Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jacob's Tower, Level 10: Resurrection

Jacob’s Tower, Level 10: Resurrection
120,000xp, 66,000gp, 3:30 - 5 hours

Level 10 takes place inside the injured body of Haradim, a massive and powerful humanoid who once professed to be a god. As a result, the level is somewhat disturbing – the walls are pink and shiny flesh, the ground is soft and squishy, and the roof slowly leaks various oozes and bodily fluids. The smell isn’t something you’d want in cologne (though maybe your colon), but our heroes won’t suffer any mechanical penalties simply for breathing it.

All walls are made of standard muscled and veined flesh. The only two exceptions are the stomach lining, which is wrinkled and yellow like a deflated balloon, and the lungs, which look something like rotten steak.

When the body is attacked it will react as you might expect. The flesh smolders, cuts, bleeds, and bruises. Veins gush blood. Cartilage snaps. However any wounds heal wolverine-style, and it is impossible to cut holes through the walls. Any piece of flesh that is separated from the body smokes and withers within a matter of seconds, and newly formed flesh grows instantly in its place.

Note that when our heroes enter the level, Haradim’s Lungs are filled with water and his heart has stopped. As a result, the blood throughout Haradim’s body is black and stagnant.

You should dial this grossness up or down depending on your players. If they love it, they layer it on. If they are repulsed, leave out the descriptions whenever possible.

Tik the Obedient Servant

Our heroes appear somewhere in Haradim’s right shoulder (1a). They will have a few moments to note their unsettling surrounding before small spirit manifests in front of them. About the size of a fist, this transparent blue ghost is shaped something like an upside-down rain drop. An expressive pair of eyes and a mouth hover a few inches in front of his shimmering body, and he begins to speak:

Thank you, thank you, thank you heroes for answering my summons. I am Tik, obedient and willing servant to the titan Haradim. My master, one of the old gods, far before your time, was maliciously set upon by his enemies in the Eternal Fields of Battle. Due to their treachery he was grievously wounded, and I transported him here to the Everlasting Void to heal.”

A DC 30 Knowledge (religion) check will determine that Haradim belongs to an ancient race of gods from millennia past. Otherwise, our heroes will have no idea who this is.

Time passed in the Void, and much was my surprise when my master’s wounds refused to close. The injuries were simply too great. We have floated here for time beyond time, waiting for heroes such as you to help. Haradim’s wounds are numerous and deadly, and they must be healed for my master to return to his full vigor.

“Due to the immense strain of his irrepressible conquest, Haradim’s mighty heart has stopped beating.

“When fleeing his enemies, Haradim fell into the great river.  He swallowed a serpent egg and his lungs filled with water.

“Left without sustenance for ages, Haradim’s stomach has fallen prey to starvation.

“Haradim’s shield hand was punctured with foul and unnatural devices meant to kill and maim.

“Haradim’s sword hand crushed his enemies, but the victim’s spirits never left.

“Haradim was stabbed through the foot with a cursed spear, and the heel is now riddled with disease.

“When retreating through tall grass, ticks crawled within the pores of Hardim’s leg.

“Thum, the magical lion who lends my master his roar, has gone mad with grief and must be calmed.

“Last, a massive beast from the Broken Lands has been feeding on my master’s mind.

“I will guide you through my Master’s body. Please help him!  Where shall we go first?

Tik will stay with our heroes throughout this level, explaining the various rooms as our heroes consider them. He is submissive and obedient, but totally dedicated to Haradim. He is also happy to scout and fly around the level, but he cannot do anything other than speak. He is totally immune to any damage or effects, and will be disappointed but forgiving if attacked. His speech is well educated and somewhat formal, but he otherwise acts something like a child who is trying to rescue a parent.

In short, Tik will be as helpful as possible, but won’t be able to directly assist with any checks. Have fun with Tik, and feel free to make up whatever backstory you like for him and his beloved master.

Divine Salve

The first time our heroes enter either the Heart or the Left Leg, or see Thum, a somewhat embarrassed Tik will admit:

You are not the first Heroes I have asked here to help my great master. The previous heroes brought with them three healing potions of immense power. They intended to use these on the Heart, the infected left foot, and Thum’s troubled mind but the heroes were killed before they could properly administer the cure.

“After you find the Salves, you may use them on my master if you wish. Or, you may use other means to heal Haradim, and keep the Divine Salves for yourself. The Salves are of great value, and if you are able to heal Haradim through other means you may claim the salves as just reward.

The three Divine Salves look identical: round glass vials filled a shimmering silver liquid. They cannot be destroyed by any means, and each Divine Salve may only be used once.

