PDA

View Full Version : Help me design a puzzle dungeon!



onthetown
2011-07-06, 08:52 AM
A character in the campaign I'm running is going to be tested by an NPC to prove himself, mostly for minor magical practise, through a dungeon that is essentially a giant puzzle tomb. I've designed it with over 40 rooms, and I don't intend to fill it with anything but puzzles (and those puzzles may possibly be linked with traps). It's basically a bit of a break from what we've been doing, he seems excited for it, and it'll give him enough EXP that we can go up a level and start doing mid-level fun lethal death stuff.

The problem is that I'm officially out of ideas for neat little puzzles and traps.

Most of the rooms are small 10x10 squares, with a few larger areas that I might put an enemy or two in. It's three stories high -- one above, one level, and one below.The idea is to start him on the ground floor, and he can work his way to a lift that will take him either up or down (though it would be neat to have a puzzle linked to making the "elevator" work) to more shenanigans.

The feel to the world is very much savage, almost all wilderness, and with Celtic flavor. It's a homebrew and there are six races, four of them new and replacing old ones -- lizardfolk-type of people who are essentially nonplayable and just there for fluff, big brutes covered in black fur that replace the orcs, and two small races replacing gnomes and halflings -- and the other two just humans and elves. The dungeon takes place in a sort of sacred, supposedly haunted area (which is why I'm lovingly calling this the Puzzle Tomb at the moment). I can design some of the puzzles to be riddles that are based around world lore, which the player has access to at any given moment (I'll tell him whatever his character would know about the world when he wants to know it, and he has access to the private wiki where I store all of the player info about this world).

So... anybody have some good ideas for puzzles and traps? I've got 44 rooms to fill...

Qwertystop
2011-07-06, 09:08 AM
Make a room that has a puzzle that looks doable, but there is actually no answer. In the same room, there is a closed door. The answer is to realize that the door wasn't locked to begin with!

SleepyShadow
2011-07-06, 09:09 AM
Run him through Grimtooth's Dungeon of Doom. It is almost exclusively puzzles and traps, plus it's a fun adventure aside. It was written without any game rules, so it works regardless of what game/edition you are running.

Serpentine
2011-07-06, 09:13 AM
My dungeons. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=156812)
Morndrax's Labyrinth is designed to weed out weaklings and mess with the heads of stronger enemies before making it through to Morndrax himself, and the Temple of the Trickster God was his personal testing-ground for his clergy.

supermonkeyjoe
2011-07-06, 09:22 AM
My favourite puzzle room is pretty simple, gravity is facing the door they enter and the exit is directly opposite. Anyone trying to enter the room feels an incredibly strong force pushing them back (down) and whenever I've used it the PCs have spent ages trying to figure out exactly what is going on in the room.

Lord Loss
2011-07-06, 10:03 AM
Use the classic countdown puzzle:

When a character enters the room, an ominous voice begins to count down from thirty. Pressing a button in the middle of the room resets the countdown. Scary stuff appears (illusions, or whatever) when the numbers grow lower. The door opens when the countdown hits zero.

Here are some traps made by a guy called Ravenwood (on the WotC forums, I think). Some of them are quite ingenious:


1) Greedy Gas Trap

The PC's Enter large round room, maybe 60' in diameter. Across the room is a stone door with a really tough lock. The Party's Rogue will have to pick it for a long time, or the fighters will have to beat it for a while before it crumbles.
The ground is made of sand, and the ceiling appears to be made of glass, the topside of which is covered in gold coins. This is how you find out who the greedy guy in your party is. It only takes one projectile from a crossbow, sling, bow, etc. to completely shatter the glass. The weight of the coins causes it to break further, and all under the glass (everyone in the room) must make a Reflex save of whatever the DM deems fair or take 3d6 damage from the falling glass. About two rounds after, while everyone is buzzing around picking up gold pieces, they realize the glass was not only holding back coins. A poisonous gas begins seeping down towards the ground, and every round their in it, they have to make a Fort save or fall unconscious. That could put some pressure on the guy trying to get the door open. If they just run back the way they came, the DM could make it so that the room can't be entered again, and now they have to take "the long way" around.
(Ravenwood)

2) Treadmill Trap

The PC's enter a long hallway at a T-junction. There is a small step down into the hall, which appears to be about 70'-90' feet long and ten feet across. Down one end appears to be a dead in wall with a bunch of holes in it, down the other end appears to be a door. Once everyone is in the hallway, they here a grinding noise, and the floor starts to slowly move towards the dead end wall. They now notice the floor is made of rubber. The movement increases in speed until the PC's find themselves running. This is pretty much a big treadmill, and the wall with the holes in it now has spike sticking through them. Anyone who is taken into that wall will be impaled on the spikes for 5d6 damage (or however much you like.) In any case, the trick is to run as fast as you can, which could be difficult for heavily burdened or armed folk, and remember, you're only moving about 5-10 forward a turn. About ten feet in front of the door is a stone platform that
the players can jump onto for safety. For every round a PC remains on the treadmill, they have to roll a balance check of about 10 to stay on their feet. If they fail, then they lose about ten feet, and are that much more closer to the spikes.
There is a switch in the wall on the platform by the door that many will mistake to be the 'off' switch. The trick is the machine starts when all feet hit the rubber, and stop when all of them are off. Whoever hits the switch only reverses the direction of the treadmill, knocking everone still on it down and catapulting them onto the platform, perhaps breaking throught the door.
If you are the type of DM like I am, you will perhaps put some hulking bad guys on the other side of that door ready to hack & slash at the PC's who are out of breath and fatigued.
Have fun. (Ravenwood)

3) The Meat(shield) Fryer

The PCs get to the end of a hall, and come upon a chain dangling from a hole in the ceiling and a smooth stone slab door. Written on the door is the message A test of Strength Lies Beyond. If your PCs are smart, they will make it so their heavy hitters and fighters will be the first in the room for what lies ahead. The chain obviously opens the door, simply pulling down on it with a Strength Check of about 12 will open the door quite easily. Whoever grasps the chain will feel as though the metal links are wet.
When the chain is yoinked, the door is raised and the fighters rush in, ready for battle, but find a nearly empty room. The room is 100' long, and about 50' wide, and completely dark. There is a small step down through the threshold, leaving everyone standing in shin deep water. About thirty feet away, hanging from the ceiling, about five feet above the water, are two, fat, parallel metal bars, arcs of lightning bounce back and forth between them.
The PCs will now hear a sickening, wooden crack. That was the ancient block and tackle system that allowed for such an easy Strength Check to lift a heavy stone door and two metal electrodes bursting into hundreds of pieces. The Strength Check to keep the door open and the electrodes in the air is now about 20 or higher. It should be noted that it is at about this point the PC holding the chain realizes his hands have been Sovereign Glued to the chain, and he cant let go. There are a few busted pillar pieces laying around inside the room the others could try to seek refuge on, but they would only allow one person to stay on. They could try to push these under the electrodes to keep them from breeching the water, but they weight about a ton a piece.
Another PC may go back through the door and help the other keep the chain pulled so that the electrodes and the door dont plunge, but they too, will become glued to the chain.
If all else fails, and the PC holding the chain cannot keep the chain pulled down, all in the room are now trapped and will be electrocuted for 5d6 damage (or more >D) for every round the electrodes are in the water.
The trick is that at the end of the room sits a small table, and on it sits a tube of Universal Solvent with enough for one application. If the person can make it back to the door in time, they can fix the PC right up, unless of course, there are now two holding on to it.
Rather than just being a jerk, it might be a good idea to put a vast treasure in the room, give the PCs reason to continue risking the chance of going back inside time after time.
If another PC is glues to the chain, it might be an entire side quest in itself to find a way to get him unstuck. (Ravenwood)


