Scarlet Dungeon


Most of the time when playing Scarlet Heroes, I run an urban adventure. This time, I wanted to see how the solo dungeon adventures work. So I took my magic user Ye Xue into a temple to see what he can find, looking for some magical knowledge or something.

Type: Temple (Heretic Hideout)
Size: 1d20=14 locations
Inhabitants: Massacre (Hungry ghost / Ghoul / Jiangshi master / Ghoul mage / Confused ghost)
Threat adjustment: They’ll send for help. Your first expedition is at a Threat equal to the PC’s level. Any further expeditions are at Threat + 1d4.

Xue learns of a temple where an atrocity occurred generations ago that holds secret scrolls of arcane knowledge. He prepares for his expedition as best he can…

Buys new equipment. Starts with 188 gp. Buys backpack, lantern with 2 flasks of oil, rope, a day’s worth of rations, and a wineskin of cheap wine. Total cost is 5gp.

Prepares Amber Cloud of Somnolescence.

Turn 1:
Enter temple via a garden. No encounter or hazard. Hidden treasure. Feature is present: an unusual piece of movable furnishing, religious in iconography or purpose. Scrolls of something relevant to nearest community. Check for treasure: 2d8 + Intelligence(3) + Scribe(1) vs 11 = 11, success! Treasure is 1/10 of C-type trove appropriate to place. Minor hidden treasure: 5gp.

Xue finds a long-abandoned garden just inside the gates. Among the pots and dust, he finds a concealed scroll with the story of a local saint. He stuffs it into his backpack and heads out.

Turn 2: Exit garden to the east into an altar hall. No encounter. No treasure. No hazard. Feature is present: bath or large pool with an item of information, whether book, note, or talk. Appears to be worth 50gp (will turn out to be worthless).

In a nearby altar, Xue finds a ceremonial bath and a ritual book with what appears to be a gold inlay in the cover. Happy with the score, he places the book carefully in his backpack.

Turn 3: Exit altar hall to southwest into a sickroom. No encounter. No treasure. No hazard. No feature.

Check for wandering encounter: no.

An empty room with bed frames and cabinets. Despite his best efforts, Xue is unable to find anything in any container. Despite his disappointment, he knows he still has plenty of rooms to check out.

Turn 4: Exit sickroom to north… no, just a passage back to the garden. Exit east into storeroom. No encounter. No treasure. No hazard. Feature is present: noncombatant inhabitant of dungeon, motivation is feed on inhabitants or just kill them. Scavenging small beast.

In a small storage room with empty shelves and rat droppings, a raccoon dog is sniffing around. Nothing else grabs his attention. 

Turn 5: Exit storeroom to east into another garden. No encounter. No treasure. No hazard. Feature is present: a piece of original artwork blocks an exit to the northeast. Destroying it would take 1d4 turns of noise. Oracular adjective: Truth.

In another garden, he finds a pathway blocked by a large statue that has fallen. He inspects the personification of Truth carefully but finds no gems or other objects worth removing. The statue itself is far too large to take without specialized equipment.

Turn 6: Exit garden to northwest… no, passage to altar hall. Exit north into pilgrim quarters. Encounter with treasure and feature but no hazard. 4 HD worth of Minions and Elites (Hungry ghosts, ghouls). No encounter treasure but M2 worth of room contents. Feature is stolen artwork, despoiled by the locals’ atrocities.

In a dormitory, the angry undead rise from the dust itself and are upon him in seconds! Whatever terrible massacre occurred here, the spirits of the unfortunate victims never found proper rest. The intruder must suffer their wrath…

Fight: 2 hungry ghosts, 1 ghoul
Round 1: Attack ghoul with dagger
Attack: 1d20+Atk(0)+Dex(-1)+AC(6) = 20, hit!
Damage: 1d4=3, 2 points of damage, ghoul is killed
Fray die: 1d4=1, no damage

Hungry ghost 1:
Bite: 1d20+Atk(1)+AC(9)=27, hit!
Damage: 1d6=2, 1 point of damage

Hungry ghost 2:
Bite: 1d20+Atk(1)+AC(9)=30, hit!
Damage: 1d6=6, 2 points of damage

Round 2: Attack ghost 1 with dagger:
Attack: 1d20+Atk(0)+Dex(-1)+AC(7) = 19, miss.

Hungry ghost 1:
Bite: 1d20+Atk(1)+AC(9)=23, hit!
Damage: 1d6=2, 1 point of damage.

Xue is dead… Perhaps he has simply joined the ranks of the lifeless monsters and may pursue his goals from beyond the grave? Or perhaps the machinations of a life have reached their end.

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