View Full Version : March 2013 Challenge Entry - The Temple of Saint Patrick of Swayze
03-06-2013, 08:07 AM
[EDIT: Final map on page 3: Monastery of Tyrs (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/current-mapping-challenge/53070d1364443133-march-2013-challenge-entry-temple-saint-patrick-swayze-monastery-tyrs-final-gm-map.jpg) and the rather extensive write up to the various puzzles can be found on page 4 (warning.. it's quite a read!).
Okay, so that's just a working title, but the running theme through my dungeon will be Ghosts. The first room of the adventure in my mind has a puzzle in the middle and no doors on the walls. When the adventurers successfully complete the puzzle they are killed (WTF?!) and become ghosts. In the room there will now be ghostly doorways that they can see now that they are part of the shadow world and they can pass through them when in their incorporeal form.
The main puzzle of the dungeon will be a maze like layout where some areas they can only pass through if they are in their ghost form, otherwise they must find various shrines in the labyrinth to resurrect at.
In their corporeal form they will appear with all their gear, and are obviously now targets to the ghosts and other undead type creatures in the dungeon.
Whilst in ghost form they can pass through doors and ghostly mobs will not attack them (so they could scout a room as a ghost so they know what awaits them beyond), however, there will be a "Reaper" type mobs that hunts ghosts down that don't belong. Dying to this mob as a ghost is an actual death as expected, they cannot be killed and you are only safe from them whilst in your corporeal form.
Some rooms require you to be in your corporeal form to operate manual puzzles (our ghosts are not poltergeist) to move deeper into the complex.
Friendly ghost NPC/s who can give advice and help guide you through the dungeon
Multiple ways to complete (not sure what the objective or story background is yet) and multiple routes to take
So that's what I got so far. Roughing out a general map and thinking of ideas and routes as I go. Right now I'm not sure whether to do this as a smaller GM map or a usable battlemap.
03-06-2013, 12:24 PM
A CL will need to change your title, as one of the challenge requirements is to setup your title as "March Entry: ?" or "March 2013 Entry: ?"
03-06-2013, 01:02 PM
Ack! My bad, total oversight. Yeh if someone could change it then it would be appreciated.
I already failed the challenge... unbelievable.
03-06-2013, 01:06 PM
And done. Sounds like a fun concept for a map!
03-06-2013, 02:39 PM
Sounds like a brilliant idea. I look forward to seeing how you pull it off. :)
That's thinking outside of the (corporeal) box! Effing brilliant.
03-08-2013, 12:16 PM
I had the time of my life in that dungeon.
03-09-2013, 07:11 AM
*looks at the puns*
You should all feel ashamed of yourselves.
03-09-2013, 10:06 AM
Yeah! Nobody put's Yospeck in a corner.
03-09-2013, 10:23 AM
A great idea for a session. Hoping to see it come to fruition.
03-09-2013, 09:36 PM
Sounds like a video game ;) Should be interesting to watch develop !
03-11-2013, 03:27 PM
### LATEST WIP ###
Starting to realise how much I've bitten off here, but gonna give it a good go. Not quite sure how to display the entire thing, so for now gonna stick with a GM map and then maybe knock up a pdf. With puzzles and stuff all but a few maps need a lot of extra information to accompany them. Biggest issue I have is balancing the mechanics of the map and puzzles vs. the final look. So right now I'm focusing on the main layout, throwing down the position of main rooms (reshaping them as I go so they aren't all square/rectangle) while thinking about interesting puzzles/encounters for each room.
Starting room is the top/mid with all the blue doors. I'll upload a more detail version at some point when the layout of the map is complete.
For the map the red key items are things that can only be interacted with physically (need to be on corporeal form) eg. puzzles for opening doors. The blue key items can be interacted with as a ghost (incorporeal form) eg. doors that can only be seen when a ghost, shrines that will bring you back to life at the shrine with your gear.
The main idea of the dungeon is to collect a number of keys to open a final door (need to take a portal [Physical] to access it). Locating and acquiring these keys will require switching between both corporeal and incorporeal forms.
- [Blue] Reaper: Hunts characters down when they are in their incorporeal form; they do serious damage, dying as a ghost you are gone for good.
- [Red] Quell: Stop despise the living and their connections to the gods. They block divine characters from using their powers but will also stop a shrine from working if they are in the vicinity.
- [BlLich: Final boss, the Lich will be a powerful adversary, slightly overpowered. The final boss room players will not be able to escape the room. It is highlighly likely that players will die in this room (not a guarantee, players should be able to avoid death by luck and tactics). If the party wipes the Lich will chase them beyond the grave and the battle continues with the party in their ghost forms (Lich will then have different attacks).
03-15-2013, 09:37 AM
Great idea! I think that if the border between the current and after life is so undefined (excellent idea btw), then seeing as how I presume your laws of nature apply to all people and creatures, maybe all enemies, including the final boss, should be eliminated in such a way to not allow their possible "resurrection" (like burning or some ritual).
The map looks fun. I look forward to seeing more development! :)
03-15-2013, 12:47 PM
### LATEST WIP ###
Well as you'll notice there has been a massive update with the layout of the map and I'd say I'm at about 90% done with how I want the layout to finally end up (few tweaks here and there). The biggest difficulty has been making everything relevant, making some areas inaccessible without taking a certain route, but giving enough choice so as not to make the dungeon/adventure feel like it's on rails (I hate adventures where there is only one possible solution).
So a quick breakdown of the overall map:
Started to think about the lore of the map and I'm going with that this was once a monastery, so I've done a little research on some monastery maps on typical rooms/areas you'd find and then shaped my map accordingly. The original map was a quick online generated one to give me some rough shapes to work with and slowly but surely I've redefined them to work into a rough monastery layout with the church being at the center.
