warhammer quest

The Tower of Hazuk

by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock

 

The following is my first attempt at a home-made adventure for Warhammer Quest, geared for an adventuring party made up of 1st and 2nd Battle-Level Warriors, with 4-6 members. I have tried to use only items included in the basic Warhammer Quest boxed set for this particular adventure.

In actual play, this adventure was run over two sessions, each four hours in length. For both sessions, I had a large group of Warriors, and there was some change between each session. Session 1 covered the bottom level of the tower, and ended while the players were still puzzling over the Idol Room. Session 2 covered their attempts to solve the elemental puzzle, and exploration of Level 2.

For Session 1, I had a 1st level Barbarian, a 2nd level Barbarian, a 1st level Knight Panther, a 1st level Templar, a 2nd level Dwarf, a 3rd level Wizard, and a 1st level Ogre Mercenary. The Wizard and Ogre Mercenary left after the first room, due to time constraints. There were no fatalities during the first session, but the Warriors had to make a trip back to town in order to recover, as they had no healer in the party.

For Session 2, the same Barbarians, Knight Panther, Dwarf and Wizard were present. A 1st level Ogre Mercenary, 1st level Wardancer, a 1st level Thief and a 1st level Elf High Mage joined the group. Several Warriors went through the Magic Circle on level 2, and some tried standing in the center, despite my attempts to make an ominous description. During this session, the Elf High Mage ended up plummeting through the pits, the Wardancer, Thief and Knight Panther took turns facing (and being killed by) the Minotaur Champion, the 3rd level Wizard killed the 1st level Barbarian for no good reason (these are generally rather young players), and the Ogre Mercenary was slain by Giant Spiders. I theorize that this was largely because nobody bothered to take the time to heal up the Warriors before venturing up the magical staircase -- If they had done so, I presume things might have gone differently, though the Minotaur Champion is still quite a challenge if any Warriors try to take him on solo, most certainly.

This game was designed in the hopes of being very flexible to provide an enjoyable event even with widely varying Battle-Levels. Many of the Monsters have particular abilities that tend to "equalize" the playing field, and most of the major obstacles have solutions that have little or nothing to do with individual Warrior statistic ability.

 

Introduction

During their stay in a new Settlement, the Warriors have learned of an enchanted tower that stands on a bleak, rocky hilltop a day's walk away. A powerful wizard once lived there, and performed various mysterious experiments, but at some point he disappeared. It is rumored that his death had to do with foul excursions into the tempting realm of dark magic.

His tower still stands, and many locals over the years who felt bold enough to venture inside in search of treasure were never seen again, or else returned weary and wounded with tales of magical traps and swarms of vermin.

So far, no one has managed to reach the inner sanctum at the top of this crumbling tower. Surely great danger must lie inside . . . but surely also great treasure and long-lost secrets!

Designer's Notes

At various places, I have included additional notes, preceded by a ">" symbol, that do not present any real information necessary to play the game, but rather just provide information about WHY I wrote things the way I did. This may be helpful when you, as a GM, have to modify the rules to react to unexpected Warrior actions, or to figure out what I /really/ meant by some odd statistics or instructions. For brevity, when printing this out, you can safely go through and delete all lines with ">" in front and maintain the instructions you'll most likely need for play. I would recommend /reading/ it first, though, and probably keeping a copy of the complete form until you've finished with the adventure, as sometimes I've included extra notes on the rooms that aren't necessary (IMHO) to keep in print, but should be easy enough to remember. (Note that <> symbols replaced by italics) 

Also, I have a set of house rules I've been using which differentiate between "gold" and "experience points". Generally, I translate any gold earned from killing Monsters into "experience points", which are kept in a separate column. Experience may be spent toward gaining Battle-Levels in the same way as gold (and can be mixed with it if need be) but it cannot be "spent" on anything else, and hence is less flexible than gold. However, you cannot /lose/ experience to the various Hazards and Events that seem to part a foo-- er, Warrior with his money so effectively.

If you don't use this house rule, just award a Warrior gold when I refer to "experience points".

Instructions

No one intending to play this adventure should read any further. This section includes crude (ASCII) maps of the layout, as well as details for each location. The Warriors may start by placing themselves anywhere within four spaces of the doorway leading into room #1 (the Fountain Chamber).

 

Tower Map -- Level 1

Events

When the Wizard rolls a 1 during the power phase, roll on the following chart to determine what monsters appear:

 

Roll Monster Type
1-3 12 Giant Spiders
4 12 Giant Rats
5 12 Giant Bats
6 Nothing happens.  But the Warriors don't need to know that.  =)
 

If you should roll up a monster type while the Warriors are already fighting some of the same kind, simply ignore the new Event. The Warriors will probably have enough on their hands anyway. No Treasure Cards are gained as a result of defeating any of these Event monsters.

Also, as a GM, you should feel free to forego Event rolls when the Warriors have reached a point where it will only present needless delays. Namely, once the Warriors have explored the entirety of the base level and defeated all of the Monsters there, they will most likely be spending some amount of time puzzling over how to proceed further. Rolling for constant Events will only break their train of thought and further drag on play, perhaps leading to frustration. Therefore, at some point it might be wise to just indicate that no Events will be rolled until further notice.

If you have access to Floor plan #2 ("Generic Stone" 4x4 room and 2x2 room floor plans) from the ftp.wais.com ftp site, the 4x4 room (or duplicates thereof) might be useful for the dungeon rooms here, since none of the decorations for the basic boxed set floor plans are particularly appropriate for any of these side-rooms.

 

1. Fountain Chamber

"Cobwebs slough down from the ceiling, covering almost every surface -- Every surface, that is, save for a bubbling fountain that stands in the center of the room. In the midst of all this decay and ruin, the water is crystal clear, and the fountain still works -- a marvel of ancient architecture, and no doubt a testament to the magical power of the wizard who once lived here.

To the east and west, stone archways lead into adjoining rooms, while a sturdy steel door stands closed to the north.

As you take in your surroundings, you hear clicking noises, and notice some movement out of the corner of your eye ..."

 


12 Giant Spiders have set up their lair in this chamber, and there are countless other nests in holes in the walls. At the end of each monster phase, if there are fewer than 12 Giant Spiders on the table, 1D3 more (up to a maximum of 12 at a time) crawl out of the webs, appearing in spaces as far away from the Warriors in the same room as possible.


