Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jacob's Tower, Level 4: Bernard's Prison

Level 4: Bernard’s Prison
9,500xp / Max 9,775 gp (2.5 - 3.5 Hours)

In Level 4, the PCs will be placed in an unfortunate situation classic to the genre: Prison. All items will be stripped from them, and they will have to make do with just their wits, fists, and whatever else they can find. Sorcerers, Monks, and similar classes will be at a huge advantage over Wizards (who need spellbooks), Gunslingers (who need firearms), Clerics (who need holy symbols), and other item dependent adventurers. However, the more versatile classes and (players) will relish the opportunity to show that they can still perform optimally in sub-optimal circumstances. Depending on composition, some parties may find Level 4 a cake walk, while others will have a very tough time.

Not to fear though. Weapons and other goodies will be found along the way, and halfway through the level, one stolen item, such as a weapon, spellbook, or holy symbol, will be returned to each hero. Level 4 contains fewer encounters than other Levels to make things a bit easier. None-the-less, fights like the Aberrant Masterpiece can still be very, very difficult.

The walls, floor, and ceilings in Bernard’s Prison are made of large, grey granite blocks. Every room is lit by burning torches in evenly spaced wall sconces. The ceiling is about 15 feet high in all Rooms except Room 10.

Important Note: As always, know your players.  While some players will love this change in pace, others will feel cheated and useless.  If you think your players won't enjoy losing their items, then start them with one item and place the rest of their items in Room 5.  If you do this, add an additional Goblin Dog to Room 2, an two additional Zombies to Room 4, apply the advanced template to the Centipede in Room 6, and add an additional Chon Chon and two Sagari to second turn of the Aberrant Masterpiece.

In Transit: The Sentence

After stepping on the platform at the end of Level 3, the party is suddenly plunged into darkness. In the inky black, they know they have each been separated from the rest of the group and are standing on a podium in the middle of an immense room. Even through the darkness, they can feel a thousand angry eyes staring them at them. A deep, booming voice reads all of their past transgressions, sins, and errors. Each character should make a DC 10 Will save to avoid breaking down during the verbal onslaught. For every step away from Chaotic Evil, characters take a -2 penalty on this save due to shame. For example, Neutral Evil characters take a -2 penalty, True Neutral characters take a -4 penalty, Lawful Neutral characters take a -6 penalty, and Lawful Good characters take a -8 penalty.

After the transgressions have been read, each of our characters feels a thousand rough hands ripping his possessions from him. If the character made the previous Will save, he may attempt a single DC 20 Sleight of Hand check to keep a small item, such as a light weapon, hand crossbow, holy symbol, or spell book. Characters are at a +2 bonus to conceal a dagger, and a +4 bonus to conceal very small items such as a single coin, shuriken, or ring. Any animal companions or familiars are taken as well, though tiny or smaller animal companions or familiars may be concealed instead of an item.

Room 1: You Wake Up in a Cell…

Our heroes groggily come to in a prison cell 24 hours later. They are hungry, thirsty, and sore. All items except for those concealed, including spell books and holy symbols, are gone. Any prepared spell casters can only remember preparing one spell of each spell level, but spontaneous casters have access to their full retinue.

By the time our heroes wake up, they will have been without food and drink for a full 24 hours. Penalties due to thirst will start to set in for each character in a number of hours equal to his Constitution score. Check the Starvation and Thirst rules for more information on how to apply these penalties.

Any familiars or animal companions who have been taken may make a DC 15 Escape Artist check, and then a DC 15 Stealth check. If the creature makes both of these checks, he escapes from his captors and sneaks into Room 1 with our heroes as they are waking up. However, the familiar lacks any memory of his captivity beyond a vague notion of being tied up and escaping.

The hands and feet of each PC is bound. Fortunately the knots are poorly made, and a mere DC 10 Escape Artist check or Strength check is all that is needed to break free.

The cell is locked, but keys dangle loosely from a hook 15 feet away (1d). These keys will open all cells in this room, but nothing else on the Level. A shaggy, friendly looking dog sits next to the keys and pants, staring vacantly at our heroes (1e).

A DC 35 Escape Artist check will see a Medium sized character wriggle through the bars. Small characters need only a 30. Anything smaller (such as Tiny Familiars) can leave the cell automatically. Every DC 27 Strength check to bend the bars lowers the Escape Artist Check by 5.

A DC 20 Handle Animal check will get the dog to retrieve the keys. Every failure confuses and excites the dog, and the DC is temporarily raised to 25 for half an hour. If they can figure no other way out of the cell, our heroes may spend a long time trying to get the dog to cooperate, slowly dehydrating in the process.

At any point, a DC 30 Handle Animal check on the dog will get him to fight alongside the PCs for the rest of the Level. Otherwise he will be friendly, but will not leave the room.

There are two other cells in this room. The cell immediately next to the heroes (1b) has a Human named Doug, and the other cell (1c) has a Half-Elf named Bethany. Both will be taciturn and sullen until they see the other heroes escape. If pressed, they will explain that they were heroes who tried Jacob’s Tower but were captured and put in this prison. They have been here for months, if not years. Without daylight it is impossible to tell.

