Node-Based Megadungeon: Clockwork Hell

Clockwork Hell

Scenario Role

Contains most of the recoverable secrets of the wizard who owned the Abandoned Tower.  Largely puzzle-based encounters; while there are defensive automata, they will largely ignore you if you don’t cause trouble.


Mechanical madhouse, with lots of inexplicable machinery (and servitor automatons to protect and repair it).  I am suddenly reminded somewhat of Castle Heterodyne from Girl Genius, and of the ‘advanced civilization’ areas of recent Zelda games.


  • Repair automatons are trying to restore service of the clockworks in the Abandoned Tower.  They view things that disrupt their work as problems to be removed.
  • There is a mechanical awareness to the entire place.  As more of it becomes functional, the entire thing becomes more sentient.  Currently not developed enough to have a goal, per se, but certainly enough to work toward self-preservation.  Who knows what it will want when everything is working properly?
  • May run into Aristothanes.


  • Lots of knowledge about constructs, if you can figure them out (the dwarves from the Dwarven Safehold are working on this, exchanging construction materials and craftwork).
  • If the clockwork can be won over, perhaps it could become an ally of some sort.
  • May be able to initiate a relationship with the Dwarven Safehold via the dwarven crafters.
  • May be able to initiate a relationship with Aristothanes.


  • It is possible to climb from the Clockwork Hell up into the clockwork tower of the Abandoned Tower.  It becomes more difficult as you go because things have broken and settled in the wrong places, and the repair automatons are feverishly busy working here.
  • There is a maintenance tunnel from the ‘top’ of the Fungoid Cavern to a relatively open area in the Clockwork Hell, originally placed as an alternate route in cause — as has happened — the clockworks above are damaged and the normal access denied.
  • Aristothanes came to the Abandoned Tower to see what he could pillage salvage.  He found his way to the Clockwork Hell and built a small sanctum with access so he could continue to study the Clockwork Hell.
  • Dwarven engineers and craftsmen from the Dwarven Safehold are often present, learning how the Clockwork Hell works by fixing it and crafting for it.
  • Hydraulic systems draw water from the lake of the Aboleth Conclave Outpost.  This may be related to the breakdowns suffered here.

Description and Identification


A large, multi-celled region filled with automata and moving equipment.  Lots of platforms and catwalks (and skyhooks and large beams for things to move on) and gears and screws and other equipment.


Finely-crafted objects.  Older ones are clearly masterwork, newer ones show clear signs of dwarven craftwork.  If you look closely enough, all items of a particular type show exactly the same markings.


Below the Abandoned Tower.


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

  • Primary Drive: delivers power from the Engine to the clockwork tower in the Abandoned Tower.
  • Engine: provides the motive force used by the various components of both the Clockwork Hell and the clockworks above.  Safeties have shut down many pieces because of failure elsewhere and will require control from the incommunicado Gearheart or direct control by a knowledgeable engineer to restore service.
  • Security: the automatons that respond to threats to the Clockwork Hell are centered here and provide a final defense for the Gearheart.
  • Gearheart: the mechanical awareness that controls the Clockwork Hell.  Due to system failures it cannot currently communicate with all cells, so they have fallen back on automated maintenance programs to try to restore service.
  • Repair Bay: contains the automatons and manufacturing equipment that maintain the place.  Having lost communications with Gearheart most components can no longer be repaired or new construction done, but the Repair Bay has been ‘studying’ the dwarven crafters and duplicating their work.
  • Dwarven Crafters: The repair bay hacked out a room for the dwarves to work in.  Actually located more on the same level as the maintenance tunnel.
  • Stores: Construction material and the like is stored here.  Unwanted organics are ferried away for disposal.
  • Organic Disposal: anything organic that is not useful is ferried down here to the Fungoid Cavern for their use.  Aristothanes has managed to conceal an entrance into this area that he uses to access the rest of the Clockwork Hell.  The security automatons ignore him as long as he doesn’t cause problems, but a hole in the wall would be a security problem and fixed.
  • Backup Maintenance: passage from the ‘top’ or ‘near end’ (toward the Abandoned Tower)
Clockwork Hell

Clockwork Hell


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