Days of High Adventure
Dungeon World: Mines of the Mad Magus

Chris Brackett | 10 Dec 2009 21:00
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Once more unto the breach, my friends.

In this month's installment of the Dungeon World series, we'll be taking a journey to the northeastern edge of the Grimspur Mountains, where a nefarious sorcerer (known locally as "The Mad Magus") and his humanoid raiders have set up shop in an abandoned mine. Whether the characters delve into the Mad Magus' lair to stop his depredation of the local communities, to free his unfortunate hostages, or simply to line their money pouches with a few more gold pieces, it's sure to be a heck of a ride.

Break out the chips and dip, grab your favorite dice, roll up some characters, and get ready for a good, ol' fashioned dungeon crawl.

(For a map of this dungeon, click here.)

Mines of the Mad Magus

Upper Mines

1 - Entry Chamber

The iron-barred gate to this chamber is wizard locked. (The Mad Magus uses his knock spell to open it when needed.) The walls of this chamber are covered in graffiti - warnings against intruders in a multitude of languages. For those who cannot read, the message is conveyed via a dozen poles scattered about the chamber, each adorned with several heads of past victims in various states of decomposition.

Lurking at the edges of the chamber are 2d6 giant rats. If the chamber is flooded with light, the rats will attempt to flee via the mine entrance. If they cannot flee, or if they are undiscovered and half the party or more has descended into the shaft (see below), the rats will attack any characters in the chamber.

At the center of the chamber is a 10'-wide circular opening to a shaft that drops 30' to the floor of the passage below. The sides of the shaft are too smooth for it to be climbed. (The Mad Magus uses his boots of levitation to ascend/descend the shaft. The orcs and the giant use a heavy ladder that is raised when needed and stored in the passage below when not in use.)

There is nothing of value in this chamber.

2 - The Chasm

The center of this 35'-high chamber is occupied by a 65'-deep chasm that descends to the center of chamber 1 of the Lower Mines. A trio of orc guards, each with a trained blink dog at its side, watches over the chamber from the landing at point 'a'. If intruders are spotted, the orcs release the blink dogs to harry them; two orcs then pepper the intruders with arrows while the third runs to chamber 5 to raise the alarm.

Any character taking damage while fighting on the ledge of the chasm must make a successful save vs. dragon breath or fall into the chasm (for only 3d6 damage because of the refuse found below, but there's a 20% chance of the character suffering an additional 2d6 damage for being impaled on a stalagmite).

Aside from any coin on the orcs' persons, there is nothing of value in this chamber.

3 - Prisoners

This chamber is where the Mad Magus keeps the victims he plans to ransom, or otherwise feels may be of some later use. The prisoners are gagged and chained to the walls, with manacles around their wrists and ankles. The keys to their manacles are on a ring that is held in the closed fist of one of a pair of green granite statues of barbarian warriors that stand in the center of the chamber. These statues are actually living statues (rock) commanded to guard this chamber. If any character attempts to free the prisoners or remove the key ring, the statues will animate and attack. They will continue to attack until they are destroyed or until the characters leave the chamber. They will not pursue the characters beyond the entrance to this chamber.

Aside from the prisoners (DM's discretion as to who they are), there is nothing of value in this chamber.

4 - Radgob's Chamber

This is the private chamber of the orc's leader, a bugbear named Radgob. If the alarm has not been raised, he can be found here torturing a human female (DM's discretion as to her identity) who is chained to the wall (with a single manacle around her ankle); otherwise, he will move to render aid against the intruders. (The prisoner, however, will remain chained to the wall.)

The chamber is guarded at all times by Radgob's pet dire wolf that sleeps on an owlbear pelt in the northwestern nook.

The chamber holds a bed frame with a straw mattress covered by several layers of animal pelts, a table and a pair of poorly constructed wooden chairs, a rack holding several rusty but useable two-handed weapons, and a large, iron-bound wooden trunk. The trunk is locked with a large elaborate padlock (obviously of dwarf construction), the key to which can be found on a leather string around Radgob's neck - next to the key to his prisoner's chains. The lock also hides a small needle trap; if it's not disarmed, anyone attempting to open the lock without the key must make a successful save vs. poison roll or become instantly ill and die in 1d4+2 rounds.

Inside the trunk is a folded bearskin - home to a pair of giant centipedes that will immediately attack anybody attempting to move the bearskin. (Only Radgob knows how to grab the bearskin so that the centipedes cannot get out of it.) Below the bearskin can be found the following: 3,686 cp and 1,728 gp.

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