Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jacob's Tower, Level 2: Marble and Glass

Level 2: Marble and Glass
7,000xp / Max 4,946 gp (2.5 - 3.5 Hours)


Level 2 is both majestic and barren. Floor, outer walls, and 30 foot ceiling are made of impeccable white marble, while all the inner walls are seemingly indestructible glass. Although there are no obvious light sources, the entire area is illuminated with a soft white glow.

Given that the walls are made of glass, it is easy to see across the entire level, including into other rooms. Our heroes can view most of their opponents ahead of time and plan accordingly.

At the center of the level, trapped by an enlarged Forcecage and visible from all angles due to the glass walls, is a raging 5-Headed Pyrohydra. This terrifying CR 6 monstrosity is roaring, smashing himself against the walls of his prison and periodically filling his cramped quarters with fire. He’s a pissed off and deadly beast, and our heroes should pretty much immediately realize that he is way out of their pay grade. A DC 16 Knowledge (Arcana) check will reveal exactly what he is, what his weaknesses are, and his CR.

However, as our heroes proceed throughout the level, they should be able to damage the Pyrohydra. If they fail to damage the beast, then this could easily be a TPK when the monster finally attacks.

Rooms 1, 3, 5, and 7 each contain a riddle that appears on the ground in giant glowing letters after the room’s threat has been dealt with. For each room, a single riddle is written four times in four different languages. If our heroes are unable to read any of these languages, or cannot make a DC 18 Linguistics check to read it without knowing the languages, then they cannot decipher the riddle and must move on. Note that the answers to the riddles are often related to the languages, so knowing what the languages are could be helpful. A DC 10 Linguistics check for each language will reveal what the language is.

At the same time each riddle appears, a giant three dimensional illusion of an hourglass appears in the room. As the GM, take out a stopwatch, set it to count down from three minutes, and put it on the table where all the players can see. After reading the riddle, or, if none of the players can read any languages, after stating that the riddle appears, start the timer.  If the players cannot guess the answer to the riddle in three real time minutes, then the riddle disappears and they cannot gain the benefits of solving it. If your players are not particularly good at riddles, feel free to extend this time.

For each riddle, a DC 15 Wisdom check can be made to get the first letter of the answer. A DC 15 Intelligence check can be made to get the number of letters the answer has. Each character can only make one Wisdom and one Intelligence check per riddle. Feel free to let the players know that this is an option.  If multiple characters pass the same check for the same riddle, no added bonus is given.

If the PCs answer the riddle out loud and correctly in any language, a brilliant flash of light and crack of thunder explode from the center of the level.  When they can see and hear again, they notice that the Pyrohydra is missing one of his heads, which lies unceremoniously at his feet. Heads destroyed in this way will not return. For each riddle that they get right, the Pyrohydra permanently loses one head and his max number of heads decreases by one as if it had just been sundered and then burnt with acid.


Room 1: Executioner’s Hood

The stone staircase abruptly turns to marble, and our heroes emerge into Room 1 at 1a. Describe the entirety of Level 2 to them, and quickly let them know what they can see in the other rooms.

However, they do not have long to admire the view. An Executioner’s Hood lurks on the ceiling. It will drop two rounds after our heroes have entered the room and attack the character closest to the stairs. To spot the Executioner’s Hood, our heroes must beat the Hood’s Stealth roll with their initial perception check. However, the Executioner’s Hood gains a +5 bonus to Stealth given all of the other distractions in the Level for a total of +18 Stealth.

After the Execution’s Hood has been dealt with, giant glowing letters appear to spell out a riddle is written in Auran, Celestial, Tengu, and Sphinx. The riddle asks:

“What surrounds the world, yet dwells within a thimble? All men need it, no men own it, and without it you would die.”

The answer is air.


Room 2: Healing Corridor 

Room 2 is a short corridor leading between Rooms 1 and 3. Visible in the center of the room is a large rune inscribed on the ground (2a). It is easily avoided, but if a player walks onto it the rune activates and casts Cure Moderate Wounds (CL5) on the victim for 2d8+5 health. The rune then disappears.

A character can identify the spell that will be cast from the rune with a DC 17 Spellcraft check.


Room 3: Chessboard Oozes

The marble on the floor of Room 3 has been stained into large squares of red and green. Although the PCs will probably approach it cautiously, there are no enemies visible inside.

