Need help with a D&D 5th DF encounter

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Re: Need help with a D&D 5th DF encounter

Post by Mydienon » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:07 pm

You might consider various "solutions" and allow any of them to work. Or, listen to the players -- make them sweat a little bit, but make sure the puzzle's solution is one they come up with.

I've occasionally had some trick or puzzle solution that completely backfired. The players don't take the bait, or they don't recognize the clue no matter how bluntly or how many times I put it in front of them.

I've also had players think of something I hadn't considered at all. They completely avoid a situation or overcome something I expected to be difficult, without even realizing that they just negated hours of preparation.

So, my suggestion is whatever you come up with...make sure you have alternatives. If there's only one right path to get past the golem, you can bet that your players will never come up with it.

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Re: Need help with a D&D 5th DF encounter

Post by kitenerd » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:06 pm

This is a cool scanario. A simple " flip the timer asnd the golem dances while you sneak by" is too easy (like Fluffy in Harry Potter). So then what?

Perhaps the timer is too heavy for the PCs to flip but the golem can be commanded? Perhaps it is too loud for the golem to hear. Do they need to stop or silence all the clocks?

Or do they all need to work together? Definitely force cooperation and take advantage of the distracting noise. Will saves each round to allow players to act. Will they get annoyed, or will they plug thier ears with candle wax? How will they communicate once thier ears are plugged (i would not allow them to speak). I like this. Make the solution obvious but difficult to accomplish. Teamwork among 11 yr olds is always fun!
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Re: Need help with a D&D 5th DF encounter

Post by ForestZ » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:52 pm

I can see a few problems you're going to have to solve here. For starters, you don't want the Golem to be the only thing blocking the door. If it's as simple as "turn timer, golem moves out of the way, run to the door," that doesn't seem very exciting. It sounds like you want more of a puzzle. So the door itself should be impossible to open without doing something with the golem.

If you're stuck on the hourglass, you're probably going to want to make the golem perform a specific action each round in a predictable pattern. The hourglass should tick for a set number of rounds. And the PC's should probably need to do something specific each round that eventually unlocks the door and moves the golem. Perhaps at the end of whatever cycle/puzzle they need to perform, the golem shuts down and reveals a "key" (doesn't have to be a literal key) that then opens the door.

Part of me really wants to use all those clocks you put on the wall in some way. Perhaps there are symbols on the floor in the room that correspond to a particular clock, and each round the timer is going, he moves to a particular spot on the floor, and when he's there, the players have to manipulate that particular clock. It could be as simple as setting the time to correspond to where the golem is, or something more complicated. The players can start by needing perception checks to spot the proper clocks, you can make the clocks simple to use (just set them with your hands) or each require a different skill (thievery, arcana, etc... (or whatever 5th editions equivalent is), for a complex, or magical, or animal based clock for your 3 classes).

One last thought, if you're going to have an hourglass make sure the players can't break it (or handle what happens if they do...maybe they *have* to fight the enraged golem if they do that!). At the least, I'd recommend making it attached to the pedestal on a flipping mechanism so they can't simply walk away with it!

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Need help with a D&D 5th DF encounter

Post by xombified » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:59 am

OK, so I have this idea with an iron golem and a sand timer, but I need help making the encounter interesting on a Dwarven Forge layout.

I'm sure someone here is going to reply with an easy and obvious idea...and I'm going to say "doh!", but I am truly stuck on this, so any help is welcome.

Keep in mind, this encounter is for 3 level 1 players (rogue, wizard, ranger) who are in the 11-12yr old range. They are really enjoying the dungeon so far (it is mostly riddles and traps with some small fights) but the next session is one I've been struggling with.

I have a rectangular room (14 squares x 6 squares) with a sand timer on a pedestal.
(the image is just to show the basic room shape. ignore the other exits and markup)

The party enters from the south wall, near the east side of the 14 squares long wall. I plan on describing the room something like this:

the long wall in front of you (north wall) is covered in clocks of various size and design. All are set at different times and they are all ticking and tocking and chiming in a chaotic cacophany. the noise is annoying and distracting. (might play a sound effect)

you see a pedestal in the far right corner with a large sand timer sitting on top. the sand is all drained to the bottom.

to your left there is a mechanical golem guarding a door on the west wall

(and this is where I'm stuck - how can they interact with him in an interesting 3d manner. i don't want them to fight it - it is too strong)

one idea I have is:
the guardian is blocking the doorway out. he cannot be defeated and will continuously knock back the party if they engage. If they flip the sand timer (i have a real life timer to use) he will (do something - turn left and walk straight ahead x steps for example) but when the timer runs out he will return directly to block the door again.

I want them to figure out they need to use the timer interactively with the room/golem to get past, but I'm struggling with making it a thing that can work in a turn-based, board gamey way to make it shine with dwarven forge.

as you can see I'm stuck on the idea of could be represented in "moves" instead of realtime. i can add statues or columns, more pedestals, tiles on the floor - I'm open to anything - but I'd like to keep the time/clock theme.

any ideas?
Last edited by xombified on Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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