Home / Delve into the Depths in the Kobold Blog / Living Locations 1: Make It Legendary

Living Locations 1: Make It Legendary

Living Locations 1: Make It Legendary

This series introduces the concept of living locations: places that possess a primitive sentience, personality, and awareness. These locations are not “alive” in the traditional sense but manipulate their environment and the creatures and objects within them.

Locations that fit this archetype in games, film, and literature include the house in the movie Monster House (2006), the apartment in 1408 (1999), and the town of Silent Hill in the game Silent Hill (1999). More examples might come to you if you think a bit.

A living location need not be a haunted house or a supernatural manifestation. It can include locations such as a workshop granted a semblance of life by clockwork magic or a mysterious tower of plants animated by the will of an elemental or fey lord.

Living Location Stats

This article look at the base statistics shared by all living locations. Future articles in this series will explore how to use living locations in a campaign and provide some working examples.

Location Size

Only locations of Huge size or greater possess enough spiritual or magical energy to become living locations, and most living locations are Gargantuan. Location sizes and examples for each size category are shown in the Locations Sizes table.

Location Sizes

Huge15 ft. by 15 ft.small kitchen, forest henge
Gargantuan20 ft. by 20 ft. or largerdining hall, mountain cabin, cave
Gargantuan+60 ft. by 60 ft. or larger 1ruined castle, dungeon complex

1 There is no upper limit to the size of a Gargantuan+ living location.

Location Senses

Living locations can sense their surroundings in a rudimentary fashion. While they do not possess eyes or ears, they can precisely determine the whereabouts of any objects and creatures within their area as if using a combination of blindsense and tremorsense. The range of these senses is determined by the location’s size, as shown in the Location Senses Range table.

Location Senses Range

Location SizeSenses
Hugeblindsight 30 ft., tremorsense 15 ft.
Gargantuanblindsight 60 ft., tremorsense 30 ft.
Gargantuan+blindsight 120 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.

Location Core

Every living location contains a heart or core that represents its animating force or vital spirit. You can damage a living location, only by destroying its core can you destroy the whole location. A living location regains all lost hit points to its structure on initiative count 20, as long as at least one of its cores remains intact.

A living location possesses a number of cores equal to its size, as shown in the Location Cores table.

Location Cores

Location SizeNumber of Cores
Gargantuan+ 13+

1 There is no limit to the number of cores a gargantuan+ living location can control.

Core Statistics

A core is at least two size categories smaller than the location that spawned it. A core has the base statistics of an animated object of that size but with modifiers based on the size of the location as shown in the Core Stat Modifiers table.

Core Stat Modifiers

Location SizeCharisma Score 1Additional Attacks 2Speed Bonus 3

1 The core receives a bonus to its AC and saving throws equal to its CHA modifier.
2 Additional attacks can be of any type that the core could make with its animated object stat block.
3 This speed increase affects all of the core’s movement speeds according to its animated object stat block.

Monsters as Cores

Some living locations form a spiritual connection with one or more creatures instead of an object. These creatures act as the living location’s cores and are bound to the location until they are killed.

A creature bound to a living location cannot willingly leave it. If forced to leave by physical or magical means, the creature gains one level of exhaustion every hour, even if it would normally be immune to the condition. A creature that would die from exhaustion in this way becomes incapacitated instead. A creature immediately removes all levels of exhaustion once it re-enters its living location.

Minor Abilities

A living location possesses a number of minor abilities it can use to affect itself and its surroundings. These abilities can distract, influence, or frighten away potential threats, but they can’t cause direct harm to creatures or the destruction of valuable items. Abilities can be persistent or activated by the location. In combat, they occur on initiative count 20.

A living location has a number of minor abilities determined by its size, as shown in the Location Minor Abilities table. A minor ability can generally replicate any spell of the listed level or lower. The save for a minor ability is based on the living location’s size.

Location Minor Abilities

Location SizeNumber of Minor AbilitiesMax Spell LevelSave DC

The next article in this series will list and describe potential minor abilities.

Major Abilities

A living location also possesses one or more major abilities that it can use to attack intruders. These abilities are similar to the lair actions of legendary creatures. In combat, they take place on initiative count 20. Unlike lair actions, however, they might have limited uses.

A living location has a number of major abilities determined by its size, as shown in the Location Major Abilities table. A major ability can generally replicate any spell of the listed level or lower. The save for a major ability is based on the living location’s size.

Location Major Abilities

Location SizeNumber of Major AbilitiesMax Spell LevelSave DC

A future article in this series will list potential major abilities.

about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

1 thought on “Living Locations 1: Make It Legendary”

  1. Cassiopeia Nebula

    okay WOW! this is perfect for my haunted house story arc. none of these things had ever occurred to me, man im HYPED!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Caverns of the Spore Lord

Join The Kobold Courier


Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top