Along the Eastern wall is a marble pedestal (3a), upon which float a small green crystal and a small red crystal. These will detect as magic, and a DC 11 Knowledge (Arcana) check will reveal that each will probably set off traps on their respective colored square.

As a standard action a character standing on or adjacent to 3a may attempt a DC 11 Use Magic Device check to activate either of the crystals. Activating the Red Crystal will cause flame to shoot up from the red squares, dealing 2d6 +1 fire damage to any creature on those squares (Reflex 13 halves). Activating the Green Crystal will cause a small geyser to shoot up from the green squares, dealing 2d6 +1 acid damage to any on those squares (Reflex 13 halves).  These can be activated as much as our heroes like.

After the PC have spent about a minute puzzling over the room, three Giant Amoebas will seep from the walls (3b). Any characters in these squares will have the opportunity to step back if they like.  These oozes are just as susceptible to the magical traps as the heroes, but are not intelligent enough to avoid them.

Once the oozes have been dealt with, a riddle appears on the floor in Common, Aboleth, Grippli, and Aquan. The riddle reads:

“What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats.”

The answer is a river.

A small hidden compartment lies behind a false wall on the western wall (3c). Instead of marble, this false wall is just a thin sheet of lead painted convincingly to look like marble. Normally, it is a DC 20 Perception check to notice the false wall. However, each time the green crystal is activated the some paint burns off the wall in that location, decreasing the Perception DC by 4. If the DC decreases down to 8 or less, our heroes automatically notice it.

The wall can easily be knocked down. Behind it is a small iron chest that can be unlocked with a DC 20 Disable Device check. The chest contains Bandages of Rapid Recovery, Bracers of Armor +1, Silversheen, the cursed item Ring of Truth (which, short of a DC 34 Spellcraft check, appears to be a Ring of Arcane Signets), and 500 gold.


Room 4: Another Healing Corridor 

Room 4 is a short corridor leading between Rooms 3 and 5. Visible in the center of the room is a large rune inscribed on the ground (4a). It is easily avoided, but if a player walks onto the rune it activates and casts Cure Moderate Wounds (CL5) on the victim for 2d8+5 health. The rune then disappears.

A character can identify the spell that will be cast from the rune with a DC 17 Spellcraft check.


Room 5: The Praying Demon

In Room 5, a deformed, horned, hunchbacked humanoid in tattered black robes (5a) kneels praying before a stained wood altar (5b). A forked tail slithers menacingly on the floor behind him, and the more perceptive may notice that each hand has two curved thumbs. The creature is an Abrikandilu Demon, and he is praying to a small altar of Rovagug. His eyes are closed, and he is distracted enough to suffer a -10 penalty to Perception, resulting in a +2 Perception. Once he notices them, he will immediately cast Cause Fear and attack, neither giving nor expecting any quarter.  He will not summon another Abrikandilu Demon.

A red and incorporeal tentacle connects the demon to his altar, and our heroes will be able to see this clearly when close enough. For as long as the altar is in one piece, it grants him regeneration 5, and will even bring him back from the dead to continue the fight. The AC of the altar is 4, and it has hardness 5, 15 hit points, and a break DC of 18. Alternatively, catching it on fire with any spell that deals 5 fire damage would also destroy it within one turn.

Once the Abrikandilu Demon and altar are destroyed, the riddle appears. The riddle is written in Orc, Draconic, Infernal, and Ignan. The riddle states:

“Feed me and I live, give me drink and I die.”

The answer is fire.

The Abrikandilu Demon has nothing of value on him except for a small golden symbol of Rovagug, inlaid with tiny rubies. This strange and otherworldly piece of jewelry costs 200 gold. Inside the altar is a Masterwork Greataxe, which becomes visible when the altar is destroyed.


Room 6: Magic Missile Trap

Room 6 is a short corridor leading between Rooms 5 and 6. Visible in the center of the room is a large rune inscribed on the ground. It is easily avoided, but if a player walks onto it the rune activates and casts Magic Missile (CL5) on the victim for 3d4+3 damage. The rune then disappears.

A character can identify the spell that will be cast from the rune with a DC 16 Spellcraft check.


Room 7: The Greenhouse

This room is the only room on Level 2 that it is difficult to see in or out of. Thick vines coat the walls, and a tangle of roots covers the floor, transforming the entire room into difficult terrain.

