The UMM D&D Wilderness Adventure!

Here’s a short solo D&D adventure that I play every day.

Your destination is the university (and specifically, my lab) on the right side of the map. You will enter from the left, or west side, either from town or my house, the blue marker. There are three main entrances: 4th Avenue, on the top, which is a bit round about and only has a pedestrian walkway to the north, and also skirts the perilous cemetery; 2nd Avenue, south, which is really only for vehicular traffic and mainly gives you access to glamorous parking lots; and 3rd Avenue, the middle and most direct route. It’s difficult and dangerous to detour to 2nd or 4th from 3rd Avenue, since there are no sidewalks along College, and the roads are currently packed ice, inhabited by wandering bands of student cars.

Conveniently, there is a footpath from 3rd & College, my starting point, directly to the Science Building. Excellent! Unfortunately, it slopes gently downward, and when we get any snowmelt at all, followed by a freeze, it turns into the Slalom of Death. We’re going to get a brief thaw today, followed by a plummet once again into bitter cold. I may die tomorrow.

That same path becomes more navigable in the summer, but it is surrounded on both sides by leafy ground cover and lots of trees, and is inhabited by clouds of blood-sucking monsters in the summer, the Tunnel of Blood. The stirges hibernate in the winter, at least.

Roll for initiative. Choose your path. ‘Ware wandering monsters. I hear there are bugbears and slime beasts in the administration building off map, to the right, so don’t get clever and think you can just go around.

There is a dungeon in the science building. Also a book store where you can replenish your supplies of t-shirts, pens, and candy bars (not much in the way of books, though).


  1. cartomancer says

    I cast a “Greater Protection from Cold” spell, strap on my Sandals of Sure Feet, prepare ten feet of rope with a grapnel for possible pit traps, then stay at home and join the class online.

  2. says

    I do! Currently unusable, because (thanks to my tendinitis problems), I have to wear a pair of oversized boots to work. Don’t want to chafe that Achilles, after all. He has a temper.
    I’ve got a birthday coming up in a few weeks, and told my wife this is an excuse to get out to Cabela’s or someplace and get some high quality walking boots (see also Sam Vines Theory of Socioeconomic Inequality.)

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Rich Wood @ 8
    Quoth the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
    I teleported out one day
    With John and Sid and Meg
    John stole Meggie’s heart away
    And I got Sidney’s leg.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Yog-Sototh, The Opener Of Ways was pretty useful for The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Maybe you can bypass ordinary dimensions when getting to work?

  5. birgerjohansson says

    I recall Johannes Cabal made good use of the warren of tunnels dug by the ghouls. If you find a route under the streets to the cemetary the rest will be plain sailing.

  6. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin suspects the Good Perfesser’s house is actually a (dormant?) Tardis, and they could simply materalise in or near the lab — even before they demateralised, so to try and get some extra time (albeit that’s a bit hazardous and might destroy the Universe). However, she also claims that Tardis has a randomiser installed, so whilst the Good Perfesser might materalise at the lab (if the plot demands it), or at the Planet of the Spiders (Metebelis Three), they are quite likely instead(? in addition?) to have a series of increasingly-unlikely adventures which makes the Slalom of Death a refreshing jog through a pool of freezing cold boiling lava whilst being chased by Daleks with a monster-of-the-week awaiting the Good Perfesser’s arrival. And probably some actual hazards.

  7. PaulBC says

    For reasons unknown to me, I had an instantaneous vision of solving this problem with airship shuttles. (Maybe just the steampunk in me. It always comes down to airships, doesn’t it?)

    Thinking this through a little more, how about small tethered blimps? They’re cost-effective and fuel efficient. Surely cheaper to operate than a monorail, right? Give me a few billion $ of seed funding, and I will reshape our very notion of a college campus.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Blf @ 16
    In Dirk Genyly’s Holistic Detective Agency, there are some extreme problems with linking a tardis to the university. It is probably easiest to find a conventional solution, like borrowing a gateway from a goa’uld.