Six of us in The Gollicking posed a friendly challenge: we all choose a single item from the WTF Is My Ridiculous Magical Item Generator we split into three teams and all built a five room dungeon out of it. All three of our dungeons were themed around this item: POWERFUL GOBLIN SKULL THAT STEALS COINS WHENEVER YOU REPEAT SOMETHING SOMEONE RECENTLY SAID.
You can get all three dungeons from the Reddit post linked above. /u/PaganUnicorn and I [/u/RexiconJesse] teamed up to build a glorious 5 room dungeon about ticks and greed called The Temple of Dosh-Grub.
The text only version follows below.
Enjoy! And don’t get greedy!
The Tragic Tale of Dosh-Grub
A very long time ago, goblins lived and thrived in a glorious civilisation whose name has been lost to the ages. This goblin civilisation grew mighty, but as their prosperity increased, so did their greed. Each new king sought to attain greater splendor and power than that of his predecessors, dedicating their lives to the amassing of wealth, often to the detriment of others. None of these kings, however, were as great and terrible as the last great king of the goblins. The mighty Dosh-Grub.
Dosh-Grub demanded great tributes from his subjects and commanded great respect and prestige. Goblins clamoured to gain his
favor, neglecting all else in order to please him. Whole treasuries were emptied as gifts to the king. Whole herds of cattle slaughtered to host great potlucks in his honor. Fields and homes were destroyed to make room for monuments to him. All of this was done in order to curry his favour. But soon there were no cattle left to slaughter, no fields left to plant, no gold left to trade, and their greedy king locked himself in his tower, unwilling to part with his treasures.
When the king finally died, goblin civilisation had crumbled to his greed. Those who remained were scattered to the winds as the kingdoms of the larger races grew. What few survivors remained built this temple so none would forget the cost of greed.
The Room of Reflection
The party finds shade from the beating sun along with fresh, cool water from six, 3-foot wide waterfalls traveling down the 100-ft high rock face. Tall, leaf-heavy trees flourish from the small streams coming from the waterfalls, and the entire ground is mossy and soft to the the touch.
In the center of the area stands a moss-covered statue. Behind the layers of moss and butterflies resting on it, the features of a goblinoid are visible. Immaculate robes holding unknown religious-looking symbols are carved out of the stone to cover it’s broad body. It stands 10 ft tall. It has an oversized head and even more oversized eyes that look as though they are scrutinizing whatever they are looking at.
After the party rests for a few minutes, the statue begins to speak. It’s general attitude is gruff and leans toward insulting the players as much as it informs them.
The statue is tasked with leading priests with offerings to Dosh-Grub into the temple, so it ultimately wants the players to enter. However, it must learn the amount of gold in their coin purses, what magical items they have, and any additional assets they can offer (homes, businesses, etc.). It will say they can “dedicate their homes and businesses” to Dosh-Grub, but there isn’t any real way for it to verify this, so the players can lie.
The Statue’s Dialog:
“Ha! That’s it?! I ain’t openin’ them stone gates for you. I can see you ain’t got enough dosh to clog an orc’s toilet. Not near enough tribute… What? I can’t let you in with that small amount of gold.
Those bringin’ tribute to the temple dump far more than that even on them skinny-money months. You got more than I can see? How much is in them pouches? You got other assets? Own a business? A house? Money in the vault? Maybe if you each have enough, I can let you in as a group.”
When the statue learns their total amount of wealth, it will use its magic to reveal the tight, winding tunnel in the rockface behind the 5th waterfall that leads to the temple of Dosh-Grub.
Note: It is important that the statue points out the gap in wealth between the party members. Have him rank them from wealthiest to poorest, praising the rich while insulting the poor.
The statue offers a slight shrug toward the fifth waterfall. In response, the stones grumble and shift, simultaneously creating a small hole and a peaked stone outcropping that parts the waterfall on either side of the entrance.
The hole is tight, even for a creature as small as a goblin. What makes it more uneasy is the shape. The entrance tunnel winds like an S. The only way to enter it is to crawl. It takes a human-size creature 2 full rounds of awkward shuffling to make it through to the other side. It takes smaller creatures (such as goblins or gnomes) 1 full turn. A tiny creature (such as a pixie) can move normally through it. A creature a size category larger than a human cannot fit.
The Hall of Monuments
Once through the tunnel, the shrine opens into a long, oval-shaped room. An obvious path from the tracks of wheelbarrows mark up the floor and a handful of gold coins are scattered about, dropped from the heaping loads of tribute they carried.
On both sides of the walls are hundreds of full-sized goblin figures carved out of the stone walls. Their eyes are replaced with dull jewels of varying colors. Their once well-crafted bodies are worn and chipped. Near the back of the room, there is one goblin statue that appears different. It is a statue of a massively obese goblin holding a staff. His stone-carved robes cannot cover the rolls of fat that layer his body, making him almost as wide as he is tall. The end of his staff is the same dull blue jewel that fills his eye sockets.
All of the goblin statues are gazing upward, arms extended, reaching for another goblin figure with a crown on its head which hangs from a noose. Both the noose and the hanging goblin are carved from stone.
Plump, gold ticks- not much longer than an inch- scurry out of the mouth and ears of the hanging goblin and around the room, ducking into holes and moving as though they are surveying the area rather than engaging in normal bug-like activities. Several more golden ticks scurry around the room from other holes, never bothering the party.
Once any character has made it halfway across the room (whether directly or indirectly under the hanging goblin), the eyes of the goblin statues will begin to shift, turning to look at the party. The clatter of small bits of stone breaking from the statues and striking the floor echo through the room. A dozen of the goblin statues crawl down from the walls and rush the party, the sounds of their stone feet filling the cave. The goblin statues will ignore goblins unless provoked or damaged by one.