There are four large trees in this room, each with four plump and gigantic purple fruit. The fruit from three of these trees (7a) is toxic, and, if consumed, will mimic the effects of Bloodroot poison. The final tree (7b) yields fruit that will instantly heal d6 hit point, and may be saved for later. Each tree looks different, and identifying one tree will not help with the others. A DC 10 Knowledge (Nature) check for each tree will reveal the true effects of its fruit.

Four small green humanoids (7c) covered in fungus sit motionless in a circle around a halfling corpse (7d). A fifth humanoid sits on the halfling corpse. The rotting corpse is covered in mold, and has a burst chest cavity. A DC 11 Knowledge (Nature) check reveals that these creatures are Vegepygmies, and they are likely staring at the corpse from which they were birthed. A highly dangerous mold known as Russet Mold infects careless adventurers, and once they are killed Vegepygmies burst forth.  However, unlike normal Russet Mold, this will only infect the PCs if they actually touch the corpse.

The Vegepygmies are completely infatuated with the corpse from which they sprung, and are at a -10 perception to notice the heroes.  However, once they notice the heroes they will attack.

As soon as all the heroes are in room 7 at the same time, whether before, after, or during the fight, the vines on the floor will suddenly reach up and grab our heroes as per the Entangle Spell with a DC of 12. These vines have thorns and deal one damage every time the heroes fail their save or check. Once a PC breaks out of the vines, the vines will not attempt to ensnare him or her again.

The Russet Mold covered corpse has a few items of worth. Characters may attempt to retrieve the items without disturbing the spores with a DC 10 Sleight of Hand check. Failing this check, or entering the same square as the corpse during combat, results in exposure to the highly dangerous Russet Mold.

The corpse has a small bag with a Stunstone, a Masterwork Cold Iron Dagger, and a Masterwork Silver Dagger.  The daggers are both small sized.

With a DC 11 perception check, our heroes may notice a small opening in the eastern wall approximately 20 feet off the ground (7e). A DC 10 climb check will get the hero up the vines and into the opening, where a Scroll of Remove Curse (CL 10) and a Potion of Remove Disease lies.

Once the Vegepygmies have been dealt with, a riddle appears on the ground in Elven, Druid, Sylvan, and Treant. The riddle states:

“Reaching stiffly for the sky, I bare my fingers when it's cold, In warmth I wear an emerald glove, And in between I dress in gold."

The answer is a tree.


Room 8: The False Rune

Room 6 is a short corridor leading between Rooms 5 and 6. Easily visible in the center of the room is a large rune inscribed on the ground. A pressure plate for a Javelin Trap uses the contours of the Rune to hide itself, upping the Perception DC to see the trap to a 25.

A DC 15 Spellcraft check will reveal that the Rune has something to do with healing. However, a DC 20 Spellcraft check will reveal that the rune was made incorrectly and is actually not active. Furthermore, the rune is not active and will not register as magical. Thus, this “healing” rune does nothing, and anybody stepping on it will instead be greeted with a javelin to the face.


Room 9: The Pyrohydra

If our heroes have successfully answered every question thus far and the Pyrohydra only has one head left, they get no final question.  Instead, when the time for the fourth riddle has elapsed, a lever materializes in room 1.

If the Pyrohyrdra sill has at least 2 heads when the time for the fourth riddle has elapsed, a final, fifth riddle appears. The riddle is written in Dwarven, Hobbit, Necril, and Undercommon. The riddle states:

“Cannot be seen, Cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,
Lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
Comes first follows after,
Ends life kills laughter.”

The answer is Darkness. This riddle, of course, is from Tolkien.  When this riddle is answered or the time elapses, a lever materializes in room 1.

The handle of the lever is shaped like the head of a Pyrohyrda.  When they flip it, all of the walls in the level instantly shatter. Our heroes must make a DC 12 Reflex save to half d6 slashing damage from the glass.  Roll initiative: The Forcecage is gone and the Pyrohydra is rushing at them.

If the heroes are clustered, the Pyrohydra will favor breath weapons.  Otherwise, he will lash out with his heads.  Our heroes should feel free to lure him into the checkboard, where they can activate the crystals to deal 2d6+1 damage for every relevant square he is on.

When the Pyrohydra is killed, a steel spiral staircase rises from the center of the Level (9a), leading to the Level 3.

