4AD – Playtest of Deeper Dungeons (Part Two)


Here is my second playtest of the Deeper Dungeons supplement for Four Against Darkness from Ganesha Games. This time the party found stairways down to lower levels of the dungeon.

Note that the rules are still not final so they may be different in the published book.


Groldran returns to Brodok and sells his sardonyx gemstone for 42 gold pieces. He pays the wise woman Idda 10 gold pieces for more of her knowledge. He then meets an adventuring cleric named Hadrol who agrees to return to the dungeon and cast the Blessing spell to turn three of the five petrified party members back from stone into flesh. Hadrol will then join the new party.

5. The medusa’s victims

They go to the dungeon and enter the room containing the five petrified victims. Luckily the medusa is no longer there. Hadrol casts Blessing and restores Claral, Grorvarn and Brelmir to flesh. After Grorvarn has been restored he in turn casts Blessing on Melveth. Brervik must be left to his fate for the time being. Groldran pays Brelmir and Melveth again. They take Ulsifri’s corpse outside the dungeon and conceal it as best they can. Groldran takes her gold piece and Claral takes her bow and leaves her sling with the corpse.

8. Empty corridor

They return to the corridor where they fought the ogre and continue on down it.

9. Empty corridor

The party take the west branch.

10. Empty corridor

They follow it to the end and go through the door.

11. Iron eater

In this room there is a weird monster with four legs, a scaly hide, two antennae and a long scaly tail – an iron eater. They wait to see what it will do and it attacks. After both Groldran and Hadrol have lost their armour to severe rusting the party decide to withdraw through the door in the west wall. As they do so the iron eater’s antennae rust Groldran’s maul and Hadrol’s shield. After the door has been slammed shut Groldran and Hadrol discard their rusted armour and weapons.

12. Chimera

In the next room there is a chimera. The party withdraw through the door in the west wall. As they do so Brelmir, Melveth and Hadrol are wounded.

13. Minotaur

In the room beyond there is a minotaur armed with a two-handed axe. The party attack. As Hadrol has not had the time to bandage the wound he received from the chimera he casts Healing on himself. Grorvarn uses his scroll to cast Protect onto Groldran. After killing the minotaur Claral, Brelmir and Melveth bandage their wounds. The minotaur’s belt pouch contains seven gold pieces which the four adventurers divide among themselves, with Claral, Groldran and Hadrol getting an extra piece.

Claral fails to gain a level.

14. Spear trap

The party enter a long, narrow room where there is a stairway leading down to a lower level of the dungeon. As they are making their way to the top of the steps spears shoot out from holes in the north and south walls. Groldran and Brelmir are hit by the spears and wounded. Groldran bandages his wound and Hadrol casts Healing onto Brelmir. The party make their way down the steps to the lower level.


15. Giant metal ball trap

Descending the stairs the party come to a corridor that comes to a dead end, with doors to the left and right. Brelmir can see a scroll on the floor at the dead end, but Claral calls for the party to halt. She goes ahead cautiously and sees a giant metal ball covered in spikes hanging in a recess in the ceiling. She tells the party to go back up the stairs, and then activates the ball by stepping on a flagstone in the corridor before running back up the stairs herself. The ball crashes to the floor of the corridor and rolls to the foot of the stairs. The party make their way around it. Grorvarn picks up the scroll and says that it is inscribed in a magical script that may be used by anyone, not just wizards or elves. The spell on the scroll is a mass teleportation spell that may be dangerous to use for all but the toughest of adventurers. Groldran takes the scroll. The party go through the door to the right.

16. Book of Secrets

The party enter a large empty room. Groldran finds a book under a loose flagstone, entitled the Book of Secrets. He reads some of it and finds the contents disturbing, but manages to focus on the knowledge that he can gain. Combining his reading of the book with what he learned from Idda the wise woman, he learns of a monster with a hoard of gold pieces and that the worshippers of the chaos god Xichtul are active in the dungeon. The book includes an illustration of the secret sign of Xichtul’s fanatics, and there is another such sign painted on the wall nearby. The party leave by the door in the south wall.

17. Empty room

The party search this room but find nothing.

18. Enchanted Banquet

The party enter a room where a fine oak table is set with six chairs and silver dishes and goblets. There is every kind of fine food and drink on the table. Brelmir cautions against eating the food, saying that it may be enchanted. Claral heeds Brelmir’s advice but Groldran, Grorvarn, Hadrol and Melveth sit down to eat. After eating all of the food, the four diners feel strange but not ill. Grorvarn says that he was right to eat the food because he has gained the knowledge of a new spell. Groldran, Hadrol and Melveth say that they have also gained the knowledge of one spell.