When the heroes escape their cells, Bethany will start pleading with the heroes to release her. She says she can fight with them and get them past the guards. However, a DC 22 Sense Motive check will reveal that she will work against them to curry favor. If released, Bethany will produce but refuse to hand over a dagger. She has the same stats as a Beggar.

Doug will remain taciturn despite the heroes’ escape. He tells the heroes to leave him in his cell, as he doesn’t want to get in trouble with the guards. Our heroes will have two chances to make a DC 22 Diplomacy check to convince him to help. If they succeed, he will attempt to escape with them until he dies. Doug has the stats of CR 1 Initiate.

On a table along the southern wall (1f), there are many scraps of leather, string, wood, and metal. The PCs may attempt three DC 12 Craft (Weapon or Bow, depending) checks to create weapons before all materials are either used up or broken. Each success results in one of the following items with the fragile feature: shortbow, sling, club, dagger, heavy pick, light hammer, or 10 arrows.

For each failure or non-attempt, one improvised sling and one improvised club can be salvaged. Because they are improvised, these salvaged weapons impose a -4 penalty to attack. Regardless of successes or failures, our heroes can salvage a lockpick and 30 sling bullets from the junk.

A unlocked iron door separates Room 1 from Room 2. The door is reasonably soundproof, so the denizens of Room 2 will not hear the heroes escaping unless they start shouting.

Room 2: Gambling Orcs

Two Orcs (2a) sit on wooden chairs over a table (2b). They are engaged in some sort of game with an arrow, spinning it on the table and watching it fall. A mangy and smelly Goblin Dog looks on, confused and occasionally yipping. The entire group is fairly loud and distracted, and suffers -4 penalties to Perception to notice the PCs coming in. If the Goblin Dog notices the heroes before the Orcs, he will spend an entire round to get the Orcs' attention. As soon as they notice the heroes, they will draw weapons and attack.

If Bethany has been saved, she will start shouting “The Prisoners are escaping” as soon as she enters the room, draw her dagger, and engage in combat with the PCs. If Bethany’s dagger has been taken from her, she will shout, then run and cower in the corner.

Each Orc has one falchion and one javelin. Each of these items are made for medium characters and can be looted.

A iron door (2d) sits in the northern wall of this room. A heavy duty combination lock keeps the door closed, although a DC 30 Disable Device check or DC 30 Strength check will open it. A roll of parchment is pinned to the handle. It states:

Note to self –

Gear for Guards. Keep locked. Don’t forget!
Right: Rank of Wizard Spell ‘Vision.’
Left: Region of Heaven that belongs to Andoletta.
Right: Year of the First Siege of Absalom.

– Bernard

A DC 11 Knowledge Arcana check will tell the heroes that Vision is a 7th rank Wizard Spell. A DC 11 Knowledge Planes check will reveal that Andoletta is the 4th region of Heaven. A DC 11 Knowledge History check will reveal Absalom was first besieged in the year 23. If our heroes can get all of these, then the door opens. However, each character can only attempt each Knowledge checks once.  After three failed attempts the lock will stop working, fuse, and no longer open.

Room 3: Guards’ Armory

Beyond the door is a small and not too impressive armory. It contains a number of basic weapons which our heroes would normally ignore, but which now could prove very useful. The armory houses 5 longswords, 5 bucklers, and 5 pieces of leather armor (3a). Two of each of these items are small sized, while the rest are medium sized.

Tucked away in a corner (3b) is a pouch with spell components, an Extend Metamagic rod (Lesser), and a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 10 charges (CL1).

Room 4: Torture Chamber

The door between Room 2 and Room 4 is slightly ajar. Inside is a frightening sight, horrific torture devices such as a Rack and a Judas Cradle (4a). These items are about 3 feet tall, though they are very difficult to stand on.  There is also an Iron Maiden and a Brazen Bull which extends to the ceiling and provide full cover (4b).

Littered throughout the room are 4 lifeless corpses and one skeleton draped among the devices. If touched or attacked, the corpses will come to life as Zombies to attack the heroes. If they are not touched or attacked, wait two or three rounds and then bring them all to life. The Zombies must take a full round action that provokes to spring to life and stand up.

The Skeleton (4d) carries a small fiddle, and will begin to play a chilling song. Every round, the sounds of a different instrument will join the tune until the sounds of a full blown orchestra emanate from the fiddle. As long as he is playing, all Zombies in the room gain +1 to attack and damage, and will be clear that all Zombies are swaying slightly to the music.

The fiddle is actually a magical item, functionally identical to the Pipes of Sounding except that it takes a Perform (String instruments) check to activate.

A heavy iron door to the west is locked with a DC 30 lock.

A small table in the south western corner of the room houses three books on torture, as well as a note (4e). The note reads:

Note to self –

Real key in my favorite book. Fake keys in those inaccurate books I got on my birthday.  They don’t even understand basic anatomy. Garbage.

