Chiron examines the nearest pillar; it looks like old stone, pitted with chips and cracks and overgrown with verdigris, but there are no purposeful marking that he can see. Meanwhile, Orim puts his eye to the 20ft broad approach to the lip of the dark hole; it appears firm and sound, excepting perhaps a few flags at the very edge.
Satisfied, the pair approach the dark, diamond shaped hole to peer over the edge. They see the fissure drops perhaps 50--60ft to a spill of treasure on the floor below! No sooner have they grasped this than a sneering voice issues from above them: "GRa GRAAaaaJHA, FJHUC KR-AZZS MJHA??"
Immediately looking up, the brave pair espy a lion-sized knot of aphotic serpentine coils, clinging improbably to the chimney wall 30ft above them! Dark scales glimmer as the serpent arcs glide silently in continuous motion, its awful crocodile-face regards them steadily through alien eyes...
The players have forced the door, so there is no chance of them surprising the monsters.
Will the monsters surprise the players? 1d6=3, so no. Bummer.
Okay then, so the encounter distance would be 2d6=8, so 80ft. Okay, in the context of the chamber, that can be 80ft from the main company near the doorway.
Do the monsters speak common? 1d6=?
Initial reaction check 2d6=?
So now we dive down to the combat-turn timescale people.
At this point, only Chiron and Orim have seen the monster. Everyone else in the room will have heard... something.
the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern
; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch