101+ Wonders of the World

Homebrew and House Rules

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1. Hanging Lagoons of Doth'Roma Pronounced Dawth-ROH-ma

The Hanging Lagoons are a natural phenomenon that occurs near an underground river that travels through a massive cavern, and the water in this river is unnaturally dense with various nutrients and elements such as cobalt, iron, silver, potassium, zinc, and sodium, and this nutrient-dense water has caused this landmark to become a veritable Mecca named Doth'Roma for its healing and revivifying properties. (In the ancient dialect, the literal translation of Doth'Roma means "River of Youth"). People from far away lands have traveled here for centuries to bathe in the pools and feel energized and rejuvenated from absorbing these nutrients through their skin, and herbalists and alchemists have bottled this water for purpose of using it to create healing tinctures, salves, ointments, and lotions. Despite its notable healing properties, this nutrient-dense water is not potable and causes anyone who drinks it to experience rapid dehydration.

While these healing properties themselves are enough to draw crowds from across the world, the actual phenomenon of this sacred place is that there are pools of water that form in the TOP of this expansive cavern. There are a series of great waterfalls throughout this cavernous river that rival the grandeur of Niagra Falls, and produce an excessive amount of fog and mist, and this nutrient-dense mist raises to the top of the cavern and accumulates, and will periodically change between its liquid and gaseous states, forming "pools" of water scattered throughout this mist in the top of this cavern, thus forming "The Hanging Lagoons". Many great thinkers and researchers have attempted to unravel this scientific anomaly, but to this day its mystery still remains unfathomable; every hypothesis they've ever proffered for explaining this phenomenon eventually becomes disproven. So, until such a time that it can be successfully hypothesized, they have named this strange state of continuously-changing liquid/gaseous matter as "Hyperfluidity".

2. Grand Isthmus

This 24.78 mile long land bridge between two continents is a naturally-formed wonder of the world, and was formed due to glacial activity before time immemorial. Throughout the length of this land bridge, the height ranges from 1.13-1.97 miles high above the sea level below, and ranges from 0.51 miles-2.40 miles wide. Both continents celebrate "The Great Jubilee" as a National Holiday, where the citizens from each continent meet in the morning on their respective sides and then hike to the center of the Isthmus. That night, they make camp together and hold a great festival that lasts 3 days and 3 nights, and the festival never stops regardless of the hour. Merchants bring wares to sell as knick-knacks and souvenirs, artists and performers share their cultural heritage through plays, songs, poetry, sculpture, and painting, and almost everyone brings their favorite ale, booze, and pipeweed. This festival has occurred for nearly 800 years, but a strange societal phenomenon has arisen as a result of the intrinsic mutual respect for this great festival, in that not a single person from either continent has reported any of their belongings stolen while attending this festival in over 300 years. Citizens from both sides keep their tents open to all regardless of the hour as to allow for the maximum amount of festive partying as possible. At the end of the three days, the citizens hug, cry, shake hands, and bow, and some even exchange gifts, and then return home to their respective continent.

3. Primordial Crest

A great continental shelf broke off from its parent continent during an earthquake nearly a thousand years ago, and this geological faultline went right through the middle of an Ancient Grove that was most holy to a faction of Druids. Soon, the continental shelf begain to "geologically drift" away due to aftershocks and the shifting movement of the tectonic plates deep in the earth, and this caused the Druids' grove to become split in twain. But before the continental shelf could "geologically drift" away, the Druids bound the continental shelf with a series of great vines that acted like sutures to hold the two landmasses together. Despite their best efforts, this continental shelf has drifted greatly in the past few hundred years in subsequent earthquakes, and has broken in new places. Each time, the Druids of that era attempted to suture these breaks together with new vines. Today, this continental shelf has been broken into a series of Twelve massive "islands" that are all interconnected by a network of vines that are holding it all together, and some of the oldest original vines have grown to become over 40ft in diameter and several miles long. The faction of Druids remains intact today and they still revere this great grove as holy ground, and as such, visitors and tourists are strictly prohibited from entering. No non-Druid has ever been inside the grove in all this time, and the Druids have waged several wars throughout the centuries to keep it that way. So unfortunately, much of this great Wonder is shrouded in mystery to all non-Druids.