Spells gained (one use only):

  • Groldran – Protect
  • Grorvarn – Blessing
  • Hadrol – Protect
  • Melveth – Escape

The party leave the room.

19. Four-way intersection

The party turn left and head south.

20. Empty corridor

The party search it but find nothing.

21. Insect swarm

Entering this room the party is engulfed by a cloud of stinging insects that look like huge mosquitoes. Every member of the party is stung and receives one wound before the cloud disperses. The party leave the room by the other door.

22. Torture chamber

The next room is a torture chamber. Chains with manacles hang from the walls and ceiling. The room contains a torture rack, an iron maiden, a spiked chair, a crocodile tube full of spikes and benches covered with whips and other torture implements. The room horrifies the party, particularly Groldran, Grorvarn and Hadrol who all turn pale.

All party members gain 1 Madness point. In addition, Groldran, Grorvarn and Hadrol fail to save versus level 5 fear and are at -1 on all Attack rolls until a Blessing spell is cast.

Grorvarn casts the Blessing spell that he acquired from the enchanted banquet on himself, Groldran and Hadrol.

Groldran, Grorvarn and Hadrol no longer have a -1 on all Attack rolls.

The party leave the room.

23. Shrine of Xichtul

The party go down a short corridor that ends at a door. Groldran recognises the sign carved into the wood of the door as being that of the chaos fanatics of Xichtul, and warns the others. Entering the room the party encounter six chaos fanatics armed with swords and morning stars. The party attack. They kill all of the fanatics. Hadrol bandages his wound and Groldran drinks his potion of healing.

The room is a shrine to the chaos god Xichtul. A stone altar stands against the south wall, stained with blood and carved with the sign of Xichtul along with grotesque images of writhing monsters with fangs, horns and tentacles. The altar is gruesome but possesses no evil magical power. Behind the altar Hadrol finds a scroll with the spell Reverse Gaze inscribed on it.

Melveth stands on the altar of Xichtul and plays on his lute, singing a song to lift the spirits of the party.

All party members no longer have 1 Madness point each.

The party leave the room by the door in the north wall.

24. Flying skull

The party enter a circular room where a skull floats in the air. The party wait to see what it will do and the skull flies towards Groldran and attacks. Groldran is wounded but then destroys the skull. He finds a golden ring on the floor inscribed with a script identifying it as a Ring of Three Wishes.

25. Serpent people

The party enter a corridor where there are five monsters with the heads of snakes, human torsos and arms, and the lower bodies of snakes – serpent people. They are armed with swords and spears. The party wait to see what they will do and they ask for a bribe of 25 gold pieces each. When the party refuse to pay the bribe the serpent people attack Claral and Brelmir. The party kill all the serpent people but not before Brelmir and Melveth have been killed and Claral has been wounded. In the belt pouch of one of the serpent people Hadrol finds a green garnet gemstone worth 300 gold pieces. Groldran collects the 48 gold pieces given to Brelmir and Melveth so that the money can be given to their heirs. The party leave the corridor by a door further down.

26. The Gold Ghost

The party enter another corridor and hear a groaning voice. The groaning ghost of a treasure hunter approaches them and demands to be given treasure. Hadrol hands him the green garnet gemstone that he found and the ghost takes it and vanishes.

27. Steel spear trap

In this room beyond an archway in the west wall a stairway leads down to an even deeper level of the dungeon.

Claral fails to detect the steel spear trap.

Approaching the archway the party hear a loud click and then a heavy steel spear shoots out of a hole at the top of the arch. Claral and Grorvarn are skewered on the spear and killed, and Hadrol is wounded. Groldran takes Claral’s lantern, rope and bow. Hadrol takes Grorvarn’s bronze bracelet (worth 30 gold pieces), and Claral’s Fools Gold and vial of holy water. At the top of the stairway Groldran finds a mace. The two surviving adventurers descend to the lower level.


28. Hairy goblins

The stairs lead down to a corridor which leads to a room inhabited by 13 hairy goblins, larger than ordinary goblins and armed with morning stars and spears. Groldran uses his Ring of Three Wishes to wish two of them dead, and they fall to the floor. Groldran and Hadrol are wounded by goblins but Groldran uses the Ring of Three Wishes to heal his wounds. Then Groldran is wounded by three goblins and Hadrol is killed. Groldran uses the Ring of Three Wishes to cast the Escape spell and return to the first room of the dungeon. He returns to Brodok.

Groldran’s ring is now an ordinary ring worth 10 gold pieces.






























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