Collaborative Dungeon - Sanctuary of the Scheming Simian

To spur discussion and creativity from the r/osr diaspora, I thought it would be fun to collaboratively key a little 9-room dungeon. I got the map (above) from Dyson Logos’s blog and came up with a dungeon title and theme. Reply to this post with a room number and description to key a room. Let’s see what we can come up with.

Sanctuary of the Scheming Simian. A human-hating mandrill stumbled onto a crown of intelligence in the ruins of an ancient civilization. Since, she has fortified the ruins and now uses it as a base from which to launch attacks against the loathsome humans.

  1. Midden

Towering heap of dung (soft murmuring, piles of monkey waste, banana peels, and human corpses), 2 sleeping guard chimps (drooling, hugging each other).

Searching the dung heap takes two turns and causes an infection (-2 to attack rolls) from the monkey feces if the searcher is unprotected. Inside are 7 pairs of diamond cuff links and a talking golden mask. No matter what, the mask can’t shut up. It is ancient and knows of the old civilization as well as the monkeys’ recent doings.


1 Pilgrims’ Porch

Huge birdman statue (as tall as an horse-mounted man, sapphire eyes), chittering parrots (3d4 of them at any time, another 4d6 can be called forth from the forest)

Raised by a couple of steps from the forest ground and covered by an intricately latticed stone roof, it used to be where the pilgrims from all around gathered waiting to be granted access to the sanctuary. Now its only occupants are the talking parrots. They aren’t very smart, but they were allies of the ancient civilisation. They might help the players if persuaded they come from that same civilisation.

PS: Do we want to make this a PDF dungeon and release it somewhere once we’re done?


Absolutely. If we can get it all keyed, I’ll make it a PDF, credit everyone, and release it for free on Drivethru and Itch


Completely new here, I’ll throw a little bit in here. Here’s two ideas, was thinking they could slot into 4 and 5 neatly:

  1. The Laboratory: This is where the mandrill experiments with potions, poisons, and mutations. She has a collection of cages with various creatures and humans that she subjects to her tests. Some of them have become loyal servants, while others have become twisted abominations.

Potion of Animal Friendship A yellow liquid that makes animals friendly to you for 1 hour. They were making these to easily acquire animals for experimentation.

Syringe of Mutation A metal syringe with a green liquid that can alter the physical traits of a creature when injected

  1. The Library: This is where the mandrill keeps her collection of books and scrolls from the ancient civilization. She has learned some of their secrets and magic, but also corrupted them with her own twisted ideas. The library is guarded by a giant spider shaped human test subject that spins webs of arcane symbols.

Book of Notes. A leather-bound book that contains the mandrill’s notes on her experiments with the syringe of mutation. It reveals the names, traits, and weaknesses of some of the creatures in the dungeon. The contents are written with a cipher, the code originally being from a paranoid wizard of the ancient civilization. Their bones are in one of the mutant abominations, and the spirit of this wizard barely holds onto them.

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I like the lab idea! Maybe the mandrill was able to brainwash some humans to make them her servants?

  1. Big game hunter extraordinaire Jahruk Kel and his posse of 5 fighting-men have setup an ambush after they retreated following an unsuccessful raid fended of by the Scheming Simian’s slaves. They did not expect to fight humans and therefore will be hostile with the party unless they prove they are not the mandrill’s minions.

Should we stat them as well? Also I hope our implied setting has gunpowder because Jahruk Kel has to be armed with a big ass blunderbuss.

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I always dig a blunderbuss. And yeah, you’re more than welcome to stat NPCs if you’d like (I usually assume HD, AAC, dmg, motivation, and morale). I had envisioned this as a low level (e.g., 1-3) adventure but I’m open to whatever.

Cool idea, it would be nice to regularly create with community inputs. With some time, a OSRPIT compendium could be compiled.

It’s probably a bit cliche but this simian theme remind me of the “monkey see no evil, hear no evil, speaks no evil” so ….

  1. The 3 guardians :
    Three baboons are alternating guard turns keeping intruders from the northern door.
    The first baboon had is eyelid shut close with seams. The second baboon had is lips shut close with seams. The third baboon had is ears torn off.
    They share a single silver axe to keep watch.
    By the shades of the southern walls, fields of Nefata Simiforma are cultivated by the mandrill and her minions. This peculiar flower is known to procure euphoria and bliss to different monkey species.
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This is great! I dig the body horror and the image of three guards passing one weapon around on shift changes.

I’d also be totally down for regular community content. I just discovered this forum and saw the Pit Zine for the first time today. It looks really cool and contributing to a project like that seems fun

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Here are some ideas about some of the mutated test subject types, either held in cells or loyal and allowed to work:

  • Subject #1: A human male named Rolf. Not loyal to the mandrill, fears the spider protecting the lab and library. Injected with a dose of lizard DNA. Result: Grew scales, claws, and a tail. Became more agile and stealthy, but also more cold-blooded and sluggish. The mandrill means to further mutate him to see if she can make a psuedo-dragon.

  • Subject #2: A human female named Mara. Not loyal to the mandrill, within a jail cell. Injected with a dose of basilisk DNA. Result: Grew horns, scales, and a petrifying breath weapon. Multiple legs, some small vestigial human legs, others full working basilisk legs. There are 2 petrified beings in her cell, two guards. She is treated with extreme caution, and mostly left on her own. Became more powerful, but also more arrogant and greedy. She has a small stash of random shiny baubles behind a broken brick in her cell. Some of it is valuable, most of it is not.

  • Subject #3: A monkey female named Lila. Loyal to the mandrill. Injected with a dose of bird DNA. Result: Grew feathers, wings, and a beak. Became more graceful and swift, but also more fragile and skittish. Ferries messages by caught birds to nearby towns, written in the guise of a scared father and son begging for help, trapped and forced to toil. Written hastily and poorly. These letters are meant to lure fools to the dungeon for more test subjects.

  • Subject #4: A human male, young teenager, he doesn’t remember his old name and uses Skit. Loyal to the mandrill. Somewhat likes his new form, found old life terrible. Injected with a dose of rat and spider DNA. Result: Grew eight eyes, rat like fangs, and gray fur covered spinnerets. Became more cunning and venomous, but also paranoid. Practices magicks in the laboratory, protects it. Catches small animals himself to try his hand at mutation.