This week finds Garz, Olivia, Just Leroy, Morticia, and the D/K experiment spread out through the strange White Room and the Pickle Jar Room.
In the Pickle Pantry, jars were jostled, jars were placed gently on the ground, mistakes were made, jars crashed. 2 foot tall giant pickles escaped from the jars and morphed into foul mouthed Lycanthro-pickles. They sprouted arms and legs and started talking smack and attacking our adventurers. Fortunately (or unfortunately) none of the adventurers were bitten by the pickles and turned into lycanthropickles themselves.
Our heroes snuffed out a couple of the tiny terrors, then made a hasty retreat into the White room and closed the door. Outside……the ominous sound of rolling pickle jars gently tinked against the closed door. Tink tink tinking on the chamber door. Relentless style
In the white room, as the ‘heroes’ closed the door to escape the pickles, the room expanded (magic style) to 100 feet long and 40 feet wide with a lady sitting in a cubicle at the far end. As the door closes, the door disappears leaving our heroes trapped in this white space. The lady at the far end looks like this:
The cubical lady looks and sounds like a 20 something Drew Barrymore because she IS Drew Barrymore. Well not OUR Drew Barrymore, but a version from an alternate universe that was not famous. This version is a gig economy person who took a job posting via an app on her phone. The job posting was an immediate position to write a room for a D&D adventure for a guy named Rick Sanchez who was busy.
The lady says “You guyz….I am SOOOO soryeeee. My boyfriend had a thing happen so I’m late and you guyz took the short way here so I’m not ready yet. Hang on”
8. Writer’s Room
This room’s not done. The deadline really crept up on me, but don’t sweat it. I’ve got a writer on it, and she’s writing like her life depends on it—because it does! Lay it all down by reading the following:
Everything in this odd-shaped room is white—the walls, the floor, the ceiling. Everything, that is, except the four doors and a stressed-looking lady seated at a cheap desk, writing furiously on paper. Or how about parchment? And she’s got an inkwell and a quill pen. How’s that for immersion?
A second after the door is opened, the room elongates until it’s a hundred feet long.
If questioned, the writer (a commoner) explains that she’s under a ton of pressure to finish writing this part of the dungeon. She has the power to shape the room based on what she writes on the parchment. (Only what she writes. No one else can write on the parchment. Union rules.) As long as she’s able to write, she changes the room’s shape and throws obstacles in the party’s path.
Those obstacles might be accidental to start with (including making the door disappear that the characters came in through, just to get things rolling). But if the characters keep on bothering her, crazy s*** starts to happen in earnest as the writer frantically writes intentional obstacles into the room to stymie the party. Once that happens, roll initiative. It’s nothing personal, but she’s not done with this assignment yet, and she reeeally needs this job.
To stop the writer, the characters can kill or incapacitate her, or they can destroy the inkwell on the desk. The inkwell has an AC of 20 (it’s quite hard to hit) and 10 hit points (it’s a nice inkwell).
The writer can also be persuaded to stop writing with three successful DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) checks. It doesn’t matter how many checks the characters fail while they try to get the writer on their side. On the first success, the writer appears to hesitate before continuing to write, and the room shrinks a bit. The second success indicates more progress, and she looks almost won over. On the third success, the writer throws down her quill, declares that work-life balance is essential, and triumphantly exits the room, never to be seen again.
As long as she’s able to write, though, the effects created by the writer make moving through this area a challenge for the characters.
The room’s normal form is reflected on the map. It reverts to that form if the writer is unconscious or leaves the room. But until that happens, the room looks nothing like what the map shows. The writer can use her inkwell and parchment to make the room any size she wants, up to 100 feet by 100 feet, but she defaults to transforming it into a 40-foot-wide-by-100-foot-long tunnel to keep distractions away from her while she’s working. She can also make the room’s doors disappear or reappear at her whim.
This could all probably be way simpler, but we’re waiting until the writer’s done with the adventure before telling her she has to redraw the whole damn map. How’s she going to draw an area that changes sizes? Maybe it’s all an illusion. Whatever. That’s her problem.
At the start of each round, or whenever a character moves 10 feet farther into the room, the writer creates a new obstacle from the Fun Obstacle table.
Fun Obstacle d12
- Fire geyser trap
- Freak-out orbs trap
- Groovy stirges trap
- Hacky trap
- Like being drunk trap
- Million ants trap
- Mocking mouths trap
- Nasty pit trap
- Phantom gas trap
- Punch trap
- Spinning blades trap
- Tenderizer trap
Descriptions of each of these traps follow. Any active traps instantly end if the writer is no longer able to write.