When a character drinks a Divine Salve, or when a Divine Salve is administered to him, he may choose one of three options. A DC 30 Knowledge (Arcana) check will determine these uses at any time, but the user will immediately comprehend them upon use.

First, a casting of True Resurrection, as cast by a 20th level cleric.

Second, a simultaneous casting of Regeneration, Greater Restoration, Neutralize Poison, Remove Curse, and Remove Disease as cast by a 20th level cleric.

Third, a simultaneous casting of Neutralize Poison, Remove Curse, Remove Disease and Cure Critical Wounds (4d8+20) as cast by a 20th level cleric, in addition to a casting of Greater Heroism and Haste as cast by a 20th level bard.

Alternatively, each Salve may be sold for 10,000gp.

1: Chest Cavity

The chest cavity is connected to every other room, and houses the lungs (which look like a large piece of rotten steak), the stomach (a wrinkled yellow balloon) and the heart chamber (a fleshy, boney dome housing the heart).

Across the north edge of the squares at 1b is a throat that has been dilated closed. This area looks heavily swollen and infected. When our heroes approach it, Tik will note:

Haradim has closed his throat in response to his injuries. Once his other maladies have been rectified, the throat will open and we may face the beast eating away at his mind.

In the left shoulder (1b), the majestic Dire Lion Thum sits, silently weeping for his fallen master. He will ignore the heroes, and be ignored by any monsters living within Haradim. He has the statistics of a normal Dire Lion, with the addition of Spell Resistance 30 and Regeneration 5. If killed, he will return to life within a few turns.

When our heroes spot the great lion, Tik will quietly explain “There sits Thum, the great lion who has lent voice to our Master on many occasions. He weeps for our master, as do I, but I have not been able to shake him out of his somber stupor.

“There is a tale that Thum once spared a transgressing wanderer because of the wander’s beautiful voice. If any among you can sing, dance, play music or tell a story, then you may be able to grab his attention. Once you have his attention, perhaps somebody who is experienced with the wild beasts of the world could console him? If not, the Divine Salve should bring him back.

A DC 25 Perform check of any kind is necessary to attract the attention of Thum. With each failure Thum grows more and more morose, and the DC of the check increases by 2.

If our heroes succeed in getting Thum’s attention, a DC 25 Handle Animal check must then be made to console the beast. With each failure Thum grows more and more disinterested, and the DC of the check increases by 2.

If the DC for either of these checks goes above what our heroes can perform, feel free to say that Thum looks inconsolable and only the Divine Salve will do the trick.

If our heroes successfully console Thum or give him the Divine Salve, the mighty Lion will immediately perk up and give an ear shattering roar. He will then reach one paw deep within his mane and draw out a Torc of Lionheart Fury, presenting it to the heroes. He will not, however, assist our heroes in any other way.

2: Left Arm

This way lie the souls and corpses of those crushed by my master’s mighty hand. Though he revels in righteous battle, Haradim cannot return to life with so much death within him. Be warned though; many are now spirits, but the most dangerous undead here is one walking corpse with smoking eyes.

At this last description, a DC 20 Knowledge (religion) check will reveal the creature described is likely a Bodak, a corporeal undead who can cause negative levels with a gaze attack. A DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check will reveal the various weaknesses and resistances. Failing the DC 20 knowledge check will incorrectly inform the players that the enemy is a “Yaki-Kanna,” an undead creature vulnerable to electricity, acid and fire.

The various undead wait patiently at the tips of each finger of this hand. Once one of the undead notices our heroes, the rest do as well.

At the end of four of the fingers (2a) float Ghosts. The Ghosts will move in for melee, but one a turn for the first four turns will use Frightful Moan.

Bodak (2b) lurks at the tip of the last finger. This horrific creature will wait for the Ghosts to move forward, then come into view and begin using his gaze attack. The Bodak clutches a Divine Salve, which may be recovered off of his corpse.

There is a corpse at the end of each finger from when the Ghosts came.  The southernmost corpse is wearing +2 O-yoroi Armor, an excellent prize.

3: Right Arm

When his enemies attacked with vile machines and spells, Haradim held out his massive hand to block them. As a result, the horrible, cowardly devices became embedded within his magnificent digits. At the end of each of Haradims fingertips sits dormant death. Although these devices will activate with the approach of humanoids, they cause Haradim constant pain. Please, remove them or activate them once and for all.

Haradim’s right hand plays host to five rather dangerous traps. Each of these traps will only activate if a humanoid enters the square. This means that summoning outsiders or animals onto the traps will do nothing. The two simplest options are to find and disable the traps, or set them off.

