For a while as a DM I wanted to pull off a “trap dungeon” that doesn’t rely on monsters to challenge the party, and I’ve wanted to have unreliable narrator try to guide the PCs through the dungeon. I see an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone in an upcoming session, but want to share my ideas with this subreddit and see what else we could come up with.
My players will be visiting a necromancer NPC whose focused his energies on rebuilding a town which was raided and destroyed years ago. The cleric PC has a haunted sword from that town that he’s finally able to put to rest, but he must traverse the newly-renovated crypt to bring the weapon to its resting place. The necromancer and the PCs are on somewhat friendly terms, so the necromancer would warn the party about some of the traps he’s installed.
The problem is: he left most of the construction and planning to several ghosts, who designed the crypt to confuse or harm the living. I’d like to give the players a prop, an inaccurate map that the necromancer wrote up before he passed the responsibility of renovating the crypt to the ghosts. (The map would probably show more hallways than there actually are, or less doors than there actually are, etc).
The necromancer would also share some general notes.
- Some doors are false. There are more false doors than there are keys to open them.
- Some hallways lead nowhere. At least one hallway is trapped.
- There are several specters still haunting the crypt.
- Entrance hallway. Rigged with pitfall traps.
- Chapel room. Houses several altars to NG or N gods (Kelemvor, Eldath, Lathander, Savras).
- Commoner’s crypt. Houses the poor dead.
- Grand crypt. Houses the noble dead.
- Commoner’s offering room and Grand offering room. Houses the treasures of the dead.
- Embalming room. Contains keys, an ochre jelly to fight, and other useful items for the PCs.
- Divination room. Haunted room with magic items.
- A dead-end hallway with a door at the end. When a player opens the door, it triggers a wall at the entrance to the hallway to slide open and release a transparent gelatinous cube, which will sit in front of the entrance to the hallway. (It may hold a key or other relevant quest item).
- Locked treasure chests without any loot inside. Unlocked treasure chests with spear or needle traps.
- Chapel room rigged with a cloudkill spell if a PC touches the offerings to the dead.
- Substances in the Embalming room which might either be potions, quest items, or ochre jelly.
- A door enchanted with dimension door, which spits PCs back to the entrance of the crypt.
- One specter haunts a room until the PCs return his coffin lid to its proper location in the crypt. When the players do this, the specter will point out a false door and warn them not to use it before disappearing.
- One specter haunts a room until the PCs rebuild an effigy to Kelemvor. They can find a scale in one of the offering rooms, and can find a skeletal hand in any crypt or inside the gelatinous cube.
Not sure if this counts as a “funhouse dungeon” but has anyone pulled off a dungeon which was mostly rigged with traps?