– Bernard

Upon examining “On Pain,” our heroes will find a copper key. A DC 15 Heal check will reveal that this book appears to be accurate. Placing this key in the door will open it. Additionally, “On Pain” will act as a masterwork tool for the Heal skill.

Upon examining “Breaking the Spirit,” our heroes will find a silver key. A DC 15 Heal check will reveal that this book has a number of serious mistakes regarding humanoid anatomy. Placing this key in the door will set off a Poison Dart Trap that automatically aims at the nearest PC.

Upon examining “Beyond Sanity,” our heroes will find a golden key. A DC 15 Heal check will reveal that this book far overestimates the individual’s capacity for pain. Placing this key in the door will set off a Poison Dart Trap that automatically aims at the nearest PC.

The DC 15 Heal checks may only be made once per book, and failing a check reveals the opposite answer. This roll should be made secretly.

Room 5: The Loose Beast

The torture chamber may have been chilling, but this room is just gristly. Blood, organs, and entrails cover the walls in dark splatter marks. Five half-orc corpses are spread around the room. Most are dismembered, and some are barely recognizable as anything more than a quivering pile of red Jello.

The cages on the western wall have been torn open in a tangle of bent bars and shredded steel. The northern most cage is empty, and the other cages contain piles of blood and guts that may have once been animals.

It is immediately apparent what has caused this carnage. A Yeth Hound stands with his back towards the door, feasting loudly on one of the corpses. Normally frightening enough, this emaciated (and recently emancipated) canine is splattered with blood, his skin matted with flecks of pink flesh and brain. He eats loudly, and is at a -4 penalty to notice our heroes approach. When he does notice them, his first attack will be to bay. After that, the Hound will attack whomever is closest.

There are a number of large boxes along the southern wall of the room, one for every PC. Each PC’s name is pinned to the top of one of the boxes. Ask each player what one item he wants back, be it holy symbol, spellbook, weapon, familiar, animal companion, or potion. That is the item inside the box.

At this point, prepared spellcasters and others may want to sleep for the night. If they still do not have access to water or food, let them know that thirst and starvation rules will apply. If they still wish to rest, apply the rules appropriately hour by hour. Otherwise, our heroes will be unmolested.

By the northern most cage, a heavily blood-splattered but still legible note is pinned to the wall:

Note to self –

Don’t forget to feed the Yeth Hound! If I don’t feed him he might get angry.

– Bernard

Fed Tuesday,
Fed Wednesday,
Fed Thursday (A little late today),
Fed Saturday (But left most of his food outside, I’ll get it later)
Fed Sunday (Maybe? Can’t remember)
Fed Wednesday (Looks Angry)

Our heroes can search the corpses if they like. On most they find nothing, although a DC 15 Perception check will reveal that one has a diamond ring worth 200gp.

Room 6: Centipede and Bernard’s Corpse

A Giant Whiptail Centipede  (6a) is crammed into this small room. He is feasting on Bernard’s corpse (6b), and thus will take a -4 to Perception to notice our heroes. However, given the extremely tight quarters, the creature will likely notice them quickly.

A patch of ground near the eastern wall has been torn up, revealing dirt and loose stone. This area is difficult terrain.

The Centipede had been eating Bernard’s stomach and thighs, so his face is mostly intact. Bernard is an ugly Orc with massive scars across his face. A note in his pocket reads:

Note to self –

The Green Door will only open if I tell it to open.

– Bernard

P.S. Gotta get rid of the Centipede. It keeps tunneling in here.

Along the eastern wall there is a very strange Green Door with two gigantic eyes and a mouth, but no door handle (6c). If our heroes tell it to open, it will simply say “You are not Bernard,” and will not open. To fool it, one of our heroes needs to make a DC 20 Disguise check to look like Bernard. He can use the corpse as reference. Alternatively, a DC 20 Heal check can carefully remove Bernard's face from his skull, which will fool the door if worn as a mask.  Propping the corpse up in front of the door will do nothing unless the corpse is somehow made to speak.

At the south eastern corner of the room (6d) is a wooden door with a note attached to it. The note reads:

Note to self –

Don't forget, do NOT go through this door. There are a ton of traps.  Just take the secret door. Don’t forget, [strange symbols and runes]”

– Bernard

A DC 22 Linguistics check will reveal that the strange symbols and runes say “press the third stone on the wall left of the corner in the left cell” in Orc. Alternatively, knowledge of the Orc language will reveal the writing.

The secret door is in the southern cell on the west side of the room (6e). Finding it without reading the Orc on the note takes a DC 30 perception check. Finding it after reading the Orc is automatic.

Room 7: Bernard’s Gear

The door opens up to what is clearly Bernard’s personal gear, a real treasure trove. An ornate set of green +1 Chainmail and samurai helmet is displayed on a stand in the center of the room. An Amulet of Natural Armor +1 with complex jade carvings hangs around the armor’s neck. Two Masterwork Wakizashi’s are crossed on the wall. One is Alchemical Silver, with an engraving of a slain werewolf on the blade. The other is cold iron, with an engraving of a demon cut in two.

Room 8: Traps, Traps, and more Traps

Hopefully, your heroes will be able to avoid this room altogether by discovering the secret passage. If not, they have a rough time ahead of them. This room is filled to the brim with traps. However, with a high enough perception and disable device, the hazards of this room can be identified and disarmed without causing too much damage.

8a: Burning Hands Trap, activated by pressure plate.

8b: Rock Deadfall, activated by trip wire and affecting its own square and one square west of it.

8c: Filthy Slasher Trap, activated by proximity.

8d: Ungol Dust Trap, activated by pressure plate.  When activated, the gas billows from that area and affects any within the hallway.

8e: Fireball Trap, activated by proximity.

8f: Wall Scythe Trap, activated by location.

After all of that, the wooden door is both unlocked and untrapped.

Room 9: Secret Passage

If our heroes have found the secret passageway, then they have saved themselves a lot of trouble. The passageway is dark and cramped, but there are no traps to be found. The path leads directly to a door to Room 10, which is unlocked and not hidden from either side.

Room 10: Aberrant Masterpiece

This room is larger than other rooms, with complex designs and runes scrawled into the walls. At the top of a 40 foot tall domed ceiling is a horrifying mural: a complex and sprawling oil painting depicting strange and otherworldly aberrations. The work is actually very impressive, a mesmerizing masterpiece by all accounts, a Sistine chapel of bizarre Eldritch horrors. There are three types of creatures set against a backdrop of disquieting and whirling stars.

Tiny green-eyed, fanged horse heads with tentacles for bodies wheel through the foreground. A DC 12 Dungeoneering check will reveal these as Sagari, flying aberrations who can sicken with their whinnies.

Among the Sagari, flying humanoid heads flap their incredibly large ears to keep aloft. A DC 14 Dungeonering Check will reveal these as Chon Chon, insane creatures who shoot acid and interfere with spells through their constant jabbering.

Lastly, two squat, frog-like creatures stands on their feet, glowing white eyes appearing to grow brighter as our heroes watch. A DC 16 Dungeoneering check will reveal these as Blindheim, strange magical beasts who can blind enemies with their eyes.

As our heroes watch in horror and amazement, creatures begin to peel off the ceiling and fly towards them.  Roll initiative.

On the first turn, 2 Sagari and 2 Chon Chon peel from the wall as a move action in the surprise round. On the second turn, 1 Sagari and 1 Chon Chon peel from the wall as a move action. On the third and the fourth turn, a single Blindheim peels from the wall and lands prone on the ground as a move action. Both Blindeims take 1d6 points of non lethal and 2d6 points of lethal damage from the impact. Each creature should generate in a random square, so roll to determine where each lands.

Once all the monsters are defeated, our heroes have a few moments to rest. Then, once all heroes are in this room, they are suddenly afflicted by a feeling of weightlessness before being pulled up and into the mural. After passing through the mural, they suddenly find that they are re-equipped with all of their gear and falling fast into Level 5, Runewall.

If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 5, then distribute 9,200 gold amongst them evenly.

Sleeping: Starvation

Our heroes may sleep anywhere they like on this level without fear of being bothered. However, there is no food or drink, and without their packs our heroes are going to get very hungry. Follow the standard rules for starvation and thirst.

Level 5: Runewall

Here's a Roll20 compatible map from Anthony Crain.

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

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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jacob's Tower, Level 3: Corridors and Chasms

Level 3: Corridors and Chasms
15,200xp / Max 13,076 gp (3.5 - 4.5 Hours)

Caution is the name of the game in Corridors and Chasms. The PCs should stick together, stay alert, and look out for each other. Level 3 features small hallways and tight corners, so creativity will become a necessity in battle tactics. Four ghosts haunt these halls, and our PCs will learn that social skills are useful even inside Jacob’s Tower. Another important lesson: Bring a rope!

Room 1: Entrance

A steel spiral staircase leads incongruously into the dingy, dirty, and dark entrance to Level 3. This gives the heroes a taste of what is ahead, so be sure to describe it fully.

Room 1 is small and damp. Rotting wooden beams barely hold crumbling dirt walls and ceilings in place, and there is the vague sense of an impending cave in. Strange smells suffuse the air, and a rich earthy scent fills the PCs’ nostrils. The dirt ground beneath their feet is uneven and spongy, and our heroes get the sense that they are deep underground in some old abandoned mine.

Although the walls between corridors are thin and made of dirt, any attempts to dig through them will prove fruitless. Some strange magic keeps these walls in place and prevents passage.

Importantly, there is no light nor any torches, even though there are empty torch sconces every twenty feet or so. The PCs will have to generate their own light. Be sure to follow the rules for light, as they could have a great impact on what happens in this level.

Although the rest of the dungeon is pitch black, a vague blue light emanates from down the corridor to the east. It is the ghostly glow emanating from Billy in Room 2, and our heroes are likely to investigate it.

