Monday, 7 May 2018

Hell on the Moon (Part Two)

Part One can be found here.


The Dungeon

The dungeon is what people call the strange underground construction in the next crater over from the diner. It takes about an hour to reach on foot, and half as long by hoverbike.

What nobody remembers is that the dungeon was once a starship, called the Méliès, which crash landed into the surface years ago. The ship was crewed by moon elf priests who sook to travel the cosmos fighting demons.

However on one mission, demons took over the ship. The priests tried to make it back home to get help, but by the time they reached the moon it was clear the demons were too powerful and would pose a danger to the empire. They sealed the demons in the top half of the ship and sacrificed themselves by crash landing it into an empty crater.

The Méliès, upside down, is almost completely buried in moon rock. At the end waits the demon lord, who has turned the cockpit into his throne room. Lower down the ship, or rather, further up the dungeon, the plants that the priests grew in their living quarters have overtaken the space and turned it into an indoor jungle, where more demons roam.

The engine room, at the top of the dungeon, is sealed off from the lower sections, and native moon creatures have made it their home. What was once the ship’s exhaust is now an entrance, poking out just above the lunar surface.

The Nest

The lower half of the ship, now the upper half of the dungeon, has been taken over by moon bugs.

The engine room, maintenance corridors and storage are all overgrown with nests made from the goo they excrete. It hardens, covering surfaces and forming new, organic platforms and pathways among the plain metal interior.

At the bottom of this area are two different hatches leading down to the next section, both locked from this side. They open to anyone with an Engineer’s Pass.

Nest Material

The calcified mess that coats everything will burn easily, giving off a low, steady purplish light and noxious fumes for up to an hour. The fire doesn’t spread though.

The Bugs

The eggs are fist-sized and gross. The larvae are helpless and squeal if disturbed. The bugs are parasites, and will latch onto things to kill and then take control of them.
The old crew of the Méliès stagger around, skeletons dressed in priest robes and armour, piloted by the bugs on their skulls. They still carry blessed swords and 1d4 moon coins each, as well as Engineer’s Passes which can lock and unlock the doors between this section and the next.

The Others

In one corner of one corridor is a slight spatial shimmer, detectable to anyone with magic. Astral somethings leak through on occasion (1d20):

1: Like a huge fat wheel made of flesh, with eyes in a pattern on either side. Could pull a cart if you stuck a rope through the mucus-lined hole in its centre.
2: Tall and gangling, there is no way to understand its language. Politely dismissive, it leaves.
3: Little yellow goblin-shaped crystal people. They eat anything intricate or complicated.
4: A teeny tiny spaceship full of little chaps, pootling through the air real slow like.
Noises like someone’s scraping two galaxies together.
Moon maidens. Not this moon. Like jellyfish or scraps of cloth in the wind or dancing women.
A big, severed hand, the wound cauterised.
Like a head with arms. If it bites you with its circular mouth it dies, and your skin turns purple.
Two-dimensional and pastel coloured, they disappear instantly when looked at sideways.
Like phytoplankton under a microscope, but hand-sized. They make music when touched.
A moon rock. Not this moon, though.
Part of a buckle for the equestrian gear certain celestials use to ride storms.
Green slime.
Bricks. Part of a tiefling’s stone spaceship.
An odd tool, presumably for repairing some otherworldly machine.
An engraved hammer. Summons lightning, or it would if there were clouds on the moon.
A big, severed hand, the wound adorned with a golden and jewelled cap. Mobile.
A coating of glittery dust. Causes skin to become pearlescent, and invisible in starlight.
A hat that projects the wearer’s surface-level thoughts as sound. Hard to remove once worn.
Tall, tentacle-faced, eats brains. You know the ones.

The Hideout

One side room is sealed off, with no signs of the bugs having ever entered. A wasted skeleton in priest robes has the Demon Key around its neck and 3 moon coins. On the wall is scratched: LORD PROTECT ME.

The Jungle

What was once the living quarters of the Méliès is now a demon-ridden jungle. Locked hatches separate it from the engine room above, and a single central hatch leads to the cockpit below, where the demon lord resides. The whole space is under the effect of an antimagic field, put in place by the priests to keep the demons at bay.

Wandering Encounters (1d8):

1: Greater Demon.
2-3: 1d4 Lesser Demons.
4: An imp.
5: 1d4 imps.
6: 1d4 Lesser Demons with imps.
7: A wandering Shuffler.
8: Two Greater Demons, too concerned with their own business to notice the players.


A few things remain of the ship’s previous occupants. When searching a room, or the stash looted by a demon, you find (1d10):

1: A holy symbol.
2: Old priest robes, matching those worn by the skeletons in the nest.
3: A smooth gemstone, the colour of another world’s sky.
4: A diary detailing proper care and caution of one of the plants found on the ship (roll 1d4 below for a plant).
5: 1d4 moon coins.
6: A manual for the ship’s communications array, in the cockpit.
7: A love note.
8: A spell book containing a cleric spell.
9: A dagger made of meteorite.
Medicine for a condition only moon elves suffer. Turns human skin red, permanently.


The crew of the Méliès grew plants in their living quarters to brighten up the place. Since their death, the emergency lighting and water systems have allowed the house plants to thrive, turning the space into an indoor jungle. Vines cover the walls, mangroves take root in the bathrooms, and palm trees grow upside down, planted in what used to be the floor.
Some plants may prove more interesting. (1d4):

1: Star Anemones. These fleshy flower-like creatures grow out of walls. They grab at passers-by and grip them tight, slowly dissolving pieces of them.
2: Laddervine. When tugged, it retracts, pulling anyone holding it upwards.
3: Shuffler. Mobile carnivorous plants that use a mess of roots to pull themselves around and grab food to put into their sticky, mouth-like flowers.
4: Meatleaf. Wide and rubbery leaves, filled with a jelly that vaguely resembles fish steak. Can be cooked, dried and cured into jerky. The smell of the raw jelly is appetising to simple, carnivorous beasts.