Although our heroes can gather that the tip of each finger contains a trap, they still need to use perception to locate exactly where in the square the trap is.

Our heroes may attempt to find and disable the traps from the adjacent square. Although attempting to disarm the traps from adjacent squares will prevent the traps from going off due to proximity, the traps will activate if the Disable Device check is failed.

For each trap that effects an area, the area is the square of the trap and a 30 foot line to the east.

For each trap that is successfully disarmed, components worth 500gp may be collected.

3a: A Cone of Cold Trap lies here, requiring a DC 30 Perception check and a DC 30 Disable Device check. If it goes off it deals 15d6 cold damage (DC 17 Reflex save halves) in a 30 foot line.

3b: An Insanity Mist Trap lies here, requiring a DC 25 Perception Check and a DC 20 Disable Device check.

3c: A magic trap sits dormant here. It casts Horrid Wilting (CL 18, Fortitude DC 25), but can be spotted with a DC 20 Perception check and disarmed with a DC 25 Disable Device Check.

3d: A Fireball (Maximized) Trap waits to do 60 fire damage to any within 20 feet (DC 14 Reflex Save Halves). A DC 15 check will spot the trap and a DC 30 disable device check will disarm it.

3e: A Molten Brass Trap lies here, requiring a DC 25 Perception check and a DC 29 Disable Device Check. Unlike its description, there is no onset delay for this trap.

4: Lung

When Haradim fell into the the Great River, he inhaled a great deal of water and a serpent’s egg. The egg has now hatched, and the creature has made his home in the lungs of my Master, feeding on the acidic mixture the infected lungs produce. Kill the creature, and the lungs will heal.

The lung is partially flooded with slightly acidic water to about a foot in depth. The entire area is difficult terrain. Characters are dealt 1 acid damage for each square they enter, and d6 acid damage if they end their turn in the acid. Note that the acid seeps out of the lungs slightly into the chest cavity.

A Young Adult Brine Dragon (4a) has made his home amidst the soupy goo. Once the Brine Dragon has spotted the heroes, he will immediately attack.

If the Brine Dragon finds himself trapped in the lungs without any targets (for example, if our heroes have retreated), he has two options. Both options are full round actions that provoke.

First, he may slurp up some of the goo covering the walls and floor of the lung, healing himself 6d6 hit points. He may do this as many times as he likes.

Second, he may eat his way out of the lungs, destroying a 10 foot wide section of the lung within his threatened area. The wall in this area disappears for several minutes, and acid floods out to all squares within 10 feet of the opening.

After the Brine Dragon is killed, the water will seep into the lungs and surrounding flesh, then disappear. Any destroyed walls will rejuvenate. The blood in the surrounding tissue will turn from black to red, and, if the heart is beating, this color change will occur throughout the level.

5: Heart Chamber

My master’s sturdy heart has stopped beating. If you do not apply the Divine Salve, then I would suggest a massive influx of electricity. If it beats once in response, then a quick and sturdy hit with a blunt weapon will get it started.

On the floor in the middle of this gruesome room is a massive, shriveled and blacked heart about the size of a horse (5a). Large pipe-like arteries connect it to the ground, and a coagulated black ooze slowly seeps from the connections. It smells terrible.

Despite the disheartening scene, some defibrillation and CPR should do the trick.

First the heart requires a dose of electric current. If our heroes are able to do 20 electricity damage to the heart in one turn (the heart automatically fails any saves), then it will beat once. If our heroes deal electricity damage but fail to hit the correct amount, then the heart will harden a bit and the amount of electricity damage needed will increase by 5.

If the heart beats once, it must be dealt 20 damage with a bludgeoning weapon in a single attack roll within a single turn. The heart is immune to both sneak attack and critical hits. If our heroes fail to do this amount of bludgeoning damage within a turn, then the heart will harden, our heroes will need to attempt the electric shock again, scar tissue will form, and the amount of bludgeoning damage needed will increase by 5.

A sunder attempt may be made in place of the bludgeoning damage, with a CMB needed equal to the bludgeoning damage needed.

The heart cannot be killed, and our heroes should feel free to swing away.

Divine Salve may be applied to the heart instead of these attempts, which will immediately rejuvenate it.

Once the heart is restarted, either through CPR or through the Divine Salve, it immediately inflates and starts pumping blood throughout the body. If the lungs have not yet healed, the blood is still black but no longer chunky. If the lungs have already been saved, the blood is bright red.

6: Stomach

A demon of hunger and famine has taken up residence in my Master’s stomach. As long as this demon lives here, my master cannot gain the energy to heal. Do not be fooled by what you see here, but kill the demon before Haradim wastes away.

