39 PM
But I don't want to do stuff like that. I want to create combat encounters from hell (ala Tucker's Kobolds) combined with traps that aren't really traps, and mostly just trick you into killing yourselves. (ala Tomb of Horrors) So, monsters that use devious tactics, and things like the orb of annihilation in the demon mouth. I'd also like to DM a venture into this dungeon in a PbP, hopefully a series of them until someone gets through it all. I'm going to build it from the ground up mostly on my own, but I'm posting some ideas here so I can get some good feedback to make the place even more evil.

For one, I'm not wholly happy on the final encounter. It's hard, but I don't think it's impossible. Especially the minion rider doesn't seem to add much of anything, so replacing him with something better would be nice. I'm gunna look through some more minions, possibly reducing the bulette's level so I can put a better minion in.

If you're looking for traps, I saw something crazy here a few months back. I can't find the link, but the trap involved a gigantic fan below the floor (made of steel mesh, naturally) full of glass objects (statues, etc). When the trap was triggered, the fan would turn on and shatter (you could even use a shatter spell) the objects, creating a cyclone of sharp broken glass that whirled around the players. I tried this one time in my game. If one person hadn't ducked under a table, it would've been TPK.

If the players involved have played the Tomb of Horrors before, the sphere of annihilation the statue's mouth won't work. You should replace it with a sphere of magical darkness with some treasue inside, just to mess with them. Back on topic, if they've played the dungeon before, put some unique twist on the sphere, putting it in somehwere else in the dungeon. Perhaps replace one of the holes in room #10 with it?

chronoplasm
2008-10-16, 03:20 PM
OK, so heres a trap idea:

The players walk into a room with a pool of acid and a door.
The players open the door, and a bunch of boulders roll out.
The boulders roll into the pool of acid, displacing it, and causing it to flow out of the pool.
The acid eats through a section of the floor, allowing a spring underneath to release a projectile.
The projectile strikes a wall, opening it, causing a liquid to pour out and react with the acid to create flaming acid.
The smoke from the steaming acid turns a fan on the ceiling causing whirling blades to pop out from the walls.
The blades cut some chains which causes cages to fall open and releasing elemental sharks of fire and acid into the room.
The sharks eat some sticks of explosives suspended from the ceiling by ropes and they explode.
The loud sounds from the explosions echo through the room and power up a sonic weapon that shoots a thunder attack at the players.
The thunder attack causes the room to rattle, causing the blades and the turbine on the ceiling to shake loose and fall down.
The falling turbine bounces off the projectile launching spring and flies back up toward the ceiling, breaking it open.
A freezing cold solution pours down from the broken ceiling and neutralizes the fire acid. The room fills up with bubbles.
The pressure from the bubbles opens a hatch. When the hatch opens, a little kobold puppet pops out and toots a little trumpet, sounding the alarm to call the kobold minions to the room.

The Glyphstone
2008-10-16, 04:44 PM
OK, so heres a trap idea:

The players walk into a room with a pool of acid and a door.
The players open the door, and a bunch of boulders roll out.
The boulders roll into the pool of acid, displacing it, and causing it to flow out of the pool.
The acid eats through a section of the floor, allowing a spring underneath to release a projectile.
The projectile strikes a wall, opening it, causing a liquid to pour out and react with the acid to create flaming acid.
The smoke from the steaming acid turns a fan on the ceiling causing whirling blades to pop out from the walls.
The blades cut some chains which causes cages to fall open and releasing elemental sharks of fire and acid into the room.
The sharks eat some sticks of explosives suspended from the ceiling by ropes and they explode.
The loud sounds from the explosions echo through the room and power up a sonic weapon that shoots a thunder attack at the players.
The thunder attack causes the room to rattle, causing the blades and the turbine on the ceiling to shake loose and fall down.
The falling turbine bounces off the projectile launching spring and flies back up toward the ceiling, breaking it open.
A freezing cold solution pours down from the broken ceiling and neutralizes the fire acid. The room fills up with bubbles.
The pressure from the bubbles opens a hatch. When the hatch opens, a little kobold puppet pops out and toots a little trumpet, sounding the alarm to call the kobold minions to the room.

