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Steam Vortex

rd tier (
(less than 1 hour)

Jets of superhot steam and the cold gust of howling winds from far below can mix into a deadly dance, growing in intensity until they form into a tempest that thunders out across the tunnels to wreak havoc on whatever crosses its path.

Audible Warning. Steam vortices are incredibly swift but make a distinct howl on their approach. Creatures that make a Perception check have 1d4+2 rounds of warning to prepare for a steam vortex before it hits.

Enclosed Storm. The steam vortex ebbs and flows in its intensity, gripping lightly for one moment only to tear with the strength of a rampaging giant an instant later—and the direction of its pull is just as fickle. Creatures cannot take the Help action within the steam vortex, and a burrow speed cannot be used to find shelter unless it does not leave a tunnel.

Geared Up. Rapidly deploying a climber’s kit destroys the rest of its contents, but for every round it is used to prepare the adventurers gain an expertise die on checks and saving throws against the steam vortex.

Spell Solve. The use of meld into stone results in a Critical Success for that adventurer. The casting of spells that create solid magical walls (such as wall of ice or wall of stone ) grant advantage on checks made against the steam vortex, but do not result in a Critical Success unless they are fully enclosed

Possible Solutions

A successful group check using the following options allows the adventurers to endure the steam vortex.

  • An Athletics check to lean into and hunker down against the steam vortex has disadvantage .
  • Anyone bracing against the passageway makes a Strength saving throw , gaining advantage if someone first makes an Engineering check to identify the safest spots to anchor against.
  • It is possible to duck and weave through the steam vortex by making an Acrobatics check with disadvantage .

Critical Failure: Each adventurer is pulled 2d20 × 100 feet into and through the steam vortex, taking 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage for every 100 feet they are moved plus 36 (8d8) fire damage. In addition, the party suffers two levels of fatigue and loses half of their Supply .

Failure: The adventurers are pulled 1d20 × 100 feet into and through the steam vortex, taking 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage for every 100 feet they are moved plus 18 (4d8) fire damage, losing 1 Supply for every 10 damage taken.

Success: The adventurers withstand the steam vortex, only taking 9 (2d8) fire damage.

Critical Success: The adventurers avoid and maneuver through the steam vortex with aplomb then notice something kicked up by the backwinds. Roll on the Boons and Discoveries table.