The original map I created for Wavestone Keep certainly isn’t great. The main issue is that it had absolutely no distinction between levels, which lead to it feeling more like a single level of natural caves, as opposed to a crudely carved hideout below and open air areas above. Secondly, the layout is sort of ludicrous. Both of these things I chalk up to inexperience. There is a large difference in designing adventures for my usual players and making dungeons that are fit for wider consumption. Most of my maps for my players got high praise, so I thought was good there. So I jumped into learning things like layout and licensing in my excited to make a product and prove that I could. In light of this, I have remade the map completely. In a way that keeps the spirit and the important locations from my original, but in a way that feels like something more interesting. I have also reworked the wandering monster table slightly, though not much, and created an order of battle for the lizardmen tribe who lives here.
There is also the issue of the layout I chose, I.e. aping the OSE house style without really understanding it. That lead to poor rooms descriptions when I really could have done better. So step two is re-formatting and re-making the whole darn thing, while keeping my original vision intact. I am placing the result of all of that effort here, for all to see. The next two steps are both play testing, one solo play and one with my usual group. If anyone reading this would like to run the adventure themselves and give me feedback, or just feedback from reading it would be greatly appreciated. Anyway, onto the module!
In the past, an eccentric noble decided to build a summer keep unlike any that had been built prior. So he spent a fortune commissioning stonemasons to carve a keep out of the largest known piece of wavestone*. He also commissioned a wizard to create a magical object capable of stabilizing and moving the structure. The project was never completed However, as the noble was killed in a duel. With payment unlikely, the stonemasons quit having only completed the upper most keep section and began the cave that was to be a boat harbor. The wizard succeeded in creating a stabilizing crystal array that was theoretically capable of teleporting the structure a few miles. The crystal array’s capabilities were never tested. Ultimately, the structure was left to drift in the ocean, where a tribe of lizardmen eventually happened upon it, and claimed it for themselves. After claiming it, the lizards rechristened themselves the Saltscale Tribe. The lizardmen have little if any control over the bearing of their home, a situation made worse by a defect in the crystal array causing the structure to teleport to the nearest oceanic ley line every new moon. The lizard’s make the best of it though, and use their small fleet of long boats to conduct shore raids when in site of a suitable settlement. They have extended extended the carvings on the interior of the structure, added locations specific to their lifestyle, and connecting the port to the main keep structure.
- Captured! - the party has been captured during a night raid by the Saltscale tribe. They awaken in 7 tied with old rope to the walls and stripped of any adventuring equipment and weapons they might have had.
- Search and Rescue - A nobleman’s daughter, Norma Tillman, has been captured while on a pleasure cruise. Lord Tillman is offering 500 gold for her safe return.
- Foul Sorcery - a Wizard has deduced the existence of the portal array in 3, and tasked the party with retrieving it. He will pay 1000 GP for any crystals brought back.
As Wavestone Keep is a floating mass in the ocean, it is subject to tidal drift. The entire structure drifts in the direction of the prevailing current at a rate of 8 miles per day. On the new moon of each lunar cycle it Teleports to the nearest oceanic ley line, which encircle the planet similarly to longitude lines.
Wavestone Keep is a small squat structure carved into a massive chunk of wavestone. The chunk of wavestone is roughly shaped like a tear, with the tail under the water. It is 130' across at its widest point and 160' tall from tail to its highest point. A 10' wide flat trail has been carved 100' up from the tail (roughly 30' from the surface of the water). This trail extents halfway around the circumference of the stone. From this trail a myriad of fishing line, nets, and anchor ropes, stream into the ocean below. In the center of the trail is carved the exterior structure of the keep itself. This structure is a large iron banded keep door flanked by two stone towers. Carved into the side of the stone is a large hole at the water line, extending up into the rock face. This is a small port, only capable of supporting a few longships or small sailing sloops.
Wandering monsters, checked every 2 turns and appear on a 1 in 6
- 1d4 Giant rats, looking for food scraps
- 1d6 Stirges
- Snapjaw, a Large Crocodile the lizardmen keep as a pet. He is sleep on a 3 in 4 and will only be awakened by a loud noise or offensive smell. Once rolled, do not repeat
- 1d4 regualar crabs (harmless)
5 Kobold, taking food to the dining hall or taking 10 stolen silver pieces back to Stiz
6 A single lizard man, wandering to or from the dining hall.
1 Guard Towers and entry
The twin towers which flank the entry door. The are each 20' tall and manned by two lizardmen guards. The guards stand on the roof of the tower. They are each armed with a throwing spear and a club. They have a 1 in 10 chance to identify approaching ships as not belonging to their tribe, and a 4 in 6 chance to spot intruders approaching along the trail. Each tower has an alarm bell which they will ring, alerting their companions in 4. After ringing the bell, they will attack intruders on the trail with their throwing spears before running down the stairs for melee.
The entry hall is made of finely carved wavestone, and engraved with idyllic depictions of the sea, fishing vessels and sailors.
2 Dining Hall
This room is finely carved wavestone, and engraved with scenes of great navel battles between ships and sea monsters. There are 4 tables, covered in dried blood and viscera from the lizardmen’s dietary habits. The door to 3 is trapped with a gas trap. The body of a single kobold lies dead in front of it with its hands clasping at his throat. It was left there as a warning to the other kobold slaves. The secret door to the north was a servant entrance. It is hidden behind a slide out panel depicting siren. The kobolds are aware of it, but the lizardmen are not.
