Scroll down to the _______*******_______*******_______******* to find some suggestions as well as some player behaviors that emerged.
To start, I'd like to say I've never DM'd before so many of my calls may seem odd, but my goal was to funnel the characters down to about 8-10 in number.
The dungeon started out fine. The first door trap killed the character that knocked it over. The second door trap killed another player, but good luck on their part made only one of their characters die to the spear trap.
One of the problems I noticed with the massive amount of characters was that everybody in my party only moved one character around. For example, "My Dwarf Miner goes to the statue and looks at it." It took about 10-15 minutes for them to figure out that the statue moves with the biggest group.
Another problem was, when they figured it out they decided to split in to an even number of people to which I had the statue always point to the party that was closest to a door.
Finally, they opened a door and it killed 5 of their characters in the first blast, so, seeing a TPK in the making I decided to only have it go for one round. I decided to change it so every time a door was opened it would blast the larger group.
So they went in to the snake demons room and only one character died. They deciphered the tablets, grabbed the horn and meditated with it and rolled well enough to get the scroll. The word meditate wasn't used, but it was close enough.
From here on, the party had insanely good rolls and very interesting ideas, so they did very well, which made me have to change more of it.
They went back in to the statue room and decided to cap the statues finger with an iron helmet one of them had. They rolled a ton of 19's and 20's and their plan was elaborate enough that you sort of had to let them do it.
They also decided to use two equal sized parties to open the other two remaining doors. I had the statue shoot the helmet at one of them, doing d10 damage and then doing a bit of aoe blast damage that only ended up doing one damage to three, killing another one.
So, now we're at about 25 characters left.
They decided to check out the room with the moving bones first and one of the players decided to attack them with his characters, and then the rest followed. Since they were crappy piles of bones that could barely move and they decided to attack the bones immediately, they trounced them.
Anybody who has read this should know the problem that this posed. I have about 25 players left and the biggest danger is now gone, sans the statue. No biggy, these guys love treasure and the crystal room should pose a huge threat to them.
Note: As they left the room I did another fire blast, but I rolled like crap and they rolled very well. None died.
As I said, I figured treasure would be their weakness. I was wrong. They started grabbing the crystals, ignoring the non-aggressive crystal creatures (one of the characters also tossed their torch on the ground, and the crystal creatures sort of migrated to that). So, they counted how many they were picking up and at 50 I told them that the floor started to buckle.
They all got out of the pool and one character spent forever getting 100 crystals. I mean, if they all wait around and let this guy do it, there's not much I can really do given the situation. "Oh the crystal guys start attacking all 25 of you!" Not much of a threat, and I didn't want to adjust the stats on these guys. I also had a plan.
So, eventually the floor fell and that character died. They dropped a chicken they had in to the hole and the clay guardians killed the chicken. They then had one character jump down and he fell to his death. They then decided to throw a molotov cocktail down (they had the items to make one and they rolled very well so...) doing some damage to a few of the clay guys. I also decided that the water was going to do nothing to these gents (it magically disappeared when the floor collapsed). They then grabbed one of the crystal dudes and tossed him down. I decided this was a non-hostile action since the crystal guys apparently had animal brains and, grabbing a chicken or some such from the rest won't make the others go in to protect mode.
The clay guys didn't see the crystal guy and he was just sort of forgotten about.
Anyway, they go down the stairs in to room 7, the one with the small silver statues in it? Here's where I dramatically changed the scenario.
In the clay room I decided that there were seven silver statues on a ledge, unmoving except for the arm and finger which always points to the character closest. The clay guys would go for that character.
The four silver statues in room 7 corresponded to the statues in room 8. They were also on a table and they functioned similar to how a mouse functions. The idea was that they had to knock the silver statues down and the armies that the silver statue controlled would be deactivated.
Well, they figured this out very fast, before the clay statues could reach them, so I decided 12 clay statues would remain.
They fought the statues for a bit, taking some damage but nobody died. The statues dwindled in number until four remained. At this time I decided to do two things.
1. The room behind them started to collapse.
2. The clay statues began to morph together (I decided they were unheated clay).
I was hoping they would run and have to face this big clay blob creature with a sweep attack, but instead they continued to attack him. The creature had the combined health of the remaining clay statues plus a few extra. I lowered his AC but gave him one damage absorb (with fire being his weakness).
So, they did a round of attacks on him, lowering him to about half. When the clay monster went, he did a sweep attack that did d8 damage to everyone that didn't do a reflex save. If they didn't die (I rolled a two), they were knocked on the ground for a round.
10 characters died. 5 were knocked on the ground.
The next round they left him with 5 health. My players did some really neat cooperative stuff, using any available oil and fire, coating their weapons and rolling very highly. They like fire.
So, the next round a flaming sweep attack only did d4, but I made them roll above a 15 or take d4+2. 2 characters died.
The next round they killed the beast, and he exploded. Three characters died.
They got the treasure, talked to the goat head, and smashed the crystal ball (we don't do business with demons, they said).
10 characters out of 32 lived, two people have two characters.
First, I would recommend putting the statue in room 1-3 in some sort of 'cage' that players can't go near. The amount of climbing they did on this thing was a bit out there. For example, one of my players rolled three 20's in a row to climb to the top of the statue and blind fold it with some of his robe. He got the clue from the "intelligent eyes" part of the description of the room.
Second, maybe make the crystal guys become aggressive when you start picking up the crystals in the pond.
As for player behavior, two things happened.
1. Players realized they had potentially powerful characters with some of their rolls (we had quite a few characters with more than one stat above 16, and then we had a good number of characters with stats below 6 across the board) so they treated the weaker characters as cannon fodder/hirelings.
2. With them knowing that level 0 characters die, they tried to preserve them by acting fairly intelligently. Mind you, they did do a few things to 'test the waters' with their bad characters, but for the most part they preserved their 'good' characters.
All in all, the level 0 concept was a blast. I love purely random characters and DM'ng with a horde of characters was very lol.
One thing we really liked was the snake demon and the room he was in. The tablets, the throne, and the snake demon itself was very well done. One thing I didn't know what to do with was the horn and the scroll. They tried very hard to use the horn but there wasn't anything for me to go by so I didn't know what to do with it other than make it look pretty.
They also liked the treasure.