Type: Test of Pattern or Test of Disorder
Description: A maze in which there are clues that reveal the way through provided that you know how to perceive, interpret, and use them.
This is a puzzle which can be used in any setting and environment with the right creativity. It is a maze which secretly reveals the solution to the people who can follow the clues successfully. These clues can come in anyway shape or form and are only limited to your imagination.
These clues can be conveyed in some method in advance before the maze is reached or the clues are built into the maze itself. They can be in the form of markers, landmarks, a series of directions to follow, or cues of any sense. The clues are found at junctions in the maze to show the correct path. Traps can be activated if you pick the wrong passage.
If the PCs cannot successfully follow the clues then this becomes a Test of Disorder.
Example 1; Color Coded Markers: On the ceiling, floor, or walls of the maze at each junction, each possible path is marked by a color coded object, marking, or symbol. The correct path is found by knowing the proper sequence of colors and or symbols to follow when choosing a passage to follow.
In this case we will show the sequence somewhere in the dungeon before the maze in the form of gemstones on the wall. Red Ruby, White Diamond, Green Emerald, and Blue Sapphire in this order. When you reach a junction in the maze each passage that is possible will be marked with one of these gemstones on the walls.
If you remembered the order of the stones in the dungeon earlier on the walls then:
At the 1st junction, take the passage marked with the Red Ruby.
At the 2nd junction, take the passage marked with the White Diamond.
At the 3rd junction, take the passage marked with the Green Emerald.
At the 4th junction, take the passage marked with the Blue Sapphire.
At the 5th junction, take the passage marked with the Red Ruby.
Example 2; Follow the directions: This maze can be solved by following a sequence of directions when reaching a junction.
In this case we will convey the directions in a document of some kind regarding the dungeon in advance. Go Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, then Right in this order. So at each junction in the maze you will take the following route:
1st junction, take the Right Passage.
2nd junction, take the Left Passage.
3rd junction, take the Left Passage.
4th junction, take the Right Passage.
5th junction, take the Left Passage.
6th junction, take the Right Passage.
7th junction, take the Right Passage.
8th junction, take the Left Passage.
9th junction, take the Left Passage.
Example 3; The pattern is on the tiles: On the floor there are tiles which must be crossed in the chamber. There is a symbol on each one and they are scattered in a seemingly random manner across the floor. You must cross the floor in the correct pattern. Any incorrect tile is a trap door that will drop you into a hole filled with bladed grinders stained with blood and shredded body parts where you will die a most painful death.
In this case the pattern is shown everywhere in the dungeon but disguised as a decorative pattern on the walls. The sequence is Green Circle, Red Triangle, Blue Square, and Yellow Hexagon in this order. An Anti-Magic Field and other countermeasures prevent circumvention of this puzzle.
To get across the room safely you must step on the adjacent tiles with these colored symbols in this order:
1st tile, Green Circle.
2nd tile, Red Triangle.
3rd tile, Blue Square.
4th tile, Yellow Hexagon.
5th tile, Green Circle.
Example 4; Form the sentence: At each junction in the maze is a seemingly random word on the floor marking each passage. You must form a passphrase with these seemingly random words to complete the maze.
In this case the passphrase you need to create is conveyed in a cryptic clue before the maze. 'TO PASS THIS TRIAL, YOU MUST KNOW THE WAY. SEEK THE UNSEEN PATH TO THE END.'
So at each junction you take the passages marked with the words as follows:
1st junction, TO.
2nd junction, PASS.
3rd junction, THIS.
4th junction, TRIAL.
5th junction, YOU.
6th junction, MUST.
7th junction, KNOW.
8th junction, THE.
9th junction, WAY.
10th junction, SEEK.
11th junction, THE.
12th junction, UNSEEN.
You can see where this is going.
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? Responses (2)
Great suggestion with several options given. Well done!
It'd be interesting to see how to convey the intersection clues without it being too obvious. One way I've tried to do this in other role-playing contexts is to make sketches of chambers and allow players to decide for themselves what is important and what is not. Doing that for every intersection of a maze is a ton of work, but it would prevent the exchange of:
DM: You come to an intersection. The path to the left has a blue gem, the path to the right has a red gem.
Player1: Ah, gem color is important. Let's go with red.