If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 3, then distribute 3,550 gold amongst them evenly.


Sleeping:

If our heroes attempt to sleep anywhere on this level, they will be attacked by a single Skum who attempts to sneak quietly upon the party.  Every additional night, they will be attacked by one additional Skum: Two the second night, three the third night, and so on.


Bonus! Little Venecian has also created this battle grid for Roll20.  If used outside of Roll20, you may want to overlay a 70px by 70px grid on top of it.


You may purchase printable PDFs of the entire dungeon, including the secret final level and an expanded foreword, here for $9.99. If you have already purchased some levels of Jacob's Tower, we will discount that amount off your purchase.

Jacob's Tower, Levels 1 - 13 ($9.99)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jacob's Tower, Level 1: Classic


Level 1: Classic
4,500xp / Max 3,825gp (2 - 3 Hours)


Level 1 is formed mostly out of large blocks of tan stone. Except for Rooms 2 and 3, the area is dry and cool. Sconces with flaming torches provide excellent lighting throughout the entire Level, excepting Rooms 9 and 10. All rooms are separated with simple, unlocked wooden doors unless otherwise noted, and all doors open away from Room 1.

Room 1: Entrance

The entrance to Jacob’s Tower is empty of any hazards or traps, but it is not bare. Seven majestic red drapes with gold fringes line the walls, covering the tan stone blocks that make up the first Level of Jacob’s Tower. If the PCs are feeling extra cheeky, these drapes can be taken and sold for 15 gold each. Thick wooden doors lie to the east and west.

The wall to the north appears to be made of the same large tan blocks as the rest of the room, but a DC 15 Perception check will reveal that one segment behind a drape (1a) is actually hidden door. The door opens upward, but cannot be opened short of a DC 30 Strength check. If the PCs have discovered the door, they will also note two thin magical cords running along the wall to the east and west. Once the levers in Rooms 5 and 9 are pulled, the respective magical cords will glow. Once both levers are pulled, the hidden door will rise, revealing room 10.


Room 2: Lair of the Fuzzy Animals

Room 2 stinks to high Elysium, and, once the door is open, all those within 15 feet must make a DC 11 Fortitude save or be sickened for one round. The first time players outside that radius move within 15 feet of the the room, they must make that same check.  The room, which reeks with soupy rot, contains  a small pool of putrid water (2b) and a great deal of animal feces, handfuls of tiny bones, dirty and rotting bundles of hay which act as difficult terrain (2c). The animals inside, with blotchy fur and muddy faces, look like they are being starved and will immediately attack the adventurers.

In the room are one skunk (1d), one pig (1e), and one dog (1f) which will immediately attack the adventurers. There are also dozens of smaller animals such as hedgehogs, mice and rabbits, but these will not attack, instead fleeing into the hay when the PCs arrive. Once the skunk, pig, and dog are killed, the smaller animals will come to feast on their corpses.

These animals are not totally feral, and it is possible to woo them to the characters' side. A DC 10 Handle Animal check as a standard action on any animal will stun him for a round. A DC 15 Handle Animal check on any animal will cause him to slink away and abandon the fight. A DC 20 Handle Animal check on any animal will cause him to join the characters for the remainder of the Level.

With a Perception 10 check, our heroes can notice that the pool of water (2b) actually goes below the wall to the south. One brave soul can take a dip in this putrid water and wriggle his way into room 3. If the hero fails a DC 10 Swim check while in the water, he must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or contract Cholera from the filth.


Room 3: A Dead Adventurer

As the swimmer enters Room 3, he scares away a small group of rats which have been gnawing on a corpse. This is clearly the rotting corpse of an halfling adventurer, who wears masterwork leather armor and a masterwork long sword (both small) in addition to 30 feet of rope, a lantern, a masterwork backpack, an everburning torch, and a small diary that is mostly illegible due to the water and gnaw marks.  If a DC 15 Linguistic check can be made, diary can somehow be read, and it will reveal that this was an adventurer trying his luck within Jacob's Tower.

On his way back out of the room, the PC must again make a DC 10 Swim check. If he fails this check, he must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or contract Cholera from the filth.


Room 4: Trapped with an Angry Ghost

At first, Room 4 appears to be rather ordinary, a wide hallway made of tan stone with no discernable features. A wooden door at the end of the hallway is slightly ajar, but not open enough to see clearly into the next room.

