Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cave of the Great Bell

This adventure was a light bulb moment which occurred after my children asked me about Fraggle Rock this morning. The show launched in 1983 which is also the year I discovered Dungeons & Dragons. In looking for some good pictures online to share with my kids I stumbled across the cave of the great bell map. It is seen in Episode 301: The Bells of Fraggle Rock.  

I decided to take some of my favorite Fraggle Rock memories and incorporate them into a system agnostic dungeon crawl. The Cave of the Great Bell is intentionally not completely fleshed out. I encourage any DM using it to add, modify and delete as they see fit for their respective table top groups. I hope some of you have as much fun using it as I did creating this tongue-in-cheek delve.

DM Background
An ambitious young necromancer found her way into the Cave of the Great Bell. The harmonic chime of the angelic bell was soothing to the necromancer and she wanted it for her own. After subjugating the race of fey creatures which cared for the bell her own lust for power proved to be an undoing. A risky experiment with a gelatinous cube went terribly wrong and the necromancer was dissolved by her own pet. That being said, her evil will remained and tainted the cube. It became distorted in shape, oddly intelligent and able to wield the magic of undeath. It is now simply known as the Glob.

Cave Overview
The caves are considered small by human standards but were voluminous to the Fraggles who stood maybe 25” tall. Most halls and chambers support between 6’ to 8’ ceilings and very narrow widths. The map is not meant to be 100% to scale with the grid so adjust accordingly to accommodate various circumstances. When in doubt remember the theme to fall back on is small and constrained environments. Unless otherwise noted the caves have no special illumination although glowing fungus could grow in patches in various areas of the DM’s choice.

Former residents of the cave
Fraggles were a noble race - fearless, dignified, and intellectual. They represented the very pinnacle of civilization and culture. Music was the greatest of the Fraggles’ art forms, but Fraggles also possessed uncanny curiosity and great athletic ability. Fraggles naturally had physical prowess and a dance-like grace.


Stories of ancient caves and the haunting sound of a great bell fill the tables of a local tavern. The locals are always ready to share rumors over a frothy mug of ale.

Rumor Table

1   There once was diminutive anthropomorphic creatures living in the cave. (T)
2   The bell ringing is caused by evil dwarves. (F)
3   Avoid the mist because it brings death (T)
4   In ancient times there was a legendary sword lost in the cave (F)
5   All who enter the cave must pay homage or be cursed (T)
6   A terrible horror has made the cave its home (T)
7   Diamonds grow everywhere inside the cave (F)
8   There is an area of the cave overgrown by toxic plants (F)
9   The bell is worn on a collar by a great dragon (F)
10 A garden of giant vegetables is in the deepest parts of the cave (T)

Room Key

1. Entrance: A natural cave, small animal bones crunch in the underfoot. A barely decipherable phrase is etched onto one of the walls at knee height: Dance your cares away, Worry's for another day, Let the music play, Down at Fraggle Rock. Any PC walking past the cryptic phrase without playing some sort of music or singing a song must make a saving throw or immediately fall under the effects of Otto's irresistible dance.

2. Mossy Cavern:  Dense clumps and mats of multi colored moss; toxic smell, heavy air; strange bulbous eggs. Hiding under the moss are Poison Cacklers (6). They have large teeth, long, protruding tongues, and tails similar to a scorpion's. The poison cackler emits a terrible shrill like a hyena when attacking. Use a variation of a Giant (poisonous) Spider for statistics. Inside a 3’ high pile of toxic offal is 5 gems (20 gp, 3×75 gp & 200 gp value)

3. Falling Rocks: Crumbled rock litters the floor; impenetrable darkness after 6’ of height; skeletons amidst the rocks; chirping of crickets. The chamber is magically trapped and will drop rocks on anyone passing through for 4d6 damage (saving throw for ½). One of the skeletons still holds a battle axe +1 in its boney grasp.

