This week I tackled a floating temple map. I originally thought I’d just be doing an air temple but soon realised having an ocean/water version would work as well. In the end I created both and decided the water version would be the more useful general encounter map, so that’s why you have that as your base map this week.
You’ve heard the rumours in fishing villages all the way along the coast. A floating temple, a marvel of the ancient world can be found here. Once rumoured to soar through the heavens, now its broken remains lay scattered along the waters edge, breakers crashing over its crumbling foundations. As you descend to the rocky beach the sea breeze picks up, cold with a light spray of salt water that dampens your face and stings your eyes. A fetid rotten smell of seaweed and decay assaults your nostrils, while sand fleas jump from your every footstep. As you get closer to the ruins a crack of thunder rumbles across the oceans far horizon, pinpoints of light explode along its dark line, illuminating storm clouds that seem to grow and undulate as you watch.
With the next flash of lightning you catch movement out near the breakers, at the very edge of the temple and the sea. A silhouetted figure stands facing the oncoming storm, arms raised to the heavens, a dagger glinting in its grasp. The wind brings you chanting and the wailing of an innocent soul bereft of hope for salvation. But hope is not lost, not yet. Time is short, but still there is time. Time before the storm. Time before the dagger is thrust. Time before the summoning is complete.
- 30×30 Grid battle map
- The Floating Temple, Water
- The Floating Temple, Dark water
- The Floating Temple, Clouds
- The Floating Temple, Stormy
Notes and tips
- Roll a D20 when a party member moves across slime covered stone (defined by the GM), if moving at half speed (walking) they only fall on a crit fail, if moving at full speed they make a Dex save with the difficulty defined by the GM.
- Use passive perception (something which is not used as much as it should be) to allow players to pick up on areas of treacherous slimy stone. Mark them for the players!
- The chains can be used to move between the different platforms. Make them skill challenges, with the timing of waves moving over them and the slickness of the surface contributing to the difficulty. If they fail, a wave can wash them off and they then need to swim and climb up instead, or they can cling on with a Str save.
- Any number of monstrous creature could reside here. Giant Octopus, Sharks (Reef, Hunter and Giant), a Chuul (as seen of Crit Roll recently) or if you just want your players dead an Aboleth.
- There are a number of humanoids that could be summoning some monster from the depth. Sahuagin are a classic choice, or the Kuo-toa. Both have different levels of CR mobs from low to high, and remember you can mix them up with creatures as well. Sea Hags are fun, while land based humanoid cultists would work well. “Oh look its Bob from the village! I told you his Octopus Tattoo was suspicious!”
- Use the water to surprise your party, things can jump out of it!
- The god that was worshipped at this temple is not happy its being used for nefarious purposes. They could help out the players in a few different ways. The water in the fountain could have some magical properties, casts a spell on anyone that drinks it, makes them immune to some negative effect. This god could whisper to the party during combat, giving them clues. Lots of possibilities!
And thanks to people over on Reddit for asking for more info on what the chains are used for. I throw together these ideas:
- I’d say if they were once part of a flying city maybe the chains were used to tether the islands together.
- Or maybe they floated on the waves, again tethered.
- Or there was once mechanisms under the islands that would pull the islands together when storms approached
- Or they hung below the city and conducted raw energies from the magical vortexes that once ravaged the skies!
- Or they were part of some giant iron net used the trap a god within the temple complex, which as you would expect ended badly.