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Comments: 7
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3
Condition: Normal
ID: 1233


June 11, 2007, 10:53 pm

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The Acid Barrier


A magical barrier of acid blocks your path. Solve the puzzle to unlock the door.

Note: This is a puzzle from a recent adventure. It can work anytime you have a decent level wizard in the area to create a magical barrier of acid(use your imagination).

This appears to be nothing more than a doorway. There are no traps on the door, and it is not locked. If the characters are specifically checking the FLOOR for traps etc, they notice a fine layer of dust on the floor, but nothing else. They do not find anything unusual on or around the door.

When the characters open the door, a loud whoosh is heard and the doorway appears to be covered by a shimmering, liquid layer. It has the distinct smell of acid to it. A magic mouth appears on the door that has just been opened and it speaks.

iYou’ve probably already noticed that the doorway has turned to a magical acid barrier. The acid will instantly destroy any non-living material passed through, and will disintegrate any living material larger than one arm. Feel free to try it out if you like.

On the floor, on the other side of that barrier is a loose stone in the floor. Under that stone are two metal bars. One of the bars is magnetized. Hanging on a string past the barrier, just out of reach, you’ll see a metal ring.

If you put the non-magnetized bar within one foot of the ring, the acid will strengthen and eat off your arm. Unfortunately, the effect of the magnetized bar extends only six inches. So, you have to KNOW, before you put a bar up to the ring, which one is magnetized. If you put the magnetized bar up to the ring, it will remove the barrier. If you put the non-magnetized bar up to the ring, it will melt your arm off.

Good luck in figuring this one out. Judging from the dust on the ground outside, you’ll need it./i

The barrier destroys any non-living material passed through it, including magic items. Living material feels a tingling but is unharmed.

Any attempt to grab the ring by characters results in it moving away. It cannot be grabbed or removed from the string by hand.

The solution is that the magnetized bar will pick up the other bar when placed at the very center. The non-magnetized bar will not attract the magnetized bar if it is placed directly in the center. Obviously, both bars will attract each other if the ENDS are used to attract, so the key is using the centers of the bars(where the magnetic field is neutral) to find the non-magnetized bar.

If the non-magnetized bar is placed within 6 inches of the ring, the acid barrier strengthens to eat off the PC’s arm. Once they capture the metal ring with the magnetized bar, the barrier disappears.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Ancient Gamer
October 29, 2005, 14:01
Nothing wrong with a puzzle, even though players draw upon their own abilities, as opposed to those of their thick skulled warrior characters :)

Puzzles such as these is a huge success among some players I know, while other groups would disintegrate ME if I brought them such a thing. Very player dependant indeed.

Personally I think it is an alright puzzle for the right group. I give it a 3/5 because it is so variying in its usefulness. My advice is that people should be careful when applying it. Those of my players who classify as "authentic geeks" would looooove it. (I am a part-time geek myself, so no offense intended)
Voted Zylithan
November 24, 2005, 11:27
My comments mirror AG's. This is a pretty difficult puzzle in some ways, not difficult to figure out if you know magnetics, but very difficult if you don't. More of a knowledge quiz than many puzzles.
Voted Drackler
April 30, 2006, 22:03
I really do think that it's a good idea.

-Drackler Wyrmdragon
Voted valadaar
April 22, 2008, 12:16
Since in most fantasy campaign, detailed knowlage of magnetics would be metagaming, I find this puzzle a bit out of place and overpowered. Again, I have to ask the question "Why was this made?".
Voted Cressida
August 29, 2010, 13:13
I agree that this could be tricky if the players don't have out-of-game knowledge of magnetics. However, I can see ways around that: either plant the necessary information somewhere in-game, or replace the positive and negative magnetic charges with, say, "red and green magic" and explain their properties.

If you're sure the players know the principles involved, then it's a solid tactical logic puzzle.
Voted OmegaDraco
February 10, 2012, 10:22

Fun puzzle. It seems like the disarming mechanism could be a little better thought out. "Touch this ring with the magnetic bar to lower the acid wall" just seems to be an odd way to disarm the acid wall. Either way, I love unconventional traps that make players think.

New solution!

The player reaches through the acid wall, removes the stone, and gently lifts one end of one of the bars closer to the acid wall. The player can then place any metal object on her side of the acid wall to see if the bar and object pull towards each other. Since the acid wall doesn't negate the magnetism, they can test it without passing any object through the acid.

Voted Mageek
October 26, 2015, 21:58
Instead of having this on a door it might make more sense to have a player character locked up in a cell with this as the gate. They could observe the guards using the magnetized rod to pull the ring.

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