Last month, David Flor over at A Walk In The Dark sent out notice that he was running a contest. The challenge was for DMs to create an encounter for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition with a Solo monster. David listed the rules for the contest, but two caught my eye immediately:
The minimum requirement must be a single, actual encounter with a SOLO creature. You can add anything you want in and around the encounter – skill challenge, trap, hazard, special terrain, magic effects, other monsters, etc… – but the main adversary must be a solo monster and it must be an actual tactical encounter in which the solo monster must be defeated (Note: “defeated” need not mean “dead”).
The area must contain some sort of “pool, fountain or basin”, and it must have some meaning to the encounter beyond being set decoration. We will leave the interpretation of that to you.
I have been creating unique monsters for my homebrew campaign and was in the process of experimenting with Solo monster ideas when I learned of the contest. I considered a variety of ideas for including a “pool, fountain or basin,” but the one idea I really enjoyed was that the fountain was the Solo monster. I had recently received and was likely influenced by Monster Manual 3, which includes background information and stat blocks for Mimics.
I decided the encounter would include a fountain, and the fountain would be the Solo monster. Once I arrived at that decision, everything else flowed (no pun intended) from there. Ten pages later, I submitted the following encounter for the contest:
I learned last week that I was one of the winners for the Solo contest. I encourage everyone to check out the four winning entries posted at A Walk In The Dark. Each adventure would be a fine addition to your campaign and may give you ideas for encounters and quests with your group. I would like to thank David Flor for running the contest . . . and not holding it against me that I named the primary villain in Fountain of Sorrow ”Divad,” which is his name spelled backward.
One final note, I wish I would have found the Fountain Monster image above earlier to include in the contest entry. I discovered the image on an interesting Swedish blog just recently, and wanted to ensure the creator got her credit.