The monastery was attacked by undead lead by a lich (I'm actually using this in my Forgotten Realms campaign and the Lich is Aesperus from Hulburg and the monastery is what is now know as the Wailing Tower in Thar), destroying the servants of Tyr. The entire monastery was buried underground, the only sign of it ever existing is the tall spire belltower that still protrudes through the ground, looking like a single solitary tower. Though the monastery is seemingly underground it has actually been drawn deeper and the power of the Lich and mass slaughter of the divine has brought it to the brink of the Nine Hells.
Journeying down from the Wailing Tower (potential lesser map leading up to this place) the party will arrive in the Church at the center of the map, highlighted by the orange Sun icon.
In this place the veil between life and death is vague, and thus our heroes are able to switch between life and death through the adventure.
The "open air" type areas, such as the courtyard, cloisters and cemetery do not appear to be underground, the sky is a swirling blackness and the smell of ash and rot tinges the air.
To the west of the map a hellmouth is accessible to enter the plane (should the players dare...), this could potentially lead to another adventure for the future, but it is outside of the scope of of this adventure. Alternatively it could simply mean instant death.
Blue doors appear as stone walls when in corporal form and can only be seen in ghost form, whereby they look like simple openings and they can see through them.
Red doors can can be seen in both forms, but only accessed in corporeal form.
Brown doors are standard doors, in ghost form players can simply walk through them, but cannot see through them
The party come to this place to try and find the Lich's vault, either to gather riches or to find the final resting place of the Lich's phylactery (the final boss for my guys wont be the Lich, they will be coming to get his phylactery, which if destroyed means a Lich cannot resurrect upon death).
There is a Fake Vault to the top of the map, which is there to throw players who might think they have completed the adventure (complete with a fake phylactery and a wealth of treasure, which may or may not turn to ash once removed from this location if you dont want your players having loads of cash :D ). However, to access the True Vault (top left) the party must:
1) Locate three keys that will unlock the door to the True Vault, these keys are scattered through the northern section of the map and are found with various puzzles.
2) Locate the hidden portal that leads to the True Vault, which is found in Saint Patrick's Mausoleum [working title (bottom right), so players must find access to the Cemetery.
As I want to have various ways of completing this adventure all the keys are in the top portion of the dungeon map, however, accessing the cemetery can be done in three different ways (listed a-b-c on the map).
a) Players in ghost form can access the cemetery, but there is no way to use the shrine in St Patrick's Mausoleum without first killing the Quell in that building (can only be done when in corporeal form). However, players can locate a device that allows them to shift freely between Corporeal and ghost form (not sure where this will be located). This will be found on a Solo monster, meaning accessing the cemetery in this way will require a physical combat solution.
b) In the Abbot's Quarters the old Abbot still resides in his ghost form (can only talk to him if in ghost form or if they have a Speak to Undead (D&D) ritual, there will be a scroll that can be looted in the Library. The Abbot will give a quest to the players first, which will require some logical thinking to complete, sending them towards the left side of the map near the Lesser Cloister potentially. If completed he will open a secret passageway from the Abbots Quarters straight into the adjacent Lesser Mausoleum, which they can access when in corporeal form. Accessing the cemetery in this way will require a logical solution.
c) The players can take the long way round, and through the Library, in here there will be a timer where they have to perform a number of skill checks to navigate through the twisted ruins of the Library. There will be some elements of logic puzzles in here as well, but mostly it is a race against the timer, a short window where they must access a number of levers to open the door to (c) which leads into the Cemetery. Failure to complete this in time and the entire library will start getting hit with necrotic damage to kill the group and the puzzles will reset. Accessing the cemetery in this way will require successful skill checks and some elements of logical thinking.
So far I'm really enjoying taking this approach with the map, I have lots of semi thought out ideas for the various puzzles and I'm pretty happy that it's shaped in a way that offers multiple possible solutions.
I now plan on finalizing the layout, reshaping some buildings, and then start working on a more detailed GM map (this is just too big to turn into a detailed player map for this challenge).
03-15-2013, 02:29 PM
I like what you have done so far. Looking forward to it.
03-15-2013, 04:00 PM
Excellent Yospeck! Any chance of getting a bigger version of the map? You are not even close to the 4 MB size limit.
03-15-2013, 05:31 PM
The final map is a lot bigger, so you can see the detail, for the overview didn't see the point :D Next WIP will be larger size
03-15-2013, 06:09 PM
03-17-2013, 01:30 AM
### LATEST WIP ###
Okay so this upload is the scale I decided to design this map at, at this scale I feel I can stick to a decent looking GM reference map without having to go into to much up close detail that I'd do for a player table map (though I do intend on turning this into a blank player map down the line, but I might make this my first sellable adventure.. we'll see :D ).
In this update you'll see I've done some heavy work on the detailed brickwork. Made myself a large tileable pattern of interconnecting bricks that I can drop on as a layer and then mask it out with the rough shape of my walls then start fine tuning it (this is far from the finished fine tuning). Threw on some rough colour to get a general idea of the inside and outside portions of this map (blue flooring signifies areas inside a building).
Done a rough-ish room detail on the chapel and nearby room. Probably not going to get much more detailed on the furniture than this (pretty impossible to do given the size of the map, the pixelation when trying to add detail is pretty much impossible and I don't want to put too much time and effort into each piece of furniture given how much is left on the map to finish off).
Still refining some shapes of buildings, closed the doorways of the sections I've been working on down to the typical 1sq/5ft. Also plan on working on the colour scheme as well to give this a more hellish/undead feel to it; all looks a little too bright right now :)
03-23-2013, 12:58 AM
### LATEST WIP ###
Finalised my dungeon layout, which took a hella long time.
