I’ve been delving deep into the mines of the Dwarves recently for the upcoming world building exercise: PLUNDER OF THE SHATTERED STAR (working name in progress).  So keep an eye out for that because it’s going to be one of those categories here on the Magic Tavern that will get a lot of work in the upcoming months.  And we will be including you in the process.  Teaser over…lol.

No, I thought since my mind was lost in the mines, as it were, I would use this as a DMing exercise to help us all.  Now, mind you, there are more peoples digging mines besides Dwarves, so any of these can be used for whatever mine campaign you have.  As always, if you have anything to add, drop us a comment on here or hit us up on facebook or twitter (links given).

Artwork by Jeff Echevarria for the article ‘In a Cavern, In a Canyon’ in Dragon Magazine #152; Dec 1989

So, without further advertising or ado, Adventure Begins…in the mines.

  1. Upon visiting a mining town, you hear the rumble of an earthquake.  The townsfolk are immediately in a panic as a bell is heard in the hills.  There’s been a cave in.
  2. Coming out of the tavern of the village that wasn’t even on the map, you notice a commotion.  One of its residents, an old prospector, has struck gold.  The town is being eaten up by gold fever.  However, you most perceptive PC notices something strange about the supposed ‘gold’.
  3. You pass through a small town experiencing a gold rush.  People are flooding into the town and buying prospecting equipment at outrageous prices.  Upon visiting the apothecary or the head cleric here, you find that several of the miners have become stricken with an unknown disease.  The cleric (either yours or theirs) realizes this is no disease, but some kind of curse.-
  4. Your party is approached about a discovery in the mines-
    1. A cave-in revealed an opening to a temple
    2. They have discovered an opening to a before unknown dungeon buried for centuries
    3. A magic item of unknown origin
    4. A religious artifact
    5. A historic scroll
    6. A spellbook in an unknown language
    7. Fill in any McGuffin
  5. You are hired by the local mining guild to escort an advanced team deep into the mines where there have been several disappearances.  You come upon what seems to be a harmless stranger.  He welcomes you.
  6. Your party has been hired to investigate strange magic around the mines.  You discover a before hidden cavern and, within, a portal to what seems to lead right into the stronghold of your employer’s enemy.
  7. You spend the night in a small mining village where no one seems to work the mines.  Early into the morning, you are awakened by loud wails coming from the mines.
  8. While checking the tavern for adventure possibilities, there is a monstrous rumble from the hills.  Smoke and debris rain down upon the town as the bells go off and those miners that escape run through the streets in terror.  That’s when you hear the roar of a rather large, unidentifiable beast echoing off the hills.  “Is that a dragon?”
  9. Upon investigating an abandoned mine following local legends of gold and riches, you find the deeper you go, the harder it is to cast magic. 
  10. Following an ancient map, you find an old shaft in the mines.  Setting up camp and dreaming of buried treasure, you wake to find the shafts are all different and it seems there’s no way out.
  11. The mines have yielded strange gemlike orbs.  Upon further study, you find these aren’t gems; they’re eggs.  There’s a rumble coming from the mines.  You fear momma is looking for the kids.
  12. In a town you’re used to visiting, there are some new miners who have struck a vein.  The areas smelter is being controlled by the old mine and refuses to work with the new guys.  A fight is brewing and you know soon, you either move on or get involved.
  13. You’ve passed through this old mining town many times.  The mines ran out long ago, but, at night, you swear you can hear the sound of picks.
  14. You’re called to a mining town.  Recently, the miners who go in disappear.  They offer you gold to go find out what’s going on.
  15. You have tracked a bounty to this mining town.  The bounty’s tracks lead into one of the mines.
  16. After raiding three of the oldest dungeons on your world, your party finds three pieces of an ancient map leading to the most powerful artifact ever created.  Even though it’s missing a piece, it’s obvious that it’s leading right up to the richest mine of the Dwarves.  They’re at war with most of those around and won’t take kindly to trespassers.
  17.  An oracle has charged your group with retrieving an amulet with the power to save the kingdom from a curse.  The only problem is all information points to the old mines in the depths of a volcanic mountain that just recently went active.  You have mere days to get in and out to save the day before the answer is buried in molten lava for generations to come.
  18. While searching out an entrance to an old dungeon deep in the mines, your party finds that the miners have struck something other than minerals and metals.  It’s oozing from the walls; faerzress.  And, now it’s blocking your way out.  The magical energies off the faezress keeps you from teleporting out.  Now there’s only one way to go; deeper into the mines.
  19.  While scouting the mines looking for clues to disappearances, you find tiny tracks.  Goblins.
  20. You are paid to escort a group of miners into a mineshaft long abandoned.  Upon descending, the miners disappear one by one. You find in the bottom of the mine a stronghold/castle in a massive cavern with its own light source.
  21. Your world is coming to an apocalyptic end.  Fire rains from the sky as you run and hide in the mines.  As your city burns, a voice speaks softly to you, “Do as I say and we will save this world…”

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