View Full Version : Two People Design a BBEG Lair to Run it Together

2008-08-01, 03:46 PM
IdeasDefensive Considerations (Terrain)
Castle Perilous Adventure
Voidstone Doors

Heroes of Horror
Abyssal Bloodgrass
Blood Rock
Night Stone

Defensive Considerations (Spells)
Player’s Handbook
Dimensional Lock
Gust of Wind
Mage’s Private Sanctum
Permanent Image
Prismatic Sphere
Prismatic Wall
Solid Fog
Stinking Cloud
Symbol of Death
Symbol of Fear
Symbol of Insanity
Symbol of Pain
Symbol of Persuasion
Symbol of Sleep
Symbol of Stunning
Symbol of Weakness
Wall of Fire
Wall of Force

Spell Compendium
Awaken Construct
Awaken Undead
Awaken, Mass
Energy Transformation Field
Ghoul Glyph
Glowing Orb
Guards and Wards
Shadow Landscape
Sign of Sealing
Sign of Sealing, Greater

-Someone lives here too much lethality will make them renovate after they trip and stab themselves
-Everyone should design a villain for the BBEG Lair everyone likes to go wild and have fun
-How are the villains of the BBEG Lair going to get along?
-How are the minions going to relate?
-What is the overall goal of the people in the stronghold as well as the fortification itself?

Wood Joints as an alternative to metal nails

Building Materials
Glass (Quartz Sand)

High Value

Silk (great to show evil because you kill the larvae when you harvest it from the cocoon)

Carvings (variety from walls to sculptures and more)
Clothing (color, texture, style, material, folding)
Flower Arrangement
Food Arrangement (smell, taste, texture, visual)
Mosaic (picture made with extremely tiny stones)
Hand Scrolls and Hanging Scrolls
Fresco (Wall Painting)
Paper Screen Paintings
Perfumes (scenes)
Woodblock Prints

Archimedes Screw

Basic Needs
Occupation (Jobs)

Geographic Pleasantry
Cherry Blossom Trees
Forest Gardening
Hot Springs
Pine Trees
Plum Blossom

Castle Rooms (Western Functions)
Audience Chamber
Bedrooms (includes living quarters)
Great Hall
Green House (Conservatory)
Guard Rooms
School Room
Shrine (Chapel, Church, Temple)
Spiral Stairways
Storage Room (Pantry)
Trophy Room

Castle Structures
Tea House
Walls (Crenellations, Planks)

Someone gathered a small shrine under the tree. Pictures and sacred papers are tied to the branches. Mournful flower arrangements are scattered everywhere.

Laws behind the Plane of Infinite Water (Simplified Medieval Wizard Philosophy)
If you use one of those infinite water bottles the quantity of water you drain would be equal to giving some random plane of existence drought while you stole their blessing.
The clean water granted from the magical item must eventually return to the plane of infinite water in some form as all water comes from it. Polluting the water pollutes innocents and the plane of infinite water itself causing untold collateral damages to unrelated things.
This philosophy gives us a reason for having a cistern with an Archimedes screw. Archimedes is a great person (even though sometimes he may not have been very personable)!

Links (Check out Stronghold Generator Excel Sheet)

Sarnath Castle and Sarnath CityCrescent Moon Cove
Concordant Coastline
There are twin lighthouses to denote the location of the harbour and warn ships to be wary
The names of the lighthouses are Chcyiba and Melkuem, a carved serpent and a carved fish
The two guardians depicted on the lighthouses are benevolent protectors in local folktales
Their fearsome appearances does not show their kind hearts
The two guardians are frequently said to be wise teachers of children (basically everyone)
Chcyiba and Melkuem actually exist and are semi-ascendant they usually just hibernate

Marshy Regions
100% Freshwater Marsh (zealously protected region)

Rice Growing
Large quantities of rice are grown in paddy fields near the lowland marsh regions. Sometimes the paddies are drained to diminish the methane gas produced.
Rice forms a large part of the local commoner diet

Sarnath Castle
Originally built with limestone which would have suffered some erosion over time
Some Stained Glass Windows

