In Dwight's Keep the party will pick up on a rumor in a local tavern that adventure is in the cards in an abandoned keep. Heading there in search of treasure the players will face a number of ghoulish and demonic monstrosities. There is also a dark secret and probably a betrayal.
Dwight's Keep is an adventure intended for a party of 4-6 characters of 5th level, 6-8 characters of 4th level, or 2-3 characters of 10th level. If the Crypt Master allows you may also include a single character of 9th level or two characters of 4th level assuming that the party is of a number between 4-9. If there are 10 party members already then you can only have one first level character and that character must be either a Merry Musicman or a Hooked Avenger. If you only have one person to play with then make sword clashing sounds and roll random dice.
Dwight's Keep was once owned by a powerful and just wizard named Dwight who fell in love with a centaur woman. Prevailing opinion in the realm was against interspecies dating and Dwight found himself in hot water at the wizard's office where he worked. When Dwight left work one day to find his magic carpet painted with anti-centaur slogans he grew angry and turned into an evil wizard. For the next one hundred days he made comets hit the earth and caused great strife throughout the land. A noble and suitably racist hero ventured forth to Dwight's Keep with a small band of followers and lay siege to the mighty wizard. After an intense battle Dwight fell, but he placed a curse on the land and haunted his keep and put traps in it and also monsters came because it was a place of great evil. The hero, named King Honor, also was killed by a curse put on him by Dwight's centaur lover Candy. He turned to stone but it is said one day a hero of worthy virtue will take the sword from his hand, because he was holding his sword when he turned to stone, and then become a new hero because the sword is really powerful and full of magic.
Scene One: The Tavern
The players are in Boot Gulch relaxing at Ye Olde Grog Corrale. They should all make a saving throw (difficulty 43) to see if they are drunk. If they are drunk make them talk during this scene through a Styrofoam Drunk Mask (see Dungeon Master's Guide to Role Playing Props, page 88) or place plastic wrap tightly over their face. If they aren't drunk they can talk normally if they make a will save (difficulty 4B) to see if they can resist drinking more. If they fail this then they have to wear the Tankard Hutch (see Dungeon Master's Guide to Hutches, page 353), if they succeed they can continue normally but should try to act ribald.
There are five people other than the party in the tavern this evening. They include Mary O'Harry (a Serving Wench, level 8), her sister Burnsy "Burnt" O'Harry (a Saucy Serving Wench, level 3), the barkeep Black Minion (level 10 Bar Keep and level 3 Bar Lord), a drunken Mike Stormwind (level 4 Prospector), and an elf assassin named Dirk Stabsly (see last chapter) disguised as a high level ranger by the name of Steve Stabsly.
The players may mingle with the NPCs in the tavern but Stabsly will keep to himself, sipping quietly on some windroot tea. If approached by the players he will launch into his story, if left to his own devices he will only approach the players as they are leaving the tavern. When Stabsly begins talking the players should all make a Resist Tall Tales Save (difficulty Y) or be paralyzed for the duration of his yarn.
When you are ready to have Stabsly approach the party, read the following:
Hale and hearken ye fellow wayfarer! I have heard of yon Dwight's Keep, where great treasure is to be found of a most magical humor. I can discern from the quilty look about your hair caps that you are bold adventurers of great strengths. What ho, I am too a great adventurer, being of the Ranger heritage and I can lead you to this forbidden lair for a portion of the treasures therein. Heretofore, I have ascertained that Dwight's Keep - to be known henceforth as THE COMPLAINTANT - is haunted and full of mystery. Therefore it will be a difficult journey to THE COMPLAINTANT and it would be best if you were to belly up the bar one last time for the merriments and hootinanneries.
The players should immediately agree to journey with "Steve" Stabsly to Dwight's Keep, although particularly observant characters with a score of 30-70 in their Detect Suspicious Customers skill can make a Detect Suspicious Customers check (difficulty a million). If they succeed they will realize that "Steve" is not all he seems and is, in fact, a suspicious customer.
Scene Two: Journey to Dwight's Keep
The journey to Dwight's Keep from the town of Boot Gulch is very difficult and crosses many types of terrain ranging from the Dwarf Shoe Hillocks to the Gnoll Sock Knolls. The players will also travel through the Boggy Wastes, King Crimson's Sassy Woods, The Mysterious Cone Arrangement, Sir Lord's Invisible Castle, and the Traveling Harem of Mick McCracken. All of these are covered in detail in "101 Wacky Random Encounters", but yet more danger lurks in the path of the players. To find out what sort of unfortunate circumstance the players find themselves in, roll a D117 and consult the list below:
001-009 The players are accosted by a level 5 Jerk or two level 3 Assholes that keeps asking them stupid questions and telling really bad jokes. If the players do not kill the Jerk then he will eat all of their rations when they make camp, get drunk, and try to grope any female party members.
