Well, as you can see, behind the secret door next to the dais was a staircase leading down. The trouble is, the PCs never found the secret door!
Trespassing in the tomb brought the usual response from its programmed guardians, and a long, drawn-out battle ensued. The Party eventually took out all of the animated statues, earning more than a few contusions in the process. The archers quickly found their arrows did very little damage against the statues' Hardness scores, so most of the damage was done by Breygon's longsword, Alric's greatclub, Joraz's mighty staff, and Qaramyn's magic missiles. The value of the flanking bonus and Gwen's sneak attack ability quickly became apparent.
Once the bad guys were gravel, Gwen went for the chests, and the fun began all over again. Up popped the big stone statue and the fight was on - only this time, pretty much everybody was wounded, and the wizard was out of spells. But by surrounding the monster on the dais to max-out the flanking bonuses, the Party was able to take it down without suffering any fatalities. They recovered the big sword, the pretty golden necklace, and the scabbard, and Gwen opened the chests without difficulty, crowing when the moolah came into view. Alric donned the armour, not minding the stench of brimstone (it was a welcome change from "smelling like a bear"), while Joraz pocketed the necklace.
During all of this, Breygon walked past the secret door at least four times, and never noticed it (it's called a SPOT CHECK, people - put some skill points in it!). The patented Elven secret doorsense never tingled. So as a result, the Party never found the lower level of the dungeon, or the glories (and dangers) lurking therein.
But that's no reason to leave it all a mystery!
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9. PIT TRAP
"As you turn the corner, there is a sudden snap, and the floor drops away. Far below, you can see cold water glistening in the torchlight."
- Spiked pit trap, 20’ deep, Reflex DC 20 / avoid, 2d6 falling damage, Reflex DC 20 / half, Search DC 18, Disable DC 18
- there is nothing in the pit except three feet of foul, brackish water.
"This low, dank chamber is 15’ wide x 25’ long, with an ogive-vaulted ceiling rising 15’ above your heads. Parts of the ceiling are crumbling and falling in; the place doesn’t look all that sturdy. The room contains five alcoves, each with heavily carved stone sarcophagus protruding into room. There is a heavy layer of mildew on the stonework, and you can hear the sound of dripping water."
- the gate is fixed in place, but the damp has severely corroded the iron bars; Hardness 8, 25 HP, Break DC 35
- if any of the sarcophagi are disturbed, the SHADOW will manifest and attack
STRONG SHADOW: Init +2, AC 15, HD 4d12 (36 HP), Atk Incorp Touch +3 melee, Dam 1d6 temp Str, 5’x5’/5’, Undead, Incorporeal (harmed only by incorporeal creatures, +1 or better weapons, or magic; 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal source), pass through solid objects at will, attacks ignore armour, Create Spawn (killed by strength loss? rise in 1d4 rds), Hide8, IntDir5, Lis7, Spt6, Dodge (+1 to AC vs. one opponent)
SARCOPHAGUS 1: Skeleton, rich rotted robes, 2 silver armbands (v. 50 gp ea.)
SARCOPHAGUS 2: Skeleton, corroded bronze scale armour, rusty longsword, primitive gold ring with inset sapphire (v. 475 gp)
SARCOPHAGUS 3: Skeleton, once-rich rotted robes (female style), ornate gold and pearl girdle (v. 150 gp), short wand carved from black bone of some sort, and set with silver bands (Wand of Cure Light Wounds, 8 charges)
SARCOPHAGUS 4: Skeleton, rusted banded mail, rusted battle axe
SARCOPHAGUS 5: Skeleton, corroded bronze scale armour, corroded bronze helmet, 2 x MW Throwing Axes
ESCAPING FROM THE DUNGEON
This should not prove challenging. However, it would be dramatically appropriate for the effort involved in climbing out of the collapsed hole to cause the roof to cave in, burying the Crypt forever, and causing the carved ring of stones to fall inwards on itself.
RETURNING TO THE DUNGEON
Given the nature of the surrounding woodlands, prime real estate doesn't stay unoccupied for long. So if the party leaves the dungeon for more than a week and the entrance hole remains open, some Large Monstrous Spiders will move in and start breeding.
* * * * *
Just in case you were thinking about coming back, guys.