Fire Geyser Trap. Whenever a creature ends its turn touching the floor in the room, roll a d20. On a roll of 10 or higher, fire erupts from the floor beneath that creature. The target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Freak-Out Orbs Trap. Magic orbs appear, buzzing around the room and flashing psychedelic patterns that freak people out. Each creature in the room must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or suffer the effect of a spectator’s confusion eye ray.
Groovy Stirges Trap. A pipe descends from the ceiling, and 1d8 stirges fly out of it. The annoying creatures attack characters at random. Simultaneously, sick-ass beats fill the room. Any creature except the stirges that can hear the music must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or give in to the music and start dancing.
A dancing creature can’t move from its space and has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. While the creature is dancing, other creatures have advantage on attack rolls against it. A dancing creature can use an action to attempt a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, the effect ends and the creature can stop dancing if it wants to.
Hacky Trap. Out of ideas, the writer throws a portal at the party. Each creature in the room must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be magically teleported back to the start of the room, thereby giving the writer some much-needed time to keep working.
Like Being Drunk Trap. For 1d4 rounds, the whole floor heaves like when you’re completely hammered. For as long as the floor pitches, each creature that starts its turn standing on the floor must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or fall on its ass, prone.
Million Ants Trap. Five ants crawl out of cracks in the floor. Each round, a random character must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or accidentally crush one of these ants. If they do, 999,995 more ants come pouring up out of the floor, gathering into a massive, solid swarm that uses the ogre stat block and attacks.
Mocking Mouths Trap. Creeepy mouths form on every surface of the room. They’re jerks, and for 1d4 rounds, they berate random characters, choosing a new target at the start of each round. The mouths mock the size of the target’s weapons, their spell selection, their dump stats, or whatever in-game, out-of-game, or metagame topic catches their middle-school-bully-like attention.
A targeted character must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or suffer from low self-esteem, imposing disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the start of the character’s next turn.
Nasty Pit Trap. The floor gives way under a random character. It’s self-respect’s greatest enemy: falling over, but weaponized into a trap! The target character and each creature standing within 10 feet of the character must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or fall into the 15-foot-deep pit, taking 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage. To climb out of the pit and regain a modicum of dignity—after falling for literally the oldest trick in the Dungeon Master’s Guide—a creature must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check.
Phantom Gas Trap. There’s a joke in here somewhere. But while the characters are off looking for it, a phantom fart loudly makes itself known. Each creature in the room must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or suffer a random effect from the Fart Gas table.
God, I love D&D.
Fart Gas Effects
- Sleep. The creature falls unconscious for 1d4 rounds, as if under the effect of a sleep spell.
- Retching. The creature is poisoned for 1d4 rounds.
- Laughter. The creature is overcome by a fit of giggles (because farts are f***ing funny) and is incapacitated for 1d4 rounds.
- Blindness. Something spicy in that fart leaves the creature blinded for 1d4 rounds.
Punch Trap. A goblin emerges from a trapdoor and punches a random character right in the groin. The character needs to dodge with a successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage. The goblin attacks once and then disappears back through the trapdoor, which immediately vanishes to leave no opportunity for counterattacks.
Spinning Blades Trap. Slots in the walls open up and six round saw blades come flying out. Each blade makes one attack against a random character:
Spinning Blade. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 100 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) slashing damage.
Tenderizer Trap. For the next 1d4 rounds, 5-foot-diameter chunks of the ceiling fall at regular intervals, pretty much making the room a giant game of whack-a-mole. Each round, a random character is targeted by a smashy bit, and must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.
The goblin trap was sprung and Garz takes a shot to the groin. The Million ants trap was sprung. Olivia Bruce Lees’ the snot out of the Million Ants monster with mucho hit points. Zombie D/K lights up million Ants with ongoing electro zap. Somone finished it off and the surviving ants hauled away the dead. Spinning blades trap was sprung twice and Morticia must have some kind of curse on her because her face was a saw blade magnet. Morticia died 1.9 times only surviving by her wits, super abilities and a couple swigs of the go go juice.
The heroes talk/attack poor Alternate Drew. #AlterDrew eventually quits and leaves the room to get a mocha cafe mochochino latte.
A drawer in the desk contains a three-quarters empty bottle of scotch and a pack of cigarettes.
With Adrew now gone, all the traps disappear. The heroes try to use the magic quill to whip up some useful stuff but upon touching the quill, the room zortzes back to normal and the group is unceremoniously dumped haphazardly into the hallway north of the white room.
The hero squad decides that after a brutal 6 encounters since they entered the dungeon that they deserve a well earned time out to rest and recuperate in the hallway……a main artery of a thriving metropolis like busy dungeon of industry.