View Full Version : Dungeon of Liquidy Doom

2012-09-30, 06:43 AM
I'd like to build a dungeon. It is set in the Abyssal Ocean, and in this dungeon, very, very few things, if any, will be solids. Creatures may be the only exceptions to this rule, although I'm sure it's possible to make a dungeon in which not even the monsters are solid.

The dungeon needs traps, puzzles, probably a MacGuffin of some kind and a reason for being there. Although probably not a whole lot of traps, considering the nature of the place. Large portions of the dungeon might consist of living oozes, of (fiendish?) jellyfish, and of various rather thick liquids or liquids otherwise prohibitive to moving through them. Pure elemental air, earth, fire and water, red water, some of those not actually solid sands from Sandstorm... maybe, some elementals bound into the shapes of dungeon features?

What building blocks (from a design standpoint) could be used to make this dungeon, and could be featured in it? Any good ideas on traps and puzzles?

It seems like pure element fire and water could be used to create fantastic puzzles, as the former can only be extinguished by the latter, although the latter does have a tendency to drown anyone who comes into contact with it. The same might be said of pure element air and earth, as weight could be an easily important feature in a dungeon where nothing is solid.

What really stumps is traps, though. I can easily imagine the dungeon loosely resembling a giant eye or heart (perhaps both simultaneously), so there could be many membranes and muscular valves that might release clouds of ink, red tidewater or similarly hazardous materials. What would be really cool is some non-solid adaptations of existing traps, though.

Could some of the difficulty have to do with the placement of the dungeon itself? By manipulating internal conditions, players might be able to control the buoyancy of the dungeon or steer it in one direction to another, perhaps adjoining rooms or corridors to it, or separating the same. What if... in order to "complete" the dungeon, the players have to get it to move from one specific place to another?

I'm now imagining that the dungeon might resemble a colossal, dark bubble clinging to the side of a bubble that is an order of magnitude even larger than dungeon itself, and that this bubble is the home of an undersea location (perhaps a city?) built from coral, jellies, anemones and volcanic glass, but of materials and sizes so massive that their construction defies mortal understanding. The location has been considered the site of a lost civilization for hundreds of years, and the goal of the adventure lies inside a (temple?) that can be reached only by steering the dungeon across it.

Edit: Ooh, ooh, ooooh! What would be good oozes to make the walls and such out of? What about other mostly solid materials? Good inert stuff? Good not so inert stuff?

What about red water? You know, that not actually water salt stuff from Sandstorm. That stuff eternally drinks water. If I put some of it in the dungeon, you think it would be fair for it to suck characters within 5 feet of it into itself (swim check to negate)?

2012-09-30, 04:22 PM
If you want to make the walls out of oozes, given the planar location of this place, you could always have the entire dungeon be carved out of one single, epically large Gelontinous Cube.

In the Abyss, Jello eats you!

2012-09-30, 07:50 PM
You mentioned pure elements. What about Elementals?

For some reason, I'm reminded of World of Goo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiCm88Me_3U).

Nyes the Dark
2012-10-01, 02:35 PM
One puzzle or trap might be a huge jetstream of water that will carry you off if you get too close. You might lure a Gelatinous Cube of some kind into the way, blocking it long enough to get through.

The water could perhaps be cursed or toxic, and it might drain the energy of the PCs, maybe a couple HP a room?

2012-10-01, 02:54 PM
You could have some 'rooms' filled with muddy water: visibility zero.
This could be quite a challenge, kind of a maze I suppose, and three dimensional too. Populated by giant crabs, though not that crab.

2012-10-01, 03:27 PM
Plants are good wall-makers, as well as extreme currents. The latter has the added benefit that whenever someone touches a wall, they are flung far away or sent spinning to the next "wall". Visibility gets weird and the mazes being 3d are your best tools.

Gelatinous cubes are fine, but they are far more transponible provided you resist its paralysis, and they should float really well (24% of water's density) and need to be attached if you want it to stay still. Though a forever-ascending maze in an infinite plane makes for an interesting challenge. A cube-dungeon with 1km of side could easily "float away" 220 miles per hour.

Dude, you made me study fluid dynamics again. I hate you a little for that.

2012-10-02, 11:23 PM
There was some sourcebook on Evil, probably either BoVD or Heroes of Horror, that mentioned something along the lines of "Vile Elementals" or "Corrupted Elementals" or something like that, and you could pretty much just have a bunch of Evil Water Elementals running (well, swimming or whatever) around this ocean that are native to the plane, suffering no penalties due to alignment, and could effectively be invisible when in the water.

Just a pretty cool, near-unbeatable-monster idea if you wanted to base something more off of it.

2012-10-06, 10:53 AM
If you want a more surreal//dangerous version then you could make the walls out of living spells. These shouldn't outright attack necessarily, just occasionally engulf PCs who stand too close.