23 January 2021

Lava Rivers Battlemap + Encounters

Not a full adventure, but it’s certainly something! This week we have another battlemap, in a volcanic location. This could really be anywhere, from the centre of an active volcano, to an evil villain's lair, to even the elemental plane of fire. Included with the map, I have also included 8 encounters you could easily run here, for parties of different levels (from 1 through to 12). I won’t lie that I’ve been inspired
into a lava themed map since the last session I actually got to play in, and we had one ourselves.

Lava, Stone, and Bridges - This weeks map
The Map

The map itself consists of two different levels, as well as rivers and pools made out of lava. Obviously, if a character falls into the lava, that is bad. Very bad. I would probably have it deal 10d10 fire damage, setting them on fire (2d6 fire damage at the end of the creatures turn, and costing an action to put out), and count as difficult terrain. Essentially killing most lower level characters, and seriously hurting higher level ones. The higher levels of the map are high enough above the lava that the party won’t take any environmental damage, but the lower levels are hot. If a creature starts its turn on one of the lower levels, they must succeed a constitution saving throw (set this depending on the party level - be reasonable), taking 2d6 fire damage on a fail, and half as much on a success. 

Encounter 1: This Mote Hurt (Levels 1-3) (Average)

As the party approach either the torches by the north-west bridge, or the pool of lava to the east (whichever you pick), 2d3+2 Fire Motes (statblock below) rise out of their source (the fire/pool) and begin to relentlessly attack the party. If a Mote takes damage that reduces it’s hitpoints to ¼ of its max (or below) without outright killing it, it will attempt to return to its elemental source, where it regains 1d6 health per round it is allowed to stay there.

Encounter 2: Ele-Mental (Levels 1-3) (Average/Hard)

About to cross a bridge, the party suddenly find themselves set upon by small creatures, flying and crawling out of the lava surrounding the bridge. 1d3 Magma Mephits (basic rules - p331), and 1d3 Magmins (basic rules - p329) begin to attack the party without mercy. The Mephits will attack from above, and at range, whilst the Magmins will get up close and deal direct damage.

Encounter 3: Myrmidon’t Go There (Levels 4-6) (Average)

Patrolling the tunnels of the volcano/cave the party have found themselves in, is a Fire Elemental Myrmidon (MTF - p203). This elemental being has been bound to the area to protect something within, and the party are clearly after it (as far as the Myrmidon can tell, anyway). The Myrmidon will perceive any living creature it encounters as a threat, and will attempt to protect whatever it has been placed there to protect.

Encounter 4: Lava Weird (Levels 4-6) (Very Hard)

As the party come to a bridge (or the lava pool, either works) two tendrils of lava suddenly shoot out, and lash towards the nearest creature. Two Lava Weirds (statblock below) will attack the party (and can travel through underground lava streams to move between the pool and the rivers), in an attempt to drag them into the Lava. 

This one may be a little cruel, so possibly lower the damage dealt by being pulled into the lava for this encounter..?

Encounter 5: Salamander Attack (Levels 7-9) (Average/Hard)

From ahead, the party hears a hissing sound. Unsure of whether or not it is coming from a creature, or gas escaping somewhere, they investigate. Rounding a corner, they suddenly spy a large creature, with a flaming, serpent like body. Standing, and blocking their way forwards, is a Salamander (basic rules - p344) and 2d2 Fire Snakes (mm - p265), and unfortunately for the party, they look hungry...

Encounter 6: Young Red Dragon (Levels 7-9) (Very Hard/Deadly)

A Dragon? In a volcanic cave? Yeah. That sounds about right. Living in the cave, the party finds a Young Red Dragon (basic rules - p288), who is just starting to build its lair. In a small pile in the room, they see a number of gold pieces, but it is clearly not a fully fledged hoard yet. That doesn’t mean the Dragon won’t do anything to protect it... (you decide how much gold to reward the players after this)

Encounter 7: Fire Giant (Levels 10-12) (Hard/Very Hard)

Hearing a thunderous clanging of hammer on anvil from deeper into the cave, the party hesitates. As they approach closer, the sound stops, and becomes replaced with footsteps. Large ones. Out of a side cavern, a Fire Giant (basic rules - p126) charges in, brandishing a greatsword, and ready for battle. Seeing the party, he pulls a red gem out of his pocket, holds it up to the light, and crushes it in his massive hand. Out of the gem spill two Fire Elementals (basic rules - p126), who are under the command of the Giant.

If the party kills the Giant before the Elementals, allow them to lose their resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing (from non-magical attacks) damages, as they have lost their connection to their summoner. 

Encounter 8: Slaves and Lava (Levels 10-12) (Very Hard)

Patrolling the lava filled caverns is a single Efreeti (basic rules - p310), accompanied by 1d2+1 chained Azer (basic rules - p265) slaves. Not willing to let the party pass, due to either guarding something, instructions from a higher power, or simply annoyance at the players presence in his domain, he will immediately attack, ordering the enslaved Azer to attack up close, whilst he will begin by either blocking off the parties escape, or splitting the group in two, through the spell Wall of Fire.

Fire Mote - Statblock

Lava Weird - Statblock

The Map - Now With Extra Grid

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