View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Unique Stronghold Ideas

2019-03-07, 01:18 PM
I will be awarding my players a ruined castle and surrounding land for them to invest in as a stronghold. I've got the basic idea down, and a pretty good variety of typical castle pieces and industries that they could build up, but I would love to include some less obvious options for them that they might like, but perhaps they might not have thought of. Anybody have any cool ideas?

A few of the ones I've already thought of:

Ayrie - an open stable atop a high tower that allows for training and keeping of flying beasts and monstrosities (such as giant eagles or hippogriffs)
Animal Sanctuary
Wizard Tower
Artificers Workshop
Golem Forge
Dragon Roost
Teleportation Circle
Nondetection Rune

John Out West
2019-03-07, 05:21 PM
Ooh, is this going to be one of those castles that is also filled with monsters, so to take over any wing they have to go through it like its a dungeon? I love those!
- Flooded Jail (Filled with water, sewer at bottom must be cleaned out)
- Monster Jail (Anti-Magic Bubbles)
- Attached Graveyard (Attracts Frankenstein like Artificer)
- Reliquary (Holds ancient Peoples, Monsters, and Items frozen in Permafrost Ice)
- Attached Castle Town (Believes Castle, and the Players, are cursed)
- Artillery Tower (Holds Huge Fire-Ball Rods that act like artillery)
- Secret Entrance/Exit (Currently functions as a thieves/pirate hideout)
- Crystal Room (All areas within castle grounds can be seen from this room)

Hope this Helps!

brian 333
2019-03-08, 10:49 PM
Library/Labyrinth - Beneath the castle is an apparently random labyrinth with tunnels, corridors, and rooms branching off in all directions. All of the walls are carven and painted in runes, glyphs, pictographs, and writing of strange and mysterious fashions, representing dozens of unknown languages and styles of art. It is, in fact, a massive wizard's spellbook. Studying the engravings with the use of Read Magic or Comprehend Languages will reveal this fact. From the central entrance to the maze the spells depicted are simple cantrips, but as the character radiates farther from the entrance the spells become more difficult to learn and understand. Assume that there is a logical arrangement of spells, such that Necromany spells align on a spoke, more or less, and Divinition spells on another, with spells such as Speak With Dead, with traits of both Necromancy and Divinition, straddling the border between them. Learning spells from this massive spellbook is exactly the same as from another wizard's spellbook.

Assume the chambers within the maze serve a purpose, such that if a spell requires a pentagram or something, the floor of the chamber will have been so designed, or room for laboratory work to create the material components will be there, along with ruined laboratory equipment, some of which will have been robbed or damaged, while others, such as forges and anvils, will remain intact.

The Invisible Tower - A walkway along one wall of the castle abruptly ends. However, should one continue along the path across the open air he will come to the door of an invisible tower. Once within, the drum tower appears ordinary and quite visible to those who enter. It is set away from the castle and on a shoulder of stone so that those below don't bump into it. It is of dimensions suitable to the rest of the castle's construction, so a massive fortress will have a massive tower, while a small keep will have a small watchtower.

From the top of the drum tower a view of the region around the castle can be had, as it can from any of the many windows of the tower. All within the tower are rendered invisible, but those atop the invisible portion of the wall or on any parapet or the top of the tower can be seen as if they were standing on air. The use of See Invisibility, True Sight, or similar magics will reveal the presence of the Invisible Tower.

The Black Witch - Within a courtyard is a massive trebuchet which is aligned to defend the approaches to the castle. Although it requires enough people to load the extremely heavy ammunition, (single boulders, baskets of rubble, balls of pitch, or bundles of darts,) it otherwise operates magically, upon the command of anyone who can make use of magical devices. It is targeted by a map laid in tile on the courtyard deck. The commander will move to the spot on the map that corresponds to where he wants the shot to fall and commands the trebuchet to aim, at which point it will swivel on its turntable to face that point. When commanded to fire it will fling its load to impact, with normal deviation rules applying, to impact the corresponding target beyond the castle walls. When commanded to reload the trebuchet will once again bend down to allow its sling to be refilled with ammunition.

2019-03-11, 09:49 AM
The castle is built on the back of a massive earth elemental, which can be commanded to move (slowly) to change the location of the castle.

2019-03-11, 11:54 AM
The Map Room - This massive room has giant maps on the walls, and, most importantly, a giant 3d model of the nearby town, and a collection of other city models in a rack off to the side. Whomever controls the tower finds small miniatures of themselves near the model, in what looks a pedestal out of the floor, with a box on the top. Placing the miniature of a creature, including yourself, onto the model of the city teleports that creature to that location in the city. The miniature follows the location of the party member as they move around the town model. Removing the miniature from the model and placing it back in the box teleports them back into the map room.

If you want it to be an encounter, include some sort of attendant(s) who is/are defending the area, but acting very defensively. They're biding time until a miniature is created for the attacking party, then runs over to the pedestal, grabs the most powerful character in the party, and places them somewhere in the town, teleporting them out of the map room, then reengaging the party. If the attendants are outnumbered, this may happen several times.

The Armory - including a enchanting anvil, sharpening whetstone, and a training room with a wooden Golem, a couple sets of animated armor and some animated kendo swords, halberds, and the like.

The Airshipyard - This hanger contains an Eberron-style Airship, but inactive and unable to be powered up. The various Elementals that would be powering the airship were never bound to it, and wandering around the hanger.

A Prayer Labyrinth - Constructed for a cleric of the god of secrets/mysteries. For a devotee of that god, it's a normal collection of forms that they meditate that they wander through over the course of a short rest. For non-believers, it's just a straight-up maze.