Steal Our Sunken Castle for Your Next Tabletop Game
Published: August 24, 2020
Operencia was born from three loves: our infatuation with tabletop roleplaying, our deep roots in grid-based RPGs, and our passion for central European mythology. Many of the ideas we developed for Operencia started years before as experiments in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns—the stories, the enemies, and the dungeons. Sharing those experiences with players around the world was a great joy for us.
We want to do our part to support the growth of tabletop roleplaying because of how much it has benefited our lives as players and as developers.
Steal our sunken castle!
Lake Anna is home to King Brek’s sunken castle. Legend says that King Brek and his brother had a feud, and through great treachery and arcane cunning, King Brek and his kingdom were cursed. His castle sunk into Lake Anna. He and his armies were twisted into toad people, lumbering humanoid creatures with the bodies of men but the skin and heads of toads. They stayed trapped there for hundreds of years, slowly losing grasp of their humanity to be driven by animal instinct.
The castle itself bends the laws of nature with its very existence. Unseen forces keep some passages dry while other passages are submerged or blocked by suspended walls of water. Lit by torchlight and sunlight from the surface above, the corridors of King Brek’s domain are at once shimmering, glittering, and layered in unearthly shadows.
The halls are patrolled by the Zoldek—the toad soldiers under King Brek’s command—and other evil beings like undead skeletons. Other nefarious sea creatures are present as well, guests of King Brek as part of uneasy alliances with any force who would do harm to the kingdoms of men.
The nature of King Brek’s castle makes it a flexible addition to any campaign setting that has a large body of water within reach of the players. King Brek can be a lost legend that for unknown reasons begins to resurface, with strange sightings of toadmen attacking fishermen after centuries of the tale being told to scare children away from swimming at night. This is ideal if you need a way to bring new action to a familiar region. Alternatively, the battle that cursed King Brek could be more recent and part of a grander war or conflict in your campaign. Characters in the area know where King Brek’s castle used to be, and they need your players to find a way to the bottom of the lake to protect the town or to eliminate a key ally in an ongoing saga of conflict in your game world.
The Zoldek and Combat
A few weeks ago, we released 5e versions of the Zoldek you encounter in Operencia. These sheets include several variations of Zoldek and also include tips on how to use their special abilities as well as the level environment to plan memorable battles for your players. You should download those resources to use in your campaign, but here are the highlights of how to make a battle with Zoldek unique from other enemy encounters:
- Use varying depths of water to hinder player movement and actions, whether that’s waist-high water in a passageway, deep pools in a large chamber from which the Zoldek can escape or ambush, or just slippery stones on a walkway.
- Change how light works because of water. Perhaps the players’ vision is hindered or some spells are less effective.
- Introduce underwater combat. When players fight fully underwater, their melee attacks are less effective, their ranged attacks are not effective beyond their normal range, and fire resistance increases.
King Brek’s Castle
Thanks to the work of dedicated Redditor u/forgedbygeeks, a full explanation for the dungeons of Operencia area available with annotations about major features (like chests and secret doors). These maps are full of spoilers, of course, but they are a handy way to quickly add new maps to your campaign or to give you inspiration for customizing your own. You can find the full list of levels in our Explorer’s Pack, but here are the specific maps for Lake Anna:
Tell Us About Your Adventures
If you use any of these in your campaign, we’d love to hear how it went. We’d also love to hear how you changed, modified, or expanded on these ideas with your personal dungeon master flair.