Scenery - Stalagmite Pipe Organ

ANNOUNCEMENT: So I guess you’ve noticed I’ve been posting characters on Thursdays. From now on, as often as I can manage it, Thursday is going to be my day for posting game-ready content on GMGenie. That means stuff that’s more hands-on than the Monday articles: characters, locations – even a full adventure scenario eventually.

Description: A cluster of huge stalagmites rises from the floor of a big cavern. They are of varying heights and diameters, like organ pipes. Multiple steady streams of water fall from somewhere above. As the water strikes the “pipes,” a different note is produced by each one, causing the cavern to echo with an eerie harmony.

What’s making the sound? There are at least two possibilities. Depending on what materials your cavern is made of (and how much you care), you can decide whether the stalagmites are making the sound (as the water causes them to vibrate - this would probably require them to be crystalline rather than stone) or whether the water is making is the sound (as a more or less steady stream of drops falls into pools at the top of “hollow” stalamites.)

Natural or artificial? In some universes, the whole pipe organ system might occur naturally, or at least be contrived out of the living material of the cavern. In others, the water streams (or even the stalagmites themselves) might be the result of human intervention.

Aame purpose: A strong element of any campaign can be the campaigns (no less the descriptions) the GM uses to enrich the players’ imaginary world. I always try to put in a few memorable setpieces, since that’s one thing that can come totally from a GM’s imagination, yet with no risk of railroading the players.

If the music stops: in my game, the pipe organ was a device being used by a cult to keep their “god” asleep. When the PCs smashed the wooden sluices that directed the water, a hideous monster woke up in the next room and they had to exit in haste – while the last of the dying cultists laughed at them.

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