Tavern Tales 3 & Deadly Dungeons 15: The Funny Tea Room

TheFunnyTeaRoomThe room is simple, largely conforming to the architectural style and level of dilapidation of the surrounding rooms. It is good if this room can be placed adjacent to a dining hall or kitchen, as when the dungeon was active, this room produced a drink which (for some reason) was favored by the lord or lady of the place.

It is dominated by a large pit in the floor, 5ft deep, filled with a swirling, bubbling, steaming liquid of a faintly brown color. On the wall of the room is a large rack covered in pegs, and from many of the pegs hang wooden mugs with a copper inlay. The mugs themselves are essentially worthless, being worth ~3cp each, for a total of 20-60 cups in all. The liquid in the floor both smells, and tastes, like a mild tea. If any one drinks it, they are affected by one of the following, determined by rolling 1d12. All effects are permanent, unless noted otherwise.

  1. The liquid is poisonous to your body. Roll a save v. poison, or a fortitude save DC 15. Failure causes death.
  2. A -1 to a random ability score. Use 1d6 to determine.
  3. Spend 10 minutes vomiting and shaking violently.
  4. Burn the roof of your mouth really, really badly.
  5. Antlers sprout from your head.
  6. Tiny, inefficient wings sprout from your back. They might be of *some* use keeping cool or jumping an extra 3-4 inches, but that’s about it.
  7. Skin turns orange.
  8. Feel pretty good about yourself for the rest of the day.
  9. A scorpion stinger grows in your mouth. It is not harmful to you, nor does it interfere with normal tasks. It can be used to sting anything you put your mouth on, delivering a poison which deals 1d6 CON damage per turn, for 3 turns.
  10. +20 to your strength for 1 hour.
  11. A +1 to a random ability score. Use 1d6 to determine.
  12. +1 level.

Players may continue to drink from the pit as many times as they like. Effects will stack with each other, and any effect rolled twice for the same character should be properly “enhanced” according to GM discretion.  However, once a character has rolled a 9 or higher, their body will have adapted to the effects of the brew. From then on, regardless of the mixture they create (see below), or what they roll, no magical effect will occur. The drink is still quite tasty, though. They’ll find they enjoy it even more than before.

Adjacent to this room is a room filled with barrels. These barrels each contain a mixture which, when combined with the tea-water in the previous room, will slightly alter the random roll. If a barrel is completely dumped into the tea-water pit, then the additive will become inert after 10 minutes. If any two of these are mixed together, then their numerical bonuses or penalties will average. Orange spiral overrides anything it is mixed with. If any of these are consumed without being combined with the tea water, it tastes so awful the players will reflexively spit it out. Forced consumption causes death.

The symbols on the barrels, and their effects, are:

  • Blue Square. Smells like meat-juice. -4 to the random roll.
  • Purple Triangle. Smells like a bowl of raw egg. -2 to the random roll.
  • Red circle. Smells like beets. +2 to the random roll.
  • Black “X.” Smells like coffee. +4 to the random roll.
  • Orange Spiral. Smells almost sickeningly sweet. The random roll is replaced by a 1d6 roll to determine the player’s skin color: 1. Bright Red, 2. Blue, 3. Green, 4. Purple, 5. Orange, 6. Transparent. This effect functions even after the player has become immune to the tea-water’s other effects.

The above room appears in the megadungeon my players are currently exploring, Castle Nalew. They discovered it yesterday, and I think we probably spent an hour or more there. They tried every concoction they could think of, and much of the above information is stuff I had to improvise when they asked questions I wasn’t prepared for. Other information I had to improvise was: what happens when you become transparent twice, and what happens when you feed the liquid to a green ooze?

I could write a rather lengthy post about how much fun we had with this, but much of it would probably come across as “you had to be there” humor. However there is one story which is so impossibly perfect, I could not resist sharing it.

The very first character to dare drinking from the tea was the party’s monk. He rolled a seven, meaning his skin turned orange. Later, when they discovered the barrels in the next room, the monk was the first to try the orange spiral concoction, rolled a 5, making him orange a second time. I said that while he had been “Trump Orange,” he was now a wholly inhuman neon orange. After popping around to a few different colors, he again hit orange twice in a row, causing him to actually begin to glow orange with the strength of several candles.

The character’s name?


Sometimes the dice are the best comedians at the table.

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