  M WS S T W A Gold
Giant Spider 6 2 N/A 2 1 1 15

If a Spider attacks a Warrior who is already webbed, the Spider automatically bites him, inflicting 1D3 Wounds with no modifiers for Toughness or armour.  If the Warrior wasn't already webbed, make a roll to hit.  If the Spider hits, the Warrior is now webbed and may do nothing  until he gets free.  Put a Webbed counter next to him. At the start of each turn roll 1D6 for each webbed Warrior and add his Strength. If the total is 7 or more, he frees himself and may act normally.


If any Warrior should try using a fire-based spell, torch or even a desperate attempt with the lantern to set the webs afire, they catch ablaze quickly. The Giant Spider reinforcements will immediately cease. However, due to the intense smoke, each Warrior must roll 1D6. If the result is greater than his starting Toughness, he takes 1 Wound (ignoring Toughness and Armor) from smoke inhalation. If this damage should take him to 0 Wounds, he doesn't die if not treated -- He will simply be unconscious (all attacks against him will automatically hit), though any further damage will kill him.

The door to the north is locked securely. If any Warrior should attempt to bash it down, it has a Toughness of 10, and 10 Wounds before it can be budged. If the Warriors should bash their way through, they will have alerted the monsters in room #5, who will immediately get a free attack (as if they had managed to Ambush the Warriors).

If a Warrior should try to pick the lock, he will need Lock Tools, and he will have to make an Intellectual Initiative test with a target number of 14 to succeed. (This is a tough lock!) If a Warrior fails to pick it on his first try, he will fare no better on subsequent attempts.

If the Warriors should inspect the Fountain, they will find a small key ring with three keys on it. One of them has corroded away to uselessness. (It's the one that /would/ have opened this doorway, but there's no chance of that now.) The other two open the locked doorways in rooms #2 and #3.

NOTE: If the Wizard should have the "Open" spell, it is capable of opening /any/ lock here. Sure, that may seem terribly easy, but success/failure with the locks is not essential to the "plot" of the adventure.

If the Wizard should inspect the Fountain, he should have plenty reason to be convinced that this water is enchanted. Unfortunately, he has no way of discerning what useful properties this enchantment entails, other than that this water is particularly refreshing to the taste.

If the Warriors should brush aside the cobwebs (or have already destroyed them), read them the following:

"You find that the walls of this chamber are covered with words, images and symbols chiselled into the stones. Most of it is unintelligible, either due to the holes created by the spiders, or simply because of the archaic nature of the language, but there is a poem that you can make out:

 

The other symbols and images seem to deal with legends ascribed to the earliest times of the magical colleges, and of the various schemes of elements that alchemists have tried to divide the universe up into. There are diagrams showing the quartet of Earth, Air, Fire and Water; some show another version from the magicians of Cathay that adds a fifth element of Nature in the middle. Yet others pattern themselves after the six (or seven) colors of the rainbow, or of course the eight winds of magic."

(Note on this room) The Giant Spiders are meant to give the Warriors a nice battle to start things off with that can be bothersome to them even if they are of high Battle-Levels. That newcomers are placed far away is so that the Warriors don't get to attack them right away after they're placed. They will most likely be stuck with one or two spiders up close, and then the newcomer spiders can move in (at a Move of 6) to close the gap and web some Warriors. As the poison bypasses armor, Warriors who have built up quite a Toughness rating with lots of armor and other protective goodies won't necessarily be invincible. Your main problem is if a Wizard just toasts the spiders with Freeze! each turn. Remember that he can't cast any spells once webbed...


If the Warriors should inspect any of the spiders' holes, they will find a treasure (pick a Treasure Card), and 300 gold. If any Warrior should decide to search some more, he will find a small platinum key, wrought such that it suggests that it were made of little metal "bones" put together, with a grinning skull on one end. The Wizard will be able to identify this as a magical Skeleton Key. It is worth 300 gold if sold. However, it may be used once to open any one door (except for those magically bound), by reshaping itself to fit the lock. After opening the lock, it crumbles away, useless.

 

2. Study ("Torture Chamber")

"Dust swirls about this room, and the crumbled remains of ancient timbers lie strewn about. Fragments of parchment are interspersed with the rubble, but crumble at the touch. In one corner of the room. amongst the debris, lies a short skeleton, apparently of a Dwarf or perhaps a rather short human. The only exit appears to be the archway leading back to the fountain chamber."

If the Warriors should attempt to search for secret doors, or examine the rubble further, they will uncover a sturdy door on the north wall which was hidden by the remains of a collapsed shelf.

If you should have the old HeroQuest game, using a couple of bookshelves in this room, one of them toppled over, might help for scenery.

This door may be opened by the key found in the Fountain, or else it may be bashed down. It has a Toughness of 6, and 4 Wounds before it can be budged. Otherwise, the lock may be picked if a Warrior has Lock Tools, and can make a target Intellectual Initiative test of 8.

If any Warrior should spend any time examining the door to try to find any sort of clues (how to open it or whatever), he will find some lettering partially caked with dirt, etched into the door. Upon wiping away some of the dirt, he finds the cryptic inscription "Face thy greed beyond this door".

If some Warrior should be intent upon trying to find something on these scrolls, and come up with some ingenious way to read them without damaging them (or just try to see what he can read without touching anything), let him come across the following fragment of information:

"The elemental portal may be opened by the juncture of the four primary elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. No ordinary sample of these elements may be used. All must be magical."

If anyone should disturb the skeleton, it springs to life! Use the counter for the Dwarf Skeleton to indicate its location, if you do not have a skeleton model.

"A chill wind stirs about the room, blowing dust in your face. The ancient bone fragments and pieces of parched skin and bleached hair rise, floating in the air. In a grotesque way, they resemble nothing so much as a child's wooden puzzle with most of the pieces missing. An unseen hand grasps a heavy warhammer, and the partially solid entity steps forward with an unholy glow where its eyes should be."

