The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time

by James Edward Raggi IV
for Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Lamentations of the Flame Princess/D&D
levels 0 to infinity

In the center of a valley that should not be stands a thing that cannot be. Those that go before the Monolith do not return the same as they left. Sometimes they do not return at all.

You see that level rating up there? 0 to infinity? That tells you all you need to know: this is a movie and not an adventure.

Some people don’t like this adventure because it’s deadly. I don’t like it because it’s boring. There’s not enough here to keep a parties interest and while I don’t mind killing characters I DO mind boring the players while doing so. It’s the worst sort of Jr High adventure … without the gonad monsters that kept Jr High games interesting.

So there’s this valley with mist in it. The valley is big. How big? Between 200′ and 1000 AU. Each time you enter the valley it’s a different size. Weeee! Isn’t that freaky?! IS YOUR MIND BLOWN?!!? Oh yeah, oh yeah … well, every time you enter the valley something random happens to to! You might loose a stat point a day, or time might slow down or speed up! BADD ASS, RIGHT!!! uh … right? FREE YOUR MIND MAN!

FREE!

YOUR!

MIND!

During your exciting stay in the valley there is a 1 in 6 chance per day of having an encounter. There are then seven possible encounters. You could be surrounded by spooooooky mists that transport you elsewhere in the valley! CHILLING! You could encounter a cliff that you have to jump off of in order to survive! That’s right man! Spells and ropes and shit will just get you killed! This is THE VALLEY and shit don’t work the way you think here! *BAM* MIND FUCK! Oh, you encounter a nice little pool of water? ?!?GIANT ANGLERFISH! *MINDS* *BLOWN*

All of that is NOTHING man, nothing! It’s just a warm up to the real mind fuck! Once you get inside the monolith the real mind fuck fest begins! Time and space are one! You can Direction and distance have no meaning in the hallways! You have to *think* where you want to go and then you’re there! G E N I U S! Those aren’t talls man! Go back and get talls!

Whoops. Ok, I clearly can not keep this up.

The valley can be very big and yet there are only 7 possible encounters. Combined with the infrequent appearance there’s going to be a whole lot of nothing going on. The encounters are generally nothing special, with a single exception, and in one case is a great example of how NOT to run an encounter. There are some Eloi-like people who live a completely innocent and hedonistic lifestyle … and also eat their newborns. That’s a pretty decent little encounter. Then there’s the owl encounter. Essentially the players are trapped in a clearing with some owl statues, trapped by brambles that grow back quickly. The DM’s instructions are to keep the players there until they are creeped out and then let them out. I wouldn’t be creeped out. I’d be frustrated and bored.

The interior portion of the monolith is much like the exterior, random for no reason. You move by thinking and your thoughts create things. The only thing interesting is the head in a jar. Eating bits of its brain will get you some goodies/effects. Otherwise it’s just more of the same. Think about something and it appears until your players are bored and it’s time for the adventure to be over.

This sort of thing appears several times in the adventure. Things are freaky just for the sake of being freaky. They are random for the sake of being random. They try too hard and as a result the entire thing plays out like one of the bullshit dream-sequence adventurers where the players end up not caring about what happens. At some point in this adventure the players are going to figure out that there’s no reason and at that point the adventure might as well be over. Uh … except you’ve now got a bunch of players who have lost trust in you.

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