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Old 11-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

I'm currently running a party through a dungeon that is pretty big but has organized intelligent inhabitants in only one section, and a critter near the entrance that cuts down on traffic. So, large stretches of it are home to only natural hazards, slimes, rats, fungus, etc. It is a fun challenge to turn that sort of 'empty' space into something challenging and scary. What are your favorite hazards or inhabitants for this sort of space?
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:32 AM   #2
Terquem
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

I've used a fast flowing, but shallow, and slippery, watercourse in a cavern before. With Dex rolls to cross and failure means the individual is swept away (I allow bonuses to the rolls for characters that rope themselves together, but failure here means the whole group can get swept away)

Sometimes the party ends up getting swept to a different location in the dungeon, dumped in an underground lake, or swept out of the dungeon to the wilderness.
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Ghosts that are invulnerable to anything the party can do. They need to learn that sometimes the best strategy is to run.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:11 PM   #4
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Nice! I just dropped those two into my map. Any more...?
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #5
platimus
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

I would add that encounter with a ghost can also be beneficial to the party. I was quite pleased when I read the following on p85 of ITL:
Quote:
A ghost can give information (true or false); it can warn
of the approach of intruders, or try its scare-ability at a
strategic moment. It is therefore fortunate that ghosts can be
bargained with. Every ghost, by definition, wants something.
Satisfaction of that desire is the one thing that can give
a ghost rest. Some desires, of course, can never be fully
satisfied – but some, like revenge, can. Some religions hold
that “laying” a ghost in this way is a meritorious act, and the
ghost will of course be grateful.
As I already ideas about this sort of ghostly encounter. The ghost could be someone the intelligent inhabitants of the dungeon murdered or betrayed. If the PCs play it right, the ghost could be an invaluable ally.

The intelligent inhabitants might also have set-up some "scarecrows". Some inanimate skeletons or other effigies dressed with rags and rusted weapons/armor. These could be setup to move a little bit like bobbing in the wind. You could think of them as non-magical "images". If IQ checks aren't passed, the party wizard might waste some Fatigue on them. When the party examines them closely, some small but rabid critter might jump out, forcing a save to avoid falling down, dropping their weapons, screaming, or making some sort of noise that might attract other things to their location. Or maybe it just triggers a trap - which would be triggered by attacking the "scarecrows" as well.

Going back to the ghost thing, the ghost might have been betrayed by one member of the bandits and therefore seem to aid the party in killing that one member but after that, the ghost gives false/treacherous info because he/she is still loyal to the leader of the bandits. Or maybe the ghost simply pretends to be an ally but is actually still loyal to the bandits. You just never know.

There was also an encounter I wrote one time that was non-threatening but interesting. It was written for an island setting. The party finds a empty, shallow grave and a long dead (and decayed) body next to it. In one hand of the body was an empty vial. In the other hand, a small journal. Reading the journal, the PCs would learn that this poor soul was marooned by a mutinous crew for some offense. He drank a vial of poison to kill himself. The note in the journal would implore whoever finds him to bury him in the hole he dug. If they honor his dying wishes, they find a small pouch of silver in the mound of earth beside the grave. this was just a random encounter that had nothing to do with the main plot of the adventure. Just a small story within a story.
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Last edited by platimus; 11-12-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:01 PM   #6
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Page 84: "Most ghosts are tied to a fairly limited place; some are tied to an object instead."

Like say the ex-wizard's staff?

http://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#Creatures
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:09 AM   #7
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Undead are always handy because you can store them in a closet for a century or two without a problem.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:19 PM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

I don't have any real problem with just having an area be empty, but I'm fond of slime type monsters.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I don't have any real problem with just having an area be empty, but I'm fond of slime type monsters.
The slimes eat the vampire bat guano?
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:35 PM   #10
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Favorite things to put in 'uninhabited' dungeons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
The slimes eat the vampire bat guano?
I rarely worry too much about the details of the ecology (the last time I had a big underground dungeon complex, the deep realms were actually a pathway to a hell realm, which both accounted for getting more dangerous as you got deeper, and also conveniently let me ignore both the ecology and the physics of how it didn't collapse).
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