I've been making random dungeons and locations for a campaign I'll be running for a few friends and thought I'd share my latest area. Graelin's Geode Tower was the home and research tower of the wizard Graelin and his apprentices. It is meant for low level parties and contains one encounter and some homebrew enchanted items.
Graelin’s Geode Tower
Graelin was a wizard interested in the study of geology who had to construct a unique tower for his research. Located in a small clearing is a circular slab built into the ground, about 150 ft in diameter. When approached the edge of part of the circle falls into the ground to become a descending staircase, taking the players into a circular room underground. This is the first level of the tower, which descends several more levels into the ground.
Along the wall of the rooms are windows that seem to look out over the clearing; the further down the room the higher the view appears to be from. The windows are enchanted crystal glass made to provide a view as if the tower extended above the ground.
The rooms of the tower are lit by lanterns, light from the windows, and chunks of glowing crystal in the ceiling of rooms.
The top room of the tower is a library and reading area. There are a few small stone shelves along the wall opposite of the stairs, containing books on geology, mineralogy, and the basic of earthen magic (no spellbooks or spell scrolls). The books are lightly tattered and dusty but in otherwise perfect condition. Attempting to leave the tower with one of the books causes the book to crumble to dirt and reappear on the shelf it was found. A few wooden tables and chairs sit near the shelves; lanterns sit upon the tables to provide reading light.
The floor of the next room of the tower is a fine soil, and growing all around the room are various vegetables, berries, and fruit-bearing trees. In the middle of the room is a wooden table and chairs. On the tables are some wooden bowls and cups. Near the table is a rock protruding a few feet out of the the ground, with clear water bubbling out of the top. The water and food are safe to consume.
The next room of the tower is a communal living area. A few beds line the wall, with wooden chest at their feet and bedside tables at their head. The floor and walls of this room are solid stone, and the windows are larger and more numerous, and covered by simple cloth curtains. Nothing of note or value in this room, chests are empty or filled with old personal effects.
The next level is completely empty, and the stairs to descend to the next level are across room. Upon approaching the center of the room an earth elemental emerges from the ground and summons a thick stone barrier across the entire room to cut the party off from continuing further. The earth elemental is not hostile unless attacked and will allow the party to attempt to continue, but will not speak to the party or act in any manner except to defend itself. The wall is too strong to mine through or destroy with most weapons or spells (powerful enough spells or weapons may work, up to DM’s discretion). Killing or incapacitating the elemental causes the wall to disappear. A single party member bypassing the wall also causes it and the elemental to disappear.Shatter, mold earth, stone shape, passwall, move earth, and disintegrate will allow passage through the wall. Players may also teleport across the wall.
The floor of the next room is smooth stone but the ceilings and walls are made of rough stone and studded with large crystals of all shapes and color.The room is lit by a few hanging lanterns. The walls are devoid of any windows. A couple small tables are scattered around the walls of the room. On the tables are small stones and chunks of crystals, with notes written by Gaelin describing their properties. Some of the notes reveal that the stones and crystals in this room are magically grown to study their properties for research purposes. Among the samples on the tables are a few gemstones: 4 10gp gemstones (azurite, hematite, blue quartz, rhodochrosite), 2 50gp gemstones (quartz, zircon), and a single 100gp gemstone (tourmaline). Attempting to remove notes from the tower causes them to disintegrate and reappear upon the tables they were found on.
The next room is similar to the previous room, with rough stone walls and ceilings and no windows. A small twisting tree grows from the ground in the middle of room. In place of leaves the branches are covered in chunks of malachite. A table along the wall sits by a large quartz growing from the wall, with the Tectonically Unstable Quartz Dagger and handwritten notes upon it. A table sits by the tree in the room with the Raw Malachite Catalyst Staff, the Ruby Mouth Heart, and handwritten notes upon it. The notes on these objects may be taken from the tower if the objects are also taken; attempting to take only the notes causes them to disintegrate and reappear where they were found.
The next room of the tower is Graelin’s personal living area. Along the wall are a single bed, a bookshelf containing a few dozen books on geology and magic, some dressers filled with various clothing, a desk covered in random research notes and a few crystal samples, and a stone scrying pool. Attempting to leave the tower with any of the notes or book causes them to disintegrate and reappear where they were found.
The final room of the tower has a single large amethyst crystal standing 7 feet tall in the middle of the room, and the walls are completely covered with the enchanted crystal windows to give a view high above the trees surrounding the clearing. If the crystal is touched by the Raw Malachite Catalyst Staff the windows will darken and the crystal will project a map of the world onto the ceiling. A few markings on the map denote ancient underground dwarven ruins containing nodes of geodic magic, which Graelin reportedly left his tower to study.
Tectonically Unstable Quartz Dagger. Dagger with stone handle and rough quartz blade that stores tectonic energy, deals 1d6 piercing + 1d20 tectonic damage on successful hit, but the blade violently shatters and the dagger is broken permanently. Seems to have grown from a large quartz crystal in the wall. Counts as a dagger for weapon proficiency purposes, uses DEX as stat modifier. Notes reveal the dagger was the result of an attempt to harness tectonic energy, but no way has been found to release that energy with the container shattering.
Raw Malachite Catalyst Staff: An irregularly shaped knotty wooden staff ~2 feet in length, with a hunk of raw malachite as the catalyst. Has one charge per long rest. The charge can be consumed when casting a spell or making a melee attack. If used to cast an offensive spell the damage type is changed to force. If used for a melee attack the attack deals 1d4 blunt damage + 1d6 force damage and knocks the target back 10 ft if it is large sized or smaller. The stat modifier for this attack is INT and the weapon counts as an arcane focus for weapon proficiency purposes. Notes explain the staff and the tree it was grown from were a successful experiment to create a tool for interacting with nodes of geodic magic.
Ruby Mouth Heart: A large raw lump of ruby as large as a fist. When buried a whole in the earth a few feet wide opens and reveals a descending staircase that lead into a small room. The whole closes if at least one person has entered the room and there are no creatures immediately outside the entrance. In the middle of the room is a small stone pedestal with the ruby sitting upon it, and a bed sits against the far wall. Removing the ruby from the pedestal causes the hole to reopen so that the party may exit the room. If someone exits with the ruby and there are living creatures still left in the room they will be spit out as the hole closes. The notes left with the ruby explain it was created to provide safe shelter when travelling the wilderness.
Let me know what you think, feedback is appreciated. The tower is made to be a good early story line location to help gear up players and send them on their way to harder areas revealed by the last room so I didn't get too crazy with it and I tried to stay away from zelda-esque puzzles and other things that feel to "gamey."