Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mini Mod: Chaos Caves

So, Sean Wills shared his idea for adapting the Caves of Chaos as a five-room dungeon... 

In looking it over, I loved what he was thinking. I re-arranged a bit, putting larger 'entry' caves at the southeast and southwest. Edit: And this is now an official challenge.

1. The southwest cave is in turmoil, as the goblins (south) have rebelled against the hobgoblins (north) and they are in the middle of something of a detente - the goblins are negotiating rights as 'freed servants' to the hobgoblins. A hot spring (west) dominates this cave, and a fissure has formed that keeps the two sides apart except for a narrow footbridge. The hobgoblins are likely to let outsiders attack the goblins, since weakening their forces might dampen their revolutionary spirit. A dead ogre is on the south side riddled with hobgoblin arrows; the goblins recruited him by promising gold and saying Bree Yark, and it didn't go so well for the ogre.

2. On the eastern side, a large tribe of kobolds (who have until recently been at odds with the goblins and hobgoblins) dwells here. They captured an owl bear and thought it would be a help, but it kept eating them, so they've locked it in area 3. The stairs entering the cave have a simple trap.

3. The owlbear is rampaging around the chamber constantly, breaking walls and causing a section of plastered wall in the northwest to crumble, revealing an entrance to the hidden temple. The side of the door facing him is covered in sharp stakes, which has kept him from just breaking it down.

4. When the temple was originally buried, a minotaur was charmed to stand watch over the entrance. It continues to roam its maze filled with traps for the unwary. The entire maze is filled with thick mists that have entered from area 1. Each of the letters represents a trap (although the minotaur himself may be in any of these locations instead of a trap).

5. The temple proper has been discovered by a young necromancer, who has paid the hobgoblins to let him pass, navigated the maze, and has begun a ritual to raise a dead demon. He has a few skeletons with him for backup. 


  1. Nice one, you convey the inter-factional conflict that could be used by the party and the bridge over the fissure is a neat terrain feature for combat or pursuit/evasion. In contrast, the minotaur in the misty trapped maze and the angry owlbear bring raw terror. To me, the COC themes are there. In 5 rooms !

  2. I suppose you could also reduce the wilderness part of B2 to a 5 area pointcrawl/hexcrawl - Mad Hermit, Raider Camp, Spider Lair, Lizardmen Mound, Cave of the Unknown.

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  5. 3rd time lucky -
    Armor 2; Hits 5 ; Move 60’; Dagger (1+1)
    TRAITS: Might 1; Mind 2; Reflex 3
    TAGS: Stealth; Frenzy, Companion (mountain lion), Nature
    GEAR: Leather Armor, Ring (+1 to Armor), Dagger (+1)

  6. I just checked KOTB and the Hermit is 3rd Level, but I thought the adjustment of Hits might be too much. I'm thinking H&S parties might be smaller than the 6 to 9 member parties B2 was written for.

  7. Yes (I consider 4 the 'typical' party when I'm designing) - and, the level progression is compressed, so third-level in BX is high 1/low 2 in Hack'D. I like your write-up :)