Jacob’s Tower, Level 8: Planar
(60,000 xp, 42,000 gp)
Planar explores adventuring on the various planes: Material, Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Positive, and Negative, with a Wild Magic and Dead Magic plane thrown in. It encourages players to adapt to new situations and leverage the environment to their advantage.
The rooms are connected to each other with large purple portals, which shimmer and ripple with strong magical currents. These detect with extremely high conjuration (teleportation) auras, and they will lead the heroes into adjacent rooms. Note that the connections loop around the map (for example, the east portal in Room 3 connects to the west portal in Room 9, and the north portal in Room 2 connects to the south portal in Room 6). Note also that each portal is labeled with the location it leads to in a different language. See the individual rooms for specifics.
Note that it is impossible to see, shoot, or shout through the portals. Thus, a hero in one room cannot call for help from heroes in another room.
If your battle map is not large enough to draw the spaces between rooms, simply draw the rooms as adjacent with no space between them.
Enemies cannot travel between rooms, but any enemy in a room with no heroes gains fast healing 20. Thus, if our heroes damage the golem in Room 4 and then leave to recuperate, the golem will heal 20 hp a round as long as they are away.
Room 1: Material Plane
Large, shimmering purple portals stand in the center of each wall. Above each portal is a spherical socket about six inches wide. Similar spherical holes can be found in each corner of this room. A single Orb can be found in every other room and, once the Orbs are placed in their respective socket, the boss fight will begin.
In half a dozen seemingly random spaces in the map, tiny trapdoors have been flung open to reveal empty compartments.
A lone and partially crumpled parchment can be found nearby without too much difficulty. The parchment lists 9 different, nearly nonsensical, clues. The first 6 of these have been checked off, and they correspond with the open trapdoors in the floor. The last 3 have question marks next to them. These clues lead to locations on the map, and may be discerned through a relevant skill check. Each character may attempt each skill check once, and if any characters succeeds at the skill check he will find the location on the map, a hidden trap door, and the treasure. The trap doors are incredibly well hidden, and finding them without the clues is impossible short of a DC 40 perception check. The last three items on the parchment read:
“7: King Ulvass of Kalsgard set up this Ulfen Colony as the final resting place for the lords of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.” A DC 18 Knowledge (Nobility) or DC 23 Knowledge (Geography) check will reveal that the location is Valenhall, a small settlement on the northeast coast of Arcadia. Opening the hidden trapdoor under this part of the map will reveal a Scroll of Lightning Bolt (CL 10) (750).
“8: The mid-point of the Path of Aganhei.” A Knowledge (Geography) 18 check will reveal that the Path of Aganheil bridges Tian Xia and Avistan across the Crown of the World, passing near the north pole. Opening the hidden trapdoor under this part of the map will reveal 3 Potions of Resist Fire Energy 10 (CL 6, lasts 1 hour). (900gp).
“9: In 3828, after 74 years of the Shining Crusade, a terrible Tyrant was banished to this capital.” A Knowledge (History) 18 or Knowledge Geography (23) check will reveal that the Tyrant was the cursed lich “The Whispering Tyrant,” and that he was banished to the city of Gallowspire. Opening the hidden trapdoor under Gallowspire will reveal a Scroll of Stoneskin, (CL 10) (1250).
The word “Material” in Common is written above every portal to this room.
Room 2: Positive
At the north end of this room is a Movanic Deva Angel (2a), flanked by four Cassian Angels (2b). The Movanic Deva is a prototypical Angelic figure, a muscular, bald humanoid with a white tunic, white pupil-less eyes and a flaming greatsword. The bright yellow Positive Orb hangs around the Angel's neck. The Cassian Angels are sentient, intricately designed golden helmets held aloft by dove like wings.
As soon as the first party member enters the room, the Movanic Deva will raise his sword, point it at the party member and declare “Halt Evildoer, and prepare to meet your end! Have you anything to say before I release your soul to the Abyss?” That party member will have one shot to convince the Deva that he is not an evildoer with a DC 12 Diplomacy Check. If the character speaking is good aligned, he gets a +5 bonus on the check. If the character speaking is evil, he must instead make a DC 17 Bluff check. Any character may remake this check during combat, but suffers a -10 penalty to the check as long as any party member has attacked any Angel. Once any angel is killed, the check becomes impossible.
If a party member succeeds on the check, the Angel will apologize: “My sincere apologies, Jacob’s Tower is all too often traversed by the perverse and wicked. You may continue on your way.” He will then resume his guard, and not attack any party member. Note that the Deva’s Detect Evil and Discern Lies do not function properly due to Jacob’s Tinkering.
If our heroes attack the Angels, or if they fail in convincing the Deva, then battle will commence. The Positive Orb may be retrieved from the Deva's body, along with his +1 Flaming Greatsword. The Angels do not gain fast healing 2.
If convinced, the Angel will cast Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Remove Fear, Dispel Evil, or Dispel Magic on the players if they wish. He will also willingly hand over the Positive Orb, though a one time DC 30 Diplomacy check is needed to hand over his Greatsword.
