KS Encounter Ideas

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kodiakbear
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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by kodiakbear » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:14 am

KS5 will give us the Vaulted Open Arch Wall

Here are some encounter ideas if KS6 gave us a cavern style wall like it we could use the bars from KS5 to show were a cavern had been bared to keep the nasty deep dwelling creatures from coming to the surface (do we dare to bend the bars). But with a new ice door insert we could put creatures behind it having been frozen long ago to awake (will they be friend or foe) or as a frozen over entrance to the ice caves (what icy dangers lay past that frozen portal) . If possible with a insert filled with metal we could have a place for magnetic backed crystals or other accessories. And if just left open it would work as another style of narrow opening (perhaps a insert with a opening to fill the internal void). Heck a DM could stuff strings of cotton ball down in, to be the entrance to a spiders lair.

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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by LordDust » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:23 am

Roleplay encounters that are good in caverns include: a deep gnome or dwarven trader with a pack-lizard laden with goods headed to the surface that will stop to sell/trade information and goods; sentient fungi that will trade beneficial spores (perhaps protection from later spore attacks, or that grant temporary water breathing to better traverse a later hazard) for things that are rotting or that will rot easily to feed to their young; and a bound spirit (maybe bound to it's own decorated corpse or skull) that can't do anything besides talk that is lonely and has info.

I like pools that have some treasure and bones in them! Maybe they are safe, maybe something big and nasty washes and drinks there, maybe it is a water burial site for a tribe of some sort, or maybe the entire pool is a slime or other gelatinous monster lying in wait for it's next meal! If you guys can pull off a translucent or clear pool on a 4x4 with or without walls that has some treasure and bones in it I will most likely fall in love with that piece.

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fnordfriendly
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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by fnordfriendly » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:20 pm

How about some cave paintings on some pieces? Or stalagmites with faces carved into them? Get Lady Sabelle to carve them up, she would do a great job with that.

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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by DWChancellor » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:04 pm

fnordfriendly wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:01 pm
Mines should go without saying. You have to do mines this time - I mean, come on. MINES. Ores for the characters to discover and fight for. They would also inject some much needed color into some pieces.
Mine is a mighty need for mine own mine.
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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by fnordfriendly » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:01 pm

You couldn't go wrong with an underdark themed encounter. It's the ultimate expression of caverns in D&D, and exists as some analog in most other big fantasy RPG settings. The drow stalactite towers of Menzoberranzan would be impressive, build them like the DF4 towers in stackable layers that look like organic stone on the outside.

Sea caverns are cool. Make sea caves with cool coral growing on the surface. Grottoes are awesome, I use them often with negative space floors. I always want more free-standing walls for stuff like this. They could double as underwater caverns.

Worm tunnels could vary the look of things, and could be created by purple worms, bulettes, umber hulks, or magic.

Mines should go without saying. You have to do mines this time - I mean, come on. MINES. Ores for the characters to discover and fight for. They would also inject some much needed color into some pieces.

Bone piles... big ones. I don't mean 1" squares, I mean massive bone piles in various configurations. Because lairs are in caverns, often. Lairs full of bones. Lairs full of bones, and nests like the resin one that isn't available anymore.
Last edited by fnordfriendly on Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by Talistran » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:48 pm

My favorite encounters have choke points (Bridges, water, small/narrow passages). A sense of urgency (Yes, you could. But if you rest for the day at 9:00am after using all of your spells for the day, the kobolds already would have eaten the villagers)

* More KS2 Style Water tiles, but new sculpts with more options like water up to the walls

* A floor that gives way to a cave in.

* More KS2 Style Water tiles, but new sculpts with more options like diagonal shorelines.

* squeeze points... where there is NOT room to put a medium sized creature. Use squeeze rules to allow them to pass, but not fight. Wouldn't need a ton of them. I could see a wall being made with just a 1/2" space instead of a doorway. Or as a pedastal type piece with a 1/2" passage all the way through it. Or both! :)

* More KS2 Style Water tiles, but new sculpts with more options like streams (not river sized pieces)

* Lots of Stalagmite and Stalagtite options.

* More KS2 Style Water tiles, but new sculpts with more options like water/lava entry points (from a wall or a bubbling point of some kind)

* Small jail cells built into alcoves, maybe made out of wood instead of iron.

* More KS2 Style Water tiles, but new sculpts with more options like modular waterfalls

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Seraphis the Bland
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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by Seraphis the Bland » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:31 pm

natetaylor wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:17 am
In KS6, I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on the narrative - after all D&D is all about storytelling, so let’s make sure we’re giving you guys the tools to tell an awesome story.

To that end, we’ve been playtesting the Encounters for KS6. I’ve run the our office team (Nina, Erin, Tobi, Janet, Selina) through the first 12 Encounters (Elye, Drew, Michelle, Chuck and Stefan were able to join us for the first 3 Encounters). Thus far everything has been pretty enjoyable (I mean it’s D&D, you’ve got to be doing something pretty poorly for it not to be enjoyable, right?). My main focus has been on making sure the Encounters are fun and memorable - do they set the stage for a scene that will excite your players?

Since we haven’t had enough different prototypes back to build anything cohesive yet, I’ve only built about half the rooms with physical terrain (usually an ugly combo of prototypes, foam mocks, random pieces, and paper). The others I’ve just done theater of the mind to see how the Encounter works in general (Is it fun? Is it challenging? Is it memorable? Does it further the story? Will terrain enhance this scene?). We’ll do another pass through once we have a build for each Encounter, to really test them as they’ll exist when you guys get them next year (damn, that’s a long time to wait for this stuff!).

After a first pass, everything still needs some tweaking and refining, but we’re early in the process. While we’re enhancing and improving things, I have a few question for you guys to help with that effort:
  • What are the kinds of pure role-play encounters that you love to DM? And what role-play encounters do your PC’s seem to enjoy the most?
  • What natural hazards would you use most often in a cavern setting? Any really specific hazards that wouldn’t come out often but would be total showstoppers when they did?
  • What kinds of puzzle/riddles/challenges do your players enjoy tackling which would also be found in a cavern setting?
I’m hoping to mine your answers for new ideas, and check our assumptions with what we’ve already made.

Feel free to get as detailed as you want, but if you’re going to write volumes, a few bullet points at the top would help skim value when we need to look back at this stuff multiple times. It’ll help us get the most out of your feedback.

Can’t wait to hear what’s brewing in your fertile and twisted minds...
Pure role-play might include:
-interactions with named monsters or NPCs for the players to gain information (location of an item, warning of a risk, a secret to assist them like a passage, etc), secret compartment or a rock that covers a hidy-hole. I love RP'ing filling the chamber with water, but that's just me :) Or smoke/fog/gas. Erie sounds.
-for role play, I love stuff that bumps players out of their comfort zones, eg, "the party set off the trick, so please exchange player sheets with the person to your left, now each of you inhabits the other person's body!"
-

Natural Hazards might include:
-rough terrain is #1, rock slides, water, things that fall from the ceiling, fungus/slime, webs (magnetic?), magic-cancelling areas, secret entrance, or obvious entrance that can only be opened under a condition, etc.

Puzzles/Riddles/Challenges might include:
-crossing a rope bridge, over coming a rock slide, shifting walls (magnetic), pits! with a cover?

Additional stuff:
I love the idea of a large entrance for special chambers. A raised natural looking dais/alter. For that matter, something equivalent to the elevation platforms from KSV would be cool. I would love ruined dungeon wall & corner & pillar pieces for a transition from dungeon to caverns. Some free-standing cavern walls. Crystals that light up.

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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by jazzman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:48 pm

Jackattack your bit about crystals reminded me of a Light Bright or the mysterious Slee Stak crystals control board in Land of the Lost.

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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by Oldent » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:44 pm

There is a great cavern where bones flow like the waters of the earth. "The Grail? The Grail is there?"

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jackattack
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Re: KS Encounter Ideas

Post by jackattack » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:27 pm

Good role playing encounters frequently involve good NPCs for the players to interact with, or at least to kick things off by getting the players talking about the adventure.

But what kind of NPCs are they going to encounter in a cavern? Some of the classics are the grizzled prospector, the lost waif(s), the refugees in hiding, and the escaped prisoner (who is hiding from the primary denizens of the caverns but can’t get past them).

===========

Natural hazards I enjoy using/playing in caverns are narrow ledges and bridges, pits with stalagmite spikes, narrow crevices characters have to squeeze through, shafts and walls that require climbing (up or down), flooding, and chutes/slides.

I also like to go old school with adapting natural ecology for frpg purposes. Caves have bats — cue bat swarms and giant bats. Bats produce guano — cue rot grubs, beetle swarms, giant beetles, etc. There are snakes that cling to rocks and snag bats right out of the air — have the players fight or avoid giant versions of those.

============

One puzzle I like for a cavern (system) is to place pools in various chambers, and let the players figure out that some of them are interconnected by flooded tunnels, and some of those tunnels may be the only way to get into certain chambers. But that’s really more of a secret passage, floorplan thing.

Another idea I’m toying with is a chamber with jewels or crystals embedded in the walls. The PCs have clues about navigating the cavern like “follow the bears” or “the archer aims true”. These are actually references to constellations, which the chamber recreates on its walls or ceiling (or they aren’t actually constellations, they are just patterns in the array of crystals/jewels). Easy enough to add red herrings, like actual bears in the cavern, or a (non-animated) skeleton holding a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other.

Finally, a room with freestanding crystals might have potential for a puzzle. In fantasy settings, holding a light near a crystal causes one or more beams to shoot out of it. Placing a light source in the right spot in a room might cause a beam to shine on a wall or into a hallway, or to pass through more crystals to create some kind of pattern. Placing a light source in the wrong place(s) might produce false or nonsensical clues (a beam that points to the ceiling, a beam that points to a shallow alcove, etc.). Or, multiple light sources near multiple crystals might produce beams or projections that combine to form a pattern or image.

That’s what I got right now.
Favorite Pieces: Chasms, 45 Degree Passages, River & Lava Banks, Ledges, Large Curved Walls, Elevation Arch

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