View Full Version : 15th Level Water Temple (My players should not read this)

2009-04-03, 05:47 PM
Hello GitP! I am devising a water temple quest and I've run out of ideas. I was wondering if any of you had some? The campaign is gestalt so keep that in mind if you suggest encounters.

One more thing, the campaign setting is Ebberon

And seriously, if you're in my campaign do not look at this.
I mean it

So far I have decided that the inside of the temple will be an extra-dimensional space, so there is no limit on how big the rooms will be, in fact, the threshold into the temple is impossibly large compared to how big it is from the outside.

Also, Teleportation spells, such as dimension door, teleport, greater teleport and the like do not function, in addition, you may not shift to the ethereal plane here.

The first encounter is a room with 10 feet of water on the ceiling, suspended there magically, with a Waterveiled Assassin hiding in the pool of water. The PC's must find the key in the water on the ceiling to move ahead.

I'm pretty much stuck on the next part, but most of the temple needs to be water based.

The final boss is going to be a large room and a fight with a Bronze dragon.

Thank you for your help!

Edit: Also, please put any important DM knowledge only stuff in a spoiler.

2009-04-03, 05:52 PM
Well, I see you've already got a final encounter planned, but I think an Aboleth would be a cool baddie. I mean, what better way to end a Water Temple adventure than to face off against a giant Lovecraftian horror and its dominated slaves? And since it's Eberron, you could even do a cool Psionic Aboleth Telepath or something like that.

If not, do something with Kuo-Toa (there are some cool ones in MMV) - that way you can use their deity, Blipdoolpoolp!

2009-04-03, 05:56 PM
Unfortunately, my party likes to pretend that Psionics doesn't even exist.

And perhaps I should have also mentioned that the place is supposed to be ANCIENT.

Time moves slower inside too, every hour spent in there is 2 hours on the material plane.

2009-04-03, 06:02 PM
Well, Aboleths still work for "ancient," and can work without psionics. (See the Monster Manual/SRD for the Aboleth Mage, an Aboleth Wizard 10.) As a bonus, it's already CR 17, meaning it'd be a challenging, but beatable, encounter for your players.

If it's that old, you could also do some cool stuff with golems/constructs, water-based elementals, and other immortal-type creatures. You could definitely use Ruin Elementals (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20070607a) (which can be found HERE further down the page), though you'd need three or so to challenge a 15th-level party.

2009-04-03, 06:08 PM
I am definitely using lots of water elemental stuff, this temple will pretty much be the veritable Ocarina of Time Water Temple made for D&D, water freaking everywhere.

I even had an idea of a room completely filled with water, but when you opened the door, the water doesn't pour out, it stays up sort of like in cartoons.

2009-04-03, 06:58 PM
So, er, was anyone else going to post?

2009-04-03, 08:18 PM
I guess I'll try to help brainstorm a bit.
An idea for a room could be instead of the water pooling in any area, there are columns of water twisting and turning, basically rivers suspended in midair entering and leaving the room. Possible ambush area as amphibious creatures swimming very fast downstream leap out of the water onto the party. Also could be their escape route if they wanted it.

Taking a page from legend of zelda, you can always play around with raising/lowering water levels and freezing chunks of ice for platforms. But I'm pretty sure raising water levels is what made that temple a maddening experience :)

For a general layout you could have them basically trying to get deeper and deeper into the temple, and they have to go to these classic style encounters to find a switch/lever/keyhole to keep lowering the water so they can keep getting deeper into the temple.

About what type of encounters though, not sure. I'm not too good grinding out CRs.

2009-04-03, 08:53 PM
I'd at least once hit the players with a Huge Advanced(through templates) Elemental. A Gargantuan one has 24 HD, and is only CR 11, meaning you could easily toss Fiendish or something on it for huge SLAs.

I'd also have a couple of high-CR(say 20) fire creatures imprisoned by water. Give the players ways to defeat them using the enviroment, or just to help them escape(which would conviniently lead to the Flamer blowing up water creatures on his way out).

