Rough Attempt at a Lumber Mill Delve

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 27 June 2010

Yesterday on Twitter I mentioned that I was trying to think up a good adventure idea for a downloadable delve. Rob Donoghue suggested using a lumber mill as a backdrop. Loving a good challenge, I decided to give it a shot. Here is my rough draft of such an adventure. I created it in less than 24 hours so there are still some rough edges. I still have to create maps, but basically, it's just a series of interconnected rooms, probably about 10 by 10 squares and a conveyor belt moving through the middle of them. Movement between the rooms can be through the conveyor belt or through doors.


The PCs are returning to town when they come upon two huddled figures limping along the road. When they get closer, the group notices they are two teenagers, badly beaten. The youngsters tell their tale of woe. They and the some other village children were collecting firewood in the town wood when they came upon a group of gnomes cutting down trees. The gnomes noticed them before they could escape and beat the two teenagers and left them for dead. They took the rest of the children, probably for ransom or sale to slavers.

The teenagers give clear instructions to the location of the crime and, from there, the PCs are able to follow the trail without problem. It leads to a lumber mill. The PCs' experience tells them it might be easier to enter through the back, rather than try a frontal assault.

Encounter 1: Up the Conveyor

Encounter Level 1 (500 XP)

1 Bucking Saws
3 Gnome Debarkers

The first step of the manufacturing process is to remove the bark from the tree trunks and cut them into manageable sizes (bucking). This room is set up to do that, with gnomes specially trained to debark the trees and machinery hung from the ceiling to do the cuts.

When the PCs enter the room
They surprise the gnomes while they were taking a break. The gnome closest to the control panel will try to turn it on.

The gnomes will try to engage anyone who gets near the panel.

Features of the Area:
Illumination: Brightly lit
Conveyor Belt: Creatures on the conveyor belt get 1 extra movement in the direction the belt is moving. If moving against the belt, treat it as difficult terrain. It takes an Athletics/Acrobatics check (DC 5) to get on or off the conveyor.

Encounter 2: Blades of Doom

Encounter Level 2 (625 XP)

Gnome "Saw Master"
12 Flying Buzz Saws

Rather than the normal machinery one would expect in a lumber mill, the hard work of crafting lumber from chunks of tree is done by a gnome and his mind controlled saws. He leers at the party and figures his saws will be just as good at cutting them up.

The Saw Master will mark 2 of the PCs to start and have his blades annoy those members of the party. From there, he will attempt to provide them with combat advantage where ever possible, using his blinding pain power as soon as possible.

Features of the Area:
Illumination: Bright light.

Encounter 3: Meet the Foreman

Encounter Level 3 (800 XP)

Lumberyard Foreman
2 Gnome Finishers
1 Guard Dog
2 Lumber Piles

The missing children are in this room, being hassled by the gnome foreman and his dogs. As soon as they see the party enter, the finishers climb on top of the lumber pile. The foreman is not above bargaining with the PCs but he is very confident in his abilities (with good reason) so his initial offers will be quite high.

The lumber pile traps easily can be used against the PCs or against the finishers. The finishers like their perches, however, so will wait before using them. The guard dog is very loyal to the foreman but not the finishers.

Features of the Area:
Illumination: Brightly lit.


Nice work, especially for 24 hours! I love the idea of working within constraints like this - you have to make a delve, and it's in a lumber mill. Go! The final product looks like a lot of fun.

Love this. If I ever publish Caldera, I'd love to buy this from you and print it as a cityworks encounter.

Send feedback using the contact form or through twitter, @sarahdarkmagic.

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