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Escape from Atlantis

Out of the submarine port hole, you spy something strange on the ocean floor: what appears to be an underwater city.

The Situation

Out of the submarine port hole, you spy something strange on the ocean floor: what appears to be an underwater city.

As you bring the sub closer, the layout of the city comes into view. There’s a large, perfectly symmetrical glass dome covering the city. It’s surrounded by five smaller domes, each one connected to the center by a glass tube.

You’ve discovered the lost city of Atlantis.


  • How old is Atlantis?
  • Do the people of the outside world know where it is, or have you just discovered it?
  • What have you heard about Atlantis before now? What do you know about it and the people who live there?
  • What do the people of Atlantis value? What do they fear?
  • [In Game] How does Atlantium work? What does it do?
  • [In Game] Where did the crab people come from, and where do they live now?
  • [In Game] Where did the current Atlanteans come from? Why and how did they take over the city?
  • [In Game] Who’s the real villain in this story?
  • [In Game] Is there a political agreement that can satisfy both parties?


  • The Big Dome. The main hub of Atlantis, the Big Dome is divided into three sections.
    • The Residence. Where Atlantean citizens live.
    • The Capital. Home to the King and the palace, as well as the Atlantean Senate and government buildings.
    • The Market. Where residents purchase food, clothing, and other goods.
  • The Mining Dome. The most dark and dingy of all the domes, this one features a series of tunnel entrances down into the subterranean mines. Off to one side is an old, unused entrance where that leads to the prison.
    • The Mines. The underground mines are a twisting maze of irregular tunnels hewn into the natural sediment below the city. The rounded walls are wide enough to fit about two people side-by-side, and leave just a few inches above your head. They’re lit by some sort of futuristic torch that cases a bluish-orange glow in the dimly lit tunnels. Some tunnels connect with each other, while others are a dead end. It would be very easy to get lost down here without a guide.
    • The Prison. The prison cells are carved out from the tunnels into the adjacent seabed. The bars are made out of some sort of advanced metal—likely Atlantium—that’s far stronger than the steel used in construction where you’re from.
  • The Farming Dome. Atlanteans grow a variety of crops totally foreign to surface dwellers like the adventurers: sea weed variants, sea cucumbers, and colorful, coral-like plants. The also raise some oceanic livestock. This dome is big, and well lit from powerful lamps affixed to the ceiling. There are few buildings here. It’s mostly open space.
  • The Science Dome. The Science Dome contains rows of buildings, each one focused on a particular area or specialty: engineering, medicine, aquanautics, and so on. The buildings are simple by Atlantean standards, made of white, coral-like structures with simple spires on either side of the entrance. Inside, they’re well lit, and filled with tables and special equipment.
  • The Education Dome. The Education Dome houses the School of Atlantis, as well as a separate building for the college. The buildings look relative similar to those in the Science Dome. There’s also a field for Horsehoe Crab Polo and various other Atlantean sports.
  • The Art Dome. In the Art Dome, the various artists of Atlantis create the beautiful architecture, sculptures, and paintings that abound the city. Imagine Rome, but with an aquatic flavor.


  • Warm Welcome. The King of Atlantis greets the adventurers, thanks them for coming (“It’s been a long time since we’ve encountered people from the outside”), and invites them to stay for a feast in their honor that evening. He tells them to explore the city and spend the night.
  • Overtime at the Mine. One of the smaller domes holds the entrance to the Mines of Atlantis, cut into the ocean floor below. The adventurers learn that rare element, Atlantium, is mined there. It powers the great technological achievements and advances of the city, and exists nowhere else in the world. The mine is in full swing, and one of the miners tells you they’ve been working overtime and pulling out more Altantium than ever before.
  • Atlantium Shortages. In another small dome (either farming or science), you learn that less and less Atlantium is being shipped up, and as a result crop product/scientific experiments have slowed in the last few months. This is putting pressure on everyone, as they’re not generating enough food/medicine/etc.
  • The King’s guard approaches, tells the adventures that they’re not allowed to be here. They’re arrested and thrown in a prison located in an abandoned section of the mines.
  • The Real King. Once the Adventurer’s escape, they walk by another cell that contains none other than the King of Atlantis himself. The adventurers learn that the “King” they met is a shape-shifting wizard from another realm who imprisoned the real King and took his place. He’s stealing Atlantium and shipping it off to where he’s from so that his people can also benefit. In doing so, he’s crippling the city of Atlantis.
  • The Takeover. The crab guards and fake king attack or attempt a hostile takeover of the city. The adventurer’s must decide whose side they’re on in this fight, and help accordingly.


The King that the players meet is actually an imposter. He and his guards are a race of crustacean hominids (crab-people or lobster-people) who can shapeshift to appear as Atlanteans. Don’t reveal this to the players initially. Let them discover it on their own.

If you want to explore complex morality and the gray area of political disagreements, the adventurers can learn through NPCs that the land Atlantis is built on actually belonged to the crustaceans. It was stolen so that Atlantis could mine the Altantium. While they flourished, the crustacean empire has suffered in poverty for millennia.

  • Atlantean Citizen

    1 AD · 3 HP

  • Atlantean Guards

    3 AD · 8 HP · 2 Armor

    Vulnerable: Fire, Lightning.

  • Atlantean King

    2 AD · 8 HP · 1 Armor

    Good persuasion and deceit.

  • Crab Guards

    7 AD · 12 HP · 2 Armor

    Pinching Grasp: +2 damage. Vulnerable: Fire, Lightning.

  • Crab King (Imposter)

    5 AD · 10 HP · 1 Armor

    Shapeshifting. Vulnerable: Fire, Lightning.

Game Master Tips

  • For a different angle, the players could decide that the crab people are the rightful owners of the land and aid them in their quest to reclaim their homeland.
  • You can also introduce environmental challenges, like a crack in one of the domes, that poses a looming threat if not addressed.