wading by torchlight

Here’s a fun dungeon room:

The room is a pool: everyone is kneedeep in water. On the other side of the pool are hooded enemies who, among their other attacks, shoot a ray that they use to dispel or suppress magic light (Light spell, sunrods, etc). The PCs must use torches or lanterns in order to see. It’s dark and shadowy and the light of the torches shines off the swirling water, making the room’s floor invisible.

The front-line enemies have an attack that disarms PCs. If you are disarmed, you have to waste time feeling around the bottom of the pool for your weapon. If the enemies disarm you of your torch or lantern, the room is potentially pitch-black.

In the middle of the room is a pit (invisible by torchlight because of the light conditions). The enemies avoid it, staying at the edges of the room. If someone falls in, they are swimming while everyone else stands, and must use move actions to climb out. Their light sources are extinguished.

Are there things in the dark water? Teeth that clamp onto swimming PCs? Maybe.

When I ran this encounter, I put away the minis. I described the blackness, the torchlight, the hiss and smell of water, and the echoes of combat in the room. No one wanted to be fighting in that room in the dark. And no one stayed in the water long enough to find out if they were alone.


4 Responses to “wading by torchlight”

  1. David says:

    Consider this idea totally stolen!

  2. Do you have/use a 4E mechanic by which PCs can disarm their opponents?

  3. paul says:

    You’re right, Disarm isn’t very 4e concept. It has a number of problems, mostly related to the fact that it’s devastasting against some people and useless against others. Still, it’s not such a big deal when all it does is rob someone of the move or minor action required to pick it up.

    The real problem is when someone disarms you and then steals your weapon. If you’re a melee weapon guy, you’re ruined for the fight.

    As a DM, that’s no problem: just don’t have your monsters steal weapons. You can’t really stop PCs from picking up an enemy’s disarmed weapon, though, so maybe it’s best not to give out disarming powers to PCs.

  4. Rory Rory says:

    I could see the monsters just having a power to disarm for this encounter. That’s one of the nice things about 4e; you can just tack on fun rules through powers as needed! Probably an attack versus reflex or maybe just tack onto one of their normal powers a disarm attack and then reflavor the monsters to have hook swords or make them duelists or something.

Leave a Reply