"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, Cassandra's Carpet Trap III

D2 is the second entry in the D (Drow) series of modules released by TSR. It was released in 1978 and then reissued in a combined format with D1 in 1980. It was also later combined in the GDQ super module.

The second module in the series comes in with a slightly higher page count than its predecessor but not by much. Shrine has a page count of twenty pages making it larger than Descent but still a smaller module by today's standards. I think the spacing and lack of descriptive text is deceptive in this matter though.

The module has the characters continuing their pursuit of the Drow priestess further into the depths of the earth. Shrine has a little more plot involved in it than Descent did. We are introduced into two of the factions that exist in the underground realms. The first are the Lovecraftian Kuo-Toa and the second are the Svirfneblin or Deep Gnomes. They are antagonistic towards each other and this opens up some plot potential. We also learn that though neither like the Drow the Kuo-Toa interact with them.

The module will almost always end up becoming a scene that could be made into a fantasy movie with the characters going through the city of the Kuo-Toa slaughtering everything in their path. It could play out differently but it never has for me. Liberating the city allows for possible introduction of replacement characters or henchmen and also the ability to garner much needed intelligence.

The module has much to offer and if the characters have played Descent then they will most likely want to play Shrine. Not only is it a better done module but it advances the plot leading to D3. If you do not plan on using D3 then this is not essential as a follow up to Descent. Still it is worth it to play these as it gives one an idea of what early module play was like.

Cassandra's Carpet Trap III

Level: Fifth
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Ares Effect: Special
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 7 Rounds
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user brings into being a carpet that is magical in nature. The nature of the carpet can very based on the caster's desire and the level of the spell.

By default the carpet will be of ornate and of exceptional quality. The caster can specify a different appearance if desired though it will always appear to have been a carpet of some quality at one time.

The carpet created will have a maximum size equal to ten square feet per level of the caster. It will by default fill the space it is cast in though the caster can specify any shape and size.

The carpet will remain until such time as the effect it is intended to have is triggered. The triggering effect can be anything that the caster desires. It can be a timed effect such as one day from now or a specialized event such as the first thief to walk on it or if a spell is cast by someone while standing on it. Until such time as the trigger effect occurs the carpet is nothing more than a carpet. The carpet can be moved with no impact to the trigger effect unless moving was part of it.

With this level of the spell there are three types of carpets that can be created. It is important to note that higher level of the spell can also create all versions of carpets that previous version could create.

Carpet of Confusion

When the trigger event occurs for this carpet all on it who fail their save will become greatly confused. The confusion will take cause an effect similar in all ways to great intoxication as described in the Dungeon Masters Guide.

Those under the effect will be unable to act in a rational manner. This will also prohibit them from reacting effectively to anything that happens to them. The players can specify actions but there is a 50% chance of what they wanted to do won't work and the DM can ad lib what does happen.

Those on the carpet when the trigger occurs who make their save are unaffected. Those entering onto the carpet after the trigger will also be unaffected.

Carpet of Insanity

Those on this carpet when the trigger event occurs will need to make a secret saving throw versus magic. Those who make their save will immediately lose half their remaining hit points. Those who fail will suffer no immediate effect.

Those who fail will be afflicted with a randomly determined insanity. The insanity will show a minor manifestation in 14-24 turns. The full insanity effect will complete its manifestation in two to five days. The insanity can be removed through years of costly therapy or a simple Remove Curse spell.

Carpet of Polymorphing

When the trigger event occurs for this carpet those on it must make a save versus polymorph. Those who fail are compelled to drop all they are holding and flee in a random direction for a period of five rounds.

On the third round those who failed their save will be polymorphed into a random creature. The creature they become will be determined by rolling on the third level Dungeon Random Encounter table in the Dungeon Masters Guide.

Players polymorphed will remain in their new form for a period of 7-16 rounds. They will behave exactly as if they were the creatures they have become. Those who make their save will not be compelled to flee not are they polymorphed. They might have to fight all the new wandering monsters though.

The material component of this spell is a small woven rug of exceptional quality. This carpet will cost no less than 100 gp per level of the Carpet Trap. The rug transforms into the carpet with the casting and is used up. The appearance of the actual carpet will be whatever the caster desires though it will always appear to have been so high quality at some point.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

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