Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Path of the Dungeon Keeper

by David Knott

This path is opposed to the Sphere of Energy. Followers of this path tend to be lazy and cowardly but cunning, devising fiendish traps and setting up ambushes to thwart their foes. This path opposes wizards (i.e., it favours non-wizards), but many evil wizards still pursue this path because their spells are invaluable in helping them complete it.

Note that in this context the term "Dungeon Keeper" refers to a candidate for Entropic Immortality against the Sphere of Energy, not to the referee or game master -- although any DM who wishes to do so is welcome to invoke this path when his players accuse him of being "evil".

Quest: The Dungeon Keeper must undertake a long and difficult quest for a lesser artifact of the Sphere of Entropy.

Trial: The Dungeon Keeper must create an entirely new magic item or mundane threat that endangers at least 1000 people. A non-wizard may hire a spellcaster to create a magic item on his behalf. If an item is to be created, the Dungeon Keeper must acquire a number of rare and difficult to obtain components as well as at least one "impossible" component. Similar conditions apply if he opts for the "mundane threat" option -- in that case originality is highly prized.

Testimony: The Dungeon Keeper must train at least 4-6 henchmen, and they must each rise at least 12 levels while in his service. He must also create an underground complex that protects his artifact as well as the magic item or a mundane item required to threaten 1000+ people. This underground complex will naturally attract heroic adventurers intent on putting an end to the threat created by the Dungeon Keeper.

Task: The Dungeon Keeper does not directly confront heroic adventurers unless they have cleared out his underground complex and defeated all of his henchmen. If a party of adventurers succeed in clearing out the dungeon and are threatening to retrieve the Dungeon Keeper's artifact and/or "threat" item, then the lowest level henchman of the Dungeon Master is teleported to the dungeon to fight the heroes as the "boss" monster. If the heroes win, then the Dungeon Keeper must recover the major items lost to the party and "restock" his dungeon as soon as possible; the lost henchman may not be replaced. However, if at least on hero is killed during the adventure, then the Dungeon Keeper may count that character towards the eight kills required to complete his task if that hero is of higher level than the last hero killed. The task is completed once eight heroes of ever increasing level are killed -- and the Dungeon Keeper must make the final kill personally.

Since the Dungeon Keeper has no control over who comes into his dungeon seeking to trash it, it sometimes occurs that he is in a position to kill a hero who is of far greater level than his last victim -- which in turn would make his next credited "kill" even more difficult. The way out of this difficulty is one commonly resorted to by the villains of many James Bond movies: he captures the hero, places him in an "inescapable death trap" that is in fact quite easy to escape, and then goes away to leave the hero to his fate. Usually the hero makes his escape -- but in the unlikely event that the hero actually succumbs to the death trap, the Dungeon Master may accept or reject credit for that "kill" according to his personal choice.

Needless to say, this Path is the most frequently attempted Path to Immortality in the Sphere of Entropy.

Remaining Paths: Path of the Conqueror and Path of the Fiend. Some information about these paths has already been uploaded, but I plan to give more details later this week.

Dungeon Keeper: A candidate on this Path has reason to limit his number of apprentices, as he cannot actually achieve Immortality until heroic adventurers have killed each of them off, cleaning out his dungeon complex each time. For the final expedition against his dungeon, a party of high level adventurers (perhaps including one or more candidates for Immortality in non-Entropic Spheres) must all but completely clear out the dungeon and then confront the Dungeon Keeper, who must then achieve a TPK ("total party kill") against that party.

The Dungeon Keeper's Immortal patron will aid the Dungeon Keeper in recovering his artifact and magic item after his dungeon gets cleaned out but will challenge him by drawing the dungeon to the attention of adventurers of ever increasing experience levels.