painting by Victor HugoTo celebrate the impending release of Open Design’s Soldiers of Fortune sourcebook for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, author Matt James brings you additional material for a military campaign.



Encounter Background

During the last encounter, the PCs located the entrance to the abandoned dungeon and were attacked by roaming giant camel spiders. Now, they must enter the dark and mysterious complex.

Any PC who makes a successful History check (DC 22) knows this location was once a vibrant and wealthy city. Sadly, the city was lost to a great cataclysm that left the entire area buried under leagues of sand…

Encounter 2: The Tower of Zazerlae

Encounter Level 5 (1,000 XP)

Entering the decrepit and decaying entrance, you enter a room of wonders. Softly glowing sigils and runes provide an ambient light, and the temperature difference sends chills down your back. An exit descends beyond your vision, yet magical protections seem to prevent further progress.

The PCs have entered the very top of an ancient Zazerlae wizard’s tower, possibly one of the tallest buildings in the ancient society. Only a skilled arcanist can bypass the entrance’s wards, allowing the party to continue their journey into the depths.

Goal: The PCs are trying to gain access to the tower.

Complexity: 2 (6 successes before 3 failures)

Primary Skills: Arcana, History, and Insight

Other Skills: Perception

Victory: The PCs successfully decipher the ancient arcane lock and safely access the tower complex.

Defeat: The PCs inadvertently (or perhaps purposefully) activate the arcane lock’s defenses. Each PC loses 2 healing surges.

Arcana DC 15 (1 success, 3 maximum)—You read the sigils and runes that pepper the entrance. You understand the magical sequence used and can begin unlocking the door.

History DC 22 (1 success, 1 maximum)—You once studied this period, and you recall the ancient society that dwelled here used these protections on many of their buildings.

Insight DC 15 (1 success, 1 maximum)—Judging by the sequence of the runes, you can puzzle out how they fit together.

Perception DC 10 (no successes, 2 maximum)—You locate key markings on the door that help you understand the sequence. If successful, the next Arcana check used to decipher the runes and sigils receives a +2 bonus.

Ending the Encounter

Continue on to the next encounter.

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