Content of the article: "Medusa Necromancer Dungeon Idea"
Hey all! So I'm currently running a Mythic Odyssey of Theros campaign, and my heroes are about to explore the ancient catacombs of a great king and his personal guard of 300 soldiers to find their legendary armory and equip themselves for their next adventure. However, the dungeon they're about to explore is not what they expect. (Warning/Disclaimer, sexuality and stuff ahead. My players are okay with this kind of campaign, but okay this subject matter with yours if you plan on implementing this idea).
When they find the place, they'll enter the dungeon to find not undead-filled catacombs, but an exquisite mansion. Marble floors and walls, with gorgeous tapestries on the walls depicting incredibly lustful scenes. Statues of lovers, carved in exquisite beauty, line the walls. In the rooms that line each long hallway of the catacombs are not the rows of sarcophagi or skeletons the party expects. Instead, each room is filled with servants of impossible beauty. Women and men in see-through robes in displays of modeling, or contortionists bending themselves into pretzels. Overall it appears to be a complete den of debauchery and lust, yet creepily beautiful. However, the players may notice that these models seem to be moving a tad unnaturally.
Eventually, certain things will start to stick out. Some of these statues will be more and more lifelike, and not every one wears a lovely, serene face. Some sport grimaces or terrified faces. They'll come to a dining hall, with places at the table set, but the silverware is not polished in the slightest, but is dark and dull. They may kick over what appears to be a loose rock but is actually a small statue of a rat.
On the lower levels of the dungeon are some of the traps and secret doors you'd expect in a dungeon. Eventually the players will make their way to the final room. There, they'll reach a laboratory were skeletons line the walls along with statues of terrified, though handsome, men and women. There they'll encounter, if they haven't already figured it out, a medusa. The medusa will be willing to let them part with weapons from the armory, for a price. One of them (Our party has a young very attractive redheaded fighter who is quite self-absorbed but whose heart is ultimately in the right place) will have to stay behind as an addition to her collection. They can choose to accept the deal, and sacrifice one party member, or decline and fight their way through it.
Should they fight, the Medusa will be more than a regular medusa, as she's a powerful wizard with spells to force the party to look at her, and her lair is full of skeletons and stone statues ready to be animated to fight on her behalf. Should the heroes win and Chrydna, the medusa fall, the scene around them will shift as an illusion dissipates. Their rich surroundings fade into dingy old catacombs and the smell of dust hangs rank in the air.
As they find the weapons and start make their way out of the lair, they may find the medusa's laboratory notes, detailing her desire to make a home beautiful through the science of necromancy, to find servants who wouldn't turn to stone. Because despite the beauty of a stone statue, life surrounded by stone gets lonely after a hundred years.
They'll see that those models who were dancing in a strange, lustful human exhibit are no more than skeletons, animated and cast under illusion magic to act as servants who can't be turned to stone, seeing as they have no eyes. Without the Medusa's necromancy to maintain control of them, they'll turn hostile towards the players, who now have to fight their way out of the dungeon through waves of undead.
What do you guys think? It's kind of a reverse dungeon crawl with bit of a twist on the classic Medusa villain. I'm excited to run it with my players. This will be my first real dungeon crawl I've put my players through, everything so far has been wilderness exploration. Any suggestions? Let me know what you guys think!
- Mansion Lair Design Suggestions
- Don’t make something up without any idea how it works or what causes it
- Pride in how the players defeated the boss (Tomb of Annihilation Spoilers)
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