4) Treadmill Trap 2

The PCs appear to step through a door in the middle of a very long hallway. There is a door to the left and a wall with spikes at the other end. If they venture out, they will note that the floor appears to made out of rubber. When the last person steps out onto the hallway, the party hears a low rumble then a whining noise. The floor suddenly begins to move towards the spiked wall. The PC's are basically on a large treadmill that begins pulling them

>------------------------|--|---------------------|----| 200' long
>------------------------------------------------------| Door
>-------------------------------------------------|----| 10' wide

towards danger. If the PCs make a run for it they will have to make a Balance check of 15 to ensure they stay on , their feet while running on the conveyer belt. If they fail, they fall and zoom towards the spiked wall at about 50 feet a round and must make a Balance check of 15 just to stand back up. They should also realize that though they maybe able to move at 4x their regular speed, they only move a few feet every round. The last ten feet of the hall towards the left is stone, and the PCs must make a Jump check of 14 to make it onto the stone floor. Once there, there is a switch in the wall. If the players assume it is a stop switch, they are wrong.
Throwing the switch merely reverses the direction of the treadmill. If any are unfortunate enough to hit the spikes, they take 3d8 piercing damage, an evilly aligned DM might make them diseased or poisoned. They will remain on the spike and take an additional 1d8 damage every round until someone throws the switch. When that occurs, the PCs remaining must make a Balance check of 30 or fall to the ground as they are suddenly pitched forward, and eventually shot off the treadmill. The conveyer will not actually stop until everyone is off. PCs on the treadmill being hurled into the PCs on the stone floor near the door will end up doing lots of bludgeoning damage to each other and probably break through the door too.(Ravenwood)

5) Chimney Sweep

The players come to a room with what looks like a chimney, which is in fact a tunnel leading up. It is about a 200 foot climb, but the chimney is studded with smooth stones for many foot and hand holds. The tunnel is narrow, so the players will have to go one at a time up the chimney. About halfway up, there is a trigger stone. Whoever trips the stone will afterwards be awarded a Concentration check of 20 to remember what the stone felt like. Rough, and sharp.
The trigger stone releases a spiked weight that is in place at the very top of the chimney, and causes it to fall at an alarming speed. Faster than the PCs can climb down, and they will probably find that just letting go and falling is the fastest way down. If the players make a successful jump check, the first ten feet of the fall go by with no damage, otherwise, every other ten feet they fall is 1d6 worth of gravity damage. If they are hit by the weight, they take 4d8 piercing damage, and another 1d8 bludgeoning from the weight itself, not to mention they weight will knock them free from the tunnel, and they take whatever falling damage is left. If there are multiple people in the tunnel, it is likely that one falling will cause a chain reaction to cause a massive pile up at the bottom of the chimney.
The weight will stop with a jerk about 10 feet from the bottom of the tunnel, and then slowly crank back up to its usual position as the trap resets itself. Every player has about a 50% chance of triggering the trap, but if the person who tripped it can remember what the trigger stone felt like, and divulges this info to the rest of the party, that percentage drops to about 5%.
Even if the PCs think they can scramble up the tunnel while the trap is resetting itself are sorely mistaken, for if the trigger is tripped, no matter where the weight is, it will fall, and then start back up. (Ravenwood)

6) The Invisible Wall

This is more of a comical trap than anything that will cause damage. In a relatively short, narrow hallway, the floor is suddenly split by a five foot wide, ten foot across, and five foot deep pit. No problem. The first person who jumps across should have detected magic. About halfway across is an invisible wall. When the PC takes that running jump, hell hit that thing like a fly hitting a windshield, and then slowly slide down. The trick is to just climb down into the pit, walk under the wall, and climb up the other side. Hitting the wall with that running jump might cause 2d6 or so damage, but make it low.

7) Shredded Wheats

This is a good sadistic trap to put in a fighting arena. The room should be relatively large, and have lots of levels for fighting, with lots of cauldrons of burning tar for light, and other stuff. Put some heavy hitting enemies in the room, like some ogres or trolls. Ever some-odd feet, there is a five by five foot shaft. Falling in, or getting knocked into, rather, is a new level of pain all together. After good forty foot drop, the tunnel takes a 45 degree slope, and has protrusions in the surface much like a cheese grater. After so many feet of this (5d6 or 5d8 worth of damage) the player takes another vertical spill and lands in a forty by forty by five foot deep vat of salt water. This should probably just deal subdual damage, but it is very sadistic non the less. The only way hes getting out is climb back out the way he went.

8) Cloaks of Darkness

Cloaker pit: A varient on the classic illusion pit have a cloaker hide in a pit with a darkness spell over it. Have the cloaker use its silent image ability to create an image of a foe, wait for char to fall in pit and be engulfed by cloaker. Should players figure it out have cloaker rise from pit and attack. (note cloaker needs to speak common to understand when players figure it out)

9)

The PCs are being pursued closely by multiple enemies (hopefully stronger than them or an illusion). The PCs come to a twisting hall (so they cannot charge away) with doors on either side. Inside every door the room immediately drops 20 ft onto spikes as they enter

10) Pitfall

Its true, this is a trap I just use for comic relief. The PC's enter a room that appears to a have a rope dangling from the ceiling. upon further inspection, it appears to lead up through a hole in the ceiling into blackness. In a true case of curiosity killing the PC, if anyone attempts to climb the rope, their weight opens a trap door underneath them and snaps the rope

11) Stairway to heaven

About halfway up a flight of steps is a false step. Its cover is made of brittle material, like disguised glass, and when stepped on with a certain weight shatters, and the PC's foot falls through. If he doesn't remove his foot carefully, and just pulls it on out, he'll relize his mistake, for there are spikes inside angled at about 45 degrees, so when his foot goes in, nothing happens, but when he tries to pull it out...have the PC take whatever damage you deem appropriate, but cut his base movement by half.

12) Rollin, Rollin, Rollin

In a 10' wide halway, make it pretty long, there appear to be pressure plates all along the floor. It looks as though who ever built the place didn't even go through the trouble of disguising them, and they are easily avoidable.
However, to tests ones greedy habits, ever so many feet down the hall is a platnum lever in the up position. They look really appealing, and a successful apraise check will show they are worth about 500 gp each.
They can break off with a strength check of 20, but if they miss the check there is a 50% chance they inadventantly threw the switch. Now it's time to see which of the part is the best sprinter.
A heavy thud echos through the hallway, and up the way they came, they can see three stone wheels, about the size of a modern day truck tire, rolling down the hallway, setting off all the pressure plates, sending up an array of traps from darts, arrows, gasses, acids, flames, etc.

13) Break me, and ye shall pass...

This is a good trap for the token meathead tank of the party. The party enters a long, wide hall that has no traps visable at first. After walking about thirty feet, a thick, wooden beam fires out from one wall of the corridor into the next, and a message carved on the wood states "Break me, and ye' shall pass". The Tank will take a wack at it, the beam has a harness of 12, and hp of 20. Once broken, the PCs will walk another 30' down the hall, and a stone beam will shoot out the same size and dimension as the wooden one. The message now says "Is that all ye' got?" The tank will take the challenge, and try to smash through again. Stone beam has a harness of 16, and an hp of 30.
Another 30' down the hall, and a steel beam shoots out with the message, "C'mon ye' bonnie lass, try an' break this un'." Steel beam has a hardness of 20, and an hp of 45.
After this one, the party gets about fifty feet down the corridor, almost to the end, when a thin wooden pole shoots across the corridor with the message, "Go ahead, laddy, make my day"
The wooden pole has a harness of 8 and an hp of 5, but what the tank doesn't know is that this is a staff of pain. When he (or she) breaks it, the tank is hit with 'Inflict serious wounds' (3d6+11 negative energy damage, will22/half) 'Eyebite' (target becomes becomes panicked, sickend and comotose for 8 hours, will22/negate) and 'Wrack' (Renders the victim helpless with pain for 24 hours, will22/negate)

14) Hobson's Choice

The PC's find a spot that looks promising for a search for traps (a door is best). When the rogue is done, he will have found that the trap is (flaming, acidic, gasious, etc.) and is tripped by motion detection as soon as the door is open, which means he has to open the door to disarm it, but everyone in a 10' spread on either side of the door has to be really still. However, as soon as the rogue pops the door open, the party sees on the other side a really hungry, growling (owl-bear, dire bear, displacer beast, etc), and he lunges towards the party. If the party flees they'll set off the trap, but the hungry beast will set it off anyway...

