Content of the article: "Made a cool non monster encounter and want to share/brag!"
The Icy Chasm!
So I recently watched some video about different types of encounter and how encounters don’t have to just be monsters. I decided to do my best to design a cool non monster encounter.
My lvl 5 party had just entered the plane of ice so I decided to plant an late icy chasm in their path. It was 20 feet across, 70 feet deep and surrounded by razor sharp and dense icy spires. It also had some territorial nesting birds in it.
The encounter went great! The ranger went first because the difficult terrain wouldn’t slow him, however he was attacked by one of the nesting birds slowing their progress. That’s when my bard decided he could clear a path with some shots of scorching ray that his newly acquired magic lute was able to cast. This exactly what I was hoping he would do.
The fire caused the unstable land near the chasm to begin imploding, turning into an expanding sinkhole. I had the players near the hole make dex saves (15) which led to the cleric falling 20 feet in despite spending a luck point. I then had them roll for initiative.
Thinking quickly, the ranger on the other side of the hole dropped a rope down that the cleric was able to get over to and climb out of the hole on his turn.
After that, I told them deadpan, “it’s now the hole’s turn”. The hole widened forcing another round of saves that the party passed this time. The rogue and bard, now on the wrong side of this expanding hole, decided to rush around the other side of the chasm. The rogue used his action and bonus action to dash quickly getting through the difficult terrain, and hitting nat 20s on three Dex saves to avoid taking damage from the sharp ice. The bard, a gnome with a recently acquired mastiff to ride on, used the dogs’s speed to also get through not far behind the rogue, but having to pass a couple more Dex saves to avoid falling in the ever expanding hole. The party ran hard until they were a safe distance away and turned to see a now thousand some foot canyon in the ice. This also ties into the story because the plane of ice is weakening due to bad guy stuff.
Anyways the players told me after the session that they thought the encounter was cool and nice to have such tension from something other than fighting monsters.
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