9 Votes


Hits: 2356
Comments: 17
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.7222
Condition: Normal
ID: 6141


May 30, 2011, 12:44 am

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Cheka Man

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The Tower of Light


The perfect execution, painless, quiet, and beautiful”

-Archmage Sret

             The light tower is a approximately 30 foot tall tower with a solid center except for a 2 foot wide shaft in the middle. It has no roof and the door in the front leads into a 5'x5' room which the shaft connects to through the ceiling. From the outside it looks honeycombed by many windows arranged in artful patterns, all to small for a man to pass through but they all connect to the internal shaft, also there is no glass in the windows.


           There are many theories on what the tower was originally intended for, such as a furnace, kiln, or just decoration. The current use is a cheap and easy way of execution. For an unknown reason the tower, when hit by moonlight emits a bright flash of light, causing the windows to emit light and a column of light to be flung into the sky by the shaft. If anyone is in the room it emits three pulses of light instead of one. (The wizards say that there is “One for the body, one for the spirit, and one for the soul.” They are vague on the distinction between soul and spirit) All that remains in the room is a small pile of ash and the chair. For unknown reasons the chair can not be moved, smashed, burned, or in anyway changed. The door is the same, it can not be left partially open while the flashes are going off, if it is it is immediately slammed shut and anything being used to prop it open disappears. The wizards theorize that the way the tower works is by destroying the soul and essence of the person, rendering them completely destroyed on every plane including the divine one. This type of execution is used on only the most grave offenders and wizards, because you can neither go to hell or heaven instead ceasing to exist. The reason it is used on wizards is because wizards have a tendency to make it back from the dead, either becoming a Lich or a manifestation of the wizard, retaining all of his old powers.

Some possibilities for the history of the tower include:

The sun god built this tower and since has had a argument with the moon god, the light is his pitiful attempt to take back the night. The disintegration/destruction is simply a side effect.

A band of demon-worshipers found the tower and drew many runes inside the room as a trap for strangers. Unfortunately they drew the wrong runes and it only works when moonlight touches it.

A powerful force of evil is using the tower to capture souls for his undead army, its only a coincidence that the government sends the nastiest right to him.

The chair is the old throne of a god, any mortal that sits in the chair for a while is destroyed.

A couple possibilities for plots are:

A character is wrongly (or rightly) convicted and sent to the tower. He has about an hour to either find the cause of disintegration, have his party prove him innocent, or escape.

The assassins guild is angry at so many of their members being killed. The characters must defend the towers against the assassins, becoming prime targets in the process.

An army of souls collected by the tower are pouring into the material plane, the characters must either kill the person controlling them or, destroy the tower. But you can bet where the enemy camp is gonna be......

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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Dossta
September 29, 2010, 11:26
An interesting place, though it seems like almost sure death for any PC unfortunate to be sent to the place. I don't suppose the windows are close enough together on the inside that the character could use them as footholds to climb up the shaft and escape out of the top?
September 29, 2010, 14:56
Escaping from the Tower of Light could be the brightest feather in the cap of an accomplished rogue or escape artist. And what self respecting brigand needs foot holds to scale a wall?
Voted axlerowes
September 29, 2010, 12:19
With the revolving door afterlife in many game worlds, this could used as a in game tool to "really" kill somebody. The threat of death by this device or the potential to use this device themselves could constantly be hanging over the PCs. It is nice brief description and purposely vague, i like that.

Also what if the people don't die, what if they end up at the base of another tower thousands or millions of miles away, only this tower is damaged and lies largely in ruins?
September 30, 2010, 13:29
Then the government is screwed, with all the old villains coming back...
May 30, 2011, 11:32
I was thinking more a prison colony type adventure, set up sort of us as follows.

The PCs know about the tower for a couple adventures, they relate to it directly or indirectly but they know about it. Even better if one of the big bads they best gets put in the tower. Then through some contrived means or another the PCs get put in the tower and BAM the light hits him. (You could even give them an hour to try escape and let them almost make it....or get caught afterwards if they do).

At any rate, after the light goes off they aren't dead but they in a far away land (perhaps a different plane or planet depending on the setting). They soon realize that all condemn get sent here, including their old rivals. There will likely be factions and communities on the other side of the tower and perhaps one group is close finding a way back to the PCs home realm. But the faction that is completing the return mechanism, is planning to do very bad stuff to the PCs home. There you have plenty of conflict for the PCs to deal with and lots of choices to make.
May 30, 2011, 22:21
Yes, that could be quite fun. With all the comments on this Sub I cant wait to introduce my players to this.
Voted Cheka Man
September 29, 2010, 14:47
A great way of disposing of the worst of the worst.
Voted Pieh
September 29, 2010, 18:34
I like it. What I really like it that it is only 30ft tall, and the room is 5x5. I feel like such a small space gives it more opportunity to be something more than a soul-sundering furnace. You just don't expect such ultimate power from a 3 story building. Does the moonlight have to enter through the top? or just any of the holes in the side? The hole in the top is smaller than 5x5 and could be very easy to plug it up so it couldn't be used. Just food for though. Nice job.
September 30, 2010, 13:27
Any of the holes.
Voted olontur
September 29, 2010, 21:53
Great idea, that needs so much more work!

