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Mar 22 2012

A Charged Encounter

This is a situation I came up with a while ago for one of the D&D campaigns I’ve been running. I thought I’d share the original idea with you and show you the break down of the encounter so it can be used in any game.

Origonally this was an encounter in the home of a mind flayer. It had all the Cthulian trappings; walls of bio organic material that pulsed as if it had veins pumping blood through them, cilia hanging down from the ceiling here and there, a floor of squishy biomass. At one point they exited a vascular tunnel into an open area with a curtain of cilia splitting the room roughly in half. As soon as one of them pushed aside the thick curtain of cilia they spotted a Large warforged attached to the wall by pieces of bio-matter, in fact one of the warforges arms was a pink and purple tentacle and his other arm was embedded in the wall.

In any case, as soon as one of the players walked through the curtain the entrance tube closed, the whole room electrified, the warforge thing started looking around, and its tentacle arm started whipping about. As the room electrified each of the players had a black or white aura appear around them. They were positively or negatively charged.

In the origonal version I had seven players. I simulated the random charging taking four white and black poker chips, dropping them in a dice bag, and having each player pull the a chip out of the bag at the beginning of the round. The players then then go through a round of combat and at the end of the round the charge would ignite. If anyone of opposite polarities was within 5 squares of each other lightning would arc between them causing a substantial amount of electricity damage. This damage was for each lightning arc. In the original game no one decided to see what was up with the aura during the first round. They were to focused on fighting the warforge. Boy did a bunch of them get a shock. By the way, the warforge had a long reach with its tentacle and got a free shot against anyone who came to close to it. If the warforge hit it would slide the characters around the room and try to position them. Also anyone who passed through the now electrified curtain of cilia could be shocked and caught in the cilia, having the added effect of ending their movement. In the end it became an encounter about moving around and getting position as much as taking out the aberrant warforge who was the conduit for all the electric energy being pushed into the room. He was sort of like the distributing nerve node. Here’s a map you can use if you so desire:

The Pieces

So that was the origonal encounter. Let’s see if I can break it down so you readers can steal the bits:

  • You need an enemy that can move people around and also acts as the relay for an energy current.
  •  You have to have some sort of curtain or divider in the room that has the potential to limit movement.
  • You need an enclosed space with no easily accessible exits.
  •  You need some reason for the characters to be charged with polarized energy.

With these four pieces you have the encounter.

Changing It Up

Instead of trying to beat the thing which conducts the energy you can have some other object the players can interact with to shut down the energy in the place. Place the item near the adversary which conducts the energy. I would suggest making the item take a series of checks to shut off or disable it. While that’s going on the other players would have to distract the conductor since it would try to harm the person who is trying to disable the energy as it’s highest priority threat.

Another option is to make the conductor adversary a mobile opponent with an energy source or cord it is trying to protect and by destroying the energy source or cord the power in the room shuts down.

I’m sure you folks out in internet land can come up with a bunch more variations on this theme but if you enjoyed this leave some comments saying so and I’ll share some of my other situations I’ve put my players in.

Chris “The Light” Sniezak

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