15)Go to the Ball...

The party has to walk up a very long, pretty steeply sloping corridor. At the bottom, they have to jump over a pit to continue up the corridor. At the top there's a large door. When opened, the party sees a steel ball rumbling and rolling towards them, picking up speed.

The party I DM'd this for assumed that the ball would fall into the pit, so they had to make it there, jump it, and let the ball fall in. In matter of fact, there's a one-way wall of force midway above the pit, triggered by the trap and lasting as long as it takes for the ball to get to the pit.

Going hell-for-leather down a sharp incline, your PC's are moving at a fair old clip, and the leap into a wall kinda hurts the first guy there. The PCs coming behind him need to make Reflex saves, otherwise they are unable to stop themselves and rocket straight into the pit as well

16) I spy with my little eye

Tired of PC's who look through keyholes to see what lies ahead? Simple solution; there's an invisible needle sticking out of This particular keyhole, and they just impaled their eye on it.

17) Kobold Kamikaze

This trap works best on low level henchman, like kobolds or goblins, or something of the like. They are all wearing these vibrant red medallions that the party will truly want ( because they're greedy, duh) but what they do not realize that these kabolds are fanatics and will stop at nothing to prevent the party from taking another step in their dungeon. When the fight begins to sway in favor of the party, the kobolds will lead a charge into the party, all striking their medallions before they hit. The medallions explode, dealing
2d6 damage to everyone withing 5' of the explosion, which doesn't sound like much, but when you have a few dozen go off around the PC's, that's a lot of damage. Another thing, one explosion will trigger the others, so even the dead kobold's charges go off too

18) Breakdown

This is a good trap for the meathead of the party (as so many of these traps seem to target) But a heavy door in the wall of the castle your PC's are traveling through that leads to...nowhere. The door is set into the wall, and is un-openable When the hefty dude (or dudette) of the party tries to open it the old fashioned way, via a foot through the thing, the door gives way, and the PC needs to role a balance check, or fall out the side of the castle wall. Works particularly well on towers that are pretty darn high

19) Why all rogues should be women

Four PCs come across a cubic pedestal with a button on top labelled "Press to Open." When all of the PCs are inside, the door shuts and four pressure plates rise at the four sides of the pedestal. If the PCs stand on the pressure plates and press the button, two metal rods bash each of them in the legs (deals damage as two Quarterstaff hits, Reflex to avoid, failure reduces their speed by 10 feet and gives them a -2 penalty on the upcoming Reflex Save) followed by larger metal rods to the groin (deals damage as a Club, Reflex to avoid damage, failure induces a Fortitude save to avoid being stunned, sickened, and becoming unconscious from the excruciating pain). If the PCs inspect the door, they find that it only shut, it didn't lock.

20) I prepared Explosive Runes This Morning...

A book that holds some information that is important for the adventure, which must be read. 'cept it's written in EXPLOSIVE RUNES. How to read it you ask? trap yerself in otiluke's res sphere or some such, and flip the pages with telekinesis.(there, and you thought raven was sadistic

21) Twist of The Knife... Er, Bridge

This can turn a wussy CR 5 ogre into a challenge that can slay a high-level character.
Okay, the set up:
Ogre: Rogue 2, 8 ranks in balance, improved bull rush feat.
Bridge: Suspended over lava/acid, a rope bridge [Literally-it is made out of ropes separated about 2 feet from each other.] Requires a DC 15 balance check to stay on while moving or if the bridge moves.
The Action: The ogre bull rushes the poor PCs into the lava, nailing them with 20D6 points of fire damage. The ogre could also shake the bridge from the end, forcing balance checks from the PCs.

22) Ants under a Magnifying Glass

A group of henchmen enter the room, and upon discovery of the party, initiate the engagment.
The floor tiles are white, so the sun shining through lights up the whole room, but it also makes a consentrated beam of solar light invisble to the eye. Anybody who crosses over the beam in any way, whether it by through fighting, grappling, shoving, falling, whatever, they immediatly take 3d8 heat damage. It is amazing how long it takes for PC's to figure out that the skylight is acting like a big magnifying glass, and I actually had a PC enter the beam to fight, and stood there fighting for a few rounds because he thought some spell caster was casting something on him so that he took 3d6 damage ever round with no save. What drove him insane was that a party of nothing but axe wielding orcs was attacking the party, so he thought the spellcaster was incognito

I'll dig up some more traps and puzzles later.

Talesin
2011-07-06, 10:18 AM
Here (http://www.adnddownloads.com/riddles_traps.php) And Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202586)

Try both of those, the second one you need to scroll down to post 3 and its got a bit of info there (including the first link again).

Hope it helps!

Qwertystop
2011-07-06, 11:39 AM
Use the classic countdown puzzle:

When a character enters the room, an ominous voice begins to count down from thirty. Pressing a button in the middle of the room resets the countdown. Scary stuff appears (illusions, or whatever) when the numbers grow lower. The door opens when the countdown hits zero.

Here are some traps made by a guy called Ravenwood (on the WotC forums, I think). Some of them are quite ingenious:


1) Greedy Gas Trap

The PC's Enter large round room, maybe 60' in diameter. Across the room is a stone door with a really tough lock. The Party's Rogue will have to pick it for a long time, or the fighters will have to beat it for a while before it crumbles.
The ground is made of sand, and the ceiling appears to be made of glass, the topside of which is covered in gold coins. This is how you find out who the greedy guy in your party is. It only takes one projectile from a crossbow, sling, bow, etc. to completely shatter the glass. The weight of the coins causes it to break further, and all under the glass (everyone in the room) must make a Reflex save of whatever the DM deems fair or take 3d6 damage from the falling glass. About two rounds after, while everyone is buzzing around picking up gold pieces, they realize the glass was not only holding back coins. A poisonous gas begins seeping down towards the ground, and every round their in it, they have to make a Fort save or fall unconscious. That could put some pressure on the guy trying to get the door open. If they just run back the way they came, the DM could make it so that the room can't be entered again, and now they have to take "the long way" around.
(Ravenwood)