As I'm actually planning on using this map for my own D&D campaign I feel I've really gone to town with the level of detail for the lore, flow of the dungeon, realistic locations and something that will ultimately be an extremely fun and detailed adventure (if I do say so myself!). The biggest time consumer with this map has been the constant redesigns until I got a layout I was happy with, for a long time I just wasn't sure what I was doing with the bottom left "Library" area, what encounters/puzzles would happen there, etc. Second to that I backtracked on going for the more garrisoned castle feel with thick walls and went with more traditional thinner internal walls, also I scaled down the size of the actual rocks in the wall... which took sooooo long.
So now I'm extremely happy with the rooms (each of them having some use in one way or another as well as being appropriate for the dungeon itself), I've designed all but one of my puzzles (designed them all personally), giving a nice spectrum of riddles, logic puzzles, and D&D mechanics based puzzles. I'll write them up in full along with the details of each room.
Next up I'm going to start putting in some rough major objects into the rooms (this is a GM map not a battlemap so I wont be putting in every single piece of furniture, but enough to give a good idea of how the room is furnished) and also start doing some more detailed colouring.
03-23-2013, 01:19 AM
Beautiful work! This looks like a dungeon TSR would have published back in the good old days!
03-23-2013, 09:00 AM
Yeh, I always made graphical style maps previously using stuff from Dunjinni and RPG Map Share when running my Star Wars campaign as I felt the style really suited and I was completely new to DMing/map making. Did that for 4 years, when I started my D&D campaign 6months ago and started checking out other D&D maps I came across a lot of the old maps and just fell in love with the style of hand drawn maps (which fits into fantasy, dont think it would quite look right in a SciFi setting). Still finding my feet with mastering the style, but I'm very happy with how they've turned out so far :D There's such a wealth of inspiration in this community as well I've definitely found a different passion for map making than I originally had, using all my own elements instead of graphics other people (like yourself!) have made really lets me say at the end of it "this is a map I made".
That's looking very nice. I particularly like how your walls turned out.
03-23-2013, 06:18 PM
Cheers Larb :)
### LATEST WIP ###
Had a play around today, placed in all my doors and some windows (they still look a little rough until I throw some shadow around them I feel) along with reapplying the quick colour wash (basic block colours) and a few pattern effects here and there to better emphasize the indoor and outdoor regions on this map.
Labelled up every room so I can start finalizing what bits lead to where depending on what route the players take through the dungeon (there's quite a few). Also decided to call the adventure "Temple of Tyrs" as this adventure revolves around the god Tyr from Forgotten realms and lets me use the obvious play on words for Tears, given that this place got annihilated.
Practically every room has some sort of use in the adventure with very few filler zones (either a piece of the puzzle, a clue to solving another puzzle, or an encounter area). The only place I haven't thought anything up for yet is room 43 at the bottom of the map... I'm sure something will come to me :D
03-24-2013, 07:52 AM
It's looking really good, Yospeck. :)
If I had one nitpick though it would be that the background paper texture you are using looks really low resolution compared to the walls and the labelling etc. This becomes especially noticeable on the areas you have coloured with what I assume is an overlay layer. It might be worth trying to find/create a different texture for the background.
03-24-2013, 08:46 AM
Yeh it is (looks hideous with the green on the gardens), I'm still yet to add my spit and polish for the textures and colouring, but this was just the first parchment background I had at hand. The image started smaller then as it grew I just lazily stretched out the background for the time being :D
03-28-2013, 12:39 AM
### LATEST WIP ###
Finally finished, I've pulled quite a few 4am sessions to try and get this finished in the deadline (had done so much work on it in the first few weeks would have sucked to not get it in by the deadline). I have to say I've really enjoyed making this map, it's the first hand drawn map where I've put in this much detail and is by far, in my opinion, the best map I've done both style wise and actual structure for an adventure. For me this challenge was great, getting the shinny medals and stuff is great and all, but actually having an objective and a deadline has really made me push myself to get this done, which is why I love this community so much :)
Decided to not go for a compass rose in the end given that this place is in the Abyss, I don't think "North" is particularly relevant :D Though one of the clues/puzzles does revolve around the sun rising in the east, but that's taken care of in the map design/area description.
Anyway, it's now 3:40am so I'm going to go to bed now and post up the Area guide/puzzles tomorrow (hopefully get them in before the polls open).
03-28-2013, 12:50 AM
Ooh, I like the look of this. Very nice entry Yospeck!
03-28-2013, 12:53 AM
Gracias (ninja edited as I saw I'd accidentally left an old layer turned on, oops :D )
03-28-2013, 01:24 AM
Excellent work Yospeck!
03-28-2013, 04:51 AM
03-28-2013, 10:07 AM
Monastery of Tyrs
Given the size of this map below I have only highlighted the main puzzles given that was the focus of this months’ challenge, however, I will be turning this map into a full playable adventure in the future with full room descriptions. From the map you can get a general idea of what each room is already and so is very playable with a little imagination!
The puzzles are a mix of interacting with the environment and logic, giving a variety to different peoples’ strengths.
The “Monastery of Tyrs” adventure is set in the Forgotten Realms D&D Campaign, however it can be easily adapted for non-Forgotten Realms campaigns with a few lore changes. The adventure focuses on getting the players to use their brains as well as their brawn, however, as challenging as some of the puzzles are none of them are so hidden or difficult (logic wise) that the game would grind to a halt. There are multiple solutions to completing the adventure but the overall aim is to:
Find the three keys to open the True Vault’s door
Locate the portal to the True Vault [Area 45]
Centuries ago the lich Aesperus, also known as the “King in Copper”, assaulted the northern monastery of St. Veradais, sworn paladin to the God of justice and law; Tyr. With his undead minions Aesperus quickly overran the monastery and all inside were slain; many to rise again to become what they most despised… walking undead.