 


  M WS S T W A Gold
Dwarven Skeleton 4 4 4 4 10 2 100

Fear 5; Magic Resistance 4+; Cannot be Pinned. On any hit with a weapon, magical or otherwise, roll 1D6.  On a roll of 4+, the weapon passes through harmlessly, doing no damage. Regardless of his opponent's Toughness or Armor, any successful hit by the Dwarven Skeleton causes at least 1 Wound of damage per blow.


The Dwarven Skeleton should hopefully give any Warrior pause for thought, especially with the "causes at least 1 Wound" rule. That he has an equal chance of avoiding damage for magical or normal weapons helps to even out things a bit between less-experienced (and equipped) adventurers and more advanced ones, at least for this particular occasion.

If the Warriors should flee the Dwarven Skeleton, it will not leave the room to pursue them, and will return to its pile. If it is disturbed again, however, it will rise again, at its full count of 10 Wounds. If a Warrior- Priest, High Priest, Shaman, Druid or Templar should give last rites over the body before disturbing it, it will not animate. (This can also be done if the Warriors flee the room and come back later to find the skeleton lying on the floor again.) If a Dwarf should enter the room and try to offer a prayer for the dead, or make some other attempt to "appease" the spirit, such attempts should be considered as well. Anyone who gives the skeleton last rites or otherwise appeases it may earn the 100 experience points as if it had been defeated.

If the Dwarven Skeleton should be defeated, its earthly remains will no longer reanimate. The Warhammer in its possession is rather corroded, and cannot be sold in a Settlement, but otherwise has statistics exactly as a regular Warhammer if any Warrior should care to use it. There is also a small stoppered glass flask amongst his bones, but its contents are long since gone.

Note: This flask could come in handy should the Warriors try any experiments with trying to get some water from the fountain, etc.

 

3. Ruined Chamber (Dungeon Cell)

"Several bones are scattered about, intermixed with crumbled blocks that have come loose from the ceiling. An old but sturdy wooden door stands to the north. Other than that, this room seems to have no noteworthy features, other than scattered debris."

Place the "pile of bones" marker in the southeast corner of the room. As soon as all Warriors have entered the room, roll 1D6 for each Warrior, and compare the results. Inform the Warriors that some dust and small stones dislodge from the ceiling as they enter. (The die roll has nothing to do with anything, only to keep them on their toes.) If they should wish to get a better idea of just how unstable this room is, let a Warrior make an Intellectual Initiative test with a target roll of 8. Give the Dwarf a +4 on this roll. A success indicates that the southeast corner of the room is particularly unstable.

After the first turn, if any Warrior should enter the southeast quadrant of the room (or if anyone there should decide to remain there), it is not the ceiling but rather the /floor/ that gives way. Use one of the pit markers and place it underneath where the Warrior stepped.

Unless this Warrior has any special ability for avoiding traps (such as the Thief), he falls in and takes 1D6 Wounds, ignoring Toughness and Armor. A rope or Levitation spell can get him out immediately. Otherwise, since this isn't a true trap meant to keep him in there with no chance of getting out, he may attempt to climb out by making an Initiative test with a target value of 10. For each turn that he attempts to get out of the pit but fails, he dislodges some of the broken rock on the edge of the pit, filling the bottom, and making it a little easier to get out next time, dropping the target value by 1 each Turn. Any Turn in which he crawls out, he may move to an adjacent square, but cannot make an attack or additional Move this turn.

If anyone wishes to climb down into the pit, he or she may do so without taking any damage, though climbing out may still be a problem. If anyone bothers to look in the pit, there is a silver flask that has somehow gotten down there, and is worth 10 gold if sold at a Settlement. (It can also be used to hold fluids, of course.)

If anyone else ventures into this corner of the room, there are no further pits that open up.

If anyone disturbs the bone pile, they find nothing of interest except for ... old bones.

The door to the north can be opened by the key found in the fountain, or else it can be bashed down, with a Toughness of 4 and 4 Wounds. If anyone should attempt to pick the lock, they need Lock Tools, and an Intellectual Initiative test with a target value of 8.

Anyone examining the door for any sort of clues will find a rough scrawl that reads "Curiosity killed the cat."

 

4. Treasure Chamber (Monster Lair)

"This room has weathered the rigors of time far better than most of the rest of this tower. Against the northern portion of the room lie a number of glittering treasures, sitting on the remnants of collapsed furniture. A weapons rack holds several weapons of fine craftsmanship. A jewelled dagger and several baubles lie nearby. Other than this, the room is mostly barren, except for two stone doorways leading to the east and south."

If anyone should be skeptical and examine the room before going for any treasure, let them make some Intellectual Initiative tests, and give them some of the following information (perhaps on pieces of note paper, so it's up to THEM how they share the information) as seems appropriate for their professions.

  1. The chamber seems to have a light source coming from an unknown direction -- all clues would indicate that the objects themselves seem to be giving off a faint light.
  2. You feel chilled, though the room doesn't seem particularly cold or damp.
  3. The gold coins are all stamped with grinning skulls and an insignia that roughly translates, "Greed", with the symbol of Chaos on the reverse side.
  4. There are blood stains on the weapons.
  5. Upon close examination, signs of the various Chaos gods can be found on each of the weapons.
If the Warriors should decide to grab some items, they find one jewelled dagger, 500 gold coins, a fine sword, a great axe (with the same abilities apparently as the Dwarf's weapon), a warhammer, and a spear.

The first turn after any Warrior should grab an item, there will immediately be a monster Event. Randomly determine what type of monster attacks, as on the Event chart given earlier. If you roll a 6, then 12 Giant Spiders attack.

The weapons are all identified as magical if identified by the Wizard, and have the following statistics:

Sword
Causes 1D6+1 Wounds + Strength when used.

Great Axe
Does damage as the Dwarf's Great Axe, except that when a double 1 is rolled, simply add the two dice together for damage. The bearer does not "trip on his beard", and this may be used by either the Dwarf or Barbarian.

Spear
Does 1D6 Wounds + Strength, Attack in Ranks. Once/adventure, it may be thrown to cause 3D6 Wounds on a single target.

Warhammer
1D6+1 Wounds + Strength.

Jewelled Dagger
1D6 Wounds + Strength, ignores armor. Keep track of who has what. If any Warrior should leave the room, he will immediately be affected by the curse if he carries any of these items with him.

