This weeks map launch is another one from our Patron suggestion list, the ‘Greenhouse, hedge maze, stately house gardens‘. In my research for the map I came across some really cool looking ‘glasshouses’, Kew gardens in London being a major inspiration for the actual building. Kew’s glasshouses also have different types of Biomes, desert, tropical, temperate. This really got the gears turning and I ended up deciding on this map concept based around the idea of some rich lord or wizard creating a ‘Collection’ of exotic plants and animals for their own amusement.
You’ve heard the talk around town. Strange noises are said to emanate from the manor’s grounds. Servants have been rushed to the local temples in the dead of night with horrible injuries. The rumoured disappearances of guests has become local legend. And now here you are, waiting on the lord to appear, with a flyer in hand. The job request wasn’t specific, “Help wanted, must be fit, quick witted and have no ailments!” is all it said. The pay was suspiciously high, but not unheard of when dealing with the nobility, such people rarely understand the worth of coin.
Across the gardens you hear a scream cut short, replaced with an unnerving silence and then shortly hurried footsteps on gravel. A servant appears walking briskly along an avenue of manicured boxwood hedges and tall cypress trees. He calls.
“You are the next batch… I mean… the adventurers my Lord requested I presume? He will be seeing you now! Through the gardens yonder and into the large glass structure if you please, my lord has need of you post haste!”
I’ve created some assets for this map, to be used with Virtual Tabletops. I’ve tested them out and they seem to work quite well in Roll20 at least. They work on both the day and night variants of the map.
Notes and tips
- The glasshouse is meant to house exotic animals and plants. If you’ve always wanted to pit your party against a creature that inhabits the desert, jungle or Underdark but never managed to get them there, this is your chance.
- The Lord is in a panic. His creatures have escaped and are roaming the grounds. It’s your party’s job to incapacitate them and return his pets to their enclosures!
- You don’t need to keep the fight within the glasshouse, the animals could have escaped and be roaming around the grounds.
- Get the party into the glasshouse by some erroneous means and then lock them in with something horrible!
- The Lord could stand at the entrance and taunt the party while he/she watches the fun. It’s always fun to monologue!
- The walls of the glasshouse are enchanted and reflect spells. If a player misses with a spell it bounces off a glass wall and is reflected in a logical direction. Use your own devious mind to make this mechanic both fun and horrible for your players!
- I’ve provided bars, both magical and mundane, as assets for you to place around the arena. Remember that they can come back down, trapping the party inside the enclosures.
- The enclosures could be on a lower level than the arena.
- Each enclosure could house an animal with a key attached to it somehow, all three keys are needed for… something. Escape? A treasure chest? A secret entrance?
- All of the enclosures could have entrances into other areas below, sewers, old crypts, cave systems.
- The Desert enclosure could house some type of insect which has made a huge underground nest under the gardens. Huge insects have been marauding around town and this is the source. Use my Hive map as a secondary encounter location!