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D&D 5E What's in a temple?

J-H

Adventurer
I'm trying to make a map for a fairly large high temple for a deity of death/undeath, cold, and darkness.

The temple staff will be about 16 (high priest/5 seniors/15 acolytes) living priests, plus some fiends, plus a couple of dozen undead minions. The party's really supposed to be assaulting this with some allies, so yes, that's a lot of enemies, and I expect them to get chased out instead of succeeding. Anyway, it needs to be fairly large to accomodate this kind of density plausibly. It's not the kind of temple people "just visit" so there's not much of a public-facing side to it.

Here's what I have so far:
Enchanting room(s), maybe a small armory
Treasury
Blood storage? (heart-ripping sacrifices, accumulating power?)
Living Quarters
Scrying room
Administrative office
Ritual supplies storage
Teaching area/library
Central altar room
Ward control room?
 

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Stattick

Explorer
Orrery - mechanical model of the solar system, used to show relative positions and movement
Ossuary - place you store the bones of dead people

You need an:
Ossuary Orrery - mechanical model of the solar system, used to show relative positions and movements, made from the bones of dead people. Probably a giant's skull for the sun, with rays coming off of it made from long bones. Each planet made from smaller skulls, probably human/elf/dwarf. Moons made from the skulls of gnomes or whatnot. Constellations made from pixie skulls. How cool would it be to walk in there, not knowing what was in the next room, to see all these orbiting, spinning skulls?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Orrery - mechanical model of the solar system, used to show relative positions and movement
Ossuary - place you store the bones of dead people

You need an:
Ossuary Orrery - mechanical model of the solar system, used to show relative positions and movements, made from the bones of dead people. Probably a giant's skull for the sun, with rays coming off of it made from long bones. Each planet made from smaller skulls, probably human/elf/dwarf. Moons made from the skulls of gnomes or whatnot. Constellations made from pixie skulls. How cool would it be to walk in there, not knowing what was in the next room, to see all these orbiting, spinning skulls?
Even better if its used in Divination rituals to predict gruesome deaths - Id call it a Horrorscope
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Mechanical/HVAC in an underground level: Bound steam mephits to heat bathing pools, an air elemental to provide ventilation, and an Otyugh to clean up sewage. This would also give your party an extra escape route.
 


embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
I'm trying to make a map for a fairly large high temple for a deity of death/undeath, cold, and darkness.

The temple staff will be about 16 (high priest/5 seniors/15 acolytes) living priests, plus some fiends, plus a couple of dozen undead minions. The party's really supposed to be assaulting this with some allies, so yes, that's a lot of enemies, and I expect them to get chased out instead of succeeding. Anyway, it needs to be fairly large to accomodate this kind of density plausibly. It's not the kind of temple people "just visit" so there's not much of a public-facing side to it.
You still need a giant freakin' statue to the deity. Gods need worship. They are vain and jealous. A colossal statue shows devotion.

A fun depiction of this is in the 1981 "Clash of the Titans", where Cassiopeia declared Andromeda to be more beautiful than Thetis (and a better actress than Dame Maggie Smith herself!) in Thetis' temple.
 

babi_gog

Villager
Would also suggest:
  • kitchens
  • refectory
  • mundane storage space
  • bath house
  • stables
  • reception room to meet visitors in
  • guest accommodation quarters
  • community gathering space for the acolytes and seniors (separate spaces)
  • holding area for undead minions
Would also suggest looking at the general 15th/16th century monastery and adapt from their.
 

J-H

Adventurer
You're right, I do need a giant statue.

Maybe I'll integrate it with the altar, which is going to be spamming a high-level necromantic spell at intruders.
 


jayoungr

Legend
  • Meditation room(s)
  • Garden
  • Scriptorium
  • Perhaps a shop where they might sell charms, religious literature, and/or some product made at the monastery (EDIT: I guess it wouldn't fit this particular temple, since I just saw the bit about how people don't visit, but in case anyone else is reading this thread for inspiration...)

(As for toilets and broom closets, surely those fall under "living quarters"?)
 
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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
A temple of death & undeath would require a morgue/raising room, for the studies of anatomy, building and/or generating their undead servants.

I would recommend a separate/different room - for the "death" side, for the burial preparations. Do they do embalming? Cleaning & dressing for burial? Fluid draining? Does the area/culture/religion engage in mummification?... Anyway, some room or set of rooms(an entire floor?) for autopsies, storage, and examinations of dead bodies....perhaps before they are sent over to the "raising room" to be turned into undead.

If there are "fiends" running around/in the service of this order [whether or not that is willing], then before a "scrying room" I would make sure there is a "conjuring/binding chamber"...which could double as your scrying room...maybe instead of a "pool of blood" or entrails altar or whatever, you summon a demon/devil/other to tell and/or show you what you want to know.

Living quarters are likely to be minimal: "cells" (probably not more than a broom closet) for the rank and file. Decent individual rooms for the 5 seniors. Full suite, probably on his own floor, multiple chambers, for the high priest.

Also, magic world or no magic world...any communal living sitch' needs adequate bathing and, um, "facilities" facilities.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Oo! A well or cistern...either somewhere beneath the temple or out in a court yard or something. Need some kinda water supply...also allows for ye good ole water weird to attack anyone who approaches the well/cistern/water supply without the temple's (or specifically, the water retreivers') password.
 


tommybahama

Adventurer
You still need a giant freakin' statue to the deity. Gods need worship. They are vain and jealous. A colossal statue shows devotion.

I recently watched Conan the Barbarian. There was a temple to the snake god where they worshiped and offered sacrifice to a giant snake! Something like that would be cool. Maybe a giant zombie snake that only eats the brains. The rest of the bodies get thrown to the otyugh.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Candles/lanterns/torches that were never meant to be lit by man. If a player lights one of these candles/lanterns/torches (hopefully all identifiable by a skull motif), then it triggers a soul-sucking trap as enervating black and purple energy begins siphoning all life within the light emitted by the candle/lantern/torch. Those creatures in the dim light radius have advantage on their saves.
 

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