The Dragon of Duncaster

This subforum is for discussion of the Iron Falcon Rules for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing. Maybe someday they'll have their own forum, but for now I'm keeping the discussion here.
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Solomoriah
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:26 am

rredmond wrote:No key there yet, but the thing looks good together.
Especially since the maps don't view right in the forum for me. :)
--Ron--
You should be able to see the full view of the maps by clicking on them. I think I remembered to make them all public...
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:03 pm

Okay, let's talk about stocking the dungeon.

The original rules (not IF) prescribe that 2 in 6 rooms (33%) have a monster, and 3 in 6 (50%) of those monsters have treasure. Of the remaining rooms, 1 in 6 (17%) have unguarded treasure. Unguarded treasures should always be hidden and/or trapped. No guidance is given for general trap distribution.

Rather than rolling, I'm going to do the math. I have 25 numbered spaces, plus four lettered sub-locations (the cells) for a total of 29 spaces. At the given rates above, 33% of the rooms should have a monster... that would be about 10 of them. Half of those rooms, approximately, should have a treasure as well. Another 1/6 of the dungeon (about 5 rooms) should have an unguarded treasure.

So:
5 rooms with a monster
5 rooms with a monster and a treasure
5 rooms with an unguarded treasure

Gygax makes the dungeon about half "empty" but again, no distribution for traps or specials other than the traps associated with some of the unguarded treasures.

The dragon's treasure is a special case here... it has a separate room of its own, but it's not really unguarded. But then, it's behind a secret door. So I'm going to count the dragon's treasure in the "unguarded" category, and the dragon in the "monsters without treasure" category, just to be ornery.

I'm going to wander off now and muse on this, and possibly put out a revised version tonight with the distribution above applied to it.
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:33 pm

Bugbears are pretty cool. Maybe a kobolds in the service of the dragon (they would be a bit easy I suppose)
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:04 pm

I've uploaded R2 here:

http://ironfalconrpg.com/download.cgi/D ... ter-r2.pdf

Not much done, just the dragon's treasure and the dragon himself. Still need a twist for the dragon encounter.
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Tue May 05, 2015 2:14 am

Room 11 seems like an obvious choice because of the secret door.

An unguarded treasure in here - a scroll library containing various ancient tax and game-keeping records from before the castle was abandoned, as magic scrolls as well:

3 1st level MU spells,
2 2nd level MU spells,
1 3rd level MU spell,
all on separate scrolls.

Also a cursed scroll which subjects the reader to Deafness, and a map to part of the lower level of the dungeon.

You still need input on this or are you going it alone?

Also - twist for the dragon encounter - the dragon is deaf, having been cursed by wizards who used to live in the castle? PCs might not realise this at first but once they do, they may be able to use it to their advantage.
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Tue May 05, 2015 7:32 am

I appreciate the assistance, actually. As to the twist, it probably needs to favor the dragon.

I haven't defined the level range yet, nor filled in the other monsters, because I don't know how hard the dragon will be to defeat. At the convention, I'll likely have 7 or 8 players, so I'll need to provide pregens at the bottom of the level range, which will help define that range.

So first I need to figure out the twist;
Then I need to determine what level of characters would be adequately challenged in that encounter, given a party of 8;
Then I can set the proper level range;
Then I can fill in the other monsters.

I'm considering giving the dragon, who I've already defined as a magic-using sort, a wand or other device that allows it to cast animate dead. The dragon knows there is a back way into its cave, so it stands to reason if it had such a device it would fill up the dungeon with zombies and skeletons, made (obviously) from the corpses of those who challenged the dragon.
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Tue May 05, 2015 1:07 pm

I had my first dragon encounter on Friday and spells can really help a lot. A dragon in a close quarters fight with a 8 people party is going to go down pretty quickly because they have 8 attacks and the dragon only gets 3 or 4 if people stand behind. Now imagine a dragon with haste and now it has 8 attacks per round. Now imagine it has shield and protection from good boosting it's AC by 5 in melee and 8 for range attacks. That bugger will be hard to defeat! Mirror image, web and phantasmal force are all pretty good ones to use but the problem is the players interrupting it's action. Maybe the dragon could have a ball of clairvoyance so that it can tell where the adventurers are and maybe plan accordingly.
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Wed May 06, 2015 8:11 pm

OK, twists...

Room 22 is an ancient temple / altar of a god of the dead? Perhaps instead of the wand, the altar is the magic item, and zombies or undead creatures are summoned by using the altar.

There's a nasty trap in the passageway leading west from the NS corridor that links 22 and 24. The dragon can activate it. It totally blocks the passageway making escape impossible. Once combat with the dragon has started, the party cannot run away.

The party have a rumor that if they use the true name of the dragon, it will have to yield to them. This proves to be incorrect. (Or, they have a slightly wrong version the true name that has been given to them.)

The dragon is being secretly assisted by a well-known figure - perhaps a cleric - in Duncaster who uses room 25 as a base and still uses the altar in 22. The cleric is the one who can animate dead - Sygoreth himself cannot do so.

The dragon is already dead, and uses the magic of illusion (phantasmal forces) to keep up the appearance of being alive while it is raiding the town. Perhaps it has MU powers plus the ability to animate dead.

Or perhaps the dragon isn't real - in fact it is a higher level magic using vampire - or cleric - who poses a a dragon to terrify the village into submission. (This would also explain the undead.)

One thing - what about Fly and Levitate spells? A higher level and creative party might want to bypass the dungeon and just fly straight up the cliff. Maybe you should put something in the dungeon that they need, in order to defeat the dragon?
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Wed May 06, 2015 9:27 pm

Longman wrote:OK, twists...

Room 22 is an ancient temple / altar of a god of the dead? Perhaps instead of the wand, the altar is the magic item, and zombies or undead creatures are summoned by using the altar.
If I hadn't already used that idea in Cave of the Unknown, I'd do it here. But the temple does need some sort of special handling.
Longman wrote:There's a nasty trap in the passageway leading west from the NS corridor that links 22 and 24. The dragon can activate it. It totally blocks the passageway making escape impossible. Once combat with the dragon has started, the party cannot run away.
Okay, now THIS I can use!

Note the several collapsed areas already present. The ruin above is crumbling; I had already planned some falling-ceiling traps. But using one to block a corridor is genius.
Longman wrote:The party have a rumor that if they use the true name of the dragon, it will have to yield to them. This proves to be incorrect. (Or, they have a slightly wrong version the true name that has been given to them.)
Sounds like I need a rumors table.
Longman wrote:The dragon is being secretly assisted by a well-known figure - perhaps a cleric - in Duncaster who uses room 25 as a base and still uses the altar in 22. The cleric is the one who can animate dead - Sygoreth himself cannot do so.
Ah. An EHP, of sorts. Excellent idea. I had toyed with the concept of a magic-user or thief as a lackey or ally, but hadn't hit upon a cleric.
Longman wrote:The dragon is already dead, and uses the magic of illusion (phantasmal forces) to keep up the appearance of being alive while it is raiding the town. Perhaps it has MU powers plus the ability to animate dead.

Or perhaps the dragon isn't real - in fact it is a higher level magic using vampire - or cleric - who poses a a dragon to terrify the village into submission. (This would also explain the undead.)
Hmm. Not going with either of these, but they're ideas to hang onto for another adventure or two.
Longman wrote:One thing - what about Fly and Levitate spells? A higher level and creative party might want to bypass the dungeon and just fly straight up the cliff. Maybe you should put something in the dungeon that they need, in order to defeat the dragon?
Ack. Okay, hadn't thought of that.

For the convention, it's easy enough to just not give the party the means to fly. However, it does fall down as a stand-alone adventure that way. Adventurers are famously afraid of poison, so using giant spiders to deter climbers seemed a reliable approach... perhaps I need a poisonous flier instead...
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Re: The Dragon of Duncaster

Post Thu May 07, 2015 10:35 pm

Cool. Let me know when you work out the level and the twist, and I can have another crack at some of the other rooms.
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