4. Saint Arrenelle's Shrine

1300 years ago, Arrenelle Daye Pronounced AHR-en-ELL Day was the Seneschal of the great city of Balasgard, capital of the nation of Tazi, during the time of a great plague that ravaged the countryside for some several years. Nearly a quarter of the entire population of Tazi died, but due to Arrenelle's efforts in performing her duties as Seneschal, she was able to mitigate the deaths of thousands by her tireless effort in finding a cure to the plague, and then organizing the effort to ensure that the cure reached as many citizens as possible. Tazian Historians estimate she saved over 300,000 lives. Not long after that, Tazi suffered a great Civil War that lasted over 5 years due to the rise of a highly corrupt politician who attempted to divide the nation with surreptitious propaganda. Arrenelle eventually exposed the politician's lies and ended the Civil War. After Arrenelle died almost a decade later, the citizens posthumously awarded her the title of Saint and built a great shrine in her honor. The Shrine took 32 years to build. Every piece of wood in the shrine was hand-carved in such a way as to fit together like puzzle pieces, so that the entire shrine was built without using a single nail. The wood pieces fit together and continue to hold together from their own weight as an architectural phenomenon. They did this to signify that during the time of great crisis, Arrenelle was the "sovereign glue" that held the nation together. The 41,732sqft Shrine still stands today, and wealthy citizens throughout the ages have donated Art, Sculptures, and other pristinely-crafted works to the Shrine.

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5. The Crying Twins

Deep in the mountainous jungles of Jhal'naz, a river flows into a large, churning pool at the top of a 152 foot cliff. Three waterfalls drop from this pool into a large, 40 to 50-foot deep plunge pool.

Each waterfall is approximately 15 feet wide, but the most notable thing is that the center waterfall flows upwards from the plunge pool up the cliff. Its angle upwards matches the angle a properly falling waterfall would have, seeming to form as a churning spout or geyser about 10 to 15 feet from the cliff base at the bottom and slowly arcing inward towards the cliff until it reaches the top, like the curve it would have if it were falling normally.

This central, upward waterfall is the cause for the turbulent, churning pool at the head of the falls above, but the two side waterfalls keep the pool from expanding from the added water coming back up and from the normal feeding from the jungle river itself.

Local people have legends that two daughters of a jungle god sat atop the cliff, crying over the loss of their mother. Their father, saddened at seeing their tears, reversed them so as to keep them from striking the ground. This is, of course, just romantic superstition. The true cause of this is magic. An ancient river naiad, practicing her nature magic thousands of years ago... just did it one day to see if she could. She was really powerful and... it worked. She's since long left for the Elemental Plane of Water (though she does visit every century or so, like returning to a vacation home).

The pools and waterfalls don't detect as magic, but a dispel magic can (against a ridiculously high caster level) end it (and probably really pissing off suspicious native people). Fortunately, the ancient magic retriggers and restarts after about 1 hour, so meddling troublemaker mages don't end being lynched/cooked/sacrificed if no one notices it soon enough. (When it is noticed soon enough, the falls still start back up after an hour, which is typically proof that the punishment was successful in appeasing the gods, thus reinforcing this belief. Even if it starts up before punishment is finalized it's usually viewed as the gods declaring the proceedings are viewed with favor and to continue).

Only by finding and defacing or destroying three ancient seals and signs carved into the rock: one at the base of the plunge pool and the other two at the cascade crests of the two normal falling waterfalls, can the reverse waterfall be ended. Note that even doing this won't end the fall immediately, a dispel magic or similar effect must then be successfully used to end the ongoing effect, which will no longer restart with all the sigils gone. There's always a chance of the ancient naiad returning and finding the tampering and repairing it (or sending punishment via water minions after any perpetrators). Finding the signs in the churning, often cloudy waters, as well as staying anchored in the current of the plunge pool and at the lips of the waterfalls makes this a very difficult feat without somehow stopping or diverting the jungle river.

The central 'fall' is strong enough to carry a man or even a small craft upwards, but its narrowness and force make staying within its stream quite difficult, requiring a Swim check (DC 15) each round to maintain equilibrium and remain in the 'spout'. The stream can carry a normal person upwards approximately 60 feet per round, requiring about 3 rounds to reach the top and be deposited into the upper pool. Failure on the check indicates the swimmer was ejected from the stream and then fails from a point within the height they had risen, back down into the plunge pool, though sometimes into the cliff base at the bottom. A swimmer can attempt to move higher by swimming with the upward flow, but their Swim check DC is 20 to indicate that they are not focused on fighting to stay within the current.

