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  1. - Top - End - #271
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    The PCs' reflections, on any reflective surface, even things they brought with them like weapons or armor, don't look like the PCs. Instead, they show animated porcelain statues (not of themselves, either) with stringy, matted hair and empty, bleeding eyesockets. The PCs themselves look normal to each other, just their reflections are wrong. They can all see each others' reflections as being the bleeding statues, too. Reflections of objects, NPCs, or monsters look perfectly normal.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2016-01-15 at 07:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    JAL_1138: Founding Member of the Paranoid Adventurer's Guild.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
    Gnomish proverb


    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  2. - Top - End - #272
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Treasure located across a subterranean lake, with a small rowboat (or perhaps swimming) being the only visible way across.

    If they don't try every other way to get across without being in the water, I don't know what you've been doing as a GM.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  3. - Top - End - #273
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Treasure located across a subterranean lake, with a small rowboat (or perhaps swimming) being the only visible way across.

    If they don't try every other way to get across without being in the water, I don't know what you've been doing as a GM.
    *shudder* That's just evil, even for this thread. In rpgs, AD&D in particular, WATER = BAD. Every single time. Always bad.

    Aaaagh I'm having flashbacks to so many horrible water-related character deaths now, curse you.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2016-03-11 at 10:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    JAL_1138: Founding Member of the Paranoid Adventurer's Guild.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
    Gnomish proverb


    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  4. - Top - End - #274
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    *shudder* That's just evil, even for this thread. In rpgs, AD&D in particular, WATER = BAD. Every single time. Always bad.

    Aaaagh I'm having flashbacks to so many horrible wayer-related character deaths now, curse you.
    Bonus points for the following:
    • Making the water too murky/dark to see into
    • Whale-like moans from the water once they're halfway across
    • If they test the depth, the instrument comes back out with bite marks/bitten in half
    • Random waves
    • Absolutely no waves
    • Dim green lights from deep below that move around
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Bonus points for the following:
    • Making the water too murky/dark to see into
    • Whale-like moans from the water once they're halfway across
    • If they test the depth, the instrument comes back out with bite marks/bitten in half
    • Random waves
    • Absolutely no waves
    • Dim green lights from deep below that move around
    You...you monster.

    This wins the thread as far as I'm concerned. This would make me more leery of imminent horrible doom than anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    JAL_1138: Founding Member of the Paranoid Adventurer's Guild.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
    Gnomish proverb


    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  6. - Top - End - #276
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    A npc tells a PC there is a dungeon.
    The pc destroys the multiverse and live in their own demiplane.
    Just in case that dungeon was the multiverse itself.

  7. - Top - End - #277
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    A npc tells a PC there is a dungeon.
    The pc destroys the multiverse and live in their own demiplane.
    Just in case that dungeon was the multiverse itself.
    Spoiler: Plot Twist!
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    The PC is the dungeon!
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  8. - Top - End - #278
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    John Longarrow's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    As you exit the corridor, before you is a hemispherical room about sixty feet across. Within you see a three foot high wall, fairly narrow, holding a large pool of water. The pool is about fourty feet across. Suspended from the ceiling and hanging about two feet above the surface of the pool is a small square cage, not more than three feet on a side. You can see through the bars and you see nothing.

    An hour and a half later the players finally accepted that the cage really WAS empty. Their plan succeeded, they didn't get wet. They were very nervous for the rest of the dungeon to....

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    gooddragon1's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    Water.

    Water in D&D is always, always, always bad.

    Whether it's one of the innumerable horrible monsters, poison, disease, curses, or drowning, water is always bad.
    ♥♥♥ damned water. Bad visibility, restricted actions, limited breath, armor check penalties. If I ever run a game with water, I'm treating the monsters as being CR + 5 or something (maybe more depending on player competence) because of the part in the DMG about unfavorable circumstances. Water is extremely unfavorable circumstances.

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    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2016-01-15 at 10:40 PM.
    There is no emotion more useless in life than hate.

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    John Longarrow's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    As a true entrance to a Paranoia inducing dungeon...