The monastery was pulled into the depths of the earth by the powerful lich’s magic, it’s walls sinking into the ground until all but the monasteries bell tower protruded the earth. Centuries have passed and what remains of the monastery is but a landmark known as The Wailing Tower that sits in solitude in northern Thar; the history of this place long forgotten but all know the lich’s vault lies buried somewhere deep underground.
The players are either adventurers looking for Aesperus’ treasure, or they may be trying to access the vault where the lich holds his phylactery; the one item that grants him immortality and upon its destruction so to would the King in Copper’s reign end.
Although the monastery is seemingly underground it has in fact been pulled beyond the Prime Plane and to the edge of the Abyss making an accessible portal for demons from another plane to enter the world of men.
General Map Features:
All ceilings are 15ft high unless stated otherwise
Any “outside” areas appear to have a burning sky and the smell of brimstone and ash tinges the air
Walls cannot be scaled, if they are attempted then they suddenly seem miles high; the player can continue to try and climb them and the GM can document it (to anyone not climbing the player doesn’t appear to be moving) until they climb down or fall, taking full damage to the height that they climbed (not simply the few feet it seems like they climbed)
In this adventure if a player dies they become a spirit and can only be resurrected by a shrine (which costs a healing surge) or a player that has any resurrect abilities as normal and they will appear with all their gear. Parts of this map are only accessible when in incorporeal/ghost form, others can only be accessed when in corporeal/physical form.
There are two types of special doorways on this map:
Corporeal Doors (Red) – These can only be operated when in corporeal/physical form. These doors will sometimes show a handle on one side of the door showing which side the door can be accessed from; once opened these doors can be opened from both sides.
Incorporeal Doors (Green) – These doors can only be passed through when in incorporeal/ghost form, otherwise they are doors that simply will not open, these doors are marked with an easily identifiable rune so players will know if it is an incorporeal door.
03-28-2013, 10:08 AM
Puzzle 01: The Statue [Area 02]
Puzzle Synopsis: The cathedral is inescapable as the doors can only be passed through when the players are in their incorporeal form. The purpose of this puzzle is to kill all the players so that they can see the introduced mechanic of being a ghost.
The statue located at A is an image of the god Tyr holding up a sword in his right hand; the sword appears to be made of an extremely shinny material (it is a mirror) but does not appear to be magic. Above the statue painted into the stained glass window is a similar image of Tyr with his right hand missing (it is common knowledge Tyr lost his right hand in battle), also a ribbon with the words “Restore me to the image of myself” written across it.
Solution: The players must desecrate the statue of Tyr and cut his right hand off. With this act the the mirrored sword falls to the ground and entire party will be instantly killed by a booming thunder that cries out “Defilers!”
The Vault Keys
Overview: There are three keys needed to open the True Vault [Area 45] that can be acquired throughout the map. The keys are in the northern portion of the map in areas that are accessible and not barred by puzzles. In the event players get stuck on the puzzles it should not completely halt the progress of completing the dungeon (in my opinion!). There is no clue to what these keys are for until they find the door of True Vault [Area 44].
Puzzle 02: The Stained Glass Windows [Area 02]
Puzzle Synopsis: The windows to the cathedral hold a hidden clue to accessing the first key. Whilst the key can only be picked up when in corporeal form, the clues can only be seen when the players are in their incorporeal form. This puzzle can be completed without any of the clues, but the players will take damage.
When looking upon the windows in corporeal form they appear as normal stained glass windows depicting Tyr in various situations and Saint Veradais. The images of Tyr are of well-known constellations that have been named after the god and at the base of each window is a glass ribbon with the name of the constellation.
“The Lone Star” constellation: Tyr handing a key to Saint Veradais, a huge sun has risen above them
[C] “Ferseditas” constellation: Tyr shown beside his flying steed Ferseditas
[D] Shows Saint Veradais on his pilgrimage
[E] “The Smiter” constellation: Tyr’s warhammer, part of the symbol of those who worship Tyr.
[F] “Duty and Balance” constellation: An image of Tyr his arms stretched out as if to the room and his scales of balance at his feet
[G] “The Chariot” constellation: Tyr being pulled on his chariot by Ferseditas
[H] Saint Veradais slaying demon alongside Tyr’s archon/angels
[I] “Justice” constellation: Tyr holding up his famed magical longsword “Justice”
When the windows are looked at as a ghost 6 of them show constellations of stars that glow slightly blue worked directly into the window, the constellation being a pattern of dots connected by lines.
Along one of the walls (J) there is a wall with 36 holes in it, they are too dark to see inside but big enough for a person to put their hand in and above the holes engraved into the stone work is the image of a 6 sided star. In one of the holes is a key to the True Vault (Area #45), putting a hand (or object that your hand is attached to..) into the wrong hole will deal lightning damage to the player. By using the shapes of the constellations on the windows the shapes can fit perfectly when laid over the holes; the key can be found in the only hole that is not covered up (the “Lone Star” which is a single star constellation, as shown in the window Tyr is giving Saint Veradais the key).
If the players can’t work out the puzzle they can still systematically put their hand in every hole (ouch!).
[B]Puzzle 03: The Bath House [Area 02]
Puzzle Synopsis: This puzzle is more trap related and interacting with the environment than any use of logic per se.
The room is filled at its centre with a shallow waist height pool of water and fountain like taps spaced around the pool in the shape of open mouthed fish. Observant players will see at one end of the room [A] is an iron chain with a hook at the end protrudes from a hole in the wall, on the other side of the room [B] there is a metal ring embedded into the wall. There is a similar metal ring under the water in the middle of the pool embedded into the floor.
