View Full Version : [3.5] Ancient Elven Ruins...

2009-07-18, 06:38 AM
So, the PCs for my Friday games are exploring an ancient, mystical forest (what other kind are PCs gonna poke around in, really? :smalltongue:). Several millenia back, the forest was the ancestral home of the elves, but the advent of lycanthropy caused them to take their business elsewhere. In the present day, all but the most fortified structures have either been looted or completely reclaimed by nature.

That's about as far as I got, really. Not entirely sure what kind of stuff to put in said structures. I don't want to use undead for the most part. Also, I kinda want to avoid the kind of traps that will have the players asking me, "Okay, how does that thing still work after three thousand years with no maintenance? It should have at least ran out of darts." (Both of these are a little on the humorous side, considering that the idea was inspired by the Ayleid ruins from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. :smallamused:)


Captain Alien
2009-07-18, 06:51 AM
Well, it is a forest, is it not? You have to make something original and weird at the same time.

I suggest you to mix nature with civilization. The buildings may be magnificent, but the time has made them one with the forest. The trees are entering through the walls, there are rooms under the waters of a river, some of the roofs have fallen, and roots run across the floor.

Why would you want to do this? First, I think it gives the place a feel of desolation, melancholy, forsakeness, that will give your players goosebumps.

And, in the other hand, you will have the most ancient and dangerous trap you can imagine: The terrain. A beast in the grass might be easy to stab. A beast crouching through narrow corridors, hiding in strange shadows, silently falling over the character's heads...

Darts on the walls? Those eyes in the dark are scarier, belive me.

Well, this is my idea. I hope you like it! The last time I used it, it was cool.

2009-07-18, 06:51 AM
Elder Eidolons?

2009-07-18, 07:06 AM
It's probably going to be high up in the trees, so you could have all sorts of climbing animals. Maybe even a giant spider or two.

Other monsters that come to mind:
-A senile baelnorn (I've been playing too much KoL)
-Fey. People tend to forget that there are some twisted, evil fey too. --Joystealers (MMIII) might be okay if there are still some stragglers (the PCs could meat the joystealer first and wonder why it's there if the city is abandoned)
--If it's completely abandoned, maybe a Ruin Chanter (MMV) and some Ruin Elementals (same book).

I'd think elves at least build things to last, so maybe you could still have functioning waterworks. A fountain, or maybe some magical garden that waters itself.

You could also have observatories high up in the trees. Maybe even still functional. In Dragons of Eberron, there's a planar orrery made out of a living tree with its branches enchanted to bear leaves of different colors, representing the planes. It's not Elven, but it might as well be something you'd find in an abandoned Elven city.

It might be better if you determine how the city was abandoned. Was it slow decay, or did they up and leave one night? Whatever the case may be, the PCs should be able to see traces of it.

2009-07-18, 08:10 AM
Cloaked Apes in MM2 can be a challenging encounter, as long as they're sufficiently hostile. Twig Blights make a decent low CR opponent, as long as the PCs aren't all Rogues with nothing but Rapiers and Shortbows (actually happened once, it was hilarious).

2009-07-18, 08:44 AM
Another good way for traps to work, and collect some encounters, is to make a semi-intelligent speices settle in the ruins, and while unable to build such structure, quite capeable to setting up traps, and making minor adjustments to whatever still standing to fit their own needs.

Possible races: (note, all should be a more feral version the normal, even LESS civilized then you standard DnD standing of these.)

-any race that is normally very civilized (drow counts as civilized BTW, evil as hell, but civilized.) yet this time is a wild group of people nearly unrecognizable.

2009-07-18, 01:10 PM
I vote insanely paranoid forest-dwelling creatures with opposable thumbs, the ability to synthesize psychotropic substances or harvest them from nature, and a great love of pranks/traps. So, some variety of those anthropomorphic frog people(can't recall name) who are a cross between poison-dart frogs and those toads that people lick.

Cue "Spirit-journey" for the party. If you've ever played Mother 3, there's a portion where everything gets really trippy after eating some tainted mushrooms, and you can only catch brief glimpses of what you're actually fighting since you're perceiving them as instead hostile hallucinations. It'd have to be a shared hallucination, but it'd still be fun for you, methinks, and if you can describe things well enough, fun for the whole family.:smallbiggrin:

ooo! and since it was abandoned due to lycantrhopy, have some corpses here and there (some mostly intact skeletons, others just skulls, what have you) which are pinned to the floor/walls by masterwork silver weaponry. Maybe have a couple which were just put into a really, really, really long stasis which awaken as really angry raging hybrid-form werebear barbarians which had already gone insane before they got 'speared' (think Inuyasha only creepier and less longwinded)