Room 2: Billy, The Feasting Ghost

Ghostly torches lit with eerie blue light line the walls of this dirt feasting hall. A long wooden table is set for a grand meal (2b) – crisped chickens wings dripping with fat, thick ribs drenched in sauce, whole pigs complete with apples, even cornucopias overflowing with the juiciest fruit. There are exactly as many empty chairs around this table as there are PCs, and our heroes must make a DC 10 Will save upon seeing the feast or be overcome with ravenous hunger for three rounds. Strangely enough, the feast is not in any way trapped. It will magically replenish itself if our heroes eat, but will cause no ill effects (except, perhaps, indigestion and lethargy). However, the PCs will probably be wary of magical feasts and will refrain despite the host’s coaxing.

At the southern end of the room is an intimidating 30 foot wide steel door with a heavy duty lock (2c). The lock is a combination lock with four spaces for numbers. There is a name scrawled beneath each digit which indicates the order to input the numbers: Eravyl, Durdam, Clobber, William. The correct numbers are: “7, 5, 2, 3” and the door will quickly retract into the ground when the numbers are entered.

The door itself is 30 feet wide, a foot thick of steel, and has a several high level magical protections which our heroes will not be able to breach at level 3. Attempting to open the door with the wrong code will trigger an arc of electricity to shoot from the door through the nearest PC in a 40 foot line, dealing 4d6 electricity damage (DC 20 Reflex save halves) to all in its path. If Billy is caught in this line, he is immune to the damage.

At the head of the table is a fairly solid apparition, a good looking ghost dressed in fine adventuring clothes. As soon as the PCs enter the level the ghost becomes aware of them, and will call out to them as they approach. He will introduce himself as Billy and heartily welcome our guests, encouraging them to eat but taking no offense if they do not. Billy is a handsome, gregarious human with a big smile who will eat and actually devour the replenishing food as he talks. He will engage our heroes in conversation, importantly asking where they are from and how their adventure has been so far.

As a GM, choose a town that all of our heroes have spent some time in. Coincidentally, this is the same town that Billy and his comrades are from! As Billy references specific people and places, he explains that he and his crew were an adventuring party who were killed by a wraith and then captured by Jacob’s tower.

Billy then explains that there are four ghosts on this level, including himself. Our heroes must gain a number from each one of them, then put those numbers in order to open the combination lock on the door at the southern end of the room. He then explains who the other adventurers are.

Eravyl is an Elven Paladin, a worshipper of the god Sarenrae (feel free to replace Sarenrae with a god from your pantheon). She will only give her number to a Paladin or Cleric of Sarenrae and our heroes may have to claim to have those religious leanings to earn her trust.

Durdam is a Dwarven rogue, a friendly chap with a heart of gold who enjoys the company of all, but particularly Dwarves. However, his death has made him lonely and to gain his number out heroes will have to gain his friendship.

Clobber is an Orcish barbarian, but a true coward at heart and particularly afraid of the Fey. Now that he is incorporeal he can no longer beat his enemies senseless, and our heroes will have to intimidate the number out of him.

Billy suggests that different bits leverage, including information regarding the town they are all from, could be used to assist in these efforts.

When the PCs have all the other numbers, Billy will let them know the last number. At this point, he will look the PCs straight in the eyes and say "It is one of these numbers: 1, 2, or 3." He will not repeat himself. The PCs may try to discern which number it was by analyzing the way he spoke.  Did he speak any number with accidental emphasis?  Did he stutter? Make a DC 14 Sense Motive check for each player without the players seeing the rolls.  Failing the check will reveal that the number is likely 2. Succeeding at the check will reveal that this number is probably 3. To hinder metagaming and guessing against PCs with low sense motive, any PCs with a sense motive of 4 or less will be totally flummoxed and not have any idea regardless of roll. The number is indeed three.

If Billy is attacked, he will at first tell them to stop. If our heroes do not stop, he will transform into a Wraith Spawn. If he is then killed, he will whisper the number “3” as he dies.

Room 3: Western Corridors

3a: There are a number of 30 foot chasms scattered around the Western Corridors. The sides of these chasms have a climb DC of 25, though by utilizing the corners the DC is reduced to 20. As always, climbing up a rope with a wall to brace against requires only a DC 5 climb check.

3b: In this section of hallway, some rubble in the ceiling is loosely held up by a weak beam. A DC 20 Knowledge (Engineering) check will identify the issue, and the GM should automatically make these rolls for anybody with that skill as they approach. If the danger is identified and communicated to the party, then the PCs need only walk lightly and hazard is averted. If the danger is not discovered, the first creature who weights more than 200 pounds with gear who passes by the beam dislodges it with his heavy footfalls. The beam cracks, dealing 4d6 points of bludgeoning damage in the form of medium sized rocks upon his head (Reflex 19 halves). Luckily, this structural collapse does not cause a full blown cave in, just a small rockslide.

3c: At the end of this hallway is a single 8 foot statue with the torso, head, arms, and wings of a dragon, but waist and legs of a Kobold. The statue has two rubies for eyes, each worth 200gp, which can be pried loose with a DC 15 Disable Device check or a DC 20 Strength Check. However, the statue is a Fireburst Statue, and will shoot flames the first time it is touched.

