I am working on “Devilmounting” the module “Horror on the Hill” by Douglas Niles. The hill is nameless, so in the tradition of Dyson’s Delve, I’m smacking the creator’s name on it. Has a lovely foreboding feel.
I will be sharing more about this as we go, in pieces. When I’m done I’ll put out a scenario ready to play that is inspired by but not an adaptation of Horror on the Hill. The maps will be different, the keying method rebuilt from the ground up, new art–I got some basic ideas from the module, but “Conquering Niles Hill” will be a new thing.
There is a magic fountain you drink from in Horror on the Hill, and it does stuff to you in the classic old school tradition. In my version, the fountain was built by Cambions from the Tartarean Sphere, and it is infused with organic satansteel. If you drink from it, this is what it might do to you! (And I think it’s better than adjusting your stats and level.)
The effects of drinking from the fountain are permanent. Each character is affected by only one drink. The best chance to reverse the effects is consulting an alchemist and a sage in tandem, both of whom have experience with satansteel and its uses. Even then, breaking the curse is an adventure unto itself.
- Gain +1d4 x10 foot infravision. When in use, eyes get an iridescent black patina (biological satansteel.)
- Gain the ability to survive on nourishment from raw meat alone. Teeth are sheathed in an iridescent black patina (biological satansteel.)
- Lose the ability to speak. Gain the ability to telepathically communicate with one person at a time within 10 feet per your level.
- Become androgynous and asexual, sexual organs disintegrate. Spend 3 hit points to cast Disguise on yourself, as the 3rd level Wizard spell, at will.
- Gain the “Read Magic” skill after 1d4 minutes of writhing pain. If you already have it, go catatonic for 1d4 weeks, and upon waking, gain 100 experience per week of unconsciousness, with no memory of what transpired.
- A dark mottled stain spreads under your skin, granting you +2 to stealth rolls, and +1 chance to surprise. This only works if you are not wearing metal armor. It grants you -1 reaction in civilized company. (Biological satansteel.)
- Gain the ability to breathe dark fire at one opponent in melee range, inflicting 1d4 magic damage and taking 1 hit point. In melee, this can be a separate attack before the normal fight. You cannot add stance or combat bonus or ally bonus to this attack, and it only hits a single target.
- Become invisible to magical scrying attempts, magic to dispel invisibility, and so on. However, you no longer cast a reflection in mirrors, and you no longer cast a shadow.
- Your face sloughs off, your eyes become burning pin-points in your sockets. Your senses still work normally. You gain 30 feet of darkvision. Gain +2 or -2 on reaction tests when using intimidation.
- Grow a pair of horns that are 1d6 x4 inches long. At first nothing seems to happen; after a turn where a headache starts to build, the horns force themselves out while the drinker screams in excruciating pain. If hacked off, the horns will grow back the next time the drinker sleeps.