Saturday, 26 May 2012

Inspiration Series: Temples and Tabernacles.

Firstly, welcome to my new follower! Hope you enjoy your stay.

While there is an annoying lack of inspiration for commentary posts at the moment I shall at least attempt to post a content post. Dungeon design for the RQ campaign is going well so I shall post the results of my brainstorming sessions in the hope that it sparks something useful for you too.

In trying to define my niche, I'm thinking of doing a series of posts on psychological principles as applied to gaming and how they can be used to improve your game. Not sure if I like it, or more to the point if it would be of any use to anyone but it's floating around. Anyway, enough of these (empty, going by past experience) promises, the last brainstorm I had was on shrines and similar places to be found. As they are for RQ they are predominantly designed for a high fantasy setting but some could probably be repurposed.

 Many of these may appear in my game and as I know some of my players read this, stop here.

The Temple of Tears: This mysterious temple is inhabited by two-faced statues. Each of these faces is crying, the liquid running down one face into a moat surrounding the statue and then runs up the back of the statue and into the eyes of the second face. Each statue cries a different liquid from water through blood and quicksilver to molten lead.

The Temple to The Stars: This shrine consists of a single round room. The domed ceiling of this room has been treated with some sort of lacquer or paint that absorbs all light. Inlaid across this backdrop are hundreds of gems. These emit a gentle and harshly cold light that gives the entire room a foreboding fear. Combined with the loss of depth perception on the jet-black ceiling, a true experience of the vastness of the skies can be had here. The gems can be prised from the ceiling with a lot of work but they stop glowing if removed from their settings and absorb heat, likely causing freeze-burns to the hands of all who wield them. If a suitable storage can be devised, they are worth 10gp each.

The Wandering Shrine: This is I suppose technically a creature rather than a place. An earth elemental akin to an bent and twisted Ent meanders through the forest, it's pollens spreading life to the forest's denizens and spreading disease and poisons through it's invading foes. The top of this wandering construct is formed from an age's worth of entwined and knotted branches in a plateau. In the centre of this plateau is a large spring bubbling up from the depths of the elemental's soul. Akin to the tears of nature herself, should this spring be blocked or spilled clear of the elementals pond temple-head the forest will die. Where the spring flows in the elemental's dying moments a new tree shall sprout and when the next age passes it shall pull itself clear of the ground, a new clear spring bubbling forth and wherever it treads and sprinkles its waters new forest shall grow.

(Shamelessly pillaged from Akrasia: Thief Of Time): The temple to the God of immediate gratification shows the promise of a fabulous building. A golden minaret perches above a gem-inlaid tower. Closer inspection reveals it is just a shell however, the inhabitants were distracted by more immediate pleasures before they could finish. Remnants of these pleasures litter the surrounding area, from the hastily constructed brothel/tavern to the nearby fields of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms Akrasia has let grow around to fulfil those fantasies as fast as possible.

The Caged Temple: The ancient being associated with this temple believed that their priests should fully trust each other and as such, in order to enter two priests have to stand in metal cages. Each of these has a door that leads to the next room. In the next room it is clear that there is a single benefit of some kind. Two levers are present in each cage. They are clearly labelled, one allows the other priest to proceed while keeping their own door locked. The second unlocks their own door and traps their companion (or at least, prevents them advancing). This is according to the symbols anyway. In reality, to promote trust, if either priest betrays the other, both priests are killed by traps.

The Tabernacle Of The Fates: In the entrance hall to this labyrinthine construction there is a huge tapestry. If examined closely it will be revealed to update itself every 30 seconds as a view of various areas of the temple, not quite a map almost more akin to CCTV really. This will reveal the various traps and creatures wandering the halls if used correctly.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting shrines. You really capture the feel of fantasy that most people ignore. Its more than just a sense of history, there needs to be a sense of wonder as well.