D&D General #Dungeon23


I am having map issues (I am using this one by Dyson Logos for level 1) bit here is both the general level description and room 1.
Level 1: Parenix Manor

Level Story
Parenix Manor was built two and a half centuries ago by the Alastairn family. For 150 years, it was occupied by that family and served as the base from which they delved ever deeper into Mornrax Hill, the ancient cairn of innumerable generations of now lost dedicants to forgotten powers. As the Alastairn dug deeper, they succumbed to creeping madness and corruption until finally a century ago the last scion of the family was consumed. The manor has remained empty ever since, a decaying ruin filled with strange artefacts and mournful echos.
As PCs explore the manor, they will find many strange things, weird ephemera that does not seem to have purpose or value. However, much of this will serve invaluable as the party explores the dungeon beneath.

Level Features
Since it is abandoned, Parenix Manor is unlit. However most rooms are furnished with candelabras and lanterns and the PCs may choose to illuminate the place as they go rather than just carry their own lights.
The windows are mostly broken and the roof is holed in places, so the manor is partially exposed to the elements and well as subject to the depredations of pests.
Interior and exterior walls are strongly built. Despite the constant groaning of timbers caused by fluctuations of humidity and temperature, the structure is sound.
Unless otherwise noted, doors inside the manor are swollen shut and must be forced open even if unlocked.
The entire manor radiates mild evil and anyone sleeping in the manor has a 25% chance per night of being plagued by foul dreams. If so affected, they gain no benefit from the night’s rest.

The Grounds
The grounds inside the outer wall are overgrown gardens thick with weeds and thorns. Characters exploring the grounds off the paths have a 10% chance per turn of disturbing a swarm of vicious flying stinging insects.

01.01: Gateman’s House

Accesses: Locked door on the north wall leading to the Grounds.

Description: Parenix Manor’s Gateman was in charge of seeing to visitors, managing the staff and making sure everything outside the manor house itself was in order. The northern chamber was a combination of workshop and living quarters and the southern chamber was primarily storage. The furnishings here were simple but serviceable and have long since deteriorated beyond use as more than kindling.

Of Note: PCs that thoroughly search the Gateman’s House may discover a small leatherbound journal under the ruin of the bed. It is horribly weathered and almost impossible to read, but appears to be a dream journal Snippets of words and phrases indicate the owner’s dreams got worse and worse of the course of years and in the end one word is scrawled on each of the last dozen pages, first in ink, then charcoal and finally what appears to be dried blood: MALCHOLATH

Treasure: While most everything is wasted beyond value, amid the rotted barrels and bags in the storage chamber are a half dozen sealed bottles of brandy that may fetch a fine price or serve as close to kerosene.

Connections: MALCHOLATH is a malevolent force the PCs may encounter later in the adventure and having its name will greatly increase their chances of survival.

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CR 1/8
After waffling a couple days on what I'd do and what approach, I finally stopped thinking about it and opted to keep it simple.
  • One man. No plan (almost). No canal.
  • Pencil and paper.
  • Try to pull things just from my own feeblemind and minimize random generation (except maybe to roll up hoard values).
  • And since I recently got OSE, it'll likely be heavily influenced by that, at least early on.
So now posting janky photos of my pencil-scrawled spiral notebook on a brand new tumblr I haven't figured out how to use yet....


who's participating?
I am but I’m not doing a mega dungeon. More a large campaign for a homebrew Mork Borg campaign and it gives me the motivation to work on it and get it started. Not Mork Borg but the system itself for a more dark fantasy setting ala The Witcher/Solomon Kane/Warhammer but with the simpler system because WFRP is complicated and I have specialized ideas for the types of characters and 5e doesn’t cover the low fantasy high grit feel well.


#Dungeon23 1:1:23.jpg

My first entry in my new Hobonichi Weeks. Decided to start with the opening being a pool and waterfall.
Very bare bones, but that's all I'm concerned about at this point. Will work on the room behind the waterfall this week.


Room 1 - The Portal

A flat circular metal door 4' in diameter with a centered 1' diameter spinning wheel attached (3" above it) is in the floor/ground near where "the passage" was foretold to appear. It is made of some dark-steel colored alloy of adamantine and steel and radiates strong conjuration magic. There is no sound from the other side. It seems turned as far as possible counter clock-wise, but spins easily clockwise. Six spins will loosen it with a hiss of faintly vegetable garden smelling air. Pulling will reveal it is hinged on the west side and opens easily upward. The other side of the door has a similar wheel, and there is a slot to insert a 4'9" cylindrical bar locking it into place - but the bar isn't there. The door opens into the top of a 10' long, 5' diameter tube of the same substance going down into darkness. The cylinder radiates strong conjuration magic. There is a 20' steel ladder on the east side of the tube going down through 10 feet of the tube and then continuing down to the floor in the center of a 10' cube of a room of off-white granite tiles. The room has little dust (recently cleaned?) and the faint smell of a vegetable garden that was noted as the door was opened. There is an 8' tall 4' wide unstained dark-oak door that fits tightly in the east wall that one would be looking at coming down the ladder. It has a nicely crafted steel handle, but no lock. When the first sentient being steps onto the floor of the room a magic mouth on the door will begin saying "Those who come in peace are welcome." in Common, then repeating the message in Celestial, Primoridial, Sylvan, Draconic, Infernal, and Abyssal. Depending on the time of day, a listen check may hear something from room 2 beyond (see room 2).


Next room created (#9) is post #144 D&D General - #Dungeon23 .
The introduction is in #352 D&D General - #Dungeon23 .

Edit: Named on 1Feb2023
Last edited:

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I decided to not worry about system and just use broadly applicable D&D language. If I go the distance and decide to do something with it, I can nail down system during editing.

When I say I'm being guided by Five Torches Deep, I don't mean that I'm including FTD monsters or thinking about tuning challenges to that system, but rather that the aesthetic I have in mind comes from that system.

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