2) Treadmill Trap

The PC's enter a long hallway at a T-junction. There is a small step down into the hall, which appears to be about 70'-90' feet long and ten feet across. Down one end appears to be a dead in wall with a bunch of holes in it, down the other end appears to be a door. Once everyone is in the hallway, they here a grinding noise, and the floor starts to slowly move towards the dead end wall. They now notice the floor is made of rubber. The movement increases in speed until the PC's find themselves running. This is pretty much a big treadmill, and the wall with the holes in it now has spike sticking through them. Anyone who is taken into that wall will be impaled on the spikes for 5d6 damage (or however much you like.) In any case, the trick is to run as fast as you can, which could be difficult for heavily burdened or armed folk, and remember, you're only moving about 5-10 forward a turn. About ten feet in front of the door is a stone platform that
the players can jump onto for safety. For every round a PC remains on the treadmill, they have to roll a balance check of about 10 to stay on their feet. If they fail, then they lose about ten feet, and are that much more closer to the spikes.
There is a switch in the wall on the platform by the door that many will mistake to be the 'off' switch. The trick is the machine starts when all feet hit the rubber, and stop when all of them are off. Whoever hits the switch only reverses the direction of the treadmill, knocking everone still on it down and catapulting them onto the platform, perhaps breaking throught the door.
If you are the type of DM like I am, you will perhaps put some hulking bad guys on the other side of that door ready to hack & slash at the PC's who are out of breath and fatigued.
Have fun. (Ravenwood)

3) The Meat(shield) Fryer

The PCs get to the end of a hall, and come upon a chain dangling from a hole in the ceiling and a smooth stone slab door. Written on the door is the message A test of Strength Lies Beyond. If your PCs are smart, they will make it so their heavy hitters and fighters will be the first in the room for what lies ahead. The chain obviously opens the door, simply pulling down on it with a Strength Check of about 12 will open the door quite easily. Whoever grasps the chain will feel as though the metal links are wet.
When the chain is yoinked, the door is raised and the fighters rush in, ready for battle, but find a nearly empty room. The room is 100' long, and about 50' wide, and completely dark. There is a small step down through the threshold, leaving everyone standing in shin deep water. About thirty feet away, hanging from the ceiling, about five feet above the water, are two, fat, parallel metal bars, arcs of lightning bounce back and forth between them.
The PCs will now hear a sickening, wooden crack. That was the ancient block and tackle system that allowed for such an easy Strength Check to lift a heavy stone door and two metal electrodes bursting into hundreds of pieces. The Strength Check to keep the door open and the electrodes in the air is now about 20 or higher. It should be noted that it is at about this point the PC holding the chain realizes his hands have been Sovereign Glued to the chain, and he cant let go. There are a few busted pillar pieces laying around inside the room the others could try to seek refuge on, but they would only allow one person to stay on. They could try to push these under the electrodes to keep them from breeching the water, but they weight about a ton a piece.
Another PC may go back through the door and help the other keep the chain pulled so that the electrodes and the door dont plunge, but they too, will become glued to the chain.
If all else fails, and the PC holding the chain cannot keep the chain pulled down, all in the room are now trapped and will be electrocuted for 5d6 damage (or more >D) for every round the electrodes are in the water.
The trick is that at the end of the room sits a small table, and on it sits a tube of Universal Solvent with enough for one application. If the person can make it back to the door in time, they can fix the PC right up, unless of course, there are now two holding on to it.
Rather than just being a jerk, it might be a good idea to put a vast treasure in the room, give the PCs reason to continue risking the chance of going back inside time after time.
If another PC is glues to the chain, it might be an entire side quest in itself to find a way to get him unstuck. (Ravenwood)


4) Treadmill Trap 2

The PCs appear to step through a door in the middle of a very long hallway. There is a door to the left and a wall with spikes at the other end. If they venture out, they will note that the floor appears to made out of rubber. When the last person steps out onto the hallway, the party hears a low rumble then a whining noise. The floor suddenly begins to move towards the spiked wall. The PC's are basically on a large treadmill that begins pulling them

>------------------------|--|---------------------|----| 200' long
>------------------------------------------------------| Door
>-------------------------------------------------|----| 10' wide

towards danger. If the PCs make a run for it they will have to make a Balance check of 15 to ensure they stay on , their feet while running on the conveyer belt. If they fail, they fall and zoom towards the spiked wall at about 50 feet a round and must make a Balance check of 15 just to stand back up. They should also realize that though they maybe able to move at 4x their regular speed, they only move a few feet every round. The last ten feet of the hall towards the left is stone, and the PCs must make a Jump check of 14 to make it onto the stone floor. Once there, there is a switch in the wall. If the players assume it is a stop switch, they are wrong.
Throwing the switch merely reverses the direction of the treadmill. If any are unfortunate enough to hit the spikes, they take 3d8 piercing damage, an evilly aligned DM might make them diseased or poisoned. They will remain on the spike and take an additional 1d8 damage every round until someone throws the switch. When that occurs, the PCs remaining must make a Balance check of 30 or fall to the ground as they are suddenly pitched forward, and eventually shot off the treadmill. The conveyer will not actually stop until everyone is off. PCs on the treadmill being hurled into the PCs on the stone floor near the door will end up doing lots of bludgeoning damage to each other and probably break through the door too.(Ravenwood)

5) Chimney Sweep

The players come to a room with what looks like a chimney, which is in fact a tunnel leading up. It is about a 200 foot climb, but the chimney is studded with smooth stones for many foot and hand holds. The tunnel is narrow, so the players will have to go one at a time up the chimney. About halfway up, there is a trigger stone. Whoever trips the stone will afterwards be awarded a Concentration check of 20 to remember what the stone felt like. Rough, and sharp.
The trigger stone releases a spiked weight that is in place at the very top of the chimney, and causes it to fall at an alarming speed. Faster than the PCs can climb down, and they will probably find that just letting go and falling is the fastest way down. If the players make a successful jump check, the first ten feet of the fall go by with no damage, otherwise, every other ten feet they fall is 1d6 worth of gravity damage. If they are hit by the weight, they take 4d8 piercing damage, and another 1d8 bludgeoning from the weight itself, not to mention they weight will knock them free from the tunnel, and they take whatever falling damage is left. If there are multiple people in the tunnel, it is likely that one falling will cause a chain reaction to cause a massive pile up at the bottom of the chimney.
The weight will stop with a jerk about 10 feet from the bottom of the tunnel, and then slowly crank back up to its usual position as the trap resets itself. Every player has about a 50% chance of triggering the trap, but if the person who tripped it can remember what the trigger stone felt like, and divulges this info to the rest of the party, that percentage drops to about 5%.
Even if the PCs think they can scramble up the tunnel while the trap is resetting itself are sorely mistaken, for if the trigger is tripped, no matter where the weight is, it will fall, and then start back up. (Ravenwood)

6) The Invisible Wall

This is more of a comical trap than anything that will cause damage. In a relatively short, narrow hallway, the floor is suddenly split by a five foot wide, ten foot across, and five foot deep pit. No problem. The first person who jumps across should have detected magic. About halfway across is an invisible wall. When the PC takes that running jump, hell hit that thing like a fly hitting a windshield, and then slowly slide down. The trick is to just climb down into the pit, walk under the wall, and climb up the other side. Hitting the wall with that running jump might cause 2d6 or so damage, but make it low.

7) Shredded Wheats

This is a good sadistic trap to put in a fighting arena. The room should be relatively large, and have lots of levels for fighting, with lots of cauldrons of burning tar for light, and other stuff. Put some heavy hitting enemies in the room, like some ogres or trolls. Ever some-odd feet, there is a five by five foot shaft. Falling in, or getting knocked into, rather, is a new level of pain all together. After good forty foot drop, the tunnel takes a 45 degree slope, and has protrusions in the surface much like a cheese grater. After so many feet of this (5d6 or 5d8 worth of damage) the player takes another vertical spill and lands in a forty by forty by five foot deep vat of salt water. This should probably just deal subdual damage, but it is very sadistic non the less. The only way hes getting out is climb back out the way he went.

8) Cloaks of Darkness

Cloaker pit: A varient on the classic illusion pit have a cloaker hide in a pit with a darkness spell over it. Have the cloaker use its silent image ability to create an image of a foe, wait for char to fall in pit and be engulfed by cloaker. Should players figure it out have cloaker rise from pit and attack. (note cloaker needs to speak common to understand when players figure it out)

9)

The PCs are being pursued closely by multiple enemies (hopefully stronger than them or an illusion). The PCs come to a twisting hall (so they cannot charge away) with doors on either side. Inside every door the room immediately drops 20 ft onto spikes as they enter

10) Pitfall

Its true, this is a trap I just use for comic relief. The PC's enter a room that appears to a have a rope dangling from the ceiling. upon further inspection, it appears to lead up through a hole in the ceiling into blackness. In a true case of curiosity killing the PC, if anyone attempts to climb the rope, their weight opens a trap door underneath them and snaps the rope

11) Stairway to heaven

About halfway up a flight of steps is a false step. Its cover is made of brittle material, like disguised glass, and when stepped on with a certain weight shatters, and the PC's foot falls through. If he doesn't remove his foot carefully, and just pulls it on out, he'll relize his mistake, for there are spikes inside angled at about 45 degrees, so when his foot goes in, nothing happens, but when he tries to pull it out...have the PC take whatever damage you deem appropriate, but cut his base movement by half.

12) Rollin, Rollin, Rollin

In a 10' wide halway, make it pretty long, there appear to be pressure plates all along the floor. It looks as though who ever built the place didn't even go through the trouble of disguising them, and they are easily avoidable.
However, to tests ones greedy habits, ever so many feet down the hall is a platnum lever in the up position. They look really appealing, and a successful apraise check will show they are worth about 500 gp each.
They can break off with a strength check of 20, but if they miss the check there is a 50% chance they inadventantly threw the switch. Now it's time to see which of the part is the best sprinter.
A heavy thud echos through the hallway, and up the way they came, they can see three stone wheels, about the size of a modern day truck tire, rolling down the hallway, setting off all the pressure plates, sending up an array of traps from darts, arrows, gasses, acids, flames, etc.

13) Break me, and ye shall pass...

This is a good trap for the token meathead tank of the party. The party enters a long, wide hall that has no traps visable at first. After walking about thirty feet, a thick, wooden beam fires out from one wall of the corridor into the next, and a message carved on the wood states "Break me, and ye' shall pass". The Tank will take a wack at it, the beam has a harness of 12, and hp of 20. Once broken, the PCs will walk another 30' down the hall, and a stone beam will shoot out the same size and dimension as the wooden one. The message now says "Is that all ye' got?" The tank will take the challenge, and try to smash through again. Stone beam has a harness of 16, and an hp of 30.
Another 30' down the hall, and a steel beam shoots out with the message, "C'mon ye' bonnie lass, try an' break this un'." Steel beam has a hardness of 20, and an hp of 45.
After this one, the party gets about fifty feet down the corridor, almost to the end, when a thin wooden pole shoots across the corridor with the message, "Go ahead, laddy, make my day"
The wooden pole has a harness of 8 and an hp of 5, but what the tank doesn't know is that this is a staff of pain. When he (or she) breaks it, the tank is hit with 'Inflict serious wounds' (3d6+11 negative energy damage, will22/half) 'Eyebite' (target becomes becomes panicked, sickend and comotose for 8 hours, will22/negate) and 'Wrack' (Renders the victim helpless with pain for 24 hours, will22/negate)

14) Hobson's Choice

The PC's find a spot that looks promising for a search for traps (a door is best). When the rogue is done, he will have found that the trap is (flaming, acidic, gasious, etc.) and is tripped by motion detection as soon as the door is open, which means he has to open the door to disarm it, but everyone in a 10' spread on either side of the door has to be really still. However, as soon as the rogue pops the door open, the party sees on the other side a really hungry, growling (owl-bear, dire bear, displacer beast, etc), and he lunges towards the party. If the party flees they'll set off the trap, but the hungry beast will set it off anyway...

15)Go to the Ball...

The party has to walk up a very long, pretty steeply sloping corridor. At the bottom, they have to jump over a pit to continue up the corridor. At the top there's a large door. When opened, the party sees a steel ball rumbling and rolling towards them, picking up speed.

The party I DM'd this for assumed that the ball would fall into the pit, so they had to make it there, jump it, and let the ball fall in. In matter of fact, there's a one-way wall of force midway above the pit, triggered by the trap and lasting as long as it takes for the ball to get to the pit.

Going hell-for-leather down a sharp incline, your PC's are moving at a fair old clip, and the leap into a wall kinda hurts the first guy there. The PCs coming behind him need to make Reflex saves, otherwise they are unable to stop themselves and rocket straight into the pit as well

16) I spy with my little eye

Tired of PC's who look through keyholes to see what lies ahead? Simple solution; there's an invisible needle sticking out of This particular keyhole, and they just impaled their eye on it.

17) Kobold Kamikaze

This trap works best on low level henchman, like kobolds or goblins, or something of the like. They are all wearing these vibrant red medallions that the party will truly want ( because they're greedy, duh) but what they do not realize that these kabolds are fanatics and will stop at nothing to prevent the party from taking another step in their dungeon. When the fight begins to sway in favor of the party, the kobolds will lead a charge into the party, all striking their medallions before they hit. The medallions explode, dealing
2d6 damage to everyone withing 5' of the explosion, which doesn't sound like much, but when you have a few dozen go off around the PC's, that's a lot of damage. Another thing, one explosion will trigger the others, so even the dead kobold's charges go off too

18) Breakdown

This is a good trap for the meathead of the party (as so many of these traps seem to target) But a heavy door in the wall of the castle your PC's are traveling through that leads to...nowhere. The door is set into the wall, and is un-openable When the hefty dude (or dudette) of the party tries to open it the old fashioned way, via a foot through the thing, the door gives way, and the PC needs to role a balance check, or fall out the side of the castle wall. Works particularly well on towers that are pretty darn high

19) Why all rogues should be women

Four PCs come across a cubic pedestal with a button on top labelled "Press to Open." When all of the PCs are inside, the door shuts and four pressure plates rise at the four sides of the pedestal. If the PCs stand on the pressure plates and press the button, two metal rods bash each of them in the legs (deals damage as two Quarterstaff hits, Reflex to avoid, failure reduces their speed by 10 feet and gives them a -2 penalty on the upcoming Reflex Save) followed by larger metal rods to the groin (deals damage as a Club, Reflex to avoid damage, failure induces a Fortitude save to avoid being stunned, sickened, and becoming unconscious from the excruciating pain). If the PCs inspect the door, they find that it only shut, it didn't lock.

20) I prepared Explosive Runes This Morning...

A book that holds some information that is important for the adventure, which must be read. 'cept it's written in EXPLOSIVE RUNES. How to read it you ask? trap yerself in otiluke's res sphere or some such, and flip the pages with telekinesis.(there, and you thought raven was sadistic

21) Twist of The Knife... Er, Bridge

This can turn a wussy CR 5 ogre into a challenge that can slay a high-level character.
Okay, the set up:
Ogre: Rogue 2, 8 ranks in balance, improved bull rush feat.
Bridge: Suspended over lava/acid, a rope bridge [Literally-it is made out of ropes separated about 2 feet from each other.] Requires a DC 15 balance check to stay on while moving or if the bridge moves.
The Action: The ogre bull rushes the poor PCs into the lava, nailing them with 20D6 points of fire damage. The ogre could also shake the bridge from the end, forcing balance checks from the PCs.

