Content of the article: "Tomb of the Rimelord (A dungeon for 1st level characters)"
I've started a new campaign with my gf, a friend from another group, and two folks brand new to 5E. I wanted to ease them into things, so I cooked up a quick, simple (if not very linear) dungeon for them to crawl.
The dungeon was designed to give them a taste of combat, skill checks, puzzles (real simple puzzles), and the mechanics of a boss encounter.
The set up is simple, characters are out and about in the world, walking along and suddenly the ground drops out from beneath one of them to reveal a gaping hole leading to a chamber.
The way I write dungeons and notes for myself is like writing a module, just in case anyone else needed to pick it up and run it for me if I wasn't able, I guess.
Anywho, I like free stuff. Don't know many people that don't. So, here is the dungeon. Like I said, it's short, and it has ties into my campaign world, but it doesn't take much to adjust those to fit in any other setting.
Roll well, my friends.
Tomb of the Rimelord
Room 1: Death’s Sentries.
The hole in the earth reveals a dimly-lit chamber of stone blocks. Long, thick roots wind their ways down the worked stone walls and reach their way across the floor in a crisscrossing network.
(Once the party descends into the hole)
This room, or more accurately this hall, stretches some 60 feet from end to end, lit by flickering torches held aloft on sconces. Despite the presence of the torches, the chamber is noticeably cold. The stone walls curve up to meet the crumbling arched ceiling. Set into the walls are alcoves containing what appear to be six stone sarcophagi. The creeping roots have claimed these as well, and many of them appear to be wrapped in vegetation. One such sarcophagus appears to have been damaged at some point, and over countless years winding roots have woven their way through the bones of a humanoid with obvious reptilian qualities. At either end of the hall stand large, round stone doors covered in intricate carvings.
(If the party inspects the southern door)
A network of complex metal and stone mechanisms encompass the surface of this door.
A DC 14 Intelligence check reveals it is some sort of elaborate locking mechanism. A DC 12 Dexterity (Thieves’ tools) or a DC 15 Strength check will be enough to either unlock the door on this side or engage the mechanism to open it. Once engaged, the door slides open.
Beyond is a tangle of vines and shrubs that cover the doorway. With a few swipes with a bladed weapon, a path is cleared, revealing autumn foliage and rolling hills with snow-capped mountains in the background. Two ancient and weathered statues of heroic-looking dragonborn flank either side of the door.
This is the entrance of Saziros’ Tomb.
(If the party inspects the northern door)
This round, stone door depicts a dragon in mid-flight, it’s wings spread wide. In the foreground is the carved figure of a dragonborn, its head bowed in reverence, clutching a rounded shield. Strange symbols adorn the perimeter of the door.
(The language is draconic. Translated the words say) The final resting place of Saziros, the Rime Lord, hero of the Empire.
DC 11 Intelligence (investigation) reveals the shield can be pressed, and when it is done, the door slides out of the way, revealing area 2.
Room 2: The Life of Saziros
Stairs descend deep down below ground. The cool air grows colder the deeper you go. After a minute you are greeted with the sight of a round chamber lit by more of the strange, heatless torches. Faded murals adorn the walls, depicting dragon-like humanoids engaged in battle with the likes of humans, elves, and dwarves. At their head in a heroic pose stands a tall, armored draconic figure of a pale white complexion, holding forth a blade as if signaling a charge. Sharp, jagged symbols accompany the depictions. Against the far wall stands another circular stone door bearing the carving of a draconic face, the same jagged script adorns its perimeter.
The Mural: (Anyone hat can read draconic may translate the lettering as an old dialect)
“Born of blood of snow and ice, Saziros did as the cold winter wind doust do and stole the very breath from his foes, for they did shake and gasp at his passing. Strong of arm and strong of will, he did win many victories for his beloved Empire. Though he doust pass into the talons of shadow and night, his deeds shall live on evermore.”
The Door: (In old draconic) “Beyond is the realm of death presided over by an immortal. Speak his name so that his memory lives forevermore”
All the characters need to advance is to speak the name “Saziros”. The door will magically slide aside. Alternatively, a DC 20 Strength check will also move the heavy stone door.
Room 3: Icy Slope
As the door opens, a rush of icy, arctic air passes over you. The hall beyond is a far cry from anything you've seen before. Frost covers the carved stone walls and ceiling. A sheet of ice, gleaming in the light of heatless torches, rises like a ramp toward an ice-encrusted door 15 feet above.
