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5E Re-Envisioning the Flood Trap of Cragmaw Hideout

So last sessions my players went off the path in Storm Lord's Wrath and I pulled out Cragmaw hideout from LMoP to keep them busy. But, half or more of the players are familiar with it and I want to replace the flood water trap with something more. The party is 6 level 6 characters that are tactically savvy and above the curve with magic. The hideout is currently occupied by a master thief (Velleen Firecrow) and her kobolds (dragonshields, commandos, sorcerer's etc).

I've started the loud banging noise (of the damn being broken, though I've been vague enough it could be something else). What should the trap be?

I've thought of adding quipper swarms or alligator/crocodiles to the water. But what else might I use? Thoughts of some type of natural hazard like green slime?

What cool ideas can you come up with?
 

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For six 6th level characters? Three water weirds or a couple of water elementals
I was looking for more than just another encounter. Especially since this will happen while the party is fighting the (underpowered) kobolds and Master Thief. I don't want it deadly, but I do want it interesting!

A couple of submerged nets and a riptide horror would be awesome

After the PCs are hit by the flood they get pushed down and tangled in the nets. Then the lurking Riptide horror attacks
This has a lot of potential... Unfortunately, the stream where they are and downstream has all already been detailed as only 2 feet deep, and they have walked through it so not sure I could put net's in it. Will think more on it and see if I can figure out a way to use it.

Thanks to both of you.

Anyone else?
 

MarkB

Legend
If they're expecting water, give them fire.

Instead of a reservoir up top, there's a cauldron of boiling oil. Once it's released, it flash-boils the water in the stream, filling the cavern with scalding and obscuring mist. Then the bad guys throw in a couple of lit torches.
 

Lidgar

Adventurer
If they're expecting water, give them fire.

Instead of a reservoir up top, there's a cauldron of boiling oil. Once it's released, it flash-boils the water in the stream, filling the cavern with scalding and obscuring mist. Then the bad guys throw in a couple of lit torches.
Yeah, this. Similarly, have it filled with Alchemist's Fire. They release, then drop a torch. Wooosh!

Or, if you are feeling particularly nasty, it could always be a large reservoir of green slime...
 

jgsugden

Legend
6th level is the domain where I usually venture into the transitive planes - Shadowfell and Feywild. I would consider having the banging noise be root structures from trees infused with extraplanar energy pulling open like giant maws in the tunnel - so that they can grab the PCs and drag (one or more of) them into the Feywild or Shadowfell. Then the PCs might need to find their way back (if they 'fall in'). The master thief and kobolds bypass the tunnel by climbing the trash chute that goes into the 'main bugbear' lair.
 

Tonguez

Legend
This has a lot of potential... Unfortunately, the stream where they are and downstream has all already been detailed as only 2 feet deep, and they have walked through it so not sure I could put net's in it. Will think more on it and see if I can figure out a way to use it.

Thanks to both of you.
Anyone else?
You could have something on the stream bank or cave wall that is innoucuous at the first pass but becomes a deadly net once its hit by water, maybe a patch of vines, thorns and hanging weeds - enough for a body in water to get entangled.

The Green Slime idea is nasty good too
 
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A complex trap could fit well. For early rounds the DC to be swept along by the water could be low. As more water is released the DC increases. Add in a feature that activates on it's own initiative number, that drags a player under like a riptide. Sprinkle in some submerged razor wires strung across the stream to make julienne fires out of the PC, and have a portcullis crash down (again on a separate initiative number) that seals off the stream from the cave exterior and has spikes the characters will be swept into.

Complex Trap + terrain + monsters= exciting scenario to me.
 

aco175

Hero
I was thinking of just water, but then have the PCs at disadvantage to lightning. This may create a problem with the PCs wanting to throw water on the bad guys before hitting them with lighting of their own.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
It would be good if the entrance to the cave sealed and the water raised to the level of the bridge. So if they get swept away,, they take damage when the hit the blockage and get pinned there until the water reaches its max height. The door is timed so it opens and releases the water and sends everything out of the cave. Having something in the water that would pull them under would be useful. Maybe hit them with a grasping tentacles right before the water hits?
 

Nice ideas...
I thought about oil and setting it ablaze, but worried about it affecting the NPCs and the whole concern over hindering/harming everyone in the cave, not just the PC's.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward sealing off the cave entrance so the water level rises. Then either doing green slime or perhaps quippers/alligators in the water. Maybe the riptide horror. That would be bad!

I'm also considering something to punish the players who with apparent metagame knowledge started climbing the walls... Maybe I'll put the green slime on the walls and the quippers in the water...
 

Eltab

Hero
Disorganized stream of consciousness:
Basic tripwire(s) in the river make you fall (all wet, damage gear) plus set off alarms inside. If you have a flood put some short logs in it, just enough to grab and float but not enough to protect you from hazards in the water. Summon something carnivorous from the Elemental Plane of Water to swim in the maelstrom. Tidal Wave spell in Princes of the Apocalypse wrecked and frightened my group, import that.
 

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
  • wave of water, then hit it with a freezing sphere to freeze PCs in the trench as they are assailed by kobolds
  • a great wave of hot molasses accompanied by swarms of angry hornets, which the kobolds simply snack on as they assail the mired PCs.
  • rust monster stampede (if you have a desire to alienate your players forever)
  • a shambling mound or two washed into the PCs along with the water, and its kobold sorc keeper/s use lightning bolts to keep it healed and PCs electrified.
 

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