Dungeon-a-Day Free Peek: Area 421

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Area: 421. It's A Trap!

Summary: Never turn your back on a room with no door!

Sights and Sounds: This chamber is brightly lit. The PCs see nothing out of the ordinary. There is no door or other visible marker denoting that a chamber exists behind this wall. Once the trap is sprung, though, they see the following.

The wall to the north slides into the ceiling revealing behind it a large room. It is impossible to tell exactly how large, though, because the whole space seems to be filled with writhing, slimy, bruise-colored tentacles. They lash about wildly, slapping the walls and grasping one another--and suddenly they reach out for you!
Area 421

Background: This entire chamber is one tremendous trap that is triggered when someone improperly tries to open the vault. When tripped, the whole twenty-foot long section of wall slides up into the ceiling (like a portcullis). The room behind the wall is filled by a massive colony of tentacles, cultivated and magically modified by the Mages Four. Each tentacle is technically a creature on its own, but they act as a single unit (like a swarm).

The tentacles reach out and grab anyone and anything they can find. They try to grapple prey and pull it deep into the chamber. After a brief while, the tentacles retract and the wall closes, trapping those who were caught. Once the wall is sealed, the tentacles begin secreting acid at a terrific rate, filling the chamber with their corrosive sweat.

Triggering the Trap: The trap is triggered whenever someone attempts to open the door to the vault incorrectly. The only way to notice the trap at all is when performing a Perception check on the lock. If that check beats DC 30, the searcher knows that there is a trap somewhere in the ceiling or the wall opposite the door, if the check beats DC 33, the searcher knows it is, in fact, the wall. Additionally, if the check beats DC 36, the searcher knows just how difficult the task is (the GM should tell the player that the required Disable Device check is DC 40).

It is extraordinarily difficult to disable this trap without disassembling doing major construction on the hallway's ceiling (which, if done in haste, is almost certain to cause the hallway to cave in). It requires a DC 40 Disable Device check to temporarily incapacitate the trap. However, because of the trap's ability to repair itself, it only remains disabled for 2d10+10 minutes.

The Tentacles: When the trap is triggered, nothing happens until the start of the following round. At that time, the wall slides up and the tentacles begin to reach out for victims. Allow the PCs to attempt DC 22 Reflex saves to avoid being surprised. In the first round, 10 can make a single attack on any creature in the 60-foot stretch of the hallway centered on the entrance to this chamber. In the second round, 15 tentacles can make attacks. In the third round, 20 can make attacks.

Each tentacle has AC 18 and 50 hp. There are hundreds of them growing in the room. They are mindless and are considered to have the following saving throws: Fort +12, Ref +18, Will --. If attacked with an area effect, consider the colony to have 200 hp (with each hp representing one tentacle). If the colony is reduced to 0 hp, it can no longer attack.

A tentacle attacks by attempting to grapple a creature within its reach. The tentacles have a grapple check of +25. If it succeeds, with its next action the tentacle attempts to pin its victim. If a victim is pinned, the tentacle is able to pull him or her into the center of the tentacle room. Even if a victim is not pinned, a tentacle can attempt to pull him or her into the room. To resist, the victim must make a Str check opposed by the tentacle (which has Str 20).

If two or more tentacles are grappling a single victim, each tentacle gets a +2 on all its rolls. If four or more tentacles are grappling a single victim, the victim is considered to be pinned.

The Wall Slams: At the start of the fourth round, all the tentacles retract back into the room. They will not release whatever they are holding, so if something prevents that creature or item from being pulled in, too, the tentacles remain out when the wall slams. This causes the tentacle to be severed.

A severed tentacle immediately loses 25 hp, but otherwise fights on. Instead of grappling, a severed tentacle will attempt to slam its victim. This is a +20 melee attack that does 1d8+12 bludgeoning damage.

Inside the room, the tentacles stop grappling and begin secreting acid. Moving through the room is difficult because of the mass of limp tentacles practically filling the space. A creature can only move at one-quarter speed and must succeed at a DC 10 Str check for each square. A failed check means that the creature was temporarily blocked from moving, but may try again.

The Acid Bath: At the start of the fifth round, the tentacles begin oozing acid. Anyone in the room takes 1d10+2 acid damage. This increases by +1d10+2 each round to a maximum of 10d10+20 and continues until all of the victims are devoured.

Breaking the Wall: The wall is made of stone 1-foot thick and is immune to acid damage. Each 5-foot section of wall has hardness 8, 90 hp, and break DC 35. Once the wall is broken, the accumulated acid spills out into the hall covering a number of 5-foot squares equal to the number of dice of acid damage the tentacles dealt the previous round. Anyone standing in one of those squares takes 1d10+1 acid damage. The acid remains in the squares for 1d3 rounds.

The tentacles remain inert and continue to secrete acid as long as any creature is in the room. Moving through the room continues to be a difficult process. Both of these things function as described above.


If the PCs break the wall or destroy all the tentacles, the room has the capability to repair itself. The wall will be repaired in 1d12 hours. After that, the tentacles will re-grow over the course of 1d6 days. While the trap is repairing itself, it is inert and cannot be triggered.

Connections: This chamber connects to areas 415, 419, and 422.

Get In The Dungeon!

To see the complete details for the other areas connected to this area (areas 139, 140, and 142) as well as read more about the twelve secret sigils, head over to dungeonaday.com!

Up Next: June 6 2011 we'll present area 421 "It's a Trap!"