Continuing the series of individual locations within the Dungeon Under the Mountain, this room is Level 1, Room 20. It contains a perilous item which, if understood thoroughly, may give a hint as to the nature of the original builder of the dungeon... assuming you survive long enough to figure it all out.
A bunch of goblins worshipping a hideous black statue sounds fairly typical dungeon fare, but it will be worth the characters' time to work out how to destroy it - although to allow them to do so requires a little forethought on the DM's part as a certain item will be required, which they ought to have picked up along their way somewhere else in the dungeon. There's a good bit of back-story to explain what's going on, although it's not totally clear just how the characters are supposed to find it out (unless you regard rolling dice against Bardic Lore as a satisfying and believeable method of obtaining information!).
While it may seem an obvious tactic to just kill the goblins, provision is made for those characters who are willing to try talking to them first. And of course there is some loot in the corner just waiting for you to take if you succeed in the challenges posed.
The product conforms to the technical capabilities of other Rooms & Encounters, with the ability to set the level of difficulty to high, medium and low both overall and for individual elements (traps, skill checks, monsters, etc.), add your own notes and tailor the map provided to your needs.
If you are running The Dungeon Under the Mountain, this is probably worth adding as it does give some insight into what is going on. Otherwise, while you could drop it in to a dungeon of your own as an incidental event, it would be better perhaps if you built a whole quest with the destruction of the Black Idol as a climax, using the hints and backstory provided to craft an adventure of your own.
Return to Rooms & Encounters: Black Idol page.
Reviewed: 19 March 2006