4. Golden Apple Grove: Sickly Sweet smell; 10’ tall tree with phosphorescent glowing apples; small wicker baskets. The tree has not been tended to and the fallen apples have become a source of nutrition for a Yellow Mold (1) colony. The remaining golden apples can easily be picked and if eaten will heal 1d6 points of damage per apple.

5. Radish Garden: Massive red leafed taproots protrude from the soil here. Bitter smell; damp and squishy ground; strange clicking sounds; many chew marks on the leafy parts of the plants. The garden is no longer cared for and now home to a community of Giant beetles (12). Although they are herbivores they will defend their food supply violently. Metallic colored with great jumping ability.

6. Great Bell: Enormous metallic bell (8’ tall) encrusted with rock; eldritch runes etched in the stone floor; chill air; decaying smell; broken gong in east corner; thick cobwebs. Fraggle Ghouls (6) wait in ambush behind a crack in the bell. Fraggle Ghouls are able to cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter each once per day. They are also considered diminutive and should receive a bonus to their armor class to reflect their very small size. The runes upon the ground are the remnants of a preservation ritual.

7. Batworm Cave: Upturned earth; guano smell; clumps of hair all over ground; stalactites.  A colony of Flying Batworms (40) calls this place their home. There is a 50% they will be sleeping and not awaken if the PC’s do not disturb the ground. If the colony feels threatened it will launch from the soil and swarm any intruders. These creatures appear as large bloated earthworms covered in thick black hair with membranous wings. Use standard bats (or bat swarm) for statistics. The one caveat being mucus the batworms spit which causes Cackle Fever. Saving throw or succumb to disorientation, and frequent bouts of hideous laughter.

8. Terrible Tunnel: Supernatural chill; feeling of being constantly watched; pulsating walls and floor; strange warmth; gold filled treasure chest end of the tunnel. This sentient and malicious cavern feeds on anything which dares to enter. Any PC who spends more than 1 round here must make a saving throw or immediately lost half their hit points. This damage effect will continue every round with a 50% loss of hit points on every failed save. Those affected will feel as if something is chewing them and see thick pools of saliva at their feet. The chest is an illusion created by the cavern and really conceals a sticky pit of tar. Any PC stepping here becomes mired in the tar and must make a strength check (DM’s choice) to escape.

9. Echo Hole: Flimsy Miniature Bridge (fraggle sized) spans 10’x10’ hole; amazing sound echoes; fungal smell; bulky adventurers backpack other side of chamber. The Echo hole is an approximately 10,000 feet abyss, creating a unique echo unlike anything the PC’s will ever hear. The adventurer’s pack is all that remains of the last spelunker to fall victim to the hole. The pack is 15’ past the far side of the hole and stuck on a stalagmite. Floating in the darkness on the other side are Gas Spores (4). Any PC who finds a way to cross the pit will then see the creatures and probably mistake them for Beholders. Characters falling into the Echo Hole should be considered dead unless they have a means to prevent their decent.  The adventurer’s pack contains 3 pine torches, tinder & flint, 20’ of hemp rope, rotted rations, potions of healing (x3), potion of giant strength and wand of fireballs (3 charges).

10. Gelatinous Greetings: Steamy and humid air; multiple small geothermal pools; smoothed crystal walls, unnatural darkness. The Glob waits for the PC’s here in the shadows and will roll toward them for a surprise round. The Glob appears as a large gelatinous ball filled with swirling black magic and bones. Treat the Glob as a Gelatinous Cube for statistics and a 3rd level Wizard for spell allotment. The Glob’s movement rate should be increased to reflect its ability to roll and squeeze past objects. Room contains 512 gp,
potions of poison (x2), a wand of magic missiles (9 charges), and a Necromantic spell book with seven 1st level spells, four 2nd level spells, and two 3rd level spells, determined by the DM.

Fraggles can turn up anywhere!

This blog article and website is not affiliated nor connected to the Jim Henson Company, the Walt Disney Company or any sister companies. This is fan material only.