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Help me rejigger an encounter in Tamoachan (C-1)


For some time now, I've been running the 4E conversion of C-1, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.

My players have finally made it to the uppermost tier of the dungeon, and we stopped play at Room 48: The Hound of the Bat. As written, this is a fairly ho-hum encounter. There's a basin full of water in the room. If the PC's monkey with the water, it turns into a Water Elemental and attacks them.

I'd like to do something else with this encounter, but I'm fresh out of ideas. I prefer the idea of a riddle, puzzle or just weirdness to another fight.

Anybody got any ideas?

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First Post
Is there any way to communicate with the elemental? Is it happy being stuck in a basin in the middle of a dungeon? Perhaps they might be able to help it in some way, though I'm not sure what motivates a water elemental to be honest. I could imagine it being honest, requesting help and then seeing what the PCs could do to improve its environment, or transport it, or dismiss it with a ritual. I could also see it being malicious, and cajoling or demanding water from the party, only to make it more powerful in combat, which it intended all along, so the challenge for the party is drawing the line and facing it without being tricked too much.


Nitpick: it's a water wierd, not a water elemental - much more dangerous and antagonistic.

For one thing, I'd give the wierd the ability to move beteen the two fountains; it can only be in one of the two at the same time.

Also, I'd be inclined to run this as a skill challenge prior to the fight. The individual who fiddles with the fountain triggers the wierd, which pulls the character in and envelopes said character in twisting, watery coils - attempting to crush the victim whilst at the same time drown the victim.

Skill Challenge: Free the victim's wierd before he/she drowns.
Difficulty: 6 successes before 4 failures
Primary Skills: Athletics for the trapped character. Spellcraft/Religion (1 use) can be used to invoke Zotz to make the wierd momentarily pause to assess the speaker. Combat powers can be used against the wierd.
Notes: Powers that shift or slide either the wierd or the victim grant one automatic success, but do not actually free the character. Any damage dealt from a power do 3/4 damage to the PC and 1/4 to the wierd. For every failed skill check, the victim loses one 1/4 of their total hit points; the victim MUST make at least one skill check a round.

After the skill check, if the water wierd is still intact (it should be statted up as a solo), the characters can battle it as a monster, with it moving between the two fountains and creating 'minor' water snake minions to attack and harrass the PCs. The minions would focus on immobilizing PCs so the water wierd could make a deadly attack. Note also from earlier rooms that limed water has acidic properties - the water wierd could spit like a cobra to blind enemies, for example.


Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of a skill challenge, but I just ran a water-themed skill challenge in Room 43. Smoking Mirrors a week or so ago. For those familiar with the module, that's how I handled the Blue Mirror.

I am considering replacing the combat completely with a riddle or puzzle, but I can't think of or find anything appropriate. Anybody know any good, Meso-Americanish water-based riddles?

I'll post more about the conversion over the holiday. Long story short, it's very faithful to the original, sometimes to its detriment.