The tan insides of the stomach pulse and contract at irregular times, occasionally extruding a thin yellow liquid in streams. Large pulpy masses of brown slop lie in piles on the floor, providing difficult terrain (6c). The stench is of bile and stomach acid.

Despite these altogether unwholesome trappings, a massive feast sits in a pile in the center of the stomach (6a). The roast duck, seared pork, and juicy apples may prove too much for some adventurers, and a DC 23 Will save is needed to resist the feast. Any who fail this save rush forward and spend a full round devouring the food – which, of course, turns out to be an illusion covering partially digested, bile-infused sludge. The unlucky heroes who digest this must make a DC 26 Fortitude save or become nauseated for d4 rounds. A successful save reduces the penalty to sickened for d4 rounds.

Meanwhile, a Meladaemon, the demonic personification of starvation, waits around the corner. He will leap into attack at the opportune moment, likely after our heroes have become nauseated or sickened. Note also the Meladaemon's Consumptive Aura, which will take effect on any creatures within 20 feet and line of effect.  Remove the Meladaemon's immunity to critical hits, but increase his hunger and consumptive damage to 2d6 nonlethal each.

When killed, the Meladaemon will vomit out a Divine Salve.

There are two small trinkets glistening within the goop. They are spotted automatically after the fight. The first is a small stone tablet transcribed with a riddle in a long dead language. The riddle is based in word play and general punnery and would get lost in translation with Comprehend Languages and similar spells (which reveal the puzzle to be "What's once is then duck soup, then once twice thrice pheasant soup"). However, a Linguistic DC 20 check is enough to solve it ("a stalk of grain," hilarious in the original language). Each character may only attempt this check once. If successful, the stone tablet transforms into a block of pure gold worth 1,500gp.

Nearby in the ooze is a small, magical and very old puzzle cube. The puzzle is not difficult, but wielding the correct proportion of magical energy to manipulate it is. A DC 25 Use Magic Device check is sufficient to open the cube and reveal a gleaming ruby worth 1,500gp. Failing the check twice results in the cube locking up and becoming inoperable.

A DC 25 Perception check will also spot a Ring of Sustenance gleaming in the goop.

7: Left Leg

My Master was stabbed with a cursed spear as he fled the battle. Although most of the spear is long since gone, the wound has become horribly infected and the curse remains. Please do what you can to treat it, or use the Divine Salve.

Most of the leg is safe ground for our heroes. However, as they proceed forward they will notice pulsing purple veins through the flesh, and the horrible stench of rot. These maladies originate in a slowly bleeding gash at the heel. (7a) The very tip of the spear, a 3 foot long chunk of jagged obsidian carved with glowing purple runes, has broken off and sits partially embedded in the flesh near the arch (7b).

There are two issues here: the curse and the infection.

The curse may be removed with the Remove Curse spell against a DC of 25. If this is not an option, our heroes may examine the spear tip. A DC 25 Spellcraft check on the spear will give our heroes enough knowledge to quickly craft and execute a counterspell, removing the curse. With each failure the magic auras around the runes become more muddled, and the DC increases by 2.

If the curse is removed through spellcraft, the spear tip transforms into a +1 Vicious Longsword with the Fragile Property. If the curse is removed through Remove Curse, our heroes may still examine the spear tip to determine that Spellcraft could be used to make it into a weapon.

The infection may be removed with the Remove Disease spell against a DC of 25. If this is not an option, a DC 25 Heal check may be used. With each failure the wound becomes more infected, and the DC increases by 2.

Applying the Divine Salve to the wound will cure both the curse and the infection. When both the curse and infection are cured, the smell of rot is removed and the purple veins return to their normal color.

8: Right Leg

"Be careful where you tread.  When Haradim fled the battlefield, foul insects crawled within his pores.  They have been feasting upon his rejuvenating flesh, but will turn their attention to any intruders."

As our heroes continue through the right leg, they will notice that the flesh is riddled with small holes that slowly ooze blood. When our heroes cross through the center of the calf (approximately 8a) two Tick Swarms will tunnel through the skin and engage in combat: One at the heel (8b) and one at the knee (8c). These Tick Swarms will be able to move through the walls of flesh as if they had the burrow ability.

At the very tip of Haradim’s toe, a skeleton in the fetal position spoons a Divine Salve. The corpse appears to have the rotted remains of a bow and some armor around him, but three +1 arrows remain, each with the combined Corrosive Burst, Shocking Burst, and Icy Burst Arrows properties (a +7 Bonus equivalent). These arrows are worth nearly 2,000gp a piece, and get ready to giggle over your players deciding what to do with them.

9: Head

When our heroes have finished all of the other tasks, the throat will open. As soon as any ooze can see any hero they attack.

The head is a large cavern lined with skull that stretches 40 feet upwards. A Carnivorous Blob (8a) sits on the floor comfortably reaching up and eating away at the regenerating brain which is suspended by ligaments in the air.

Note that although the Carnivorous Blob is listed as Colossal, play him as Huge with 15 foot reach. Do not change any of his other statistics due to this size difference.  Remove his constrict ability and split ability, as well as his DR and electricity and fire resistances.  Keep his acid immunity.  Adjust his reactive strike ability such that he does not split or strike back against slashing or sonic attacks.

The Carnivorous Blob is flanked by two Brain Oozes, comfortably chomping away at the eyeballs which stick out of the ground (8b).

The oozes will immediately turn their attention to the fresher flesh of our heroes.

Once the oozes are dead, Haradim will begin to stir. The entire level will quake, and the flesh will shudder as muscles tighten. Tik will quickly say:

For the first time in uncountable millennia, my master stirs! I cannot thank you enough, heroes, saviors, adventurers, whatever you may be. But you must quickly go, before Haradim awakens. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, and when Haradim’s initial rage has subsided I will tell him of your courage and kindness. Your reward will be beyond measure! You should only need to wait a few thousand years!

And with that, Tik will teleport our heroes away.

Sleeping on Level 10

Any hero who sleeps or stays too long within Haradim risks becoming infected. For every 6 hours that pass within Haradim, our heroes should make a DC 18 Fortitude save against each of the following diseases separately. The onset for each of these diseases is instantaneous.

The diseases are Brainworms, Athrakitis, Blightburn Sickness, and Bonecrusher Fever.

The Fortitude saves must be made every 6 hours within Haradim. The diseases are not cured when leaving Haradim.

If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 11, then distribute 25,000 gold amongst them evenly.

Level 11: Mansion

Roll20 Map by Jamie "RedClaws" Bosmans:

You may purchase printable PDFs of the entire dungeon here, including the secret final level not available online.

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


  1. Excellent again! I'm amazed how you keep coming up with new ideas. 10 dungeons, all so different. 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

    1. Thanks, and I'm glad you are liking them!

      ...hmmm...Time travel could be interested...

  2. The subheading at the top incorrectly claims this to be level 11.

  3. The description for the carnivorous blob states to keep his acid immunity, but then later says to get rid of it:

    "Remove his constrict ability and split ability, as well as his DR and electricity and fire resistances. Keep his acid immunity."

    "Note the Carnivorous Blob's Reactive Strike ability, but remove its acid immunity and resistance to fire and electricity."

    1. Right you are! Keep the acid immunity, it's too thematically in line with the monster to remove.

  4. Should I alter the Carnivorous Blobs Reactive Strike to include slashing and sonic damage since we removed its split ability?

    1. Good call: Adjust his reactive strike ability such that he does not split or strike back against slashing or sonic attacks.

      This was a very tough fight when I ran it, so I'd give the players all the help they can get.

  5. Well this level actually went quite well! Not a single death, just a fairly depressed rogue who kept failing saves.

    The journey began in the swarm of ticks, where fireballs were flung and curses were sang as the rogue and fighter got picked and prodded. Movement to the other foot was met with some confusion, but the group succeeded in fixing the curse.

    The arcanist (a ratling) was somewhat amusingly the only one to fail the will save upon seeing the stomach feast. They dealt with the beast inside handily. The brine dragon gave a bit of trouble, almost dropping the eidolin in a full combo, and the acid was not enjoyed either.

    The heart gave some trouble, and the group gave up and used a precious salve to fix it. The lion was saved with a musical number, lead by the summoner. The ghosts were scary (the eidolin was out of commision when it failed a fort save and took 4 negative levels). And the traps were easily handled.

    The oozes were dealt with using a large ice elemental. Even if the brain sucker would crit and immediately destroy it, it was too dumb to target someone else, and no one needed to approach it when spells would work.

    Overall, a pretty good session! We actually finished within 4 hours, which was good too.

    The following is courtesy of my arcanist player, who has decided Jacob is a massive troll:

    1. Oh my god, he HAS to keep making those Jeopardy boards for the rest of the levels. I cannot wait.

      Sounds like it was a pretty good difficulty balance for your party. And a quick level too!

      Those oozes can be incredibly deadly, so I'm glad that the summons were able to take care of it. Go summoners.