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December 17, 2008, 6:50 pm

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Running A Dungeon-Maze

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A few ways to handle PCs navigating a maze within your games.

There are a number of ways a gamemaster can handle the PCs navigating through a maze. Others are possible, but these are the ones that immediately spring to mind.

1) The GM can print off a sufficiently complex maze, then narrate the PCs dungeon-crawling through the maze. In my opinion, this is the worst of the options I present, though there are advantages to doing things this way. Encounters and treasure can be easily marked on the map, and generating multiple mazes is trivial with the plethora of maze-generation software out there. Disadvantages include just about every complaint about long, boring dungeon-crawls, which is essentially what this is.

2) They get there no matter what. After a sufficient number of encounters with monsters and traps, the PCs get to the end of the maze. I find this to be a bit too heavy-handed, but this sort of railroading can easily be spiced up by a good GM.

3) Dice Resolution. The GM chooses the length of the maze in terms of the number of successes that need to be rolled to successfully navigate the maze. Each ‘milestone’ should be accompanied with some flavor text describing the results of the party’s efforts. Every few milestones, encounters and traps can be added to spice things up. I find this to be the best of the three options, as it abstracts away the feel of a dungeon crawl, as well as lets the PCs be the masters of their own fate.

These options aren’t just limited to presenting mazes within your games; any location where the PCs aren’t sure where exactly they are and can easily get lost can be handled this way (sewers, dungeons beneath the castle, etc.).



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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Which way is he going?

       By: Murometz

Molk Peruda is encountered by the PCs on the second day of their journey west from the salt-choked port of Quyn, as they prepare to explore the jungle.

He appears a gaunt, wolfish man, with matted, dark hair that sprouts from his head in dreadlocks, contrasting with his well-oiled, blue-black, conical beard. His eyes are hidden ebon shards beneath thick arching brows, his nose, crooked, long, and reminiscent of a snout. His mouth is a thin, dark line, his teeth unseen even when he parts his lips to speak.

His skin is the color of tallow, surprising perhaps for a renowned jungle guide, yet his natural helm of dreads and the jungle's canopy keeps the sun from bronzing his originally pale flesh. On his back are tattooed three women from the waist up, side-by-side, each resembling the other but of different ages. This is a tattoo of Molk's mother, sister, and daughter. His wife (don't bring her up to him!) was killed by marauding Qullan years ago, and appears as her own tattoo on his broad but sunken chest.

His feet shockingly are turned around 180 degrees at the ankle, facing towards his back! A curse from a pernicious shaman. Molk walks feet backwards (he's used to it) and walks backwards, forwards. This can be very disconcerting and outright creepy to the PCs as he guides them through the rainforest.

Slung from his back is an archer's quarrel of treated wood carved to resemble a stalking leopard, in his hand a re-curved composite bow of horn and sinew, with a pair of vivid, red eyes, each one painted on the opposite side of the hand-grip. In a leather sheath at his belt, hangs a falchion, its pommel adorned with a curved bird's head and beak.

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | January 15, 2014 | View | UpVote 7xp


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