What better way to bond your players than a missing persons’ case where they’ll trudge through murky sewers and face off against a colossal monstrosity born from a necromancer’s madness? Our newest free adventure -The Pudding Pit of Horror- offers a modest experience that’s chalk full of the best sort of awful that D&D players love. And since it’s only a few hours long, busy gamers can probably finish it in a single evening.
Gather your player characters (level 3-4) and make your way down to the pit.
A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of The Pudding Pit of Horror is available at Drive Thru RPG. You can also support our work by giving to our Patreon page. The adventure itself can be found below:
While visiting a city, the players learn of a series of mysterious disappearances. Tracing the missing persons to the sewers, the players encounter a necromancer named Pollock. Pollock has been abducting people and feeding them to a Blood Pudding he’s trapped in a pit. The players have to deal with Pollock and his Blood Pudding and then report to the city guards.
This is intended to be a short adventure for characters levels 3-4.
This adventure can take place in any medieval fantasy city that has a developed sewer system.
|Figure 1.1 Sewer Map|
While visiting a city the PCs hear rumors of disappearances. Dozens of people have gone missing without a trace. If the player party chooses to investigate, their search will turn up a few scant clues:
- The first people to go missing were a group of acolyte clerics.
- A guardsman may have seen the abductor.
If the players seek out the guardsman, he’ll tell them he was patrolling near a sewer entrance when he heard a muffled cry for help. He saw what “looked like a man” entering the sewers, but didn’t catch much more than a glimpse. If they ask, the guardsman will lead the party to the sewer where he saw this mysterious person. If the PCs decide to enter, the GM can read the following:
The bars blocking the sewer tunnel creaks open and you step inside. You’re struck almost immediately by a putrid stench that chokes your lungs with each new breath. Your feet squelch loudly in the rancid muck beneath you. As you venture deeper into the tunnel, the light outside fades until all you can see is the grimy darkness ahead.
From here, the PCs will have to explore the sewers beneath the city. Unfortunately for them, this is not an easy task. The sewers are a dark labyrinth and several of the larger chambers house unique encounters. Only when the party reaches the Pudding Pit room in B2 will they uncover the identity of the abductor.
When the PCs enter this room, the GM should read the following:
You hear a small squeak, followed by the patter of tiny feat. A rat trots across the stone floor. Its fur slick with moisture, it stops and turns toward you. It gives you a deep, appraising look and disappears through a tiny hole in the wall.
Potential Combatants: Plague Rat (Swarms)
When the PCs enter this room, the GM should read the following:
The chamber’s walls are lined with deep shelves carved into the stone. They appear empty, at a glance, but look deep enough to hold a person lain prostrate. An eerie mist hangs in the air, barely visible in the ebon shadow.
When entering this room, there will be no items or enemies visible. In fact, if the PCs leave right away they’ll be able to make their exit unhindered. If, however, they choose to investigate the shelves they might trigger a horde of Plague Rats.
There are ten shelves in total. Each time the PCs investigate one, the GM should roll a D10. If they roll a duplicate number they’ve already seen, they should re-roll. If the D10 lands on a 1 or the PCs are investigating the tenth and final shelf, the GM should read the following:
You peer inside and are met by a wall of tiny, beady eyes. In the space of a second the air fills with a chorus of chanting rodent shrieks. Rats pour out in an overwhelming wave.
Have any PCs standing within 10’ of the shelf perform a Strength DC. If they roll below a 14, the rats will knock them prone and they’ll need to stand up after Initiative begins. Initially there will only be three Plague Rat swarms to contend with. Two rounds after Initiative begins however, another three swarms will start flooding in through the chamber’s entrance. After the rats are defeated, if the PCs return to the shelf where they found them, they’ll discover a gnawed corpse clutching a purse containing 520 GP.
Potential Combatants: Zombie
When the PCs enter the main area of this room, the GM should read the following:
The room is nearly empty. Standing in a corner to the left of an open doorway is a single, shambling figure. They lift their gaunt face to gaze at you as you enter but offer no words or greetings.
The figure in the northwest corner of the exit door is a Zombie. When the PCs enter the room it will make no move to attack or approach them. The Zombie is just a decoy meant to lure them into the northwest corner of the room. If any players enter the northern half of the room in general (effected area is indicated in Figure 1.1), the floor will collapse and dump them down into room B1, which is located directly below room 3. Any player character who approaches the Zombie will be dropped directly into the swirling pool in B1. The Zombie is crushed beneath the rubble when the floor collapses.
Any PCs who perform Reflex DC of 14 can escape from collapsing floor.
Potential Combatants: Waste Slime(s)
When the PCs enter this corridor, the GM should have them perform a Perception DC. If any roll above a 5, the GM should read the following:
A gentle stream of liquid filth flows through the hall. Its stench creeps up your nostrils and brings bile to your throat.
This corridor is dominated by a long stream of liquid feces about three feet deep. The PCs can just walk through it, but they then suffer a -3 to all Charisma rolls until they clean themselves up afterward. If the PCs choose to walk through it, the GM should treat it as difficult terrain. Their movement speed will be halved.
