Level 3: Corridors and Chasms
15,200xp / Max 13,076 gp (3.5 - 4.5 Hours)
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
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
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
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
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
Room 6: The Spider and the Flies
Room 7: Eravyl, Elven Paladin
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
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
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
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 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
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.
Jacob's Tower, Levels 1 - 13 ($9.99)