View Full Version : Help building an aquatic temple?

2013-09-15, 09:58 PM
So I may be DMing a one-shot module adventure for some level 10-11 3.5 characters, and I could use some help developing it.

What I have so far:

1. This is a pretty straightforward dungeon crawl. The party is attempting to raid the semi-abandoned Temple of Drequhl, a rather Chthullu-esque god of the depths, monsters, and the unknown. They will start out on the shores of the island in which the temple is built.

2. The upper levels of the temple (ground and above) were open to the public back when this was a temple and should contain minimal monsters and treasure. The levels below ground were the secret ones and where the bulk of the questing takes place.

3. There is a race in this setting called the Formor (essentially refluffed Kuo-Toa, who get their inhuman badassitude from long devotion to Drequhl and extensive mastery of biomancy.) Several Formor lords and a large number of their aquatic slaves are attempting to do...something...in/with the temple. The Formor are known to heavily favor acid magic.

4. The temple's defenses should have a heavy element of kaiju-esque monstrosity, light on the brain-shattering insanity.

5. The passage from the upper to the lower levels is a sealed gate at the bottom of a huge pool of water. There are blob-like creatures growing all over the place that allow players to breathe underwater (this is mostly just a handwave, but It might be necessary), however if anyone who is not a priest of Drequhl enters the pool it will summon the guardian beast (a Huge version of Knifehead from Pacific Rim).

So, Suggestions?

Beige Dragon
2013-09-15, 10:16 PM
In the area separating the public and the hidden area's, you should have an eye of the deep. What is it? Essentially, a sea beholder. Come on, beholders have been guarding hallways forever, and here's an excuse to use one of those non-regular beholders. You know you want to. Come on. Do it.

2013-09-16, 01:23 AM
Aside from mapping, I am not sure I can help you, but if you want a really nice map, I can do that for you. Your description kind of inspired my creative juices, so I am gonna map something similar anyway for my own game, and I have little better to do for the next few days.

Maps on my DA page (http://theoriginalginger.deviantart.com/art/Overview-Tomba-Totekka-Caverns-South-397245355)

If you are interested ^^ is a map system I am currently working on, so you can see a bit of my work.

2013-09-16, 02:24 AM
In unearthed arcana, there is basically an aquatic template that gives a swim speed, can breathe air for two times constitution rounds, plus eight racial swim bonus, +2 Con, -2 Dex.

2013-09-16, 04:56 PM
Just how amphibious are the Formor, and how good are they with magic? If they're fully capable of surviving underwater for extended periods of time, then they would have designed their dungeon with long passageways and underwater sections that only they could survive without drowning but would be difficult for intruders to survive without magical protection. If they're also good enough with magic, they could also put dispel magic traps in these sections as well, or antimagic field zones in front of underwater locks so that way enemies could be at risk of drowning if they can't solve a puzzle fast enough that the Formor priests would know the answer to.

Some other ideas:

If they're really good with acid magic then they could take advantage of the fact that acid as a liquid doesn't necessarily look any different from any other clear liquid. They could have barrier zones in which layers of acid are placed between layers of normal water that they're immune to (players could be warned before they take too much damage by an pungent, acrid taste to the water, or a burning sensation all over their skin, so on).

Acid could also be used to make a lot of dead man switch or deathtrap type systems (ie, a bit corrodes a tiny piece of vulnerable rock, which in turn opens some doors to flood rooms, or traps the PC's, so on).

The most important parts of the temple would probably be the most inaccessible, so for a 3D design perhaps it looks like like a sphere or cube with the center being the most vital parts and the surface has the entry points, or a hemisphere/downward pointing pyramid designed in a similar way.

A lot of the traps would probably be either living creatures or deadfalls intended to enclose creatures underwater and either drown them or feed the other creatures-such as squid or whatever else you're using trapped behind grates behind walls that can open up, or massive boulders or rock slabs on two sides of a hallway to trap intruders entirely underwater, so on.

Tim Proctor
2013-09-16, 05:40 PM
The big things to know are the issues with water and movement/combat

SRD Aquatic Terrain (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#aquaticTerrain)

I wouldn't give them the bubble creatures to help them breathe, I'll let them figure it out for themselves. The spell Water Breathing (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/waterBreathing.htm) is probably going to be the big one, its cheap and lasts a very long time. If lvl 10 then it should last longer than the dungeon and it comes is cheap potion form at 750g per and even then it will still last over 6-hours which in D&D realms is a very long time.

A lot of traps wont work under water, one of my favorite that does are the Black Tentacles (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/traps.htm#cr7BlackTentaclesTrap), I use them whenever I want something creepy. I do like as mentioned above the concept of acidic water in some of the rooms.

Personally I like the concept of taking an ancient village with pyramids having it be 4 levels where the 4th level is the largest and connects all the different buildings.
Then having the top level, be the tops of the pyramids and they enter in through the top and go down.