Work is proceeding on the "setting" portion of the first level book for my megadungeon. That part will probably be done in the next week or two, and then I'll be sending the level off to my volunteer editor for review. I've also got to do some mapping of the City Underfoot for the Wednesday night session, in case the players decide to go after Thor's silver hammer, and I want to flesh out the Stinkborough adventure hook that the players have studiously been ignoring. Even when ignored, those chickens (or flies, in this case) do come home to roost.
In the meantime, I've got to start thinking about keying the second level. This "special" encounter will be down there somewhere, but I'm not sure which room yet. It could be a game in one of the carnie tents outside the big top, but I'm thinking a player-vs-player contest like this is best stuck somewhere else. The carnie games will all be rigged and gruesome, and this game doesn't have that flavor.
In the center of this room is a round stone table atop a pedestal, with a nearly-transparent yellow dome covering the tabletop. The pedestal is ornately carved, with pairs of smiling and frowning figures engaged in contests of strength. On top of the table, under the dome, is a pair of twelve-sided dice, one black, and one white.
A person can put one hand through the dome without resistance, and pick up a single die. The dome will be impassable for a second hand from the same person. A second person can also put a single hand in, but any additional people will be blocked by the dome. Neither can the dice cannot pass through the surface of the dome – the dome acts a solid surface with respect to the dice.
Objects other than a character’s hands (and forearms, of course) cannot penetrate the dome. Should characters experiment with holding objects in clenched fists, and dropping them on the table, or wearing gloves, they will find that they can leave objects under the dome this way, and remove them later – only the dice may never be removed.
The table is a game of chance. If two individuals roll the dice simultaneously, the person who rolls highest will gain a point to a randomly selected attribute, and the loser will lose a point from a randomly selected attribute. On a tie, each player both loses a point and gains a point. Note that the attributed for each gain and loss is determined separately – player “A” could gain a point of Charisma, while player “B” could lose a point of Strength. They do not have to be the same. This rule applies to ties as well – player “A” could gain a point in Strength, and lose a point in Intelligence, where player “B” could gain a point in Dexterity, and lose a point in Dexterity, and thus have no change at all.
Roll a d6 on the following table to determine which attribute gets modified for any gain and/or loss:
No attribute can be raised above 18 via this game. Re-roll to select a different attribute if an attribute is to be increased, and is already at 18 or higher. If a character has all stats at 18 or higher, it is impossible for him to receive any benefits from playing this game. Correspondingly, no attribute can be reduced below 3 – re-roll to determine a different attribute to reduce if it is already at 3 or less. If a character has all stats at 3 or less, he cannot be further harmed by playing this game.
The dice, when released simultaneously, will wildly bounce off the table and inside surface of the dome, sparking madly at each impact, confounding efforts to cheat by trying to control the landing of the dice.
If the dice are rolled by the same person, or not rolled simultaneously, there is no effect.