A Rudiaria Awakening [a 3-4 hour magic/infernal dungeon]

I'm happy to read that. While I would not want to play a pure dungeon crawl game (not gonna name names), I do think that it offers variety. One big reason I have thrown 2 into the campaign so far, is that that social/politics have taken up significantly more of the campaign's time than I had initially anticipated, and more crucially, than I had told my players in our session zero. So combat focussed scenarios are a way to give some of the limelight to the Mu/Re Co and Cr Ig/Te mages.
I designed this dungeon with their character sheets in front of me (we use google spreadsheets).

  • The choice of making completely sealed rooms in the beginning was to give the Te mage a chance to spont some Te magic as well as to use his peer through rock spell.
  • The skeletons are there for the Co mage to animate in case of a fight (which I why I was mentioning awaken the slumbering corpse on the discord)
  • The choice of making the fallen Covenant partly Re focussed was so that I'd have a reason to drop a top tier Re tractatus on the loot list (for the Co mage, who's had really bad luck experimenting in the lab)

I designed this one with the idea in mind that it can be done all in one go, as opposed to the Drachenfels one, where they clearly hit temporary dead ends which they'd have to research their way through.

Instead, my party decided not to fight the automata (for now) nor to break containment on Eginolf's room, but instead to come back on All Hallow's Eve, to find out what was the source of the noise. So I've spend some time thinking of how to turbo-infernalise the dungeon so that it is both the same, but more so.

My current thought is that in addition to the aura being stronger (which is not normal for magic but is for Infernal) and that the ghosts of Tielo and Hermann, instead of just operating their usual routine, will animate the bodies and attack, leading to fights with janky-out of synch skely-ghosts that inflict both real wounds (with the weapon) and fatigue damage (with the ghostly form).

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You also have the option of giving them "corrected" information from the ghost of Maria. She could ether feed them false information that will make things harder on them or decide that their Covenant might make a nice place of power for her moving forward in which she might want them to succeed. Her providing nominally useful information is also an effective way to integrate herself with the Magi. Effectively giving her an 'in' for furthering their corruption and raising her status with Hell.

The Ghost of Eginolf would not have found any new allies, since he is still trapped by wards. But any other ghost that survived (Tielo and Hermann) can. Since the players have opened up access to the Infernal Aura, anything looking for an Infernal Aura to dwell in could have taken up residence. This gives you the option to add in additional 'bad guys' if more power is needed.

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Oh yeah, the ghost of Maria is going to be a double edged sword. I will open next session with the player(s) conducting her ritual enterrement. From now on they will have a permanent source of Infernal Lore in the Covenant... as well as advice that is not immediately apparent as terrible. One thing which I did not mention is that one of the mages has "plagued by supernatural entities" and that I have not really played much with it so far, for lack of good inspiration.

There is one canonical Infernal character in the region, since the party has never dealt with him, the Bastard of Pfaltz island. But I don't see him rushing in there. I rather see the evil seeming out of the hole and infecting the region, which also ties in to the historical zealot, Konrad von Marburg, which will allow me to tie the Count Heinrich von Sayn, who was both a friend of Albertus Magnus and accused of organising satanic orgies...

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I did not mean having some additional big bad take up residence. I was more implying that minor creatures of Infernal Might would consider it a nice secure location. So you could add some bats with Infernal Might for example. Or anything else you might need to make the fight more memorable.

(This post is irrelevant to the thread, just intended to attract the attention of @Christian_Andersen to the above nobles).

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So I just finished the new session, and i thought you might be interested in the follow up.
The reckless mage buried the Ghost of Maria-Valencia in his lab (with her permission) and hired musicians to follow the ritual burial and finished things off by sacrificing one of the young bulls the Covenant has in their herd. This pleased the Infernal Ghost. The Mage got 1 confidence and 1 warping for carrying out this ritual.

The party went back on all Hallow's eve to the much more haunted Dungeon. They battled the two possessed ghost-skeletons, but decided that they would bring them back to the Covenant and buried them in the same lab, sacrificing a further 2 young bulls in the process (no further confidence or warping was given).

The grog did manage to detect that the aura was infernal, although the party attributes the infernal to the specific night alone, rather than the area being permanently infernal (which is a reasonable guess).

One mage got 1 hit KO'd by the ghost's fatiguing ability, and they brought him out to rest, he was visited by his angel to told him to go finish the job.

The rest of the party spent the worse night of their life waiting in an infernal aura, until the mage came back and they all went to battle the final boss (earning 1 confidence for winning).

It is obvious to everyone that the whole thing was infernally corrupted, and one of the grogs managed to make it to Warping rank 1 (gaining witch marks).

The players have completely figured out that it's infernal, sealed it up as best they can.
But they still discuss the right of access to the ghost and how they might share it's teachings.

Oh, and after sacrificing these bulls, the mage in question wants to sacrifice a ram to Radegast, as the party is down to their studding bull (which itself is born of an infernally tainted bull).


your players sure are reckless.

I would have never imagined that the player would not just rebury Maria-Valencia at their covenant but inside their own lab!

Seems like you guys are having a lot of fun though. Really great that you managed to simultaneously pull off a dungeon crawl and the ars magica trope of "lets go back and finish this another time".

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It was a great session. They also finished the Dunremar Beer heist, while I will post tomorrow.

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that sounds like a great story. I look forward to hearing it.