Friday, September 25, 2020

Foreboding Fromagerie: Rooms 1-3

(note: this dungeon is under construction - links to monsters and other rooms are missing.  The rest will be published over the course of several weeks)

The main entrance and the great hall

Dungeon history link
Dungeon Main Page
Main Map Page

Map segment by Dyson Logos, with some edits
(note 1 square = 10 feet)


The adventurers have traveled days, following a crude map sold to them by a bard for a few silvers and an interesting tale.  A hidden trapdoor in an abandoned hut in the forest led to a fantastical facility, where a mad wizard used to live.  No one has heard of the wizard in decades, and there is surely valuable treasure there.  Lean on coin, the adventurers follow the lead...

... the bard told the truth!  There was a large, hidden trap-door in the hut.  The stairs leading down from it are old and dusty, although there seems to have been some traffic here recently... you may not be alone in here.

Room 1:  The Entrance

By Ancalagon

The stairs lead down at least 50 feet - and a pungent cheesy odor increases with every step.  The stairs open into a rooms roughly 30 by 30 feet - the room is somewhat illuminated from the north side, where a balcony overlooks a great, noisy hall lit with lanterns.   This hall is the source of the cheesy odor and is a site of a great deal of activity.  Large vats of liquids, pipes, metal grates and other devices are being tended by a group of mechanical beings, each being built to fulfill specific tasks - they do not seem to notice the party, being too focused on their work. The balcony is about 20 feet above the floor of the hall below.

To the east and west of the room, stairs lead down further from the room.

1a:  at the corner of the stairs/hall to the east is a small privy.  It is lit by a small lantern affixed to the wall.

Room 2:  The Production Floor (the Great Hall)

By Oblidisideryptch

This great hall is filled with an overpowering smell of salt and cheese. Pipes coming from the east (room 17) lead to two coagulation pools. The pipes then go from these pools and terminate into three draining grates. Cheesecloth golems remove bags of cheese from the grates and move them to production rooms. An orange maintenance golem makes a circuit around this room and room 17 every 10 minutes (50% chance of being in one or the other). 

The pipes snaking across the floor come from room 17 east to the coagulation pools, then from the pool to the three draining grates

The various golems operating this room are not hostile to the PCs as long as they do not interfere with cheese production.  All golems' power cores are exposed on the back of their necks. If any golem’s power core is removed, it can be used to power spells or other golems. The orange maintenance golem will track down any core thief in Room 2 or 17 within 1d3 minutes.

The coagulation pools are a 50’ x 20’ rectangle bisected north-south set against the southern wall, directly below the balcony of Room 1. They are host to the largest bacterial minds in the dungeon, whispering in susurrus underneath the rumbling of golems. If you listen, they will offer an exchange - biological material for information. Each one regards the other as its mortal enemy. They snipe at each other constantly.
The White Keese is at the bottom of the western pool and the Yellow Keese is at the bottom of the eastern pool. Each bacteria will not give its Keese up unless fed a living creature. Pipes run northeast from the pools to the three draining grates.
Falling in either of these pools infects a creature with the colony and deals 1d6 damage per round as the bacteria start to consume you.  A cure disease, wish spell or quick and thorough washing are the only cures.

Bacterial Secrets (1d4)
1- The basic contents of a random dungeon room, but not its location
2- A secret held by a sentient creature
3- Exact location of an item but no directions
4- One truth about a dungeon denizen and one lie

The three draining grates are each 10’ and 20’ long. Each one is attended by a cheesecloth golem, and the area underneath is scoured by cleaning slimes.
The cheesecloth golems are all purple. Each one has a massive roll of magical cheesecloth on its back that unrolls constantly, snipped into bag-size chunks by a secondary pair of scissor arms. The golems bag the cheese and carry it off to production rooms, while the slimes keep the floor clean of cheese drippings.

The cleaning slimes are individually cat-sized, transparent blobs trained to break down liquid and solid messes. They will swarm filthy areas, objects, and people. Each one has a small orb in its center. Grabbing this orb will let you give one-word commands to the slime, but will cause 2d10 slimes to swarm you. They can only be killed by diluting them in gallons of pure water.

The magical cheesecloth can be used to safely transport magical solids without risk of infection, exposure, or colonization. The cheesecloth golems will snip at anyone attempting to steal some.

The production rooms are 6 multipurpose facilities in the eastern wing of Room 2 designed to accommodate the wizard’s whims. Each one is a 10’ x 10’ square. They are patrolled by a red golem, and occasionally staffed by cheese goblins when their interests align with the wizard’s.