Congratulations, you have designed a Rube Goldberg Trap/

AgentPaper
2008-10-16, 05:05 PM
Funny, but not what I'm looking for. I may as well have rocks fall. :smallwink:

Thane of Fife
2008-10-16, 05:20 PM
You can find some amusing traps out on the net.

Try this website for example:

Traps and Riddles (http://www.adnddownloads.com/riddles_traps.php)

Look at the bottom three in particular.

chronoplasm
2008-10-16, 05:58 PM
Funny, but not what I'm looking for. I may as well have rocks fall. :smallwink:

You might be able to use parts of it though.
You said you might want the dungeon to be filled water. If so, you could do interesting puzzles with boulder traps where the boulders can or displace water to raise water when needed.

AgentPaper
2008-10-17, 12:25 AM
Ok, I've done a bit of work, here's the first part. It only goes to the first encounter, but there's already a number of ways to die horribly. I'll eventually be playtesting this, so I can't reveal everything, but this should give a good idea:

Encounters:
Troll: 400 xp
Hall is 10 feet high and wide, water 9 feet high flows through the area, extinguishing non-magical fire and diluting non-magical acid. Players are down current from the troll. Moving upstream is difficult terrain, and moving downstream increases your speed by 2. The troll is equipped with a spear and takes no penalties for underwater combat.

5 Kobold Slingers: 500 xp
Small passages link outcroppings from which the slingers pepper the party with small rocks. The slingers shift out, attack, and then move back into the tunnels each turn, never showing up at the same alcove twice. These alcoves are placed throughout the entire dungeon, and if the players try to rest, the kobolds attack. The players cannot take an extended rest as long as these kobolds are alive.

4 Needlefang Drake Swarms: 500 xp
A lever is in the middle of a 20 by 10 foot room, which has a gate on each end, and 4 10 foot square rooms on each side behind hidden doors. When the lever is pulled halfway, the gate the players entered from starts to close, allowing 1 round of movement before it seals shut. Once the door is closed, the lever can be pulled the rest of the way, which opens the side doors, and starts to open the gate that leads further on. Needlefang Drake Swarms attack the party from the 4 alcoves. The door onwards fully opens after a minute, but can be squeezed through after 30 seconds. (5 rounds)

Gelatinous Cube, Acidclaw Scorpion, Kobold Dragonshield: 625 xp
The Gelatinous Cube is held above a 10 foot corridor, with the Dragonshield hidden a few feet in front. When the party passes the Dragonshield, it pulls a lever, dropping the Cube into the center of the party, which also lets loose a flow of acid that does 5 acid damage each round to all creatures in the hall. The Dragonshield then moves out to engage the party members behind or inside the cube, which moves up the hall, which ends at a door 50 feet on. The door leads to a dead end, and contains the Acidclaw Scorpion. A secret door 30 feet past the cube is the real way on.

Abyssal Ghoul Hungerer: 500 xp
The room is 101 feet by 101 feet, with 5 foot pillars set 5 feet from each other. The room is unlit, and the ghoul sneaks about the party, attacking from the shadow and then retreating. If a party member is left on their own, the ghoul moves in for the kill, relying on its high defenses to be impossible to hit.

Kobold Minion, 6 Fire Beetles: 625 xp
A 30 by 10 foot section of corridor is set to fall when a lever is pulled. The kobold minion is behind the next corner, and pulls the lever when he hears the party, trying to get as many of the players in as possible. When the floor falls, the party slides 20 feet down into a 15 foot square, 10 foot high room. Fire beetles use their breath attack from out of holes in the walls, hitting the whole party. The kobold minion stands back, using a 10-foot pole to knock any party members back in if they try to climb out with a readied action. The entire floor is slick with blood, making it difficult terrain, and increasing the climb DC to 25

Dark Stalker: 500 xp
The room is a 45 foot square, PCs enter through a slide, and are scattered around the room. The dark stalker has already filled the room with fog. The stalker attacks with its daggers first, then switches to its scimitar once it runs out. The stalker starts with the toughest melee fighter first, using all 4 daggers on them, then moves onto the healer, then the strikers, and so on.