Vessels, from barrels to rafts, require an appropriate piloting, sailing or Profession check (DC 15) each round at a –4 penalty for each space they occupy larger than 5-foot in dimension. For example, a typical rowboat (5ft x 15ft) would be at a –8 penalty, as would a makeshift raft (10ft x 10ft); a 15ft x 15 ft vessel would be at a –16 penalty. Vessels with a dimension larger than 15 feet cannot ride the waterfall upwards. Any vessel larger than 10 feet in a dimension also rises slower, as do extremely heavy objects or loaded vessels (increasing the number of rounds needed and thus, the number of successful checks). Failure to successfully keep a vessel stabilized is disastrous, typically leading to immediate capsize at the bottom if not destruction, depending on whether the plunge pool is struck or rocks at the cliff's base.

The Glorious Gothic Pyre of Potential Possibility

This shrine, or those matching its description, seem prone to appear in many places; sometimes near cities and other times in wilderness or caverns. They typically resemble a cleared area with six 20 to 30 foot white marble-like columns spaced around a 20 foot mass of flaming ash about 6 inches deep, though sometimes up to 2 feet deep in the center. The flames seem to constantly flicker and feed on the ashes, rising from 2 to 3 feet at the edges, to 5, 6, or even 10 feet at times in the center. While the true name of these shrines is known only to the most learned and wise, most travelers and visitors know them as 'Shrines of Insight', because that's what the priests say to tourists and visitors.

Depending on its location, the shrine might be tended by a lone priest or cleric of a seemingly non-denominational or harmless type, though typically there are 3 or 4 in relatively civilized or peaceful areas and sometimes craftsman or others also frequent such areas. These priests claim that these shrines were erected by a mighty and somewhat cynical and annoyed entity of great power (as well as wisdom and intellect. And also humble and modest... he'd never say so himself... so they do.) These priests regularly scribe holy scripts and lines, which they feed into the fires of the shrine and seem to be all that's necessary to keep the flames going. While they don't tend to announce or broadcast these prayer slips, they also don't seem to consider them secrets or off-limits. As such, visitors or curiosity seekers sometimes see or read them before they are fed into the shrine. They've reported odd writings in simple common tongue.

Things like...:
'93. Bump
This tiny humanoid lives under beds, in floors, or in walls. They are nocturnal, so they make noises as they hunt for lost pieces of candy and snacks. If frightened, they can extend out their eyes generating fear as a gaze attack. Some children treat them as an imaginary friend. They have no set alignment, can advance as a monster, or any appropriate class.'
'119. Mimic Mimic.
This creature is a master at mimicking Mimics, lulling Mimics into a false sense of security, and then the Mimic Mimic eats the Mimic.'
'24:The printed out list of lists.
Each item is itself a numbered list. There are even some lists, inside of lists, inside of a list, in the big list. You can see why pizza lord tried to skip over this crate.'

No one really seems to know why destroying these things seems to fuel a constant fire of near withering fury.

Regardless of the origins, it's well known that visitors can enter these shrines and walk into the flames and receive fleeting visions of vast, often baffling and out-of-context, possible futures of incredibly random things.

The Ritual:
If a visitor holds two gold-cast dice (worth at least 25gp each) in hand as they enter the flames of the shrine and walk to the center, casting the dice into the ashes, they receive a vivid instantaneous vision of... something. This could be a far-away place, strange and random terrain, them opening a crate with something in it, a vision of a random piece of inconsequential flora or fauna, or some Wonder of the World.

Roll randomly on Goth Guru's Vivid Visions, Ominous Omens, and Dazzling Dreams list... or roll randomly for any list... then randomly upon that list... and that's the vision the supplicant sees, at GM's discretion.

The fire is real, it is hot, it burns for 20 fire damage per round and does require a Reflex save to avoid catching fire each round. This has no effect on receiving the vision, so most supplicants tend to leave immediately after dropping their offering and having the instantaneous vision imparted.

The priests happily sell such blessed dice as do some traders if in the area, (though the priests are 'official, blessed dice'). They seem to work from any source as long as they are valuable enough. The priests typically generously offer a casting of energy resistance (fire [20]) when they sell such offerings.

What most people also don't know is that the dice aren't lost in the ceremony like a material component, though they are typically lost in the piles of ash and seem to be gone (and the sudden vision also tends to overtake the supplicant's sight for a moment), and the vivid flames block most sight from exterior observers. During quiet times, when the priests seem to be tending to the ash piles or cleaning soot and smoke stains from the columns, they occasionally work their way towards the center and skillfully and stealthily retrieve the dice for resale or cleaning later (as well as any new dice brought by supplicants or purchased from other traders, which are just added to their collection).

