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Sample Libraries

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 152
Libraries can exist in a wide variety of forms, from actual collections of printed books, handwritten scrolls, and indexed volumes to single, encyclopedic tomes of abstruse wisdom or painstakingly detailed legal contracts full of impenetrable language. The following are some examples of types of libraries characters might visit to conduct research. Rather than a specific name, each of these sample libraries is given a generic title that indicates the nature of its collections or where it might be located. GMs can use these examples as guidelines for creating their own custom libraries.

Reading a Library Stat Block

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 152
The libraries presented below use the following format.

Library Name: This is the name of the library, archive, book, or other repository of knowledge.

CR: This is the CR of the library, representing its complexity and the possible dangers found within it.

XP: This entry lists the experience points gained for reducing the library to 0 kp.

Complexity: This value is the DC of the Research check required to reduce the library’s kp.

Languages: This lists the languages necessary to navigate the library without magical aid or Linguistic checks. If a library has multiple languages, and the researcher does not possess the ability to read all the listed languages, she can still attempt checks, but for each language she doesn’t know, she takes a –2 penalty on Research checks.

Research Check: This entry lists the skills (usually Knowledge skills) that can be used to attempt Research checks. If a library allows untrained Knowledge checks due to the extensiveness of its collections, that is noted in this section as well.

Knowledge Bonus: This entry lists the bonus (if any) a library grants on specific Knowledge checks. This bonus applies to all of the Knowledge skills that can be used for Research checks in that library, and affects all such checks attempted by a character inside a library or studying its contents, whether they are Research checks or single Knowledge checks.

kp: This entry lists the library’s maximum number of knowledge points.

Research Thresholds: These entries list a library’s research thresholds, and the specific piece of information learned at each threshold.

Town Sage’s Abandoned Study

The town’s sage has been missing for about a month. Not only do the various notes and tomes in his study contain secrets about his hometown, but a careful search can also uncover clues as to his disappearance.

Town Sage's Abandoned Study   CR 2

XP 600
Complexity 13 (easy)
Languages Common
Research Check Knowledge (local) or Knowledge (nature);
Knowledge Bonus +0
kp 6

Research Thresholds

kp 3 At low tide, a hidden entrance to underground caverns becomes visible beneath the town’s docks. According to a number of local legends, pirates hid their booty in the caves.
kp 1 The flower seller in the town square is the local priest’s illegitimate daughter. Given the priest’s vow of chastity, if this knowledge became public, he could lose respect among the townsfolk and likely his position as the town’s priest.
kp 0 The leader of the bandits in the woods outside town claims to be the deposed lord of the neighboring barony, and wants to raise an army to take back his title and lands. The sage’s notes indicate that he was planning on seeking out this bandit lord and using his records to help prove the veracity of the claim.

Wizard’s Arcane Library

With a cruel wizard vanquished, the only clue to what kind of wards he has placed on his spellbook can be found in his arcane library. The library also holds other secrets.

Wizard's Arcane Library   CR 6

XP 2,400
Complexity 18 (easy)
Languages Common
Research Check Knowledge (arcana, untrained), Knowledge (planes), or Knowledge (religion); Knowledge Bonus +2
kp 18

Research Thresholds

kp 15 The wizard’s spellbook is warded with a fire trap.
kp 10 The password to bypass the spellbook’s fire trap is “everiss.”
kp 5 The ghost the wizard keeps locked away in the tower can only be permanently destroyed if her wedding ring is returned to her descendants. The wizard hid the wedding ring in his extraplanar stronghold.
kp 0 The elder xorn Gissijaak has a taste for garnets, and can be convinced to guide people to the wizard’s extraplanar stronghold on the Plane of Earth if bribed with a particularly large stone.

Imperial War College

While this large collection of tracts, scrolls, schematics, and battle plans tends to deal with military strategy and the building of fortifications, secrets are hidden amid some of its more obscure works. These secrets give some insights into the hobgoblins massing on the borderlands of the duchy, plus the fate of a long-missing heirloom and a possible way to retrieve it.

Imperial War College   CR 12

XP 19,200
Complexity 32 (average)
Languages Common
Research Check Knowledge (engineering, untrained), Knowledge (history), or Profession (soldier, untrained); Knowledge Bonus +4
kp 36

Research Thresholds

kp 30 Master Saval at the Hammer and Anvil believes that red hair is a blessing from the Lord of Battles, and frequently offers discounts on masterwork and enchanted weapons to ginger-headed warriors.
kp 25 When the Duke of Gacy was slain in the Battle of a Hundred Spears, his legendary shield, Bulwark, was never recovered. It is believed that the hobgoblins’ war chief, Klathuk the Merciless, took it as a trophy.
kp 15 Detailed blueprints illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of Fort Kallin. All of the border forts on the northern frontier were built to the same plan.
kp 5 Scouting reports mention a shield matching Bulwark’s description in the hands of a hobgoblin warlord currently gathering an army in the Yellow Hills. It’s rumored that this new war chief is either the descendant of Klathuk the Merciless or defeated the aging warlord in battle.
kp 0 A secret postern gate in the southeast wall of Castle Daminal provides access to the guard barracks. The castle fell to the hobgoblin warlord a month ago, and it’s believed he is using it as a base of operations.

Astral Dragon’s Memory Palace

This esoteric library is an immersive mindscape where an ancient astral dragon stores her knowledge and memories in an elaborate cloud palace. The mindscape is overt and has a self-contained shape. Its feedback is harmless, and it has normal gravity, normal time, and magic works normally within it.

The dragon’s memory palace is extremely complex, and filled with nearly all of her experiences from her millennia of existence, categorized in a very occult fashion. What is even more challenging is that outsiders can access the mindscape only while the dragon sleeps. While the dragon tends to slumber for long periods (typically between 7–13 days), when it awakens any intruders are expelled from the mindscape—unless they discover the secret that lets them stay within the mindscape while the dragon is awake.

Astral Dragon's Memory Palace   CR 18

XP 153,600
Complexity 46 (difficult)
Languages Draconic
Research Check Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), or Knowledge (planes); Knowledge Bonus +5
kp 54

Research Thresholds

kp 50 The dragon saved a group of shulsagas and, in return for the assistance, those strange disk-riding humanoids gave her a password that allows the dragon or any of her allies to enter shulsaga territory unhindered.
kp 40 The shulsaga password is “kayith namast.”
kp 30 Deep in a particularly volatile section of the Astral Plane, the shulsagas are building a large vessel that they plan to use to raid other planes. They seem especially fixated on raiding the Boneyard, the Negative Energy Plane, and the Positive Energy Plane.
kp 20 There is a way that interlopers can stay within the memory palace while the dragon is awake. They must first have dimensional anchor cast upon them while in the memory palace and must refrain from eating, drinking, or sleeping while the dragon is awake.
kp 10 A planar map shows many portals scattered around the Astral Plane that allow passage to most of the other known planes. The dragon believes that the portals were created by manasaputras, but has not been able to learn why they were created or what keys are needed to open them.
kp 5 The astral dragon has accumulated a substantial treasury kept on the Positive Energy Plane in the care of a group of jyoti. The dragon worries that the jyoti have no plans to return her hoard.
kp 0 A map and occult ritual found in the library claims to allow living creatures to enter the Akashic Record, a demiplane in the Astral Plane tied to the heart of occult philosophy.