But this was not to be because these encounters are TRAAAAAASH
I also figured out a pattern. 5th level has 1 mummy. 8th level has 1d3+1 mummies. 13th level has a mummy lord. Meanwhile the players are just mummy bored.
So I'm taking it a step beyond condensing multiple encounters, I'm condensing multiple levels.
SO! This dungeon doesn't go to 20, it goes to 10. The post titles are now awful and ruined but I really have better thought experiments to do than brainstorm the difference between Wanker, d3+1 Wanker, Greater Wanker, d3+1 Greater Wankers, and finally the Greaterest Wankerest.
Dungeon levels 8-10 aren't just reached via flux space. They ARE flux space, and are all part of 'Dungeon level 8' now. So lets ignore all these awful functional duplicate encounters and get to work with the caves, picking out all the interesting encounters. Roll a d12 and use the next highest result whenever you reroll a result of 5+. Caves not specified as 'dead end' have 1d3 exits. This cavern system is functionally infinite, you explore to find paths, not to map the whole place out. The final encounter is supposed to spook the players, but feel free to add more and more horrible things if they keep searching.
- Path to Level 4, the Caves Near the Cathedral of Blood and Gold
- Path to level 7, the Unmapped Caves over The Walls
- Path to Wyrm Road. Can travel to level 7 or level 10.
- Path to the Lost City of the Underest Men (AKA Level 9)
- Cave of The Unfrozen- Dead end. Man-shaped imprints inside a glacier. 3 5th level trogolodyte(actually cavemen) clerics have thawed out from their cryogenic glacier stasis and have come from the past to save the future.Only cross this out once you roll it again, indicating a random encounter with the Cavemen hero-shamen in another cave.
- Cave of the Unfossilized- Dead end. Strange imprints of skeletons in a rock wall. 1d3 Advanced Megaraptor skeletons have awakened from their fossilized undead stasis and have come from the past to stop the cavemen. Only cross this out once you roll it again, indicating a random encounter with the megaraptors in another cave.
- 1 ettin and d3 brown bears. In the absence of her husband (the captive ettin on depth 6) she has adopted d3 brown bears. This is the ettin equivalent of a catlady. She knows a path to the surface mountains.
- 1 Stone giant. Is actually just a statue in a cave, not a golem or nuthin. But actually it IS a stone giant, they just truly become statues when they are asleep.
- Stalagmite Cave. A Behir lairs here, which is a stupid monster. Instead what is here is a possessed gemstone atop a truncated stalagmite that ricochets lightning bolts in complex and deadly angles to obliterate anyone who tries to steal it.
- Here's an encounter that was extra weird. 1 formian taskmaster and 1 dominated 5th level human barbarian. Mindslaving ant-men. I'm gonna make it weirder though. It's just a regular psychic ant queen, in a regular ant nest. This mentally manacled barbarian guy is probably an unfrozen caveman. His friends would like him back.
- Small cave, dead end. Insane scratching on walls, malproportioned stick figures and "Don't look at it, don't approach it" is all that's legible. Broken knife.
- Hibernating Naga nest. Dark, spirit, guardian, every type of weirdass human-faced giant magic snake, in a big ol pile. There's a crack in the ceiling that goes all the way back to the surface, in the mountains somewhere.
- Crack in the floor, 2 feet wide and 10 deep. There's a bottle at the bottom with a Noble Djinn and a Dickass Ifrit. They'll grant you a wish, but you have to choose which one is the right one to pick to grant it. The Djinn(good) always tells the truth and the Ifrit(Dick) always lies so it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out.
- Ogre tribe. Ogres are fey creatures and don't really need to eat, but they want to eat you anyway. Led by an ogre mage, an ogre berserker, and consisting of d3+4 ogres. Have treasures.
- 1d3+1 bearded devils and an Erinyes. Engaging in bizarre roleplay with the Erinyes pretending to be an angel dispensing divine wisdom to the devils who are pretending to be saints. One of the exits is a gate to hell that has a really tricksy riddle. The devils want to go back to hell but they can't figure out the riddle so they're just killing time.