3d: A dozen steep stone stairs leads to a hallway that is about 10 feet below the rest of the level. Although the area looks innocuous, poisonous gas has been pooling here since the last group of adventurers. Any PC with ranks in Knowledge (Dungeoneering) should attempt a DC 15 Knowledge Dungeoneering check upon entering the area to notice the slight acrid scent as “Bitter Air” and let the other heroes know to hold their breaths. Every turn after the second that a player stays in the poisonous gas he coughs uncontrollably, gaining the staggered condition and halving his movement speed. Each round he must make a DC 11 Fortitude check or be dealt d4 damage, coughing up bits of lung and blood. Holding one’s breath negates the effects, although those who are already coughing find it impossible to stop coughing long enough to do this.

3e: At the bottom of this 30 foot pit, a long dead adventurer lies decaying. It will take a DC 30 Perception check to notice him without any clues, though our heroes may see him after they check out the treasure chest at 3f. The Adventurer has various minor goodies: two 50 foot lengths of Spider Silk Rope, a masterwork flute, a dose of Antitoxin, a Thunderstone, and a single bottle of half drunk wine worth nothing after months of being uncorked.

3f: A closed treasure chest sits at the end of this passage. Masterwork thieves tools lie near the chest, scattered about as if they had been quickly dropped. A DC 15 Perception check notices that the dirt has been stained with blood here, and a trail of blood leads away from the chest to the chasm at 3e. The lock, which requires a DC 20 Disable Device check to open, is in the shape of a skull. If touched, it activates an Acid Spraying Skulls Trap. The pickings of the chest are meager, a mere 75gp in strange, otherworldly silver coins.

3g: At the end of this corridor, our heroes may make a DC 15 Perception check to see a small hole in the wall with a diameter of about an inch. Through this hole they can make out a room with three eggs about 1 foot high and 2 feet wide. However, due to the magical nature of the walls, the hole cannot be expanded. The eggs are magically shielded, and will resist any spell or projectile thrown at them.

Room 4: Eastern Corridors 

4a: There are a number of 30 foot chasms scattered around the Western Corridors. The sides of these chasms have a climb DC of 25, though by utilizing the corners the DC is reduced to 20. As always, climbing up a rope with a wall to brace against requires only a DC 5 climb check.

4b: This corridor is a simple dead end, with nothing in it.  However, expect the players to spend a bit of time trying to find something.

4c: At the end of this hallway, a large wooden treasure chest sits locked. However, both the treasure chest and the ground it sits on is a Silent Image. Any PC entering its square make a DC 14 Will save or fall 30 feet into a chasm. If the adventurer makes the save, he must immediately make a Reflex 10 save to catch himself, or fall in the pit anyway.

4d: At the end of this hallway is a Wax Golem, which will immediately attack upon seeing our heroes. Keep in mind that the Wax Golem is immune to any spell or spell like ability that allows spell resistance. When the Golem is killed, a DC 10 Perception check will reveal a diamond worth 500gp in his remains.

4e & 4f: At the end of this hallway, there is an open chest with the key still sticking out of it. The chest looks like it has been cleaned out, and only two dozen gold pieces remain. However, the wall behind the chest is a Silent Image. If any hero touches it or interacts with it, he may make a DC 14 Will save to disbelieve it. Behind the Silent Image is a masterwork heavy steel shield (small) that has been lined with emeralds worth 750gp, and a masterwork falcata (small) inlaid with rubies worth 950 gp.

4g: A hidden door connects the Eastern Corridors to Room 10. Although it is unlocked, it takes a Perception 25 check to notice it.

Room 5: Precious Metals 

On the eastern wall of this room there is a short wooden table with at least 40 unassuming stones. To the trained eye, each of these stones is made of something different, from common quartz, to well crafted bronze, to Celestial Mithral. On the table is a small piece of paper, which says in common, “Touch only the most valuable.” To determine the most valuable metal, make a Knowledge (Dungeoneering) or Appraise check. When a stone is touched, it instantly transforms into an amount of gold equal to twenty five times the check. All other metals on the table turn to dust.

Room 6: The Spider and the Flies

As our heroes approach Room 6, they can hear the loud sound of buzzing. When they can see inside, immediately roll initiative. A Giant Black Widow Spider (6a) is duking it out with four Giant Flies (6b). Webbing covers the floor of this room as per the web spell with a DC of 14, but the Flies are able to easily hover above it. Three of the flies are engaged in combat with the spider, while a fourth looks on. This fourth fly is distracted by the fight, and rolls with a -2 Perception to notice our heroes come in. If the heroes engage in combat, the enemies should attack whomever is closest, favoring each other above the PCs.

Room 7: Eravyl, Elven Paladin

Hovering in the middle of the room, meditating, is Eravyl, Elven Paladin. She is a ghost now, and her corpse lies crumpled in a heap in the north east corner of the room (7a). Both she and her corpse are dressed in impressive white and gold armor, and armed with a sword and shield. If she is attacked she will turn into a Wraith Spawn, but whisper the number “7” as she is killed.

