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Dungeons & Dragons 3e: Mad Scientist`s Laboratory

Mad Scientist's Laboratory

If you have ever wanted to send the party to explore the classic 'mad scientist' laboratory, well here is one all ready for you. Outwardly it looks like a normal house but inside... the downstairs is pretty normal too but the upstairs has been gutted and filled with all manner of strange and quite creepy stuff. This is a very versatile establishment, it could be a necromancer's laboratory but it could equally serve if you are playing Call of Cthulhu as the workplace of a cultist even more insane than most, or fit in to just about any genre or ruleset if mad science is the order of the day.

Standing in its own grounds with a couple of outbuildings, one being a stables and the other containing a cart and a stack of coffins, the house has a grand entrance with semi-circular steps leading up to a foyer flanked by a small 'guardroom' which contains a bed and a closet/store room. The foyer opens out into a huge living/dining area that boasts a pipe organ (excellent for some creepy music...) and a grand staircase leading upstairs. A big kitchen, well-stocked larder, a room for servants that sleeps five, and the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom also occupy the ground floor. There is also a library stuffed with medical and other texts, that serves as the scientist's study. Finally, the first of the strange contraptions, a lift that is used to take coffins upstairs, is also there, although it can only be accessed from outside, not through the house.

Upstairs, imagination has gone wild in true Hammer House of Horror style. Two vast and mysterious machines, a dissection room, alchemist's paraphenalia, body storage (in large glass tubes filled with unknown liquids), shelves filled with jars containing body parts... and the focal point, a large table that can be raised up to the roof (which opens) upon which unspeakable experiments of the Frankenstein nature are performed. You will be able to go to town describing all this to your players, with a floorplan to back it all up!

As usual, the 'Rule the Dungeon' feature gives you some customisation tools - grid (hex, square or none), presence or absence of furniture and doors and so on. It's a nice detailed and quite imaginative scene. If your taste leads to the macabre, this is worthy of attention - it would be easy to build an entire adventure in which the exploration of this space is the climax.

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Reviewed: 8 January 2017