I'm Stuck. Fountain Trap and Animated Statues

Rules Questions

I have a room with a large clear pool, plus in each of the three alcoves is an animated statue. The first trick is if anyone touches the statues they all three animate and attack the nearest person.

What can I do with the large circular still water in the fountain (pool)? Should the pool be tied in with the statues somehow?

Should the pool be a benefit to the gamers which is why the statues are guarding it?
We could say if someone takes the healing water without a password the statues animate?

What Say You?

Have the quest to "cure" a petrified townsfolk, and pouring this water over his petrified body will do it.

Make sure it takes like a gallon or at least a skin-full. That way they can take some for a later encounter, but not more than a couple.

If it was me, I'd ask myself, "What would the people who made this room be trying to accomplish?"

And I'd answer myself (because I'm helpful like that):

"These folks were trying to limit public access to a magic water supply. The water supply is apparently not that limited, since it's still running well after the fountain is abandoned and adventurers are looting the room. So they're doing this somewhat selfishly. Thus the waters could be any heal or buff potion.

"We're restricting access out of selfishness, so we're probably trying to turn a profit. That means we want our guards to crush thieves after business hours, but not smash our idiot clients before they arrange payment. So our guardians will active when attacked or cast upon, or when someone tries to access the fountain without our permission."

So the guardians shouldn't activate when merely touched. If it was me, I'd have the fountain be rigged to cast high level animate object spells on the statues if the conditions were met, and have the statues thus legitimately detect as non-magical.

The pool is indeed a very special fount, and once was guarded by a powerful order of monks. Those who enter the chamber must fulfill the ritual of speaking a prayer in each of the cardinal directions before drinking from the pool.

Drinking from the pool will cure 1d6 levels of Attribute damage. It will also function as a Remove Curseif one remains in the chamber and drinks from the pool once each hour from sunset to sunrise. These rituals are (of course) lost to time and are only detailed in certain very rare books.

Failure to speak the prayer to the cardinal directions before drinking from the pool will result in the statues animating, grappling the offending character, and walking them into the depths of the pool. Of course the statues need not make a swim check or even breath under water, but their captives will likely be less prepared. After fifteen minutes, the statues will carry the offender out of the pool and deposit them near the entry before resuming their posts.

Any water removed from the chamber becomes ordinary water.

The water is a bound Water Elemental!

I miss the water weirds from 1e. Every fountain had one!

Have a 10' (or deeper) pool around the fountain.

If the water (acid?) or statues are disturbed, the statues animate and attack. Their primary tactic is to grapple an intruder, move to the pool and jump in. Once in the pool, the statues will do nothing but maintain a grapple.

If a statue is splashed with more than an ounce of water from the pool, it does nothing for one round (except to maintain a grapple if it is grappling). Observant PCs may notice that statues that move near the fountain begin to move in a jerky fashion--apparently when in the mist of the fountain's spray.

Have treasure at the bottom of the pool from previous victims to entice adventures to investigate the pool. As an added bonus have the remains of those victims animate (skeletons, zombies, etc.) and attack any living creauture that enters the pool.

Have fun!

The statues's heads are hollow, and each one is filled with five chocolates of cure moderate wounds.

If any creature breaks open a statue, a trap in the room casts animate object on the fountain, at which point it becomes mobile and attacks PCs with a water jet similar to, but more powerful than, the geyser function of a decanter of endless water.

Okay more info. I really like the idea of the statues being guardians, BUT I DIDN'T tell you the rest of the story! The adventurers are adventuring through a large cavern towards their ultimate goal of finding the major lost sword artifact JUDGEMENT. They have found the lost Dwarven Ironside descendants stronghold (lost to society for 2,000 years). An elder metallic dragon has taken up residence in the rear of the dwarven Stronghold, because it's almost impossible to make it through the Dwarven Stronghold from the front. They haven't found the dragon yet who is the one guarding Judgment.

This complex of caverns, lakes, catacombs, rooms, and chasm is located at the top of the currently frigid northern mountain in Pathfinder's Inner Sea Region of the Medev country (I added the mountains to this country).

Since they're are dead Dwarven skeleton's throughout the cavens, lakes, catacomb, etc then it makes sense to have the Statue Guardians guarding the water pool inside the cavern room.

NOTE: In the next room is a ring of fire guarding a white young dragon that's in a hibernating state due to the 1,000 years of sleep?

What should the password/riddle be that makes sense due to a long dead colony of Dwarves? One of the adventurers is a dwarf from the mountains!

The water is the only thing that can put out the fire ring around the white dragon, waking it up. Under the dragon is a "key, rune, insert important door opening item" That will allow them to bypass a harder part of the dungeon if they figure it out.

Each time someone looks into the pool they see the statues reflected in the water. The statues appear to be reaching out for them, turning twisted and hateful, as if animating to attack. As soon as the players turn around the statues are normal. If one of the party members keeps an eye on the statue while another looks at the reflection, they see the one looking away from the water being murdered by the statue.

All of this is an effort to get the players to touch one of the statues and make it attack.

As soon as the statues animate and attack the water ceases flowing and begins draining away. Now if the party ignores the statue and lets the water just flow, then they can use it for the fire ring per the suggestion of JustKhaos. If they however shut it off, they must either replace the statues or just leave the water off.

Later in the dungeon, if they leave the water off, you can have some kind of water effect from the re-routed fountain water.

The statues themselves might be the souls of dwarven heroes animating the stone. If they are reasoned with they may yet be moved to returning to their posts so that the dragon in the next chamber might be slain and their oath fulfilled.

how is this a rules question?
it sounds like an encounter design advice question...???

The controll items for each statue is in the bottem of the 20' deep pool of fresh water.

Choose exotic forms for the statues.

Just for fun have the waters heal the statues for 3d6 hp per round of contact.

THanks everyone for your help and suggestions! There were so many many excellent ideas!
@JustKhaos I'm going to use your idea of the water is the only thing that will quench the circle of fire in the next room. I will use the key under the dragon for access to the moving wall panel that hides the armory.

@ Mark Hoover I will also use the statues as dwarven heroes. The variant on your idea I will be using is if the party uses or stores the water for any purpose other than extinguishing the flames then the statues will animate.

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