A DC 10 Perception check will note scratch marks on the inside of both the south and north doors of this room.

Upon reaching the center of the room (4a), our heroes trigger a variation of the Slamming Portal Haunt. Both doors slam shut (perhaps shutting the slower heroes out), and remain closed as if affected by a Hold Portal spell. Any PC in the door's way must make a DC 12 Reflex save to jump out of the way or be dealt d4 bludgeoning damage and moved into the room appropriate square.  Moments later, a ghostly and flaming human apparition appears in the middle of the room, holds his head, and begins to scream. The walls, ceiling, and floors appear to burst into flame, although a DC 11 Will Save dismisses this as an illusion.  Illusion or no, the room suddenly becomes unbearably hot and stifling, dealing one point of fire damage to all in the room at the start of each character’s turn.

The doors will remain shut and the heat will persist for one minute, or 10 rounds. During this time, our heroes have a variety of options, one of which is breaking down either door. Our heroes can make a DC 18 Strength check to break down the doors, a DC which includes the +5 bonus from Hold Portal. The doors have 5 hardness and 10 hit points.  If our heroes are able to break down one or both of the doors, the haunt immediately ends.

It is also possible to deal with the Haunt directly. With only two hit points, channeling positive energy or throwing holy water will likely “kill” it, as well as a force spell such as magic missile.


Room 5: Making a Living

Room 5 is ornate to say the least. Lavish paintings cover the walls, piles of gold sit sparkling in the corners and a crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. Unfortunately, these are all permanent Silent Images and a simple DC 10 Will save will reveal them as such. There is also a pile of seemingly random items (5e), such as a shoe, a bow, a hat, a trap, a properly addressed letter with nothing but gibberish on it, and a lockpick. These items all look shoddy and quickly made, though they are not illusions. This pile is the previously crafted items of heroes to pass the “Craft for me” challenge.

At the north end of the room is a large stone statue (5a) with three closed eyes and three outstretched hands pointing to three squares on the ground. On each closed eyelid is a carved picture. Written on each of these squares is a phrase in common:

“Entertain me” (5b). The closed eyelid looking in this direction shows a man with a fiddle and a woman telling jokes at a bar. In this square, one of our heroes must make a DC 10 Perform check. Alternatively, he may make a DC 15 Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate check to tell some sort of joke or story.  Succeeding at this check will cause the relevant statue’s eye to open. Failing will result in bolt of electricity dealing d4 damage to the person on the square (DC 12 Reflex save halves).

“Work for me” (5c). The closed eyelid looking in this direction shows a woman counting coins at a bank and a man teaching a classroom full of students. In this square, one of our heroes must make a DC 10 Profession check while somehow demonstrating his skill. If a hero has a backstory of making a living using some other skill, he may demonstrate that skill at a DC 15. Succeeding at this check will cause the relevant statue’s eye to open. Failing will result in bolt of electricity dealing d4 damage to the person on the square (DC 12 Reflex save halves).

“Craft for me” (5d). The closed eyelid looking in this direction shows a woman crafting horseshoes and a man fletching some arrows. In this square, our heroes must make a DC 10 Craft check while demonstrating his skill. Alternatively, he can make a DC 15 Disable Devise, Disguise, or Survival check to create something relevant to the skill. Succeeding at this check will cause the relevant statue’s eye to open. Failing will result in bolt of electricity dealing d4 damage to the person on the square (DC 12 Reflex save halves).

Succeeding at all three checks and opening all three eyes results in the statue also opening his mouth. Inside the mouth is a lever. Once flipped, a magical cord running from the lever into the western wall will illuminate. Back in Room 1, the cord running from hidden door to the eastern wall will also illuminate.


Room 6: Room of Statues

The room is fairly plain, except for a ten statues (6c) along the western wall. The statues are vaguely humanoid in form, though they have strange features and gemstones for eyes. A DC 12 Knowledge (Planes) check will reveal that these are statues of small Earth Elementals, not adventurers turned to stone. Our heroes may take the time to pry the gemstones out of each statue if they like. Each gemstone is worth 5 gold, meaning that the entire menagerie is worth 100 gold.

Three or four rounds after our heroes have entered the room, a Small Earth Elemental will burst from the floor for a surprise round. After he has been dealt damage for the first time, the torches in the room will go out. On his turn he will move to the statues with a stealth check, and attempt to blend in. The Earth Elemental has a +7 disguise for the purposes of blending in with these statues.