Gold: Anyone carrying any amount of this gold will immediately suffer 1 Wound (without modifiers for Toughness or Armor) per turn until it is discarded or he goes back to the room.

Anyone carrying any of the weapons will be attacked as if the Warrior had made an attack against himself using this weapon. Roll to hit as normal, and inflict damage as described, using the Warrior's Strength. The attacks will continue until the weapon is dropped, or until the Warrior re-enters the room.

If any of these items is dropped outside the room, it turns into a wretched creature of Chaos and slithers away. The coins are revealed to be slimy bugs. The spear is a two-headed serpent. The dagger is a pulsating slug. The sword is a tentacled centipede. The warhammer looks like a winged, spiny fish. The axe looks like a manta ray covered with pupil-less green eyes and ripping claws.

If any Warrior should destroy all of the remaining items (which have not yet turned into Chaos creatures and slithered away), he gains 200 experience points for ridding the world of these foul creations.

If the door to the south has not already been opened, it is easy to do so from this side. The door to the east, however, is securely locked. It may be bashed open, having a Toughness of 4 and Wounds of 4, but doing so will give the monsters in the Idol Chamber a free attack as if they had Ambushed the Warriors. It may be picked if anyone has Lock Tools, with a target Intellectual Initiative test of 7.

 

5. The Idol Chamber

"This stone chamber is brightly lit by the flickering flames leaping from a bronze brazier standing at the top of a paired set of steps. A bronze statue of one of the gods of old stands above this brazier, with four arms -- In each hand it holds a symbol of one of the four elements: a flame, a drop of water, a wispy vapor, and a piece of rock.

Suddenly, you notice something odd about this high-vaulted chamber -- namely that it apparently has no ceiling at all! Swirling mists give way to what appears to be a stormy sky above you, perhaps at dusk. No, now it is night time, and you see flashes of lightning jumping between the clouds. No, now the light grows brighter, as if the coming of dawn. And now it is as bright as a summer's midday. Then evening... In mere moments, the days seem to sweep by. There is no doubt that the very air itself here is charged with magic. There is no sign of the tower that should be rising from this very part of the ancient structure.

There is, however, sign of a more present danger, as great stone statues uproot themselves from their basing, and slowly make their way toward you. The weapons carved into their hands do not suggest friendly intentions."

If you have more than 4 Warriors, or if your party is mostly made up of 2nd Battle-Level Warriors (or higher?) then there will be 3 Minotaur Statues here. Otherwise, just use 2. If any of the Warriors should be slain in this room, then if any Minotaur Statue should be subsequently reduced to 0 Wounds, any remaining Statues (if any) will immediately de-animate as well. (There's no need to completely annihilate the Warriors, after all!) No gold is gained from the Minotaurs for "defeating" them if they simply de-animate.

If any Events should be rolled for this room, they are automatically Giant Bats, which swoop down from the "sky".


  M WS S T W A Damage Gold
Minotaur Statue 2 4 4 4 15 2 2D6+4 500

These Minotaurs have a special enchantment on them that turns magical objects to stone.  Upon any successful hit, whether or not damage is inflicted, a magical item held by the target is turned to stone and useless.  It is up to the Warrior to decide what item in his possession is affected.  Potions and scrolls do not count.  Weapons turned to stone are useless. Armor or articles of clothing or jewelry crumble away, as they are simply too thin to be sturdy enough to encase moving Warrior.  If the Warrior has no magical items, this ability has no special effect.

The Minotaur Statues will always choose to attack the Warrior or Warriors with the most powerful magic items in their possession. They cannot be pinned. They also cannot leave this room, though they may attack through the doorways if any Warriors stand just outside.

Each Minotaur, if destroyed, breaks apart, revealing a small faintly-glowing gem which is magical (but has no particular discernable properties), and which may sold for 100 gold.


The Minotaur Statue provides a sort of "equalizer". Newer players tend to have less magical goodies than the more experienced ones to. The latter often have /too many/, thanks to the Treasure Cards. This can be a rather effective way of trimming down what magical items the party has, especially if they are nigh-invulnerable thanks to magical armor.

Once the Warriors have a chance to survey their surroundings, they will find a number of things, depending upon where they investigate:

  1. The brazier has symbols on it for the four elements, and writing that roughly translates to read "When I shall hold the four keys, I shall open the way."
  2. The fire in the brazier is magical in origin, burning no fuel. If anyone should be foolish enough to touch it, he suffers 2D6 Wounds, with no modifiers for Toughness or Armor! However, he shows no signs of burns afterward.
  3. In the southern portion of the room are four stone tiles, each with symbols corresponding to the four elements, and a rune in the middle which the Dwarf or Wizard should be able to recognize as being a symbol for "Passage".
  4. If they examine the statue further, they will see that it is gazing downward -- perhaps at the fire of the brazier, or perhaps beyond to the runic tiles on the floor . . . or both?
If any Warrior should attempt to damage the statue for whatever reason, the damage he inflicts is reflected back onto himself, ignoring armor.

If the Warriors have not already opened the door between this room and the Fountain Chamber, they can easily do so from this side. The doors to the east and west likewise can be opened from this room easily. If a Warrior should investigate the door to the west, he can find an inscription that reads, "Do not touch the treasure beyond, for herein lies the doom of the greedy." If a Warrior should investigate the door to the east, he can find an inscription that reads, "Do not read the passages beyond, for herein lies the doom of the curious."

The puzzle in this room is that there is a magical portal that will appear on the four tiles once four magical elements are combined in the brazier. The fire and air are already present in the form of the magical "sky" spell and the eternal fire. The trick is in introducing some magical water and some magical earth/stone. A fragment of one of the defeated magical statues will suffice for the earth element, though any sort of magical gem, jewel or stone/rock item will work as well. A bit of water from the fountain will suffice for the water, though any magical water (potions will work in this regard) will do the trick as well.

Once all four elements are present, a swirling magical staircase appears in the four squares. Anyone may move into this space and on their next turn start ascending the magical staircase to Level 2, disappearing into the magical "sky".