Sarnath City
Built with something other than Limestone or Marble
Limits the nature of magic items that can be traded within its jurisdiction
Major Trade Hub
Semi-corrupt Government

Magic Items
Doesn’t deal in Decanters of Endless Water
There are all kinds of boat related magical items to avoid accidents

The Shimmering
An ancient monument in the noble quarter the rich families turned into a memorial garden. It was once the meeting place of a Knightly Order known as the noblest of their kind. They kept peace for everyone long before the Empire took the city.
The Knights were called ‘Mercury Wardens’ (pronounced Mer-Cure-Ray) for the various wordplays in the name. Old wives tales say they kept a fountain filled with mercury in the middle of a small plaza where there was an ingenious solar/lunar clock and observatory. They contained it inside a transparent sphere.
The Shimmering was the semicircle ‘half-moon’ table where the Mercury Wardens met for any business they had both formal and informal.

2008-08-01, 04:48 PM
I'm plenty interested, but sort of a noob at DMing. I'm here if you need help though.


2008-08-01, 05:05 PM
I'm glad someone else likes an idea. What sort of evil lair would you like to design?

A castle?

A mansion?

A scary cave?

All of the above or something more?

2008-08-01, 07:18 PM
I'm not picky, I'll do pretty much anything. I have to admit I'm in the mood for a little castle-dungeon type action, though. Have you any preferences or ideas?


2008-08-01, 08:36 PM
Heh, we can definately talk.

You're wanting castle/dungeon, eh? Easily do-able.

What level are we building this for? Depending on how big and bad the party will be, we may have to resort to some... interesting... tactics to keep Batman from ruining everyone's fun. Like random AMF's, a Dimension Lock covering the entire area, some method of defeating scrying on the entire area, and of course, the Sphere of Ahniliation in the mouth of a statue somewhere.

2008-08-02, 02:39 AM
No one ever said we had to design it for naughty adventurers. We'll do a combination Dungeon/Castle/Locale.

Before they built the castle they had an economy. The Dungeon came somewhere in between.

Let's begin with some ideas and a sort-of mandate.

Castle Considerations
Intention, Habitat, Style, Rulership

Dungeon Considerations
Intention, Habitat, Style

Town Considerations
Buildings, Population, Economy, Materials

Geographic Considerations
Climate, Region, Transport

Defensive Considerations
Buildings, Guards, Wards, Materials, Cleverness

2008-08-02, 06:43 PM
Here's an idea, then:

Castle Sarnath
Location: on the eastern seaboard of the Aurellian Empire, overlooking Crescent Moon Cove, the associated city and the Black Cliffs.

Terrain: Grasslands for the most part, lower reigions becomming more marshy. Lots of rice growing there. The Trade Road is the land route connecting Castle Sarnath with the rest of the Empire, with Crescent Moon Cove being one of the largest protected coves in the Empire, fully two-thirds of their revenue comes from sea-trade and the associated taxes and tarriffs.

The Bazaar of Sarnath is known throughout the empire to have nearly anything for sale... assuming you can meet the seller's price. Exotic goods from nearly the entire explored world may be found here. There is some regulation, particularly concerning magic items and mind-altering drugs, but by and large, so long as taxes and tarriffs are paid, they don't much care what is bought or sold.

The Bazaar sprawls out of the official city limits (and city walls) of the City of Sarnath. Generally, the bazaar outside the city walls is known as the Commoner's Quarter, which is where the seedier persons tend to congregate, particularly along the wall which seperates the the bazaar. The Noble Quarter rests within the city walls, and has higher quality, and higher priced, goods. It is also heavily patrolled, and carefully monitered to ensure the local governing body gets it's fair share.

The walls of the city of Sarnath actually encompass a great deal of dock-space, known as the Royal Docks, with the Common Docks outside the walls. The man-made cannal which allows enterance to the Royal Docks is, of course, heavily guarded, with porticulluses and dredging lines which can be raised to prevent entry. It is said that thirty ships can dock within the Noble Docks, with literally over a hundred slips in the Common Docks.

