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The Tesseract Caves of the Shroom Goblins

The Tesseract Caves of the Shroom Goblins

This is the final entry in the adventures in the infinite caves of the Shroom Goblins. Once again, the map was created by JDJarvis over at Aeons & Auguries from his cavern geomorphs and became the inspiration for this Labyrinth-inspired dungeon of insanity.

By the way, if you haven’t REALLY looked at the map yet, give it a mental spin. You’ll quickly discover how near-impossible it will be to map for the players. I’ve run a small game session set within the caves now, and it is downright befuddling. Even little things like the F and G links reversing their positions from one side to the other give players huge headaches (put your hand on the right wall in room 8, follow the corridor (F) into room 29, turn right, follow the corridor (G) back into room 8, but on the wrong side of the room…) Environments like that can really bake your mapper’s noodle.

But back to the insane contents of these insane caves.

15. Fungus 44. The rebel faction uses this small widening in the cave as cold storage. While the rest of the caves are pretty uniform in temperature, a mutant strain of brown mold has made this area particularly chilly without being too dangerously so. The goblins keep desert mushrooms in wooden boxes here that are half covered by the harmless mold. Deeper within the mold are the bodies of three young adventurers who came here at least a decade ago, preserved by the cold. Among their belongings are a few things the goblins couldn’t use and left with them – a pair of Boots of Elvenkind, Durblade – a two-handed sword +1 that deals +1d6 magical damage on command for 1d4 rounds once per day, and a scroll of mirror image and bless… yes, on the same scroll. One half clerical, one half arcane. There are also a pair of goblins on guard here “protecting” (read: snacking upon) the food supply.

16. Infinite Coin. The great coup of the rebels has been the theft of the local mint. The official coin of the caves is an iron pyrite coin (fool’s gold) made by a strange magical device designed in the form of a slightly larger-than-life bust of the Goblin King. If you ask nicely, the bust of the king opens it’s mouth and there is a “gold” coin on it’s tongue. It won’t do it again for 1d6 hours. Of course, the bust has been disfigured by the rebel faction now that they are in possession of it – it now sports a jaunty chapeau of dung, and has a large mustache drawn on it. The mint is always kept under guard, with d4+5 goblins in position around it – nervous, belligerent, and well-armed.

17. Smoov. This cave has been worn down to very smooth walls and floor, and is home to 8 rebel faction goblins. In the centre of the cave is a seven-foot tall stone column, and from the centre of the column clean clear water pours out, trickling down the sides to a hand-carved basin in the floor around it.

18. Dropsies. The alcove here is covered in warnings in goblin to watch your step. The biggest one is on the floor, warning potential explorers “don’t step here!”. The floor covers a 20 foot deep pit. Along the sides of the pit wall are four oversized stone faces that will talk to anyone inside the pit (and all they say to anyone holding the pit cover open is that they’ll only talk to someone in the “dropsie”.) They love gossip and will ask questions about what’s going on and who the adventurers are and why they haven’t gone home yet. Once bored they will offer to send whoever is in the pit to “see the boss”. Those agreeing, and anyone who looks like they will manage to get out of the pit, will be teleported to room 19.

19. El Humongo. This cave is home to El Humongo, a garbage-eating goblin of immense size (nine feet tall, and 12 wide). If roused to anger, he’s probably the single most dangerous inhabitant of these caves, and is treated as a Hill Giant but with a movement rate of 30′ (10′). Fortunately he is easily distracted from chasing or fighting enemies by real food (since he mostly eats garbage). The goblins are generally in awe of him, and also take him for granted, dumping all their refuse in this room. If you have the characters here trying to find a magic item or some other “plot coupon”, then this is the perfect room to hide it in.

20. Lies. Damn Dirty Lies. This room is the key to the entire complex. Persons in this room can teleport to any other room in the complex by merely stating the number of the room they wish to teleport to (using the numbering system from the map). Hanging from a set of chains in the middle of the room is a Holy Avenger and a Staff of Wizardry. Beneath these two items is a chest bolted to the floor containing 24,000 gp (real gold, not the fool’s gold of the so-called goblin economy). This room is so well-hidden that even the Goblin King has never found it.

21. Get Felt! A family of 7 goblins have set up a felt manufacturing and distribution centre here. They spend their days procuring and pressing goblin hair into a variety of felts used in the manufacture of goblin clothing. One of the senior members of the clan is an accomplished vexillologist who spends his time making flags. He loves the existence of the rebel movement just because it means there’s reason for everyone to show off their support, and what better way than through custom flags? If someone should become hostile to the residents, a surprise combatant will join in the fray. Ages ago, one member of the clan got so lazy that he slowly transformed into a large shelf fungus which now is used to hold finished stock. He’ll begin throwing bolts of felt at hostile interlopers, defending his kin. (A bolt of felt may be somewhat soft, but it is quite heavy, and deals 1d6 damage to the target).

22. Long Term Storage. Things that take up too much room to be comfortably ignored but that the goblins don’t want anymore and yet feel they shouldn’t (or can’t) destroy go into the Long Term Storage (if it can fit through the door). There is a small goblin-sized door on the wall of this cave and opening it exposes a small storage closet overflowing with crap. Old brooms, an iron maiden, trunks full of old felt, urns, slightly broken furniture, bits and bobs of armour (particularly helmets), uncle Scrogs’ pipe, the halfling philharmonic orchestra woodwind division, bookshelves, big-ass candles that never seem to burn right, a wheelbarrow, and so on. There is actually pretty much infinite space in here, but it all gets jumbled together like a badly maintained storage closet. Sometimes (1 in 4), a bunch of stuff pours out when the door is opened. The rest of the time one random piece of junk falls / rolls out and everything else looks like it is about to.

