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  #1  
Unread 27th of May, 2012, 11:00
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SPQR Anarchy
Bodak [GM]

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Gah! Inspired thought needed.

I need a bit of encounter help. I need to turn a medicre encounter into something a bit cooler and more memorable.

Its a 4e game with a level 7 party and here is the scenario.

A remote island with a tiny village that is way off shipping lanes was the site of a stormy night airship crash. The airship was downed by a mysterious Galleon that flew no flags and showed no crew. The villagers didnt hear anything among the thunder clashes of the night. There were only two survivors; the drunken gnome who tended the elemental binding units that kept the airship powered and the elemental that lived within it. In the rainy, blood soaked night the gnome grabbed the thing he thought was the most important in a situation like this. He took a needle connector out of the engine that allowed the power to drive between the elemental cage and the two large struts that gave the ship its uncommon speed. Next he grabbed what survived of the rum casks and struck out for the shore.

The gnome found the village on the coast and with it he also found sobriety long enough to build an what he called a wayfarers house. An inn of sorts that doubled as a distillary. He never returned to the crashed airship and to this day that elemental still sits caged and is ever so slowly going mad.

Beneath his Wayfarers house the old gnome dug a small set of catacombs to bury his family (himself and his distilling rig). Knowing that the needle was the key to the airship engine and its crazed elemental within he secreted a dungeon beyond the catacombs to hide it and keep it out of the hands of the mysterious ship that attaked his own that stormy night so long ago.


So heres the clutch. The gnome is not totally defined yet. He could be an artificer, wizard, expert, etc. What sort of thing would he set to guard the needle. I could go the construct route but the typical homonoculs seems weak and I don't want undead, that theme is coming a little later.


Traps, defenders, whatnot. I want to make it more than a "go in the hole and fetch it" type of situation.

Theres a serious Treasure Island mood going on right now and I want to get a good cinimatic type of encounter out of this. It is not the big encounters of the session but it does have a lot of story telling elements to pass on.

Any designers out there. I am blanking. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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  #2  
Unread 27th of May, 2012, 12:02
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zachol
Flesh Colossus [Epic GM]

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The gnome was a skilled elemental binder. He found a manifest zone to wherever water elementals come from on the island. At first, he simply bound a very minor elemental to the distilling rig, to help it run, but over time he went mad with his catacomb project, and started filling it with all kinds of water-based traps.
More traditional traps are just plain old swinging blade or spike traps, but as flavor the mechanisms are water-powered. Near the base, several of the traps actually involve stuff like the room filling with water. When they finally retrieve the needle, the bindings break, and the way back up involves fighting elementals while water floods in, uncontrolled. The big cinematic climax would be this extended fight back out--the actual encounter right before the needle would be anti-climactic, and the PCs should be thinking "That was it? That was easy!" just before they take the needle.
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  #3  
Unread 28th of May, 2012, 00:22
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Black Plauge
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I like zachol's idea, but would add some fire elementals to it. Distilling is all about converting liquids to gasses and back again. Elementally speaking that's manipulating water with fire. So, while I agree with zachol that water elementals and the like should be the dominant theme, use fire elementals as the spice in the dish that changes things up just when the PCs are beginning to feel comfortable with the environment.
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  #4  
Unread 28th of May, 2012, 00:32
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Mercutio
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Between BP and zachol, I'm out of ideas just reading those. They're awesome.

I'm getting an image of fighting a giant whiskey-flavored water-being.

With the combination of fire and water, steam comes into play, so you could flavor a fireball trap as a burst of steam.
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  #5  
Unread 29th of May, 2012, 05:25
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Bodak [GM]

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That's great zachol and BP. I have modded up a Steam Elemental (blending a fire and water elemental) that is the big defender and bound some smaller elementals to the 'still' equipment to be a swarm monster. I have also created an ice elemental that was used to ice filter the whiskey but has become stuck and frozen to the wall creating a zone around himself. And some controller type fighting.

I am going to have an info dump character, maybe a harmless homonuculus that speaks to the party As soon as they come in and follows them around providing color commentary and backstory. I think I'll have it activated by the genasi in the group. So it's a "your fault" type of character.

Thanks everyone.

Inspiration delivered.
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  #6  
Unread 1st of June, 2012, 14:18
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Lune
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Ooo, or an animated object with a magic mouth?
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