22) Ants under a Magnifying Glass

A group of henchmen enter the room, and upon discovery of the party, initiate the engagment.
The floor tiles are white, so the sun shining through lights up the whole room, but it also makes a consentrated beam of solar light invisble to the eye. Anybody who crosses over the beam in any way, whether it by through fighting, grappling, shoving, falling, whatever, they immediatly take 3d8 heat damage. It is amazing how long it takes for PC's to figure out that the skylight is acting like a big magnifying glass, and I actually had a PC enter the beam to fight, and stood there fighting for a few rounds because he thought some spell caster was casting something on him so that he took 3d6 damage ever round with no save. What drove him insane was that a party of nothing but axe wielding orcs was attacking the party, so he thought the spellcaster was incognito

I'll dig up some more traps and puzzles later.

The explosive runes one wouldn't work, as even if they don't take damage from the explosion, the letters are gone and the book is a pile of ash. You'd have time to read a sentence or 2, then it's gone.

Lord Loss
2011-07-06, 12:20 PM
Actually, by RAW, Explosive Runes makes the reader, and not the writing explode. Which still stops it from working, mind you...

Serpentine
2011-07-06, 12:32 PM
Use the classic countdown puzzle:

When a character enters the room, an ominous voice begins to count down from thirty. Pressing a button in the middle of the room resets the countdown. Scary stuff appears (illusions, or whatever) when the numbers grow lower. The door opens when the countdown hits zero.I used that in my Trickster Temple :smalltongue: They stole the big red ruby button... Unsurprisingly. It summons monsters for them.

SamBurke
2011-07-06, 12:40 PM
*Bookmarking*

I will be following this thread...

There was another one about puzzles just a couple of weeks ago, but I can't find the link.

Quietus
2011-07-06, 02:15 PM
Make a room that has a puzzle that looks doable, but there is actually no answer. In the same room, there is a closed door. The answer is to realize that the door wasn't locked to begin with!

This is a good one to start the dungeon off with, in my opinion. Or end it with, if you have a big fight planned in the last room, and want the BBEG or otherwise scary monsterthing to realize the PC's are present, and have time to prepare.

Also, I just want to throw in here : Do not use riddles! I don't know of anyone who actually finds riddles fun in an RPG, and they force you to step outside your character, and figure out the puzzle yourself, as you, rather than your character.

Kuma Kode
2011-07-06, 03:07 PM
Actually, by RAW, Explosive Runes makes the reader, and not the writing explode. Which still stops it from working, mind you...

No, the runes explode. Read the second sentence (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/explosiveRunes.htm). The object they're written on takes full damage, and I don't know of any organic books that could actually handle 6d6 fire damage and be legible.

There was one puzzle I used in a horror campaign that was a door with a circular indentation. The circle had lines and angular shapes extending out from it, and there was a small button at every point where the lines touched the circle. Like this (http://i.imgur.com/CZjmk.png).

Elsewhere in the dungeon, there was a symbol carved on the torture table that was a circle with lines and angular shapes criss-crossing inside the circle, like this (http://i.imgur.com/apURr.png).

When printed out on a sheet of paper, though, the two circles were different sizes and "up" was not marked (it wasn't clear how the symbol on the table was actually oriented). The inner symbol and the outer symbol combine; where the lines connect, that button should be pressed.

I made the puzzle more difficult by having monsters block off the exit, so half the team fought monsters while the other half made attempts on the puzzle.

Lord Loss
2011-07-06, 04:30 PM
@ above

Technically, it also targets the reader, as if I write gigantic runes on, say, the moon large enough to be read, then the moon, as well as those reading them will explode. (It specifies that those close enough to read them take 5d6 fire damage).

But you are correct, the object indeed explodes. Giving the reader and object some for of immunity to fire damage could make it readable, though.

Siosilvar
2011-07-06, 05:27 PM
5d6 fire damage

But you are correct, the object indeed explodes. Giving the reader and object some for of immunity to fire damage could make it readable, though.


No, the runes explode. Read the second sentence (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/explosiveRunes.htm). The object they're written on takes full damage, and I don't know of any organic books that could actually handle 6d6 fire damage and be legible.

You're both wrong. It's 6d6 force damage.

EDIT: And you'd have a hard time finding a moon less than 10 pounds.

Kuma Kode
2011-07-06, 05:39 PM
You're both wrong. It's 6d6 force damage.

Yup. That was kind of stupid of me to miss that.


Technically, it also targets the reader

No, no it really doesn't.

The target is "One touched object weighing no more than 10 lbs."

The text says the runes explode, dealing 6d6 damage, and that anyone close enough to read it takes the damage with no save.

There is no indication anywhere ever that anything except the runes themselves explode. The object doesn't even explode. Just the runes.

On topic, Silent Hill : Homecoming had an interesting use of riddles. The center of the room had a steel cage column with a window through which a bizarre, organic sack was accessible inside the cage. The cage had five dials, each one marked with several different symbols. Around the room, directly across from each dial, was a plaque with a riddle on it. The goal was to set the dial to the symbol that indicated the answer.

The only way to check your answers, however, was to reach into the sack for the key. If you were wrong, something grabbed you and ate at your health while you struggled free.

You could use the same principles, to make your riddles less painful. The biggest problem with riddles I've seen is that it's difficult to really find where to start. Some are so ambiguous there are a lot of different legitimate answers to it, but the riddle expects only one in particular. Is the riddle a play on words, or is it merely a poetic description of something? Having various objects or symbols around the room may help the player orient themselves with the riddle and actually be able to think through it rather than spend an hour trying to figure out what the riddle is even aiming for you to think.

Having to willingly do something dangerous to check your answers was also pretty entertaining.

onthetown
2011-07-06, 07:32 PM
Also, I just want to throw in here : Do not use riddles! I don't know of anyone who actually finds riddles fun in an RPG, and they force you to step outside your character, and figure out the puzzle yourself, as you, rather than your character.

I've used riddles before and there hasn't been a problem yet... Mostly because I use fairly simplistic ones, and often the PC solves them before entering the next area, and picks up clues within them about what's in store. I once did a really small little dungeon, really just a central room with one room off of each of the four walls, and by solving the riddles (the answers were air, fire, water, and earth) they caught on to what sort of fight or task would be waiting behind each door. So it's really just giving them a chance to prepare, or a clue as to what will be going on... I love riddles, so I don't want my players to hate them when I use them. :smallsmile:

These are awesome, guys... keep 'em coming? :smallbiggrin: Player has agreed to stay away from the thread.

Also, I don't quite get the gravity puzzle... How do you solve it? Or is the point just that you can't enter the room and the door won't go anywhere?

Serpentine
2011-07-06, 11:26 PM
I expect the solution is anything you'd use to overcome gravity. Imagine, instead, that the door is on the roof. How would you get to it? Fly, Spiderclimb, pretty great Jump check...

onthetown
2011-07-07, 06:53 AM
Makes a little more sense now... Might use the door on the ceiling trick.

I'm going to be including an actual tomb within the tomb, and I was thinking of doing one of those things like... one of the sarcophagi holds the key to escape, some of them have treasure, and some have undead. Would need to give them a clue of some sort... Possibly have the epigraphs with different ways that the people inside died? Or some sort of actual puzzle to be had with it...

panaikhan
2011-07-07, 07:28 AM
Include puzzle objects in the rooms, which actually become keys to somewhere else in the dungeon. Or even, split a 'key' into several puzzle objects that are found in different places, that have to be solved then pieced together.

panaikhan
2011-07-07, 07:33 AM
Just thought of another possibility.
I saw somewhere, a dungeon built on the 'inside' faces of a cube. For each face, gravity was 'correct', and only changed for the next face at the edges.
One puzzle could be figuring how to get to certain areas (since the map would look flat, but actually wrap around itself)

onthetown
2011-07-07, 07:46 AM
I'll be splitting a key, I think -- to operate the elevator, he's going to need one keystone to go up and one to go down. I'll send him down to the depths first -- one of the final rooms can be up at the top of the dungeon with the white floors and skylight heat trap, as described by the post with Ravenwood's traps. :smallamused:

Also, I'm starting off the dungeon with the ominous countdown. I added a little extra -- if he makes a Perception check, he'll notice water dripping from the ceiling in some spots. He'll likely jump to the conclusion that the countdown will initiate a flood; you and I know that it's just an old, leaky tomb. :smallamused:

Qwertystop
2011-07-07, 08:08 AM
Just thought of another possibility.
I saw somewhere, a dungeon built on the 'inside' faces of a cube. For each face, gravity was 'correct', and only changed for the next face at the edges.
One puzzle could be figuring how to get to certain areas (since the map would look flat, but actually wrap around itself)
But that's only a puzzle for the players, since the characters would be able to easily see that they were in a cube. In-character it makes no sense for it to be difficult. Also, on the map, travel would more or less work normally as long as you don't try to walk across the edge of the map or fly.