Traversing the icy slope requires a DC 12 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
Room 4: The Crypt of Saziros
This large chamber has an icy chill to it. Six pillars rise to the arched ceiling, each bearing six torches of flickering blue flame. Frost touches every surface of the chamber, given an almost ethereal glow a pair of roaring braziers filled with roaring blue fire that gives off no heat or smoke. The braziers sit atop a raised platform, flanking an intricately carved stone sarcophagus. Standing at the foot of the sarcophagus, at the top of the stairs, is a tall armor stand adorned with an ancient set of magnificently crafted half-plate armor, complete with a rounded shield and a shortsword that looks as if it is made of a long, sharp piece of ice.
(As soon as someone steps into the chamber)
Streams of blue fire twist from the braziers like long serpents and plunge into the empty armor, filling it. The glowing, frost-covered armor takes a purposeful step forward and raises its shield and sword in challenge.
Creature: The armor is an Animated Armor (MM pg. 19), enchanted to defend the tomb by ancient Dragonborn mages. Replace the armor's two slam attacks one a shortsword attack and a shield bash attack. The attacks and damage for these are identical to the Armor's slam attacks, but the sword deals slashing damage.
Tactics: The armor will attack the nearest creature to it and continue to do so until that target drops, then it will move on to the next. It is unable to distinguish which creature is the most threatening.
When the armor drops to 20 hit points, the swirling blue fire within it begins to dim. As a bonus action, it draws forth the fire from one of the torches, replenishing 1d6 hit points and causing the fire within to blaze again. It does this each time it is reduced to 20 hp or below until the torches are depleted.
The torches have 1 hp each and characters can take an action to destroy one.
The area is brightly lit, with the armor shedding illumination in a 20-foot radius around itself. When half the torches have been either drawn upon by the armor or destroyed, the room's lighting is reduced to dim. When all the torches are drawn upon or destroyed, the chamber grows dark, leaving the armor as the only light source.
When the armor is reduced to 0 hp the armor falls to the ground and the blue flames roar back to the braziers and any remaining torches that it has drawn upon.
Regalia of the Rimelord
Bulwark of Heroism
Unique, rare +1 half-plate
The formerly-animated armor is a set of +1 Half-Plate, forged in the days of the Dragonborn Empire, and was the set often worn into battle by Saziros, the Rimelord. A creature attuned to this armor can use a bonus action to make themselves immune to being frightened for the next 1d4 rounds and gains 1d4 + their Charisma modifier temporary hit points for the duration. The creature loses any remaining temporary once the effect has ended. This effect replenishes after they have completed a long rest.
Unique rare +1 shortsword
This short blade looks like a shard of ice that formed naturally into the shape of a sharpened sword. It radiates a cool, blue inner glow.
A creature attuned to this weapon adds an additional +1 to attack and damage rolls. The creature can also read, speak, and understand draconic, but only while wielding the blade. As a bonus action, the sword's wielder can will the blade to glow with the same light and intensity of a torch. When a creature struck by Creeping Frost takes damage, they must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or become petrified in a thin casing of ice until the end of their next turn.
Aegis of the Rimelord
Unique rare shield
This beautifully carved Ironwood shield seems to have a permanent layer of frost covering it’s surface. A creature attuned to the shield gains resistance to fire damage and suffers no ill effect from extreme cold conditions.
If the characters open the sarcophagus, they find the bones of Saziros. On his skeletal finger is a small, simple silver ring. Around his neck is an amulet of platinum that appears to be a long, sinuous dragon wrapped around a finely cut sapphire.
Ring of Dawn’s Fortune
Uncommon wondrous item
A creature attuned to this ring can reroll the first saving throw they make that day and take whichever result they choose. This effect cannot be used again until the creature finishes a long rest.
Amulet of Blessings
Uncommon wondrous item
The creature attuned to this amulet can cast bless as per the spell without material components. This effect replenishes after the creature finishes a long rest. The creature's character level counts as their spellcasting level for the purposes of the spell.
- Can a Tortle PC get anything out of cursed magical armour?
- Homebrew Reject magic items
- I tried to make a viable Frost DPS Warden and I the results were very dissapointing
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