Apples of the Underworld (NSFL)

“The Alexandrian ” has a nice post with 101 curious items to throw into a dungeon to keep things mysterious.  One was a bushel of ripe apples, hidden away in an otherwise ancient and undisturbed place.  I kind of like the idea although it will immediately scream “trap” or “illusion” to PCs.  I think it would be more appealing if the apples are actually growing “down there” in the dungeon, in some obviously magical area.  PCs may be genuinely tempted by them, and I’d have them provide some minor but appealing benefit (heal some damage or restore a year of aging, say).

The PCs should then discover that they can only benefit once, or or better yet once per day, from the apples.  They will likely pick the tree clean.

Upon return to the surface, they will be surprised and disturbed to find the apples rotten and crawling with maggots.

Did I just eat .. one ... of ... those?!?!

PCs who eat an Apple of the Underworld heal d6 damage (if undamaged, their physical age is reduced by one year).  This effect can be had but once per day. PCs who eat one and return to the surface  before it has been fully digested (say, one day) must save versus poison every turn, until they successfully make three in a row.  Each failed save causes successively worse effects.

1st failed save: spend one turn retching and vomiting contents of stomach. take 1d4 damage.

2nd failed save: spend one turn retching and vomiting blood and maggots. Take 1d6 damage, and temporarily lose d6 from STR, CON, and DEX (regained in two days, if the character survives these poison saves)

3rd failed save: spend one turn retching and vomiting blood and chunks of viscera (stomach lining, intestinal cilia, etc.).  d30 damage.

4th failed save: lose consciousness; maggots erupt from all orifices; death follows in one turn.

I will never buy dented fruit again, no matter how deeply discounted.

Sages do not agree on the origin of the Apples of the Underworld, and so far no sage has dared enter a dungeon to examine a fresh one or the strange trees that produce them.

*NSFL = Not safe for lunch-time reading

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Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Very nice ideas — both the apples and the list of items!


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