Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2. The Doorwardens (CR 9 Encounter)

2. The Doorwardens

At the bottom of the cellar stairs is an empty room inset into the far stone wall is a decretive double door, with a massive number of iron bands.

Perception (DC 10, reduced by 1 for every 10 feet closer to the door you are when you reach the bottom of the steps)  at the top of the stairs once the cellar door is opened one can hear loud arguing from beyond the door.
Detect magic: 1st rd: magic is present here, 2nd rd: strongest magic radiates from the entire room, 3rd rd: The entire room radiates overwhelming necromancy, plus the room radiates strong abjuration, and the door radiates moderate transmutation
True seeing: will reveal that the door is an animated object. 

What can be learned from the Duke’s Maiden’s arguments.

·       There are at least two women arguing from beyond the door
·       The Deathless Duke is close to achieving his goal.
·       Every day the followers are closer to reaching the Empyrean Bastille
·       The Empyrean Bastille creates distortions of space, time, and reality, making locating it nigh-impossible.
·       According to the oracle Rhys Larkchild of Our Mother of Madness, either the dragon will breach the Empyrean Bastille on the 7th day or the sappers will breach it on the 12th.

If the Doorwarden spots anyone in the room (Perception -5) or if someone touches the door, the door opens with a loud creek (that alerts the Duke’s Maidens) as if to let them pass through, if they don’t bear the arcane mark of the Deathless Duke, it will close on the first person to pass through (it bends around them to close) trapping them on the the other side and attacks them with its iron bands, using surprise, along with its grab and constrict abilities to crush its opponents.
Once the door is opened the Duke’s maidens on duty here arguing from the alcoves as well as those around the corner at the back of the room, go dead quiet and drink their potions of invisibility and stealthy move up and prepare to attack the first person through the door.   4 of the maidens engage in melee combat while 2 others engage in ranged combat. One of them will drink a portion of vampric touch and then move up so she can position herself to attack with it later. A third goes to activate the trap in Area 3, and then moves on to warning the rest of the Duke’s followers.   The stacking of the fear effects here can result in a panicked or cowering PC. 
The area from the cellar door all the way to Area 3 is warded by a permanent teleport trap. Its destination is Area 5.

In the far back of the room is a script carved in elven by a former follower of The Deathless Duke who was driven to despair and etched the following message into the wall

“I went to study at the towers unseen, unfortunately unknown to me where I stayed in the Antegate was a den of followers of The Deathless Duke.  I even met the Duke, who arrived via spell, he just had a way about him and he was so perfect, but never egotistical about it, he just wanted to make the world a better place. I thought I would stay till I finished my studies at the towers. I lost touch with all my family and friends, but the Duke and his followers were always there for me, they bombarded me with love.  I was happy.   

I became so devoted to the Duke, I let him cast spell after spell on me, the early ones helped me with my studies, but eventually he and his followers started using a number of enchantment spells that changed the way I thought. Then the group forced me cut off to cut of The Deathless Duke’s head, and it grew right back in the blink of an eye.  Then I learned what is really…”

Nothing more is written as the other followers killed her and used the pit of green slime in the far back corner to dispose of the body, so as not to trouble the Deathless Duke with this betrayal of belief. 

A cavern next to the pit leads to Area 3.

Doorwarden                        CR7

XP 4,800
Huge Animated Object.
N Huge construct
Init -2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision;
Perception -5


AC 19, touch 8, flat-footed 19; (-2 Dex, +11 natural)
hp 78 (7d10+40)
Fort +2, Ref +0, Will -3
Defensive Abilities hardness 10, object; Immune
construct traits


Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +15 (3d6+15 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (3d6+15)


Str 30, Dex 6, Con —, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +7; CMB +19 (+23 grapple); CMD 27
(can’t be tripped)
Languages none
SQ construction points (5 CP); constrict (1 CP),
grab (1 CP), improved attack (1 CP), metal (2 CP)

Special Abilities

Object (Ex) the Watchtower as an object has a number of special defenses:
Energy attacks: These deal half damage to Gatekeeper. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the Watchtower's hardness. Acid does full damage against the gatekeeper
Ranged Weapon Damage: Watchtower takes half damage from ranged weapons (unless the weapon is a siege engine or something similar). Divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the watchtower's hardness.
Ineffective Weapons: Most melee weapons have little effect on this metal door, unless they are designed for breaking up metal, such as a pick or hammer. Siege engines or something similar are also effective.

