Breaking a Water Works Terrain Log Jam

D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, Home Brew Add comments

Last week Ben revealed is home brewed Water Bottom Boys gang but alas, he still needs a cavern-esque terrain environment to represent their prison turf. While he’s started to piece this 3D game board together, his progress moved at a turtle’s pace. Maybe a little keyboard-to-blog-work will incite the necessary D&D juices. So let’s roll up our adventure pant legs and mosey on into the shallow end.

Where to Start?
Ben solved this common conundrum by simply pulling out the easy elements first. Save that vexing piece to the very end. By the time you’re done with the no-brainer stuff, that remaining terrain hunk will practically fall in your lap.

Ben is building the Pyramid of Shadows P3 Bridge scenario. To unclog his terrain brain, he compiled a basic builder list. What did the encounter need to be a success

  • Monster gang
  • Water floor
  • Rope bridge
  • Center platform
  • Rickety walkways
  • Outcropping doors
  • Rock dams
  • Transition walls

There are a couple from-scratch items here that sorta flustered Ben and got him nowhere fast. Whenever that happens, it best to shake off the worry by focusing on the easier pieces first. Here’s how it all played out.

SogA the Terrible and his Water Bottom Boys
Re-basing miniatures?! Pfffft – been there done that. As you saw last week, Ben grabbed some old Heroscape miniatures for his hooligan clan. After that, he just popped open the Sahuagin Raider monster in the WotC adventure builder and goofed around til he had his final stats.

Ben turned SogA the Terrible into a pit boss capable of casting water elemental minions. Everything is better with minions, right? He also added a couple home brewed powers to SogA’s soldiers including Aquatic Pulse. This burst two ranged attack creates a violent concussion that knocks players off their feet and potentially into the icy water below. Ben will leave a few of these crude grenades on the corpses for some post battle treasure bits.

River Grid
This particular environment has a hollowed out water chamber – perfect for Ben’s blue paper grid technique. Building a full water floor would pricey both in time and cost. Printing a couple 11 x 17 sheets was a snap and the end result turned out to be legit.

Rope Bridge
There’s a single, raggedy bridge from the room entrance to the center platform. Ben reached into his D&D accessory Pile for the rope bridge from Miniature Building Authority (mysteriously out of print). Still, always remember to reach for your RPG collection staples when you’re in a bind.

Center Platform
The module originally called for a wood platform. However, Ben had a couple leftover test pieces from his papier-mâché cavern effect experiments. Why not have a large rock in the center of the water serve as the room’s middle point? All Ben had to do was finish painting it and then add a bunch of green flock on the edges (to serve as algae).

Rickety Walkways
Many moons ago, Ben recreated the Excavation Site encounter from the classic Keep on the Shadowfell D&D module. The diorama still proudly sits on his office bookshelf. That game board included some makeshift platform bridges. This was the perfect time to re-use those gems.

Outcropping Doors
Ben needed raised platforms and just so happen to already be bidding on some custom eBay pieces that fit the bill. Yes, yes…he certainly could have made these pieces but he needed something quick and easy. Plus, Ben often buys sample pieces from other online hobbyists for his terrain blueprint and inspirational library (especially if it’s a new technique he’s dying to try).

Rock Dams
Ben needed some natural rock walls to illustrate the earthiness of the room. The Hall of the Crimson Whip encounter insider the Thunderspire Labyrinth module reminded Ben of this handy RPG accessory. These recycled rubber rocks from War Torn Worlds as the outer edges of the creepy blood room.

P3 The Bridge
By focusing on the easier pieces first, Ben slowly gained the necessary confidence and before he knew it, he ended up with a perfectly suitable water cavern room. Now was that so hard? Well, sorta:)

Next week Ben will focus on making some modular environment transition walls…the hallways behind those two platform doors. A photo pull from his inspiration library provided the perfect starting point. Be sure to check back next week to see his own interpretation.

Questions to Ponder: Have you ever had a room stone wall you? How did you overcome it? Got any suggestions to make this encounter better? Have a favorite piece? Have you played this particular encounter?

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