Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bag of Krampus

Krampus has really started to gain traction as a holiday favorite in my neck of the woods. I recently started using Krampus as part of my holiday D&D game to much success. Just the idea of a dark counterpart to St. Nicholas punishing the naughty is perfect for a game session. With Krampusnacht (Krampus night) coming on December 5th I thought this was a perfect time for a new magic item. Legend holds that Krampus captures terribly naughty children in his bag and then takes them to his lair.

I decided that Krampus must have lots of help with this task. Santa has his elves right? Therefore Krampus being an ancient powerful being has created an army of simulacrums. In addition he has a plethora of magical bags to carry away naughty children in.

Bag of Krampus

This either appears as a black cloth sack or a fruit picking basket pack. The bag of krampus opens into a non-dimensional pocket space: The inside being larger than its outside dimensions. Each bag is physically unique but is a gateway to one of the many lairs of Krampus. Regardless of what is put into the bag, it remains weightless. If a sharp object intentionally pierces the bag from the outside its magic will be ruined forever closing the internal gateway thus becoming a mundane bag.

The only way to rescue any trapped children inside the bag of krampus is to actually enter it. Once inside there is no possible way to escape unless the dimensional anchors are located and destroyed. These consist of bundles of birch wood switches known as ruten. Krampus uses them to swat naughty children but the magic also binds other living beings to the lair. If the lair inside the bag is cleared of ruten bundles and any trapped children it becomes a bag of holding. Use the following table to determine the result:

Bag of Holding (d4)
1.    Type I
2.    Type II
3.    Type III
4.    Type IV

If a bag of krampus is placed within a portable hole nothing happens. However if it has been transformed into a bag of holding then all normal rules and penalties apply.

Adventure Hooks (1d4)
1.    The PCs hear of a small town with missing children and a large posted reward for their safe return.
2.    A bag of krampus is found inside the room of a niece or nephew of a PC. They are missing.
3.    The PCs wake up inside a lair of krampus wearing rags with raised switch welts all over their bodies.
4.    The PCs unknowingly purchased the bag of krampus ages ago. Krampusnacht week begins and children vanish wherever the PCs frequent.

Most lairs of Krampus are cold and unforgiving cave systems with long corridors to torment children as they are dragged through them. Loud noises such as screams echo freely and a ghostly light is provided by the icy walls.

Random Corridor Encounters (d6)
1.    1d4 lost children
2.    1d6 skeletons covered in ice (+3 AC bonus. Successful fire based attack negates).
3.    Animated Naughty List. Targets non good aligned PC’s first. Can cast up to 3rd level spells.
4.    1d6 goblin servants pulling a screaming child to the cooking pit.
5.    Animated coal. Large piles block the path. Makes ranged attacks against PCs for 1d6 rounds.
6.    Krampus Simulacrum. Counts as a troll with the visage of a goat with tall horns, long tongue and hoofed feet.

Room Key
1.    Cooking pit: Foul odor of cooking meat; floor strewn with lumps of coal; piles of wood; huge rotisserie. Goblins (3) are happily cooking someone or something in the pit.
2.    Krampusnacht Chamber: Faded mosaics of people parading through villages dressed as krampus; barrel full of ceremonial staffs; piles of coal on floor. One staff is actually a staff of the serpent.
3.    Ruten Garden: Frozen stalactites; sour tree sap odor; groves of birch trees; feeling of being watched. Treant (1) hides in the largest grove. 50% chance any melee weapon striking it sticks to the sappy bark hide. Strength check of 15+ needed to remove.
4.    Dimensional Anchor: Secret Door to enter; four bundles of ruten with arcane glow; clumps of mottled fur; eldritch runes smattered on walls and floor. 50% chance that a Krampus simulacrum is encountered here. All four piles of ruten must be destroyed to disable the dimensional anchor.

Have you been naughty or nice?

If you enjoyed this check out Tales from the Game Tavern issue #2