It should be noted that the purpose here is to present a puzzle for the Warriors to solve, not to be stumped by. It is more important that they feel that they have accomplished something and found the "right" solution, rather than that they actually have picked the pre-determined solution to this puzzle. For this very reason, it may help to be flexible. There are a number of elements about this room that could lead the Warriors to try various things. Another possible solution to this puzzle might be that they try to place the magical elements on each of the four floor tiles. They might try lighting a torch with the fire from the brazier, try to "capture" some of the magical air in a bag or flask, use a flask of water, get a piece of magical stone, etc. If they try this solution instead, let them. There might be other possible solutions that seem to make sense. What matters is that the Warriors think that they've accomplished something. A little showmanship helps. =) Stringing the Warriors along for the "right" solution and letting them chase red herrings can be rather frustrating.

 

6. Library (Guard Room)

"This room has tiles of black and white making up the floor. To the north lies a huge, musty tome, with candles at each side which provide a flickering light. Other than that, the room is barren, save for doorways that lead westward and south."

The door to the west is locked shut, and can be picked open if Lock Tools are handy, with a target Intellectual Initiative test of 7 or more. Otherwise, it can be forced open, and isn't as sturdy as it initially appeared to be. Busting it open doesn't give the monsters on the other side an "Ambush" attack.

If the door to the south has not already been opened, it is easy to do so from this side.

The book at the north side of the room (perhaps represented by the Wizard's Book, if you have the HeroQuest boxed game) reads "Book of Untold Power and Long Lost Secrets" in the language of whomever checks it first, with the symbol of Chaos (the eight-arrow "star") on its cover. Anyone may spend 2D6 turns studying the book, upon which they may randomly pick a spell from the complete spell card deck, which they have now "learned", whether or not they are spell- casters. If anyone chooses to read the book, it is so interesting that he is compelled to read it for the entire duration. During this time, he is oblivious to all else unless attacked. (Any Monsters that appear as part of Events will not attack the reader of the book, but focus instead on other Warriors. They will, however, attack the reader if he is the only viable target -- He may fight back, but as soon as the Monsters are defeated, must return to read the rest of the book.)

The candles should be suspicious enough, as any untended candle would have burnt out long ago. They are enough to light the room without benefit of the lantern. If anyone should take a candlestick, it can light the way just as well as a lantern. Once removed from the Tower, however, the enchantment wears off, and the candlestick will only be good to provide a light source for a single adventure thereafter before being burnt out.

While within this room, casting such spells should seem to work fine. Warriors can heal each other up, and do all sorts of nifty things. They can use fireballs and such against monster Events that crop up. However, keep track of all healing that goes on in here, and any other effects. As soon as any Warrior leaves, any healing, etc. that he was benefiting from vanishes. If he was involved in any fights in here and healed up using the "free" spells, this could well put him in a potentially fatal situation if not healed by the end of the turn by the Wizard!

If any of these "learned" spells are used outside of this room, they have pretty much the opposite effect of what would be desired. Freeze would be applied against one's own side rather than the enemy. Healing would HARM the recipient ... or heal a monster instead. An attack spell would be targeted on the caster -- and so forth. Any of these "learned" spells should be erased from the Warriors' sheets once they leave the Tower, as their memory will fade of the accursed instructions.

Even if Warriors can think of clever ways to use "reversed" spells, it won't work. This is a curse. Whatever the situation, it will always work out against the Warriors (unless they have strong suicidal tendencies). The only possible benefit is that the Warriors could really rack up on gold by blasting away Rats, Bats and Spiders while sitting in this room lobbing fireballs left and right!

If anyone should remove the book from the room, whomever carries the book is subject to another curse: Beneficial magic doesn't work properly around this person. Any magical attack spells against the bearer work normally, but any healing spells used on this person will cause the appropriate damage instead, and any healing spells this person tries to cast (if a spellcaster) will inflict WOUNDS on the recipient. If the bearer should get the bright idea to use his healing on Monsters in an attempt to heal them, it will heal them normally -- This is a true curse, not just some simple magical effect, and it's designed to avoid working in the victim's favor. Attack spells cast by the bearer are targeted on himself (and his allies, if applicable, such as for Freeze) instead. The curse remains on this person until the book is destroyed, or returned to the original room. If another person should take the book away from the original victim, they BOTH inherit the curse.

The book may be easily destroyed by burning or hacking with a weapon. If the book is damaged at all, the whole thing crumbles to dust.

"As the book crumbles away into dust, foul vapors rise from the pages, taking the form of twisted daemons and wretched spirits that shriek and howl and vanish into the air, while the leather cover oozes puss and black blood that steams as it hits the floor. This was most assuredly a book filled with the corrupting powers of Chaos!"

Whomever destroys the book gains 200 experience points.

If the book isn't destroyed, selling the book in a Settlement isn't an option. No sane dealer would so much as touch the thing, what with that symbol of Chaos emblazoned on the cover!

Tower Map -- Level 2

 

               .---------.
               |X  (10) X|
               |         |
               | (Well)  |
               `---DDD---'
               .---DDD---.
               |   (9)   |
               |   Pit   |
               |#########|
               |#########|
               |#########|
               |#########|
               |#########|
               `---   ---'
                  .   .
                  |(8)|
                 Corridor
                  |   |
                  `   '
               .---   ---.
               |   (7)   |
               |  Circle |
               |         |
               `---   ---'
                  .   .
                  Stairs

7. Circle of Power

Floor plan #4 (available at the ftp.wais.com ftp site), if you have it, would be suitable to represent this room and the staircase leading to it.

The Warriors start on the stairs section leading directly to this room.

"The mystical staircase rises ever upward, and you feel yourself buoyed by winds that billow about you. To describe your surroundings as surreal would be an understatement. It is light and dark here at intervals as hours and even days seem to pass you by. There is no horizon to see, even though you are high above the stone chamber -- only a vast cloudy expanse. Around you, portions of stone columns, buttresses, walls and structures float stationary in mid-air, sustained only by an ancient and enduring enchantment.

As you rise higher, not wearied in the least by your ascent, the portions of the tower seem more connected, until you finally reach the top of the tower, suspended in space and time after all these years."