If a PC comes within melee range of the Elemental, the Elemental will leave hiding and attack the PC, continuing to attack until slain. If he is found and attacked, he will leave hiding and resume combat. If the PCs leave the room without killing him, he will follow them through the floor and attack them in Room 8.

Along the south wall of Room 6 is a hidden stone door that leads to Room 7. It takes a Perception 15 check to discover and a DC 15 Disable Devise check to unlock.


Room 7: Choice of Gemstones

Behind the hidden door are two pedestals with one gemstone each (7a). A sign in Common reads “You may only choose one.” One gemstone is worth 500gp, and the other is worth 100gp. A DC 10 Appraise check will yield the 500gp gemstone, while failing the Appraise check yields the 100gp gemstone. The GM should make this roll in private, simply letting the PCs know which one they think is more valuable. Touching one gemstone turns the other to dust, so greedy heroes who try and grab both will wind up with neither.


Room 8: The Many Paintings of Malebolge

Room 8 breaks off into five short hallways, each with a painting at the end. In the center of the room (8a) is a small pedestal with a single word written in both Common and Infernal: “Malebolge.” If a character can identify the writing as Infernal, either by knowing Infernal or performing a DC 15 Linguistics check to recognize the writing, then all Knowledge checks regarding the paintings are made at a +2 bonus.

At the end of each of the hallways is a detailed and impressive painting. These paintings are magically attached to the walls, though they can be removed with a DC 25 Strength check and sold for 100 gold a piece. Our heroes may examine the paintings and make the relevant knowledge check without going down the hallway. Failing the knowledge check for the wrong hallways (8b, 8c, 8d, or 8f) will result in the players thinking that perhaps they have heard the word “Malebolge” in relation to the painting. Succeeding at the knowledge check for the wrong hallways will let the players know the painting has nothing to do with the word. Going down the wrong hallways springs an Arrow Trap. Finding one of these Arrow Traps will not result in automatically finding the rest, as they are each hidden in different places.

Remember that Knowledge checks of DC 10 or lower can be made untrained.

8b: At the end of the hallway is a painting of a Dwaven cleric holding a war hammer. He has many rings in his beard, and is wearing an ornate white smithing apron. A DC 10 Knowledge (Religion) check will let the players know that this is Cleric of Torag, and probably has nothing to do with “Malebolge.”  Any worshipers of Torag in the party will immediately recognize this without any check.

8c: At the end of this hallway is a map of an island. There is a mountain range in the middle, two unlabeled cities along the southern coast, and a smaller island to the north. A DC 10 Knowledge (Geography) check will reveal that this is the Isle of Kortos, and likely has nothing to do with “Malebolge.”

8d: At the end of this hallway is a formal portrait of a great king. With a short brown goatee, golden crown and piercing green eyes, he is a slightly unnerving sight. A DC 10 Knowledge (Nobility) check reveals that this is Lord Gyr of House Gixx, Primarch of Absalom, and that he has nothing to do with Malebolge.

8e: At the end of this hallway is a painting of a disturbing scene. Injured and terrified people flee from giant red humanoids in a great forest where snow-like ash is falling. In the background is a giant flaming creature with spiked armor and gauntlets. A DC 10 Knowledge (Planes) check will reveal that this place is Malebolge, the 6th layer of Hell, and that the creature in the back is Moloch, ruler of Hell’s armies. If a PC goes to the end of this hallway, the painting will burn away revealing room 9.

8f: At the end of this hallway is a painting of meteor shooting through the sky and colliding with the planet, sending up a massive amount of debris and rubble. A DC 10 Knowledge (History) check will reveal that this event was known as the Earthfall, and probably has nothing to do with Malebolge.


Room 9: Corridor of the Dead

Room 9 has no lit torches, so heroes must provide their own light if they want to see. A DC 20 Perception check will reveal that the ground here has been worn down by countless footsteps (the two undead enemies slowly revolving around the center). As soon as our heroes enter the room, the Ghoul on 9b will begin to move clockwise and the Zombie on 9c will begin to move counter clockwise. They each move one square a turn. If an undead gains line of sight to the party, he will begin moving as normal and rush in to attack.  The Ghoul has no hesitations about coup de gras-ing paralyzed players, and one or two players could easily die in this fight if the rolls go poorly.