Reduce the size of Water Elementals to make them qualify for a Swarm. It'll be homebrew, but if fluffed right, awesome. "A thousand angry eyes pour towards you in a wave, destroying all that they pass over. Stones are ripped out of the walls, and flung ahead of them, and the corridor in their wake lies in ruins. Roll Initiative."

Use an aquatic race, such as Water Halfling or Aquatic Gnome for an Undead Cleric of (non-good Deity of the Sea that may or may not exist anymore) who after discovering this temple a thousand years ago, decided to remain in perpetual worship. The Undeadness is actually just a gift from his deity for his faithfulness, as is the odd race. Not actually a combat encounter, though he opens with "Why have you disturbed my sanctuary?"

Golems set to defend the treasure vault.


A heavily-sealed door inside the vault, with warnings on it in an archaic language that promise death to those that attempt to open it. (It's a pressure door, keeping out the ocean, and the players have to close the treasure vault door and seal it or the place will flood, losing the treasure in the process. Not actually an encounter, more a punishment for them being stupid enough to open the door.

Half-Dragon Dire Shark. Pushover combat. At which point, the Awakened(by the Dragon), Advanced mother of this thing shows up. 10 class levels+20 HD are nothing to sneeze at.

And of course, the blow that would cause Dragon's death triggers a Contingency to bring the collapse of the spells that keep the area intact, meaning the place floods, and the character has to choose whether or not to actually kill the Dragon, or change their action to running. The real issue is that(IMHO) most of the fun things to do with encounters are best at around CR 10.

2009-04-03, 08:59 PM
Reduce the size of Water Elementals to make them qualify for a Swarm. It'll be homebrew, but if fluffed right, awesome. "A thousand angry eyes pour towards you in a wave, destroying all that they pass over. Stones are ripped out of the walls, and flung ahead of them, and the corridor in their wake lies in ruins. Roll Initiative."
Actually, you can use the Elementite Swarm from... Manuel of the Planes I think. It's only something like CR 7, so you'd have to beef it up quite a bit, but once you did, it'd be pretty awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Rising Phoenix
2009-04-03, 10:36 PM
'Walls' that are actually portals/views to the elemental plane of water/ocean/ abyss etc. Creatures from within the walls can move freely about the room (even in air) and attack the PCs but the PCs cannot enter the 'walls'. Sorta like a huge aquarium...

"The room you just entered has no walls and is illuminated with a pale blue, filtered light from above. There's no floor either it being replaced by a pitch black abyss.
Thousands of silvery fish twist and turn in unison around you as sailfish and tuna attack them and a grand shadow slowly makes its way over you as some leviathan swims above.
Suddenly everything flees and from the darkness you notice something huge rising menacingly... roll initiative..."

Something along those lines anyways...



2009-04-03, 10:41 PM
I like alot of these ideas, Thank you very much for the advice.

This temple should prove very interesting.

2009-04-04, 09:53 AM
How about portals to the water plane equivalent?

2009-04-04, 10:04 AM
Hey, instead of being a mere, boring, extra-dimensional space on the Prime Material, perhaps it's actually a pocket-plane of the Plane of Water, created by the Dragon who is trapped on the plane. Have him offer whatever it is the party wants for the way out about mid-way through the fight.

As for puzzles, a water pump room, that powers the mechanical constructions in other rooms, such as elevators, and spiked walls, as well as the resets for the mechanical traps. In order to pass, the pump has to be started and stopped, but the only way to reach it is to jump into the resevoir and be SUCKED into the pump, then pushed out into the tank. Either taking crush damage until they reach the switch underwater, or having a few minutes before the cylinder refills to reach a pressure door to use the switch. Of course, getting out is a bigger problem, because the pump has to be off to not get sucked right back in, but has to be on to exit the room. Of course the creative solution is to have a summoned creature hang around with instructions to push the switch after a set amount of time.