SamBurke
2011-07-13, 12:30 PM
I don't know. It might be fun enough anyway... If you put magical darkness at each of the corners, and some sort of disorientation spell, that'd work towards making it a challenge.

Combat Reflexes
2011-07-13, 12:37 PM
Let the players encounter a heavily over-CR'ed iron golem in an empty room.
When the last player enters the room, a voice shouts "Iron Golem, attack!"
The golem halts if one of the PC's shouts "Iron Golem, stop!".

Done.

SamBurke
2011-07-13, 12:45 PM
Yes. I'd love to see that one tested on players of various experience levels.

DontEatRawHagis
2011-07-13, 01:31 PM
CLASSIC:
Button and Spike Ceiling - Button in middle of room activates trap or maybe touching or opening something. The doors close and lock, ceiling falls slowly, pressing the button in the middle of the room sets the ceiling back to zero position, and continues to fall. If they let it fall right before it hits them the doors open and the ceiling stops moving.

Fill the glass - the floor is covered in water, with a chalice in the center. Filling it up will open the door. Has to be water though, unless your characters carry vials of it,(Summoning water is not possible in this room), they will have to fill it up with the floor water. However the water recedes when touched. Answer, climb up the walls and get higher than the chalice. Instead of receding the water actually starts filling up the room, up to a certain point. Jumping down and trying to touch the water will make it recede and allow for exit.

onthetown
2011-07-13, 01:50 PM
Built and ran the dungeon. :smallbiggrin: It was a success. The puzzles weren't horribly hard, so he still had fun with it. Just had to stop and think.

There are some other traps I included or made up on my own, so here's the best of them (probably most of them, depending on how funny it was to watch him try to solve or get through) :

Room 1
I opened with the ominous countdown. I think he nearly had a stroke. Before he walked into the room, I informed him that he could see that there was nothing in the room but a big ruby button. He rolled Perception and saw that the door had bars hovering over it and also that there was a leak in the ceiling. Well, as soon as he enters, of course both doors close. When the countdown started, he tried pulling the ruby off of the pedestal, inspecting it, then found out that pressing it down reset the countdown; he would think and bounce plans off of me for about five seconds, then push the button and reset it. Five minutes later, he gave up and just waited for his doom. The doors opened. I innocently told him that the tomb is old and it's been a wet spring, so he should probably mention the leak to the master of the tomb at some point.

Room 2
He didn't fall for one of Ravenwood's traps, the stone rolling down and setting off all kinds of traps if you take one of the levers from the wall. He brought a 10-foot-pole with him for the dungeon and, when he reached the pit at the bottom, stuck it out to find the Wall of Force hovering over the pit and preventing him from jumping. He calmly proceeded.

Room 3 - 7
I had a mirror puzzle of my own devising, not meant to be hard in the least because it led into riddle-type rooms. It was a hexagonal room with a mirrors on four of the walls. In the middle of the room was a glowing orb, and it was surrounded by panels. The goal was to move the panels so that the orb could be reflected in the mirrors; as it reflected in each mirror, the mirror would open to reveal another room. The four rooms accessed by the mirrors contained only a treasure chest, which had riddles on the covers that would open the chest if answered correctly. The answer to the first riddle was a mirror, of course, since the mirror puzzle was the clue; after that, the chests had a piece of paper and a piece of a keystone. The paper had a short paragraph of lore-related stuff, and a part of the paragraph was the clue to the next riddle. He got a bit stumped at the first one after the mirror riddle, but quickly redeemed himself and blazed through the rest of them. The keystone pieces fused together for him; they would operate a sort of elevator later in the dungeon.

Various
I made up little stat blocks for monsters of my own creation, which I decided to name Tomb Guardians (given the circumstances). Fionn (the character) would come across them throughout the dungeon -- I think I put them in four or five rooms -- and would have to fight them in honorable battle before being able to proceed. I've wanted to introduce some different types of armor for him to give to Fionn, so they were nice little loot-holders. The final battle in the dungeon was against one of these; it had an illusion cast on it to make it look like one of the antagonists of the campaign, though when he noticed that the guy was using a sword instead of a mace he realized that it was just another Tomb Guardian.

Room 11
I don't have the standard array of dragons in my setting; there's only one (known) type, which are heavy and flightless and like to live in swamps and eat people. Everything Fionn has ever been told about these things is that they will kill you. Well, last time there was a young version of a carnivorous predator, the player decided he would tame it and use it as a mount because it was "cute" (he succeeded). I preyed on his apparent disregard for personal safety when it comes to horrible monsters from the depths of acid pools with this room.

There's the dragon in the middle of the room. It's very young and lying on top of a pile of what looks to be both treasure and worthless rocks. It has a magical collar on it preventing it from leaving the treasure pile area. It introduced itself as Darkenclaw and told Fionn that if he released it, it would tell him the secrets of the Puzzle Tomb -- it just lacks the dexterity to undo the collar itself. The player was really conflicted and decided to think on it, going through two of the floors before returning to it. He didn't free the stupid little thing, which was a smart decision, so Darkenclaw is still dying of boredom down in the Puzzle Tomb. If he had freed it, it would have just attacked him. Because really, you're going to trust the offspring of legendary, acid-crapping, baby-eating abominations? The treasure wasn't that great, either.

Room 21
Three words: Ravenwood's Treadmill Trap.

I nearly died trying to not laugh so hard when he miserably failed his DEX roll and took damage from breaking down the door after pulling the lever. :smallamused:

Room 23
I do believe I got this one at least partially from Serp's trickster dungeon. He went into a room with all kinds of different coloured tiles on the floor, and all of them looked to be pressure plates. Before this I had drawn what looked to be a table in my notes and sort of scribbled on it to make it look believable. As he progressed through the room, carefully stepping on each pressure plate, I would randomly roll a d100, look carefully at the table, and just say, "Okay." Every so often, I would mention that there's a groaning sound coming from the ceiling.

Hey, it's been a wet spring. Not all dungeons are weather-proof.

Edit: I forgot to mention the best part about this one... As I was drawing out the tiles and patterns for him on the enlarged map before we started to play, he was making all sorts of assumptions about it. "Oh, a tile puzzle," he would say every so often, knowingly. I swear he looked at that thing every spare moment he had, like he was trying to figure out the pattern or the safe way through before we even got there. He sounded so confident about it whenever he would look at it.

Room 25/26
One of my own devising, though not terribly creative. There are five 3' x 3' blocks in room 25; room 26 has 3' of water, a jet creating a current on one wall, and a door on the other. He had to use the blocks to move the current so that it hit the door; I put a panel in the water at a good point, blocking the door, so that he couldn't just solve it with two moves.

