The Crucible

This is the adventure that I’m going to run for my friends. There’s only two of them, so it might be challenging, or maybe it won’t be. We’ll see.

Obstacles and skills are all suggestions, of course.

The PC come to a lost Dwarven monastary seeking Dwarven treasures… They might have to find their way through the Shadow-wood forest, though (Pathfinder Ob5)

As background for the GM, this was a temple to Moradin, a relatively nice dwarven Immortal, taken over from inside by a cult of Laduguer-ists (a tyrannical Immortal), and then later overrun by somebody. Maybe orcs or goblins. Maybe humans. Then it fell to ruin. Now it has monsters in it.


Wandering Monsters
1d3 Wolves
Collapsing Roof Beams
Equipment Ruined By Water
Equipment Ruined by Webbing
Character Stuck in Webbing
A different Giant Rat
It starts to rain, and now everything is colder and wetter and slipperier
A door gets stuck
A handle or knob break off a door
Furniture collapses under strain

The Approach (Bright)

Dwarf Statues with Upraised Hammers

  • Inscription in Dwarven - “All Hail […]” (The name has been defaced into illegibility.)
  • All Hail Whom? (Theologian Ob5)
    • Based on the statue, it’s probably “Moradin”, a Young Forge Lord of the Dwarves. He’s Lawful, his holy symbol is a hammer.
      Crumbling Walls
      Broken Doors
      Murky Pool around West Corner
  • See Area 9

The Courtyard (Bright)

Tall Grass

  • Search the Tall Grass to find the adventurer’s pack (Scout Ob4)
    • Loot: Adventurer’s Rotted Pack w/ Thief’s Tools
  • No rope or bucket
  • Dead Adventurer at Foot of Well
  • Climb into the Well to recover copper coins (One person Ob2) (Sick from water?)
    • Loot: Copper Coins (2D, Pack 4) in Well
    • Loot: Potable Water
  • Climb out of the Well (One person Ob3) (Exhausted by climb?)
    Collapsed Stable
  • Pony Bones
    Collapsed Wall

The Tower (Dark Downstairs, Dim Upstairs)


  • Empty/Junk
    A Scuttling Noise Upstairs
    Stairs Up
  • A Monstrous Spider!
  • More Boxes
    • Loot: Rope
    • Loot: Shield
    • Loot: Helmet
    • Loot: Fighter Supplies (weapon maintenance kit)
  • Web-Bundled Forms
    • Dessicated Wolf
    • Dessicated Kobold
    • Dessicated Child or Halfling

Fremit the Stone Spider
(Wants to eat the adventurers. Hates the wolves.)

The Entry Hall (Dim)

Dried Leaves Blowing in a Chill Wind

  • Identify tracks (Hunter Ob1) (Hungry & Thirsty?) (Wolf!?)
    • Wolf and Kobold Tracks
  • Follow Tracks
    • They go in all directions, though you can tell that they’re heavier to the north.

The Waiting Room (Dark)

Stuck Door Marred by Axe-Strikes

  • Bash Open Stuck Door to get into room (Health Ob2) (Exhausted from bashing?) (Wolves from 15 come to investigate?)
    • Broken Chair (that was barring the door)
    • Small End-Table
      • Small, Empty Vial (reads “Poison” in Dwarven) on Table
    • Dwarven Skeleton on Rotting Couch
      • Loot: Jeweled Dwarven Holy Symbol (Jewelry) (A shield bearing a broken crossbow bolt)
        • What symbol is this? (Theologian Ob5)
          • Laduguer, a Young Forge Lord of the “dark” dwarves, lawful in an oppressive way
      • Loot: A note in Dwarven - “Laduguer forgive me. I toil no more.”

The Cloak Room (Dark)

Rotten Cloaks on Wall Pegs
Empty Shelves
(A place to rest?)

The Guest Quarters (Dark)

Half-Eaten Bird and Cheap Utensils on a Table
Wooden Chair
Another Door
A Musky, Spicy Odor
Net Trap

  • Search to Find Net Trap (Scout Ob3) (Afraid of more traps?) (Dodge Noisy Net Trap?)
  • Dodge Noisy Net Trap (Health Ob2 for everyone in room) (Injured by net weights or dive?) (Escape the Net?)
  • Escape the Net (Criminal Ob1) (Angry at trapper?)

