Monday, January 8, 2018

SEASIDE CASTLE OF THE NIGHTMARE KING

 you know when a post title is allcaps it is because I grabbed some random idea and ran with it late night
say no more

 If you're a player in my Wolf Moons & Kingdoms of Day Game, reading this post might spoil you, but it probably won't spoil the actual fun of playing through it and you might never go here so whatever.
even if you do go here you might just turn around and leave because I mean really

1-Nodule Forest- Mirror-polished bubbles of plant material switch the places of you and your reflection, leaving you trapped within and your reflection walking free. You must mimic your reflection while it is in view, but if separated your actions need not mimic it. Your reflection has no back and will hide this, walking in the rear or keeping its back to walls. Some bubbles have remnant treasures from trapped and slain adventurers within. Your reflection will try to lead other party members back into the nodule forest so they can all be replaced. If the entire party is replaced, you may as well keep playing as the reflections, who are the loyal servants of the Nightmare King.

2-Path to the Castle- falling off the right side of this bridge drops you into the ocean, the left side drops you onto the elephant hide of 6. The perpendicular support beams drove through the lower levels are a little too far to jump between with 100% reliability, but the creatures on the path might be avoided this way. Path to the right leads to 9

3- Stilthenge- a grappling line or a swim through the ocean or a truly prodigous leap is required to reach the 'legs' of this structure.
Twelve standing stones and a 13th grave set aside, and two 3-stone archways are the scenery here and contain notes on nightmarish rituals, but the guardian won't let you examine them and indeed doesn't want anyone bothering him. He has a whistle that summons that giant-ass monster below 3 to claw and paw at people who can't get to cover of the stones fast enough. He was a servant of the crumbling prisoner and wants vengeance upon the current king, and to become king himself.
The crumbling prisoner (11) can be seen here

The Guardian- Fighter equal to highest level character in party. Has a whistle that only monsters can hear. The monster lurking below finds the noise of the whistle annoying and slaps at the whistles last heard location, so the Guardian tries to whistle and lure other people to stand where once he was standing, and use it as cover. I imagine he runs around the outer perimeter constantly in an attempt to string players out.

The Guardian's Monster- Basically just a huge monkey, a giant with speedy climbing. It needs 1 limb to hold on to the underside of 3, and can attack with 2 others blindly or expose its head and attack with 1 and sight. It must save or fall into the ocean whenever a limb (treat limbs as 4hd monsters ac leather, doing 2d6) is destroyed. Its main HP pool cannot be attacked unless it exposes its head or someone gets under 3 with it, which it will only do if there are no whistle noises to slap at.

4- Birthing Arch- From the vagina of the stone colossus, monsters come to stalk the bridge. The monsters fight each other for dominance so there should only ever be one monster on the bridge at a time, or two dueling monsters. Entering the vagina will mutate things into monsters. Players get to save to keep their sanity, otherwise they become bridge guardians. Past this, one can enter into 12, or the daring could climb up it to 13 or 15 and the suicidal could climb all the way to 16 or 17.
Manticores are a good choice but really, anything works for bridge monsters. Bridge monsters will fight the whistle-monster of 3 if its lured to the bridge or they're lured to 3.


5-The Great Maw- easily reached from the elephant's skin 6, or reached via somehow crossing the hundred-foot gap from the Path to the Castle. It gnashes people for 2d20 damage if it doesn't like how they smell, and the giant sniffing nose makes this pretty clear, but through it leads directly into the castle hall (12). The Nightmare King sometimes stands here and looks out upon his domain, and could shout at players on the path to the castle. Water flows from the maw and it will likely be mistaken as saliva, but it is in fact the King's Tears

6-The elephant hide- a great and stony tarp of taut, thick skin. Dying and dead monsters lie here, losers of bridge battles, and there are many giant monster skeletons as well.

7-Gate of the Goat- Walking atop it takes one to the Face Monoliths (8) and continuing the climb leads to 13. Entering it goes through a hollow tunnel-bridge of horns into the castle hall

8- Face Monoliths- Depicts past and current kings of the castle, and how how prior ones were slain by their replacement.Clues as to the current king's control of water and prehensile beard and mustache. Eyes of the monolith are gems matching the giant eyeballs irises.

9- The Entombed Oracle and the Gazer Rocks- Accessible from either long climbs along the outside of the castle, or the path from 2. The former brings you to the oracles face, the latter leads you through the gazer rocks.
The gazer rocks scrub away reality of those they gaze at, obliterating skills, stats, equipment, memory, etc, and eventually the entire existence of the object of their attention. They cannot gaze up towards the oracle or his pillar.
Anyone hung from the noose will have their memories added to the Oracles'.

The Oracle is just a face and internal organs, giblets being visible through the lattice pillar he is entombed in. He speaks grand and ominous prophecies, naturally, and can be killed by removing the log 'spikes' that keep his guts from falling down the hollow pillar, which breaks the power of his prophecies but also curses the killers.
He can also give an in-depth but less pretentiously portentous account of the next 1d20 actions of a player- they roll 1d20d20's and use the results, in order, for their next d20 rolls. Allow them to be as metagamey as possible with this nonsense because that's the whole point.
10-secret room
11-Crumbling Prisoner- He is disintegrating into nothing and wishes for a rematch with the current king and to regain his former glory. He has deduced the weakness of the current king(the hair! The eyes!) and curses himself for not seeing it sooner, when he isn't watching his hands crumble into nothing and babbling in madness. He dimly recognizes the guardian of 3.