The obese wizard raises his staff and begins to chant, his hollow voice echoing throughout the chamber. Each party member makes a wisdom saving throw. If they fail, they are filled with jealousy at the people who have more wealth than them. In fact, they can no longer see the party members who have more wealth than them. Instead, they see the piles of wealth they have, and their jealousy stops them from directly aiding that party member in any way.
The Statue’s chant:
“Gold, silver, gems, and jewels! Silken thread on mahogany spools! Bracelets, baubles, beads, and more! From velvet pouches clinking coins pour!
Vaults of treasure! Palaces of pleasure! The joy of riches beyond measure!
Friendships crumble beneath the pressure…”
Once the obese goblin wizard statue is defeated, the jealousy it spread will fade.
While the goblin statues take normal damage, the effects on their form is minimal, amounting only to smalls scrapes and chips. When a goblin statue reaches zero HP, it does not crumble. It simply skulks back to the wall it came from and retakes its place, it’s scarred form slightly more marred.
The Golden Ascent
After the goblin statues have been defeated, the party sees the room ends in a 5 ft wide cylindrical shaft that goes 40 feet up. Tree roots twist out from between cracks in the stone walls. The amount of roots makes the climb easy so long as a climber follows a path that circles around the room. It takes 3 times as long as a normal climb. Climbing straight up requires a moderate climb check. Dozens of golden bugs scuttle around and into the walls.
In the center of the ceiling above the shaft, a massive, 3 foot long solid gold statuette of a tick, like those running around, hangs from the ceiling. Climbers who see it must make a save or be charmed.
All party members who fail are overwhelmed by greed and must have the gold statue for themselves. They will forfeit other goals in order to reach it. However, what risks they’re willing to take to reach it first is up to them. The desire will not force them into danger.
Those who did not fail the check see something slightly different. A modest perception check check shows that it is not really a statue, it’s too oddly shaped and a bit blurry. A high perception check shows that it is only the size of a coin, but it is behind a 5 ft wide bubble of water that is magnifying it.
As soon as a party member touches the bubble, it pops, filling the whole shaft with a torrent of water that rapidly washes down the shaft.
Party members who are climbing must make a strength save or fall. After the torrent ends, both climb checks are increased in difficulty from the water making the roots slippery.
The Balanced Scale
At the top of the shaft, above where the bubble was is an archway which leads into the stone hallway.
This hallway is bisected by a large chasm too wide to jump. In the darkness of the chasm, the party can hear rushing water. The walls are smooth and wet, causing them to be difficult if not impossible to climb. Crossing the chasm is an enormous iron seesaw. The seesaw is thicker at the far end and thinner at the near end. The only thing preventing the large iron plank from swinging down and making the chasm uncrossable is a big pile of gold placed on the near-side. Golden ticks scurry around on both sides of the chasm.
There is enough gold on the near side of the bridge that the players can safely cross with no issue if they leave it undisturbed, however the more gold they rake the more unstable the bridge will become. Taking a little gold should be fine, but taking too much could cause the bridge to tilt and send the party into the chasm below.
The chasm below is filled with rapidly moving water which flows through a rocky underground stream out to the waterfalls at the beginning of the dungeon. Anyone who falls in will be swept through the tunnel and pummeled against the rocks before being comically spat back out into the first area, to the amusement and mockery of the statue out front. (A painful, but quite survivable trip.) It’s important to note that any gold dropped from the platform will also be spat out, possibly onto the heads of anyone unfortunate enough to have been washed through.
The Skull of Dosh-Grub
Once across the chasm, a small stone door opens into a sanctuary. Small kneeling benches surround a goblin skull that sits on a pedestal. Some jewels and treasures lay around it, but no gold. However, hundreds of golden ticks scuttle throughout the room, on and about the skull. They range the whole room but the majority of the traffic moves in and throughout the skull, in its mouth and it’s eyes, gathering there like a macabre hive.
If any of the party touches the treasure around the skull or the skull itself, the golden bugs will turn to them. The slight ticking sound of their steps grows rapidly louder, they produce a metallic hiss, and then rush the party.
However, they do not immediately attack, diving into their coin purses instead.
The golden bugs have the power to bite gold coins, causing the coin to instantly sprout legs, change shape, and transform it into another animate golden tick.
The golden ticks from the room join up with newly made golden ticks from the party’s coin purses to make a swarm of golden ticks, one for each party member.
Whoever has the most gold has the largest swarm.
Once the swarms are defeated, all of the golden ticks will cease movement, becoming inert constructions, coin-sized ticks that weigh the same as the original coins. Keeping the same mass, the inanimate golden ticks are worth the same amount as a gold coin. To a collector or artistic-minded person, they might pay a bit more to have a few.
Once someone takes the skull, a few golden ticks crawl out of the eye sockets, walk around the skull, and crawl back into them…
THE SKULL OF DOSH-GRUB: A POWERFUL GOBLIN SKULL THAT STEALS COINS WHENEVER YOU REPEAT SOMETHING SOMEONE RECENTLY SAID: While in possession of the skull, if the owner (requires attunement) repeats something someone else recently said, golden ticks will crawl out of the eye sockets, find purse of the person who’s words they repeated, and turn some of their gold coins into more animated golden ticks. All of the ticks will return to the skull, which can hold an infinite amount of golden ticks. When the owner wants to retrieve the money the skull of Dosh-Grub has collected, they simply will it so and the golden ticks will crawl out and become inanimate. However, there will always be a few animated golden ticks in there, ready to steal coins when prompted.
Twitter & Instagram: @RexiconJesse