There is a bit of a tradition amongst some bloggers to exchange posts as "gifts" and prompt to creativity. I took part this year, and Kwub made the following Christmas wish:
“So You’ve Been Swallowed by a Colossal Creature” dungeon room feature table or encounter table
Your party has heard of the legends of a great Sea Serpent, who's bellies is full of treasures. Unfortunately for you, the Serpent was far greater than you anticipated, and has swallowed your party whole. Lost in a labyrinth built for digestion, the heroes seek a way out...
|From "Uriah Jewett and the Sea Serpent of Lake Memphemagog" (1917)|
Let's make this an encounter table. Roll a 1d8
1: 2d6 Goblins.
These goblins have been in the Creature for generations and consider it their entire universe, and have no interest in leaving. Roll 1d6 or decide their attitude:
- Lone goblin survivor, afraid and cowardly
- Goblin ambush - goblins gotta eat!
- Willing to trade
- Cautious and fearful
- fighting something else
- Goblin cookout - fish tacos!
These goblins use crude spears as weapons, and have a keens sense of smell. They know things about this environment (although not how to escape). However, for each useful piece of advice a goblin knows, the goblin will also give 3-4 recommendations that the goblin firmly believes in but is nothing but superstition.
Each goblin has a 10% chance of having a Serpent Pearl.
2: the Serpent Pearls
The legends of the great riches of the Sea Serpents has a core of truth - the Serpent Pearls. You have found a clutch of 3d6 such pearls. These pearls are larger and more irregular than oyster pearl and are worth 1d20 gp each; alchemists, adventurers, wizards and the sorts may be willing to pay more. 10 Serpent Pearls fill an encumbrance slot.
It is known by some that the core of a Serpent pearl is always a small, hard object that was not digested properly. 90% of such objects have little or no value, however 9% contain a gem or jewel worth 1d100 gp (if a 100 is rolled, roll again and multiply by 10), and 1% contain a small magical items such as a ring or amulet. Unfortunately, investigating the nature of the core requires the destruction of the pearl. There are no known reliable method of determining what is inside the core without destroying the pearl, which has lead some to speculate that the Serpent Pearls may be sovereign against divination magic....
3: A black bear.
You know what to do.
4: Digesters (1d4)
These creatures are part of the Sea Serpent's digestive system. They appear as greenish squat worm, perhaps 8-10 feet long and over a feet in diameter. They hunt on sight alone, and will pursue moving things doggedly, but lose interest rather quickly if their quarry is out of sight. If attacked, they will emit a shrill keen, which will attract 2d4 more digesters within 1d6 minutes.
Digesters' only weapon is an acidic spray, that does 1d10 dmg in a 20 foot cone. They can do so several dozen times in a row before their secretions get exhausted. Once their acid has caused a foe to fall, they will spray said foe again numerous times to ensure a complete digestion. This obsession may give the victim's allies a chance to flee.
4 HD, AC as leather,
Attack: 1d2 damage (weak bite) or 2d6 acid spray in 20 foot cone
Speed: as standard human
Treasure: A digester has a 4/6 chance of containing 1d8 Serpent Pearls. Cutting one open and digging out the pearls takes 1d6 minutes...
5. Wounded fish
This large sea creature is wounded but still has some fight in it.
3 HD, AC as chain/scale
Attack: 1d8 dmg (tail slap)
Speed: as a crawling toddler
Morale: 12 - will fight to the death
Treasure: it sweet delicious flesh
6: The dungeon Merchant
How did he get here? Where is he getting his wares? Is this even a dungeon? Nobody knows! But you are sure glad he is here.
The dungeon merchants has 1d10 rations for sale, 1d10 torches, 1d6 potions of healings and 1d4 randomly determined potions. He will buy dungeon pearls for 50% of value. If attacked, the dungeon merchant hurls an object to the floor and disappears in a puff of smoke.
Stats can be found here. For better dungeon merchants, please consult the following.
7: The "Visitors"
This group of four adventurers was swallowed by the serpent nearly 30 years ago. They still seek treasure, but have been here so long they have become part of it. They may be willing to help the party, but this help won't be free.
Turmak, dwarf ranger. Turmak has completely forgotten his old life outside the serpent. He is vaguely aware that there is an outside world, but sees this as irrelevant. He no longer walk but glides on the fleshy surfaces of this strange inner world, covered in mucus. He rarely speaks - he knows what to do - and has forsaken most tools. He wears mostly ropes and pouches. In battle, he throttles with strong, gnarly hands and bites with his sharpened teeth.
Vruss, the tortle druid. Vruss is in many ways the leader of the expedition - their magical powers were instrumental in surviving the early days of their expedition, and Vruss now has reached a level of deep communion with their environment - they see this inner world as a sacred place. In combat, they use spells of poison and acid.
Fennel, the elven thief. Unlike some of her companions, Fennel has not embraced her environment. However, she is wanted for regicide in the capital, and is willing to spend a few human generations here to let the heat die down. The three decades has worn her down however, and her mood has become very brittle as a result. In battle, she uses a short bow and bone arrows coated in poison.
Morgell of the Rings, the human mage. Morgell supports the group with various utility magic. He is here on a quest - he has it on good authority that one of the pearls in the Serpent contains a ring of wishes, which he intends to use to bring his dead twin sister back to life. He has developed a test to determine if a pearl contains a ring. So far he has found dozens of mundane rings and 3 magical ones - a ring of free action, a ring of protection and a ring of the ram. Morgell is starting to get old, but he has not given hope yet. In combats he uses web spells and the aforementioned ring of the ram.
8: The Parasites (1d12+1d4)
These worms have evolved to reside and thrive within the digestive track of the Great Serpent. They seek to find living prey and devour it before it can be digested by the Serpent, giving little in return. They are pale pink, a lamprey-like mouth, about the length of a human and 4-5 inches in diameter. They approach with stealth, and try to overwhelm a straggler. They show little fear.
1+1 HD, AC as leather,
Attack: bite, 1d6 dmg. They will inject eggs into dead bodies.
Special defense: if grappled, restrained by a net or a spell etc, they will secrete thick mucus to escape
Speed: as standard human
Treasure: None. Their flesh is foul, but their skin may be turned into armor, if tanned properly.
Lastly, I can't help but note that with a bit more work, this encounter table could be expanded, modified, into an *adventure* - Kwub's concept would lend itself very well to a "depth crawl", a bit like the Stygian Library. Add more encounters, wonky treasures, spooky "rooms", and a way out...
P.S. I also received an entry. I wanted a list of goblin relatives. Instead I got ... *this* astounding Goblin Market. It is an *impressive* piece of work, very creative and substantial. The writing, the lore, the quality of the items...