River Travel

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“The turgid black river carries you along slowly, forever gathering up small rivulets, flowing past cave entrances and ruins built on top of steep cliffs.”

Theme: slow passage of time, all the sewers, drains, and pipes eventually end here

The river Styx down here is the ultimate sewer; it is the most hellish cloaca maxima there is. Ever wondered what happens to people who fall into toilets? Some of them get sucked down miles of pipes and end up falling into this forlorn underworld. Some of the stuff flushed down toilets also end up down here (see the list below).

Unless dealt with before, the company of ghouls can be encountered on their way to a siege of the Spider City. Depending on how the party reacts, the bulbous demon is interested in enlisting the party’s help against the spiders. In exchange for this evil deed it might offer any of the following (see Bone Crusher for details) or equivalent services in return:

This is one of the ways to get access to a ship. Other options for fast river travel include the following:

Sky Shark by Kelvin Green, on Flickr

on the river:

  1. 1d6 mutant goldfish, jump out of water and try to bump people into river (HD 3; AC 7; Atk 1 bite (1d6); MV 12 swim; when hit on a boat, save vs. dragon breath or fall over board; when overboard in metal armor save vs. death every round or drown)
  2. rapids ahead; ignore if on a panzer ship; small boats can be carried over land (see shore encounters); if risking the rapids, save vs. paralysis or loose a random item in the chaos
  3. barrier ahead; behind a river bend a group of 3d4 ghouls have piled some debris on both sides of the river; they use mancatchers, meat hooks, harpoons and nets to snatch people from boats sailing through the narrow passage (save vs. paralysis when hit or be caught); a panzer ship will wreck the barrier and ghouls will jump aboard in desperation as their barrier disintegrates
  4. 1d4 giant alligators attack if travelling on a raft (HD 5, AC 6, Atk 1 bite (1d6), 1 tail slap (1d6); MV 12 short sprint)
  5. a dead humanoid adrift in the water (human, ratling, dwarf, goblin); 1/6 chance that it is in fact a ghoul; otherwise: carries something from the list of stuff flushed down the toilet (see below)
  6. 1d4 orcs on air sharks throwing bottles containing green slime at any of the above (see Shark Den for more info about the orcs)

on the shore

  1. 2d4 dogs are sniffing through garbage and will start following the party and attack at an opportune moment; they are in fact werehounds (HD 5; AC 7; Atk 2 claws (1d6 each), 1 bite (1d6); MV 12; can only be harmed by silver weapons or magic effects, eg. hit by a sword +1 only 1 point of damage is dealt; at the end of the day anybody bitten by a werehound must save vs. poison or contract lycanthropy)
  2. Uzitu the troll is fishing here; he is a pacifist, polite but reluctant to leave his favorite fishing spot; might be recruited if promised a share of treasure and a way out of these hellish sewers
  3. 2d6 survivors, ordinary humans that have fallen into toilets, been sucked down drains, or stumbled into gullets
  4. 2d6 ghouls; roll a d6: 1. spying on the party; 2. about to set up an ambush; 3. ambush! 4. busy attacking survivors; 5. snacking on former survivors; 6. searching through stuff flushed down the toilet (see list below)
  5. A huge slime or ooze colony of random color (ochre, grey, black, purple) blocks passage from shore to cave wall; if approached, it spits out barrel sized slime or ooze (HD 3; see random slimes and oozes)
  6. 1d4 orcs on air sharks throwing bottles containing green slime at any of the above (see Shark Den for more info about the orcs)

Ideas for useless stuff dropping from the ceiling (some toilets are inexplicably connected to these hellish sewers by a one-way pipes) or stuff to find in the possession of wandering monsters.

stuff flushed down the toilet

  1. A golden wedding ring, engraved “To F.G, with love” (50 gold)
  2. A bundle of 3 large prayer candles, each burning for 6 hours, each decorated with a well-known prayers (Player chooses any prayer they like when lighting the candle)
  3. A pack of 2d6 portions of weed; when burned and fumes inhaled, consult cabinet of neurological symptoms with 1d6
  4. A sash with 2d4 portions of dried shrooms: when consumed, consult cabinet of neurological symptoms with 1d6 but +1 per portion consumed (max out at 8)
  5. Stumble upon 2d4 poisonous snakes (HD 1; AC 9; Atk 1 bite (poison); MV 3; when bitten, save vs. poison or suffer three days of feverish paralysis before finally dying)
  6. a small homunculus drenched in blood which follows the party, cursing them (all future reaction rolls suffer a -1 penalty); can be killed with one hit

The weed and shrooms don’t have any magical effects. Instead, they have neurological effects.

cabinet of neurological symptoms

  1. nothing happens, it’s a dud
  2. intense ecstasy and joy
  3. complacency and passivity
  4. arrogance and audaciousness
  5. transcendent experiences of tremendous personality-shifting importance to the consumer
  6. exhausting nightmarish hallucinations
  7. seizures, paralysis and death within 4d10 hours unless healed
  8. total, death-like catatonia, death within 2d6 hours unless healed

Whenever the party meets oozes or slimes, consult the following list (HD 1-8; AC –; MV 1).

random slimes, oozes, molds, jellies and puddings

  1. transparent: attempted overrun (1d6); practically invisible; surprise on 5/6
  2. green: dissolves meat (1d6 automatic acid damage to its victim until killed)
  3. brown: deals cold damage (1d6/round to anybody in melee); immune to cold
  4. olive: dissolves wood and leather and slams (1d6); divides in half when hit by weapons
  5. yellow: save vs. spells or be forced to hit it; when hit, a cloud of spores rises; save vs. poison or begin slow transformation into yellow mold (treat as a disease, death within 24h)
  6. black: dissolves everything including weapons used to strike it (1d6 automatic damage to its victim until killed); immune to magic (but not to mundane fire)
  7. purple: forces creatures nearby to sweat blood (1d6/round to anybody in melee); if targeted by a spell, the spell hits a random creature in melee range; if there is no such creature, the ooze suffers the full spell effect
  8. ulfire: heats anything in its vicinity (1d6/round to anybody in melee due to boiling blood, an extra 1d6/round if wearing metal armor); immune to fire; if hit by magic fire effects, these are reflected back on the caster