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Here's my notes for the Wit's End adventure that will follow The Antechamber of Zulma. It's loosely based on the text adventure games of the 1980s. I've also got some ideas people gave me on Usenet that I have yet to clean up and integrate. Feedback would be most welcome here.
Wit's Endby Beau Yarbrough
Stone cabin overlooking the Sea of Dread on the cliffs east of Burny in Seashire.
The sea caves below it were discovered during the dwarven occupation of what would eventually become the Five Shires almost two thousand years ago. One of King Loktal's lieutenants, one Duncanthrax, allegedly hid his gold in the complex there, which he fitted with gnome-made defences. Flathead was one of the first of Loktal's men to die during the subsequent orc invasion, and his great underground empire was lost for more than a thousand years.
Then the legendary hin rogue, Wittlewing "Wit" Belnose sought to build a home overlooking the sea, where he could secret the treasures of an ill-spent youth and retire to a life of eccentric ease. It became clear that he built his stone cabin, Wit's End, where he had for a very specific reason, as its cellars joined the Colossal Caves. The whimsy of the gnome-built mazes and chambers appealed to Wit, and he greatly expanded the complex, adding more tricks and traps before vanishing a half century later, never to be seen again. Some say Wit was actually the mortal guise of a puckish Immortal. Others say he was actually a polymorphed human wizard. And still others say he simply knew how to fool all the people all the time.
After a respectful interval of a few decades, treasure hunters began trying their luck with Wit's End, but were foiled time and again by the strange creatures Wit had seen fit to stock the complex with. Within a century, the stone building atop the sea cliffs was forgotten again.
Now hin pirates use the sea caves below Wit's End as a place to lay low from privateers and have ventured into the complex as far as they have been able to.
Before the player characters arrive, seven evil dwarves (all armed with throwing axes) from Rockhome arrive to plunder Wit's End for themselves.
- Seven lawful evil dwarf fighter/thieves armed with throwing axes
- Lawful evil pirate hin, left behind to guard their treasure
- Wimpy "dragon" (fire lizard?) left by the pirates along one tunnel
- Hungry trained bear brought by the dwarves and left chained to the wall
- Giant oyster with pearl
- Steel door, rusted shut
- Two pit room, one filled with oil, one filled with water
- Magical bird's eggs
- Magic words: "XYZZY," "Plover," "Plugh," and "Fee fi foe foo" (teleports eggs back to nest)
- Shadow grues (new monster) - opponent with unlight wand waits in a tunnel overlooking the cavern floor to douse the PCs' lamps and make them vulnerable to the grues
- Vampiric mist
- Two mazes
- +1 short sword of secret door and trap detection (as the wand)
- Silly potion room: Potion of Delusion, Potion of Diminution, Potion of Growth, Philtre of Stammering and Stuttering, Potion of Rainbow Hues
- Five foot tall (plus stand) mirror that reveals invisibility. Corner behind the mirror has an invisible ladder suspended through the illusionary ceiling
- The PCs enter a room with two other exits, and a plaque that reads "One of these ways is trapped, the other safe. One of these statues is a liar, the other truthful. Choose wisely." Also in the room are two statues of dwarven warriors. The one on the left will adamantly proclaim that the plaque is wrong, and that both ways are safe. The one on the right will proclaim that only the way on the left is safe. They will both agree that either path leads to the same place, though they will bicker incessantly about the specifics of how to get there (theoretically they should both agree that the left way is good, but they each are adamant about insisting that the right way is either also safe or horribly trapped). The solution?
Well, the right way is safe, the left way is trapped. Both statues are liars, as was the gnome creator of the room. Wit was greatly amused by this room, and had the enchantment on the statue augmented with a tongues spell to enable them to communicate to anyone who entered.
- How about a section of the dungeon where they have to shrink in size, avoiding or fighting rats?
- Imagine a floor with four rooms in it, (square shaped, imagine a square bisected horizontally and vertically) and in the corner of each room (the same corner, which on a map would be the centre of the floor) is a lever with four colour selections. in the first room, the whole room is bathed in one colour. if they open the door that is counter-clockwise from their position, they will find it doesn't open. if they open the door clockwise from their position, it opens into another room, bathed in a different colour. The trick is that in each room, they must set the lever to the colour of the room that they are allowed to enter. Once done, the panel with the lever slides up (in all rooms) and the party has access upwards.
- "I once sent a group into a room with chains, spikes, and blades hanging from the ceiling. As they entered, the door closed behind them. The other door wouldn't respond to any of their lock picking or breakdown attempts. There was a set of runes which they found out were a Kenderspeak countdown-timer. A red button was next to it. Of course they all keep trying different things to open the doors. Finally, when the count is at 001, someone presses the button and the counter resets to 500. They do this for a while. I gave three of my players a few thousand experience for giving farewell speeches (really, they actually wrote speeches and recited to the players). As they are all huddled and prepared for death, the counter approaches zero ... The counter hits zero and the door opens."