The Delian Tomb is a low-level dungeon designed by Matt Colville using Dungeonographer in the first episode of his Running the Game series on Youtube. The dungeon is meant to serve as a simple ready-made adventure for a new dungeon master to run for new players on short notice, containing 5 encounters and enough material for an evening's session. Matt also uses the dungeon to illustrate the thought process behind designing a dungeon and how to connect different types of encounters together into a full adventure.
Layout[edit | edit source]
The Delian Tomb is a tomb to a long-forgotten order of knights that has now been taken over by goblins. It consists of three rooms, one of which is hidden behind a secret door. The dungeon consists of six encounters: two fights with goblins, a fight with the goblin leader, a riddle, a scythe trap, and an optional battle with undead knights.
The goblins living within the tomb send out patrols every 4 hours to scout the surrounding landscape and guard the tomb's entrance, which may result in adventurers interacting with or battling the goblins outside. Once the goblins at the door are dealt with, players descend a staircase and enter the first room, a large square antechamber. The walls are decorated with large carvings, one that shows the knights fighting chaos and the other inscribed with their sacred oath. The center of the room contains a brass brazier where people wishing to decorate the knights' sarcophagi would leave offerings. The main group of goblins live here and will fight any adventurers who enter.
A hallway leads out of the opposite side of the chamber and makes a left turn, leading to another room. This hallway is protected by a pressure plate trap connected to a scything blade that swings from the ceiling. Creatures that are too light do not trigger the trap, so goblins and halflings can move over the plate safely, but larger humanoids cannot. The next room contains a large statue of a knight (the head of the Delian order) sitting atop a large dais, inscribed with the words "If you are to keep this, you must first give it to me." The goblins' boss, a bugbear, lives in this room and attacks the players. If the adventurers did not encounter the goblin patrol at the entrance to the tomb, it will ambush them from behind during this battle, potentially putting them in a dangerous situation.
After the bugbear and the remaining goblins have been dealt with, the tomb will appear empty. However, enterprising adventurers will notice that this tomb doesn't seem to contain any sarcophagi. This is because the true end of the dungeon is hidden by a secret door located behind the statue in this room. The secret door can be found and opened with lockpicks, but adventurers can also open it by solving the statue's riddle by reciting the oath of the Delian order: "I, [name], swear the Delian Oath. To serve law, battle chaos, and strive to keep the lore of the Delian Order secret." The room behind this door contains a large sarcophagus containing the body of the order's leader and several smaller sarcophagi. The knights will rise as undead (perhaps skeletons or ghouls) if anyone tampers with the sarcophagi, but those who survive this fight will be rewarded with a magic sword in the main sarcophagus.
Changes[edit | edit source]
Because this adventure is meant to be run with minimal prep, the DM can easily fudge the numbers, removing or adding goblins to encounters in order to make the adventure more or less challenging as need be.
The version of the tomb that Matt made on stream had the blade trap located immediately after the staircase leading into the offering room. He revised it after filming that portion of the adventure when he realized that it didn't make much sense to put a trap before the offering room, since that would likely kill many of the people coming to bring offerings. This also helps illustrate the idea that adventures like this one can be tweaked and changed over time in order to address previous ideas that didn't work or personalize the adventure for one's own needs.
Matt made the original Dungeonographer file for the tomb available for download for anyone who wanted to change elements of it for their own needs.