I can't find the original post on G+, but due to the vile influence of Monster Johnson, I volunteered for homework from professor of the gothic Jack Shear. I randomly selected level 5 of Dante's Hell, put it through the radiation field that is my imagination, and this came out after MUCH editing.
Collectively known as the "Halls of Wrath," there has been much speculation as to the original purpose of these rooms. Some say they were created by a twisted Wizard-king as a forgotten city's justice system. Others say this is a prison where criminals were sent to eternally torment each other.
These rooms are harrowing, but must be crossed to enter a sunken city full of treasures (or whatever else your PCs are on a mission for).
1. The Marble Room
A stone and marble chamber with little natural light. There is a 5-foot lip at the entrance, and the rest of the chamber's expanse is filled with rushing water. In the water are statues of warriors and monsters locked in battle. A canoe is tied up near the entrance.
A) It is very difficult to steer the canoe through the statues without crashing into one of them. The GM should enforce this with skill or attribute checks and percentage rolls. Or it takes 20 rounds, with the d20 chance a statue is hit increasing by 1 every 2 rounds (1 in rounds 1 and 2, 6 in rounds 11 and 12); the PCs can hurry, but increase the chance by 2 for every round they skip. On a 20, the canoe capsizes, increasing for every round the PCs hurry (hurry 1 round and it capsizes on 19 or 20). Of course, the PCs may not have reason to avoid the statues until they've hit 1 or 2...
B) If one of the statues is touched, it animates and the room fills with eerie light and the sounds of pitched battle - roars, moans, metal, swords clanking, etc. The Animate Statue appears as a foe the person disturbing it has previously killed. The Statue Foe demands a justification for it's killing. If it is not satisfied, it attacks. A PC has time for maybe four sentences before the Statue attacks. The Statue Foe will try to knock the PCs into other Statues, animating them, but cannot animate them itself directly.
C) Under the water are The Sullen, angry intelligent undead that grasp any being in the water and attempt to drown them. Creatures drowned by The Sullen become Sullen themselves. Animate Statues are immune.
Statues...just waiting there for you in the water...
ANIMATE STATUE - as dead foe it has become, or: AC 6 or 14, HD 4 to 6, MV 9, Attacks Sword 1d6, Confusion in a 5' Radius 2/day - PC reaction on 1d6: 1-2 stand still, 3-4 attack nearest statue, 5-6 attack nearest friend; save ends
THE SULLEN - AC 2 or 18, HD 2, MV 6 (crawling), Attacks Grapple (as STR 15+1d4), Hold Underwater (+2 to checks once opponent is grappled), Claw/bite 1d4
An ornately decorated, dimly lit chamber with a few hanging torches. The carpet and wall hangings are red velvet with glittering, embroidered snakes. Perceptive PCs will notice scaly writhing and hissing sounds. Three heavily veiled women sit, knitting. Under the veils they are 2 Medusas and 1 Spiral Demon. They are cursed to stay here forever. They would like to eat the statues in the Marble Room.
Instead of fighting, the three are more amused by being taught new games, bribed with works of fine art, and being told riddles and gossip. They will attack if provoked or attacked. They know the ritual to summon the door to the next room, which also appears when the gem is removed from the head cavity of the Spiral Demon. The Spiral Demon's head can be used to make a Portable Hole by a Wizard Alchemist of appropriate level.
SPIRAL DEMON - AC 6 or 14, HD 6, MV 9, ATTACKS: Disturbing Appearance - sanity/wis check or stare dumbfounded for a round; Claw 1d6 +1; Grapple as STR 18; HEAD VOID - creatures grappled for more than one round are held automatically (but can break free with STR-2 check) and shoved into the void of her spiral head-cavity, where they are slowly consumed and later shit out as Spiral Zombies
MEDUSA stats in 1e ADnD MM but poison Paralyzes instead of kills
3. Demons! Room
There is a huge fire and fucking Demons torturing dudes in big weird machines! The Demons will rush the PCs. If the PCs let the door of this room close while some of the party was still outside, those members of the party appear tied up in the Demons' torture machines and have to break free and fight their way unarmed to their stuff in a pile by the fire. The way out is through the big fireplace, which the Demons will defend.
The Demons enjoy arguing. There will be a Demon for everyone the PCs have killed in the past month or 1d4+2 per level of the highest level PC. If the entire party gets paralyzed, the Demons put their gear/weapons in a pile by the fire and strap them into torture machines. Tortured PCs lose 1HP/rd but get +1 to saves vs Paralysis.
SHOUTING TORTURE DEVIL - AC 6 or 14, HD 5, MV 9, ATTACKS torture tools 1d6+2, 25% chance of bleeding for 2 HP the next round; Paralyzing Shout 1/day: every creature that can hear save vs paralysis at a 3 penalty or be paralyzed; new save every round and penalty decreases by 1/rd*
*Special SENSES WILL BE SPLINTERED rule: a PC failing their save can choose to be blinded instead of Paralyzed, but only once/day.
Sooooooo...I hope this is fun and useful to other DMs in whole or part. I may do an "Ecology of the Spiral Demon" entry soon.
I bet Dante is rolling in his grave...FOR INITIATIVE!
(crap, I just realized the art credits are saved elsewhere - I'll add them tonight)