Grakak’s Room (Dark)

Old Bed
Another Old Bed

  • A kobold hiding under the bed
    • Loot: Stonemason Supplies
    • Loot: Engraved Gem
      • Round, red gem engraved with a hammer symbol

Grakak the Kobold
(Wants food. Wants control of this ruin for his tribe.)

The Library (Dim)

Central Pillar
Downy Moss

  • Poisonous Spores if Moss Disturbed
    • Resist Poisonous Spores (Health Ob3) (Sick from spores?) (Hallucinations as factor to all Skill rolls for this phase?)
      Ruined Books on Shelves
  • Search Bookshelf (Scout Ob5) (Hungry & Thirsty?) (Resist Poisonous Spores?)
    • Loot: Beautifully Illuminated Dwarven Manuscript hidden on top of shelves (Pack 2, Carried 2, 2-7D)
      • In dwarven, rituals and prayers to Moradin.
      • Can be used to research the faith and daily lives of the Moradin-worshipers that lived here, if you can read Dwarven. Possibly mentions treasure downstairs. (Scholar Ob1-Ob5)
        Collapsed Wall
        Murky Pool
  • Drink Bad Water (Health Ob2) (Sick from water?) (Hallucinations as factor to all Skill rolls for this phase?)

The Altar (Dark)

Two Central Pillars
Anvil Altar

  • Engraved Depression in Altar
    • Round Depression with Hammer Icon in Center
    • What does this do? (Lore Master Ob3) (Angry at self for missing the obvious?) (Know what it does, but apply it wrong, so that gems will cause exhaustion.?)
      • Putting the special engraved gem in the depression creates a wave of energy that removes the Exhausted condition (so that the dwarves could keep working) (one use).
        Two Darkmantles Spin Down from the Ceiling!

(Want to eat things. Want to stay in the shadows.)
(M: 1 N: 2, Lurking/Strangling/Ambushing)
(Flee:5, M: Darkness, +1D)
(Drive Off: 3, A: Tentacles, +1s)
(Kill: 3 M: Darkness, +1D, A: Tentacles, +1s)
(I: Always target the lights)
(S: Darkmantles can see in the dark. If a Darkmantle uses Darkness to successfully maneuver in a Conflict, it may choose an active light source to “disarm”, affecting it as per the “Blessing of Darkness” p.52)

The Hallway (Dim)

Statue of a Dwarf with an Upraised Stump

  • The upraised arm is missing its hand.
  • Inscription in Dwarven - “All Hail […]” (The name has been defaced into illegibility.)
    • Who is this? (This particular statue is too broken to identify.)

The Rubble (Bright)


  • Seach Rubble for Loot (Scout Ob6) (Exhausted from moving rubble?) (Wake up giant rat?)
    • A crushed skeleton
      • Wears a silver bracelet with an interlocking shield pattern (Jewelry)
        Hallway (to 11)

Giant Rat
(Wants food. Wants to defend nest.)

The Armory (Dark)

Empty Racks and Empty Shelves

  • Search Racks and Shelves (Ob6)
    • Dwarven Bolt (“Whip-Cracker” - -1D to goblin opponent’s next action, one use only) (Creates a whip-like “CRACK!” when fired).
      Search Walls (Ob4) (Hungry & Thirsty)
  • Secret Door to Secret Prison

The Secret Cells (Dark)

Rusted Cells with Broken Gates

  • Scratchings on Cell Walls
    • Hammer Symbol
    • In Dwarven, “Moradin preserve us”
      Skeletal Dwarven Remains
  • Inanimate
  • Peaceful
  • Loot: Ring
    • Magical “Ring of the Forge Lords” (+1D to resist extreme heat)
      Three Dwarven Tomb Guardians Attack!
      Different Stonework
  • Determine Age is Newer than Temple (Stonemason Ob1)
  • Determine Maker is Dwarves (Stonemason Ob2)

Dwarven Tomb Guardians
(Want to kill or drive off intruders.)

  • No weapons except “Heavy Tread”
  • Wearing heavy leather aprons [as Leather Armor]
  • These Tomb Guardians won’t chase characters out of the room. That’s what they want, so no Conflict.
  • They’re just like regular Tomb Guardians, just unarmed, shorter, and wearing leather “armor”.

