Thursday, 26 November 2020

Dig for Glory 1: Open Cut Dungeon Mine Adventure

This will be part of my expansion for Thrice Cursed Ruins book from my Patreon but is suited to any sprawling ruined city area. I'm going to add a location on Exile Island like this my next campaign as the game features government and private dungeon expeditions some using a military or engineering approach. Possibly a few years after adventurers thought they already looted the place. Inspired by Pompei and how looters since after the disaster to the present day burrowed into the ruins and found open spaces in cases and often the tunnels left by other thieves.

Long ago there was a great city buried under ash and fire from an exploding mountain in ancient times. People did dig the ash looking to rescue people and loot but the area has mostly been empty scrub where shepherds dwell. After some finds, the locals kept as trinkets town folk and scholars took an interest. Years ago adventurers camped in the area and cleared out some ancient tunnels under the earth. The adventurers moved to a new site not too far away and many sold in a new shantytown near a place with many dungeons. Meanwhile, the scholars and townsfolk came to see the empty tunnels with some guards to fend off vermin and kobolds. A year later the first such scholars started a new dig site with a camp and adventurer guards. After exiting discoveries new teams arrived and digs went from seasonal camps to permanent mine like operations.

Each team has their own areas they have exposed and some expeditions have met in underground networks of tunnels. Creatures burrowed here and humanoids came here to too and brought fungus and their pets. Finally, the Royal Dungeon Engineering Corp operated by a revolving door of eccentric nobles sets up the biggest operation, a military camp with vast open-pit excavations with teams of scholars, convict labour and military teams of dungeon invaders. 

d12 Expedition Origin
1 Vile Murder Hobos 
2 Profesional Adventurers 
3 Amatuer Adventurer 
4 Feral Child Gang 
 Inept Looters
 Wizard Scholars
7 Church Scholars
8 Excentric Rich 
9 Demihuman Adventurers
10 Non-human War Band
11 Royal Dungeon Engineer Corp
12 Ultraterrestrial Visitation 

Vile Murder Hobos (Chaotic Evil)
Gang of veteran adventurer mercenaries and professional tomb robber set up a squalid sprawling camp with followers which will evolve into a shantytown or just a very dodgy frontier town. Mostly just greedy alcoholic men with short tempers. Only camp the welcomes berserker. Many end up with a junkpile as they grab every piece of furniture or scrap they find and even mine bricks to sell. All kinds of vice and grog will be available here but so is violence. If strangers even humanoids join the camp nobody cares.
Professional Adventurers (Lawful Nuetral)
Professional licenced adventurers often sponsored by a patron who smooths out the law for them. They are considered heroic and decent and they have dined with many nobles who want to meet them. They have followers and servants and might build a wall or cabins. Efficient and methodical and take few risks and may in fact have a secret purpose. Will leave but some followers may stay on to sell scrap and junk and gleanings. Their structures might be scrapped or bought by another expedition. They will deal with competent legitimate groups.
Amateur Adventurer (Good)
Youths bound together by friendship or fate with dreams of wealth and glory and escaping their families or life as homeless bastards. They are a good team but naive and inexperienced at campaigns. Some recognise their labourers from generations of tomb robbers know a thing or two (some hire goblins or orcs who also seem wise in these matters). Some are foolish and take risks and their workers may leave. They usually camp in tents. About half these groups evolve into murder hobo or professional camps, the rest fail often with TPK. These camps might have workers griping about unpaid wages looking for a better job. Wary of strangers and how to tell good from bad.

Feral Child Gang (Chaotic Nuetral)
Often a thief from the city came here with his trained filthy urchins hoping they could be sold as miners who can fit in tiny holes and eat less. Whatever tragedy brought the first few here now kids from far away have heard of this paradise and have fled here. Living like kobolds in old tunnels left by treasure hunters they often find and dig for new items or lairs. When they can loot an area they sell as trinkets to tourists for scraps of food. Others are beggers or steal scraps from camps. They often look for work anywhere as guides, bag handlers or translators. Some offer to serve as torchbearers 1cp a day or pole boy 1sp a day. Many are thieves and adept at picking pockets while offering to sell a shiny bauble or fake map. Many in ruins hate these kids, others look out for them. Many urchins dream of joining a proper camp with food and less giant rats. Some lookout for monsters and all the urchins are good with rocks. Possibly the urchins are really all halflings or have been trained by them. In the future will be absorbed into a thieves guild. Mostly hate adults and most adults hate them back.

Inept Looters (Chaotic Nuetral)
These camps are makeshift tents and strewn in rubble, garbage, holes.Half groups are formed by men who left jobs and abandoned families to get rich and escape problems. Many heard wild stories and think they know enough to start an expedition camp. They gather together because nobody wants inept losers in their camps. Many survive to get jobs and join other camps. Many come from specialist craft or farm backgrounds. The other half are family camps with some children and elderly who will shun single loners and strangers. These clans often come from desperate urban poor or backwoods heathens and don't allow outsiders in without marriage. They will trade but also get into fights and are territorial. If there is another clan like them they will be traditional clan enemies. Non-humans and vermin will be attracted to their abandoned camps. The dangerousness of these groups and their many wrong choices confound other camps who will avoid them. The camp just resent snobs in return and want to outdo them and blame them for problems with paranoid fantasies.

Wizard Scholars (Any)
A wizard of at least 5th level with four apprentices hired adventurers and half a dozen labourers who have worked together for years. Some come as lone wizards hoping to get spells or some magic. Some are university-funded expeditions who provide superior halberdier guards. These clean organised multi tent camps are often protected with magic and intruders might be killed by spells. The wizard is strictly in charge with a second and they may trade or identify items..Each wizard will vary. d4 1=comical twit loner 2=academic truth seeker 3=dandy art lover 4=
evil cult leader seeking evil stuff. Sometimes also a magical shapeshifter in disguise or possessed. WIll identify or translate items on the side for cash and may wish to share notes on discoveries. Leave a blasted heath behind tainted by alchemy but sometimes an apprentice will stay on earning cash to detect magic. Prefer educated and civilised people.
Church Scholars (Lawful Good)
A church expedition with clerics, monks and possibly a paladin come seeking magic and ancient texts for the church. Unwilling to share with others unless their god would approve. Many churches deal openly with authorities some are hidden. Some will heal others for money especially later in the day. They will also perform burial rites or might visit other camps offering healing and looking for desperate people to convert and help. Workers are all pilgrims labouring as a tithe. Churches may vandalise things they don't want so nobody can have them. They prey quite a bit and many are silent. Often recruit some local farmers and shepherds.  Over time they will gain pilgrims and converts and build a shrine which might be a church community one day. WIll listen to anyone and may offer aid with conditions or promise of servitude in return.

Excentric Rich (Lawful Nuetral)
Private noble or guild leader or merchant has retired and is deeply interested in d4 1=crackpot scholar theory 2=grab and sell treasure and art 3=trail of fabulous treasure 4=forbiden cult lore and relics. They have hired a team of adventurers and brought some of their own wretched peasants to labour. They get along with authorities but might hide a secret. The more social ones have guests they show of their discoveries too. Often will have a bard or an artist on hand to document everything. Mostly mant fancy stuff about lives of rich and ancient religion leaving a dump tor other rubble and possibly building a small fortified building from ancient tablets and broken carved walls. Will often take fittings and mosaics for own homes.  Often leave behind a good building and camp others will quickly occupy or buy. Mostly only deal with wealthy looking, powerful or famous.

Demihuman Adventurers (Any)
Either d4 1=Dwarf 2=Elf 3=Gnome 4=Halfling or a mixture of several. These are on a quest and want one thing and they have an inkling it was here long ago or were told by a seer. Wary of humans but will be civil and offer and accept hospitality. They may be of any alignment but humans can't tell apart. Most will have not had dealings with humans and vary in behaviour d4 1=evil greedy nasty jerks up to no good 2=busy on a desperate quest against a secret evil 3=friendly and seek a great treasure for fame and glory 4=aloof and on a quest to forge an alliance together. They will set up a comfortable camp and strip it when they leave. Others might occupy the site after for cleared land. They have minimal contact with other camps but will parley with authorities. They will accept those who speak their languages.

Tribal War Band (Chaotic Nuetral)
A tribal band of wild peoples often come here to stop intruders digging up the cursed dead. Often will settle to hunt the other explorers they see as breaking taboo. If human d4 1=cave tribe 2=nomads with herd 3=barbarians 4=crazed berserkers berserker. Tribal humanoids include d4 1=goblinoids 2=orcs 3=beast abhumans 4=monster humanoids like ogre, troll or giants. They shun other groups who will regard them as a menace. Some may have a talent for communicating with these angry tribes. They will often have domestic monster pets living among them. They leave very little behind but if long enough might use some ruins and will build a stall for animals and a watchtower. 

Royal Dungeon Engineer Corp
Eventually, the kingdom armed forces were called in. A force came and built a wooden stockade repacked in wagons. Veteran soldiers guard the camp and dig trenches. There is a priest, a wizard and a team of experienced adventurers part of the corp. They will later bring in convict workers to dig even more and beasts mining machines. Sometimes they drive troublemakers in a hole to explore and may earn the right to live. Important dignataries come and visit and a new commander is appointed at least yearly. A number of scholars help examine any documents or magic items found and the commander has a safe for treasure. A weekly convoy brings food and fresh workers. If the operation is long term rubble will be used to build a military fort to watch the site. They maintain friendly relations with superior adventurers with papers and licences. Scruffy types might be pressganged into exploring something.

Ultraterrestrial Visitation 
A strange magical fortress if her and strange occupants come out to explore. They are unfriendly and wary of natives. Possible types include d4 1=faeriland expedition with elf and goblin troops 2=changeling expedition seeking some relic 3=alien wizard her for loot and wizard battles 4=evil priest agent of the outer void with undead minions seeking a relic. When they leave they take their planar tower with them.

d12 Camp Features
1 Stockade where captives are sold to slavers. 
2 Cages where dungeon beasts are sold or butchered
3 Smithy 
4 Shrine
5 Trader
6 Tinkerer
7 Grog Shop
8 Brothel
9 Wizard
10 Storehouse
11 Kitchen
12 Stable

Dungeon Engineereer Corp
Forge, storehouses, barracks, officers quarters, mess hall, sorting hall,  target range, barracks, watchtower, armoury, workshop, shrine, stockade, whipping post. Drinking is forbidden on duty and drunkenness not welcome in caomp so some men go to other camps to spend wages. 

Next time I will work on what's underground. My sewer geomorphs might work well with them.

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