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scenario_e_the_water_temple

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Water Temple

Level 3 Exploration Scenario

Ancient underwater ruins and their mystical tricks have guarded their secrets for centuries. If the PCs wish to be the first in an age to witness those mysteries, they will need to overcome the temple's still-functioning traps and puzzles.

This scenario could be part of a side quest where the players seek treasures rumored to hide within the temple ruins, or you could use it as part of a primary campaign where the PCs must venture underwater in search of plot-centric information or items hidden away here.

In order to unlock the temple's secrets, the PCs must find and insert 3 Keyrods into the Keyslots. The Keyrods function on a timer; they must all be inserted in the same round, or the slots eject the rods at the end of the round. Keyrods may be inserted in any slot. In addition, a pair of switches control the rise or fall of the water levels, making some traversals easier while adding new threats to other regions. Whenever the water level rises or falls, PCs may go up or down with it without spending a Move (freely crossing the Up or Down exit). The water level is low at the start of the scenario.

All regions are lit by glowstones firmly embedded in the walls (next to impossible to remove without damaging the stones).

Map

Setting Dungeon
Type Normal
Lighting Lit
(start)
    A                E
  /                    \
B       C        F       G
      /            \
    D                H
  (1F)             (2F)

Regions

(Region A) Temple Entrance
You have finally reached the site of the lost temple. The ancient stone is in pristine condition even after all this time. A passageway at the bottom provides entrance; after a short swim forward, you then break the surface and find breathable air. Water remains waist-deep in this area of the temple; you see a dry upper level much higher up, but there are no stairs or other access points that you can see. There are strange mechanical devices around that leak strange gases; you see a large switch among them.
Notes
As a Strategy or Action, a PC can activate a switch to change the water level.
This region is submerged at high water level, requiring swimming and dealing 1d4 damage at the end of the round to occupying PCs and Creatures without the Aquatic keyword.
Exit To Obstacle
Southwest B Murky Pool at high water level, none at low
Up E Slimy Wall (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Steam Vents at low water level, none at high
(Region B) Shrine of the Lantern Fish
A huge stone statue of a bizarre-looking fish functions as an idol within this otherwise small shrine. A curious opening is carved into the idol's fanged maw.
Notes
There is a Keyslot here.
This region is submerged at high water level, requiring swimming and dealing 1d4 damage at the end of the round to occupying PCs and Creatures without the Aquatic keyword.
Exit To Obstacle
Northeast A Murky Pool at high water level, none at low
Up F Slimy Wall (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Carnivorous Fish Respawn: 2 Will not go Up
Secrets
Fortune Hidden: 1d8
(Region C) Coral Colony
Beautiful corals add a rainbow of color to these ancient stone passages.
Note
This region is submerged at high water level, requiring swimming and dealing 1d4 damage at the end of the round to occupying PCs and Creatures without the Aquatic keyword.
Exit To Obstacle
Southwest D Murky Pool at high water level, none at low
Up G Slimy Wall (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Carnivorous Fish Respawn: 2 Will not go Up
Secrets
Keyrod Hidden: 1d6
(Region D) Shrine of the Eel
A small shrine exists on a small balcony above the temple passages. Unlike the upper levels, this balcony is trivially reached through a ramp. Within the shrine, an odd carving of a sea snake hisses silently at interlopers, with an opening in its maw.
Notes
There is a Keyslot here.
This region is submerged at high water level, requiring swimming and dealing 1d4 damage at the end of the round to occupying PCs and Creatures without the Aquatic keyword.
Exit To Obstacle
Northeast C Murky Pool at high water level, none at low
Up H Slimy Wall (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Secrets
Fortune Hidden: 1d8
(Region E) Shrine of the Sea Turtle
The giant sea turtle carving at the center of this shrine looks somehow benevolent. There is a slot of some sort within its shell.
Note
There is a Keyslot here.
Exit To Obstacle
Southeast G Reinforced Locked Door
Down F Leap of Faith (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Mud Hands Respawn: 2
Secrets
Fortune Hidden: 1d8
(Region F) Black Lagoon
Black waters rise anywhere from ankle to knee deep in these rooms and passages, unaffected by the rise and fall of waters elsewhere. The water feels and smells wrong. It's hard to tell whether it's some sort of defense mechanism or a corruption that has set in over the centuries as the temple lay abandoned.
Exit To Obstacle
Southeast H Reinforced Locked Door
Down B Leap of Faith (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Poisoned Surface
Secrets
Keyrod Hidden: 1d6
(Region G) Corruption Sands
A terrible muck replaces the cold stone floors in this wing of the temple. Walking around is difficult, a terrible stench hangs in the air, and you see evidence of corrosion all around you. The less time you have to spend in this horrid place, the better.
Exit To Obstacle
Northwest E Reinforced Locked Door
Down C Leap of Faith (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Poisonous Swamp
Secrets
Keyrod Hidden: 1d6
(Region H) Oratory
A raised dias once served as a preaching pulpit, half surrounded by a semicircle of carved stone benches. Pipes and other mechanical devices in questionable shape run through the area, and you see another switch nearby.
Note
As a Strategy or Action, a PC can activate a switch to change the water level.
Exit To Obstacle
Northwest F Reinforced Locked Door
Down D Leap of Faith (Height 4) at low water level, none at high
Hazards
Steam Vents

Tweaks

With five players, drop all the Respawn timers down to 1, and consider dropping the free Move when changing water levels. If you have three players that lack any real lockpicking capabilities, consider using lower-level doors, or replace them with other Obstacles such as Slick Surfaces or Haunted Passages.

It's assumed that any player in the lower area is taking frequent trips to the surface to breathe; rounds in this scenario take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, so the 1d4 damage doesn't represent asphyxiation. Rather, interpret it as a combination of the extra effort needed to swim about, the questionable quality of the water that's filling and draining in this ancient place, and the hazards of swimming into sharp or hard things while moving about underwater. You can apply the Fatigue damage type to it if you want, or even Cold if you want the water to be frigid. If you do, consider upping the base damage to 1d6. You're also welcome to remove the damage effect if you want to reduce the emphasis on changing the water levels.

If you want to remove the water level effect entirely (perhaps because in your setting this place is neither magical nor technologically advanced enough to manage such a feat), reduce the Height values on the Obstacles to 2 and make the 1F regions always submerged (though without the automatic damage effect). The Murky Pools are always in play with this setup.

On the other hand if you want to further emphasize the water level mechanic, you can upgrade the Slimy Walls to extremely high-level climbing Obstacles, essentially forcing the PCs to use the switches to go up.

More level 3 exploration scenarios

scenario_e_the_water_temple.1546547788.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/01/03 12:36 by triptycho