Necromancer's Vault of Memories

April 19, 2019
Dungeon
Guild
Map

Vault of Memories

Info-

This is a simplistic dungeon I made for my players. It was intended to be a heist-style dungeon where they had to sneak their way past the innocent receptionist, and somehow find a way to use teleportation circles to breach an inner vault. They were supposed to steal “memory orbs” from the deepest, inner-vault.

Feel free to control your players’ information flow by sharing either of the “player-safe” maps I made for this dungeon.

The front of this place was a dwarven doctor’s clinic, and it appeared to be such until the players started looking through papers in Dr. Stoutheart’s office.

My players also lucked the fuck out, and happened to step on each and every teleport pad they needed in order to hurry to the vault.

I did not populate this dungeon with any monsters, guards or enemies, except a few security guys in the main reception area. I suggest that you do not make my mistake.

Vault of memories (Player map 1)
Vault of memories (Player map 2)
Vault of mories for the DM

Reception Room-

In one corner, there is a hidden ritual circle carved into the stone. This is the “Exit” circle.

Main Office-

There is a faint ritual circle in the far corner of the room. “Keystone 1” (a plain-looking brick in the wall that glows if “detect magic” is used) is located in a corner.


If the players have Keystone 1, the ritual circle will send them to Room 2, Circle A.


If the players do NOT have keystone 1, they will be sent to the “Jail” room, Circle 4.



Jail Room-

If they studied the “Exit” circle, they can use the ritual circle in here to teleport out. If they do not get out, they will be retrieved by security in the morning.


Room 2-

The door into the hallway will be locked with a daggerlock. There will be four circles in the following room. Only circle 4 will work if the players do not have the keystone.


Circle 1- Leads to Small library.

Circle 2- Leads to Room 3.

Circle 3- Leads to the big library.

Circle 4- Leads to the jail room.

Room 3-


Circle A- Leads to Room 2, Circle A.

Circle X1- Leads to the Small Library.

Circle X2- Leads to the exit/reception room.

Circle 4- Leads to the Jail Room.


Small Library-

The door into the library has multiple traps on it. Alarms, a daggerlock, fireball on lockpicker, and causes a tattoo of “I Trespassed at Dr. Stoutheart’s! Arrest me!” to appear on players’ foreheads (unless they carry a keystone).

Inside the small library are an array of memory spheres. Nothing terribly important. The players will be able to find a partial map of the rest of the dungeon if they explore here. Circle X1 does nothing. A sufficient Arcana check will reveal that it is a one-way teleport pad, and it doesn’t send anyone anywhere.

The memory spheres here are what The neuromancers publicly have. They keep their “Big Library” a secret from most people, including the jr-level neuromancers.


Big Library-


This is where the nemomancers keep their “Important” memories. (True VIPs are kept in yet another vault). There is a secret door on the way through that leads to the deep vault.

Hidden in the Big Library is another keystone, with a note attached on how to reach the deep vault. Trespassers within the deep vault will receive a red X on their foreheads that lasts for 24 hours. Neuromancer mercenaries should be able to innately discern the location of anyone with an X on their forehead.


Deep Vault-

This is where the special, VIP memories are kept. Truly horrific stuff, and/or bribe-worthy material is kept here.

The Neuromancers Guild

Inspiration-

One of my players decided for his background that he was a mercenary who was heavily fuzzy on the details of his adolescence. He had previously done lots of jobs for secretive guild of wizards who called themselves “neuromancers”. He was willingly kept blank of memories, except for memories/skills he needed to complete his missions.

What They Are-

The Neuromancers Guild are a secretive (not necessarily criminal, but mayyybe) network of Enchantment & Divination wizards who have the ability to completely remove memories from a person, willing or otherwise. For a fee, a neuromancer will take in a willing client who wants to forget specific memories, or even vast swaths of experience. For a larger fee, a neuromancer will implant memories from one person into another. For a very substantial fee, an unscrupulous neuromancer will forcibly (and traumatically) remove memories from an unwilling person.

Once the memories are removed, they are collected into a baseball-sized “glass” sphere, tagged, cataloged and stored away. Although the memory orbs appear to be made of delicate glass or crystal, they are extremely hardy and difficult to break. (Yes. sigh The memory orbs look like prophecy orbs from Harry Potter. I wasn’t consciously thinking of that when I made this up.)

A memory orb might contain just few things, willingly forgotten for the convenience of a client, or they might contain an entire lifetime’s worth of experiences and memories ripped from a resistant mind.

General Mechanics-

Note- I have personally defined "mental fortitude" by either an intelligence or wisdom save. Alternatively, a player might be also allowed to use an investigation or insight check... Orr, if you're really nice, you might just make up some kind of roll if the player can justifiably explain why their character would be capable of dealing with this kind of stuff.

Any person can willingly view the memories contained within an orb by simply meditating and holding on to it. Depending on the volume of memories within the orb, it could take a great deal of "mental fortitude" to be able to filter through, and locate a specific memory.

Any person (willing or otherwise) can have all the memories held within a single orb implanted into their own mind via a 10-minute ritual. The receiver should regard these “foreign” memories as their own, unless they have a particularly strong mental fortitude (monks, clerics, paladins, some wizards, warlocks†).

Note- I have intentionally made this an "all-or-nothing" kind of mechanic. You either absorb the entirety of the memory orb, or you absorb none of it.

If the person willingly takes on “foreign” memories, then they may be more readily able to distinguish between their own memories, and the foreign ones. Especially if they are the actual ritual caster, and if they have previously familiarized themselves with the memories in the orb. However, depending on the mental fortitude of the person involved, even a willing subject should take psychic damage.

If the person is unwilling at the time of the ritual, then they should make an appropriate intelligence or wisdom save against the ritual caster. The "victim" should have extreme difficulty distinguishing their own memories from the foreign ones, depending on how badly they failed their save, or how mean the DM is.

If a person has taken on “foreign” memories, they should take an amount of psychic damage to be determined by the DM. I have personally scaled according to the following criteria

  1. Was the subject willing, or unwilling or take on the memories?
  2. How many foreign memories are involved here?
  3. Are these new memories particularly contrary to the character of the person taking them in?
  4. How traumatic are these memories? (Note, many of the Neuromancers clients are intentionally forgetting traumatic events.)

If the original memory-holder makes any kind of physical contact with their own memory orb, they will instantaneously regain whatever memories have been placed inside the orb. Very little psychic damage should be assigned, unless the memory is particularly traumatic or horrific.

Once the memories are "removed" from an orb, the orb becomes a mundane glass sphere.

†My table is currently debating on whether Warlocks should have great mental fortitude, or terrible mental fortitude. On one hand, they’re not particularly known for being disciplined folk. On the other hand, Warlocks, especially those with fiend or Great Old One pacts, have seen some shit. A few “foreign” memories detailing grisly murders is nothing to them.

What You Can Do With This-

  • After a run-in with Neuromancers, you can make your players doubt their own memories and experiences.
  • A person can stand inside a zone of truth, and “truthfully” say they did not commit (insert crime) that they totally did commit. This works great for doing some kind of plot with corrupted government officials.
  • A BBEG can “re-invent” his life, following a defeat at the hands of the players. (How would Lex Luthor have turned out, if he didn’t have a burning hatred of Superman?)
  • An assassins/thieves’ guild can have “burner agents” who have willingly stashed away their memories until after high-risk jobs are done.
  • Truly unwanted memories can easily be scoured from your mind.
  • A particularly sadistic wizard or warlock could weaponize these memory orbs, and impart the more “nasty” memories into enemies.

Content info

Author:
u/PantherophisNiger
First posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/
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