“It is a door, a stout wooden door with its frame, just standing there in the middle of the field. Why would someone put it there? And the important question, does it actually open to anything?”
Journal of Thomas Mccannon.
In the land of Aviontix there are ruins. A lot of ruins. There are many sand buried cities, king’s tombs (They were a very religious people, focused upon their leaving to the afterlife), and huge statuary. However, Aviontix was a kingdom so long ago, that everything has been looted. (Figure there has been a whole historical epoch or two since then) There might be a hidden tomb or something somewhere in the lands, but it is unlikely. This does not stop people from selling maps to them all the time.
If the adventurers are smart, they can solve this riddle and get the information they need.
To be used for the final encounter, find the final treasure, or anything that needs to be hidden away better then normal. Typical “who the heck would ever spend the time making it” but it is fun and a mental challenge for a change.
Then suddenly all your body paralizes and you hear a voice echoing in the distance "seems like another rat has been lured to my maze," this voice was terribly cold but playfull, "come on you are not already planning on leaving, the fun has only begun."
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.