The Den (Dark)

Stone Desk

  • Locked Drawer
    • Pick Rusted Lock (Criminal Ob3) (Angry at lock?) (Lockpicks ruined?)
      • Loot: Dwarven Hand-Axe (“Skybolt” - +1D Attack vs. Goblins when thrown)
        Shelves and Cabinets
        A Musky Odor
        Two Wolves (unless they were killed earlier)

(Wants to defend lair. Wants to eat weak prey.)
(M:2 N:4, Hunting/Stalking/Playing)
(Flee:8, A:Keen Smell +1s, M:Rangy Legs +2D)
(Kill:4+N, A:Crushing Jaws +1s, M:Pack Tactics +1s)
(Capture:6, F:Cunning Intellect +1s)
(Drive Off:4, A:Crushing Jaws +1s, M:Pack Tactics +1s)
(Trick:2, F:Growl +1s, M:Keen Ears +1s)
(I:Always hunt in packs)
(S:Pack Tactics only works while there is more than one wolf still in the conflict)

Redtooth’s Chamber (Dark)

A Dire Wolf!
A Musky Odor
Cold Forges
A Collapsed Pillar

  • A stone chest, trapped beneath the pillar.
    • Move the Pillar to get to the Chest (Laborer Ob6, because it’s only half a pillar, and they just have to move it, not carry it)
      • The chest was locked, but now it’s broken
      • 3D Gold Pieces, Jeweled Dwarven Mask (Jewelry, Head 1/Pack 1/Carried 1)
        Stairs Down
  • The corridor has completely collapsed. There’s no getting through this way.
    • Ok, fine, (Laborer Ob10) (Injured by falling rocks?) (Trapped inside collapsed tunnel?)
      • I’ve got no more adventure for you, though. Try again next session.
        Ruined Gear
        Loot: Purse of Gold Coins
        Loot: Scattered Gems
        Loot: Adventurer’s Journal (It probably tells about a hidden way into the lower levels, but it’s outside somewhere and probably requires a Pathfinder Ob4 test [Nearby, Overgrown])

Redtooth the Dire Wolf
(Wants to kill the Stone Spider. Wants to defend its territory.)

Ha, cool. I’m also working on a ruined monastery adventure with a well and wolves in the surrounding woods. :slight_smile:

The altar is a clever idea, and I like the hallucinogenic moss. “Damn, this is some good moss! [ruffle ruffle inhale]”

How can the PCs use the nightflyer arrow? They can’t engage in violent conflicts in darkness. Does it get the bonus if fired out of a lighted area into a darker one?

The PCs might enjoy finding some hints about the life of the monastery - the object of their worship, the tasks they undertook, etc.

Bah! Rules!

Ok, replaced it with this:
Dwarven Bolt (“Whip-Cracker” - -1D to goblin opponent’s next action, one use only) (Creates a whip-like “CRACK!” when fired).

Dwarven and Elven weapons are weird. The Night-Flyer was probably too magical, anyway. Why can’t there be another bolt like that one? I don’t know, but it makes it hard to come up with new abilities without locking yourself out of later ones.

I’ll probably go back and add some color to the description soon. I was aiming for functional first. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback. It’s not particularly original, though. It’s mostly a reinterpretation of a dungeon I found somewhere else.

I’m also thinking that the dwarves might not have been Chaotic after all. Probably quite the opposite.

The stuff in the area descriptions is tiered by level of investigation, with the bold things being what you’d notice upon walking into an area, the non-bolded upon having a moment to look around, and the indented items available upon investigating an individual item, more or less. I think that will help me, at least.

Added some details to areas 1, 5 and 9 to help tell the “story” of this location.

Nice details. So the dwarf in room 5 betrayed the monastery and killed himself?

Is the library, like, fully stocked with books that are still in decent condition? Dozens or hundreds of books? As an adventurer I’d live off that for a year at least. First trip back to town with backpack loaded with books, then start the mule trains to recover the rest. That’s in no way a problem - there could be some interesting complications from that. Just a thought.

I remember playing a D&D game where the DM was using a module and when we discovered the dungeon it was described as having worked doors made of adamantine. Adamantine. Doors. Like, a thousand pounds of adamantine. We immediately returned to town for equipment and a team of horses, then came back and used pickaxes to destroy the stone moorings and pull the doors off the hinges and dragged the doors back to town with the draft horses. Never even went in the dungeons and were stinking rich.

No, the library is ruined by water and psycho-moss. Only the one book hidden on top of the shelves survived unscathed. Hmm. I make a note of where the book is.