Building the Clock Adventure Part 3

I have had some more time to think about this adventure.  For those of you that are new to this series of posts you can find the first post here and the follow up post to this here.  I have had a lot of thoughts on this over the past week or so and am keen to share them here.  Today’s post is largely dedicated to the hazards that will populate the levels of my temple of time.  Hazards such as the traps and the creatures that are native to the clock and also creatures that have invaded it to hamper the plans of the newly found Time God.  I will finish off with some details of how I envisage the look and feel of this adventure, inclusive of how the Time God themselves influence this look and feel.

I do tend to, as a GM, think about all of the material that I am going to put in a locale before I actually do the placing.  This allows me to do the window dressing after the fact.  That is what this post is all about, getting the material together to populate the temple.  Once I have finished here I will need to build the plot and then put it all together into a final location.  That means that we are likely to be two posts away from the final adventure for you to use!  Anyhow, on to the contents I am going to use.


Bound to be a ton of traps in there!
I am actually keen to build a lot of traps into the temple.  After all, the Time God has gone to a lot of trouble to stay hidden from the rest of the world so they would not simply sit by and allow intruders to wander freely through their temple unchallenged.  Not to mention the fact that the temple itself is one giant piece of clockwork and more than likely made up of lots of tiny bits of clockwork!  In my mind many fantasy traps are all made up of intricate clockwork and the rogue spends most of their time trying to jam things in cogs and springs ensuring they don’t trigger.  So there has to be a lot of mechanical traps.  No pits or anything but traps that are intricate and mechanical.  

Of course they will not be the only types of traps but they will be the most visible.  In fact the players are likely to find the traps almost immediately at the entrance as they find some sprung traps with their victims still in them.  The other sorts of traps will be magical with effects that mess with the flow of time around the players.  For example, a slow spell blankets the players whilst clock work soldiers form from the gears on the wall.  Hasted, they attack!  So let us look at the traps that I intend on using.

Random Springing Spear Trap   CR 12

Type: Mechanical; Perception DC: 30; Disable Device DC: 30
Trigger: Location  Duration: Continual Reset: Manual
Effect:  On entry of the location a clockwork mechanism is set off and on round 1 in the affected area 2″ radius holes open in the floor giving it a grated look (the holes are 5″ apart).  The GM rolls 1d8 and this becomes the number of rounds before a spear attack is made as 5′ intricately carved spears shoot up out of the floor all at once on the triggered round.  The spears attack with +20 melee doing 1d8+10 damage.  Those players caught in the location must make a DC25 Reflex save or fall prone after the attack even if not hit as the spears throw them into the air.  Once they have attacked the GM rolls 1d8 again to see how many rounds until the next spear attack.  

Treacle Chest   CR 10

Type: Magic; Perception DC: 28; Disable Device DC: 28
Trigger: Location  Duration: 10 rounds Reset: Manual
Effect:  On attempting to remove a particular item from the chest/receptacle triggers the casting of a Slow spell at caster level 10 targeting up to 10 creatures no more than 30 feet apart Will DC (22) negates.

Surprise Foes  CR 20

Type: Magic; Perception DC: 34; Disable Device DC: 34
Trigger: Proximity  Bypass: Button Duration: 1d4+1 rounds Reset: Manual
Effect:  On approaching a spindle the characters are caught by a Time Stop spell allowing clockwork creatures to form and position from the walls.

Grinding Cogs CR 

Type: Mechanical; Perception DC: 30; Disable Device DC: 30
Trigger: Location  Duration: 3 rounds Reset: Automatic
Effect:  Triggering this trap causes a cog to emerge from the roof and connect with the central spindle crushing all in 10′ radius between the spindle and the cog.  Reflex save DC (30) Only one save allowed to negate 2d12+10 damage per round as well as the pinned and grappled condition for the duration of the trap.

The above should fill the requirements I have for traps in the temple and also offer me the ability to reuse them with slight variations or simply repeat their use (especially the Time Stop trap.  I am quite proud of that one!).

