Friday, April 3, 2009

Stonehell: The Hexperiment – South

The last quadrant of Level 3, The Hexperiment – South, is now available for download.

After an unforeseen delay, I managed to wrap up both the extended two-part section of the Hexperiment and finally put Level 3 of Stonehell to bed. This final section is split down the middle between the second half of the Hexperiment and a few outside rooms and corridors. More odd features and old favorites await.

This section introduces a new player to the mix of Stonehell. A medusa information broker, known as Lachesis and accompanied by her blind ogre bodyguards and a charmed magic-user, lairs off the beaten paths of the dungeon. From this defended position, they keep tabs on the various intrigues and conflicts occurring between the humanoid races of Stonehell with the intent of selling this knowledge to the highest bidder. Like a few other denizens of the dungeon, how the characters approach and react to Lachesis has potential future ramifications to their dungeon exploration. If they approach with money in hand (and heads averted) they could gain a valuable source of information regarding the political situation of the dungeon. Confront Lachesis with swords and spells swinging, she’s going to do her best to destroy them. Even if they overcome her, she might very well escape them to plot and scheme against them from afar. That will complicate matters.

Of course, her charmed magic-user assistant could turn out to be the wild card in whatever relationship develops between Lachesis and the party. She keeps a wary eye on her servant, knowing that one day he may break free of her control and thus need to be dealt with. Until such a time, however, he proves useful to her schemes. If she sees a likely replacement for him amongst the members of the party though, she may choose to substitute their services for his. That’ll be bad for a few people.

I’m looking ahead at the future levels and it looks like we have a cavern complex/mine in store for us on Level 4 and possibly Level 5. There’s also going to be an opportunity for vertical movement – perhaps of the very fast and fatal variety - on the horizon as well. Lastly, I almost never do this and if Stonehell wasn’t a classic-style dungeon I probably wouldn’t take the step, but I think it’s about time we introduced a dragon to our Dungeons & Dragons.

Enjoy the weekend people and I’ll see you back here on Monday with a full five days of content.


Benjamin David said...

Waitaminute! You've put the Eytz Chaim in your dungeon? That's awesome! I'm going to have to steal Stonehell for my own campaign just for that bit alone.

Btw, I love the quick, minimalist descriptions. I'll be modeling my own notes after them.


Michael Curtis said...

The "Tree of Life" has always looked like a series of chambers and corridors to me. I blame the hobby for this of course. I've always wanted to do something with that idea and I finally got a chance to put it into use in Stonehell.

The minimum descriptions have certainly evolved because of the Two-Page Dungeon template. In the past, I often was very verbose in my dungeon notes but the limited space on the template has done much to help me break that bad habit. It's perhaps one of the biggest lessons I've learned from the whole project and I intend to keep limiting myself in other efforts, even if I'm not using the Two-Page template to describe them.