3 Lordling’s Throne Room
This was the room the noble had designated for his throne room. It smoothly carved, and their are a few town oil portraits on the walls. Now, the chief of the Saltscale Tribe, Kelp Tail, uses it to store his personal “shinies”. This room contains 500 gold coins, a diamond worth 800 GP and an emerald worth 250 GP, and a Treasure Map, encased in a burnished bronze scroll tube. The door to the Crystal Array is Wizard Locked, Kelp Tail is aware of the door, but too proud to admit he doesn’t know what is back there. If a character is in the room at moonrise of each new moon, they will see a bright blue light emanating from around the seams of the door as the teleportation happens. The four crystals of the array are quite valuable magical components, and may be sold for 100 GP each. They are large and unwieldy; Removing one takes a full hour and anyone who carries one is considered fully encumbered and must spend a round putting it down to engage in combat. Removing a crystal causes the entire structure to shake violently, and removing them all causes it to start sinking at a rate of 10' a turn.
Originally a barracks for the noble’s personal guard, now used by the lizardmen as a sleeping area. It is a roughly hewn room, containing a 9 sleeping mats. Kelp Tail sleeps in the section to the north, where the guard captain was supposed to sleep. At any time, there are three normal lizardmen here asleep. Kelp tail only sleeps here at night, else he is in 9. The door separating Kelp Tail’s area is made of a giant oyster shell.
5 Nesting Room
This room was roughly carved out, it’s original intention long lost. The Lizardmen use it to hatch their young. At anytime there are 2-4 nests, each containing a clutch of 3 eggs. This room is defended by 3 Lizard Matrons, who will fight to the death. The door is trapped with a spiked ball trap (1d6 damage) and bears a crude drawing of three eggs. The room is maintained at a high temperature with the use of oil heaters that were captured in a raid. These heaters must be refilled with lamp oil every 3 days, making it an especially prized spoil when raiding.
6 Dry Goods Storage
This room is more natural cavern carved rectangular than engineered space. The passages to 7, 8 and 9 were all crudely carved by the lizardmen and their kobold slaves. The kobolds are aware of the secret door to 2, the lizards are not The room is dimly light by stores of glowing plankton that the lizards use are iron rations. The lizardmen use it to store the few dry goods they eat, captured lamp oil, and other oddments; as well as any armor and weapons they happen to retrieve but don’t want to use. Carefully search the storage crates takes 30 minutes and yields:
- 2 long swords
- 3 daggers
- 1 suit of chainmail
- 50' of rope
- 1 damaged lantern (still lights, but can not be shuttered), is half full of oil.
- Any gear a party of captured adventurers might have had on them if using the “Captured!” hook.
7 Kobold Cave
This cave is were the kobold tribe that that lizardmen have enslaved are forced to stay. It smells of rot and fetid meat. Crude sleeping areas are scattered around the loose formation of obstructions. There are 8 kobolds here, along with their chieftain, Stiz and his bodyguard, Vert. Stiz hates the lizardmen and will gladly betray them, Vert however thinks that the lizardmen are reasonable masters and will attempt to alert them of any plans made to betray them. The kobolds have managed to get a sizable horde of 3000 silver pieces, which Stiz keeps hidden in a false stalagmite (found with a secret doors check). He will offer this as payment for deposing the lizardmen.
8 Larder and live well
This room was dug out by the lizardmen to use as a live storage pen for their food. The passage down from 6 has a gentle slope, and the door is a padlocked metal grill across iron bars in the wall, to prevent escapees.The room itself has a deep slope, which ends in pool at the west end. This pool reaches a max depth of 8 feet and is filled with saltwater and contains numerous mundane fish and crustaceans. Above this pool is the Fish Chute, a very steep and slippery passage that is capped with a portcullis. This passage is a sheer surface and opening the portcullis from this side requires a successful stuck doors check. Along the walls are ropes for holding humanoid prisoners. If the “Captured!” hook is being used, there are 4 level 0 normal humans tied up as well, if they are using the “Search and Rescue” hook, this is where Norma Tillman is being held.
9 Carved Port
This is were the lizards store their three longboats and five cannoes in between raids. It is lit by natural light streaming in from outside. The boats are all pulled completely out of the water and rest on wooden launching platforms, to prevent them being destroyed in rough seas. Detritus from such a desctuction liters the area. From here, the portcullis to the fish chute may be opened without a strength check. The lizardmen dump fish and water down this chute for storage. Humanoid prisoners are usually taken to 6 first, stripped of gear, and them locked in 8. If it is day, Kelp Tail will be here with two other lizardmen, inspecting boats, directing two kobolds to dump water down the chute, or other mundane tasks. If violence breaks out, the kobolds will cry for help from their comrades in 7. If the party has made a deal with Stiz, then the kobolds will attack the lizardmen instead. Kelp Tail wears a golden necklace affixed with pears worth 1400 GP and carries a Staff of Striking.
- Lizard Matron Lizard Matrons are warriors tasked with protecting young. They fight ferociously, as such, they roll double the normal number of damage dice for any attack. Otherwise, they are normal Lizard Men.
- 3000 SP
- 500 GP
- 800 GP Diamond
- 1400 Pearl and gold necklaces
- Staff of Striking
- 4 Teleport Crystals 100 GP Each
Total possible GP: 3400 GP
*Wavestone is a naturally occurring substance in the Flooded Realm setting. It has a composition similar to basalt, and is a burn red color. It is capable of staying buoyant for centuries, even in large masses. Should such a material not work for a given setting, and the game master doesn’t wish to rely on the old “a wizard did it” simply replace it with an iceberg, and the lizardmen with seal men of equivalent stats.
When this adventure is published at the end of this month, it will be pay what you want, as will my future adventures for the time being. I have been thoroughly chastened by Bryce and will seek to improve my skills significantly before forcing people to pay money for my work.