Eravyl is cold and distrustful, believing it possible that our heroes seek the victory over Jacob’s Tower for not altogether pure reasons. She is a Paladin of Sarenrae and will only give her number to a Cleric or Paladin of Sarenrae  If any PCs are Clerics or Paladins of Sarenrae then only a Diplomacy 5 check is necessary to convince Eravyl of the righteousness of their cause. Otherwise, some bluff checks are in order.

Two consecutive DC 14 bluff checks are necessary to convince Eravyl that the PC's are emissaries of Sarenrae and that she should give over  her number, "7." For each failure, the DC of the checks increases by two. If the DC ever reaches 22, Eravyl transforms into a Wraith Spawn and attacks. PCs may gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent diplomacy rolls by first making a DC 10 Knowledge (Religion) check to determine a bit of Sarenrae dogma. They may also gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent diplomacy rolls by first making a DC 10 Knowledge (Local) check, perhaps explaining what the Sarenrae shrine in town looks like. If the person bluffing is actually a worshiper of Sarenrae  he or she gets +4 to all bluff rolls.

If any of these bluff checks are a 20 or above, or if the heroes have no failures, then Eravyl will tell the heroes to check her corpse for useful items and take what they need. Otherwise, she will tell them not to desecrate the corpse, and will turn into a Wraith Spawn if they do.

Eravyl's corpse is wearing +1 full plate with ornate gold and white enamel worth 3000gp, a Longsword (15gp), a Tower Shield (30gp), a small gold holy symbol of Sarenrae worth 50gp, and a copy of The Works of Sarenrae worth 10gp. If the holy symbol is ever sold or destroyed, all gold in party’s possession weighs twice as much and Sarenrae will begin appearing in the party’s dreams until the act is somehow rectified.  Immediately before selling it, everybody in the party may make a Knowledge (Religion) 15 check to realize this would be a bad idea.

Room 8: Beneath a Graveyard

The dirt in this room is grayer than the rest of the level, and the air hangs heavy with the stink of death. The bottom halves of a dozen gravestones protrude from the ceiling at even intervals, and gray scraggly roots hang down and grow along the walls. A Strength 14 check will pull down a gravestone, which will either say the name of a PC or an NPC the heroes are acquainted with.

Six closed coffins lie evenly spaced in the room. They are dingy and cheap, but do not look old. The first person to open any one of the coffins must make a Will 16 save or fall prey to the Ghoulish Uprising Haunt as he believes the dead corpses of his friends spring from the coffins and attack him. In reality, the coffins hold only unknown corpses, each one clutching an item of his trade that act as masterwork tools for the relevant profession skill: An ornate pen (scribe), a sextant (sailor), a thumbscrew (torturer), a spade (gardener), a set of marked cards (gambler), and a rolling pin (baker). Each of these tools is worth 50gp. After the first coffin has been opened and the Ghoulish Uprising Haunt has taken place, the Haunt ends and the room is inert and harmless.

Room 9: Three Bridges

Three rickety wooden bridges sway uneasily over a 30 foot chasm (9d). To the untrained eye, the bridges are identical. However, a DC 15 Knowledge (Engineering) check for each bridge will reveal its carrying capacity. Failing this check will simply “reveal” that the bridge can carry at least 700 pounds. In reality, the northern bridge (9a) can carry 100 pounds, the middle bridge (9b) can carry 150 pounds, and the southern bridge (9c) can carry 500 pounds. Each bridge will break if the weight on the middle five squares exceeds its carrying capacity. Any spell that would light a ship on fire will also light the bridge on fire.

Walking across the bridge requires one hand, but a character may free his hands for other tasks with a an Acrobatics check of 20.

A DC 25 Perception Check will note dozens of small, fist sized holes in the northern wall.

When the second PC crosses the center of the room, a Swarm of Bats boils forth from the small holes in the northern wall and attacks the unlucky adventurer. While not normally a particularly hard fight, this battle may be made difficult if other PCs rush to help and exceed the carrying capacity of the bridge.

Room 10: Clobber, Orcish Barbarian 

A closed door separates room 9 from room 10. In the center of the room, the ghost of Clobber, Orcish Barbarian (10a) huddles cowering over his corpse. Around him 6 Atomies (10b) dance, teasing, singing, and generally torturing the poor brute.   However, they will stop when the heroes arrive and attack the interlopers.  The Atomies will not attack unless they get sneak attack, and will spend their time using invisibility or flying around to re-manuever.

During the fight, the ghost of Clobber brandishes his +1 Earthbreaker wildly.  The Atomies are used to dodging weapon, and will suffer no penalties.  However, any PC that moves through a square that Clobber threatens will suffer an attack to the tune of +8, 2d6+5.  Any PC that starts his turn in a square that Clobber threatens is subject to the same attack.  When the Atomies are killed, Clobber throws his Earthbreaker onto his corpse.

