Node-Based Megadungeon: Aristothanes’ Sanctum

This entry is somewhat trickier because I find myself wanting to expand on the primary feature, Aristothanes himself, rather than the region of the dungeon.

This is probably a good thing, really, but it does make it a little harder to write.

Aristothanes’ Sanctum

Campaign or Scenario Role

Scenario: source of information about Clockwork Hell and other regions of the megadungeon, if you can deal.

Campaign: I am tempted to make Aristothanes a recurring character outside the megadungeon


Sanctum of an eccentric wizard who wants to know “how everything works”, and is prepared to disassemble anything needed to figure this out.


  • Moderately powerful crazy wizard, ’nuff said.
  • Sometimes ‘gathers specimens’ from other areas of the megadungeon.
  • He might want to ‘study’ you.
  • Lots of construct and biological creatures around, at least for a while, and they might be “not quite right”.
  • Source of bad water that passes into the Aboleth Conclave via the Fungoid Cavern.


  • Actually has learned a lot, and may be willing to share (show off) what he has learned, if he has an appreciative audience.
  • Knows a fair number of relatively obscure spells.
  • May be able to ‘repair’ or ‘optimize’ creatures’ bodies.  If his theory is correct.


  • Tunnel leading to the Organic Disposal cell of Clockwork Hell.
  • Neutral relationship — some respect, but mostly avoidance — with the Dwarven Crafters in Clockwork Hell.
  • Disposal chute (barred) for failed experiments, leading to the Pit of the Misshapen.
  • Small shrine to Baalshamoth (“Sharer of Knowledge”), conceals a passage to the Fane of Baalshamoth.
  • (if he has scope outside the dungeon) links to various organizations related to wizardry and craftwork.

Description and Identification


This region of the dungeon is full of smells and sounds of animals and machinery.  Sometimes together. In some areas there is a distinct smell of a surprising number of creatures (mostly caged for their safety), in others of… the inside of creatures, where the wizard examines them.  In his workshop you might find the smell of the hot metal of  a forge.


Creatures ‘from’ the Sanctum are almost always modified in some way — perhaps through arcane means, perhaps through more practical, physical techniques.  However it is done, it is clear that they are no longer natural.


Between the Clockwork Hell and the Fane of Baalshamoth.


No actual mechanics yet, but I’ll include notes for later.

  • Living Quarters: where he actually sleeps and whatnot.  Not important to him, so will be fairly small.
  • Automaton Observation: passage to Clockwork Hell.
  • Automaton Workshop: where he constructs and deconstructs automatons.
  • Vivisection: where he disassembles and studies biological samples.
  • Waste Disposal: where he disposes of specimens that are no longer viable or required for study.
  • Library: where he stores written and other (non-animate) research materials.
  • Biological Supply: cages and cages of creatures waiting for examination and experimentation.
  • Evaluation: where he tests the viability and effects of his efforts.
  • Font of Knowledge: shrine to Baalshamoth.
Aristothanes' Sanctum

Aristothanes’ Sanctum

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