The word “Positive” in Celestial is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 3: Air
Room 3 is an empty 35x35x35 foot cube (you may use a d6 to visualize it). Each entrance is in the center of a wall, meaning there is a 15 foot drop to the base. The walls of this room are rough white marble, taking a DC 25 Climb check to scale. Light suffuses the area.
Our heroes will notice items, dirt, and detritus floating throughout the room. A DC 18 Knowledge (Planes) check will reveal that this room has “subjective directional gravity,” meaning that characters may change their own gravity. As a standard action, a character may attempt to change his own personal gravity by passing a DC 20 Will save. Doing so may cause him to fall 35 feet, should he choose the opposite wall of the cube.
A human corpse floats in the middle of the room, 15 feet from any surface, a clear Orb dangling on a necklace around his neck. The corpse, apparently an adventurer in studded leather armor and a turban, looks withered and desiccated. If touched or disturbed, a Hellwasp Swarm explodes from his eye sockets, nose, mouth, and ears. Instead of taking up a 10x10 space, the Hellwasp Swarm inhabits the entire 35x35x35 foot room.
Once the corpse is brought within grasp, the Air Orb can be retrieved. The adventurer is also carrying a +1 Shock Scimitar and wearing masterwork Studded Leather Armor.
The word “Air” in Auran is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 4: Dead Magic
This room is under the effects of a permanent anti magic field. Spells cannot be cast, and all magic items revert temporarily to mundane items.
Standing in the approximate center of the room is a large black Clockwork Titan, made of the same material as the floors and gears. He will attack immediately. Once he is killed, the grey Dead Magic Orb is easily found in his remains.
An Insanity Mist Trap is hidden in the ground at 4b. A Flame Strike Trap is hidden in the ground at 4c. A Sound Burst Trap is hidden in the ground at 4d. A Hand Chopper Trap is hidden in the ground at 4e. The golem does not set off these traps even if he steps on them. Note that the magical aspects of these traps have been replaced with mechanisms.
The party will notice a Deep Red Sphere Ioun Stone jamming a gear in the wall at 4f. The stone is a foot back through sharp and moving gears. A DC 20 Sleight of Hand check may retrieve it safety, though each failure will deal 3d6+3 damage from the gears and yields no item.
The party will also notice a Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone partially hidden behind a complex mechanism in the wall. The stone is barely visible behind a subset of gears, and cannot be reached. A DC 20 Knowledge (Engineering) check will cause the stone to pop out, though two failures will set off a chain reaction that grinds the stone to dust.
The word “Order” in some long dead language is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine that the language was once spoken in Utopia, the Lawfully aligned plane.
Room 5: Water
Room 5 appears to be part of an immense expanse of ocean floor, kelp growing from the mud and thousands of brightly colored fish swimming about. Nearly invisible walls separate the heroes from miles and miles of undersea wonderland. Although the surface is not visible, light suffuses the 20 foot tall room.
Heroes may swim at quarter speed as a move action, or at half speed as a full round action. Doing so requires a DC 10 swim check, or the hero does not move.
Characters may hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to twice their Constitution score, but taking standard or full round actions reduces this time by one additional round. After that time has elapsed, they may continue to hold their breath every round with a DC 10 Constitution check that increases by one every round.
If a character fails this Constitution check, he begins to drown. In the first round, he hits 0 hp and falls unconscious. The second round, he drops to -1 hit points. The third round, he dies.
At the center of the level (5a), among the kelp and reeds, the blue Water Orb sits partially obscured in mud. The first time it is touched or moved, all heroes within the room must make a DC 21 Reflex Save to avoid a sudden growth of underwater vegetation. If any character fails this save he is grappled by grasping kelp, which deal him d4+2 damage a turn and prevent him from moving. He may escape this kelp with a DC 18 escape artist check, or by dealing the kelp 25 damage with a slashing weapon.
Just outside the room, an open chest with 5 golden bars lies partially submerged in the mud. Regardless of what our heroes do, they cannot get to it or directly effect it. However, a small pod of dolphins swims nearby, watching our heroes with some interest. A character may attempt a Handle Animal Check to convince to Dolphins to retrieve the golden bars. This check may only be attempted once. A DC 10 check will convince the Dolphins to retrieve one golden bar, and each 5 after that will convince them to retrieve an additional golden bar (2 at 15, 3 at 20, 4 at 25, and 5 at 30). Each golden bar is worth 500gp. After moving the correct number of bars, the dolphins get bored and swim away.
A large open clam sits peacefully at 5b, a giant pearl worth 2,000gp inside his gaping mouth. If a character reaches for the pearl, the clam’s mouth slams shut, dealing 5d12 bludgeoning damage unless the character can make a DC 24 Reflex save (he comes up empty handed either way). After a few rounds, the clam cautiously opens his mouth again. The pearl is firmly attached to the mouth of the clam, and cannot be pushed, prodded, or pulled out through magical or non-magical means. The clam will snap most attempts to hold his mouth open. The clam itself has DR 30, 50 hit points, and regeneration 5. A DC 18 survival check will determine that this is a “Orbury Clam,” and that by pressing on a certain spot on its back it can be convinced to give up the pearl without a fight. Each character can make this check only once. If the players come up with another creative way of getting the pearl, feel free to give it to them.