The Duke’s Maidens (10) CR 3

XP 800
Female human rogue 4
LE Large humanoid
 +3; Senses Perception +7
Aura panicked (DC 12 or shaken 1d4 rounds)


AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 20 (+3 armor, +3 Dex, +6 natural armor, -1 size, +1 shield)
 36 (4d8+18)
 +5, Ref +7, Will +0
Defensive Abilities
 evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge, DR 10/magic, bludgeoning, and good SR 16


Speed 30 ft.
mwk bladed gauntlet +10 (1d4+6 plus poison) or  mwk bladed gauntlet +8 (1d4+6 plus poison) and mwk bladed gauntlet +8 (1d4 +3 plus poison)
Ranged mwk composite shortbow crossbow +7 (1d6+3/19-20 plus poison)
Special Attacks
 sneak attack +2d6, precise strike +1d6,


Str 22, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 22
 Point Blank, Precise Shot, Precise Strike,  Two-Weapon FightingB, Weapon Focus (bladed gauntlet)B
 Bluff +7, Climb +13, Craft (Alchemy) +8, Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (Local) +8, Perception +6, Sense Motive +6, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +10 
 trapfinding, rogue talents (combat trick, weapon training)
Combat Gear potion of vampiric touch (+9, 2d6 plus 2d6 sneak attack and 1d6 precise strike), potion of invisibility, medium spider venom (5 doses; save Fort DC 14, frequency 1/round for 4 rounds, effect 1d2 Str damage, cure 1 save);  Other Gear +1 leather armor, masterwork bladed gauntlets (2), masterwork composite shortbow (Str +2) with 20 bolts

Fear’s Favor

The Deathless Duke meditated here for nearly a year to overcome the fear and dread he had of his father’s potential interference in his plan. This location now grants his followers the ability to strike fear into the heart of their enemies.
Effect: Followers of The Deathless Duke within this site can, as an immediate action, choose to become a larger, more awful version of themselves. They grow to size Large, and take on features that horrify their enemies. They gain the following abilities: a +6 size bonus to Strength, a +4 size bonus to Constitution, a +6 natural armor bonus, DR 10/magic, bludgeoning, and good, with spell resistance equal to 12 + the follower’s HD. The follower also emits an aura that emanates 30 feet from it. Enemy creatures within the aura must make a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the follower’s HD + its Charisma modifier) or become panicked; creatures that make their saving throw are shaken for 1d4 rounds. Each time a creature shaken by this aura hits the fear-inspiring subject with a melee attack, that creature must save again or become panicked. The aura's effect is a fear and mind-affecting effect. These effects have already been applied to the Duke’s maiden’s above.
When any creature uses any spell or effect with the fear descriptor (such as cause fear or scare) within this site, that creature can increase its effect by one step upon a failed save. For example, shaken becomes frightened, frightened becomes panicked, panicked becomes cowering, and cowering becomes helpless. In addition, if a creature is immune to fear effects, it gains the confused condition for one round upon a failed save.


The maiden’s have been gathering up the treasure of those who attempt to enter through here and past the trap in Area 3. They have put most of it into an iron chest hidden behind a false panel in the wall (Perception DC 25), it has a superior lock (Disable Device DC 40, worth 150 gp), one of the maiden’s has hidden the key behind a stone at the far edge of the pit (Perception DC 40). One of the duke’s trusted followers comes to collect once a week.

 +1 buckler (1,165 gp), masterwork greatclub (305 gp)  longbow (75 gp), spyglass (1,000 gp), climber's kit (80 gp), leather armor (10 gp), shuriken (5, 1 gp);  an bracelet made from thread of gold (16 gp), zircon (44 gp), red spinel (63 gp), turquoise (5 gp), agate 3 (gp), turquoise 1 (gp),  3 pp, 67 gp, 260 sp, 700 cp

You can find the start of these encounters here in Area 1.


  1. Wow, that is nice and involved. Couple of tweaks and I could use that nicely. Thanks for sharing Steve.

  2. Your welcome, and thank you, I am hoping to do one every week day till there is a nice dungeon for publication, nothing like designing in public.