Sometimes a door is the best security system.
Sometimes the owner of a dungeon doesn't want to kill its intruders, just detain and embarrass them a bit.
A series of traps and puzzles that are sure to cause pause in your players without killing them..... maybe.
"This is a clean room environment. So we will have to pass through decontamination before we can enter." Researcher Gorgron Rogbutt, an Orc.
"Here lies a peasant child scarred by the heat of battle.
Fighting not for glory but because he just wanted to live,
His despairation led him to victory."
~ Carved on the ornate stone doors leading to the large tomb.
A very difficult puzzle which requires knowledge in simple leet speak to solve. It might take a while to figure out as you have to rearrange letters and numbers to form a sentence.
A puzzle that requires knowledge of the PGP Word List to complete. It is impossible without knowing this information. VERY COMPLEX! NOT FOR BEGINNERS!
This is a system of classification that admittedly I shamelessly copied from TES (The Elder Scrolls). It sorts traps and puzzles into four categories known in TES as The Four Tests. Examples of each that I made myself are included.
A graph theory based puzzle for a Shadowrun Setting.
This consists of a trap and encounter as the puzzle. There will be ten PCs for this example but this will work with any even number of PCs.
30 Prisons, some of which are dreadful places in which to be, whilst others can be surprisingly pleasant, as far as somewhere can be pleasant when you are not allowed to leave it. Some are short term places of confinement, others are where you will spend the rest of your life unless you manage to escape.
A simple addition to the riddles often used to open doors or paths in a dungeon. The party are presented with a riddle and then have to draw the answer in the sand box.
The virtual battlefields of the of the Cosmic Era
You, a wizard, have a secret wizard base. Pesky adventurers and who knows what else would simply love to find it and loot all of your precious stuff. Here are some things to consider during construction.
That looks interesting, I make a search check for loot.
Wait... what comes at me?
An underwater dungeon whose lore is heavily inspired by Lovecraft's The Temple, and whose design is inspired by Ocarina of Time's water temple. Contains interconnected water-level puzzles and is an example of a dungeon which requires a profile-view map.
A geometric cut puzzle that can be inserted into any dungeon/door/treasure chest.
A desert-themed astrological puzzle inspired by a 2000 year-old analog computer, an ancient supernova, and the Ziggurat of Ur.
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Worn runes on ancient ruins, scrawled annotations on old maps, scribbles in the margins of arcane tomes – cryptic text is a central part of the adventuring experience. Basic encryption schemes are an excellent way to embellish your campaign with a consistent textual theme while allowing for the inclusion of messages hidden in plain sight. This post describes a simple connected cipher, named Crypt, perfect for arcane languages and alien text.
Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.
By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.
Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).
To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.
To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.
When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.
What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.