The Library of Whispers: Shhhhhhhhh

D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, Hirst Arts Add comments

This week Ben shows you his interpretation of The Library of Whispers inside the D&D 4E Pyramid of Shadows module. There’s new terrain, miniatures and treasure – oh my!

The Encounter
The module writers’ premise here is brilliant. To quote the adventure, “This library is a manifestation of the knowledge possessed by the main villain and all other prisoners ever trapped in the Pyramid of Shadows. Such a valuable repository has attracted the attention of five Eaters of Knowledge, living embodiments of the god Vecna’s hunger for secrets.”

Word-eating monsters and a kick-ass lair? Now how can anyone resist building this 3D game board?! Ben turned his office upside down in order to find all the pieces.

The Entrance
This particular piece was an accidental creation but honestly turned out to be one of Ben’s favorite terrain creations. He wanted this library entrance to impose an ominous feeling when the party approached the room. Tall, heavy, thick-stacked bricks were used to help block out the Eater of Knowledge luring whispers.

The Greenery
Oddly enough there’s a statue (to honor Vyrellis) resting on some perfectly manicured greenery in the center of this room. Ben used a re-based Dreamblade on a WotC Dungeon Tile to represent this area of the room.

For fun, Ben added in an attacking vine (reach 6). Each round one player in the party will roll an opposing Will save with the DM to see who gains control of the vine. If the party wins, they get an attack roll with the green vine. If the DM wins, he gets an attack roll with the black vine.

Monsters and Miniatures
Ben pulled from several miniature makers for this encounter including:

The Map and Terrain
Bookcases and a lot of ‘em are the theme of this particular game board. First let’s start with the paperback-laden accessories Ben already had in his Pile. These pieces will be placed within the center of the room and actually create small hallways and impromptu combat cover points.

The entire outer edges of this library are lined with ten-foot bookshelves. The Thoughtbow monsters actually fire longbow attacks from the top of these suckers. Ben already had a pile of bookshelves and just didn’t want to spend a whole weekend making even more of them.

Once again he called on his trusted terrain paper ally to assist in the task. A simple Google search on bookshelves revealed the perfect solution from the d4d6d8d12d12 Gaming Blog. The website’s curator had created a wondrous paper template. Ben decided to skip all the folding business and simply cut them out and Sticky Tack them to his outer tiles so that they lined all the outer edges.

Ben also used some handy shelves from Manorhouse to hold disheveled papers and books (by JA Hecker) to imply a sort of reading feeding frenzy in the room. Materials would even be scattered about the floor.

The Treasure
For goodies, Ben created some item cards to represent the treasure including:

  • Scroll of Raise Dead
  • Scroll of Consult Mystic Sages
  • Bag of Books (worth some gp)

It’s with near certainty that the Party Wizard will scour the bookshelves for valuable manuscripts. And that of course means we need a trap. No chance for a thief to detect this one as our nosy reader will eventually pull a book off the shelf with cursed magic text.

As the character starts to read it, he will suddenly lose all ability to read written words inside the pyramid (so that means he’s out of the Hieroglyphics challenges and memorizing new spells on an extended rest is off the table). The party cleric can call upon Bahamut to lift the curse though (via a religion check, once per day).

The Board
Ben is quite proud of this particular 3D D&D game board – lots of love and tinkering went into it. Keep an eye out on the Pile’s YouTube channel for a flyover video and more thoughts on how everything came to be.

Until next week.

Questions to Ponder: How do you think the game board turned? What would you do differently? Did you like the book trap? Any thoughts on the treasure rewards?

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