010-018 A baboon has escaped from a circus and the players have to help catch it or they will suffer the baboon's curse (page 17 "Big Book of Primate Curses").
019-024 The players happen upon a traveling treasure chest salesman who invites them to inspect his wares. All of the treasure chests are mimics that contain swarms of vampire bats. When the first chest is opened it will attack and all of the chests will release their vampire bats. The salesman will then reveal himself as a Great Wyrm Red Dragon.
025-038 The players encounter an elf patrol hunting for a fugitive. The elves will ignore the players as long as they do nothing illogical. If they do behave in an illogical fashion the elves will attack the players using their heat rays and attempt to summon reinforcements using Otiluke's Neverending Firepole of Shenanigans. After d10 turns a Great Elf will emerge in a Mark III combat frame and use the sonic cannons to finish off the party.
039-040 Wig fairies show favor towards the party and increase the level of all wigs in the party by five points. If no wigs are present then the fairies give the loudest character a level 1 wig.
041-047 The players wake up after camping with eight inch long gray beards. These beards are non-magical and slightly evil aligned.
048-065 The party is ambushed by Cherokee Indians who attack with bow and arrow, tomahawks, and a handful of lever action rifles. The Indian war party is lead by a charismatic half-centaur/half-giant mermaid named Luke. His scepter of command counts as a +11 turbo mace and can cast Peyote three times.
066-070 Characters find an unlabeled and sealed metal cylinder sitting in the forest. It is slightly rusty and does not react to detect magic, detect alignment, or detect cancer. The cylinder can be opened by throwing it at rocks repeatedly or with a mastercrafted cylinder opener. It contains thirteen peach halves in heavy syrup. The peach halves are cursed with chimpanzee chuckles (page 24 "Big Book of Primate Curses").
071-080 A rod of infinite turtles is discovered underneath a bench. If touched the rod is trapped to begin summoning normal turtles and can only be stopped with a Greater Disenchant spell. If the party does not have access to this spell a merciful CM may decide to allow a Stop Turtle check (difficulty infinity).
081-115 Nothing except a creeping sense of foreboding.
116-117 The party has befriended a Lich. Shift their alignment three increments to the right and one increment up. Have everyone make a Lichy Politics test (difficulty moderate). If they fail then their new alignment is automatically Libertarian, regardless of their previous alignment.
It takes a total of one day to reach Dwight's Keep.
Scene Three: Dwight's Keep
Dwight's Keep is located in a sunny valley known to locals as The Forbidden Zone and to foreigners as The Pleasure Planet. It is difficult terrain consisting mainly of giant abandoned beehives that the party must negotiate on their way to Dwight's Keep. This should take the better part of the day. When the players draw near to Dwight's Keep read the following:
Dwight's Keep is laid out before you like a five course meal of terror and adventure. It looks like a dilapidated barn that is gigantic, made out of stone, and several Naga lengths in height. The entire region smells like the wrong side of a goblin's hammock and it looks like some sort of magical condor took a magical crap all over the keep. Steve Stabsly turns to you and says " are you ready punks?" and then he heads towards the door into the keep.
As the players enter the keep you should consult the map. They will enter at location 1 and then travel to location 3, then to 6, then 7, and if they turn right they are back at 1 but turning left takes them to 5 which leads to 4 and has a trap door to 2.
The entryway to Dwight's Keep is protected by a sugar golem (999 hit points). When the players enter the golem will attack with an ambush bonus to its initiative.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Sugar golems are very sweet and friendly, so talk in a high voice and compliment the players on their combat skill as you punch them repeatedly with your confectionary hammers.The sugar golem takes triple damage from spells and magic items that deal caramelization damage. Once it has been dispatched it will drop a key out of its head. Dirk will use it to open the large wooden doorway that leads into area 3.
2. Sexy Surprise
This chamber serves as a bedroom for a beautiful succubus. She is extremely hot and has breasts and also a butt that is curved properly. Describe her as "very comely" or "a woman of the highest regard". Her name is Dakota and she will attempt to seduce a player into giving her a kiss so she can turn him into an Incubus and also get pregnant and force him to marry her.ROLEPLAYING TIP: When roleplaying the succubus be sure to never make eye contact with the player whose character she is trying to seduce. Stumble over every word, stutter, and make nervous jokes about how attractive she is even though you have never seen a girl other than your mom in anything less than a parka. Finally get frustrated with your efforts and pass a note to the player that reads "She says she wants to give you a kiss." Get really red faced and leave the room so no one thinks you are gay.The succubus can be defeated by punching her repeatedly in the face while screaming "didn't I tell you to shut up?!". If reduced to three hit points she will turn into a kobold and flee.
