MY CASTLE DESIGN ---------------(Source unknown) The campaign that this adventure took place in had an average amount of gold

, magic, and level advancement: 12th level MUs didn't grow on trees, 18th level MUs were very rare. This was also 1st ed, with minor enhancements. The character who built the castle is Hym, an Elven fighter/MU of 7th and 12th levels (and years of playing invested in him). After developing a friendship with a very large and powerful community of Elves, he decided to build his abode on the edge of their border - right next to a large and powerful community of orcs. The Orcs numbered in the tens of thousands with leaders of 10HD+ as well as giants, shamans, etc. The Elves agreed to assist Hym. Hym's goals: 1. Quickly build a defensible position to withstand Orcish attacks while the rest of the construction continued. 2. Construct a castle that would withstand the assault of an Orcish army (5000+) before it can be organized to attack him. 3. The finished castle would be his home, and home to his henchmen and colleagues. It should be able to resist the attack of a party of 15th level characters. 4. Spend no more than 60,000 gp. PHASE 1: THE CONSTRUCTION

The site that Hym chose was the tip of land that formed a Y in the large river considered to be the boundry line. The river was wide and powerful on either side of this point and the land rose sharply from the river. The river provided a strong barrier to invasion, assisted in the transport of construction materials to the site, and when the project was complete, Hym would control the waterborne traffic. Most castles had wooden palisades 300 feet outside their curtain walls for the first defense. Hym didn't have room for these, but intended to use the rivers for a similar purpose. Hym contracted with two architects. Neither was aware of the other. The first worked on the site and consulted on all exterior design issues. The second was not aware of Hym's true identity, never actually saw the location, and was only consulted with the interior of the keep. Hym felt that it was very important to work with an architect: he isn't an expert at such things and his structure would need every advantage he could give it if it was to survive earthquakes, horns of blasting, etc! Hym first covered the site area with Hallucinatory Terrain spells in order to hide the initial phase of construction. Then he and several other Elves cast a number of Walls of Stone to create the curtain walls of the castle. These walls were thin, long, and overlapping (to minimize effect of dispel magic). To this they added a layer of Wall of Iron (to prevent passwall, etc). The orcs were not yet aware of the construction activity, but in order for the next step to begin the hallucinatory terrain had to be dispelled. Contracted stone masons, etc began to build a real stone wall around the magical one. Hym and friends sped up construction with certain spells: enlarge, dig, polymorph, levitate, tensers floating disk, etc. Too bad my friend the bard (with his lyre of building wasn't

around!). Also, at this time the full garrison was present along with a significant Elvan detachment (200+), and enough supplies to last for a month. Next, Hym summoned an Earth elemental to begin digging a short channel between the two branches of the river that were divided by the land the castle was to be located on. When that was complete, and it took several castings, the site was now an island. At this point only a well organized Orcish invasion would stop Hym. An Earth elemental was again summoned to build up the mound that the keep was rest upon. The keep was built like the curtain walls: with a magical interior and a stone exterior. However, lead leaf was added as a layer in certain areas of the keep. This was an inexpensive addition since the lead goes an amazingly long way and the labor isn't too costly. Iron bars were added to this construction to provide additional stability, and though I was never able to quantify the benefit, I would have hollared for a bonus in case of earthquake! Pixie friends of the Elves created a permanent illusion over the curtain walls that made them appear ten feet taller. This allowed the wall defenders to fire missile weapons without being seen - for a while, anyway. A palaside was set up to create a defensible pasture land between the curtain wall and the channel. A very large rope was purchased, a raft was constructed, and a pulley system set up so that the raft normally sat in the channel, but could be pulled to the Elvan side of the river. Either land-based power could be used to pull on the rope, or raft attendants could pull on the rope. When not in use it was below the surface of the river. PHASE II: 1. THE FINISHING TOUCHES

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Hym began guerilla attacks into the Orcish area, with the sole intent of capturing orcs, and then Polymorph Othering them into: Elfin Cats, Cooshe (both of which are great guards against invisible opponents) Pegasi (which he encouraged to mate in order to have non-dispellable mounts) Basilisks, Carrion Crawlers, Rust Monsters, etc. (basically any unusual creature that would often end up as part of a trap.) More intelligent evil creatures were changed into: Quickwood trees (absolutely terrific spies) Treants Giant Owls Giant Eagles Iron Fire-trap boxes were installed on the walls in vital areas. These boxes could be opened by guards in the murder holes above by simply pulling a cable. The plan was to do this after dropping clay pots of oil first. Continual Light spells were cast on the opposite shores of the river, then along the curtain walls, in the courtyard, in on the keep. The ones around the courtyard and keep were cast in containers with lead shutters so that the light could be turned down. Magic Mouths were cast everywhere. A number of rooms in the keep held basilisks. These rooms appeared as any other, but occupants knew to never enter, food was pushed in through a trap door. The basilisks were the result of the Polymorph Other spell, they were