25 Kobold Minions: 625 xp
In a series of ten 15x15 foot rooms, the minions drop portcullis to try to seal single players in each. After sealing a party member inside one, they seal the rest of the party in the next room. Each room has 6 arrow slits and 9 murder holes that the minions use to rain projectiles from. Each hole leads to a 5 foot square room, with passages leading further, so any area attacks can only hit one kobold at a time. Against mostly single-target ranged characters, the kobolds can move into the room and completely surround the player, attacking with flanking bonuses 8 times each round, as well as allowing 15 other kobolds to attack with their javelins. The throwing posts are stocked with many, many javelins, so there is no need to worry about running out.

Bulette and Snaketounge Initiate: 875 xp
The room is 4x4, so Rising burst hits all squares all the time. Initiate is riding the Bulette. The Bulette uses Earth Furrow to circle around until a target is prone, and then bites and leaps up into the ground above, doing extra damage and provoking no opportunity attacks. After, it circles blow again and repeats. The Initiate prepares an attack before the Bulette surges up, hitting the character with the lowest fortitude each time.


Outside the Entrance:
A huge building rises in front of you, glorious and shining with fountains and green gardens all along its terraced face. As you approach, however, the features begin to change and distort, gleaming white spires cracked and crumbled, filled with all manner of moss and fungi. The fountains now pour oozing black liquid, which falls down and around into the swampy ground below. The main entrance, two shining steel doors once plated with silver, are now rusted and fused together, barely noticeable behind thick underbrush. Calls and shrieks of creatures of the swamp surround you as they did on your journey here, though now they sound distorted and malicious.
You have arrived at the Hall of Horrors, a place steeped in dark magic with a terrible past. Or so it was spun by the guide who brought you here. Having brought you to your destination, he will sleep the night, and if you have not returned by morning, leave you for dead. All of this seemed a good challenge for a group of adventurers such as you back at the tavern, but the dread of the area is starting to sap your will.

There are 6 ways in that can be seen into the hall, some are obvious, and some are harder to see:
{table=head]Entrance|Perception DC:
Main Entrance|10
Hole|15
Small Door|20
Dark Alcove|20
Thin Crack|25
Secret door|30[/table]

Main Entrance: This way in is a deathtrap. If the party succeeds in opening or destroying the door, the entrance becomes unstable and collapses after 2d6 rounds. (If two 1s are rolled, it collapses immediately) If the party is inside, they find there is no way out, and the passage is a dead end. If they are outside, they have to find another way in.

Iron Door: AC 4 / Fort 12 / HP 120 / Break DC 25

Hole: This entrance leads to a 5 foot diameter hole that moves down under the Hall. After 50 feet, it takes a sharp turn down and becomes slick with slime. It takes a DC 20 perception check to notice before falling down the slope. (Only the character in front can attempt this) Any characters that fall in are eaten by the resident Purple Worm and die.

Small Door: This door is cursed with dark magic. There are inscriptions on the outside of the door, which, with a DC 15 arcana check, tell the players that the door is magic. On a DC 25 arcana check, the players know that the door is cursed to sap the life of any who enter. Inside, the players find themselves on a small ledge floating in space, with darkness all around them. 6 seconds after the door is passed, it begins to close. Characters that try to escape are subject to an attack, +10 versus reflex. If it hits, they are stuck inside. If it misses, they make it out. Characters on the threshold choose what side to end up on. Characters who donít escape find themselves in complete darkness, and are eaten by demons. They can make a single DC 30 strength check to open the door and escape or they will die.