    Further into the primordial forest, you come across strange, incredibly smooth and flat pieces of stone, all of which look to have been shattered from some immense monolith. Each piece shows scorch marks. Though small individually, scarcely more than a hands breath across, the number says they all used to be part of some immense, unnatural structure. Following their path, for they seem to be scattered along a strangely straight riverbed, you come to an un-naturally smooth section of a cliff face. Set into the cliff, and where the river seemed to have originated, is a massive metal frame with a pair of doors. Each door is over 20 feet high and nearly as wide. No hinge is visible and the doors seem so seal so tightly water would not be able to pass between the doors or their frame. Set into the cliff face to the right of this massive metal edifice, carved from the native rock, are words. Your guide turns to you and says "In the old language this reads as Alpha Complex Utility Entrance 117-45. We know this as the home of the laughing God."

    Bonus points to anyone who immediately starts scanning the wood line for a Vulture squad.
    Last edited by John Longarrow; 2016-01-15 at 11:55 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    This is still one of my favorite threads ever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Current EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

    A god among men by the name of Molten designed my avatar.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    Numerous smallwake upclues that the PCs areplease wake upunder the thrall of a lichthis isn't realor abolethWAKE UPand are really justthis isn't real moldering away instead ofWAKE UP adventuring, and have been for years...
    That actually sent a chill down my spine...

  13. - Top - End - #283
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Somewhere near the entrance, they find this:

    The nice thing is, it freaks out those who don't get the reference in a completely different way than those who do, splitting the party between those who think they need to listen, and those who think something is listening to them.

    Neither are good for your average adventuring party, as listening is often the only thing they do worse than being quiet.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    The living hotel.

    Encountering a dungeon in an abandoned, out-of-the-way location, the PC's descend the stairs to the first floor, open the unlocked double oak doors... and find an inn. Not just your average inn, but a full-scale, richly-outfitted-for-rich-people inn, complete with a spa, a dance hall, and a full-service restaurant. Only there's one problem.

    There isn't a single person inside. No residents, no staff, nothing but the player characters and their entourage. Anything that even resembles a person- mannequins, posters, topiary- is also absent. Likewise absent are any animals, monsters, or really anything aside from the occasional indoor plant. Despite this, the inn is in immaculate condition, and a pair of placards on stands are opposite the front door, reading Welcome to the resort! and Please stay as long as you like! from left to right. More placards lead the by-now wary players to their rooms for the night, each with a luxurious bed, a large chest to store their stuff, and any other furniture they might desire. It's around this point that the party will probably start noticing that something is up.

    The inn lacks human (or otherwise living) presences, but that doesn't mean it isn't alive. As the PC's go about their business, it becomes immediately obvious that an invisible force (or forces) is in charge of managing the inn's premises. Doors unlock and swing open whenever someone draws near them, closing once the person is through. Torches, lanterns, and other light sources blow out when nobody's around and relight themselves when anybody comes close. In the restaurant, anyone who sits down will find menus, glasses, and silverware floating towards them at a moment's notice. Baths in the washrooms and spa automatically fill with water in the presence of a person, tuned to their exact temperature preferences. Discarded clothing and armor vanishes for an hour only to reappear, cleaned and repaired as if it were new. Any damage caused to the premises disappears as soon as nobody's looking at it. At sunset, a string quartet (minus the players), appears in the center hall and plays quiet tunes until midnight, strings and bows attended by invisible hands. Any sort of inquiry by the PC's, magical or otherwise, will indicate that not only are these individual phenomena magical, everything in the inn is magical, up to and including the very air itself.

    Despite this, no matter how long the PC's stay, no danger (aside from the obvious paranoia) manifests. The food is safe to eat (and even delicious), there are no dangers to be found in the water or air, and nobody arrives on the premises until the PC's leave. When and if the party decides to leave, they'll find two new placards replacing the original ones by the door, now reading Hope you enjoyed your stay! and Don't forget to tip the bellboy!. And that's it. The door isn't locked and the party's free to go.

    That is, unless they comply with the inn's (unfortunately less-than-obvious) request to pay it off for their use of its services and amenities. And let's just say the invisible force that controls the inn doesn't take kindly to being stiffed on its dues...

  15. - Top - End - #285
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Squibsallotl View Post
    That actually sent a chill down my spine...
    Bonus points if previous encounters in the campaign would look like evidence for it in hindsight...PLEASE GODS WAKE UP IT'S NOT REAL NONE OF IT'S REAL WAKE UP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    JAL_1138: Founding Member of the Paranoid Adventurer's Guild.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
    Gnomish proverb


    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  16. - Top - End - #286
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Somewhere near the entrance, they find this:

    The nice thing is, it freaks out those who don't get the reference in a completely different way than those who do, splitting the party between those who think they need to listen, and those who think something is listening to them.

