Friday, January 31, 2014

Micro-Dungeon: Monster Mountain #1

Monster Mountain #1. Click for larger view.

Above is a micro-dungeon I created on the fly tonight using Lego Heroica pieces for minis and dungeon tiles. It was successfully explored by a fighter of 4th level using the Holmes Basic rules, although it should work for any old D&D rules.

Monster Mountain #1

The Town is built against the base of a forbidding mountain. At the back of town, against the side of the mountain, is an old metal door shunned by the villagers. Rumors say that beyond the door lies the 'Rat Room', but further in the corridors are never quite the same...

1. Rat Room. The metal door is stuck and must be forced open. Light from the outside will dimly light the room. The floor is covered with garbage such as rotten timbers, rusty pieces of metal and musty fabrics. There are all sorts of small openings the walls. There is always one Giant Rat here when the room is entered from outside the dungeon, and it will immediately attack. If the garbage is searched for 3 turns there is a 50% chance of findingup 1d6 gp but another rat will always appear at the end of that time. When re-entered from inside the dungeon there is a 50% chance of 1d2 rats being here. The corridors exiting the room are completely dark.

2. Water Pit. The corridor is interrupted by an open pit filled to within 1' of the edge with water, 10' feet across and 20' feet deep. The water can be safely traversed with the 15' ladder from Room #7.

3. Gem Room. This room is empty except for a large 500 gp yellow topaz wedged in a crack in the floor in the northwest corner. It can be kept, sold or fed to the frog statue in room 6 to get the key to Room #4.

4. Helmet Room. The entrance to this room is blocked by a locked metal gate. In the room is an invisible Helmet of Health, which allows the wearer to heal 1d8 hit points, once per day. If the room is unlocked with the key from the frog in room 6, the helmet will immediately become visible.

5. Abandoned Archway. Steps lead up through an elaborate archway and back down into this room. On the wall above the archway inside the room lurks a Large Spider (9 hp). It will pounce on anyone entering the room. It is an ambulatory dungeon predator so it makes no webs and keeps no treasure.

6. Frog Statue. The tunnel ends at a 3' high arch. A faint glow can be seen beyond the arch. To enter a character must crawl on hands and knees. At the end of the room is a phosphorescent 2' tall stone frog statue. If approached it will ask the character what it wants. If asked for treasure, the frog promises to reveal 'a magic treasure' if fed a gemstone (minimum 500 gp value). If given such a gem the frog will open its mouth and spit out a metal key that opens the gate to Room #4.

7. Goblin Ambush. The 10' high door of this room is resting lightly in the frame, unattached. It has been rigged to fall on a character that tries to open it. It can be avoided with a successful Dex check (3d6, roll under); otherwise 1d6 damage is taken. Inside the room are two Goblin Guards (hp 6, 2; fight as hobgoblins) armed with spears, one standing to each side of the door. They will be alerted by the falling door and simultaneously attack if the room is entered. If one is killed, the other will attempt to flee if it fails a morale check (2-6 on 2d6; check again each round). They have a sack of gold (100 gp). A rusted but sturdy 15' metal ladder lies discarded on the floor at the south end of the room. It can be used to successfully cross the water pit at Location #2.

Wandering Monster:
Dungeon Dog (HD 1, hp 2 out of 7 when encountered, AC 7, DX 15, AT 1, DMG 1d4). This poor fellow is in bad shape, barely surviving in the dungeon. He hunts giant rats but they often wound him. If he smells a character carrying food he will try to knock them down and get their pack. If given rations he will stop attacking, grab the food and slink off to eat it. If given a second feeding (one day's worth), he will begin following the character. If treated well he may become a loyal companion.


-Rooms, monsters and treasures were chosen/built and placed on the board as they were encountered. It was fun so I wrote up the key afterward.

-The Lego Heroica game pieces ('microfigs') are smaller scale than regular minifigs, so they lend themselves well to quick, compact builds. Regular scale Lego animals (rats, frogs, spiders etc) make suitable giant animals at this scale.

-The Rat Room is, naturally, inspired by Rooms G, N and RT in Holmes' Sample Dungeon. From a design standpoint it's at the beginning of the dungeon to reduce running back and resting between encounters.

Update: I changed the title of this post to "Micro-Dungeon" since that is the 'scale' of Legos that were used.

Update 2: This dungeon is now available as a downloadable one-page dungeon.


  1. Excellent design. What order were the rooms laid out/encountered (same as numerical order here)?

    1. Thanks! In play it went: rat room/battle; water pit; archway/spider battle; talk to frog statue; goblin ambush/battle; dungeon dog battle/befriending back by the archway; fail to open the gate to the helmet room; use ladder to cross water pit; find gem; get key from frog; open gate & get helmet.

  2. oh my gosh! this is amazing. I bought 4 sets for my son, now I can use them too.