View Full Version : Trickster's Temple - ideas wanted

2009-12-03, 08:50 AM
A fairly major part of my campaign is this Temple to a Trickster god. The relevancy is this: stranded on a foreign continent, they want to make their way back home (well, that's the theory - only 2 of the original party of 6 remain, everyone else are natives or semi-native). They've heard that a particular explorer-wizard knows of a way there, and that he was last known to be searching for the temple. His corpse lies in this temple, crushed beneath a huge round boulder, skeletal arm outstretched in a futile attempt to reach his hat... along with the maps through the Underdark.

Now. I drew the map, with lots of interesting twists and turns... but can't think of enough things to fill everything. I'm hoping some Forumites can give me a hand. If someone(s) could critique the ideas I already have and offer advice on them (particularly #6), and/or come up with ideas for all the other parts I'm out of ideas for and maybe other random traps and bits and pieces, I would really appreciate it. I can change details, room shapes and so on if necessary.
As an aside, I could use some artists for bits of it - particularly 21. I had someone a while ago offer, but I'm not sure whether he'd still be willing, or has enough time.
This god is meant to be the ultimate Trickster god - all others are, or may be, merely aspects of this one. I'm very loosely basing him on Native American Tricksters, as we're currently in an Americanish region, but he's also meant to be the archetypical Trickster, aspects of whom worshippers in different areas place different emphasis upon, or ignore of focus on completely.
I know there's too much... stuff in the below deity overview, but keep in mind that the vast majority of people will worship aspects of this god, rather than the whole seen here.

The God.Kokopelli
The Trickster, Coyote, Huehuecoyotl, The Joker
Greater Deity
Symbol: A humpbacked flute-player, a face of many expressions, a smiling coyote head. Symbols vary greatly among different worshippers, depending on the aspects upon which they focus.
Home Plane: Various, especially Chaotically-aligned ones. Unusually active on the Material Plane.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Trickery
Entertainment, music, art, jokes, humour, comedy, performance in general - both good and bad. Only mediocrity is boring.
Fertility - especially when undesired. Special protector of its unwanted products, and of orphans. Is often involved in designing special fates for them.
Luck - good and bad, double-edged, and disguised.
Theft and mischief.
Thinking around corners, problem-solving, creativity - convoluted and complicated solutions are far more interesting than straight-line logic.
Intelligence, wit, cleverness
Coincidence, irony.
Justice - preferably fitting, personal and twisted.
Ambiguity and confusion - half-breeds, hermaphrodites, individuals of confused or atypical gender, the insane, shape-shifters, polymorphed creatures, and the lost (literally and metaphorically), among others, are under his personal protection... and are his personal playthings.
Opposition to mediocrity - if there's anything he can't stand, it's the ordinary.
Drugs - especially hallucinagens, often an important part of his worship.
Phobias, fetishes and irrationality
Time - especially "early" and "late", and the tricks time can play.
Extreme emotions
Tears - of laughter and sadness.
Weather (local only, preferably dramatic, inconvenient and/or inappropriate)
Noise, and the absence of it.
Crowded, anarchic groups of people - battles, riots, cities
The Butterfly Effect, obscure causality
Double-edged swords.
Deception - through both lies and misdirection, and creative application of the truth.
Worshippers: Anyone, midwives, rogues, bards.
Cleric alignments: CE, CN, CG, N
Domains: Chaos, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Transformation, Trickery
Favoured Weapon: Wit. Failing that, improvised weapons.
Worship, description and general nature of the trickster god varies between groups of worshippers. The Trickster of this temple emphasised wit and cleverness, sideways thinking and deceptive appearances, as well as humour and irony.

The Temple.
The temple was built as both a worship site and a test for his worshippers. Navigating the temple and reaching the prize at the end was a crucial initiation rite. However, while simply surviving and completing it was enough, to truly be favoured by the Kokopelli, the worshipper must use the temple to demonstrate her ingenuity and creative thinking.
Although this particular group of his people are long gone and the temple long abandoned, Kokopelli himself still frequents the area from time to time, clearing out vermin, doing some maintenance, reloading traps, and so on. Should someone happen to enter the temple, he quickly arrives to watch the fun.
Lawful creatures are not welcome here, and feel it keenly. They have a -1 penalty to all checks while within its confines. Neutral creatures are largely ignored. Chaotic creatures feel welcome and at home, and receive a +1 morale bonus to all checks.
Creatures who navigate the temple and solve its secrets gain a boon at the end, as well as a curse or trick. Creatures who navigate it in a clever and entertaining way gain a greater boon and a lesser curse or trick. Creatures - especially Lawful ones - who simply bash their way through without any thought, or otherwise demonstrate stupidity or closed thinking, receive a curse disguised as a boon.

edit: Updated, taking into account suggestions.

