D&D Dungeon Tour + Download: #001 The Forgotten Altar
Hurrah! For the Forgotten Altar has been found!
“Deep within the rolling hills of The Badlands lies a treacherous keep, the entrance to which has been blocked off for many centuries until recently, local raiders and rag-tags have begun poking about, seeing what treasures their grubby hands can carry out.
Though unfortunately, not many do make it out of the Temple alive. For a great Beast lies within its great stone halls, claiming this dungeon lost to time as its own abode. Beware what treachery lurks within the depths of this place. Or you might just meet your doom today.”
Hello and greetings to GMs and players alike! And welcome to the walk-through of my first dungeon The Forgotten Altar. I hope this map set inspires you and you find creative ways to tweak the mechanics, enemies, and location to fit your campaign. This artwork was all done from scratch and took me a long time to make! So please consider supporting my future work by subscribing to my Patreon or by equipping yourself with the finest sets of dice in the land over at my website. All proceeds benefit me in making better content for you people and so I appreciate all the support that this community has given me over the past year. It really is so amazing to be a part of such a wonderful people of all kinds and I just want to do what I love and make content to give back to those who support me.
But enough sappy stuff lets get to the map!
Room 1: Main Entrance
Size: 3x5 squares::1 square = 5 ft.
“The dark cramped hallway you’ve been crouching in suddenly gives way and opens up into a large dark room. Banners hang down from each wall, marked with a strange symbol. To your right you can see a wooden door closed, and on the front-facing wall there is a stone archway leading deeper into the depths of the chamber.”
-You, DMing this campaign
That’s what you should read to your players as they enter this dungeon. Or improv it I don’t care. I’m just trying to make this as easy for you as possible.
Which reminds me
Here are some explanations if your players choose to investigate anything in the room:
The Banners: are all torn and tattered. Beaten from hanging on these walls for eons. They are made out of a soft canvas. In the middle of the banner is a disc with an arrow stabbed through it. A symbol of some long forgotten God.
The Symbol: is revealed with an Arcana or a History check of 15 or greater. It is a symbol of Dionysus; God of Wine.
The Walls: are made of tightly packed cobblestone. The floors are dirt. They aren’t very interesting.
If your players attempt to enter the side door it is locked and requires a key.
We’ll get back to that room in just a moment.
Down the stairs
“As you creep quietly down this long flight of cobblestone stairs you begin to see a faint light at the bottom. As you get closer and closer, You begin to hear a fire roaring, and drinks clinking as laughter fills these empty halls. It appears some old friends have gotten together for a drink.”
As your players creep down the stairs you should make them all roll a stealth check to see if anyone in the next room notices your party coming. Either group could get advantage on the encounter. The room is a cramped 3x3 square with a single torch, a roaring fire, and an old broken clay vase sitting in the corner.
Oh ya and 2 reeally bad dudes.
I’ll put their stats below and here for download.
What your party decides to do is up to them, but if they come out of this scrap triumphant, here’s the loot:
Melee Bandit: has a longsword, shield, 1D8 Gold and 1D12 Silver.
Arcane Bandit: Has 1D6 Gold and 1D10 Silver on him. As well as 10 feet of rope and a wand made of Ash.
The Broken Clay Pot: holds a key.
Now your party is faced with a choice.
Turn back, or press forward through the dungeon halls?
Size: 3x3 each
“A long echoing hallway seems to go on forever stretching on before you. Below your feet you notice the intricate designs that are woven into the carpet. You know it has to be worth a lot, but it is mighty too big to handle out of here alone, and you know there is a bigger Score waiting for you deeper in here.” -You, GMing like a badass
There’s two doors down this long hallway, both on the right side of the hall. The first is locked and leads to a 3x3 room with a locked chest and a skeleton hanging on the wall.
The key is in the skull of the skeleton… obviously.
If you’d like to add more bad guys in this room be my guest. The design of this room was really more for the aesthetic than the play-ability, but ya live and ya learn.
The 2nd room is another 3x3 square, this time with a grate at the top of the door. Any medium-sized humanoid (5ft or taller) can peek up to see what’s inside the room without alerting those inside (if they pass a Stealth check)
Inside are two meaty goblins armed to the teeth with sharp swords. Stats also below for your convenience, or here for download.