"At the top of the staircase is a stone room, suffused with a faint, bluish glow emanating from a magical circle etched into the floor. The runes of each of the colleges of magic, ring the circle, with a larger rune in the center. Mists drift in from the staircase and spiral inward toward this rune, vanishing within its glow. There is great power at work here, and a chill runs down your spine as you look upon the Magic Circle. Surely something of this magnitude is not to be taken lightly."

If the Elf or Wizard examines the rune, he recognizes it as an Elven rune that represents the eight Standing Stones in the High Elf kingdom of Ulthuan, built to draw magical energy away from the world so that it is not overwhelmed by the forces of Chaos. Here, it seems to serve a similar purpose, drawing magical forces within itself. The Wizard should know that to step into the magical circle would be a very hazardous thing, though the exact effect would be unknown.

If the Wizard should attempt to cast any spells anywhere on Level 2, they will inevitably fail. All the magical energies seem to be sucked into a vortex centered on this enchanted circle.

If anyone should be so foolhardy as to step into one of the four squares comprising the circle, roll 1D6 for each magical item (this time including potions and scrolls as well). On a roll of 6, the item is instantly destroyed.

If anyone should try standing in the very center of the circle (in the area that would be in between the four squares) he will be assaulted by all the magical powers being sucked into the circle at once! Roll on the following chart for the result:

 

Roll Result
1 or less The Warrior is engulfed by magical energies, and disappears in a flash of blinding light!  The Warrior is utterly destroyed, and cannot be brought back even by the Resurrection spell.
2 The Warrior is assaulted by magical forces, suffering 2D6 Wounds, ignoring Toughness and Armor.
3 The Warrior is assaulted by magical forces, suffering 1D6 Wounds, ignoring Toughness and Armor.
4 The Warrior is invigorated with magical energies.  His Wounds are immediately restored to maximum.
5 The Warrior is saturated with the powers of fate.  His Luck characteristic is permanently increased by 1.
6 The Warrior's form is suffused with magical energies.  If he makes use of Power (for spell-casting, blessings, etc.), he may add +1 to his power roll for each turn.  Whether or not this does any good, his Luck characteristic is permanently increased by 1.
 

If the first Warrior to step in the center should roll a 1 to start off with, he is simply hurled across the chamber and stunned for the remainder of the Turn rather than instantly destroyed. If anyone else should be fool enough to try the same thing though, they'll face the random consequences as normal.

Any magical items in the possession of someone in the direct center of the circle will be immediately destroyed without any die roll. If a Warrior remains here, each subsequent turn he may re-roll on this chart, but at a cumulative penalty of 1 to each additional roll (even if he leaves the circle and returns later).

If a Warrior should attempt to destroy the Rune itself, magical weapons will be instantly destroyed by the attempt, but treat the Rune as having a Toughness of 6 and Wounds of 1 in each location. If one location should be broken, the Tower will start crumbling -- If the Warriors do not immediately get out, they are surely doomed. If more than one location is destroyed, the entire structure will collapse, killing everyone inside.

This is, needless to say, not something to be trifled with.

If a Warrior should look into the next room, it is important that he should be able to see a description without having to actually step inside.

The Magic Circle casts light, lighting the whole and the adjacent Tunnel of Pits (and staircase).

 

8. Tunnel Of Pits (Corridor)

"The stone of this corridor continually shifts and rearranges itself. Light can be seen streaming through the individual blocks, and it seems hardly possible that these stones could bear anyone's weight ... nor that they could bear their own, for that matter. As you first enter, a ripple runs through the length of the floor, and the stones comprising the far end of the corridor fall out of sight."

You will need the two "Pit of Despair" segments to show the pits in this floor section. At the end of each turn, these pits will move, according to a preset sequence, only cycling through during turns in which any Warrior is present. If any Warrior stands in a single location, it is entirely likely that eventually the floor will drop out from underneath him! If that happens allow any Warrior an Initiative test with a target value of 7 to jump to a piece of solid ground up to one square away. Anyone with Acrobatics or Leap may re-roll the result once, keeping the second result even if worse. Keep in mind that the rule of 1 and 6 still applies here: a 1 indicates failure, no matter how high the Warrior's Initiative, and a 6 indicates success, no matter how low. Luck points may also be used to save a Warrior here.

If a Warrior should still end up falling through, then he is out of play. As far as anybody knows he is dead. However, in actuality, he has simply fallen into a magical pocket of the Warp, and is safely deposited outside the Tower. (It's too easy to lose a Warrior in this segment of the game. Once one character is lost, though, the other folks seem to catch on rather quickly.)

The sequence for the position of the pits goes as follows where the "X" represents a pit. Remember, each corridor comprises a six-by-two area, and the "pit of despair" covers a two-by-two area. At some points, there are two pits covering the area -- At others, there is only one. The basic concept is that the pits are moving back and forth. It is possible to start at one end at the right time, and work your way across the room one square per turn. There are NO EVENTS in this room, and no monsters will enter.

The reason there should be no Events here is that timing is of the essence. One Monster Event to worry about for pinning, and a Warrior is bound to find himself on a one-way trip out of the Tower. Sure, he can get back, eventually, but this can be incredibly annoying.

 
Turn   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8    9
      X X   . .   X X   . .   . .   . .   X X   . .
      X X   X X   X X   . .   . .   . .   X X   X X   (Restart cycle at 1)
      X X   X X   . .   . .   X X   . .   . .   X X
      X X   . .   . .   X X   X X   X X   . .   . .
      . .   . .   X X   X X   X X   X X   X X   . .
      . .   . .   X X   . .   X X   . .   X X   . .
Now, it's important to keep in mind that between this room and the next, there may be times where there is simply no ground to stand on! Although a doorway is not usually considered as a space, here a desperate Warrior may treat the doorway as a sort of "half space" which he may stand in. Two Warriors may safely stand in the doorway. Any more than that will have to desperately hang on for dear life.

I strongly recommend preparing a strip of paper with squares numbered from 1 to 8 on it, and using a token of some sort to keep track of your current position. This may well give a clue to the players if they see that there are 8 positions on this track, but if that's the case, so be it ... or else hide your chart behind a GM's screen. It is very easy to lose your place, as this sequence has some back and forth repetitions. You can't just look at the current position of the pits and tell where you were on the chart last turn all of the time.

