Mad Wizard’s Hall — a dungeon for Tunnels & Trolls

sean f. smith / he, him
4 min readAug 2, 2023

Background

If we’re talking sanity, well then ALL wizards are mad. But today we’re talking rage, and THIS wizard is angry.

Donchealean built this complex when he first considered heading westwards. In the decades since, his experiments have caused no end of hassle for local flora, fauna, and road surfaces.

One week ago, a cob of drougr (fell-dwarfes) invaded Donchealean’s realm. The two factions are currently at an impasse — a perfect time to sneak in and loot the place.

moving gif of white hands painting small cyan diamonds on a sand-coloured grid
If you hurry, you can buy the tileset that allows you to make this in your own kitchen.

Entering the dungeon

Donchealean’s palace grows from the ground like a potato made of ivory. Uninviting narrow stairs at its northern tip lead to area 2 (two) and uninviting wide stairs at its southern tip lead to area X (x-ray).

Floors are tiled throughout — some sort of keratin. While spaces are empty, there is a dim glow from red stones in the floor.

When spaces are occupied, there is a strong glow from cyan stones in the floor.

Ceilings are as high as the narrowest point in a room or corridor.

Donchealean does not believe in doors* but there is a sandalwood aroma on each threshold.

* He does not think they exist. He’s certain every door anyone has seen is an illusion or the person is lying.

a black and white image of a dungeon layout, with letters and numbers attached to some rooms
If you hurry, you can buy the tileset that allows you to make this in your own kitchen.

Room descriptions

Unspoiled — areas 1 (one) to 6 (six)

  • 1 (one) three open crates, each containing badly cut rubies (genuine rubies). They look very sharp (they are very sharp — they’ll deal 1 (one) damage for each ruby that is picked up (the first time this happens, L1SR with Constitution or drop it on your foot for another 1 (one) damage))
  • 2 (two) illusory majordomo asks the characters for their name. Anyone lying or refusing to answer makes L3SR with Luck or forfeits their personal adds for one hour of real time
  • 3 (three) this laboratory is full of dozens of reagents in pewter cauldrons and thousands of empty glass jars and vials, none of them matching
  • 4 (four) a wounded vizzerdor (chimeric fusion of hare and piranha), gnawing its wounds. MR 150, strips a piece of armour when rolling 2* spite. Room appears to be its den
  • 5 (five) this armoury is home to six identical wizards staves (2D+2) and one of your favourite gunnes
  • 6 (six) Donchealean himself, trying to look nonchalant but deeply upset at the transgression into his palace from the drougr. This is his study and it resembles more of a war-room now. There’s a tiny map of the layout with small models of every creature within — including the players. MR350

Contested — areas 7 (seven) to B (bravo)

  • 7 (seven) room was once something like a public baths. corpses of three drougr and one vizzerdor
  • 8 (eight) drougr strike team camping out in plush living room. They are trapped by the hellblair in B (bravo). There are as many drougr as players (each MR40)
  • 9 (nine) scraps of a once comfortable bedroom, now mostly illfire scorchmarks and deep chill
  • A (alpha) unmanned barricade (five feet tall) “blocking” passage west
  • B (bravo) frightened hellblair (imagine a gorilla as tall as a shire horse, but it’s got horns and smells of matches) in smashed up waiting room. MR200, spite damage is burning gobbet dealing 3 points each

Conquered — areas C (charlie) to X (x-ray)

  • C (charlie) Donchealean’s private bathroom, covered in drougr graffiti (“were you born in a baern?!”)
  • D (delta) X5 drougr core team has turned this library into a war-room. Their notes and maps are made with calculus (L5SR with Intellect to fathom). Twice as many drougr as the players (each MR40). Drougr siege weapon cache not useful in this arena but definitely valuable
  • E (echo) hall of mirrors, every mirror smashed. Half have had the silver stripped from the back. The rest are backed with tin
  • F (foxtrot) great collection of stained-glass windows of sundry sizes.
  • G (golf) drougr weapon racks full of formal polearms (4D, needs 15 ST + 5 DX)
  • H (hotel) waiting room transformed into (unused) drougr barracks. Stonebible at the head of each cot
  • X (x-ray)* drougr and trained tarator (rubberskin ogrekin) behind five-foot barricade. (MR40 and MR100 respectively)
  • It isn’t india because that might look too much like 1 (one).

Random encounters

Roll 2D6 every ten minutes or if the party make a right racket. If the dice match, that’s the encounter:

  1. two drougr scouts (MR40 each)
  2. one loosed tarator (MR100)
  3. the hellblair (see area B (bravo))
  4. the vizzerdor (see area 4 (four))
  5. Donchealean projection (see area 6 (six))
  6. reroll + combine

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