The players must pull the chain out of the hole, which can extend the length of the area and be hooked onto the metal ring (Note: in hindsight I would extend the length of the deep pool up the wall at A so that the players have to go into the water and can’t simply pull the chain out adjacent to the hole). The chain can be pulled to extend five feet per round (low STR check) , the chain is 75 feet long and would require 15 rounds to extend it its full length, at the other end of the chain, attached to a metal link, is the vault key; the players must smash the chain when fully stretched to release the key.
When the chain is pulled the door to the area slams shut and water begins pouring from the fountains. The next turn swarms of water snakes begin to pour from the fountains into the pool; which will instantly attack anyone who is in the pool and a new swarm appears every other turn (can only be attacked by melee if in the pool). If a character is injured when holding the chain they must make a save throw to not be pulled back one square towards [A], the players may hook the chain in the middle of the pool to try and deal with the snakes.
If when the chain is hooked in the middle of the pool the players decide to take a short rest to heal up wounds, etc. the water continues to flow in that duration and soon overflows the height of the pool and the snakes are now able to move around the full area of the room. When the chain is smashed it will shoot back inside the wall, turning off the water and opening the door to exit the area (any snakes in the pool remain, any that have made it onto the side will remain immobile and eventually die after a few rounds and are considered helpless).
Puzzle 04: The Scales of Justice [Area 28]
Puzzle Synopsis: The players must gain access to the Fake Vault to recover a key, however, lying or cheating adventurers will be led astray and may believe this to be the end of their adventure. There are two puzzles in this area, first to access the room and then to find the hidden items within.
Outside the Fake Vault there is an alcove in the wall that has a pair of golden scales such as those used by Tyr sitting inside it. In one of the scales bowls sits a number of gold coins and precious gems. You estimate the worth of the bowls contents to be around 1000gp. The other raised bowl is empty. Engraved in the stone wall below the scales a message reads “Bring full balance as Tyr would.”
There are three possible “solutions” to this puzzle, in each situation the scales and its contents will disappear and the door will open:
The players try to “bring balance” by removing all the treasure and thus the scales become balanced. However, theft isn’t something the God of Justice looks kindly upon, the door will open up and the room will seemingly be filled with treasure which the players are allowed to loot. Make a note of what they add to their inventory as the moment they leave the dungeon it will all turn to ash.
The players may try to estimate the weight of the goods and balance the weight with mundane items and not the value of the items. Tyr does not look kindly on those who try to cheat and so the players will be rewarded as above
The players put an equal amount of gold, gems and magic items into the scales to balance them out. The items and scales will disappear and the door will open. However, they will find their items (it is unnecessary to return any non-gear items) in area <Letter> on the table and all the gold and treasure they loot they will be able to keep, more than accounting for that which they lost in the scales. The GM can moderate this to however much they wish to give the players, but reward them they should for acting with honesty.
Puzzle 05: The King in Copper [Area 29]
Puzzle Synopsis: This puzzle requires some lateral thinking and placing the right items on the statue, but is not too difficult; there is however a fiendish trap within.
Within the room there is a statue of a bearded man, his arm stretched out towards the western wall ahead of him in a loosely closed fist. The man is unknown, but it is actually an image of the lich Aesperus before he became undead. Lining the walls are six plinths which contain three crowns and three sceptres, one of each in gold, silver and copper.
Accessing Room [B]: The players must put the golden crown on the statues head and the golden sceptre in its hand, when this is done a secret opening will appear on the wall leading the players into the room. In this room a vault key can be found on the western walls plinth. If the crown and sceptre are removed the doorway to [B] remains open.
Accessing Room [C]: For those that lied or cheated their way into the Fake Vault then they are lead astray. A copper necklace appears in the alcove on the northern wall of room [B], if the players were honest with the Scales of Justice puzzle, then the necklace doesn’t appear (and thus they will avoid being misdirected and the potential trap).
To access this room the players must put the copper sceptre and crown on the statue (the King in Copper) along with the copper necklace which will open the doorway between [B] and [C], in this room is a fake phylactery on a plinth. If the necklace is put onto the statue whilst the gold or silver crown and rod are on the statue then anyone in room [B] at the time will see the door to [C] open in the round, then at the end of the round any players in rooms B and C along with the player who placed the necklace on the statue will be transported to [Area 43] (bottom of the map).
Area 43: This area has a door that can only be opened from the other side and is inescapable if in ghost form. The room is littered with bones that will animate into skeletons to attack the players. The player who placed the necklace on the statue appears with the copper necklace in their hand. By placing the necklace on the statue in [Area 43] on the eastern wall the entire group and skeletons are transported back into [Area 29], but without the copper necklace (the players may then think they have to find the necklace again to get the phylactery, even though it is fake). [Area 43] can be accessed through the cemetery [Area 30].
03-28-2013, 10:09 AM
Accessing The True Vault
Overview: With all the vault keys the players must still gain access to the true vault [Area 45] which can only be reached through the cemetery [Area 30]. The main gates to the cemetery can only be passed through when players are in their incorporeal form, so they can enter it to survey the area but little else. There are three possible routes to getting into the cemetery that the players can choose, requiring various degrees of skill, patience and time.
Puzzle 07: The Abbot [Area 18]
Puzzle Synopsis: By doing a little traveling and using some deduction the players may come across the old Abbots [Area 18] and be told about a secret access point, there is a little leg work with this puzzle but it is the simplest way to get into the cemetery.
In the Abbots House [Area 18] the players if in their corporeal form will sense a presence lingering in the area but nothing more. If the players are in their incorporeal form then around the large table they see eight spirits all dressed the same sat around the table talking to each other; the old Abbots of many generations that appear to be drunk.