 

9. Bottomless Pit (Fighting Pit)

"The shifting passageway opens into a larger chamber, and you have to catch yourself before stepping into open air where a moment ago you thought there was floor. A loose pebble plummets downward, and is eventually swallowed up by the swirling mists below.

Far ahead of you, you can see a doorway that apparently leads into a floating room. Suddenly, blocks, timbers and pieces of metal rise from the clouds and piece themselves together, forming a ceiling and walls for this vast chamber, and part of a floor on the other side. A cluster of broken rocks form a section of flooring in the southwest corner of the chamber. Some wooden planks align themselves into another portion of floor on the southeast. A metal grate wobbles into place far beyond that. Unfortunately, none of them close the gap between you and what appears to be the closest thing to solid ground on the other side."

The fighting pit is used for this room, but there is no floor to land on should any Warrior fall through. If anyone should end up standing on empty space, he may make an Initiative test to jump to the nearest solid ground, as in the previous room. If anyone falls through, he is lost in the mist, as in the previous room as well. The floor sections here, however, do not shift with time, but rather based upon the sequence of the Warrior's movement.

A table below shows the initial position of the floor sections, simulated with the rock-fall, large trap door and iron grate tiles.

Let the Warriors move in turn. Preferably there would only be one Warrior venturing into this area at a time, as there simply won't be space for any more than that. At the end of any turn in which a Warrior steps on a new floor section, move to the next spot on the table to determine which floor sections remain and which are gone. The riddle in the Fountain Chamber is meant to hint at the sequence.

If any Warrior should walk onto a section, moving to the next cycle, and should wish to keep on moving, make him do an Initiative test with a target roll of 7. If he fails, he must wait until next turn. Otherwise, he may keep moving. "Acrobatic" types (Thief, Gutter Runner, Wardancer, Elf with Leap ability) may automatically pass this test without rolling. If any Warrior should have the bright idea of carrying another Warrior while crossing this area, he may do so, but he can't fight at the same time, and he doesn't have the option of taking this test to keep moving after each cycle.

An alternate means of solving this puzzle is thus: If any Warrior should endeavor to try to "test" the ground by throwing an object onto it, this will have the same effect as if someone had stepped on the floor section, and it will cycle through as normal.

The following indicates the cycle of floor tile positions. "I" indicates the Iron Grate. "W" indicates the Wooden Trap Door. "S" indicates the "stone" (Rock Fall) area. "." indicates open space. "#" indicates the solid area to the north. When an area cycles from one turn to the next, remove all the floor sections that disappear first, THEN add any new floor sections.

 
Turn    1         2         3         4         5         6
     # # # #   # # # #   # # # #   # # # #   # # # #
     # # # #   # # # #   # # # #   # # # #   # # # #   (Back to turn 1)
     . . . I   . . . .   . . . .   . . . .   W W . I
     . . . .   . . . .   S S . .   . . S S   W W S S
     . . . .   . . W W   S S . .   I . S S   . . S S
     . . . .   I . W W   I W W .   . W W .   . . . .
     S S W W   S S . .   . W W .   . W W .   . . . .
     S S W W   S S . .   . . . .   . . . .   . . . .

In practice, I found that the Warriors were able to catch on to this riddle rather easily. In fact, one of the players had the sequence memorized after the first two trips across.

If a Warrior should manage to walk all the way across to the other side, there is a door before him with a brass knocker on it. If he attempts to open the door, he will find it securely stuck, and it will not budge. There is no lock to pick, and hacking at the door is pointless. If he simply uses the knocker, though, the door will slide open effortlessly, and he may walk on into the magical laboratory.

If the Warrior should attempt to cast any spells on the north end of the room, he will find that the drain on magic does not extend here (or into the Laboratory). Spells may be cast normally, but their range of effect stops at the edge of the floor here. (No, "Open" will not work on the Laboratory door...)

If the Warriors should completely leave the room and come back at a later time, it will always be back at step 1 in layout. If a Warrior should step on the Iron Grate from the north side of the room, it will immediately start floating southward. He can either hop off of it at the south door, or it will zip around and take him all the way back to the Magic Circle.

If anyone should examine the north wall, there is a loose block. (Well, actually, ALL of them are technically loose, but this one moves.) By moving it, various pieces of debris (trap doors, the rock-fall piece, the grate, the keg marker, etc.) line up to form a bridge crossing this room, and the pits disappear from the pit tunnel, making passage considerably more convenient.

If any Events should occur in this room, they will invariably be Giant Bats. They do not stand on the floor tiles, so there is no chance for them to "set off" the next step in the floor tile sequence. (That would simply be too mean...)

 

10. Wizard's Laboratory (Well Room)

"There is no dust here, no sign of decay. In fact, before you is a scene of great violence that seems frozen in time, though suddenly breaking into movement as you enter the room, as if a powerful spell has been shattered by your mere presence. Heavy tomes, illuminated manuscripts, gilded instruments, crystal vials and all manner of magical apparati are strewn about the room, as if by a wild beast. Splatters of blood indicate that the allegory is close enough to the truth, as a malevolent face twisted by Chaos looks up from you, and a gnarled claw drops the lifeless form of an old sage. This creature is larger than any Monster you have faced before! Its eyes fill with blood-lust, and it issues a deafening bellow . . . "

Another Minotaur lies in wait here, summoned by the hapless Wizard's power. However, this is no ordinary Minotaur. It's a Minotaur Champion!


Minotaur Champion     

Wounds

34

Move

6

WS

4

BS

3+

Str

5

Tough

4

Init

4

Attacks

3

Gold

1100

Armor

1

Damage

3D6+5

Fear 6; Magic Weapon:Warpstone Talisman - When a Warrior rolls a natural 1 to try to hit the Minotaur, he hits himself instead!

NOTE:  The Minotaur Champion is still sluggish from the enchantment, so any Warrior fighting him does not have to roll to break Pinning; he does so automatically.

ENEMY'S WS

 1

2  

3  

4  

5  

6  

7  

8  

9  

10

TO HIT FOE

 2

2  

3  

3  

4  

4  

4  

4  

4  

4


If your Warriors are at a point where a Minotaur Champion is easy pickings for a one-on-one fight, then a Minotaur Hero could be substituted instead. If this is overkill, that's okay, too. (After all, this mighty Wizard was made short order of!) The Warrior can either try to slug it out, or else he could try to high-tail it back out of the room.