Little fat red-skinned idiots with wings, they zip around and can disappear in a puff of acrid smoke. Would never deign to question the rule of their superiors, but despise serving them. Everything they do, they do out of fear of punishment.

Lesser Demons

By default they look like people with horns – you know, demons. A group of 1d4 has 1d4 of the following extra features between them (1d20):

1: Useless fly wings and big insect eyes. Advantage on Perception.
2: A big crab claw on one oversized arm. 1d10 damage.
3: Craters down its back that expel lazy trails of smoke. 1d4 damage if you breathe near it.
4: Fur that drips something.
5: Big tusked jaws. 1d6 damage.
6: Another arm.
7: Another leg.
8: A scorpion tail. Bonus attack, 1d6 damage.
9: Hands for feet.
10: One big sideways mouth all the way up its torso. 2d4 damage.
11: A snake for genitals. Bonus attack, 1d4 damage.
12: Two heads.
13: Two more arms.
14: Eyes on its butt cheeks.
15: One arm is a tentacle. Double melee range, advantage to grapple.
16: Tiny head. Its bite is unlikely to hit, but turns a limb to stone.
17: Goat legs.
18: Backwards feet.
19: Bat wings.
20: Roll 1d6 twice and put the second one where the first should be (1: head, 2: arm, 3: leg, 4: mouth, 5: eye, 6: ass).

Greater Demons

The henchpersons of the demon lord, they ensure his commands are fulfilled. Each has a lock of some kind affixed to them, a gift from their lord that makes them more useful to him in some way – whether it grants them power or restricts it. Each lock has a keyhole, all of which can be unlocked by the Demon Key.

1: Not quite 10ft tall, strikingly handsome nude male with jet black hair, crimson skin and brunette goat’s legs. He wears a blindfold, a keyhole in the centre.

Six imps accompany him, chained. They act as eyes, telling him truths sprinkled with compliments. If less than three are able to speak to him he is considered blind and will rage helplessly. If the blindfold is taken off he will scramble to find a mirror. If he sees a mortal with his own eyes he begins to age backwards rapidly until he is ash.

2: A little taller than a person, feminine with pink-red skin, wearing only a complex looking chastity belt. The belt has a bestial, toothy mouth with a keyhole in its tongue.

She stuffs imps into the belt’s mouth and it eats their heads. She’d love to get the belt off, truth be told, but the only way she can think of involves someone losing an arm.

3: Huge towering slime-thing, a wretched waste of a being.

Chained up in a dank corner somewhere, he knows all about what’s going on, and most importantly where the Demon Key is that will free him. He keeps this secret from his fellow demons, but will beg strangers to get it for him, promising great reward. Unchained, he will begin to eat and will not stop eating.

4: Tall, humanoid but the proportions are wrong. Its head is encased in a helmet – glowing eyes, keyhole in the back of the skull.

It is inactive, slumped. It will obey the one who inserts the key in its head, moving slowly but with incredible strength.

5: Like a centaur, but the horse part is a demon (too many legs!), and the human part is a construction, a metal and wood automaton in the shape of an elegant woman – four arms, impressive horns and a blank face. There is a keyhole in the navel.

If unlocked, the halves detach. The top half is full of teeth, and can be locked into place on any suitable mount. The resulting creature has the consciousness of the lower half, which dies.

6: Immobile and trapped in a locked chest.

A mess of tentacles and thorns, she quite likes the chest, and wants to fill it with money and treasure.

7: Tall and androgynous, in flowing red robes. The Demon Key opens a lock on the side of their head and the pretty, pallid face comes off.

They will always prefer a different face to the one they have.

8: Little old woman with red skin, white hair and tiny horns.

She made the locks that are on all the others, and will make a new Demon Key for any of them if they ask.

Demon Lord

Corpulent and imposing, the demon lord lounges atop his throne, eating imps and ordering his subordinates around. He’s pretty ok with things just as they are. Wields a powerful demonic flail, and holds a horn that summons hellfire when blown.

In his throne room are several imps, a few lesser demons trying to be entertaining, and the rest of the Méliès crew, long-rotted and impaled on spikes.

The room was once the ship’s cockpit, and a large window now looks out onto solid rock. The ship’s controls are dented and battered. Assuming someone could clear out the dungeon enough to give her space to work, Nadia could repair the ship, reverse it out of the rock. She’ll let you keep it if she likes you.


-          The challenge in this dungeon does not come from progression being difficult. The only path that’s blocked are the locked doors leading to the jungle and all the skeletons in area 1 have keys. If players want to keep moving, they can, but they’ll miss information and go into the final room severely unprepared. That’s where challenge comes in; finding out what’s going on, who they can side with, and formulating a plan in the midst of all the deadly weirdos.

-          The Reputation quests are a side thing and not meant to be difficult. Make the first one or two incredibly simple – the players simply stumble upon the jukebox part as they do their normal dungeon delving. Then, leave it up to the players. If they want to pursue more errands for Gramps and Nadia, let them, but don’t force it.

-          Obviously, the players could leave the moon before they restore the Méliès, on one of the other passing ships. Have a lil bit of whatever comes after this adventure prepped in case.

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