Hello brave adventurers! I’m happy to present the next map based on our Patron suggestions list, this time it’s the Amphitheatre!
I wanted to create a ruin for this map idea, an old abandoned stone structure which could be used as a general map for wilderness encounters, or something with a bit more story behind it. It could be a meeting place, a lair of some creature, or the entrance to a dungeon complex. Hopefully the different levels, cover and overall shape will help create a fun and dynamic battle ground 🙂
As you step out of the forest, and into this most ancient of meeting places, the noises of the countryside die away. No more bird song or chattering squirrels, this place is oppressively quiet, only the low howl of wind blowing across shadowed archways breaks the silence.
This was once, and still is, an amphitheatre. A half moon of stone seating nestled against the base of high rocky cliffs. At one time it was a place for people to meet, for discourse and entertainment, but no more. The wilderness has retaken this place, grass now grows between the brickwork, rock falls litter the ground. And yet this place is not completely abandoned. The ranger crouches, pointing out the subtle signs, a broken twig, grass blades trampled underfoot and drag marks. You are still on the right track it seems. You gesture to continue forward.
You cautiously walk down the amphitheatre’s crumbling steps. As you reach the bottom a new sound begins, almost imperceptible at first but becoming clearer as you listen. A murmuring, chanting, low and ominous. From the dark entrances against the cliff walls hooded figures appear, no part of them visible beneath their heavy dark robes. They continue to file out, one at a time, positioning themselves around the outer edges of the amphitheatre. As each one reaches its position it turns to face you and stands motionless. And then for just a moment silence returns, a pause before the inevitable battle. In unison the figures raise their hands, drawing back hoods to reveal what you already knew. The bard vomits behind you… he’ll need to be replaced if you ever get back to town alive.
Notes and Tips
- It would be fun to have a group of cultists file out in silence around the arena while the players stand in the centre regretting taking the quest. Hooded, they could be NPCs the party have already met, or something really horrible, or both.
- This could be a place where locals come to bet on fights, in whatever form that may take. Or a place for ritualistic duels.
- The Amphitheatre is haunted, ghostly figures sit around watching two spectral fighters duel. Or there could be some kind of ghostly play taking place.
- This could work quite well as a druid conclave or other natural meeting place.
- This can work as an entrance to a dungeon complex. There are three doorways into the cliffside.
- The party is taking part in a local summer festival. They get swept up in the revelry and end up in a procession to this ruin. The party watches as a young person wreathed in flowers is led up the steps to be left as tribute to the monster which resides within.
- A giant snake is sunning itself in the base of the amphitheatre.
- A lone figure kneels in the centre of the ruin, moss grows on its armour. As the party gets closer it stands up and shouts a challenge.
That’s about it for this release. As always thank you for your support, you really are the best! Have a great rest of the week and happy adventuring!
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