Even if the enigmatic quality of the Tower requires it to be mysterious, it seems to me that it's used far to often by the community around it to be so "un-researched". Scholars, wizards and priests should flock around from everywhere, politics, ethical conflict, religious claims, all these would make such a powerful, if immobile device the center of attraction for many. and for instance, local rulers should guard it quite heavily if it goes of as good as every moonlit night...

but it's just my two cents then... :)
September 30, 2010, 13:27
Where did I say they haven't researched it? Anyone that tries to stay inside while the light goes off is vaporized so that makes research a little impractical.
May 30, 2011, 11:18
These types of comments really burn my toast. I am bothered when the critique focuses on how some aspect of the write up is unintuitive to the reader, and thus the reader labels it is unrealistic. I ask anyone who begins a comment with the line

“Any ruler would make laws against such magic”

or “mages, being naturally distrustful”

or “Couldn’t this be undone by a simple dispel magic incantation”

or any such line that adds new information as part the argument to consider three things.

First almost every write up on this site reflects a single moment in time. Even bad or unsustainable ideas have their day. Perhaps all the flaws you see in the item or system are valid. These are things that can be exploited by the PCs or suggests an instability which adds drama to the item.

Second, treat the write up as cannon. When you drop it into your own game, you can and will change things. If somebody says that Ogres are running into battle with giant scissors, then they are. Even if giant scissors are the least effective piece of military hardware since blue body paint, it is a “fact” in the universe of the post.

Three, I think suggesting new information to include in the use of the idea is fantastic. Expanding on the idea is also fantastic. But adding new information to justify criticism is banal and short sighted. So to state that “wizards and mages would”, is adding new information. It is making a conclusion about the nature of people in the world or the setting of the post. I enjoy posts more when, instead of trying to analyze the post in terms of my prejudices and experiences regarding speculative fiction, I try and glean information about the world in which this post exists.

Finally to authors about to respond to such comments; just remember that all cement is wet until it meets the PCs. So don’t get all up in arms about what the item or monster “actually does”. (though this main seem to contradict point two, I just speaking to the limitation of this medium) Focus on what you want it to do, and what it is you wanted to communicate. I feels odd to say this, but all that exists as far as the site is concerned, is the write up and linked write ups.

There is my four cents.
Voted MysticMoon
May 30, 2011, 11:55

Very interesting. The thing that strikes me most about this is how clean it all is. Put someone in a little room, close the door, and wait for some harmless little moonlight. Afterwards, just get out the broom and clean up the innocuous pile of dust. A method of such brutality wrapped up in such a neat fashion says a lot about the type of tyrant who would use such a device and could inspire of number of linked adventures.

This puts me in mind of a combination guillotine (which was supposed to be a humane method of execution for its time) and some of the methods used to kill victims of the Holocaust.

Voted PoisonAlchemist
August 27, 2011, 2:37

I'm not sure what to feel about this submission. I like that it has several histories and several plots (one of which I like, but putting players in a save or die situation tends to make them unhappy and frustrated). I like the description and the setup alone would make for an interesting mage tower or other building. I just feel like there is something missing from it, like it's a bit too blank to be fully realized. 

I also understand why axlerowes may be upset, but isn't part of a truly great submission how acessable it is? If even a handfull of people feel they are left wanting something that doesn't make a submission bad, but it's certainly going to keep it from getting a 5.

Voted hylandpad
August 27, 2011, 17:27

Not a bad submission, perhaps needs a little work.

Someone had hinted at the idea of it being a teleportation device? Perhaps it might have been, for some race of advanced sun-god-worshipping people who were immune to the radiance of the tower. Or perhaps they had special equipment which immunized them. And maybe if the PCs found a way to get a hold of that equipment they could go somewhere REALLY cool. Of course...that's just the ramblings of a radical, senile old mage who lives in a tower miles away from the town...

Definently has potential!


Voted valadaar
February 2, 2017, 11:43
I do like the idea that this is not actually a disintegrator, but a teleporter. Maybe the victims are teleported sans gear/clothing and it is the stuff that does not make the trip that turns to dust. The 'prison world' has a lot of potential. The 'roll up a new character' doesn't :)

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