Level 5: Runewall
21,500xp / Max15,050gp (3.5 - 4.5 hours)
Runewall is clearly brimming with magical energies. It is made entirely of black and shining obsidian, and every square inch of the level is carved with complex runes that glow brightly purple.
There are large, 5 foot thick obsidian walls throughout Runewall. These walls are 20 feet tall and are marked in purple on the map. It is possible and sometimes necessary to climb up on top of these walls, and the runes give the walls a Climb DC of 10.
The character who touches a rune crystal is also teleported.
All character should quickly make a DC 20 Spellcraft check. If any character makes the check, he can warn the group to focus on his earliest or most important memory. This will grant a +2 to all subsequent Mindswitch Will saves.
Each character (just characters, not eidolons, animal companions, minions and the like) should make a DC 21 Will Save . If a character fails, he feels his mind being ripped from him. The player should pass his character sheet to the next player who failed the check on his left, and receive a new character sheet from the next player who failed the check on his right. The character’s mind, including all his memories, personality, and beliefs, has just transferred to the body of a new character. He has gained all new skills, attributes, abilities, feats, spells, and abilities scores and understands immediately how to use them. He will be shocked to learn that he no longer remembers how to do some things that were basic to his old body, but suddenly understands new and wondrous ideas. Alignment restrictions to classes are temporarily removed.
If a character dies, it is the character controlling the body who suffers the consequences. The mind that controlled the dead body move on to the afterlife. The dead body is brought back to life at the end of the level, ready for its original owner to return. The body of the dead mind dies at the end of the level and does not advance to the next level. Spells such as resurrection may bring the dead character back to life. Additionally, any permanent damage dealt to any body, such as loss of fingers or ability drain, is healed. The player should be told this rule as a consequence of the mind-switch.
Whenever any character touches a Rune Crystal, Mindswitch occurs again. Each character should make a DC 21 Will save or switch bodies. Mindswitch ends when the level ends.
If only one member of the party fails the save, his mind has nowhere to go and stays put.
Note that players can voluntarily fail any of these saves, which they may want to do to get their character back.
Important Note: Runewall functions just fine without the Mindswitch mechanic. GM's should carefully consider if their players will enjoy the chaos of passing character sheets around and playing somebody else. If your players are more freeform and into roleplaying, they will likely enjoy it. If your players are more into the mechanical side of things and looking forward to flexing their muscles, they may not. Choose wisely, and ask your players if you are unsure.
Protector of the Walls
When the Flame Drake is killed, he will plummet to Runewall. Where he falls, his corpse will smolder and smoke for days, dealing d6 fire damage a round to any in contact with it. Upon his defeat, players may make a DC 10 Knowledge (Arcana) check to reveal that a Flame Drake’s heart is very valuable. A character may spend a turn in contact with the corpse to attempt a DC 15 Knowledge (Arcana) check to retrieve the Drake heart, which can be sold for 1,000gp. This check may be retried, but each attempt deals d6 fire damage to the player.
The first time somebody climbs the walls, he gains view of most of the level. This includes the Crystals in Room 2, The Chemosit statue in Room 4, and the various monsters in Room 7.
Room 1: Central Crystal
When a player activates a rune-crystal, he transported to a random square on the level as if he had just fallen through one of the holes in the floor. Additionally, all characters undergo another DC 21 will save to avoid Mindswitch.
Once all eight rune-crystals are activated, the central obsidian center square opens and a crystal shard will rise out of it. When this shard is touched, the final boss will appear.
1b: To the northwest of the center room is a locked box with a complex linguistic cipher. A DC 14 Linguistics check reveals the passcode, and speaking this word will cause the chest to open. However, failing the linguistics check three times will cause the box to lock permanently. There appears to be no lock or key, so the box cannot be opened with a Disable Device attempt. Inside the chest is a Wand of Charm Animal (CL1), a Potion of Fly (CL5), a Potion of Heroism (CL5), and a Hand of the Mage.
1c: To the northeast of the room is a small wooden chest. Although the chest is unlocked, it is trapped with insanity mist. Inside the chest are five sleep arrows and a +1 Longbow.