- Dead end, collapsed rubble. Excavation reveals a Horn of Blasting and a flat skeleton.
- Pit of undead- Various ancient and horrible undead are stuck in a 30 foot deep and 100 foot wide pit. This is a dead end unless you find away across.
- Titanic skull, exits are accessed by climbing through nose then up through eye sockets. One eye socket is scratched with markings 'i should do this'
- Worm of the Earth. Too huge to realistically kill. It will burrow a large path to another either existing or new location, but until its done, this place is a dead end.
- Winged Vrock demon perched above stalagmite maze infested with basilisks obsessed with following skerples basilisk boss monster combat rules. The Vrock will attack if you turn back, but will just watch cackling if you fight or sneak your way through its maze.
- Stalactite Hydra- 10 Heads are armored like stone. It has burrowed into the ceiling to bedevil passerby by impaling them with surprise ceiling attacks. Not actually a hydra, actually a colony of barnacle-like molluscs.
- Dragon skeleton suspended in massive spider webs. No spiders present.
- Massive spider web. Dragon-sized spider present. Pulls on webs to seal exits with attached boulders once players have entered. Cutting off a spider leg to unseal an exit easier than cutting web.
- Frozen cavern guarded by Frost Giant and 1d4+2 dire wolves. A dead end unless you get past. One exit is portal to a strange and frozen world where the sun died.
- Half-fiend 7th level cleric. Absolutely hideous, but absolutely holy. Has lived in these caves in ascetic contemplation of the divine living off 1 drop of water from a stalactite a day for 99 years, and will become a saint after just one more year. May grant miracles to the pious, but is admittedly kinda snobby when it comes to people less faithful than he. Dead end.
- 1d4+2 5th level human paladins out to kill the above cleric. Are totally lost, both physically and spiritually speaking, and are gonna end up falling and becoming blackguards in this place.
- A hallway. Bobbing lights look like lanterns rapidly vanishing. Chasing after them is required to keep them in sight, and running will lead you to turn a corner and fall into a chasm all the way down to level 10 for 4d6 fall damage. Ouch. Will o' wisps.
- Ancient Night Hag. Has learned how to make soup from rocks. Desperate for new flavors and will pursue players in their dreams.
- Haunted Monolith. More insane scrawlings on walls. 'What is it' 'seeing it=taboo' 'god have i sinned' Ghosts and wraiths trapped in monolith, limited in action to reaching 1 foot from its surface and moaning so horribly that the monolith vibrates. Seeing this gives +1 appreciation of ancient gondwanan screamlord music, though you won't know this until you learn about ancient gondwanan screamlord music.
- Underground sea. A dead end for landlubbers. Beach infested with lobstrosities. Dad-a-chk? Did-a-chum?
- Eyeball room. 'stone lumps' on the walls open to reveal hundreds of glowing beachball-sized eyeballs, as from level 6. HP of party drops to 1 from fear infliction, though they're free to go forward or back now.
- 5th level drow wizard, mind flayer, and hellcat. All are zany chaotic good rebels from their oppressive societies. They're also on the wrong dimension but left their astral boat somewhere around here. I thought this was interesting because while the barbarian+formian encounter specified the barbarian was mentally enslaved, no mention of such was made here, hence their weirdness.
- Bodak, but let's twist it up a bit. Rather than a death stare, seeing it instantly cuts your HP and all your stats in half(rounded down) and you close your eyes reflexively. It's like sneezing. You also get the immediate sense of dread, pain, mild confusion, and the certainty that if it ever gets too close to you, you'll die.There's no saving throw for this effect. That reflexive squint and you losing half your shit and leaping to an insane conclusion WAS you making the saving throw.
This guy looks a little lame. We should give him some tentacles, or a suit, or something. Maybe both. perfect