A small locked treasure chest is at 9d. The lock is simple enough, requiring a DC 20 Disable Device check. Inside is 200 gold worth of strange silver coins, a harrow deck, and one use of arsenic.

At 9a, there is a lever on the wall. If it is flipped, a magical cord extending to the eastern wall begins to glow. Back in Room 1, the cord running from 1a to the western wall has also illuminated.


Room 10: Bridge Over Troubled Rats

With the levers in Rooms 9 and 5 switched, the hidden door in Room 1 opens. In the middle of Room 10 is a rickety rope bridge (10a) that extends over a 20 foot deep pit to a narrow ledge (10b) on the north side. At the bottom of the pit is a Rat Swarm. As long as there are no PCs in the pit, the Rat Swarm gains regeneration 10 as rats will enter from the holes in the walls to replace their fallen comrades.  There is no light in Room 10 save what our heroes bring, but they can certainly hear the rats scampering and squeaking in the dark.

Crossing this rickety bridge requires a Acrobatics 10 check to move the PC’s speed. A PC may travel at half his speed or lower for an Acrobatics 5 check.   Fail these checks and the PC falls into the pit where he takes 20 feet of fall damage and must contest with the Rat Swarm. By using a length of rope and a DC 10 Knowledge (Engineering) check, our heroes can reinforce the bridge and decrease the Acrobatics DC by 2 each.

The PC may climb out of the pit by climbing up a rickety rope ladder (10c). This ladder has a Climb DC of 5.


Room 11: Posy the Enchantress

Room 11 has six columns with hard corners.  A female human named Posy hides in the shadows at 11b. She was once dressed in lavish furs and red ribbons, but these have long since been reduced to tatters. Long ago, Posy was an adventurer who failed to disbelieve the illusions of wealth in Room 5. She thought that she had come across great treasure, and killed her adventuring party to keep it for herself. She now waits in Jacob’s Tower for other adventurers, and loots their bodies to add to her imaginary riches. Little does she know that each time she is slain, the Tower brings her back to life as a challenge for the next adventuring party.

Posy will target the first person who enters the room with a charm person spell as covertly as possible. As long as she has not yet been seen, she will not yet suffer the -5 penalty to DC for being in combat.  If she succeeds, she will quickly attempt to bluff her new ally into thinking that the other PCs have been enchanted and need to be subdued but not harmed.  This order constitutes an opposed Charisma check.  As the fight progresses, she will cast invisibility on herself, move to a safe location, then begin to use bardic performance.  She may also switch to a heavy crossbow as appropriate.

Given that Posy does not actually have a Ring of Protection +1, her AC is actually 17, 13 touch, 14 flatfooted.

If Posy successfully subdues her enemies, she will instruct her “friends” to go get help from outside. As the last one crosses through Room 10, she will shake the bridge, incurring an Acrobatics 15 check to stay on. Posy will then start to shoot the remaining PCs with her crossbow. If she takes down her “friends,” then she will go around coup-de-gracing the fallen PCs.

Assuming the heroes live through this encounter, they can loot poor Posy. Ignore Posy's stated gear.  Instead, she has a masterwork dagger, a masterwork heavy crossbow with 20 bolt, a masterwork chain shirt, absinthe, a potion of invisibility, two potions of jump, and a wand of cure light wounds with 5 charges (CL1).

After defeating Posy, a stone staircase (11a) rises up from the ground.  This staircase leads to the second Level, Marble and Glass.

If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 2, then distribute 940 gold amongst them evenly.


Sleeping: Grimples

Each night our heroes attempt to sleep in Level 1, they will be woken up by the sudden and wholly unpleasant sound of screeching. The sound will get louder for two rounds until three Grimples burst into the room and attack.  Every additional night they will be attacked by one more Grimple: Four the second night, five the third night, and so on.


Bonus! Little Venecian has also created this battle grid for Roll20.



You may purchase printable PDFs of the entire dungeon, including the final level only available through the package, here for $9.99.

Jacob's Tower, Levels 1 - 13 ($9.99)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Jacob's Tower: Overview




Jacob’s Tower is the critically acclaimed mega-dungeon for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Regardless of your world, plot, or players, it is easily run in any campaign or as a mega-dungeon.