The players must ask the abbots about access into the cemetery, but the abbots will require more wine before they are willing to tell the players! Wine can be recovered from the kitchen wine cellar [Area 22], when done the Abbots will tell the players there is a secret access from inside the cathedral [Area 4] that leads out into one of the saints tombs [J] in the cemetery. However, to get inside the secret room the players will need to speak the password, which they are told is the real name of the oldest Abbot (sat at the head of the table), who currently uses a patron name (Abbot Rosen).
Getting the Password: The old Abbot is so old that he cannot remember his real name, and the other Abbots cannot remember such trivial things as the password. The Abbot says if they can find where he is buried in the cemetery then they can read his name off his graves headstone. He does not remember where he asked to be buried, but the physician no doubt was the one who took his last requests. The Abbots last request is archived in the admin building [Area 36]. A search of the files and they can find the recorded final words of Abbot Rosen, though it doesn’t give any clues as to when it dies. It reads:
“I wish to be buried where I can watch the sun rise each morning, under the ever watchful eye of the Loyal Fury beside my brother.”
This statement gives three clues to the location of the grave:
“Where I can watch the sun rise each morning” means an eastern facing grave to watch the sun rise, the players may inaccurately presume the right side of the map is east, but it isn’t. As depicted in the stained glass window the left hand side is the east (flip the map 180 degrees) as the window with the sun is on the left wall of the cathedral.
“… under the ever watchful eye of the Loyal Fury…” means under the watch of the god Torm, a statue of whom is erected in the cemetery [C], which looks over some eastern facing graves. However, the other statue is of Ilmater (Ilmater, Torm and Tyr were known as the Triad in religious lore). With a successful religion check the players will know that Torm is known as the Loyal Fury, however, there is also a painting in the Abbots House depicted Torm with the similarly named caption. The statues in the cemetery have no names on them.
“.. beside my brother.” A few gravestones have the same surnames on them, both those in sight of Ilmater [B] and Torm [C] will have two headstones each where two people next to each other were related. The pair in front of Torm are the two needed, as the Abbot requested to be buried beside his brother it is easy to assume that he died after his brother and the date on the grave will confirm one died later and so the name on that headstone (Arrafa) is the Abbots name and the password needed.
Accessing the Cathedral: The Cathedral, so it would seem, can only be accessed in incorporeal form (through the two incorporeal doors), however, there is a secret entrance from the minor chapel [Area 14] behind the banner [A] that leads back into [Area 01] to a secret door in the staircase [A]. Players may find this access point when they start the adventure in [Area 01]; the door cannot be opened from this side, but has a symbol of a bird in a circle engraved in the wood, which is matched by the same symbol on the banner in the minor chapel. This are can be accessed at any time, however, if the players did not notice the engraved symbol before leaving the cathedral then the Abbot may simply tell them they can access it from the minor chapel.
[B]Puzzle 08: The Bloodletter [Area 35]
Puzzle Synopsis: A fairly simple way to access the cemetery is to obtain a necklace that allows the players to pass through incorporeal doors whilst in their corporeal form, such a device was being made by one of the monks who wanted to be able to further contact those who had passed on. The culmination of this “puzzle” is a fight with a high level solo mob who has stolen the device.
In the High Clerics office [Area 25] the players may discover a diary on the desk of the cleric who oversaw the day to day running of the monks, multiple entries talk about Brother Barstow’s “meddling” and his infernal contraption for seeing and speaking to the dead, the man has become obsessed with his creation and spends most of his days working on it in the workshop instead of focusing on his chores and prayers. This clue directs players to the workshop [Area 12] and Barstow’s private room can be found in [Area 13].
Upon the desk there are documents of the sketched schematics of the device, but they are smeared with blood, a trail that the player now notices leads out of the workshop. With successful tracking skills (the tracks should not be printed on a player map) the players can follow the trail into the garden [Area 13] but are unable to pass through the door [A] and must find another entry point into the Lesser Cloister [Area 34].
Taking the long way round the players may once again pick up the tracks when in the cloister [Area 34] which lead into the bloodletters/surgeon building, in there is a bloody demon of pain and suffering, which will be a tough encounter for the group. At its defeat the players recover the talisman and are able to use it to pass their group through incorporeal doors (Cathedral and Cemetery).
Puzzle 09: The Quizzical Wall [Area 40]
Puzzle Synopsis: Simply by following the general flow of the dungeon the players may eventually make their way around to the school [Area 40], taking this route is for those that haven’t been able to work out the other routes and whilst it rewards logical thinking and getting the puzzles correct, the players can pass through with general combat and skill roll successes. Accessing the cemetery from this point requires two larger puzzles/challenges including a traditional “riddles” puzzle and then a skill/combat based challenge.
The players will enter the school [Area 40] and upon approaching the wall [A] a stone face addresses the players, his brick teeth and hollow eyes baring down on the group, asking if they are looking to go to the library. The wall is quite the smart fellow and says he will pose three riddles, if they get them right or if they get them wrong but survive the consequences, he will let them through. The players don’t know, but if they get an answer wrong they will instantly have to face an encounter based off the correct answer within [Area 40].
Blacken fingers with burning bite
Blind your eyes by brightest light
Strip the clothing from my prey
Unfortunate travellers who’ve lost their way
Wrong Answer: The room becomes freezing and the floor is slicked with ice, moving more than 2 squares in a move action requires a successful acrobatics check or the player falls prone. The players face an ice elemental.
Skin of rock, breath of fire
My heart burns hotter than deepest desire
If angered I shall block out the sun
Then see how fast brave men can run
Wrong Answer: (High chance the players might think the answer is a dragon) the room becomes extremely hot and a number of tiles (GM discretion) turn to flame including the walls, which deal fire damage if passed through them. The players face a fire elemental.
At the end of your journey I await
Sometimes early, often late
I arrange gatherings of friends and family
Though no one ever wants to invite me
Wrong Answer: All the players begin to die and must start making saving throws.