2009-12-03, 10:51 AM
15. How about a nice block of adamantite? I believe the claustrophobia gem is a nice twist.

20. Maybe an illusory wall hiding a trick (for those who bash through) or a boon (for those who figure it out in a clever way)?

General comment: Maybe some of those blank rooms have riddle traps? Correct answer allows you to pass, wrong answer nets you a trick or some hurting.

2009-12-03, 10:52 PM
You mean the ones going down the centre? I was thinking of making them more typical traps (mostly for the "Indiana Jones" effect of the rolling boulder <.<) but riddles would work quite well. I could use some help for those, too, though...

2009-12-03, 11:11 PM
A fun trick is a hostile monster that is almost impossible to defeat in combat, but will stop attacking if you just think to try asking it.

2009-12-03, 11:30 PM
I like it, but I'd probably have to bludgeon my players over the head with clues for them to get it. #9 will only work because I'll be able to make it relatively weak monsters (they'll just reappear every time they press the button), and they'll be able to get it wrong several times without having to worry too much about death.
So, any ideas for clues to go along with that?
edit: It reminds me of an enemy in Baldur's Gate 2.
You go up against an embodiment of hate. In order to defeat it*, you have to heal it. This is indicated by its saying things along the lines of "feed the hate!", and if you leave and talk to the people outside they talk about how the only way of defeating hate is through healing, and the like.

*I kept attacking it, and it eventually disappeared. However, because I didn't beat it properly the avatar didn't appear, and I had to load my game.I suppose a good clue could just be stuff the creature says...
Heh. A minotaur with a top hat and monocle: "How rude! What barbarous creatures! I'd better teach you a lesson, what what!"

edit mk 2: A very tough golem with an inscription on it - "Ask nicely.", perhaps - could work well.

2009-12-04, 12:57 AM
How about a room filled with blind monsters that can cast Detect Magic at will, and have no other senses. The only way to get past them is to discard all your magic items and walk by invisible to them. Once you make it to the other side of the room the creatures vanish and you can retrieve everything you dropped.

2009-12-04, 05:36 AM
Just an example of a riddle (stolen from the Zork series):

My tines be long,
My tines be short,
My tines end
'Ere my first report.

The answer being Lightning. You know, forks of lightning, tines on a fork and all that. Great for a lightning trap.

2009-12-04, 07:06 AM
Looks very nice. What program did you use to draw the map?

I never really know about traps & riddles. Always seems the stone dumb fighter is the one that figures them out because the player has an int over 8.

My only suggestion is perhaps the boulder showed up because of the wording the mage gave the trickster god. Some sort of hint that they have to be careful what they wish for.


2009-12-04, 07:24 AM
Thanks :smallsmile: I drew it by hand on grid paper, scanned it onto my computer, then went over it in Adobe Illustrator.

I already explained the boulder :smalltongue: Though maybe in a convoluted way... #23.

edit: By the way, it's good manners to have the creater of one's avatar mentioned in one's signature.

dsmiles: I like it. But I don't know whether my players would know the word "tines" (though I could be underestimating them). Would "prongs" be too obvious?

Lydander: I like the idea, but I think it needs some twisting around...

2009-12-04, 08:25 AM
@ Serpentine: No, I don't think it would, because most people who don't function like an endless well of useless knowledge just call it a fork and don't even know what to call the individual pointy thingies on it. :smallwink:

There are also free riddle books on the interwebz. Most of them are already RP associated, so they suggest traps to go with the riddles. Also, there are a lot of "tricks and traps" books out there on the interwebz too. If you search Google for "DnD traps" or "DnD riddles" you can come up with probably about 10-20 e-books on the subjects. :smallbiggrin:

2009-12-05, 07:58 AM
I think that they'd be more likely to know "prongs" than "tines", but ionno. I'd really like to find out the riddle from Might & Magic, that was something about a river taking different paths, the answer being tears... I'll have a look for the online ones, but I don't just want riddles. I want... I dunno, things.