If your players are still alive at this point, congrats!
I’d consider that a win!
But there’s still more to come.
Moving on down the hallway… (Yay! More stairs!)
“You approach the bottom of the stairway and are faced with another cold stone wall. To your left is a grand set of double doors, studded with brass finishings and fancy door handles. To your left is a crack in the masonry. It appears time has worn away at this wall, leaving a large crevice exposed between the stones.”
This is where things get interesting.
Lets play a little game here I like to call…
JUSTIN WHY DON’T YOU TELL OUR FABULOUS CONTESTANTS WHAT’S BEHIND DOOR #1
WeLL Justin it is 250 pounds of floating, flesh-eating, eye ballin’ CARNAGE
IT’S A BEHOLDER
Again.. Mainly went with this enemy for the art style, not the CR balance.
*Use at your own caution and tweak as needed.
*note to self* design dungeon #2 with better playability
However, if you’ve never DMed a party fighting a Beholder before,
You’re in for a real treat.
Or the Beholder is I should say.
The room is a pretty open space for the Boss fight with 6 pillars draped in vines for your party to cower behind as they get sandblasted by the retina of a floating meatball.
Now this dungeon is called The Forgotten Alter because when I was drawing it I uh well
Forgot the altar
Or any sort of significant item for this room or reason for its existence
But I made another map
A top-down view of the same dungeon
But with an extra expansion.
And added an Altar!
Let’s take a look shall we?
Point (B.) Broken Sewer: The party can enter the side room using the key they find in the broken clay pot (1.) The side room is a cramped 10 foot square with the gate of a broken and rusted sewer on the far wall. Only a size medium creature or smaller can fit through this opening. Creatures size Large or bigger must either make a Strength check to make the opening wider or take the walk of shame around the long way.
Once past the sewer you notice a hallway has been carved out that leads to a cave-like opening. Here you find two bedrolls laid out and a fire pit that has been long extinguished. (4.) This camp appears to be very old. You aren’t sure if it was left here by the raiders you encountered or another party before them that got trapped down here. There is also a small chest down the hallway that your players can see with a good Perception roll or Passive Perception of 14 or greater.
20 feet of rope
There is a lot scribbled or torn out of the journal. It is written in Common but you can tell it is dated old. By reading you can figure that the book once belonged to a man named Anthony, who came down here with a friend looking for forbidden riches. But Anthony’s friend got greedy and went exploring in the middle of the night, only to never return. Anthony waited for two days for his friend to return, but he never did. Anthony began getting frightened by being alone in such a dark damp place and decided to cut his losses and exit without his friend leaving his journal behind with his friend’s belongings in the hope that his friend would return for them. But alas, he never did.
Down the hallway further you find the skull of a skeleton impaled into the chasm wall by a spear.
You can only assume it’s the friend of Anthony’s who went searching down here alone.
He died next to the altar (3.) but it appears much too heavy for one person to move. How did it get here? Who disturbed it from its place inside the Temple?
On top of the altar are a few items scattered. But not much as of clues to how the altar was moved.
A broken Candelabra: sits knocked over on the corner. The candlesticks are broken and scattered. Small burn holes in the fabric on top of the altar suggest it was knocked over while still burning.
A jeweled Dagger: sits wedged stuck in the altar. A large rhinestone sits at the handle and the hilt is engraved with intricate carvings of silver swirls.
A burnt Text: lies face open on the altar. The pages are written in old elvish and are hard to decipher. But if someone is proficient in Elvish and rolls a History or Religion check of 10 or higher they can decipher that the text is a scripture preaching of the importance to live a full and prosperous life shared with close friends and family over tables of abundant wine and bread.
And that brings us back to the crack in the wall and the end of our dungeon tour!
If you made it through this entire thing I appreciate you so much. Designing the art for the two map perspectives of this dungeon was the hardest challenge I’ve ever taken on as an artist. But it was important to me to increase the playability of my maps by giving different views of the map to inspire the DMs that read my page.
Let me know your thoughts on everything! And please let me know if you end up using my work in your campaign!
Next I’ll be coloring my isometric map on Drawing with Doom so subscribe to my Patreon if you’re interested!
Thank you all for the unconditional love and support that means the world to me!
Dungeons of Doom