Dark Alcove: This alcove is 40 feet above the ground. Closer inspection requires climbing up the wall with black ooze flowing down it, DC 20. In the back of the alcove, which is the source of the black ooze, is a rough metal door. The ooze is coming from under the door, and opening the door takes a DC 25 Strength Check. If it is opened, the pressurized ooze inside explodes out, blowing any characters on the ledge off, causing them to fall 40 feet to the ground below. Inside there is only a small hole in the ground a few inches in diameter, which is what was producing the ooze.

Thin Crack: This small crevice is hard to spot, and looks very unstable. It takes a DC 25 acrobatics check to get in without causing the whole thing to collapse. One failed check results in shaking but no collapse, a second does 2d10+3 damage to the player that failed the check and slides them inside. If the check was failed by 5 or more, it does 3d8+3 damage and slides them outside. If the crack collapses, it takes an hour to clear the rubble, after which the room can be accessed easily. Inside is a small room with a pool of water, which leads to encounter #1 and the rest of the dungeon.

Secret Door: This door is well hidden, and leads to a room that at first seems to be filled with treasure. The hoard is illusory, and is actually covering piles of dead bodies and bones of previous victims. Each player is subject to an attack, +10 versus will each round they are inside. If they fail, they become entranced and try to pick up the gold. In doing so, they touch the corpses, which are rife with Slimy Doom

Inyssius Tor
2008-10-17, 02:53 PM
Hmm... it's less thematic than the first one, I think. The troll, the drake swarms, the dark stalker, and the abyssal ghoul hungerer all sort of lack thematic links to the kobolds; that's fine, links can be added, but too many seemingly unrelated monsters and the adventure will seem disconnected. If the kobolds are being ruled by snake cultists or something, the last encounter fits thematically; if he's their only leader, though, it's kind of anticlimactic for him to go down the first time they hit him. If the kobolds aren't ruled by snake cultists or something, that Initiate doesn't really fit in either.


Needs more twisty passages, all alike. Small ones. Unlit ones, since kobolds have darkvision. Many of the passages can lead to horrible death via ingenious traps, if you want.

Pit traps the kobolds are too small to trigger.

Floors soaked in flammable oil, in rooms that can be barred from the outside.

AgentPaper
2008-10-17, 03:01 PM
Yeah, I didn't like the snaketounge initiate either, but I only had 75 XP left after the bulette, which I like a lot. A modified final encounter would be my first priority to change. The troll is also kinda outside the area that the kobolds are in, it just sits there and beats on adventurers coming in. As for small, twisty passages, all alike, I do plan on having those. The party will run into them very soon after the troll. The slingers will pester them from the sides, and I think I'll replace the dark stalker with a group of dragonshields to act as commandos. They can get resist 5 fire, so that will help them when there's lots of fire all over.

Inyssius Tor
2008-10-17, 03:27 PM
EDIT: Ninja'd! Good! Anyway, here's an encounter I'd been working on...

Underground:
A thick, ten-foot-wide, polished mahogany door. Around the door for some five feet, the stone of the walls and floor is clean and white, still the shining marble that the players saw briefly outside. A small golden plaque is affixed to the door; it reads "Serenity" in graceful Supernal. There are four large hooks protruding from the wall on either side of the door.

Beyond the door is a rough stone passageway, carved out of the rock. The players can hear quiet voices from far down the passage, and the corridor is lit dimly by what looks like reflected sunlight; apparently reflected through some sort of prism, since faint colors dance along the walls.

DC 30 Perception: The corridor smells very faintly of oil.

...

Once the players are all at least nine squares from the door, a kobold drops a match through one of the slits which line the ceiling of the passage, and the entire corridor explodes into flame.

Crossbows begin firing from those same slits.

If the players run back to the (very solid) door, they find it is barred from the outside (that's what the hooks were for). If the players run down the passage, they find spiked pit traps. If the players reach the end of the passage, they find a dead end and a larger hole in the ceiling (through which the kobold could stick his head through and cast prestidigitation and light). A DC 20 jump check can get a player to the hole, and the rest of his move action can get him into it, where he finds himself in a corridor that's too small for him to move through normally (unless he's a halfling).

Fortunately, the crossbow-wielding kobolds there are not prepared for this development, so they're not armed with spears. The one closest to them has that glove from the Adventurer's Vault that lets you use prestidigitation and light at will. After butchering their way through the kobolds, they can get back into the room they started out in.

AgentPaper
2008-10-17, 03:35 PM
Sounds good, I'll change the slingers to have crossbows, though that won't change damage. Also, since this place is supposed to be super-evil to the adventurers, the kobold who cast light and ghost sound will have covered his hole with a piece of metal, and barred it in place too. There is a far door, which is barred, though. Normal rules for a wooden, reinforced medium object. (Same with the first door)

Edit: One thing I'm not sure about, is whether to allow extended rests or not. I want to say not, but then again there might be safe havens every once in a while, which could be barred from kobolds accessing for some reason or another.

Inyssius Tor
2008-10-17, 04:55 PM
There is a far door, which is barred, though. Normal rules for a wooden, reinforced medium object.

Why would they go to all that trouble digging out an elaborate deathtrap and then put a safe haven on the other side? :smalltongue: Seriously, though, the idea is that they'd spend three or four rounds running down the hallway and getting burned and shot at and impaled by spears at the bottom of pits, and then find out that it was all for nothing and (if they didn't find the hole or it was sealed) they'd have to run the gauntlet back to the deathtrap they started out in!

The whole thing would be quite a bit harder without extended rests, and you want to keep challenging them without just killing them straight off (or, well, maybe not), so...

What if they could have an extended rest if one or two of the players are willing to hold off the kobolds for 3600 rounds while the others sleep? Give each of those guys a magic item with a Daily power or something (maybe a flashy consumable), so that they'll still be at full effectiveness and they won't be so put out about not having their dailies. Hmm... of course, the kobolds aren't crazy enough to just keep hurling mooks at the guards, and I doubt they have enough anyway, so they'd mix it up. Keep things interesting. Skill challenge? I dunno. It might make the other players feel left out.

chronoplasm
2008-10-18, 03:54 PM
Maybe they can have an extended rest if they manage to find a super-secret room that the kobolds didn't intend for them to find?

OK, heres an idea:

The adventurers find a treasure chest. When they open it up, all they find are human and elven skulls and a little note that says "Heres some treasure to take back to your young, tender-skins."
Upon further inspection however, the adventurers may find that the skulls actually cover up a hidden panel that lifts up out of the treasure chest to reveal a ladder and a dark tunnel leading far down. It will be a tight squeeze, but if the players crawl down they will find a hidden room where they can rest a little and maybe find a way to catch the kobolds off-guard.

Erk
2008-10-18, 04:19 PM
Observation: Given that needle-fang drake swarms are generally agreed to be very badly balanced, you're likely to kill all your PCs there rather than get to pick them off by attrition. Depends on your goal.

Encounter ideas:
Kobold slingers in alcoves about 8 meters (~25 feet) above the floor. Access to the alcoves is by ladder up. The alcoves are deep enough that the kobolds can dive back, out of reach of ranged attacks, just like your other outcroppings. The alcoves are fortified, granting cover to the slingers.

Anyone attempting to climb the ladder finds it covered in oil, adding 5 to the DC.

When the climber is near the top of the ladder, a kobold minion appears from a hidden cubby (perception dc 25) above the ladder, grins, and snaps a spark from a flint and tinder, igniting the oil on the ladder.

Add more traps as desired. I've always liked the idea of opening floodgates and spilling a few cm of oil all over the floor, forcing PCs to balance, and then lighting the oil on fire.

AgentPaper
2008-10-19, 03:00 AM
Ok, after thinking a bit, I've decided to increase the level of the dungeon to 10 instead of 1. Gives the players a better chance to make their party how they like, and a long-running party should work better together and have more experience, increasing the survival rate drastically. It also lets me throw in even more evil things. As well, the dungeon makes a great segway from heroic tier to paragon.