2009-12-05, 01:32 PM
How about a spike lined corridor with hidden pressure plates. It will seem as if they are deadly traps and your players will find and carefully avoid them. In reality hitting any of them just opens the door at the end of the corridor that leads further in the temple.

On the other side? Another identical corridor except here the pressure plates actually are deadly traps.

2009-12-05, 09:19 PM
In a room awaits an awakened fox that holds a key in its mouth. You must get the fox's key.
The catch?

The room the fox is in has several dens in the walls and floor of the room. Each den has several holes leading to it. (Foxholes, if you will.) You cannot tell which den each hole leads to simply by looking at them. They do not provide line of sight to their corresponding den.
You can scare the fox out of a den through one of the holes; it may leave the den by a random hole, or choose the hole that is most poorly guarded, but it will never leave via the hole through which you are scaring it. Presumably your arm/limb/flange/proboscis is in the way.
Please resist the temptation to use any more sensitive body part to scare the fox. It has been known to bite.
The most straightforward (and thus least recommended) way to catch the fox is by readying an action to grapple the fox as soon as it attempts to leave or enter a hole. You may only do this for one hole. You'll still have to succeed on the grapple.
The key has a magical aura by which the key can be tracked, and is somewhat resistant to magical effects.
If you play dirty, the fox may drop the key in a den when it is scared off. You will need the fox to re-enter that den if you do not have some way of acquiring the key. The fox is not bitter; it will pick up the key and resume playing if it is safe to do so.
If you play really dirty, the fox has Mirror Image, and can Dimension Door between dens. It may have other spells at its disposal.
Destroying the key is not recommended.
Please don't hurt the fox.
Bad things will happen.

A challenge that features monkeys would be good too.
Is there an order to the challenges, or an entrance point on the map?

2009-12-05, 10:55 PM
Lysander: I like it. I don't want to overuse that sort of thing too much, but I think a couple would be great.

Demented: It'd probably be a coyote, but other than that, brilliant! I may say that any harmful attacks go straight through it, or just that it cannot be killed (or if it can, that's a biiiig minus towards the final goal).

The normal entrance is actually where the boulder is (I forgot to mark it, sorry). I'm thinking the party will actually fall through the roof, probably at one of the 18s.

I'd like to do something with statues, and something with illusions...
What about, four statues, each representing an element. Applying the same element to it will do nothing, or make it come alive as an elemental and attack you (if it's defeated, it will either just die, or go back to its place as a statue), or just make it grow bigger. Applying the opposing element will cause it to crumble away, allowing the party to pass. Thoughts? Any other twists that could be given it?

2009-12-05, 11:20 PM
At the enterance have a stone statue of a head with a permanent magic mouth brief people on the temple. Either the god wants them to be prepared (more fun), it's full of lies or it just tells them that it's his temple, it's a test ect.

2009-12-06, 01:51 AM
Here's one idea. Have a shiny stone wall in one part of the temple that acts like a mirror of opposition, except it works once a day for each person rather than having a 4/day total limit, and makes evil duplicates for each person to fight. Later on they encounter a massive force of enemies. The secret to beating them is to flee and lead them to face the mirror so an equally large force appears and they destroy each other.

2009-12-08, 05:00 AM
Updated the map in the first post (may need to refresh or whatever to have it come up).

I left out that last one, Lysander, cuz I think I need to work it out somewhat before I feel comfortable putting it in... Any further thoughts?

Still after more ideas, but also some thoughts on details. For example:
- What sorts of monsters should I have running around? My party's around level 12, but I'd like the focus to be more on problem-solving than butt-kicking (for goodness!).
- How does one handle a "mysterious figure barely glimpsed out the corner of the eye picking people off one by one" situation?
- What could I put in my 1-way door maze to make it more interesting? The red arrow indicates the shortest route, by the way.
- In the zigzaggy bit, what sort of spell tower should I have, if I have one? If I don't, what else could go there?
- At #20, what sort of illusory wall?

Finally, what sort of items could I have around the place - RAW or custom-made? They could be tools for mischief, unexpectedly mischief-causing, protection from mischief and misfortune maybe, cursed, cursed/not cursed in certain hands or situations... Appropriate for the temple to a trickster-god, anyway.

2009-12-09, 03:18 AM
No more ideas? Anyone? :smallfrown:

2009-12-14, 08:17 PM
Here's another way of doing that idea.

Have an obstacle course full of traps your players must get past. The traps can be manually reset.

