September 21, 2009

Converting White Plume Mountain, Part 2: Examining The Branches

As I said in Part 1, White Plume Mountain has three branches, each ending with a room containing one of the three major artifacts of the dungeon - Wave, Whelm and Blackrazor. Let's see what each branch consists of.

As the party enters the dugeon, they reach a four-way intersection with a gynosphinx, and Walls of Force blocking the other three ways - the three branches. Answer a riddle correctly and the gynosphinx will disable the walls, letting the party pass. After this, the three branches begin. Numbers below refer to the map:

The Whelm/Ctenmiir branch holds:
3: A patch of green slime. Probably drains some HP from party members before being cleared out.
4: A room with nine glass spheres. Each holds a key, one of the keys are needed to get out of the room. Potentially three (easy) encounters and a bunch of treasure. This room is technically optional.
5: Five flesh golems, each with a number. Say the right number or get in a fight with them. The fight is nearly assumed unless the players have heard the riddle before. The conversion should probably use at least two kinds of construct to make for a fun fight - flesh golems are Elite Brutes which looks like a grind.
6: A turnstile while only lets people further into the dungeon. Needs destroying to get back out.
7: A bridge of separate platforms over two regularly-spewing geysers. Skill challenge-ish.
8: Ctenmiir. Boss Fight, duhn duhn duhn duuuuuhn! Give the guy some Vampire Spawn buddies.

A total of four "encounters", potentially a few more in the optional room, and a slight chance of just three if the party avoids fighting the flesh golems. Decent setup, Ctenmiir can be made pretty nasty.

The turnstile is just silly, the 3.5 conversion put a mimic (disguised as a portcullis) in its stead. I like silly, though.

The Wave/Crab branch holds:
9: A pit, which is actually the entrance to the Indoctrination Center of Keraptis (the real BBEG of White Plume Mountain). Glossed over in the original module, just a pit in the 3.5 conversion.
10: Kelpie pool. The kelpies have a lair with treasure.
11-13: Spinning corridoor covered in oil. The NPC:s Burket and Snarla will set fire to the oil as the PC:s pass and then fight them. Technically optional, but Burket and Snarla could join the fights in 10 or 17 in some circumstances.
17: An underwater room. A fragile forcefield keeps the water out of this zone, which contains Wave and its giant crab guardian.

Two encounters, possibly three. Go nuts with the difficulty of the two mandatory ones, or give Snarla a key to the doors (14 on the map, not locked in the original) to room 17, so she has to be fought too.

The Quesnef/Blackrazor branch holds:
18: A pit. Whee.
19: A corridor which heats metal. The intent is that heavily armored characters disrobe, so that the ghouls in room 20 can attack a severely weakened group. Cold based spells can nullify the effect for a short while.
21: Frictionless room. The pits marked A have poisoned spikes, and an unsecured person will fall in. Flight spells do not work. Hrm.
22: A magically suspended river floats in a loop entering room 22 and 23. It can be ridden using the kayaks in room 22, to 23 where Sir Bluto Sans Pite and his henchmen wait.
26: The classic inverted pyramid room. Four levels, four monster encounters.
27: Quesnef the Ogre Mage's room, with Blackrazor. Interestingly, the 3.5 conversion gives the option of him simply accompanying the party out of White Plume mountain (which breaks the curse that makes him stay inside).

Whoa, eight encounters, not counting the first pit. Would take some good tactics, but you get Blackrazor (distant cousin of Stormbringer) if you succeed. I might want to combine two of the inverted pyramid levels into one balanced encounter - fighting the scorpions on the second step while the sea lions on the third harass you sounds fun. Of course, Quesnef is a great opportunity for a foe that can be talked down, giving opportunities to cut the fighting down to an even saner amount.
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