1d: To the southeast of the room is a large box made of small iron bars and glass. Inside the box is a fragile and expensive looking Fabergé egg. However, the box itself is poorly made, and there are a few bars blocking the egg. Three beams will have to be carefully removed to access the egg. The character should make three consecutive DC 10 Knowledge (Engineering) checks to remove non-structural beams. If he fails any one of these the box collapses, crushing both the egg and his hand for d6 damage. If he succeeds he retrieves the Faberge egg, worth a tidy sum of 1,000gp. Alternatively, a DC 22 Sleight of Hand check will access the egg, though failure means the box collapses.
1e: To the southwest of this room is a locked chest. It requires a DC 30 Disable Device check to unlock, though our heroes may make as many attempts as they like. Inside are three bear traps, a magnifying glass, masterwork manacles, a magical vial of incense, and one dose of Dark Reaver Powder. A DC 21 Spellcraft check will reveal the incense to be Incense of Meditation. However, a DC 31 Spellcraft check will reveal the item's true identity, the cursed Incense of Obsession.
Room 2: The Shiniest Crystal
If a player fails the check, he touches one of the seven incorrect crystals. The crystal immediately explodes, dealing 2d6+1 damage to all within a 10 foot radius of it. A DC 18 Reflex check halves this damage. The DC of the Appraise check decreases by 2 for each destroyed crystal.
If he succeeds in the check, the character touches the most valuable crystal and it activates as a rune-crystal. At this point, the remaining crystals will melt into piles of gold worth 250gp each.
Room 3: Gauntlet Legends
Each portal has hardness 5, 20 hit points, and a break DC of 25. They are medium sized objects with an AC of 3, and, if brought down to 0 hit points, they stop producing enemies.
The portal at the western edge of the room is a hodgepodge of junk – broken weapons, sharpened sticks, and animal bones, all tied together with fraying rope. The portal has an initiative modifier of +6, and each turn it spawns one Goblin. If any PCs are on the walls, the Goblins will draw their short bows and focus on them. Three small fireworks attached to the arch send off a stream of sparklers from whenever the arch spawns a Goblin.
The center portal is made up of nothing but human bones, primarily femurs and skulls. The portal has an initiative modifier of +6, and each turn it spawns one medium humanoid Skeleton. Each time a Skeleton spawns, the bones of the portal shake with a horrifying clacking sound.
The eastern portal looks to be the entrance of a sewer. It is an arch of grey-green stone dripping a foul smelling liquid. An iron grate covers most of the portal except for a 2 foot hole gnawed in the bottom. The portal has an initiative modifier of +3, and each turn a Dire Rat shoots forth in a cloud of putrid green mist.
Once all three portals are destroyed, a rune-crystal will rise from the ground (3d).
Room 4: The Stone Ape
Atop the feral hulk is a stone crown with a rune-crystal set in the center. If this crystal is touched without touching the Chemosit, then the rune-crystal activates and our heroes can proceed on their way. However, if the Chemosit is touched it will immediately come to life and attack our players. The creature will, whenever possible, attempt to bull rush his opponents off the platform and into the holes in the ground.
During combat with the Chemosit, our heroes may attempt to touch and activate the rune-crystal. Doing so requires a combat maneuver check against the Chemosit's CMD of 26. If the maneuver is successful, then the rune-crystal activates and the Chemosit turns back into stone.
Room 5: Dodging the Waves
At the end of the tunnel is a rune-crystal, which can only be activated by standing on the final square (5a). Every turn, the rune-crystal sends out a yellow horizontal bar at a random height, which speeds down the tunnel and dissipates at its exit. Characters within the tunnel must make a DC 18 Acrobatics check, or be dealt 2d6 sonic damage and forced four squares backwards.
Once the rune-crystal is touched, it activates and the shockwaves cease.
Room 6: Four Questions
As our heroes enter this room and see the first gemstone, they will hear a voice in their head, speaking in their native language. “Order matters,” it will say in a gravely tone, “Listen to the stones.” When a gemstone is touched it will glow slightly, but dim and reset after all four have been touched. If the gemstones are touched in the correct order, then the center platform will open revealing a crystal.
