Battle map: waterfall

More maps! Currently running the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign with friends, and I figured I would throw something a bit challenging their way, somewhere in Neverwinter Wood.


The general idea is that the adventurers are following the river from the south, walking upstream. The river progressively becomes a torrent, flowing in a gorge between steep cliffs. After a while, they reach an area where a waterfall has carved a small canyon. The water is treacherous, and reaching the upper cliff requires climbing some rough staircases carved in the stone, and crossing a rickety-looking hanging bridge. And of course, this would be a perfect spot for a patrol of goblins and hobgoblins to set camp…

Annotated version

This is how I chose to run it.


Section 1 / the gorge: the water flows 1-2 feet deep, between vertical stone cliffs, perhaps 50 feet high. The path is narrow, forcing the group to decide who will open the march. There are 3 small waterfalls. Passing them requires an Athletics check, DC 5. Failing causes the character to fall prone. It is mostly intended as a heads-up that the water is tricky.

Section 2 / the cauldron: the waterfall collects in a pond, and flows further down, with heavy currents. Water here is 3 feet deep or more. It is difficult terrain, and characters under 4 feet high can’t walk through it without assistance, perhaps being carried around. The water forms whirlpools: moving through this section requires an Athletics check. If the result is 10 or lower, the PC ends in a different square than expected (roll 1d8 to determine which one). If the result is 5 or lower, the PC also falls prone.

Section 3: this section is 10 feet above the water, and can be reached through a staircase carved in the rock. A large rock can provide half-cover if needed.

The bridge that connects Sections 3 and 4 has an AC of 5, and 4 hit points.

Section 4: this section is 10 feet above the water. Climbing there directly from the water requires an Athletics check, DC 15, at a disadvantage because of the water. A few trees can provide half cover.

section 5: this section is 20 feet above the water. It is connected to Sections 4 and Sections 6 by staircases carved in the rock. Climbing directly there from Section 4 takes an Athletics check, DC 15. A large rock can provide half cover.

Section 6: the waterfall: this section is 30 feet above the water.

That’s it! I had a welcoming party of a Hobgoblin and a Hobgoblin Captain, with 4 Goblins (2 sentries in Section 6, 2 in Section 4). For added fun, I gave a few Goblins some Alchemist’s fire, which they used to cut off the bridge and split the party…