Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 2
Beta (Β): Bags of Bones

Entry 2 for The Lost Catacombs of Kadmos

This simple 30'x30'x30' cube of a room is unadorned, save for the 20 bags of bones placed around the room, as well as a few bones (of apparently humanoid origin) scattered here and there. On the far side of the room, a massive wooden door features bone inlay “mosaic” depicting a human skeleton bearing a sword and shield. The intricately-carved handle and keyhole of the door seem to be of the same bone material as the inlay.

The door is both locked (traditionally) and held (magically); without the “skeleton” key (see below) which handles both, the lock and hold must be dealt with separately. A detect magic spell will reveal the door is magically imbued. Dispel magic or knock will remove the magical protection on door. The lock itself is fairly complicated, and a -10% penalty applies to attempts to pick it. Breaking the door open while both locked and held will be impossible. Breaking the door open (assuming the hold has been removed) requires a roll of 1 on 1d6 (regardless of strength bonuses); each failed attempt to break the door open causes 1 pt. of damage to the person(s) attempting to break it open.

19 of the 20 bags are simple sacks which each contain a load of human bones (mixed sizes and parts). It takes 3d6 rounds to thoroughly search each of these bags (even if the contents are spread out over the floor).

The other (20th) bag (marked on the map with the letter “s”) is actually a bag of holding containing 2d4 skeletons with swords and shields that will emerge from the bag when it is searched, surprising on 1-4 (on 1d6). Inside the bag is the “skeleton key,” a magically-imbued key intricately-carved from human bone. When placed in the decorated door, it will unlock the door and dispel the hold placed on it, allowing the door to be opened easily.

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