Friday, June 6, 2014

What's In The Hole? (RPG Blog Carnival for June, 2014)

The Theme for this Month's RPG Blog Carnival is What's In The Hole? and it is being hosted by Moebius Adventures. The Kick-Off Post for getting things started is right there at the Moebius Adventures blog. This is a great question. One rife with possibilities for all sorts of gaming goodness. So let's take a look at what might be down there...if you were to discover some sort of previously unexplored/undocumented hole in Wermspittle...

What's In The Hole?
  1. A Section of the Street of the First Shell has collapsed. It may have been a gas-leak. It could have been a long buried and long dormant unexploded mine or aerial bomb (see: UXB Table) that finally went off. Maybe it was unlicensed tunneling by rat-things or something else. The Strand is always blaming minor disasters like this on werms. The Street Patrol is deputizing a dozen stout 'volunteers' to perform a preliminary inspection of the hole left in the middle of the street. They don't want to risk any of their engineers or specialists unless they have to...

    Initial Situation: The hole extends down past 300' deep. The sides of the hole are sloping, tumbling masses of fractured and displaced cobblestones that have a tendency to slide when disturbed. Getting down without causing the stones to fall down upon your heads, possibly burying your team, is a real concern. The Street Patrol has complete confidence in your ability to get past this simple obstacle.

    Going Deeper: This hole leads down into a closed-off section of an old Unterrail line that hasn't been disturbed in close to three hundred years. The tunnel is not noted on any of the current maps, leading some to suspect that it might have been deliberately stricken from the record. The tunnel contains a pocket of Soporific Aether covering the floor to a depth of about four feet deep. Anyone mucking about in the tunnel will be exposed to the heavier-than-air vapors and fall into a profound, deep slumber. They'll be completely unharmed, unless someone collapses the hole. After the first few explorers fail to respond, the Street Patrol will be forced to decide whether to close-off the hole as a hazard to navigation, or to keep sending down more 'volunteers.'

  2. An unlicensed cess-pit in the basement of a mostly abandoned building has suddenly drained away over night. The Landlord is livid with rage and suspects one of his rivals of having sabotaged his cess-pit, or maybe they've stolen his shit. His low-level flunkies are looking into that aspect of the matter. He wants to hire-on a few stout souls to go take a look at how his cess-pit was drained. He has a few reasonably-repaired sets of armored waders that no longer bear any Sewer Militia markings or tags that he can loan to your crew if you can agree on how much this is going to cost him...

    First: For obvious reasons, this all has to remain hush-hush. Your crew's discretion must be vouched for before the Landlord will approach you with the offer. Snitching to the Sewer Militia is an option, of course, but it will draw the ire of the Landlord who has some connections among the Unterkorps and elsewhere they can call upon to make life difficult for anyone who tries to rat him out.

    Second: The hole at the bottom of the cess-pit appears to have been made by something digging into the pit from below. A twisty, foul-smelling burrow-sort of tunnel slopes down into the fetid darkness. All the surfaces of this tunnel are rounded, organic looking, and the floor rises and falls in random undulations as far as can be seen by torches, lanterns or whatever light-source is being used.

    Third: Less than a hundred feet down, the tunnel is filled with the contraband sewage. Under the surface of the reeking stuff is a dead Reservoir Werm that is blocking the tunnel. It dug into the cess-pit by mistake, was forced back down its tunnel by the cascade of nastiness and drowned here where it got lodged in a sharp bend in the passage. Attempting to move the carcass could result in the thing sliding loose and continuing to slide down even farther along the tunnel, carried along on a torrent of filth...

  3. There's a hole in the middle of the basement floor of the old Filby House. A group of street-urchins who took refuge in the basement last night discovered the hole and desperately want to know what's down there, but they cannot manage to lift some sort of grating that blocks their access. They want your help. They are willing to negotiate a split of the proceeds, as they are certain that there is some sort of treasure down there...

    On First Glance: Someone dug out a well-like shaft in the old basement and placed a heavy grate over it. The yellow metal grating is pink with corrosion and has fallen away in two spots, so it can easily be removed. In fact the urchins who discovered the thing already have removed some of the bolts and made your task very simple indeed: lift the grating (it weighs six hundred pounds), and go take a look.

    What's Down There: There is some sort of yellowish lump down there. About twenty feet down. There are rungs of yellow metal sunk into the side of the hole leading down, so climbing is fairly easy. The lump is a fossilized Philosophic Mold. It might be of some interest or value to a collector of oddities, or to one of the scholars at the Academy who specialize in molds of various sorts. Getting the thing removed and transported without breaking it or releasing residual toxic-spores is going to be a challenge, as it nearly fills the bottom of the hole and weighs several hundred pounds and is extremely brittle. It will be practically worthless if broken-up into poisonous debris by mis-handling. Getting it out of the hole and delivered to a buyer might draw the attention of the Sewer Militia who will swoop in and try to seize the thing by force if they catch wind of it, as it constitutes a clear and present danger, as they see things.

  4. A hole in the wall. It's dark in there, but with a little light you can see that there's something shiny just a little ways back. Maybe it's someone's secret stash...

    There are (1d4) items from the Sewer Salvage Table in there, mingled with a bunch of rotten rags, old burlap sacks, a tar-soaked length of rope and three finger bones.

    There's also a small clutch of Gunpowder Grubs covered-up by the rags. They are mostly dried-out and will explode for 3d4 damage per grub if exposed to fire, sparks or excess pressure.

  5. There's a hole in that bucket you just found. It's tagged with a red clover-leaf and looks to be something left behind by some Jelly-Hunter or someone like that. It could be a sample of some kind. There are people who pay for that sort of thing...

    Disturbing the Bucket: A captured Gobbling Grout (small specimen of a Type I), has just about eroded its way through the cheap non-zinc-coated pail.

    Gobbling Grout (Type I) [Small Attack Spackle, AL C, MV 6' (2'), AC 6, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4, SV MU 4, ML 8, Special: Usual mode of attack is to suffocate sleeping victims they catch unawares. This one has been locked-away in a pail for weeks, so it is starved and more ferocious than usual, but even so, it's still about as scary as a lump of regurgitated oatmeal, unless someone is really stupid or careless...]

  6. Not just any hole. That's a Pest Hole! Run!

    What's the Big Deal: A Pest Hole is a Weak Point that opens into a location completely over-run by vermin. These things are mentioned by Foragers in tones of dread reserved for the worst horrors imaginable. Meddling with one of these things can lead to a near endless stream of vermin pouring across the Weak Point's threshold, a disaster that only the most insane cultist would even contemplate setting into motion.

    If the Unthinkable Proves to be Inevitable: Should some character manage to stir things up, you could start with the Swarms Table, or try your luck with the Those Aren't Rats in the Walls Table, or maybe you'd prefer to try-out the Those Aren't Werms Table over at Dungeon of Signs. We have a few more tables of vermin-things coming along shortly, but those are all good resources to get you started. On the bright side, this might be a good time to try out Idravon's Fumigatory Vengance...

What's In the Hole?

Next Month's Blog Carnival will be hosted here at Hereticwerks.
The Theme is going to be: Invasive Species...

Everything you might want to know about the RPG Blog Carnival is available all in one place, including How to ParticipateHow to Sign-Up to Host a Carnival, as well as some handy advice for How to Host a Carnival if your topic gets accepted. You can also browse through the Archives of Past Carnivals and check to see what's coming next.

The RPG Blog Carnival is sponsored and supported by the RPG Blog Alliance. You can find out more about the RPGBA by clicking these links:

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