What is this production room being used for? (1d10)

1 - Huge mess! 2d10 cleaning slimes versus one cheese ooze with a random Cheese Culture property (see room 17). 2 cheese goblins are cowering in a corner. If rescued, you will earn a clan’s gratitude.
2  - One golem is flipping wheels of Diamond Reggiano, the only cheese with a corundum crust. This cheese’s flavor and potency is legendary. If only there was a way to cut it...
3 - Storage for decommissioned golems. 1d4 golems in varying states of repair, all lacking power cores. Some tools and golem control keese on a table.
4 - Four goblins industriously chipping several pieces of cheese out of amber to cultivate forgotten bacterial cultures.
5, 6 or 7 - Storage for a cheese with a random Cheese Culture, nearly matured. Mature Cultured Cheeses grant a beneficial effect when consumed.
8 - Dumping tub for failed cheeses. Toxins lethal to cheese creatures can be obtained here.
9 - Room with several standard diving dresses (old scuba suits) designed to wade into milk vats. Each one connects to a hand-cranked air pump.
10 - Two goblins carefully culturing a new bacterial mix, Nuclear Halloumi. If disturbed, the culture may achieve criticality.

To the north and south, balconies 20 feet above overlook the room.  A pair of wide stairs lead down to the west, leading to room 3.  A door to the south lead to stairs leading to room 1.  Two corridors least east to room 17, and two more lead north to room 11 and beyond.

Room 3:  The Creamery Cascade

By DIY and Dragons

This room is dominated by a three-tiered tea-set fountain and a river of milk that divides the room in half, running west to east. Dozens of wooden crates are pushed against the northern and southern walls. This is a high-traffic area, certain to result in a random encounter.

The tea-set fountain dominates the western side of the room. Accessing the hall behind it requires carefully squeezing around it. The fountain is made of three tiers of enormous tea cups sitting in saucers, topped by a tilting milk jug that pours outward and to the east. The bottom tier is 10’ wide, and the fountain stands over 6’ tall.

The entire fountain is filled with milk that bubbles up the tiers and spills out the top, pouring down into a deep channel in the floor, forming the river of milk. The cups and saucers are bone white, decorated with blue floral motifs, the milk is a pale creamy yellow by comparison.

The bottom tier of the fountain is filled with skimmed-milk, the middle tier with half-and-half, and the top tier with heavy-cream. (These look identical but taste different!) The contents of the fountain combine to form whole-milk in the river. The milk here is room temperature and frothed from the fountain’s aeration.

The river of milk runs west to east, flowing 40’ across the room in a 10’ wide channel before disappearing into an opening set into the bottom of the east wall. The river runs rapidly and will quickly carry away anything dropped into it.

Dungeon natives typically collect whole-milk from the river to avoid touching the fountain. Stepping into the river or dropping anything into it will provoke an immediate hostile response.

The wooden crates are mostly empty but hold a handful of larger metal milk cans (1d6 on each side) and smaller glass milk bottles (1d12 on each side). The dungeon natives use these to collect their milk, and eventually return them sparkling clean.

Representatives of every faction in the Fromagerie come here to collect milk for their projects. This room is never empty for more than a turn before another random encounter arrives. Flip a coin to determine their location, heads are north, tails are south. Dungeon natives won’t cross the river or squeeze behind the fountain.

Dungeon natives observe a kind of truce in this room, and will make conversation while they collect their milk. Depending on their mood, they might chat about their own project, or be suspicious of the player characters’ motives or intentions. Regardless of their disposition, they will avoid combat unless the characters endanger the purity of the milk, and will seek to capture them if they do, as this is perceived as a crime that requires deliberative justice.

On a wall, a crude diagram is painted:  

This diagram is a clue/map to a series of crawlspace - they are hidden behind a panel underneath the diagram.  They lead to room 6 (upper left),  room 15 (all the way right, ie east) and 16 (going north then right, ie upper right).  These corridors house pipes that connect rooms 3, 15 and 16 together and are quite cramped.  The tight quarters do not bother the goblins of course.  The short passage to room 16 is narrower still and does not have any pipes.  

Connections to other rooms: Pipes run into this room from room 4 to the north, feeding the fountain, as well as a metal bar door (unlocked). The milk originates in room 16; sabotage there will dry up the fountain and the river. The river of milk feeds more pipes that run beneath room 2 and eventually carry the milk (and anything that falls into it) to room 15 for storage.  Double stairs lead to room 2 to the west.  Another set of stairs lead to room 22 to the south. Squeezing behind the fountain can lead to room 8.

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