However, if the gemstones are touched in the incorrect order, the player touching the final stone will be afflicted with horrible pain to the tune of 3d6+3 damage, DC 20 Will save halves. This pain occurs after the fourth gemstone is touched, and there is no indication of which part of the sequence was incorrect. Each time the gemstones are touched incorrectly, one of the gemstones transmits which number it is.
In the southeast corner of the room a blue gemstone floats. As our heroes approach, it will ask “How many rulers of Taldor have been named Grand Prince Stavian?” A DC 13 Knowledge (Nobility) check will reveal that the current ruler is Grand Prince Stavian III, so there have been three rulers. This is the third gemstone that must be touched.
In the northeast corner of the room a black gemstone floats. As our heroes approach, it will ask “How many nostrils does a Fen Witch have?” A DC 13 Knowledge (Nature) check will reveal that the answer is one, and this is the first gemstone that must be touched.
In the northwest of the room a white gemstone floats. As our heroes approach, it will ask “Excepting the Okaiyo Ocean, how many oceans are on Golarion?” A DC 13 Knowledge (Geography) check will reveal that there are five oceans total on Golarion, four excepting Okaiyo. This is the fourth gemstone that must be touched.
In the southwest corner of the room a green gemstone floats. As our heroes approach, it will ask “How many gods, known as the ‘First,’ were born from the ‘Seal?’” A DC 13 Knowledge (Religion) check will reveal that the answer is two, Ihys and Asmodeus, and this is the second gemstone that must be touched.
Once all four gemstones are touched in the correct order, a rune-crystal appears at 6d.
Room 7: Monsters on the Walls
On the farthest wall stands a single Ceratioidi with a pile of ten spears beside him (7b). The Ceratioidi will throw spears and use his lure ability on the PCs. A rune-crystal is on the same platform as the Ceratioidi (7c).
The area above the outer wall is protected by a permanent wind wall (7d) which will block any projectiles heading through it. The enemies in this area will watch but not attack the PCs unless they are attacked first or a PC breaches the wind wall. However, if the enemies are attacked they will leave their area to fight the agressors.
Room 8: A Face in the Wall
Our heroes will have three chances to make a DC 18 Perform check to gain access to the crystal. If they get a 23 on the check, the face will be so amused he will throw in one of his eyes, worth 600gp. If they get a 28 on the check, he will throw in both of his eyes, each worth 600gp.
If our heroes fail all three DC 18 perform checks, the face will be annoyed and demand 1,000gp in exchange for his crystal. If the money is fed into his mouth, or an items worth at least 2,000gp, he will produce the crystal.
However, the face is a coward. He should flinch if any character draws a weapon of makes any move that could be interpreted as menacing. He can be persuaded into giving up his crystal with a DC 21 Intimidate check. A 26 will intimidate the face into giving up one of his eyes as well, worth 600gp, and a 31 will intimidate the face into giving up both of his eyes, worth 600gp each. Our heroes will only have one chance to make this intimidate check - otherwise, he will demand the gold.
Alternatively, our heroes can attempt to forcefully remove each eye with a DC 20 strength check. After each failure, the player must make a DC 16 Reflex check or be dealt d12 damage from the eyelid coming down. If both eyes are removed, the face will trade the crystal to get them back.
Once he has been persuaded one way or another, the face will open up his mouth, revealing the rune-crystal inside.
Room 9: Spitting Plants
When our heroes enter room 9, it appears to be completely empty. However, the first time a hero crosses the checkerboard pattern, two Calathgars drop suddenly from the sky (9a) and combat begins. One turn later, a rune-crystal drops from the sky and lands softly on the ground (9b).
Final Boss: The Glass Golem
Once all eight crystals throughout the level have been activated, a larger crystal appears from the ground at 1b. Once this is touched, every character is teleported to a random square on the map. Simultaneously, a Glass Golem appears on 1a and begins to attack. This fight can be very challenging, so remove the golem's listed DR entirely.
Once the Golem is defeated, the entire level disappears beneath their feet, and our heroes find themselves once more hurtling through the abyss.
If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 6, then distribute 8,400 gold amongst them evenly.
Sleeping in Runewall
Level 6: Gauntlet