Gaining enterance to the City of Sarnath isn't quite as easy as one may think. A pass must be obtained, through beaurocratic channels (gold of sufficent amount into the right palms will greatly speed this process), which is generally three days to two weeks, unless one wishes to apply for Citizenship, which carries it's own set of taxes et al. Care is taken to ensure that 'undesirable' individuals do not gain passes to get inside, for a person who does not appear to be 'well to do', a hefty bribe must be paid, to 'ensure the quality and calibre of individual whom we admit to our most fair and brilliant city'.

Gaining enterance to the Castle of Sarnath is even more difficult. One must go through the city to get to the Castle Gates, and must have a special pass to get inside, unless you actually reside within. This pass is not easy to obtain, so there is a very heavy fee, and a declaration of intent must also be filed. After that, you must register with the Castalain's staff, and must furthermore make a court appointment if you wish to make a case at Court. The Castle rests atop the Black Cliffs, nearly a hundred feet of sheer cliff face, and so is unable to be attacked by sea effectively. A secret passage goes from the Audience Chamber to the Private Chambers, then another secret passage from there goes down to a brief dock which is the escape route of the nobility. Unless the proper steps are taken, the area is heavily trapped and obscured by powerful magics.

2008-08-02, 06:57 PM
I would make a character to have as the creator.

A feat in the stronghold builders guide called Landlord gives you 800,000. Plus WBL. Use leadership to get a wizard cohort that can permanency spells on it, and followers work well as canon fodder/mooks.

Stronghold builders Guide is your best friend for a project like this.

2008-08-03, 08:48 AM
That suggestion would be good for a player. When we create this Castle we won't be restricted by present wealth - with the wealth of an Empire the GM could drain the land's coffers to build something like that but it wouldn't be responsible Government. The content of the small story above suggests the Castle has been around before the city. All we have to do is figure out what is inside of it.

Nevermind I'm silly - the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook is still a wonderful resource for a project like this. I'm very sorry to have you worried. I don't have that book perhaps someone else has one.

2008-08-03, 10:24 AM
Shneekey if you like this Sarnath Castle and City idea very much I will keep thinking about it.

If you'd like something different, exotic or rustic then someone, don't hesitate to suggest it. People change their minds often.

I'd like it if you elaborated on things Shneekey, we'd be better off knowing population densities, overall city alignment, the size of the military, members of the royal family, things they typically eat. Write things when you feel up to the task.

Empires being the scary things that they are I like the idea of this city planning a rebellion or assisting one against the rule of the Empire. People often regard Empires like tyranies.

It would be helpful if someone described the Aurellian Empire.

Think about disputes inside the city. Local populations are arguing over whether they want to keep the Old Name of the place or give up a tradition of their history and keep Sarnath as the name. They might also combine the two into something like Saraluna.

Since there are groups who condone official corruption there are probably thieves guilds who prosper in illicit trades. Being a Major trade hub and a source of large income the authorities (especially corrupt ones) turn a blind eye to very nasty things.

Since the place is a trade hub there should also be an attractive tourist element. That way merchants spend their hard earned gold from the city back into the city and the government doesn't loose any wealth.

Urban sprawl isn't a very big concern - anything and everything is carefully regulated and planned by the city officials. The Empire takes a large interest in Sarnath because they admire it's law and order and fastidious organization. Because the Royalty-in-Exile that sort of isn't along with the Royalists want their old culture over imperial culture there are lively sparks of treason and rebellion against the Aurellian Empire.

The Aurellian Empire doesn't want to discourage trade and so it has begun using shadowy tactics. 'The War unseen'.

The reason for so much organization on the urban development front is because the people of the region take pride in their land and their city. They also find very economical reasons for making their city is beautiful as they can.

Sarnath forces these taxes because it has motivation and means to do it. No one has crushed Sarnath like a dry leaf, a miracle realized by the Royal line who have always been shrewd and still maintained their compassion and dignity for it. They're still very popular with the people - they've always struck a fine balance between life and occupation - politics never seem to have a large impact on their decisions. Their philosophies of rule are based in abstract interpretations of religion without the zealotry of a theocracy.