Once the Atomies are killed, Clobber will thank them for getting rid of the “creepy little people.” However, he will explain that he cannot tell them the number because if he does “bad little men will hurt Clobber.” Clobber isn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch, and speaks in halting, awkwardly constructed sentences missing articles and misusing idioms. Both he and his corpse are dressed only in a loincloth. Intimidate checks are in order to get the information from him.

Two consecutive DC 14 intimidate checks are necessary to convince Clobber to give over his number, "2." For each failure, the DC of the checks increases by two. If the DC ever reaches 22, Clobber transforms into a Wraith Spawn and attacks. The PCs may gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent rolls by making a DC 10 Knowledge (Local) check, perhaps explaining what they did to another denizen of town. Clobber is terrified of Fey, and the PCs may gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent rolls by first making a DC 10 Knowledge (Nature) check to describe some particularly gruesome Fey. If the person intimidating can speak Alko, language of the Fey, he can punctuate his threats with Fey curses to gain a +4 bonus to all rolls.  Gnomes and other fey PCs gain a +10 to these checks.

If any of these intimidate checks are a 20 or above, or if the heroes have no failures, then Clobber will tell the heroes to take his “club” and leave him alone. Otherwise, he will tell them to leave him his weapon, and will turn into a Wraith Spawn if they try to take it.

Clobber’s corpse has only one item: A +1 Earth Breaker worth 2340gp.

If Clobber is attacked, or if the earth breaker is taken without his permission, he will turn into a Wraith Spawn and attack, but whisper the number “2” as he is killed.

At the south eastern corner of this room lies a secret door that connects to the Eastern Corridors. Although the door is unlocked, it will take a Perception 25 check to notice it.

Room 11: Durdam, Dwarven Rogue

Durdam sits quietly in the middle of this room, playing a game of Dwarven Solitaire with a ghostly deck of cards. He is short for a dwarf, with a strangely short beard and big blue eyes. He is pleased to see our heroes come in, and will ask them all about their travels so far.

Durdam will explain that he is happy to give his number, but wants a bit of conversation first. As conversation drags on, it is clear that he just wants somebody to talk to, and may not ever give his number over. A bit of Diplomacy is in order to make him to quit dawdling.

Two consecutive DC 14 Diplomacy checks are necessary to convince Durdam to give over his number, "5." For each failure, the DC of the checks increases by two. If the DC ever reaches 22, Durdam transforms into a Wraith Spawn and attacks. The PCs may gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent rolls by making a DC 10 Knowledge (Local) check, perhaps referencing some mutual acquaintance. Our heroes may also join in a dice game with Durdam, where a DC 10 Professional (Gambler) check will gain a +4 bonus to all subsequent rolls. If the person speaking with Durdam is a Dwarf, or the person chooses to speak in Dwarven, he gets a +4 bonus to all rolls for reminding Durdam of his homeland.

If any of these diplomacy checks are a 20 or above, or if the heroes have no failures, then Durdam will tell the heroes to take whatever they need from his corpse. Otherwise, he will tell them to leave his corpse alone, and will turn into a Wraith Spawn and attack if they try and rob him.

Due to Durdam's unusually diminutive size, he uses small gear.  Durdam’s corpse has a menagerie of items, including a +1 dagger (2302), a buckler (5gp), a sling (0gp), Potion of Invisibility (CL3)(300gp), Potion of Reduce Person (CL1) (50gp), Three doses of Universal Solvent (150gp), an Ioun Torch (75gp), a Key of Lock Jamming (400gp), five helpings of Dwarven Fire Ale (250gp), and an Hourglass that times increments of one minute (20gp).

If Durdam is attacked he will turn into a Wraith Spawn, but whisper the number “5” as he is killed.

Room 12: Hatching Dragons

When our heroes open the door, they will discover two recently hatched dragons and one cracking egg. Ready for battle is a Wyrmling Black Dragon next to onyx shards of egg (12a) and a Wyrmling Brass Dragon next to a broken brass egg (12b). These two attack readily and without mercy!

Behind these two dragons is a hatching egg. Without interference, the egg will hatch in two rounds (using the hatching dragon's initiative). Out will pop a Wyrmling Crystal Dragon (600xp). The Crystal Dragon will be staggered for a turn, and then join the fight at full strength. There is a decent sized hole in the egg when our heroes arrive, and the Crystal Dragon can be attacked through it. The Dragon is considered flat footed while he is breaking out of his shell, and will not take any actions except to escape his eggy prison.

Consider applying the advanced template too these creatures if you think your party can handle it.

After the battle, the broken bits of shell can be harvested for 200gp.

After destroying the dragons, a 20 foot by 20 foot podium about 1 foot tall rises up in the middle of the room.  Once all heroes are standing on it, they are transported to the next level.

If our heroes are only playing Jacob's Tower and are now ranking up to level 4, you do not need to distribute any extra gold to them this level.

Sleeping: Morlocks

Each night our heroes attempt to sleep on this level, they will be attacked by two Morlocks as they doze off.  Each night they will be attacked by an additional Morlock: Three the second night, four the third night, and so on.

Bonus! Little Venecian has 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)