Building what the game group can’t see is about as tough as it gets for us terrain-ers. Yet, that’s just what Ben was tasked to do in his latest Thunderspire Labyrinth D&D game. Believe or not, he doesn’t have an unseen, shackled imp in his minis collection. So let’s see how he tried to pull off this little ol’ illusion by making one from scratch.
So, while Ben was prepping his next Thunderspire module game session, he came across a room inside the second level of the Tower of Mysteries. It contained a magically imprisoned imp who only gained its freedom once a character fully entered the room and it made its saving throw.
The room’s unique circumstances and description seemed to open the door for a quick DIY project. Let’s approach this one by breaking down the module description.
“A magical symbol is scribed into the floor in chalk and silver dust.”
Well, the module map shows the symbol is a circle. Ben just traced one from a larger Gale Force Nine minis base. His little daughter keeps a bucket of chalk so he simply borrowed a piece from her stash.
To represent the silver dust, he decided to carefully draw some basic ruin symbols on the floor tile using GW Mithril silver paint.
“An imp is invisible while bound.”
So we gotta make that little bugger invisible at first, ey? No prob – Super Glue will straighten our problem out rather nicely. Lay the equal chain lengths on a small piece of tile in the desired configuration (include some intermittent kinks). Now dab on a small amount of glue. The stuff dries crazy fast so just move it around with a toothpick so it doesn’t stick to your surface.
Hmmmm – well, we can make some manacles using simple chain from a Michael’s craft store. Just snip, prime black and lightly dry brush some silver. To impress that magically-bound-look, Ben decided to paint the very end of the chain links in a GW Enchanted Blue color.
Once dry…attach one end to your mini base but since super glue doesn’t dry completely clear, be sure to go back and touchup the base with a little black paint. Then give your base a little bit of flair by sprinkling on a smidgen of dungeon rock flock mix.
Now, a single monster isn’t going to do much against a battle-hardened party of six if it starts the round stationary and possess a paltry 40 HP and 17 AC. So, Ben decided to let this troubled imp summon some help by creating custom Fire Elemental Sparks. The imp can call for protection by casting 2d4+1 Sparks each round (but can only be cast in unoccupied squares from the caster – burst 2).
Ben took a prescribed encounter seed and made it his own. And that’s the real trick. It’s this writer’s humble opinion that a module simply guides one’s game. It’s not meant to box you in a corner or force a particular outcome. Do with the rooms what you deem fit. That’s how a truly satisfied gamer really rolls.
Questions to Ponder: What special traits (quick tempered, maniacal laugh, etc) would you give our imp? Are there any other subtle touches to add to this DIY project? What unique combat abilities would you give the feisty bastard?