If the Warrior heads out of the room, the summoned Minotaur will follow, but he'll panic as soon as he gets a look at just how little solid earth there is below him! Someone on the other side can try to distract the Minotaur and taunt him into trying to cross, the Warrior can try to push the Minotaur (who is teetering on the edge looking down) on in, or else if the "bridge" is already laid across the chasm, the Minotaur will try on his own to get across. (In the latter case, the Warrior on the north side could hit that block again, and send the Minotaur plummeting.)

If any of these options are used to get rid of the Minotaur, this obstacle is avoided, but there's no gold to be gained from him.

(For what it's worth, he's a bit too heavy to lightly be carried off by the magical spell surrounding this tower, so he imbeds himself a few yards into the ground somewhere deep in the forest. The Warriors need not worry about what they've unleashed on the countryside. =) )

Once the danger is disposed of, the Laboratory can be explored. The Wizard Hazuk is unfortunately dead.

If the Warriors explore the room, they find 1000 gold, a Dawnstone, a Book of Arcane Knowledge, and two Objective Room treasures. There are many books of interest to the Wizard, though they are too obscure to be worth anything if sold, and there is nothing of practical application in adventuring to be gained from their study. The Warriors find a secret passage that allows them a way out of the Tower without having to worry about the pit traps (if they haven't been deactivated already) or further Events.

If a Warrior should use the Dawnstone on the fallen Hazuk (or some other means of bringing back the "recently" dead), they'll find him very grateful for their help. He is the legendary Hazuk, from ages past, and relates that he was working on a magical experiment to explore the "animal nature" of the human mind (and what manner of rationality might be found in the magical creatures known as "beastmen" and "minotaurs") when it went awry, and he ended up summoning one into his own laboratory. He tried a powerful spell to try to freeze his foe, but when he was mortally wounded in the process, he simply extended it to the whole of the laboratory so that there would be no chance of this monster escaping.

He will gladly allow the Warriors to take the gold and treasure items found in the room. If any Warriors were lost in the "pits", he will inform their friends of the true nature of the traps, and that they are safe. (If anyone got caught in the Magic Circle, unfortunately there's no consolation he can offer for that. . . . )

He gives each surviving Warrior an additional treasure item -- Roll from the Dungeon Treasure Table. If you don't like the first result, roll again, and pick the better of the two.

He's also willing to enchant one weapon per Warrior so that it becomes a magical weapon -- It has no special power other than that it is permanently magical. (Certain creatures, such as Ethereal undead monsters, Daemons, etc. are harder to hit without magical weapons.) He can also provide them (and any comrades lost in the pits) free transportation immediately to the nearest Village, Town or City of their choice without having to roll for Hazards.

At the GM's discretion, he might also be willing to tutor a Warrior. Particularly, if you are treating Ogre Mercenaries and Barbarians as if they can't read, it is possible they might be able to learn how to read from the Wizard.

Leaving and Returning to the Adventure

If the Warriors should at some point in the adventure decide to leave and head back to a Settlement to rest and regroup, they are only a day's journey away from the Settlement they just left to come here. They may travel to that Settlement over the course of a day, without having to encounter any Hazards along the way. It will have the same Special Locations, though any visit to the traders will require new rolls to see what is in stock. If Warriors were thrown out of town because they were "acting weird" (or whatever), all is forgiven and they may come back in again on a subsequent visit.

However, if the Warriors should start making an excessive number of treks back and forth (GM's discretion), or start getting flippant about the fact that the journey is short, so they can bypass various problems (i.e. Okay, we're wounded, step outside. Poof! We're healed! Back into the Tower. We got thrown out? Step outside. Go back in. We're back in the Settlement again!) then you might start keeping track of the total time elapsed on a cumulative basis towards reaching Catastrophic Events. Keep in mind that it's a day's travel to/from the Tower.

Travel to some other (perhaps bigger) Settlement is possible, but keep in mind that the Warriors could end up getting sidetracked (having to visit another dungeon instead), and have to cover the same distance to get back to this particular Settlement.

If the Warriors leave the Tower and come back, the Minotaur Statues will have totally regenerated, and there will be a full complement of 12 Giant Spiders ready to pounce on the Warriors when they enter the Fountain Room (though the webs won't be back).

If the Warriors should think to bury the remains of the Dwarven Skeleton (after defeating it or giving it last rites) and the peasants, give a permanent Luck point to anyone who helps out.

 

Settlement Events

Just to be different, if the Warriors make a return trip to the Settlement, you might handle some of the Events slightly differently, in order to better relate to this particular adventure. The following are a couple of sample ways that Events might be handled in a different way to make them more meaningful for the adventure:

24 Circus -- Instead of giving this fortune about the "stranger from Erengrad", try giving the Warrior a useful tip on the adventure instead! This could be especially useful if the Warriors have reached a dead end trying to bypass the puzzles, and is up to your discretion as GM, of course. One idea might be to simply have the fortune-teller describe a vision of one of the clues that the Warriors overlooked (in the Fountain Room, Library, Idol Room, etc.), if the Warriors have not been diligent in searching. The fortune- teller is able to describe the setting to a point where the Warrior should be able to guess the very location that is being described, and hint at part of the message ... Oh, but the ball grows cloudy, and the whole message cannot be read. (The Warrior can hopefully get the bright idea to go back to the location later and get the rest of the information. =) )

45 Pet Dog -- How about letting the dog come along for the adventure, for once? (Of course, this would depend on whether you might have a suitable miniature. A Citadel war-hound might be close enough, or else various miniatures companies produce less vicious creatures.) The dog conveniently vanishes from the table any time Monsters appear, ducking under the fallen timbers, into a hole, or whatever. However, while he's present, and if the Warriors are particularly stumped, he could do the ol' Lassie routine, perhaps growling in the magical trap rooms, sniffing at the tattered parchment that has the poem on it, circling the Magic Circle but refusing to enter it, etc.

_Warhammer Quest_, _Advanced HeroQuest_, the _Old World_ and _Games Workshop_ are trademarks of Games Workshop, Ltd., and their use here does not constitute a legal challenge to that status.