Later they encounter a formidable force of enemies. The way to beat them is to go back, reset all the traps, then lead the enemies into them. If your players are smart they'll remember where the traps are and be able to avoid them after resetting them.

2009-12-15, 03:51 AM
I don't know where to get them as mine came from a friend,
but there are several books entitled Grimtooth's Traps.
I have found them very interesting to read, though alot of them are
truly harmful to the party. But I found them funny.

2009-12-15, 04:16 AM
If you're looking for ideas for monsters at No. 12, consider Rust Monsters. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/rustMonster.htm) Ten of them. They only have to hit with touch attacks to start doing horrible things to your equipment, and any warrior with a metal weapon poops himself when these babies start coming out of the walls - not for himself, but for his weapons and armour. Or you could improve the monsters so the save DC for the rusting effect is higher and they're more likely to survive.

2009-12-15, 05:25 AM
I don't know where to get them as mine came from a friend,
but there are several books entitled Grimtooth's Traps.
I have found them very interesting to read, though alot of them are
truly harmful to the party. But I found them funny.

You can find them online, and sometimes in torrents of 3.5e books.

2009-12-15, 11:24 PM
If you want traps, may I refer you to 1001 Clever Traps (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19903478/1001_Clever_Traps_for_Beginners_(DMs_especially)?n um=10&pg=2) from the Wizards of the Coast forums?

This is the original home of E. Ravenwood, trap maker, AKA "The Bastard."
Here are a couple of his better ones:

The PC's Enter large round room, maybe 60' in diameter. Across the room is a stone door with a really tough lock. The Party's Rogue will have to pick it for a long time, or the fighters will have to beat it for a while before it crumbles.
The ground is made of sand, and the ceiling appears to be made of glass, the topside of which is covered in gold coins. This is how you find out who the greedy guy in your party is. It only takes one projectile from a crossbow, sling, bow, etc. to completely shatter the glass. The weight of the coins causes it to break further, and all under the glass (everyone in the room) must make a Reflex save of whatever the DM deems fair (:smallamused:) or take 3d6 damage from the falling glass. About two rounds after, while everyone is buzzing around picking up gold pieces, they realize the glass was not only holding back coins. A poisonous gas begins seeping down towards the ground, and every round their in it, they have to make a Fort save or fall unconscious. That could put some pressure on the guy trying to get the door open. If they just run back the way they came, the DM could make it so that the room can't be entered again, and now they have to take "the long way" around. :D

1275. Lake of Fire

The PC's come across a hole in the wall in a room that appears to be an imporovised passage of past adventurers. If they crawls through, they find that someone long ago decided to take a short cut through the dungeon by burrowing through the wall and utilized an old set of miner's catwalks to get across a chasm. It is very dark,but there's a bundle of torches lying right at the PC's feet, left behind appearently by previous adventurers as a sign of good faith to those who would come later...or so the PC's hoped.

This is really nothing but an elaborate hoax created by the BBEG to get weary parties to take the path of least resistance. The catwalks and hole in the wall were really created to allow PC's quick and easy travel through the dungeon, but the BBEG has utilized them for something more sinister.

The PC's can light up a torch and start moving across the iron catwalks that are held to the ceiling by chains, or some cases rope, which you will see why in a minute.
About fifty feet below them is a sheet of permanent 'Darkness'. It is there to camoflauge what is right below and that is a pool of oily tar that has collected at the bottom. Here's the kicker. If a PC is using a torch provided by the bundle on the ground, after about 3-4 minutes, they notice a burning sensation in the hand holding the torch. This is because whoever left them, probably BBEG's minons, have driven metal spikes down the length of the torch, so through conduction they start to scald the bearer's hand after a few minutes. If a PC drops the torch, it falls down the short length of the chasm, through the darkness, and lights the oil-tar lake on fire.

The PC's should immediately smell smoke and feel the heat, and eventually see it, for the the flames lick higher than the darkness spell covers. At this point the PC's are equally between the exit and the entrance, about 150' between each, so they can go back or push forward. Every round they stay on the catwalks they take 1d8 heat damage (2d8 if they are wearing metal armor) and 1d6 subdual for smoke inhalation. If they run they have to roll a balance check of 14 every round to keep balance on the swaying catwalks, or fall, and as said above, the catwalks with support cables made of rope won't last too long in the firey cavern.

It should be noted that at the exit is a locked iron gate, kind of a back up plan of the BBEG. Better hope you have a rogue in the party.

I may return later with my own ideas. :smallsmile: