Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Blackhawk1
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:12 am

Same problem here re: the water sets. I initially wanted to create an enclosed "livable" lake area for the lizardmen. The more I fooled around with designs the more unsatisfied I got as nothing seemed to really work.

That's when I decided to just have the lake open with the unstated understanding there was more beyond the perimeter. I wanted the more open and expansive feel.

And I too marveled at having so many pieces and yet being somewhat limited. Now if this contest was use 3 sets of each... :D

THOTH
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by THOTH » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:26 pm

Well I have a setup...but I'm not happy with my pictures (too much flash for one thing) and I also need to add some skelentons, lizard men and orcs and such...so perhaps in a few days when I figure it out I'll post them. I must say - it was very difficult putting together a decent setup even with seemingly lots of pieces. Insuficient (river & lake) corners and the plethora of water pieces with bits of land in the wrong places (need for more river-lake transition type pieces IMO) was a major problem. And I can see now why a few if the setups ended up with uncontained water on one or more edges. (I worked very hard to not do this...and it wasn't at all easy) With more of each set I think some of the water difficulties will go away - though still will be tough to contain large lakes. Anyway I can't wait to post my setup - I think folks will enjoy it. Of all the sets I really think caverns are my forte. Its also given me alot more respect to some of the layouts already posted that I've just looked over in detail for the first time. Later after the contest is over I'll comment on some particular elements in each of the setups I really like. There are a few things I saw that are awesome that I didn't even think of. I would have liked to done more multi-level and saw oppurtunity for it with some of the new pieces - and some advantages as well (for cheating...I'll demonstrate or explain later perhaps) - but it didn't just work into the setup that eventually took shape.

LoneStarr
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by LoneStarr » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:08 pm

Wow! Blackhawk1, this is a really cool and innovative setup. I like the usage of the Whirlpool.

admin
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by admin » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:56 pm

This is fine. Thank you!

Blackhawk1
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:58 pm

PS Is posting the pictures the above way acceptable? I couldnot for the life of me find how to post pictures like everyone else did (i.e. within the little box that says Uploaded Images).

If the above means of posting is incorrect just point me to where the upload area is within these forums and I will re-do my picture posts.

Thanks!
Mike

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:58 pm

The Temple of Aqueous

Here is my entry into the contest. I looked at this as a means to set-up an actual playable area with a backstory to support it. There are two adventure hooks to draw adventurers here- a) eradicate the orc menace terrorizing local villages, or b) rumors of an extra-dimensional portal leads higher powered characters here. Sets used included the standard 5 sets listed, individuals from the orc raiding party and lizardmen sets, as well as treasures & magic and dungeon accessories.

I decided to have 3 distinct areas- an orc area, a lizardman area and the temple structure. This dungeon happens to be the “home’ for a warband of orcs that have been terrorizing the local areas. Upon establishing their base the orcs slowly explored the passages and natural caves, setting up their base before stumbling upon a large underground lake fed by a river. As they attempted to explore the water areas the orcs were set upon by a large tribe of lizardmen.

Numerous skirmishes broke out over the next few days with casualties to both sides. Eventually the lizardman and orc leader found a means to parlay with a bargain being struck. The orcs could enter the shallow areas of the lake to fish or contact the lizardmen, but could not go beyond the skull totems which marked inviolate lizardmen territory. In return the lizardmen would come to the aid of the orcs if any enemy were brought out into the lake proper or onto what has become known as “Parlay Landing”. The lizardmen however would not go into the caverns proper per the bargain struck.

First Picture:
The first picture is of the overall layout of the sets. Adventurers would enter from a downward curving passage found at the back of a cave. First encountered would be the main orc barrack, guard and storage areas. From there one would then either enter the orc leader and treasury chamber or stumble down dark back passages before finding either a trap or a long forgotten “back door” into the lake area. Whichever direction is taken eventually leads one into the main lake area to include a heavily guarded natural rock formation located in lizardmen territory. If one were to climb this formation and drink the strange aqua colored water residing in a natural cistern an adventurer would find themselves teleported to the Temple of Aqueous- an area wholly separate and yet connected to the main area.




Second Picture:
The second picture details the orc barracks, guard and storage areas. Upon being spotted the orc archers located in a second story hide begin firing at intruders. One archer also bangs on the rusty suit of plate armor (located to the right) with a rock to alert the orcs. Individuals rushing up the natural stone stairs will encounter a series of jagged stalagmites growing from the top step that hinders movement (the orcs know where to place their feet and do not suffer this penalty).

Orcs from the barracks area to the right would rush to defend the base attempting to fight intruders out in the intersection with polearms. The entrance into the barracks is extremely narrow and can be defended by a single orc if required. Within the barracks are some straw beds, personal items, and a stack of clay pots used to hold the fresh water flowing down one wall of this cavern.

The cavern to the left holds various supplies and mundane items deemed worthy enough to keep by the orc leader, but not valuable enough to be put in a treasury. Past the intersection a T-shape intersection leads either to the orc leader (left) or into the back passages (right).



Third Picture:
The third picture is of the large cave complex used by the orc leader and his lieutenants to both live in and as a treasury. “Parlay Landing” is also shown in the upper left.

Intruders entering this area discover a rather narrow, hourglass shaped cavern with a cave along the northern wall. The cave is used by the leader as his living area and as the main treasury. By climbing the back wall of the leader’s cave a narrow slit can be squirmed though revealing a second cave above the first. This second story cave holds the main orc treasury to include any gold coins, almost all of the silver coinage, a large magic battle-ax, and a chest of jewelry. Locating this slit is difficult as all handholds are natural with the opening to the treasury cave being just another spot of darkness is a dark ceiling- so there is nothing artificial to give away this secret upper cave.

Intruders who make it the corridor beyond can spot, quite easily, a passage “hidden” behind a stalagmite. This will eventually lead to the false treasury composed of all the copper coins, some silver coins, a handful of copper coins painted gold, a pile of scrolls (orcs have no need of “paper” treasure), a magic quiver of elf origin (orcs have even less need of “elfin trash”), and a trapped book. The hope is the false treasury will appease intruders who will “take the money and run" instead of looking too closely for other items.

In the background is a passage leading to Parlay Landing. The entrance from the orc cavern is hidden by a secrety door (I placed one of the small flat rocks up on end within the opening- it fits just perfect!). Rolling aside the secret door leads one into an empty cavern having a bamboo door and skulls on it which, when opened, leads into the underground lake area. While the door officially marks the beginning of orc territory from the lake side it is considered a neutral area similar to lake shallows where the orcs are permitted. As such there is a possibility that one or more lizard men and/or orcs could be in this room. The orcs do not use this area for storage as they discovered that the lizardmen would feel free to take anything left within nuetral territory.




Fourth Picture:
This forth picture shows the back passages and underground lake/river areas.

From the top Parlay Landing is seen to the left. It opens out upon the lake shallows which is considered neutral territory between the two parties. The orcs typically fish either along the shore line or hop out onto the stepping stones to get bigger fish located in deeper water. In no case does an orc venture beyond the skull totems- even accidently- upon pain of death.

To the right, in the deep water of lizardmen territory, is the odd rock formation jutting from the depths. Atop this formation is a small natural cistern which bubbles forth with a strange, aqua colored water. Drinking this water will teleport the individual into the Temple of Aqueous. This rock formation is constantly guarded by a warrior located on the formation and any number of lizardmen located underwater.

The only other item of note within the main lake area is the dark spot of the four way intersection located just above the river mouth. This spot leads down into dark, submerged passages used by the lizardmen to swim between various other isolated lakes and locations within the cavern complex, but not shown in this set-up.

The river itself is primarily unremarkable with the lizardmen using it as a highway to other points within the underground river area. The only location of note is that adventurers may stumble across a rickety bridge yawning over a deep, black chasm. If they get to the other side they will discover a long abandoned raft tied to a stalagmite. The raft can be used to enter the lake not only from a different direction, but could allow adventurers to get to the odd rock formation without having to swim there (so long as they remain on a raft surely to be attacked by enraged lizardmen!).

The last locations of note are the back passages. If adventurers took the right tee they will stumble down dark, dank natural corridors until they hit another tee. As they climb the natural stairs of this tee directly ahead can be seen the gleam of silvery metal. To the left is another dark, twisty passage that eventually leads to the bridge detailed above.

Greedy individuals who rush forward will instead take a tumble into a natural chasm. Those that get across will eventually make out a small cavern containing a mithril ore outcrop. Illumination is provided by various glowing fungi on the walls- while not bright enough to read by it is bright enough to make out a deep (very deep) pool of water that can be easily skirted.

This small cavern with its ore is a trap. When an individual begins to mine the ore the sharp, ringing tones are transmitted through the water, down an underwater passage connected to the spot in the main lake area, and into the lake proper. Two lizardmen are then dispatched, swimming through the passage before popping up behind the individual mining the ore. Other lizardmen are dispatched to watch the river entrance until an all clear is given.




Fifth Picture:
The final picture is of the Temple of Aqueous. Individuals drinking the aqua water from the main area find them selves randomly dumped in one of the water squares and always in deep water. Only the lizardman shaman appears directly upon the top of an exact duplicate of the odd rock formation.

Within this area a swirling, vertical portal of water sparkles and glows suffusing this area with a deep aqua-green of the depths. Normal lizardmen kneel in reverence as rites are conducted by the shaman who throws a bit of fire, earth, and air into the top of the sacred waterfall- which has within it the same aqua colored water seen atop the odd rock formation within the main complex.

If the rites are satisfactory two immense watery arms will come forth from the portal, grab any offerings located at the portal base and withdraw. In return the shaman gains some minor powers over water mastery for the next month. To return to the main complex one must drink from any of the waterfall cisterns EXCEPT the top one. Returning is the same as teleporting here- the shaman will automatically be on top of the odd rock formation while everyone else is randomly dumped in the water surrounding it.

Drinking from the top cistern is considered a sacrilege as this is where components to call Aqueous are placed. Drinking from the top defiles the waterfall, shuts down its teleportation abilities in either direction, and causes a huge water elemental to come though the portal. If either the water elemental or the defiler(s) are killed the water resets with teleportation again occurring.

Individuals stepping through the portal find themselves coming out of an identical portal on the Plane of Water.




A personal note:
The inspiration for this came from Stargate- as soon as I saw the whirlpool back when the sets were released I was ecstatic to have something to use as a portal. I've been working on this since the contest announcement like a mad god changing his world around. Over the last few weeks it finally came together to the point where fiddling with it did nothing to improve my concept. So here it is....

For better side by side comparisons here is the set-up without explanations:










LoneStarr
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by LoneStarr » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:43 am

Here is my contribution to the current contest.

A cave or something similar leads to the entrance of this level, which starts with some cavernous passages, that provide some places wheres things or smaller monster may be found.
If the heroes try out the natural stair in the 4-way section they discover that the passages continue behind that rocks.

The end of the passages lead into a small underground river, where a small raft waits.

The river opens in a large cavernous lake.
The lake has a lot of potential for further extension and may contain some interesting and dangerous water creatures.
Behind a door on a small landing point there is a small waterfall. Maybe the water has some healing power, or maybe not ...

Taking care of the whirlpool and maybe some habitants of the cavern lake the heroes must reach the wooden bridge, if they want to enter the final cavern hall. A smaller cavern near the hall contains some mithril which can be reached from some stepping stones.

The great cavern hall has two exits which lead to crude brick work corridors. And only the game master knows to what further secrets, monsters and adventure they lead ...





fiddy
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by fiddy » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:21 am

The Lost Caves

Many adventurers have come to the caves seeking the riches of mitril rumored to lie within. However, most who enter the caves make the mistake of following the easy path, which leads to their destruction at the hands of lizardmen waiting in ambush. They do not realize that their mitril prize waits nearby in the twisting passages. But perhaps an even greater prize can be found if the lizardmen were defeated?





Law
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Law » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:44 am

Thanks -- but I wish I'd been able to come up with something like what you did -- using ALL the pieces like that is REALLY hard with these sets -- it's a fun puzzle, but a time-consuming one. I just didn't have the stamina for it right now.

I have to admit, I'm pretty darn fond of my last two pics. But I'm not crazy about my actual LAYOUT. Ah well. It's still my favorite contest thus far. I love these sets!

L

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Purplesaber » Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:17 am

L, it doesn't look sub-par to me! It didn't even occur to me to try going vertical. I especially like to river going under the upper cavern!

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