Jacob's Tower is an adventure for 3 – 6 first through thirteenth level PCs. It is 152 pages long, fully illustrated, and only $9.99.  That's 13 different modules for the price of one.

The dungeon is designed to test a party’s versatility and flexibility, utilizing every skill and creature type in the book over every three Levels. It both introduces new players to the wonders of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and gives experienced players a non-traditional setting in which to test their skills.

Each Level of Jacob's Tower corresponds to the Average Party level designed to play it. Level 1 is designed for characters of level 1, Level 2 is designed for characters of level 2, Level 3 is designed for characters of level 3, and so on. Each Level can be easily brought into your campaign at the appropriate party level, either for a fun break or a real, plot relevant dungeon.

Alternatively, the entire Tower can be played one Level after another. Such an experience is an excellent chance to blow off some steam and test the player's gaming chops. This mega-dungeon never lags or slows down.  Each combat is unique, interesting, and carefully crafted to deliver the best possible experience for GMs and players alike.



Praise for Jacob's Tower

"I love this dungeon. It's so cleverly put together, the levels are varied enough to remain interesting whilst still tied together enough to feel cohesive, and I'm super impressed with the seamless integration of a variety of skills into each level. It's inspired me to improve my GMing. I can't say enough good things about this dungeon." - Anonymous

"Honestly, you made me look good.  Fun traps, ghouls, great imagery with the feral animals, a fantastic fight against Posy and a bluffed PC... and with all the DCs spelled out I ran the game like a pro.  Got lots of compliments" - David

"I've been running this, and my players absolutely love how varied it is and how so much comes into play! I'm wondering, do you know anyone else who has made similar things? I can't get enough!" - Anonymous

"This is truly great! Well designed and I really think my players will have a lot of fun playing these levels. Keep up the good work!" - Axe

"I finally ran this level for my players the other week!  And it was amazing. ... Overall, this level was one of the best sessions I've run.  Thanks for writing it!" - Anonymous

"This dungeon is amazing, i love how it implys so many different skill (especially underused ones like linguistics and kn enineering) in a way that does not feel forced" - DarkPhoenix

"I'm loving this Dungeon setup. I've been working on using it as an "Intro to Pathfinder" for people who've never played RPGs." - Anonymous

"This is a great dungeon! I'm coming from both running it as a GM and playing it as a player, and in both situations I've found it really fun!" - Jack John

"I just wanted to drop you a line and say thanks / good job on writing up these adventures! ... It was an absolutely enjoyable experience for a DM. :)" - Anonymous

"I’m glad I bought Jacob’s Tower, and I look forward to adapting what I’ve learned from reading your blog to my own campaign." - Steve

"I absolutely love Jacob's Tower, it's been amazing to run it for my players and they've been shocked at how they've been using skill checks they didn't even know existed." - ChaosWraith

"Excellent work. Funny ideas, interesting setup, many diverse problems and tasks." - Anonymous

"My group is currently in Level 3 and is having a blast." - Eldarion

"I think your dungeon is awesome- Darryl

"it's a great adventure and I'm looking foreward to play it with my group" - Pascal (from Germany)

"Recently bought the dungeon and its really well made congrats!" - Federico D'Eredita

"Loving this adventure, please keep them coming!" - Anonymous

"This whole thing is amazing.  Great work! I cannot wait to see more" - Anonymous

"Great work.  Creative and varied challenges.  Keep 'em coming" - Logan Hesse

"I ran this level ... and it was a great time." - Nick Brady

"I really enjoyed it!" - Anonymous

"I've read all of the levels and I seriously can't wait to run them all. Keep up the great work man!" - Anonymous

"Everyone's really been enjoying the levels!" - Anonymous

"Awesome floor as always. I must say I keep getting pleasantly surprised each time a floor is finished as it still unique and fun as the last one was. I find myself revisiting this site often just to check if another floor has been added!. Well done :D" - Anonymous

"As always, entertaining, inspiring, and exciting." - Anonymous

"Hooray, another floor! Loving this tower so much. I'll be running my players through it starting next week, and I'm so glad to see another one." - Anonymous

"Excellent again! I'm amazed how you keep coming up with new ideas. ... What's next? Time travel...? Volcano lair...? On top of clouds looking down on the world...? Who knows!? I can't wait to see it. Thanks again for this excellent work" - Anonymous

"You only want 10 dollars for it all? You da real MVP :P" - Colin MacDonald