Thursday, 18 February 2021

Harpy Tree

I'm liking making maps! It's just very chill, especially with all the greenery. I'm just sitting here plonking down moss, how delightful.

This is a continuation of my previous map of the owlbear den. I wanted to see what I could do for the tree above.


click for big version

Once again, it's designed to be open ended, for all your 'big tree in a forest clearing' battlemap needs. Once again, however, I'm also providing some notes! This should help especially with how to describe and interpret the map- extreme elevation is tricky to show in two dimensions.

now with numbers!
1. Owlbear den entrance. See description from the previous map. Climbing up the bluffs should be a pretty easy check, if they're climbing the roots or a low area of the bluff, but could still be a hindrance if rushed by combat. The bluffs are also steep enough to provide some cover for creatures cowering right at the base, against any attacks from the branches of the trees, but the harpies would be able to fly up to gain vision of anyone hiding there.
2. Base of the tree is littered with roots, creating difficult terrain in some areas. Climbing onto the large roots should be very easy and likely not take an action, climbing up the trunk of the tree slightly harder and takes extra time/movement. Darker area on the ground delineates the full extent of the upper canopy, not all
3. Large flat fungus shelf forms a handy platform. 20ft off the ground, 15 from roots. Can support people's weight no problem, but anyone falling on it from a height will snap it off, releasing yellow mold-like spores. This is the reason the harpies havent' removed it, despite it making access to their nests noticeably easier.
4. Large, high branch 40 ft off the ground. While very sturdy, not going to break anytime soon, it is a bit bouncy, and sways under movement. Acrobatics type checks to stay balanced, unless you sit down and scoot along on your butt at a greatly reduced speed. 
5. Harpy nests, 50 ft high. On a wooden platform securely fastened to the tree. Sharpened stakes on underside of platform make it difficult to climb directly up, high difficulty to avoid and failure means you take damage and don't progress. There are no spikes above the platform, so a creature could climb higher up the tree and then descend to avoid the spikes. Treasure: There are shiny baubles visible glinting in the sun! Mostly glass and beads, but a few genuinely valuable gemstones mixed in with the harpy poop.
6. Climbing higher than the nest grants partial cover from ranged attacks and flying creatures, as the branches become more dense. The absolute crown of the tree is 130 ft high, and climbable up until the last 15 feet. The apex is partly bare, with giant spikes of wood sticking up out of the foliage like a crown. The tree is the tallest in the vicinity, and from this height players should be able to see some cool points of interest in neighbouring hexes/areas close by.
7. Path leading west. Who's been using the track? Clearly not harpies (they fly) or things that would be eaten by harpies (they prefer to avoid being eaten).
8. Deep well (actually the shaft of a buried tower.) Vines growing makes climbing possible but not easy. Possible vines break, guaranteed if the character is loaded with gear and encumbered. Deep, deep drop- this and the 'path leading west' are also bookends for if I want to make more maps and keep adding on. 

I hope I placed the well far enough out of the way so that it doesn't overlap with where the owlbear den ought to be! But I think it's in the dead zone.

P.S. This map should probably have more treasure. And like... scenarios, and character motivations, and plot hooks. That's all up to you though, I'm not making a dungeon here, I'm just making a map with some supplemental notes! All you have to do is find a place for a giant tree with a nest in it and everything should be fine.

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Harpy Tree

I'm liking making maps! It's just very chill, especially with all the greenery. I'm just sitting here plonking down moss, how de...