The word “Water” in Aquan is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 6: Negative
The room is pitch black except for two sets of red eyes, which belong to two Wraiths (6a). These Wraiths gain fast healing 2 from the negative energy coursing through the level, and will immediately attack.
The black, Negative Orb may be found lying in the center of the level. However, until the Wraiths are killed it is impossibly heavy, taking a DC 25 Strength check to roll one square, and a DC 30 Strength check to pick up and move at half speed.
The word “Negative” in Necril is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 7: Earth
When characters enter this room, they may arrive through a different portal than they entered. Roll a d4 for each character who enters the room to randomly determine through which portal he enters.
The earthen walls of this room are shrouded in an oppressive darkness, and the range of all light sources is divided by four. A torch, common lamp, or light spell provides normal light for 5 feet and dim light for 5 more feet. A Sunrod provides normal light for 5 feet and dim light for 10 more feet. The Daylight spell or a Bulls Eye lantern provides normal light for 15 feet and dim light for 15 more feet.
A Bogeyman (7a) stalks our heroes through this level. He can see through the darkness without any trouble, and he can both see and walk through walls (but can’t attack through them).
His Aura of Fear goes through walls (though not to other rooms), meaning that most characters will have to make their save as soon as they enter the room. If a character is fearful when he leaves the aura, he will become fearful again when he re-enters it.
The Bogeyman also gains the feat “Shatter Defenses” meaning that any shaken, frightened, or panicked enemies are flatfooted to him and thus susceptible to his sneak attack. However, he loses his quickened phantasmal killer.
The Bogeyman will employ cat and mouse tactics, seeking out fearful enemies, attacking them, and then slipping away. He will make use of his Terrible Rejuvenation to heal while behind walls.
The brown Earth Orb may be found on the ground at 7a. To any shaken, frightened, or panicked heroes it seems to radiate overwhelming foreboding, and a DC 23 Will Save must be made to pick it up. However, it may be retrieved and secured without killing the Bogeyman.
The word “Earth” in Terran is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 8: Wild MagicTo cast spells normally, casters must make a caster level check (DC 15 + the level of the spell or spell-like ability). If the caster fails, the wild magic of the room takes over and something bizarre takes place. Roll a d% and consult the Wild Magic Effects Table.
Spells and spell-like abilities with the Chaos descriptor operate at Caster Level +2. To cast spells and spell-like abilities with the Law descriptor, the caster must make a concentration check DC 20 + spell level or the spell and slot are lost.
The stained glass walls, floor and ceiling of this room are a riotous explosion of color. Rainbows and flashes of light seem to dance in the corners of our heroes’ vision, the sounds of hysterical laughing and fireworks can be heard, and the smell of gunpowder, pepper, and hot molasses invades our heroes’ nostrils. The first time each character enters this room, he must make a DC 14 Will save or be confused for one round.
There are two Half-Orc Bloodfire Sorcerers in this room, each dressed in a wild, rainbow cloak. One laughs and the other cries hysterically throughout the entire fight. Whenever either Sorcerer casts a spell, he automatically fails his caster level check and some wild magic effect takes place.
When the first Sorcerer is killed, he explodes into a shower of sparklers and feathers. When the second Sorcerer is killed, his body shrinks and crumples into a Ring of Protection +2. This ring giggles as if being tickled whenever it is put on, but otherwise acts as a normal Ring of Protection +2.
Once the two Sorcerers are killed, the Wild Magic Orb crashes through the stained glass ceiling (which immediately re-forms) and lands in the center of the room. The Orb is a swirling, sparkling rainbow of color.
The word “Chaos” in Protean is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Room 9: Fire
The outer walls, floors, and ceiling of this inferno are recently hardened magma, and small cracks and fissures still glow with heat. Any character who starts his turn in the room take 2d6+2 fire damage.
The room is a labyrinth of walls of fire, which deal 2d12+5 damage if traversed.
At the center of the labyrinth is a Fire Mephit playing with the Fire Orb. If he sees an enemy, he will swallow the Orb as a full round action, then attempt to fight. Once he is killed, the Orb may be looted from his body as a full round action.
The word “Fire” in Ignan is written above every portal to this room. A DC 15 Linguistics check will determine the language, though not the word.
Bosses: The Secondary Elementals
In the same momen, the bosses appear, four huge secondary elementals: A Lightning Elemental (10a), an Ice Elemental (10b), a Mud Elemental (10c), and a Magma Elemental (10d). They immediately attack.
Once the four elementals are dead, a compartment in the ceiling opens up and a rope ladder leading to the next area falls down.
If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 9, then distribute 14,000gp among them evenly.
Sleeping in Planar