Pizza Lord wrote:
The pools and waterfalls don't detect as magic, but a dispel magic can (against a ridiculously high caster level) end it (and probably really pissing off suspicious native people). Fortunately, the ancient magic retriggers and restarts after about 1 hour, so meddling troublemaker mages don't end being lynched/cooked/sacrificed if no one notices it soon enough. (When it is noticed soon enough, the falls still start back up after an hour, which is typically proof that the punishment was successful in appeasing the gods, thus reinforcing this belief. Even if it starts up before punishment is finalized it's usually viewed as the gods declaring the proceedings are viewed with favor and to continue).

Omg Pizza Lord I was reading this---^ at work and cracking up dying laughing. I could vividly see these natives in my mind killing anyone who dispels the waterfall with the whole "the gods must approve! no matter what!" thing and it was too much. By the time I got to the end of the paragraph I was ugly snort laughing. My co-workers were looking at me funny. Well done sir bravo.

7. Floating Volcano

This geologically/volcanically active "floating" island is a place that no person can visit, and strangely enough, it's not because of the lava, but rather it's because of the intense gravitational anomaly occurring from within this island. Eons ago, a distant planet roughly 5 times the size of Earth was hit by a comet and the planet was shattered. This "floating volcano" is a small portion roughly 1/2 the size of Australia of that shattered planet's liquid core of magma that eventually made its way here. This island was once entirely liquid, but it has since hardened an exoskeletal-like blackened crust and has a liquid core of magma. Since this Volcano used to actually be on a distant planet that was once 5 times the size of Earth, this volcano has some unique properties.

Firstly, it has its own intense gravitational field that causes anyone who goes there to become 12x as heavy than normal. While this won't kill you, it's certainly not sustainable for even a few minutes because it causes excruciating joint, muscle, and bone pain. And although this gravitational field is quite extreme, it's not a large gravitational field by any means; people on earth barely even notice it. One would have to fly closer to it before noticing the change in gravity.

Secondly, the entire Volcano is comprised of an unearthly metal that the great thinkers and researchers have named Vulcanite, and it has interesting properties with respect to polarization and magnetism. That is actually how this "floating" volcano doesn't crash into the earth; it's magnetically repelled or "unattracted" to the earth, so it is kept at a distance. Similarly, the lava that flows from this volcano flows off the side, and then is repelled upwards and away from the earth, and back to the volcano. It is magnetically repelled at a constant altitude of ~15,000ft.

8. Arcane Wells of Tom-Tor

This once-powerful civilization of magic-wielders was unearthed by archeologists only 8 years ago, but this discovery has propelled the understanding of the Arcane Arts forward by centuries. The Tom-Torians held a primal understanding of the Arcane, but it was well-founded and amplified by their Arcane Wells-- the best way to describe this Magical Marvel might be as "Self-sustaining Arcane Energy Storms"-- it's a battery of magic that never wanes or expires, and can be channeled via Mana Conduits and used in one's home or work like a utility resource just like electricity or water utilities to your home. These Arcane Wells were able to make every citizen of Tom-Tor live rather posh lives, because every aspect of their daily life was aided by magic from the Mana Conduits in their homes in some way; Tom-Torians enjoyed constant Prestidigitation spells to keep their homes clean, Create Food and Water spells for mealtimes, Light and Dancing Lights spells for illumination, Mage Hand for reaching things across the room, Open/Close spells for doors, drawers, Comprehend Languages for reading foreign books and newspapers, and a host of Unseen Servants, etc. Tom-Torians were highly fashionable as well, and frequently enjoyed changing outfits with their wardrobes powered by Disguise Self spells from the Mana Conduit. They also had exceptional health facilities, as their doctors and healers were afforded with as many Detect and spells as one could ever want.

Experts argue about the exact epoch that Tom-Tor was an active civilization, but they generally agree that it was somewhere between 7,000-9,000 years ago, and no one is certain yet of how this civilization ended. Today, these Arcane Wells are still under testing and observation. Even though the Mana Conduits are archaic technologies, it is difficult to repeat even with modern means. All previous attempts to harness this energy via modern Mana Conduits have inexplicably failed.


Above is an already lengthy list of wonders. Also, thank you Pizza Lord for reminding me of my list of dreams. I added to it.

I added mine over on the 1001 Wonders thread.

/End Thread

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