After the players have survived their ordeal the wall grins and opens his mouth wide then become inanimate, allowing the players to pass into the library [Area 41] beyond.
Puzzle 10: The Planartarium [Area 41]
Puzzle Synopsis: This puzzle is very skill based and requires successful skill checks whilst in the middle of combat, this is not a particularly easy challenge but it’s complexity for completing it means the players will always have a route they know they can take; even if it is difficult.
When the players pass into the library the shelves are filled with various bookshelves. The center of the area raises into a high domed ceiling, suspended in the air are a number of metal balls around three feet in diameter. The players sense a high presence of magic in this area, if they try to find the cause they will detect that “Tenser’s Floating Disk” ritual seems to have been used on this room (hence the floating items). At the centre of the library on the ground floor the players can find a golden statue [A] that holds a model depicting the planes of existence with Toril at the centre, this reflects a smaller scale of the larger floating metal balls above them.
On top of the of the golden statue is a darkened blue gem, pushing this down the players will realise it is a button and when activated it the coloured metal balls above moving at quite a quick pace, they seem to move in some form of pattern (irrelevant). The golden balls remain stationary and continue to float. After 5 rounds the button will deactivate and the balls will stop spinning/moving.
Up the stairs into the higher level there are two more similar buttons on the walls [D] and [E], when the button at [A] is active these two buttons can also be activated, however, they must be pushed with a minor action each round otherwise they will deactivate. When activated the metal balls begin to spin faster and begin passing over the stationary golden balls. After five rounds the players may see with a successful perception check that one of the balls that passes over the central golden ball [F] also appears to have another button on it that glows and dims over and over.
The players must keep the buttons pushed [A], [D] and [E] before finally “hitting” the floating button at [F] (only active when the other three buttons are activated for five consecutive rounds). This can be hit with a ranged attack (very high AC/Ref to hit) or from the metal disc at [F] with a melee attack, which has a lower AC/Ref to hit it, but requires jumping checks to leap between the golden balls and acrobatics to dodge the flying coloured balls.
Also, when button D is pushed a portal will open on the bottom floor at in the etched runes in the stonework where minions will pour out each round to try and attack the person at button [E]. Similarly, the player at button [E] will control the portal/flow of minions at point [C] that will attack the person at button [D].
If a player is unable to keep the buttons active then the timer is reset and the buttons must be held for another 5 consecutive turns before the button at [F] can be hit. When button [D] or [E] is deactivated its corresponding portal will shut (but the summoned minions will remain until killed), if button [A] is deactivated it will deactivate both buttons [D] and [E] and shut off both portals.
When button [F] is finally struck the door in [Area 42] at door [B] is unlocked at the players can pass into the cemetery.
[B]Puzzle 11: The Quell and the Portal [Area 32]
Puzzle Synopsis: Not so much a puzzle, but a puzzling situation. In [Area 32] there is a damned shrine that can only be reached when incorporeal, which players may believe they need to resurrect at to gain access to the cemetery. However, upon reaching the room players are unable to resurrect, this is due to the Quell in [Area 31], creatures that stop divine powers from working.
To access the portal [Room 33] which leads to the True Vault doorway [Area 44] the players must open the corporeal door from [Area 32] to reach the portal. However, to reach [Area 32] the players have to be in their incorporeal form to pass through the incorporeal door between [Area 31] and [Area 32]. This means that the players must kill the Quell (thus breaking its effects on the damned shrine), die, pass through the incorporeal door into [Area 32] then resurrect at the shrine to open the corporeal door leading into [Area 33]. Complex!
One the players pass through the portal and reach [Area 44] they will find the metal True Vault door which is locked, in the door are three keyholes signifying that the players need to find the three keys to access the final area.
03-28-2013, 10:10 AM
There are other puzzles that bar the adventurers way through the monastery, as well as multiple unused rooms for adding extra plot hooks or other mini GM puzzles.
Puzzle 12: The Runic Doors [Area 13]
Puzzle Synopsis: The two doors [A] and [B] located at the gardens [Area 13] are puzzle doors ([A] can only be accessed from [Area 34] though), each with a safe type combination lock where the symbols must be turned on the dial to the right position and then the blue gem button pushed in the middle of the door to lock it in place.
At first look the symbols may look completely nonsensical , however with the theme of mirrors and balance running throughout the adventure players may realise that the symbols are, in fact, just numbers that have been mirrored and joined together. Entering the numbers in order from 1 – 6 will open the door. Player may give different numbers to each door, or use the same numbers giving the players another chance to look at them when they come across the other door. Alternatively player could implement a number into the adventure that the players have to find to open the doors. Either way opening these doors simply makes moving around the map easier and doesn’t bar progression through the adventure.
Puzzle 13: The Archons and the Daemon [Area 05]
Puzzle Synopsis: The players in this adventure are on the brink of the Abyss, the plane of existence where demons typically come from. This puzzle will give the players the chance to close a gate that is a portal to the Abyss; stopping any enemies coming through but also getting some epic loot at the same time. This area is particularly dangerous as players looking towards the mouth of the Abyss suffer willpower attacks to cause insanity. Whilst trying to complete the statues puzzle minions will pour from the hell mouth!
An open courtyard that has a bridge passing overhead and two huge iron gates that are opened, on top of it stands an immobile hooded figure with a scythe looking out over the courtyard. The creature is well out of range and cannot be disturbed from this area (note: the hooded figure is a “Reaper” and is the only enemy on the map that can attack a player when incorporeal, death when in this form leads to the destruction of the player).