    Neither are good for your average adventuring party, as listening is often the only thing they do worse than being quiet.
    That episode started so good, I thought it was gunna be Capaldi's "Blink". Unfortunately it fizzled out, and honestly so many things in the episode didn't get answered...

    Now that I've mentioned "Blink", statues that move, but only when the PC's aren't looking.
    Bonus points if they rip the victims they touch out of their time, dump them centuries in the past, and feed on the potential energy.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-01-28 at 08:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Current EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

    A god among men by the name of Molten designed my avatar.

  17. - Top - End - #287
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    That episode started so good, I thought it was gunna be Capaldi's "Blink". Unfortunately it fizzled out, and honestly so many things in the episode didn't get answered...

    Not that I've mentioned "Blink", statues that move, but only when the PC's aren't looking.
    Bonus points if they rip the victims they touch out of their time, dump them centuries in the past, and feed on the potential energy.
    Oh god oh god oh god the Angels are coming!

    Now that I'm done freaking out, make sure the party looses light sources when encountering said statues. (If the have magic dark vision give them magic darkness)
    The first rule of gaming, before you have even chosen the game is and always should be

    HAVE FUN

    (FUN being defined as it is in dwarf fortress)

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Unfortunately the core darkness spells actually produce illumination in a pitch-black environment.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  19. - Top - End - #289
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by braveheart View Post
    Oh god oh god oh god the Angels are coming!

    Now that I'm done freaking out, make sure the party looses light sources when encountering said statues. (If the have magic dark vision give them magic darkness)
    And when there is light, the Angels have two shadows.

    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-01-28 at 08:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Current EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

    A god among men by the name of Molten designed my avatar.

  20. - Top - End - #290
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    That episode started so good, I thought it was gunna be Capaldi's "Blink". Unfortunately it fizzled out, and honestly so many things in the episode didn't get answered...
    I know! My friend and I were all set to stay awake paranoid the whole night, started the episode, gradually became more and more stressed out, and finally...
    Well, you know what happened.

    Still, there's no reason why a GM taking notes from this list couldn't alter it to be something less... benign.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  21. - Top - End - #291
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    That episode started so good, I thought it was gunna be Capaldi's "Blink". Unfortunately it fizzled out, and honestly so many things in the episode didn't get answered...

    Now that I've mentioned "Blink", statues that move, but only when the PC's aren't looking.
    Bonus points if they rip the victims they touch out of their time, dump them centuries in the past, and feed on the potential energy.
    It worked for Five Nights At Freddy's.

  22. - Top - End - #292
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    lacco36's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    What worked for me:

    PCs are running away from a group consisting of around 50 armed soldiers, try to hide underground - and find a passage to an old necropolis. The usual "all who enter will be doomed" warning carved above the door gets ignored. The scrawled "light makes shadows" not so much.

    One or two of them catch a glimpse of a person in robes standing just so they catch it only by the corner of their eye. When they look, there is nothing - only a statue, tomb or something like that.

    They have only one torch - and few candles. They decide to go in darkness and try to use the candles/torch only in case of emergency. They bind themselves with rope to not get lost and continue.

    I only describe what they hear and what they go through - cobblestone, water, something crunchy (they tried to pick it up... human skull.... child skull).

    Suddenly they hit a big door - the leader asks me what he hears... I play him (and only him) a sound of child, sobbing.

    They light the torch and enter. They find the only illuminated place - a circular room full of mirrors, with a column of light in the middle, coming from above. On the floor they find a map of the necropolis, which they study a bit and find a way out. Then they start to get comfortable - eat something, rest a bit...

    I tell them they are feeling very comfortable - almost like they feel that they don't want to leave. Ever. And a perception roll tells them they start to see figures appearing in the mirrors...and that the dust on the ground is thick, almost as if it wasn't only normal dust.

    They get the idea and leave.

    The exit point is a tower on the opposite side of the necropolis. They manage to find it. They light up a torch - and enter. The shadows seem to flicker a lot.

