Deadly Dungeons 4: The Wet Passage

The Wet Passages Map by LSThe Wet Passage is a secret means of moving from one area of the dungeon to another. It can provide the players with much greater mobility than they would have otherwise, provided they are clever enough to discover and harness it. Depicted to the left is a wet passage room which can be accessed from four different dungeon locations.

When the players enter a room which connects to the wet passage room, it should be noted that a fountain is present. The actual construction of the fountain may vary. Some may be more ornate, or feature sculptures, while others may be quite simple, and appear to have a primarily functional use rather than a decorative one. All of the fountains will have a clear space at the bottom at least 3ft square. A fountain with a total diameter of 5ft could not have a statue mounted in the center of it, for example.

If the players choose to inspect the fountain, roll a die whose max number is equal to (or approximates) the total number of fountains which connect to the wet passage room. In the example shown here, 1d4 would be rolled. On a roll of 1, this fountain is currently the ‘active’ fountain. If the players look down into the fountain, they sill see a heavy iron grate. The grate is not fixed, and can be lifted aside by a character with average strength.

If a number higher than 1 is rolled, then the bottom of the fountain appears to be only stone with no obvious drainage. If dirt, or some other particulate substance is thrown into the water, the players will be able to see that the water is sucked into very faint seams at the bottom of the fountain. Moving the stone aside to access the aforementioned grate is not easy. The seams are much too small for a crowbar or even a sharper implement to be of use. The stone could be smashed with a heavy blow from a sledgehammer, though. You may wish to create some other mechanical means of opening the secret stone door, but none is included here.

Once the grate is exposed and moved aside, a 3′ x 3′ opening is visible in the bottom of the fountain, leading down into absolute darkness. It would be difficult to angle a lightsource to examine this area without the water dousing it. If the players are able to do that, they’ll see a passageway of hewn stone, which is very much unlike the rest of the dungeon’s construction (whatever that construction may be).

The Wet Passages Side View by LS

If the players attempt to swim into the secret caverns, they must be able to hold their breath the entire time. For the passages depicted, this should not be difficult for most characters. However, the other end of the passage way is only opened if the fountain’s passage was opened properly. If the players opted to smash the stone covering the grate, or force it open by some other means, then when they reach the other end of the underwater tunnel they will be confronted with a similar slab of stone. At this point, players should be required to make a constitution check to determine they can continue to hold their breath, or if they take 1hd worth of damage per round until they can reach oxygen.

Once inside, the wet passage room appears to be a natural cave with a ceiling about 10ft high, and water 3ft deep. In the center of the cave is a good sized patch of land. It’s a large piece of solid stone covered in mud, so it is no the most hospitable place to rest. Regardless, it is amply sized (at least 30′ x 30′) if the players would like to set up camp here. The islands only feature is a chest-height pedestal in the center, with a bronze bust of a regally dressed gentleman atop it. If the bust is lifted from the pedestal, the players can see that its base has a large, star-shaped protrusion which fits snugly into a mechanism on the pedestal. If the statue is placed back upon the pedestal, it can turn the mechanism. Each time the bust’s face is turned towards one of the secret doors, the pedestal clicks, and the underwater passageway opens. As soon as the bust is turned away, the passage closes again.

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3 thoughts on “Deadly Dungeons 4: The Wet Passage”

  1. This could also be used as a sort of “teleport kill” trick ala Gauntlet II (old NES game in case you don’t know it.) in which you hop repeatedly on the teleporter to frag enemies at the return point.

    In this case, you could mess with the bust to trap pursuers in the water, wait for them to drown and BOOM! Of course it might not always work, but it’s a devious trick indeed, just the kind I expect from my party. :O