Content of the article: "Dungeon Master Test. Your party is exploring a volcanic cavern…"
You party is exploring a volcanic cavern, searching for a secret entrance to a Duergar stronghold. The air is thick with oppressive heat. Their skin is slick with constant sweat. They make their way down yet another twisting, winding tunnel, hoping that this time, they will finally find the entrance.
The tunnel terminates at a ledge overlooking a lava flow traveling perpendicular to the tunnel exit. The far rock wall is about twenty feet away, and below them is only lava, about thirty feet down. Looking to the left, the lava flow gently curves to the side, out of sight. Looking to the right, the party can see the base of a worked-stone foundation–the Duergar fortress! It's about 30 feet away, and the bottom edge of the foundation takes up around the top half of the 'wall' of this cavern. There is a hole in the slide of the worked stone, maybe five feet across, with what looks like a steep ramp inclining up the side. A trash chute. Occasionally, scraps of a meal or dung drop through the chute and land in the lava–it's how the Duergar dispose of their waste, and a possible point of ingress for the party.
An Eladrin party member says they want to teleport to the chute, have someone toss them a rope with a grappling hook, which they will affix to the stone wall with a hammer and pitons. The rest of the party with affix their end in a similar fashion, and they will then cross the rope to the trash chute. They get the rope attached, and just as they are discussing whether they should maybe tie themselves to the rope for safety, a Bulette bursts through the cavern wall behind them with a duergar rider–a scout that was looking for them. The ranger takes aim and snipes the rider, but it's too dangerous to face off against the Bulette on the edge of this cliff. It's do or die. The party takes to the rope and begins crossing, hand over hand.
What skill check do you call for the party to cross this rope? Where do you set the DC? How will you rule if they don't meet the DC, knowing that the likely consequence is falling into lava, which deals apparently 18d10 damage (99) according to the DMG.
I ask because this is a situation where the consequences of failure are essentially death–does this affect how you will DM the situation? Do you give more second chances? Even without the Bulette, the party might decide to try to cross a rope like this without safety ties. Do you alter your DMing?
- GPT-3 AI-written adventures
- A simple puzzle/trap for DMs to use in their next dungeon!
- A tail of dice betrayal
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