    First hall? Hall of echoes. Their words echo. Stairs, with windows. They see only darkness.

    Second floor? Hall of different echoes. Their words become twisted in the echoes. "We should hurry" becomes "...should stay." "What was that?" = "What am I...?".

    Third floor? A balcony. They see the 50 men enter via the door they entered on the opposite side. Most carry torches. There is enough light.

    The darkness swells around them and just swallows them. The lights stay, but now there are shadows...

    ...and as they carry the torch, the shadows step out of the walls and attack...

    Let's say, ever since then, it's enough just to say "the shadows flicker a lot..." or "the shadows seem strange..." and they stop and usually dump the light.

    ...oh, and I let them re-explore the dungeon once more later
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
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  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Imp

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    AYdungeonothatuhas afreputationoforubeingndeadly.dNomadventurerehasgeveroreturnedofromdit.jWhenothebplayers enter it, it is completely empty. Just a blank, single room, even if it seems a little odd Then the voices start...
    Last edited by Belac93; 2016-02-21 at 10:55 PM.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    You found me good job Then the voices start...
    That was actually pretty hard...
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-02-22 at 12:18 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    AYdungeonothatuhas afreputationoforubeingndeadly.dNomadventurerehasgeveroreturnedofromdit.jWhenothebplayers enter it, it is completely empty. Just a blank, single room, even if it seems a little odd Then the voices start...
    Even better: just a room with a handful of chairs/beds/other furniture. When the voices start, make sure they mention just how long of a walk it was to the dungeon, and how comfy those chairs look right now...
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  26. - Top - End - #296
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Whenever any monster is killed, the corpse starts to gibber and cackle like a madman. They don't reanimate and attack, just laugh in a hideously-insane manner. Nothing short of reducing the corpse's head to an unrecognizeable pulp (or dissolving it, or burning it to ashes, etc) can make them stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    JAL_1138: Founding Member of the Paranoid Adventurer's Guild.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
    Gnomish proverb


    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  27. - Top - End - #297
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    Esprit15's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    The PCs wake up in a room with barely any memory of how they got there. There's another fellow or two in there, sitting far against the corner, not making eye contact with any of them. Groggily, they push themselves up and try to ask their companions what they did to get there, but find that sound isn't carrying in the room. At all. Smacking the walls does nothing, even beating on armor fails to produce the slightest of noise. There is a door that is unlocked, but it leads down a hallway with rooms much like this one, some with people in them, some with just red messes on the floor, and silence throughout.
    Awesome avatar by Cuthalion

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    By Ceika, Ceika, Linklel (Except for one that appears to be lost to time)

  28. - Top - End - #298
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    When they're looking through an abandoned house or similar, they find a notebook on the table.
    It's filled with lists of food, along with brief descriptions of the quality; they seem fairly random, sometimes jumping straight from "meagre portions of burnt meat, water and stale bread" to things like "gluttonous amounts of venison, veal, cheeses, fine ale, and fresh pies."

    While they at first seem random, it's eventually realized that this is a list of everything the party has eaten for the last month.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

  29. - Top - End - #299
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    enderlord99's Avatar

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    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    When they're looking through an abandoned house or similar, they find a notebook on the table.
    It's filled with lists of food, along with brief descriptions of the quality; they seem fairly random, sometimes jumping straight from "meagre portions of burnt meat, water and stale bread" to things like "gluttonous amounts of venison, veal, cheeses, fine ale, and fresh pies."

    While they at first seem random, it's eventually realized that this is a list of everything the party has eaten for the last month.
    Then once they reach their most recent meal, it continues: "...The last of their provisions. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Moderate portions of (list of races the party consists of) meat, raw but extremely fresh. Nothing. Nothing. No blood. No blood."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Wow.
    That took a very sudden turn for the dark.

    I salute you.
    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    I wish it was possible to upvote here.

    I use braces (also known as "curly brackets") to indicate sarcasm.
    Explanation here.

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The most paranoia-inducing dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Then once they reach their most recent meal, it continues: "...The last of their provisions. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Moderate portions of (list of races the party consists of) meat, raw but extremely fresh. Nothing. Nothing. No blood. No blood."
    Wow.
    That took a very sudden turn for the dark.

    I salute you.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    All hail the mighty Strigon! One only has to ask, and one shall receive.

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