Continuing the ongoing adventures of that illustrious Elf Thief, Glendal Lorg, as he continues to explore the Fort of the Unholy Mound.
When last we left our hero, he had just finished Turn 16, er, that is, he had delivered the needed ingredient to the waiting Cleric, who had then healed the Thief.
He then prepared to enter the next room to the South East.
Turn 17, Room 8:
The wary Elf edged his way through the mess of the former Storeroom to the archway into what appeared to have been the Sickroom. However, this was really just a guess on the wily Thief's part, because most of the room was covered in ruin and rubble, making it difficult to suss the true original purpose.
Carefully scanning the perimeter with his trusty Elf eyes, peering through the slanting shafts of sunlight as they filtered through both the swirling motes of dust as well as the leaves of the exposed trees visible above the roof, Glendal took in all the details. Much of the ceiling had collapsed, covering the rude beds with a tangle of debris. There were also no occupants, living or otherwise. More to the point, there appeared to be no exit.
The Elf found this odd, since he had it on good authority that this dilapidated fort should have twelve rooms. And he was certain he had not missed any previous to now. He would have to make doubly sure before he moved on.
He was about to step fully into the room when that wonderful sixth sense that kept skillful Thieves alive made him pause. A second, closer look revealed what his subconscious had warned him about: the room had once been trapped!
Looking up, he could tell that the ceiling was once arched. Parts of it now littered the floor where it had fallen in. And mixed in with the pieces of roof and beds was an area of netting.
Obviously there had been a net-trap in the ceiling, designed to fall on someone entering this room of the wounded and ill and those otherwise too weak to defend themselves. Yet decay and time had connived to wreck the trap before it's useful purpose had been fulfilled.
Glendal checked twice, and once more, before entering the room. Sadly, there were no secreted treasures or piles of coins set out for him, courtesy of the Looters. They had never made it this far into the Fort.
I rolled the usual dice to determine the room's contents and whatnots. First, the room type d20 = 15 = Sickroom. Next, checking the direction of the exit, I rolled d10 = 1 = North West. That was the direction from which I just came, so I figured something was up. The text from the Scarlet Heroes rulebook reads, "If there is already an explored room in the direction you’ve rolled, draw in a passage to it and roll again, or add a stairway up or down." I didn't really want to roll again unless I had to, or do another stairway. I solved it on the next turn as you shall read shortly. It was risky, but what self-respecting Adventurer would do otherwise?
Continuing, Room Contents d10 = 3 = No.
Treasure d10 = 5 = No.
Hazard d10 = 10 = Yes.
Feature d10 = 2 = No.
For the Hazard d8 = 7 = "Trapped feature. If Feature, save or take Td6 damage." However, there is no Feature. How can you have a 'Trapped Feature' without having a Feature? This is one of the few times Scarlet Heroes falls flat. It wants to give you everything, so you get in the habit of letting it do all the work, when suddenly it makes you think for yourself. How dare a game make me think for myself! Anyhow, I resolved this by rolling for what the Feature had been, d8 = 2 = "An architectural feature of the original structure." Since there is no Feature, I surmised that the architectural feature of the original structure was now crumbled, broken, so therefore there was also no longer a Trap.
To learn more about what that architectural feature might be, I then consulted the "D30 DM Companion" by New Big Dragon Games, page 8, Table "DFG2: ADDITIONAL FEATURES" d30 = 10 = "ceilings, arched (round)."
Next, I rolled on page 12, Table "RTG2c: CEILING TRAPS" d30 = 15 = "netting," to find out what type of Trap used to be there.
From this I finally concluded that the arched, rounded ceiling had collapsed, spilling the netting from it trap-y place onto the floor, covering a small area about 10 feet in diameter. Ergo, the trap is ruined.
There was also the real possibility of this being a dead end. I used Turn 18 to find out whether it would be or not.
Turn 18, Room 8:
Glendal, the ever-suspicious Thief, refused to believe his eyes. They told him there was no other exit from the Sickroom, but his instincts told him otherwise. Long years of Thieving, as well as his exceptional Elf senses, would help him find what others might miss.
Stepping gingerly through the room, he followed the walls, running his nimble hands and dexterous fingertips over every nook and cranny. The extreme age and general state of ruin of, well, everything made it easier than normal. And there, on the North East wall, was what he was looking for: A Secret Door!
Having verified the existence of the door, he next looked for and found the mechanism. However, before activating it, he stepped back and studied the wall and the door. Would it be trapped? he wondered. Likely, since they had gone to the trouble to both hide this door and attempt to protect the Sickroom occupants. And would the trap still function? He would only know that if he were able to find it first.
Before the thoughts had even formed in his mind, his practiced eye saw the tell-tale marks of the trap and it's location. Removing an iron piton from his pack (every Adventurer worth his salt carries an iron piton, doesn't he?), he jammed it carefully and forcefully into the mechanism, effectively disabling the extremely heavy iron door barrier trap from falling and crushing his noble Elf head.
Having completed his work, Glendal paused to listen. The only sounds were the wind in the trees outside, and his own soft breathing. Pushing gently on the Secret Door, he prepared to enter the next room.
I decided to check for Secret Doors, since otherwise this would be a dead end. My worry was if I didn't find the secret door, what then? Bah, I cast all worry to the four winds and rolled the dice.
I decided that the difficulty of the Check would be Average, or 11, based on the age of the Fort and it's crumbling nature making it easier to find such things. I rolled 2d8 + 1 (WIS) + 1 (my Elven Senses) = 7 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 12. So I found (just barely) a Secret Door.
But is one really there?
I asked the Scarlet Heroes Oracle on page 115, "Is there a Secret Door?" I gave myself straight-up odds of 50/50 ("Unknown") = d20 = 17 = Yes.
So I've found a Secret Door. I wrote on my paper, "Check for traps, check to open it."
"Is it trapped?" I asked the Oracle. I considered it "Likely" for the reasons I gave in the fiction, d20 = 12 = Yes.
I then Checked for traps, again versus an Average of 11 = 2d8 + 1 (WIS) + 3 (Adventuring Thief) = 8 + 6 + 1 + 3 = 18. I very definitely found the trap.
Next, I attempted to disable the trap. I rated this as a Simple Check of 9, again based on it's age. 2d8 + 2 (DEX) + 3 (Adv. Thief) = 8 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 16. I therefore disabled the trap.
And finally, out of curiosity I consulted the "D30 DM Companion" again, page 12, "RTG1: TRAP TYPE & DIFFICULTY" d30 = 3 = "Barrier." A further roll on table "RTG2a: BARRIER TRAPS" d30 = 5 = "Iron Door, 3d4 damage."
So now I could press on into Room 9.
But which direction? d10 = 9 = "On a result of 9 or 10, the next direction is whatever would
make for the most compact dungeon," so I placed it to the North East which puts it over Room 6 below.
And finally, I checked for wandering monsters, d6 = 2 (only on a 1) = No.
That's it for this report. Tune in again next time, when things a lot more exciting that broken traps and secret doors happen. No really, it's a lot more exciting!
Thanks for reading!