Causeway Battle Map – Launch

This material was posted on patreon by Afternoon Maps

Next month I’d like to create some slightly more unusual maps, try to mix it up a bit. I’ll take a look at the Patron suggestions and see what I can come up with over the weekend and let you know on Monday.

For new members and anyone that hasn’t noticed it yet, I have a map list at the top of the website which lists all my maps available in the back catalogue, these are free to download for Patrons.

I’d like to thank you all for your support, for your suggestions on new maps and for just being awesome! OK, lets get onto the map notes and work out how to get across this causeway in the most hazardous way possible!

Introduction

As you approach the cliff a small bay becomes visible below. The path leads down the rocky cliff sides to their base and on across a narrow causeway. To one side the water is shallow and crystal clear, the other side is deeper, seaweed and detritus collecting along the shoreline between the rocks.

You slowly make your way down and out onto the narrow strip of land, the pack mules eye the water nervously. As you reach the centre of the causeway you notice something strange in the water to your left. A darkness sits just below the waves, a shadow that ungulates with the water above it. A rotten smell fills the air, unnaturally pungent even for a shoreline filled with decomposing seaweed and a strangely large amount of dead fish.

The line of pack mules in front of you has stopped, one of the drivers is struggling with an animal that refuses to go any further across the causeway. Its braying is beginning to spook the other animals. You start to make your way forward to help when something dark shoots from the water in front of you. A huge tentacle wraps itself around the panicked animal and drags it from the path. The other mules panic and start backing up or trying to turn round, in the ensuing chaos at least one animal and a driver fall into the water, you lose sight of them as they are dragged below the waves. You feel a tug at your ankle and before you can react you are lifted into the air by a meaty sucker covered appendage. You awkwardly draw your weapon and start slashing.

Notes and tips

  • 30×45 grid map
  • Merchants have been going missing along the coastal road between two towns, it’s your job to find out what’s been going on. The Causeway could be a great location to introduce the menace!
  • The water on each side of the Causeway is different depths. The left can hold larger creatures, the right could be knee or waist height, allowing the party to stand and fight.
  • Water of any real depth is difficult terrain.
  • Fighting while in or underwater can have its problems, breathing being one of them 😀
  • In the intro I’ve used a Kraken style creature as an extreme example of an encounter, you could go with a giant Octopus and boost its stats and size to create something scary but maybe not quite at a Kraken level of terrifying.
  • Merfolk, Sahagin, Kuo-toa, Aboleth, Chuul and Morkoth could be used as intelligent monster encounters. Creatures like Giant Octopus and Sharks can add to the fun.
  • An old woman is crossing the Causeway or is standing at its centre as the party tries to cross, obviously it’s a sea hag. They focus on the most attractive member of the party.
  • The singing shrimp! There is a specific type of Shrimp that when agitated makes a sound that induces sleep. A group of Merfolk bandits are using this tactic to subdue travellers on the Causeway.
  • Use this as an entrance to underwater caves, the deeper water to the left could have an underwater cave that has recently been occupied by some devil of the deep!

Variants

Day/Night Shell – That time a giant shell washed up on the beach and the locals were to scared to investigate it themselves.

Day/Night Flotsam – Shipwrecks always lead to adventure!

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