The middle of 26 was indented like a small basin, and once the water drained out it had retained some of it and gave it healing properties. Well, all it takes is one Perception roll before the water drains out, and suddenly this thing is the key for solving the room. The player tried every combination of moving the blocks in and out of that little basin, completely ignoring the jet current. He made a good INT roll on the door and I said it's pressure operated, but magical, so it'll only respond to a certain type of pressure; instead of redirecting the jet, he lined all of the blocks up along the door and tried pushing them into it. He made another Perception once that didn't work, and I told him there's nothing he hasn't seen already. He caught on and finally went to work getting that current hitting the door.

Room 27 - 33
A simple riddle-based puzzle. The rooms leading up to 33 had cryptic clues like "first door you opened, first holds the key", "never search beyond seventh", etc. There were 10 clues in all; when he reached 33, he found there were 10 sarcophagi. He easily followed the clues (this one wasn't meant to be hard, obviously, since I don't want him to start hating riddle clues), avoided the sarcophagi with the undead in it, and got himself a keystone, a key, and some piles of treasure.

Room 37
I am so sad that he was too smart to fall for this one. :smallfrown: It's actually my favourite.

A room with nothing but a chain from the ceiling and a door, and you can see that the chain is connected to pulleys on the door. If he had tried to pull the chain to open the door, it would have opened a pit trap under him and he would have fallen down to the first floor; instead, he remembered the key that he got back at the sarcophagi puzzle and used it to open the door.

I was hoping he would forget about the key. Not that I'm sadistic or anything...

Room 36, 38 - 44
The last sequential puzzle he had to go through. 36 and 38 each had opposing elements in them (a basin of water and a lit torch, a clay jug filled with dirt and a little breeze-creating orb that he has since looted). 39's hidden door to the next room was opened by pulling a book on elements and their animal equivalents out of the bookshelf (it didn't quite match the other books). 40 was a long hallway, with frescoes of the element-based animals fighting -- wildcat vs sea serpent, and horse vs bear. 41 - 44 were simple by this point: use the opposing elements, either given to you in the other room or through a spell, to destroy the doors. Kill the horse door with the clay jug, the bear door with the orb, the sea serpent door with the torch and the wildcat door with the basin of water.

It led rather well into the final puzzle...

Room 46
As Fionn walked into the room, he could see that the door across the room was open, but suddenly both of the doors slam shut. There is a statuette of a minor goddess (who happens to run this tomb) on a pedestal, and she's looking downward. Fionn looked and saw four pressure plates -- a horse, a wildcat, a bear, and a sea serpent.

Well, he drags over the four elements he had been given and starts putting them on the tiles in different patterns. The statuette changed expressions every time he looked at it; snickering, laughing, in hysterics, shrugging if he asks it a question. He had quite the one-sided conversation with it, demanding that it tell him how to solve the puzzle and yelling at it to stop laughing at him.

After almost ten minutes, he suddenly stopped and I could see a lightbulb click on in his head.

"The door isn't locked, is it," he said -- not even asked, just made a statement -- in a completely deadpan voice. The statue just grinned and shrugged, and he proceeded to the final boss (that beefed up illusory Tomb Guardian).

SamBurke
2011-07-13, 03:11 PM
Dude, awesome. Could we get an official write-up of that? I'd love to use it for an upcoming dungeon I've got going. Maybe I could beg a map as well?

Combat Reflexes
2011-07-13, 04:04 PM
Dude, awesome. Could we get an official write-up of that? I'd love to use it for an upcoming dungeon I've got going. Maybe I could beg a map as well?

+1. I could totally abuse use this for my next dungeon crawl :smallamused:

onthetown
2011-07-13, 05:29 PM
Posted in Homebrew or here? Not sure which would apply... Some of the stuff is heavily lore-related, as well.

SamBurke
2011-07-13, 08:19 PM
Meh. I'll re-write what I need to. The world it'll be set in is very loosely defined right now anyway. At the very least, I'd like a link from here, if possible.

Serpentine
2011-07-13, 10:42 PM
Put it in my resurrected Encounter Sharing Thread! :biggrin:
Let the players encounter a heavily over-CR'ed iron golem in an empty room.
When the last player enters the room, a voice shouts "Iron Golem, attack!"
The golem halts if one of the PC's shouts "Iron Golem, stop!".

Done.I have one like that in my Trickster's Temple, though a lot more obvious. Outside the room, there's an old worn inscription that says "Sometimes, all you have to do is", the rest being worn and broken off. They go in, and there's a great big stone golem standing in the middle of the room. Engraved in its chest is "ask".
It attacks when they walk in, but stops as soon as they ask nicely.

SamBurke
2011-07-13, 11:07 PM
BTW, I couldn't seem to find a good Low-Level Dungeon on the thread.

I'm looking for something for two level one Gestalts (Magus/Rogue and Inquisitor/Ranger). Got any suggestions? (Though I can't wait for this one)

onthetown
2011-07-14, 06:54 AM
This one is fairly low level -- Fionn is level 5, and the only thing you'd have to alter would be the Tomb Guardians -- but have you tried any adventure modules? 3.5 has a ton of them.

panaikhan
2011-07-14, 07:22 AM
But that's only a puzzle for the players, since the characters would be able to easily see that they were in a cube.
If the 'dungeon' has a ceiling, how the would the characters know there was something above them?
Also - if the puzzles are just for the characters, and not for the players, who solves them? :smallconfused:

Qwertystop
2011-07-14, 01:20 PM
If the 'dungeon' has a ceiling, how the would the characters know there was something above them?
Also - if the puzzles are just for the characters, and not for the players, who solves them? :smallconfused:

What I mean is that in-character, it would be challenging, but just looking at a flat map, you wouldn't see that there was any puzzle, just a t-shaped hallway (an unfolded cube).

onthetown
2011-07-18, 05:26 AM
I'm working on actually writing up the dungeon and it being presentable for here, but the problem is that my dungeons are sketched maps and brief notes. I can't stat monsters for crap and I often just give them and other NPCs quick stat notes.

For example, the little obsidian dragon called Darkenclaw? His room just says, "Medium room. Pile of treasure with dragon on top, collared, can't leave pile. Wants Fionn to release him in exchange for info; will actually attack. +6 atk, 15 AC, +4 ref +4 fort +2 will, claw 1d6 bite 1d8 fire breath 3d6. Loot: jeweled collar, wand of trueseeing (5 use then gone), 1 large gem made of igneous rock (500gp if sold to magic-user, 250gp everywhere else)" and that's about it. I don't even look in the MM or Beastiaries or anything for it, I just stat things depending on the player's level and what I think he could take, so I have no idea if a very young dragon would actually have a +6 attack.

And, since Tomb Guardians and obsidian dragons are of my own creation... I don't really have anything to go by anyway.

Unless somebody felt like statting them up or something...

But the rooms are all like that, and the map has parts scratched out that I ditched...

So it's a big job trying to polish it up. :smalltongue: I guess it's just the map that needs doing and that's what sort of makes me nervous, since I don't want to post something really unfinished.

I'm rambling. TL;DR -- I'm working on it.

SamBurke
2011-07-18, 11:25 AM
Dude, that's fine. I run everything by what I think it'll have, and that's more planning than I usually do.. :smalleek:

As to the map, that's the biggest thing, as well as the riddles/puzzles/traps.

SamBurke
2011-07-29, 01:57 PM
How's it going, btw?

onthetown
2011-07-31, 07:49 PM
Trying to get the map done amid a computer with no space for drawing and a laptop that doesn't want me to use it. :smallfrown:

Also tried totally statting up the obsidian dragon and the tomb guardian, but I might just leave out stats altogether and simply say it's a CR 6 dragon or CR 5 construct, or something like that. With minor stuff that's unique to them.