The Unseen Maze

Step on the floor tiles in the correct order to proceed.


Type: Test of Disorder or Test of Pattern.

Description: This is a puzzle that can fit in a room or hallway of any size. It consists of a large array of floor tiles and must be traversed in a curtain order. Players can move forwards, backwards, left, right or diagonally to an adjacent tile. You cannot skip over tiles. One tile will be the Start which should be near were the PCs enter the area. Another one can be the End which can be located anywhere. The center or the near the place the PCs must go next is usually where the End is. There can also be Checkpoint Tiles or areas that can be used to make the puzzle easier. Clues can be provided to allow players to determine the correct sequence but that turns this obstacle into a Test of Pattern.

The way forward is blocked by something which will only be removed when the puzzle is solved to prevent circumvention.

How this works is that a PC steps on a tile and if it is in the correct sequence, nothing happens. If it is not in the correct sequence, then the tile will deliver a minor but painful shock though this can be replaced with some other trap or result. The system then deactivates and the PC must reset the system by returning to the Start. Tiles can be used more then once in the sequence so you can require some backtracking and make the puzzle more complicated. You can have it so that only one PC has to make it to the End and then the system can be deactivated to allow the others to pass quickly or make it so that all PCs must solve the puzzle either one at a time or not.

So to keep is simple let's say that we have a room with a 3x3 array of floor tiles. The PCs enter from the south and exit to the north. The Start is the south tile and the End is the north tile where a security gate blocks the way forward. A PC steps on the Start and then to the southwest tile. Nothing happens. So then the PC steps on the west tile and gets zapped taking some minor damage. Nothing significant though. The floor deactivates and the way forward remains blocked. The PC returns to the Start to reset the floor. Though the process of trial and error each PC figures out the 8 move sequence and successfully makes it across. However every time a PC makes it to the other side, the gate closes again and the puzzle must be solved again. This is to prevent some smart ass from trying to circumvent the system.

Another example: The room has a 9x9 array of floor tiles and there is a pedestal with the objective artifact resting on it in the center of the room. The PCs enter the room from the south. The artifact is protected by a force field which is directly connected to the floor. The floor must be navigated correctly to remove the barrier and allow the artifact to be retrieved.

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? Responses (3)

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Solid idea, it would really be game ready if you had the clues prepared, I had a puzzle almost exactly like this like this in campaign once, expect the PCs had to touch panels in the right order

the clue I used then was sunset to sunrise (I was 14 so they weren't great clues) and the PCs had to touch the panels in this order yellow, orange, purple, dark blue, black, dark blue, purple, orange, yellow. So debate ensued whether red or light blue would be involved in the cycle and cleric had to be called in

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