At (H) the players can look directly into the planes of the Abyss, a swirling darkness that draws the weak willed into it. Looking upon this sight when incorporeal has no effect, however, returning to this area and looking upon the gates of the Abyss will require some form of Willpower saving throws each round otherwise the character is driven to madness (apply these effects as you see fit!).
The gates can be closed by solving the puzzle with the statues (A – F), however, this puzzle can only be completed when in corporeal form and also requires the mirrored sword that was held by Tyr from back inside the cathedral.
When Tyr descended to Toril (the planet FR is based on) he brought with him an army of Archon/Angels to fight evil. These statues represent five of those Archon, but one of them is a Daemon in disguise and is keeping the abyssal gate open, the aim is to use logic from the clues given on each statue to determine which is the daemon and slay it. Each statue is made of stone, dressed in armor and a helmet, their spread wings behind them and armed with a particular weapon. Each has a slot with an unknown purpose in its chest of about 4 inches wide.
A) The statue is holding a double bladed axe. As you approach the statue it roars:
“I am Felisimad the Just, Archon of Light. A daemon is among our ranks; let Tyr’s Justice strike it down!”
B) The statue is holding a weighted stave. As you approach the statue it speaks calmly:
“ I am Garastanias the Wise. Two Archon walk at my side.”
C) The statue is holding a sharp spear and a large spear with a mirror like surface. When you approach it speaks confidently:
“I am Perotallias the Honest. My shield is named Truth.”
D) The statue is holding a heavy hammer in one hand and holding up a stone carved scroll in the other. It has a bandage around its eyes and another around its mouth. It does not speak to you, but on the scroll it holds reads:
“Archon speak in truths. Daemon speak in lies. - Apistisa the Defiled”
E) The statue is holding a spiked mace. As you approach the statue it whispers:
“I am Detiusanimos the Courageous. One of those before me lies.”
F) The statue is holding a large great sword. As you approach the statue is speaks:
“I am Excillibat the Bold. My brothers bear arms like mine.”
By deduction you can work out that Detiusanimos (E) is the Daemon with the following method:
Look into Perotallias (C) mirrored shield that is named “Truth”, this shows the image of Excillibat (F) who is directly opposite him; the reflection will show a glowing Archon around the statue. F cannot be the daemon
If F is not the daemon and he tells the group “My brothers bear arms like mine” then the players must deduce that three of the statues are using blades weapons (F [Greatsword], C [Spear]and A [Sword]) and three are using blunt weapons (B [Weighted Stadd], D [Warhammer] and E [Spiked Flail]). If his brothers use weapons like him then those with bladed weapons are also Archo. F, C and A cannot be the daemon.
Looking at Apistisa (D) his clue tells the players “Archon speak in truths. Daemon speak in lies.”, the fact that this is written down and not spoken may be a red herring for the group who may believe Apistisa to be the daemon. Presuming this clue is the truth (though as Apistisa didn’t SAY it and it was simply written, that doesn’t rule him out) we can look to the other statues.
Detiusanimos says “One of those before me lies.”. We have already determined that A and C cannot be the daemon, so it puts Garastaniuas in the spotlight as a potential daemon (but doesn’t rule out Detiusanimos).
Garastanias (B) says “Two Archon walk at my side”, which we know to be a fact, which means that Apistisa’s (D) clue is true, but more importantly it means that Detiusanimos’ statement “One of those before me lies” is in fact a lie, thus making him the daemon.
Felisimad gives the clue as to what the players must do next Let Tyr’s Justice strike it down!”, the players must recover the sword (Justice) from the Cathedral and insert it into the gap in the chest of the daemon statue.
Solving the Puzzle: The sword will close the gates to the Abyss, at which point the players can remove the sword and it will now be a lesser-magical sword.
Guessing Incorrectly: The players only get one try at getting this puzzle right, if they insert Tyr’s sword into the wrong statue, or if they insert their own blades into the statue (even the daemon) they will fail the puzzle. The daemon will appear from the statue and the players will have to fight it.
Puzzle 14: The True Vault [Area 45]
Puzzle Synopsis: A relatively easy puzzle, with an easy solution. However, with the greater deed comes the greater reward.
In the final room, the True Vault is guarded by a small undead drake, used to guard Aesperus’ phylactery. The players do not necessarily have to kill the drake, at the top of the stairs is the same statue of Tyr as was found in the Cathedral, however instead of being made of stone he is made of reflective mirror such as the sword that the Cathedral statue was holding. His right hand is outstretched but swordless, in his other hand he holds the lich’s phylactery. By placing the sword in the statues hand he will release the phylactery but will not release the sword, at this point the players can simply leave with the phylactery.
If they stay and kill the undead drake Tyr’s sword will now shine brighter and can be removed and is now an epic magic sword; it is Tyr’s own “Justice”.
03-29-2013, 02:21 AM
Nice puzzles, have not finished reading them all yet, but soon I shall.
I thought of another option for solving puzzle 4, Scales of Justice. Remove half of the coins and gems from the side with all the treasure and place it in the empty side of the scale.
How would that solution be looked on by Tyr?
I think Tyr would be a bit annoyed and would file a bug report so it can be patched in the next update. =P
03-29-2013, 10:48 AM
I think Tyr would be a bit annoyed and would file a bug report so it can be patched in the next update. =P
You make a good point Bogie, though I think the intention is clear that the players should donate their wealth to balance the scales, so if they simply redistributed what was there then I'd arguing they were trying to cheat and the same effect would apply. Or maybe if they use their own coin they are rewarded for being charitable and they get treasure that they can keep. However, if they don't give anything then they don't get to take anything from the vault/it turns to ash when they leave (I'd let them keep the stuff on the scales) but maybe the copper necklace isn't there so they can't be tricked with the fake phylactery. So they don't too screwed over as it's not exactly intentionally cheating, but they dont get the larger reward for being charitable :)
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