12- An interior area. High balconies opposite the giant eyeballs lead to 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, and a seabreeze comes in through the gaping mouth of 5. The floor is sloped towards 5 gently, and that's where the tears flow.

The two gigantic eyeballs swivel to watch those inside, and the Nightmare King sees what they see.

The nightmare king himself has no eyes, just sockets. Tears flow from them unceasingly and wet his beard and mustache, and his control over water allows him to then use them to strangle up to 3 people at once. The king is huge and his throne room has streams of his tears running to 5, the better to strike down his foes with ankle-tugging currents and drowning bubbles.
I coulda wrote that there white text here, dang

Like 12 hit dice, armor as plate
The King cannot be flanked so long as the giant eyeballs watch the throne room and everything in it. He is very fast, probably like a horse. His morale is great, but he might flee into the sea for a vicious underwater phase 2 of the bossfight that I'm not going to get into.
The kings facial hair has 21HP and armor as leather, and he loses 1/2 his mustache or his beard every 7 damage dealt to it.

The giant eyes can't be punctured by mere arrows- it takes a full on spear to pierce them, or maybe a manticore tail spike. Once pierced, they deflate into waterfalls of blood. The king is blind without them but can manipulate the blood as water.

The king does 2 of the following moves each round, in the following repeating pattern, the first action before the players go and the second one after the players go.
Furious Advance->To the Throne!
Water Control->Furious Advance
To the Throne!->Water Control

Furious Advance- King advances, giant spear leveled at ya and feet like a small stampede. He's trying to drive you into a stream of tears or to the gnashing maw of 5. You can let him push you there, backpedaling the whole way and avoid all damage, or make a dex roll to dive to one side and let him go past you, or stand your ground and face a fearsome attack for 3d8 damage.

To the Throne! The king vanishes and appears in his throne along with any grappled characters, assuming it seems equally or more advantageous than his current position.

Water Control- The king makes 3 attacks with his facial hair or a single Ankle Snag or Drowning Bubble against an enemy standing in or near a puddle/stream of his tears.

Facial Hair- Grapples 1d4 limbs and deals that much damage as well each turn one remains grappled
Ankle Snag- save or be tripped prone. Prone targets can't avoid the Furious Advance.
Drowning Bubble- Engulfed by water around the head! Easiest escape is to drink the stuff. Takes 1 round to drink,+1 per previous bubble drank cuz you're so full.

Throw Captive- If the king has a captive and returns to the throne, he will, as his next action, hurl captives at other players for 3d6 to both of 'em, or just 3d6 to the thrown captive if he misses. If he has captured everyone, he throws them into the Maw instead.


He has a crown that looks like a tumorous spiderweb and would be worth a lotta money. With the gems from the monolith, enough for everyone to level up in a GP-to-XP system.

13- Nipper maw- Anyone entering has it bite at them unless they can slip through speedily, stealthily, or maybe jam it open with something. Enters to balcony of 12.

14- Licker Maw- Licks a slimy obelisk constantly. Something must be done about the tongue if one is to go through and enter the balcony of 12. The obelisk it is licking has a legendary recipe for cooking several types of monster into the ultimate meat kabob and the stone is rather salty tasting itself.

15-Chubgrub maw- This maw doesn't want to open for anything, and is on a tube of mobile flesh the size of a hallway(because it IS a hallway) so fighting your way through will be a lot of work. Tickling, tempting with tasty foods, and other guileful tactics should work.

16- Crabclaw halls- the balcony leads to these identical, steep hallways of red carapace. There is a lever that can release the appropriate tightrope end of 18 right before the bifurcated vertical tubes that are the pincers. There are also levers that allow the crabclaws to move and perhaps do battle with any godzilla sized creatures menacing the castle, but it takes a lot of thinking to figure it out.

17- Spike Lump towers- the balconies lead here too. Some deformed beastmen operate pulsing sacs of matter, which are the trigger cells that will launch man-sized spikes like ballista bolts. These are for aerial defense of the castle, and the beasts here see what the eyes see. If the eyes are blinded, they too are blind. They will fire upon tightrope walkers and surrender to those wearing the crown and can be taken on as hirelings (pretty much goblins)

18- Brainstem Tightrope- those walking the tightrope can speak with the Brain Dreaming Of Monsters and crown the wearer of the Nightmare King's crown the new Nightmare King, and hopefully cast amnesia on anyone who read that awful sentence. Others may ask to be transformed into a new shape so long as it is not (conventionally) beautiful and could be said to be monstrous.

The brain relies on being huge and floating high in the air for protection, but as the brain of the castle, it can control the spike-lumps and crab claws if no one is at the 'controls' of those features to defend itself from dedicated attempts to destroy it. A hijacked spike-lump or crab-claw can definitely kill the brain.

19- The Monstrous Miasma- This pillar of nightmare can be ascended to realms high and howling and horrible, like an escalator of half-dreamt monsters and raw terror

20- The Nightmare Sea- waterspouts and a grumbling storm threaten to send most people to a watery death, but perhaps there's something out there. The King would be mighty indeed if he fights in his own element, and if his morale fails he'll leap out the Maw and do just that,

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