Perhaps a single room with multiple floors of water. Describe as a massive vault which no ceiling can be seen, and only a single support column in the center of the room. To one side of the room is a chunk of water, perhaps 15' by 20' by 20'. Two spouts of water go up from it to another chunk suspended in the air. These chunks rise up through the room into the darkness. To get through you must enter the water, and go up one spout, to reach the exit/switch to open exit then down the other spout to descend. The water acts as solid as if suspended between other water in an ocean, but if you go too far out the bottom you fall, potentially to your... splattering death. Unless you stack some of the water ponds. Encounters can enclude anything that can both fly and swim, or anything that might be encountered in deep water.

Traps can be water driven walls that ram shut crushing anyone caught, either as a possible instant kill 'Fort Save' or just crush damage if you want to be nice. Spiked ceilings running the length of the room so that when the trap goes off, ten feet behind the floor drives upwards to catch any unsuspecting party members.

A 'living' maze. Walls that move across corridors to cut off different segments of the party, splitting them into pairs or singles, with level appropriate encounters. A rogue might be able to tumble between panels as they close and a wizard could discern a pattern to the movements. A listen check might reveal the sound of water rushing to alert of a triggered wall. And 'Fighter Smash!' just starts the rooms flooding.

That water room where it doesn't flood out, but just stands up could be a perfect place for a Kuo-Toa ambush, or perhaps a battle between Kuo-Toa and Sahuagin. Especially if it's been stalemated and both sides are willing to offer the outsiders the secret to passing on for help in defeating the enemy.

You could also throw water level changes at them, exposing chests to the air lets them be opened, because the weight of water is off of them. Perhaps the door can only be reached by lowering and the raising the water with the chests open, but it has to be a certain combination of chests open and closed. Too many closed and the door is sealed by pressure. Too many open and you can't reach the platform. Perhaps it's got to be just enough to hold a switch active, but not enough to cover the door. Perhaps the water on the other side is knee high and when they realtively equal you can open the door, but get pushed around as the water equalizes.

And of course since it's a water dungeon, one room should be solid ice. To pass you have to flip switches until water cuts a path through the ice. Of course it's then ice cold, so you're taking cold damage as you go.

Another good one, is a combat encounter. The party enters a long, clear hall, and around half-way down, suddenly tell them to roll for initiative. From the ceiling a few golems drop, that had up until then looked like stalactites, which means you can have fun with the descriptions. Or you could unleash a HORDE of dozens of them in order to either A) chase them back, or B) chase them into a trap room.

Another pushing trap is to start lowering huge stone slabs one at a time, and push them through the hall. This is particularly fun if there's an item of treasure that's valuable enough to make them wonder if it's worth A) dying under a ton of stone, or B) bashing their way through. Of course, it could also be a fast resetting trap, where as soon as they're through the slabs slide back into place. Have the puzzle be that touching the floor engages the slabs. One massive pressure plate that can't be disarmed, but that can easily be levitated or flown over.

A switch puzzle could be a fun break. One switch fewer than the number of party members, but with several traps inside so that the free party member is the one who can deal with it. The thief is free so it's a trap that has to be disarmed, the warrior so it's a golem (Magic/backstab immune), the cleric and so on... Stepping of the switch traps the free member with the challenge, so it's a one character trick. Bonus Points if any action counts as stepping off.

Cross-planes. So you enter a steam room (fire/water), a room filled with waterspouts (air/water), and a mud-filled room (earth/water). Positive energy gives a healing room when you're deep in the dungeon, and a negative energy room creates a fun trap for enemies that regenerate, such as sea trolls, or a tomb-tainted soul Dread Necromancer. Constant regeneration, both for him and his creations. Perhaps several abyssal creatures have been trapped by water, and are willing to trade magical services in exchange for a way across a relatively short span of water to freedom. The sort of thing a control water spell can solve easily, but that's not the sort of thing you typically need to use in the abyss, and so they don't know it.

The man behind the curtain room is always good. Especially if the man is either still there, or journals detail paths through the room. Of course, the paths don't have to be correct... Perhaps those are the dangerous paths instead of the safe ones. With an Identify spell telling which pages are true and which are false.