This is the part where Dirk betrays the party and it should be a total surprise. He will adjust his mustache repeatedly and offer them a "cool drink" before they continue on into Dwight's Keep. If the players accept the drink then they must make a Thrombosis saving throw or immediately turn into a dead body. If they make the save or refuse the drink they can attack Dirk for offering them poison drinks.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Be sure to comb your hair when going to a job interview. Attention to detail is one of the first things a prospective employer looks for.Dirk has 3 hit points and is very easy to kill.
4. The Pit of Spiders
This room is actually a pit full of spiders. Some of the spiders are gigantic and rowdy and may cause trouble for the players. For the statistics on the giant spiders look for a really long time at a piece of paper and then allow players to deal damage until you arbitrarily announce they are dead. The Spiders are all carrying 5d6 gold coins and chain mail armor.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Cut the gab you Chatty Cathy! Spiders don't talk and neither should you. On the other hand if you have evolved the ability to excrete silk and manipulate it with a spinneret then feel free to do so to heighten the atmosphere. Mood CDs can also help with this, so pop in the "Charlotte's Web" disc from the "Keith Hernandez Reads" series of books on tape.There is a waterfall in this room and behind it is the entrance to the adjoining area (consult the map).
5. Ham City
The elves have set up a headquarters in this spacious room and it is obvious from the hustle and bustle within the chamber that it is the nerve center of the elf invasion of the realm. Dozens of elves clad in the reflective silver suits patrol the perimeter and a particularly large and red-faced elf is obviously the ranking officer. The elves are equipped with heat ray pistols and there are two Mark II combat suits and one Mark III combat suit.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Elves worship logic above all else so you should be very logical when dealing with players. Talk about math and hard sciences like geology and astronomy, but steer clear of the softer sciences like psychology, physics, and calculus. If the players attack be sure to say "highly illogical" repeatedly during the battle.If approached carefully the elves will permit the players to pass into the next room as long as they are given a tribute of Yule Logs or Iron Yule Logs.
6. Ghost Dad
The Ghost of Dwight haunts this room so be sure to let the players know it is spooky. If any of the players have died in the Keep ask them to make moaning sounds during the entire time the party spends in the area. After a few minutes of searching the players will find Dwight sleeping underneath a chair. This is because of superstition, but the chair is actually a Chair of Warding Versus Missiles and will protect Dwight from magical attacks as long as he remains underneath the chair. The next room contains the statue of King Honor and the sword of his might, so Dwight will be fairly disinclined to allow the players to continue on. He will summon four Centaur Ghosts to protect him and then attack the party.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Ghosts are very unpredictable and mysterious. Repeatedly trail off when talking, throw books randomly around the room, and tell unfunny jokes that make you laugh uncontrollably for minutes on end. When the players are properly frightened you should begin attacking them.When Dwight dies the whole keep will begin to collapse around the players. Each must make a Dodge Falling Masonry check (difficulty 5d6) or be fatally crushed underneath a variety of buttresses. The keep will continue to collapse until the players leave, at which point it will finish collapsing and then catch on fire.
7. Sword of Magics
This room is very spooky and full of cobwebs and distant monkey and parrot sounds. It is hot and steamy and the players begin to sweat profusely. There is a statue of a muscular man with a square chin who has a look of mild amusement frozen on his face and a sword on his hip. Any player may attempt to draw the sword from the sheath, but only characters of Really Good, Surprisingly Good, or Boringly Good alignment may successfully draw it.ROLEPLAYING TIP: Swords are inanimate objects. What the hell do you need a roleplaying tip for?The sword of King Honor is a +10 Sword of Extreme Prejudice that deals double damage to centaurs and triple damage to negroes and Incans.
The players should now flee to avoid further rock falls. If the Crypt Master wants he can force them to make further Dodge Falling Masonry checks, but honestly it's going to be like 5 AM before you finish this part and at least two of the people playing will have to go to work in the morning.
Scene Four: Conclusion
With the sword in tow, the ghost of Dwight destroyed, and Dirk Stabsly pushing up daises the party can bask in the heat lamp of success. There will be a lot of money for them to spend, loose women and fast times, designer potions and all night parties at exclusive taverns. Let them relax and blow off some steam. Then mention offhandedly that there is word that the elves are preparing to invade the town of Craggy Rock in the Stone Mountain province and that their leader can only be killed by the Sword of Extreme Prejudice, which deals quadruple damage to elf leaders. This should prepare you for our next adventure "Craggy Rock: The Battle for Stone Mountain: In the Underholes of Darkness".
You're Getting Cramps for Christmas
Hey gang, it's Ernie Hudson here. Just kidding, it's me Livestock. I'll keep this short and sweet since I've got to make myself a sandwich right away. The new Photoshop Phriday is up, featuring loads of coffee table books straight out of the bowels of Satan. Take a look at this sample posted only to entice you into reading the whole feature!
Go on you cranial deprived fool, get you to the new Photoshop Phriday at once!
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.