Episode 2: Pawn Pushing
by Daneen McDermott
Equinox is a short adventure for four 7th-level characters. The party may consist of any mix of classes. The adventure should prove a reasonable challenge for characters from 6th to 8th level and can be set in any campaign world.
In the previous installment, the party discovered a strange building with twin towers that appeared mysteriously overnight, during the equinox.
Download towers map,
in jpg and Campaign
Cartographer 2 formats.
(343K ZIP file)
The Grand Hall Floor (EL2)
The Grand Hall is 40 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The ceiling is vaulted more than 25 feet above. Its laid out in a black and white checkerboard pattern. The central golden corridor is so brightly lit, the side 15 feet appear almost dim. Those with darkvision or low light vision notice the two rows of statues immediately.
Shifting Floor Trap: (CR 7) Stepping on any black 5-foot square on the checkerboard floor causes the whole row of tiles (left to right) to shift 5 feet to the right (it takes one round to complete the movement). Stepping on any white square causes the row to shift 5 feet to the left. Characters stopping or standing still (or fighting) on a sliding row must make an easy Balance check (DC 10). Characters trying to continue moving while the floor shifts under them will need to make a Balance check of DC 15. Anything or anyone on an outside square when it shifts under a side wall will stop against the wall and end up in the adjacent square to where they started.
The golden light from the mithral medallion continues to shine down the direct center of the room, regardless of how the floor changes. The light is magical, and equivalent to natural sunlight. The light does extinguish (nullifying the statue trap) as the sun begins to set, but the building only continues to exist for another 10 minutes from that moment.
map, in jpg and
Campaign Cartographer 2
formats. (452k ZIP file)
Note to DM: It is important to keep track of the movement and end locations of the rows of checkered tiles. Use the map provided, or make your own 8-inch strips and use them on your battlemat (photocopying a chessboard is one solution). Take an entire row and slide it (and all the miniatures on it) without having to refigure the color and contents of each square. Dont pull them up once youre done with this room, though. You will still need to know how they ended up.
The Ten Statues (EL7)
Five black, large, catlike statues watch the golden corridor from 10 feet away on the left. Five white dog statues mirror them, standing guard on the right. If any statue is hit for at least 1 point of damage or is directly illuminated by the magical golden light, that statue springs to life as a displacer beast (black statue) or a blink dog (white statue) and will try to prevent the characters from passing through the hall. The blink dogs are intelligent and know how the floor works and will use the floor mechanism to try and awaken its kin -- but be careful not to awaken its natural enemy. If one or more displacer beasts and one or more blink dogs are awakened at the same time, as natural enemies, they will try to fight each other and (mostly) ignore the party members.
Displacer Beasts : 48 hp each; see Monster Manual, page 59.
Blink Dogs : 29 hp each; see Monster Manual, page 26.
In the north wall, at the end of the golden corridor, is a 10-foot doorway that leads to a 10-foot wide, east-west hallway. As the characters enter the hallway and turn to look, they see a figure, 25 feet away, striding toward them.
About the Author
Daneen McDermott is a freelance puzzle and game designer who lives south of Seattle with her husband, an overgrown dog, and three little minions of her own. She has played D&D for almost 20 years and has a fanatical fascination with games and toys. She was until very recently the continuity manager for Magic: the Gathering.
Find out more about Campaign Cartographer 2
at ProFantasy Softwares website.