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also given Stoneskin. This provided protection against unwelcome visitors scouting via the etherial plane, or just plane wandering in. A number of rooms in the keep held trapped aerial servants. These rooms were prepared much as the basilisk rooms, except they were 100% sealed. A number of rooms in the keep held trapped rust monsters. These rooms were prepared much as the basilisk rooms, they were given invisibility, armor, and stoneskin. A number of rooms in the keep held large colonies of yellow mold. These rooms were prepared much like the basilisk rooms, and some molds became psionic. A number of rooms below the keep held ustilagors. These psionic molds were a powerful deterent to nearby psionic users. A number of rooms held traps for unwelcome visitors bearing anti-magic shell. These rooms had magically-held nasties: a false ceiling full of preserved brown mold held up with walls of stone spells. Fire-traps and wizard locks on all of Hym's private rooms. Sepia snake spell and explosive runes cast in numerous areas. Glyphs in numerous areas. Avoidance was used to trigger mechanical traps. It was also used to assist trapped missiles in hitting their targets (esp. the thin glass containers of greenslime!). Carrion crawlers (invisible, stoneskin, & armor) were kept in a number of areas. All roof exits were provided with strong iron doors and locks (in case of aerial attack). A temple to Correllean Larethean was added. A Forbiddence spell was cast on the temple area. Aerial reconnaisance was obtained through the polymorphed aerial creatures. Especially valuable items were kept in small secret compartments (spell book, gems, jewelry, etc), while imposters, or lesser valued items would be more easily found.

THE GARRISON: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Approx. Approx. Approx. Approx. Approx. 75 Elf fighters, MUs, and clerics of levels 1-6. 36 Elves on loan from the Elvan kingdom 12 Pegasus (ex-orcs) with 5 colts 12 Elfin Cats (ex-orcs) 20 Cooshe (ex-orcs) 2 Quick-Wood trees on orcish side Approx. 80 non-combatants (black smiths, cooks, etc, many of which are family to others in castle) Frequent powerful visitors The seneschel: Taranto (10th level half-elf ranger) Many garrison members carry the advantage of working for a mage: armor, stoneskin, invisibility spells; lesser magical items such as potions, scrolls, anything with Leomunds name on it, etc.


STRENGTHS: 1. 2. The river is too large to fill, prevents a long-term seige, and limits the space that an invading force can occupy. Any party capable of brute-force muscling their way through these castle defenses would probably not find anything of value within it (relatively speaking). That is, if a party of 18th level characters with fifty magical


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items each could be found who wanted to attempt it, they might get through with light to moderate casualties. However, the most valuable magical item they would find would be Hym's Wand of Polymorphing! There are very many small traps. Sooner or later they would probably get even the toughest party: all it takes is a missed saving throw on one of the over 200 fire-traps and all those precious magical items get to save as well! Reinforcements from the Elvan nation would be available for a long-term campaign. Hym has a good number of high-level friends that would support him in an attack from other high-level characters.

VULNERABILITIES: 1. 2. 3. Too small and weak of a garrison to fend off either 5000+ orcs or 6 16th level characters. The defense would rely too much on the castle leadership which is not always there. Difficult to simply ride in and out of this castle. So, if quickly surrounded, the garrison does not have the option of just riding away. Of course, they may be able to raft away! Little defense from aerial attack.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: 1. 2. 3. 4. Unfortunately, Hym's alignment kinda ruled out animating scores of undead to assist in construction and defense. If Hym was higher in level he would have Symbols. If Hym had really high-level psionic buddies he might have gotten one to use molecular rearrangement to turn an outer layer of lead leaf to adamantite on all outside walls. If Hym was higher in level, during a major assault he would have thrown a out a large anchor connected to the front gate by a 50' chain. This anchor would have a Sympathy spell on it. Imagine the chaos of hundreds of Orcs dropping everything to fight for possession of the anchor! Perhaps not the absolute best use of an eighth level spell, but one of the most entertaining. The Forbiddence spell was only cast upon the temple area because Hym did not restrict entrance to his castle to just Chaotic Good. The planned for scenario: The orcs attack with a 5000+ army, including 10HD+ leaders, as well as 7th+ lvl shamons, giants, and more... never happened. This castle was constructed in the twilight years of a ten year campaign, and all the players slowly drifted away.

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TABLE OF COMMON ATTACKS & DEFENSES: Attack: Defense: Masses of scaling troops. Tall curtain walls manned by a large number of troops using pole-arms to push the ladders away. Or... a good number of magic-users. Masses of troops with seige towers. Ground that will not support seige towers, Or... medium-level magic-user. Undermining.

Attack: Defense: Attack:


Well, the Romans used to set bronze shields full of water on the ground. If mining occured nearby the shields would audibly resonate with the vibrations. Or... chose a site unsuitable for mining. Cleric casts an Earthquake spell. Limited Wish, Or... don't let 16th level enemy clerics so close, Or... make sure you consulted an architect! Horn of blasting. None that I am aware of, Or... see architect note under Earthquake attack. Anti-Magic Shell. Traps triggered by the dismissal of their magic component. Polymorph any object is great for this, Wall of stone, iron is pretty good too. Flying opponents. Stone roof (difficult & expensive), And... aerial garrison members, And... layout the castle interior so the upper floor is defended similarly to any outside door: fall-back positions exist in case of aerial invasion, secondary barriors (portcullis) can slow down penetration, valuable interior rooms are located in center of keep - not at the top! Passwall. Metal layer in walls. Scrying, Lead-lined walls. Teleport, Lead-lined walls. Etherial scouting, Captive basilisks, gorgons, medusa, Control weather. Control weather, Or... stay inside. Wish. Depends on what they wish for, but a good rule of thumb is that anyone with a wish in their pocket has you by the soft parts. Rock to Mud. Use 'unnatural' stone (enchant it). Psionic. Psionic plant life. Invisibility. Guards with keen senses of smell, hearing. Mirror of the Mental Prowess. Well once I threatened a player by telling him that I would set up my Mirror far beneath a large lake and

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open it up on the top of his keep. None that he could think of.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------This document has been edited for legibility purposes by OLIK / Ole A. Ringdal / --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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