This room appears to be some sort of museum display. Engravings on the wall describe all manner of ancient battle. Nearest the door are a desk and a chair with a vase and a flower sitting on top. Hanging from a hook on the wall next to that is an expensive-looking cloak on it. The veneer of civilization disappears near the far end of the room, however, where a mossy growth creates a sort of wilderness display. Near the far wall is a small stuffed rabbit looking at you through glassy eyes while perched atop an old tree stump.
If this was a standard room in a typical dungeon adventure, the first question the adventurers would be asking themselves is, “Where’s the trap? What’s going to kill me when I step into this room?”
This is the Room of Death. The answer is: everything.
This room was created by the legendary mad mage Selrahc Nitram. As a child, a chaotic rogue stole Selrahc’s teddy bear, and thus the mage became consumed with a burning hatred of all adventurers. He created the room as a way of getting back at them, and was shortly thereafter devoured while relaxing in front of the desk.
The room is frozen in time by a specially designed temporal stasis spell. Upon opening the door, the spell is negated for one hour – plenty of time for the Room of Death to do its work.
The Room of Death is a spoof dungeon encounter that utilizes three rulebooks: the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Pathfinder Bestiary, and the Tome of Horrors, a 3.5 edition supplement from Necromancer Games which reprints a number of odd and vicious creatures from the predecessors of the Pathfinder RPG. Some other Pathfinder supplements provide further details on some of the creatures, as detailed below, but are only needed if you wish to go into further detail about the doom that awaits the PCs.
Now…here’s a summary of what kills you in this room.
The Ceiling: Clinging to the ceiling is a lurker above. This giant manta ray-shaped thing blends in perfectly with the ceiling, and then drops down to devour unsuspecting prey.
For added fun, you can check out the lurker above’s Pathfinder RPG conversion along with a detailed ecology of the creature in Paizo Publishing’s Misfit Monsters Redeemed. In fact, several of the creatures detailed here are more fully fleshed out in that book. While Misfit Monsters Redeemed isn’t required to use the Room of Death, it can be used to provide even more grisly details about the room’s inhabitants.
The Floor: Concealed on the floor is a trapper. A trapper looks very similar to a lurker above, but conceals itself on the floor instead. When someone walks over it, it folds itself up and devours them. The trapper may come into conflict with the lurker above as they both rush in to devour the adventurers as quickly as possible.
As a member of the “lurking ray” family, the trapper, like the lurker above, is further fleshed out in Misfit Monsters Redeemed.
The Walls: The walls are covered in stunjelly, which is a translucent carnivorous ooze. It paralyzes anyone who touches the walls, and then breaks their body down and devours them. While the stunjelly tends to kill fewer people than the lurker or trapper, it does get its share of victims from the handful of people who detect the floor and ceiling hazards but fail to pay ample attention to the walls as well.
The Engravings: The history engraved on the wall is actually a series of several well-concealed symbols of death. Anyone reading the runes must make a Fortitude save or die, as per the spell’s description.
The Desk, Chair, and Vase: This furniture is actually a number of different monsters in disguise. The desk, chair, and glass vase are actually three mimics that coat anyone nearby in glue and then attack. The water in the vase is a small water elemental, which leaves the vase and attacks when the mimics drop their disguise. The flower seems harmless, but is actually plucked from the bush of a vampire rose. Anyone picking it up is pricked by the thorns and drained of their blood.
The Cloak: The cloak is actually a cloaker. Indistinguishable from a normal black cloak, this creature reveals itself to have an 8-foot long wingspan and a taste for adventurer flesh should anyone try to put it on.
The full ecology and behavior of the extremely paranoid cloaker can be found in Dungeon Denizens Revisited. In this case, the cloaker has ample reason for its paranoia, as the wizard who created the room has effectively put it into an endless loop of torture and death. It can only hope that the cycle will eventually be broken if it kills enough adventurers and eventually gains release from its unseen master.
The Moss: The moss isn’t actually lethal, but it is a danger, particularly to spellcasters. It is a patch of memory moss, which drains the last 24 hours of memories from anyone who comes into contact with it. This is particularly dangerous, as the first memories it usually takes are of how deadly the Room of Death is.
The Bunny on a Stump: The bunny on a stump is actually a monster called a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When someone gets close to the cute bunny, a pair of tentacles lash out from the stump, grappling anyone who comes near it and dragging them to the fang-filled mouth that appears at the center of the stump.
Like several other monsters here, the wolf in sheep’s clothing is more fully fleshed out in Misfit Monster Redeemed.
The Air: Finally, the air the adventurers breathe contains several aerial servants – invisible creatures from the elemental plane of air. These aerial servants don’t appreciate being breathed in all that much, and eventually get irritated enough to attack the intruders, completing the gauntlet of dangers from seemingly mundane objects that make up the Room of Death.
So there you have the Room of Death. Like it or not, it’s going to kill your PC.