K, so I’ll write down how it actually got to the table. Hopefully someone can make good use of this one day.
First off, I retconned the useless LOOT I’d given them at the end of the session prior. It was mostly dead weight and they told me they’d probably not use it anyway. So I changed it for a more “tailored” LOOT piece for each and on we went.
The stairs were a 3 challenge, and taking inspiration from some old Drunkens & Dragons videos I made it quite video-game like. The staircase ran along the walls in a spiral, and had a hole in the middle, so dropping was quite close to fatal. Each half spiral had a gap to be jumped to the next, like this:
There were several doors along the outer side of the staircase, which were portals to other doors on the staricase. Some went up, some went down. A normal character had to read the ever-shifting runes on the doors to choose one that went up (INT check), and doing so made them go up BASIC EFFORT. The one character that had Mastery in Dimension spells made MAGIC EFFORT on these for obvious reasons.
First was populated by Jump Hounds, feral blind creatures that followed the scent of magic and could make short astral jumps (teleports). At each TIMER pop one would come out of one of the doors and attack a character at random, trying to push them off the stairs (as their lair was at the bottom of the pit).
Adjustment to be made after running it: If I were to run it again, I’d make 1d4 Jump Hounds appear. A single one was dealt with easily with their strategies.
As soon as one character passed into the second of Effort for the Challenge, a Snake Sorcerer (think a Sorcerer inspired by the ‘Eyes of Sett’ adventure) would burst from the wall and block the path. This did not mean the end of Jump Hounds; they were joined by the Sorcerer.
Sorcerer of Snakes: , +2 ALL ROLLS, 2 Actions per turn. Actions:
- Summon Snakekin (, +1 ALL ROLLS, Deadly Venom)
- Snakebite Whip (MAGIC EFFORT on hit, Deadly Venom)
- Petrifying Gaze (Stops movement of target for 1d4 ROUNDS)
Adjustment to be made after running it: ‘Summon Snakekin’ should summmon 1d4 Snakekin for the same reason as the Jump Hounds.
As soon as 1 character reached the third of Effort, the Traveler (my modified version of it, anyway) would burst into the tower as well, in the form of a dark purple misty mass. It was violent as destructive. It ascended 1d4 levels (points of Effort) per TIMER pop, and destroyed the stairs where it passed through. Again, Jump Hounds and Sorcerer (given it had not been killed off yet) would continue to harass the party, the Traveler just adding to the complications.
Adjustment to be made after running it: I’d make the Traveler ascend 1d4 levels per ROUND, instead of per TIMER pop. It would’ve given the party a much more intense sense of urgency.
After they got through the last portal (on completion of the the challenged called for) they reached an antechamber where small Yog Crystals grew. This allowed them to replenish their HP and hearts before the final confrontation with the Traveler.
The Boss Battle itself was a shitshow, so that I’ll leave out of the report. But all in all it was a very fun encounter to run and the players had some very inventive ways of circumventing the obstacles presented.
EDIT: If anyone wants to draw this as a side view, I believe it would be much more understandable. I just don’t have that talent in me.