There hasn’t been a two page mini delve in a while. I know. I’ve actually been working on a dungeon for the WotC contest (ending tomorrow!), and the one page dungeon contest, both of which I will turn into two page delves eventually. But for now, here is one to tide you over. The map is my own handiwork, but was inspired by this map over at Dyson’s Dodecahedron (formerly A Character For Every Game). What is new and exciting in this delve? A lot!
First, I’ve included a random table. Random tables can be a lot of fun when used in the right context, and I hope that the ones I’ve included add a little bit of strangeness to the dungeon.
Second, the fight with the Life Drinker is really the setpiece of this delve. In my other delves, the combat is not weighted as heavily. Because of this, I’ve completely designed the lifedrinker from top to bottom instead of recommending a quick reskin. I’ve printed the generic stat block in the delve, which can be used in conjunction with any lurker defenses/HP and the DM Cheat Sheet. I’ve also made the .monster file available (below) if you’d like to use the monster builder to level him up instead.
Third, I’ve included two entrances to the dungeon. Both are secret doors, and each works fine as a starting point – use whichever fits your story the best, or whichever the party finds first.
Finally, (and this I’m most excited about) is the addition of a new Dominated mechanic. Normally, Dominated is “save ends.” Booooring. I wanted to simulate the character having to mentally wiggle out of the dominating effect, so the power is Dominated (solving puzzle ends). The puzzle, of course, is for the player to solve. Besides simulating the mental effort required to break psychic bonds, it also gives the player something to do when the DM takes over the character. Instead of sitting and watching everyone else have fun, the player has a definite task to complete before they can get back in the combat. I’ve even included rules that will allow other players at the table to assist in solving the puzzle. For convenience, I have included a puzzle on pages 3-5 of the delve as “bonus material,” but you can use any puzzle you want in your game. You could even give players a choice of puzzles, so they’re not doing a puzzle they hate.
As a parting note, I will also add that this is a great delve to use with the despair deck (if you have it) as well as the advice put forth by The Id DM this week on adding more horror to your game.