My first post here with a big creation of mine… I've created this dungeon for my own campaign, which is quite heavy on the homebrew. This dungeon is packed with traps, loot, creatures, possible plothooks, a possible meet up with the BBEG (or alternatively, the next quest giver) I wanted to create something dynamic. It had to be easily implemented in a gameat any point, have its own small story & background, but also have enough to play with for the DM in terms of adjusting it to fit the party/campaign.
Calszazar, the Lesser Frost Beholder, student of The Alchemist (the best in the lands) has decided to create his laboratory under this underwater cave system he learned about. He had his Sea Spawn slaves dig through the rock, into the cave & dug downwards to create a labyrinth-like floor where he could perform his experiments of physically combining different creatures to prove those who said the centaur he saw wasn't real, wrong. He picked this cave cause he deemed it safest, however upon discovering a magnificent autumnal tree, he decided he could use the tree's magical powers for his experiments too. Over a course of many decades he experimented a lot with animals but whereas he was careful at first, he has become reckless and now things start to get noticed outside his lair. (See Adventure Hooks)
The Entrance Floor
This is the floor of the dungeon that sets the tone. The main plantlife is algae with the odd bioluminescent plant or flower that lights up the place. The main objective in this part is for the party to collect as many things as possible. However some naturally occuring creatures live here and some might not be happy with the party. Besides this, another party is met here, with the same goal, however they prefer to do it their way (opposite of whatever the party wants).
1 Floor Down (The Autumnal Cave)
This is meant to be a "buffer floor" between the outside world and Calszazar's lair. Calszazar will have a security system in place consisting of small scrying stones (like security cameras) and traps set by his slaves as well as portals for his slaves to travel quickly between rooms. This is also where the Eternal Tree of Autumn can be found. The tree is in bad shape, like everything else plant-life wise in this cave. There can also be indications of what it should be like. Another thing to find here is a hidden entrance to go back up, but not to the entrance floor. A puzzle presents itself to the party to solve. This is for the meet up with the BBEG of your campaign or the next quest giver, whichever suits your campaign best. In this case they introduce themselves as Heroc Stoneslinger, a rich man who just lives here to observe the cave out of interest. The main focus is the temperature of the cave. The further down you go, the colder it gets.
This floor is where it eventually all kicks off. A small puzzle sets the tone for this part as it's a maze of locked doors & high security. The party will have to puzzle their way through with keys only opening certain locks and magical 1 way doors. Eventually they'll encounter Calszazar, who knew they were coming and will be ready for them. His slaves will have been told to protect the crystal in the room. So battle tactics can be adjusted accordingly.
Calszazar is a Lesser Frost Beholder, making him less deadly than the average beholder. He is a beholder first, alchemist second. His uncaring nature shows when he's after something he wants. He means no harm, he just doesn't care. For example, he has found the Tree of Eternal Autumn and decided to use its magical powers for his own experiments, including powering the contraption on the ceiling in one of the rooms & the elemental puzzle he has in his lair to open a hidden door. Calszazar does not treat his underlings badly, he basically collects them as they don't know any better than being enslaved and he can use them to his advantage. His absolute main goal is to create a single creature from 2, to prove to others from his past that the centaur he saw was real. He will also talk about this to the party if the party even remotely shows an interest in his work, even if it's a rhetorical question like "what do you think you're doing?"
Player maps of this dungeon: The Entrance Floor
For a more detailed explanation of this dungeon, I'd like to suggest this PDF I have created: The Cave of Eternal Autumn
Of course, any feedback on this dungeon is welcome! It's my first big one, which I will use and adept on the fly for my next session.
I also hope this is ok how I did it with the pdf link and such… Of course, I could always edit my post if needed!
Edit: post links to posts below, to explain more about the dungeon as requested. Please, excuse the formatting for some of it, as reddit's being a pain about it.
Post 1/4: The Entrance Floor Guide
Post 2/4: The Autumnal Cave Guide
Post 3/4: Calszazar's Lair Guide
Post 4/4: Homebrew Magic Items & Monsters
Bonus Post: Legend of Map Markers
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More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Dungeon: The Cave of Eternal Autumn" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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