After they enter, the GM should roll a D6 dice and add Waste Slimes equal to the result to the corridor. The GM can distribute them however they want, but they should be well hidden by the filth. So well hidden in fact, that the PCs won’t be able to see them until they’re about 10 feet away. Even then, will need to perform a Perception DC of 16 to successfully see them. If they fail to see a Waste Slime and move within 5 feet of it, the creature will launch a surprise attack and try to kill them with its Suffocate attack.
Potential Combatants: Flailing Vine
In the northwest corner of this room is a pool of inexplicably whirling water. A successful Intelligence DC of 12 or higher will let the PCs recognize that this water is dangerous.
If the PCs somehow end up in the pool, the force of the spinning water should immediately start to pull them under. All swimming related-DCs should be performed at Disadvantage due to the extreme nature of the water.
Clinging to the walls in the opposite corner of the room is a creature: a Flailing Vine.
Potential Combatants: Pollock, Blood Pudding (Gargantuan)
When the PCs descend to this room the GM can read the following:
You follow the stairs ahead of you, each new step leading you deeper into the darkness below. Suddenly, the stairwell brightens with the flicker of fire. The steps reach their end and you arrive at the opening of a large cavern.
Spear-tip stalagmites share the floor with rusty metal fire basins that break up the darkness with domes of dim orange light. You hear the vague echo of a distant voice.
The PCs have entered a subterranean cavern. Once intended to be an expansion of the sewer, it was abandoned by the city’s builders long ago. It now seems that someone else made a home of it.
As the PCs move through the cavern, the GM should ask them to perform a Perception DC. Any PCs who roll above a 10 will notice patches of dried blood marring the stone floor. When they cross the dotted line indicated on the map, the GM should read the following:
A cruel cackle breaks the murky silence around you, followed by the metallic whine of grinding gears. Moving closer you see a dirty man turning a pulley as he overlooks the edge of an enormous sink hole. Dangling above it like a gruesome chandelier is a group of people tied roughly together by thick, coarse ropes. Hanging upside down, their terrified faces rush red with blood as they peer down into the pit below. The man smiles up at them.
“Our friend is growing restless down there,” he says. “Any volunteers to put him back in his place?” One of the bound people groans a response and shakes their head defiantly. The man frowns. “No? You’d prefer to just be eaten then?” He uses the pulley to start lowering his captives toward the pit, stopping them just above its mouth. He grins, “Or maybe I should cut off another one of your ears? Smaller meal for him, more fun for me.”
He pulls a knife from his belt and starts to reach up toward their faces. With a whimper, one of the captives mutters words under their breath. Shortly after, their body starts to glow with warm light. The man smirks. “See? No fuss.”
|Pollock’s Blood Pudding: Blood Pudding’s can have varying sizes depending on how much blood they’ve consumed. Pollock’s is Huge and has 320 HP. Check the creature’s stat block (p.11) for more information.|
The man’s name is Pollock and he’s a necromancer. Half-mad and a longtime dweller of the city’s sewers, he recently became obsessed with the idea of experimenting with Blood Puddings. Concocting a plan to create and contain one, he kidnapped a group of acolyte clerics and then used their Turn Undead spells to imprison it in a pit he discovered in the caverns beneath the sewers. Every time it nears the entrance, he coerces one of them to cast Turn Undead to force it away. After the initial portion of his plan succeeded, he spent the following weeks abducting people and animals that he then forced into the pit to be drained by his Blood Pudding.
If the PCs try to talk with Pollock, he’ll reveal this information proudly and freely. If the PCs make any hostile actions toward him, he’ll kill the imprisoned clerics by dropping them into the pit. If this happens, the clerics will die on impact and the Turn Undead spell holding the Blood Pudding at bay will be broken.
Pollock will then attack the PCs. Three rounds into combat, the Pudding will emerge from its pit and attack both the PCs and Pollock. What occurs next will depend on the PCs. If they stay in B2 and defeat the Blood Pudding there, that will be the end of the adventure. They can return to the surface and report what’s happened to the city guards.
The guards will give each player 400 Gold and each player will receive 250 XP.
|Pollock’s Personal Belongings: If the player’s fight and kill the Blood Pudding in B2, they may decide to explore the area. In the northeastern corner of the map is a cavern shelf where Pollock had established a small living area. He won’t have anything of value, but the PCs will find a journal detailing his experiments with the Blood Pudding and the various abductions he conducted to keep it fed. It may be of interest to the city guards and could be used as evidence if anyone doubts the party’s story.|
If the PCs attempt to run away, the Blood Pudding will instinctively pursue them through the sewers and even back to the surface and into the city. It will start feasting on the local denizens until the PCs and the city’s defenders can kill it. The city guards should be less generous if things go that far.
AC 12 (Padded), HP 40, Speed 30 ft.,
STR 10 (0) DEX 12 (+1) CON 13 (+1) INT 16 (+3) WIS 14 (+3) CHA 10 (0) Proficiency Bonus +3 Challenge ? (??? XP) Spellcasting. Pollock is a 3rd level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is XX (spell save DC XX, +X to hit with spell attacks). Pollock has the following spells prepared.
Cantrips (at will): Chill Touch, Eldritch Blast, Poison Spray
1st level (4 slots): Hellish Rebuke, Protection from Good and Evil, Comprehend Language, Charm Person
2nd Level (3 Slots): Hold Person, Ray of Enfeeblement,
3rd Level (2 Slots): Animate Dead, Vampiric Touch
Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +1 to hit., reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 1d4+1 piercing damage