- Welcome to day one of Unexplored Worlds Week here at Bullet Points. All week long I will be posting a related series of articles about the Battle of the Mushrooms, an encounter on the third level of the Tomb of the Steel Emperor megadungeon. Each day, I will add a new piece to the puzzle. Enjoy!
- The Upper Caverns is the first level of natural caves beneath the initial, man-made warrens. Averaging 100' below the surface, this level is the highest that subterranean creatures will be found. Although such encounters will still be rare, adventures need to be wary of creatures forced to flee from predators in their lower habitats or demons from the deep seeking new hunting grounds.
- On average, these caverns are larger than the rooms above, both in breadth and height. There are very few regular walls except for the cells where mentally afflicted dwarves were held in centuries past. The natural light funnels that illumiated the first two levels where not sunk this far, so adventures must carry a light source or use magical means to seeing in the dark. From somewhere beyond the edges of the dungeon, a gentle wind blows through the caverns, generally from west to east, refreshing the air in these levels. Arrows on the map indicate wind direction throughout the level.
- The highlight features of the Upper Caverns include the serene Singing Pools, the grisly Asylum, the scorching Abyssal Vents, the glacially paced Battle of the Mushrooms, and the confounding maze of the Accidental Menagerie. Wandering creatures are more common here and more varied because few, except for the albino Elu, have made a encampment here. Even with few lairs to raid, there is still plenty of treasure to be recovered by enterprising adventurers.
- Although several caverns are described as part of the dungeon, both the Upper and Lower Caverns extend far beyond the confines of these maps. Game Masters are encouraged to expand these levels as they and the players see fit to explore. There is much more to see under the world than what is presented here.
- Unexplored Worlds is my attempt to design an RPG campaign in the open. Since I have not rolled a d20 in anger in many years, this is my way to keep playing without actually playing. All posts are written to be system-agnostic, so please use whatever keeps your interest in your own games. Just let me know how it goes!
© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.