Tuesday 8 March 2011

An Adventure for Every Monster - Barracuda!

Frequency Uncommon
No appearing 2-12
AC 6
Move 30”
HD 1-3
% in lair Nil
Treasure type Nil
No of attacks 1
Damage per attack 2-8
Special attacks Nil
Special defences Nil
Magic resistance Standard
Intelligence Non-
Alignment Neutral
Size S to L
THAC0 19 or 16
XP value 20 +2/hp

This hook occurs at a pinch point of the dungeon, through which the party must pass or risk a very long and dangerous detour.
Down a small flight of steps, they enter a flooded passageway, about thirty feet long. At its far end, there is a T-junction. The left hand passage leads to a flight of steps that rise out of the water through an arch framed by carved statues of mermen and mermaids, and up into the darkness. The right hand passage leads to a stone door with a tarnished silver handle. It is impossible to open due to the pressure of the water. Beyond it, there is a small room, empty of water apart from a slimy film on the floor. On its floor are several grilles leading to drainage sluices.
Such is the depth of water that traversing the length of these passageways can only be done by becoming completely submerged.
About twenty feet down the first passageway, there is what appears to be a large stone dial in the floor. It has a pointer on it and if the silt and mud are moved aside, it can be seen that there are four markings around its edge. At present the dial is not set to any of them. Turning it to the markings will produce the following results

1 – a hatchway will open further up the passageway and 2d6 barracuda are released.
2 – solid stone doors will slide down at the ends of each of the passageways, except the one currently sealed.
3 – outlet sluices will open in the floor and the water will drain out taking 2d12 rounds to completely drain away
4 – the solid stone door at the end of the right-hand passageway will open, causing the water to drain into the small room very quickly. Characters will be caught in the flow, deposited in the room and be disoriented for 1d4 rounds. The door will close again after 1d10 rounds and the passageways will begin to fill up again with water.

Once the dial has been turned to a particular setting, it will lock for 1d12 rounds before it can be tried again.

The DM may use whichever drowning and breath-holding rules they see fit to cover this situation.

On the floor of the passageways, currently covered by the silt and murk are several skeletons of previous barracuda victims. They will have coins, weapons and magic items although scrolls will be irreparably stained by their immersion. Suggested treasure types could be L, M, S and possibly Q and X, depending on the level.

If the DM is feeling particularly sadistic, the water could contain parasites that will cause more problems for the party.


  1. One interesting thing about barracuda is they will preferentially go after shiny things. Rings on hands would be the canonical real-world example.