23. Guard Post Four Hundred and Seventy Six and Three Quarters. Two loyalist goblins with great big flowing mustaches sit here on guard duty, discussing the utter lack of weather living underground. “I sure could do with a little rain for my missus’ gardenias I tell you!” “Oh my yes, wouldn’t hurt to have a bit o sunshine this weekend too for the picnic…” This passage / guard post contains an anti-magic field so the guards are on watch for anyone invisible suddenly becoming uninvisible (“Ho there, Bob! Comin’ to see the King eh? Well, yer uninvisible here I tell ya. Oh, I know you are never normally invisible, but here not only are you visible, but you are uninvisible, that’s like twice as visible!”)

24. Happenstance. Happenstance is the other main town in the caves besides Bartertown. The population of 30 or so goblins (mostly loyalist or undecided) live a fairly typical shroom-goblin existence drinking, smoking, throwing pots and pans at each other, and thinking up (un)funny jokes. Among their kin are two massive guard goblins (treat as hobgoblins) and a small troop of mounted goblin “cavaliers” who ride other goblins into battle. The two exits to area 26 are blocked by massive iron gates that are locked during times of distress, but kept open the rest of the time. Anyone walking through these gates will have their age reduced by 1 year. Thus the Goblin King maintains his youth, but also must avoid leaving his base too often, lest he become a teenager (or younger) again. The northern exit to area 26 is a set of stairs leading down, while the southern exit to area 26 is a set of stairs leading up.

25. The Black Cork Clan. This cave has been converted into the home and training grounds of the black cork clan – a tribe of urban shroom-goblin ninjas. Because really, what’s better than shroom goblins going to war mounted on other shroom goblins? That’s right, stacks of ninja goblins (thanks to the Portable Hole Full of Beer set of PDFs for introducing the Goblin Ninja Stack). Bonuses may not always stack in D&D, but goblin ninjas do. The black cork clan is made up of a dozen goblin ninjas who operate in four units of three goblins who operate in a “goblin ninja stack”, with one goblin on the bottom doing the running around, and the other two exhibiting their superior balancing skills by piling one on the other on his shoulders. They all dress in black, but also darken their skin with the ashes from their magical ninja fireplace. Anyone covering his exposed skin with the soot directly from the fireplace (carrying it around doesn’t work) becomes nearly invisible, or at least mystically hard to see (even when stacked three tall) and has a surprise chance of 4 in 6 (or 5 in 6 for those with a better than 2 in 6 chance normally).

26. Audience Room. Home to the Goblin King and a dozen goblin hangers-on. This cave is well decorated, even if the decorations show their goblin abuses (lots of stains, small tears, the sofa is missing a leg and sits on a stack of old goblin pornography, etc). Of course, the Goblin King isn’t a goblin, but a level 5 elf who runs the show as best he can. The exit stairs to area 24 lead in opposite directions – one leading up and one leading down, even though both areas 24 and26 are flat and level. If threatened in his audience chamber, the Goblin King will push down on the stone table in the middle of the room (usually by jumping up on it to fight from higher ground). This releases a sleeping gas into the room that knocks out any non-elf that fails a save versus poison. Further, anyone shouting “away” in common while standing on the table is instantly teleported out of here. The teleport is instant on this side (the character(s) disappear immediately) but it takes two rounds for the statues in area 14 to align themselves and for the teleport to complete. If the statues cannot align themselves (they have been destroyed, or something immensely strong is holding them out of position), the teleportees will reappear on the table in four rounds. The Goblin King has the ability to send people (but not goblins) back to the prime material plane if he really wants to. Anyone killing the Goblin King becomes the new Goblin King and gains this ability, but cannot use it on himself. The Goblin King wields a +2 Rapier of Unfairness (it can only be wielded by elves) and has a wand of illusion with 13 charges.

The nook of little caves on the north side of the audience room is hidden by a secret door built into the back of a wardrobe. In the nook is a metal post with a magic lantern hanging from it (that burns without oil) and the Goblin King’s personal treasure stash of 1,750 gp, 800 ep, and a pair of 500 gp gems.

27. Floater’s Hall. This passage has no gravity, which is good because areas on the north side has gravity in the opposite direction as the south side. Persons crossing to the other side of the cave and not noting the change in orientation will plummet 15 feet to the floor. There are typically a few young goblins here enjoying the zero-gee antics (1d8-2 goblins). As old pros, they suffer only a -1 to hit and damage fighting in zero gravity, while people new to the environment must make a saving throw versus paralysis every round in order to act at all, and still suffer a -2 penalty on attack and damage rolls.

28. The Sphere. A foot-wide stone pillar is the centrepiece of this otherwise empty room. Exactly half-way up the pillar (5 feet from the floor) is an 18-inch dark marble sphere held in place by the pillar. The sphere rotates smoothly and without much resistance. There is a sign in goblin on one wall that reads “for the love of all that exists, please do not move, rotate or reposition the sphere!” The sphere does absolutely nothing.

29. Mirror Mirror. A cluster of nine single-goblin residences built out of large mushrooms (think smurf houses, but a much tighter fit, more like smurf pup tents) are scattered throughout the room. In the middle of the large curved northwest wall is a large mirror where the frame of the mirror looks like the face of a goblin with his mouth wide open and the mirror being where his mouth should be. The mirror loves to debate, and routinely argues with the goblins about just about everything. “Come on, only goblins with yeast-brain would go to bed at this hour!”

This is post 9 in the A to Z challenge – I is for Infinite Shroom-Goblins.
This is also part of the RPG Blog Carnival who’s focus this month is on RPG Cartography.