Den of the King Snake

Alright, here we go–time to really get out of my comfort zone! I designed a little adventure to utilize the villains I homebrewed for Tim. While I do DM a lot, this is the first time I’ve designed an adventure that wasn’t tailored to my plot and party; it’s probably a bit uneven as a result. But hey, I’ve got to start somewhere, right?

This adventure is based on the original Robin miniseries, in which King Snake attempts to recover a sample of the bubonic plague from a secret Nazi bunker hidden underground in France. It is intended for a party of four 6th-level Pathfinder 2E characters.

There’s simple map to go along with the adventure, built using Dungeon Scrawl–a super easy way to whip up a map! I’m terrible at map-building and even I could use it effectively!

The bunker.

THE SETUP
The villainous King Snake, aided by his lieutenant Lynx and their gang of Ghost Dragons, has discovered an abandoned bunker that holds a deadly bioweapon. The party must rush to prevent King Snake from retrieving and unleashing the bioweapon on his enemies.

ROOM A: ENTRANCE HALL
This small hallway opens out to a larger room to the west, with a door on each other wall. The players enter from the south. The door to the north is a standard, unlocked wooden door; the door to the east is locked tight. There is an alphanumerical keypad next to the locked door. Above the keypad is graffiti that reads, “Hail to the KING!” A single Ghost Dragon Thug leans against the north wall, but panics when the players enter and runs yelling into the chamber to the west.

The eastern door has a simple entry code: 5464, which spells ‘KING’ on the alphanumeric keypad.

Note: Because the comic this is based on was written in the ‘90s, I designed this bunker with somewhat contemporary levels of technology. However, I understand that it might be weird to put keypads, keycards, and the like into a fantasy setting. If you’d rather, you could make this a language puzzle a la the famous ‘Speak friend and enter’ puzzle from The Fellowship of the Ring—perhaps the players need to speak the Elvish word for ‘King’ or something like that. Alternately, they may need to interact with a series of runes in the correct order, rather than punching in a number on a keypad.

ROOM B: TROOP QUARTERS
This large, open room seems to be serving as temporary quarters for the Ghost Dragons. It features a table, chairs, and a few scattered cots. Currently, several Ghost Dragons are seated around the table, jumping to their feet when their ally rushes in from the entrance hall.

Ghost Dragons
2 Ghost Dragon Gunners
3 Ghost Dragon Thugs
Aside from the one who just ran into the room shouting a warning, the Ghost Dragons here are relaxing: they’re lounging in cots, playing cards, drinking, etc. Many of them will need to stand up on their first turn. They may not have weapons on their person, but they should be close at hand. In terms of combat strategy, they’re all a little surprised and panicked, but they’re used to working together so it shouldn’t take them long to adjust to the fight. Thugs will likely try to team up against a single target, while Gunners will keep their distance and try to prevent the other party members from helping whoever the Thugs are going after.

ROOM C: TROOP QUARTER/STORAGE
A few more cots line the walls of this room. In the back, there is a small latrine, as well as several storage lockers. The lockers contain a handful of old coins and a few rusted weapons, but little else.

Note: This could be a good place to sprinkle some light loot, like a potion or two, but it shouldn’t have much inside—the Ghost Dragons have already raided it of any valuables.

ROOM D: TUNNEL
This long tunnel is filled with Ghost Dragons, including Lynx, King Snake’s second-in-command. There is a single door at the far end of the tunnel, guarded by Lynx.

Lynx and the Ghost Dragons
Lynx
4 Ghost Dragon Gunners
Lynx runs a tight ship, so these Ghost Dragons are much more prepared for combat than the previous group. Lynx will try to stay mobile, ideally striking multiple targets per turn if possible. Gunners will work to support her with Covering Fire.

ROOM E: ANTECHAMBER
This small room is barren, but features a door on each wall. The players enter from the west. The door to the south is locked; the door to the north is a heavy-duty sliding door with no obvious opening mechanism save for a keycard reader to the left of the door.

Note: Again, if you don’t want to use technology like keycards and such, you could easily swap the card reader for, say, a diamond-shaped indentation on the wall; then, instead of discovering a keycard in Room F, the players can find a small gem that fits snugly into the indentation and opens the door.

ROOM F: CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS
This small, disheveled room features a bed, a side table, and a desk. Various papers are strewn about and a thick layer of dust covers everything. A blue keycard lays on the desk beneath a pile of papers.

Note: This adventure assumes that the Ghost Dragons are here to grab the bioweapon and leave—they aren’t sticking around, so these quarters are unoccupied. Alternately, if you want to use this dungeon as a more long-term base of operations for some villains, this room might be the leader’s personal quarters, in which case it could have some useful items and perhaps offer some insight into the villain’s motivations or history.

ROOM G: COMMAND ROOM
This room was clearly intended to serve as the command center of the base; a long table runs through the center of the room, surrounded by chairs.

Note: In my original plan, Room F was King Snake’s room and this room was Lynx’s. Then, I realized that the Ghost Dragons weren’t putting down roots here, so that didn’t make much sense. Still, if you wanted to use this as a base, you could easily make this room a little smaller and use it as the personal quarters of a villainous lieutenant—in which case, some useful loot is probably in order!

ROOM H: DECONTAMINATION CHAMBER
This small room sits between two massive sliding metal doors. Once players enter, the door slides shut behind them; there’s a pause, a grating noise, and then a puff of dust issues from nozzles embedded in the walls. Afterwards, the door before the players slides open to allow them into Room I.

ROOM I: PLAGUE ROOM
In the center of the room is a podium with a glass case atop it. Inside the case there are three vials filled with an unknown liquid. Standing before the case are King Snake and a few Ghost Dragons.

King Snake and the Ghost Dragons
King Snake
2 Ghost Dragon Thugs
The two Thugs will attempt to pin one person down for King Snake to assault; King Snake himself will fight relentlessly against anyone who approaches him. Once the two Thugs are dispatched, King Snake will—through the use of either an electronic or magical device, depending on your tastes—turn off the lights in the room, giving him an advantage over characters who lack Darkvision.

Note: You may or may not want to utilize the bioweapon itself as part of the final fight. Perhaps King Snake, as he nears defeat, will shatter the case and a vial of liquid, hoping to unleash the deadly weapon within and take the party down with him! You could choose a disease you find appropriate for the party to be subjected to, or perhaps it creates a cloud that fills the room and deals constant poison damage each turn until the players escape it. Then again, if you don’t want to bother with it, you can simply ignore it.

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