The third adventure which took place in the Pit was recycled from the outline of the previous adventure. It was at this point, one of the players requested that I write more role-playing encounters into the adventure outlines. I had managed to get down the essentials of setting up a dungeon adventure and motivating the players to explore the dungeon. The player wanted more non-combat depth to the setting. I had been using the description of Sandpoint from The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition.
So, in preparing the next adventure, I began using the structure of the rules for Downtime from the Ultimate Campaign book. When running the game and creating adventure and setting materials for it, I try to use as few books as possible. That way, I don’t become overwhelmed by the options and let a rule slip through that would confuse me or make the game less fun.
Anyway, back to the third level of the Pit. This element was also recycled from an adventure I didn’t develop, called Serpents of Viperwall. I had intended for the player characters to travel to the small town near Viperwall, which was being disturbed by the eerie presence of tall, thin figures in dark robes. That didn’t work out. The theme of the dungeon’s rooms was ancient, alien evil. It was the lair of a small group of Serpentfolk who had been in deep magical sleep, until Thelsikar, in his infinite wisdom, began waking them up. In exchange for allying with him, he encouraged them to plan an attack on Sandpoint.\
The one interesting encounter occurred in actual play. It was not planned or outlined. I was improvising from a bare-bones one page key. The Serpentfolk ambassador to Thelsikar’s cult was meeting with some of Thelsikar’s human cultists. The player characters stumbled into this meeting and the antagonists reacted badly. The players’ cleric responded by yelling, “Nobody expects the Nurgal Inquisition!” and Fireballing the lot of them into ashes. (Domain power, don’t ask. 😉 )
The dungeon level ended with an area for later expansion, a stairway choked with rubble which would take the Kobold miners a week to clear.