Allies, Foes and Defenders

So much fun flicking through these books!
I already have a bit of an idea on where I am going to go with the plot although I will not share too much in this post.  Let it just be said that there will be some perversions in the nature of time and that will be caused by invaders in the temple seeking to overpower the God of Time.  The temple will be populated by a depleted source of regular defenders, the beings that have invaded, some allies of the Time God also seeking to find out what has occurred and the PC’s.  Hence the heading.  Here we will lay out  the creatures that I intend to use in the adventure.  Some of them will need to be modified later with a class level here and there.

Also, I need to note here that there will be some other opponents that will require being built from scratch.  I don’t intend on adding them into this list but I will build them for the next post when we talk about the plot of the adventure.  I will provide full stat blocks of those creations next time I do a clock temple post.  These beings come from all three current Bestiaries (number four comes out next month, can’t wait!).

  • Lantern Archon
  • Shield Archon
  • Trumpet Archon
  • Star Archon
  • Aghasura
  • Asurendra
  • Upasunda
  • Adhukait
  • Blue Dragon
  • Gelatinous Cube
  • Rune Giant
  • Fire Giant
  • Clockwork Golem
  • Clockwork Goliath
  • Clockwork Leviathan
  • Clockwork Servant
  • Clockwork Soldier
  • Clockwork Spy
  • Vexgit Gremlin
  • Hound of Tindalos
I have to say, I love flicking through the pages of my Bestiary books.  I normally use my iPad but I had left it at home today so going through the books has been great fun and gotten me excited for Bestiary 4!

The Time God

I have not yet nailed down quite a few things about the Time God yet, one of course is the name as you can probably tell.  I had considered being full on cheesy and geek to make it like the Doctor (Doctor Who) but quickly backed out of that idea as too easy and so far from what I actually want to achieve with this temple.  Perhaps I will have the chests appear as little blue boxes as my tip of the hat to the Time Lord fan in me.

What I have worked out about the Time God are two things.  One is appearance (kind of) and the other  is the effect that they have inside the temple.


The Time God will actually appear as three unique beings.  One will be ancient, one will be in the prime of life and the final one will be a babe of some form.  These shapes will be of varying sexes and varying creatures BUT they will in fact be one being and must travel together.  Whichever being speaks to you will be relevant to the time span that it is speaking of (the babe is the past, prime is current and ancient is of the future).  I have as yet no idea which three creatures I will use to represent the Time God with yet so will finalise that in the coming week or so.

Effect on the Temple

Hmmm… should I have the temple be covered in leather
over cardboard?
I had a bit of a brainwave this morning as I was driving in to work and it was in regards to the temples appearance.  The temple will be made largely of clockwork pieces (the larger cogs will be made of smaller cogs etc. very recursive in nature) but it would appear dilapidated, almost in ruins and this is largely to do with the Time God.  The function of the clock will still be unaffected by the look and will only be effected by the behaviour of the intruders.  The appearance of the clock parts though is determined by the travels of the Time God.  If the God decides to travel to a portion of the temple it actually changes to be futuristic in style, almost like the rooms you would expect to see in a space travelling sci-fi movie.  As the God closes on the area it begins to regress until such time that the God appears and then it looks like a newly minted temple room made of brass.  After the God leaves the room it slowly changes until it appears as a ruin again.  

This effect allows players (if they begin to pick up on it) effectively track where the God has been in recent times and even follow his movements.  Much of the lower levels of the temple will appear very ruinous as the invaders have had the God for some time in their clutches.  The lower levels will all be enclosed as well whilst the higher they go in the temple they will soon find themselves on the outer portions of the gear and in space that those who can fly will effectively be able to move around in.

Next Time

The next post that I lay out will deal with the plot that I want to portray in this adventure.  I have some good ideas already brewing and I need to flesh them out.  I also need to think about some subplots that I can build into the main adventure plot as well.  As I go through the main plot I will talk more about how I see the temple functioning on a good day and what it is currently functioning like at the moment and why.  I hope you are enjoying this series of adventure building as much as I am.  I hope the adventure turns out well and perhaps even some of you may run it and report back for me.  If you have any ideas you would like me to incorporate let me know in the comments.  I have some good ideas from last post from the readers and I hope I get some more this time round.  Until next time, keep rolling!

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