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Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here.
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TOPIC: Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here.
#6868
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
I realize it might take an assload of DF stuff to do, and while I have a lot, I don't have a gigantic amount, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has any ideas on creating mazes (labyrinthine corridors full of misdirection and confusion) with DF? While I had a pretty good show at the recent RECON convention, I'd like to try something a little less linear next time.

And if not a straight-out maze, then at least shake up the variety a little bit, y'know?
TheDungeonDelver
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#6869
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
I think the main obstacle will be perspective.

In most "seen from above" mazes, like the kind you see in puzzle books, there are fewer T-intersections and X-intersections and so forth, because they make it easier to correct mistakes. If every passage ultimately links up, it doesn't really matter WHICH path you take. In these sorts of mazes, which is how DF looks from above, you have a lot of straight passages and L-turns, so you make a choice and follow the path a long way before realizing it's a dead end.

In most "seen from within" mazes, the kind you would actually be physically in, there are LOTS of T-intersections and X-intersections. That way, because each intersection is identical, you keep being confronted by choices, and can wind up going in circles.

You are less likely to go in circles when you can see from above that you ARE going in circles, you know? For one thing, perspective stays the same -- you don't get "turned around" (where a left turn from one approach is a right turn from another approach, so you can hit the same intersection several times and keep going the same way) From above, from the same side of the table, a given intersection is readily identifiable, as is direction.

So if this is just for display, not for play, you will probably do better. If you want players lost in this maze, you might have to get tricky. They're going to be able to see where they've been and where they want to go. They aren't going to lose their sense of direction, of facing. Maybe put the whole setup on a giant lazy susan? ;)

L
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#6870
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
It is difficult with cavernous passages due to everything being right angles. I was able to reproduce an actual maze with the room pieces though. If I ever set it up again, I will take some pics. The diagonal walls make it much easier to make a maze.
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#6871
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
Narrow passages and lots of corners (including diagonals, as the previous poster has pointed out). Some well placed secret doors and/or rotating walls will help.

If it's for a game, and you're setting things up as and when player's see them, don't be afraid to "lie" unless they've got a serious mapper. A cumulative error of 20'-30' over several turns can play havoc with most maps. If the player's question this, you can point out that the architects are playing clever tricks with perspective.
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#6872
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
You know, thinking about it in retrospect, it isn't so much a maze that I want as nonlinearity. I'm looking right now at the pamphlet that came with my first DF set way back when, and one oof the last setups they show is this massive crawl made of "3 room & Passage Sets + 3 room sets + 1 octagonal room set + 2 25 diagonal walls sets". God, it's a thing of beauty. It's so gorgeous, in fact, I may steal it for use as a map in WGH5...but that's neither here nor there. I would just love to emulate something like that with the sets I already have: non-orthagonal, non-linear...it's a work of art more than a map, really!

Just something so the next crew that tackles my convention module doesn't feel like they're going through a corridor with a few side rooms here and there.

I think I'm off to buy a 25 diagonal walls set I saw on eBay...
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#6873
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 6 Months ago  
Dungeon Delver,

So, here is My Take on this... Mazes are the #1 Best Example of Laying DF as you Go... AND Picking it up again as the PC's Move Past... Typically I will Allow for Roughly 1 Tile Ahead, And 1 Behind the Current Tile that the Party is Standing on... It Does not take long to get "Confused", AND You Can Design Much Larger/Longer Routes... (I Have Actually Only Done this Twice but it Worked out Very Nicely)...
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#6874
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 9 Years, 5 Months ago  
Here might be a 'different' kind of maze I once used in my campaign. I used up the complete narrow passage set. There was one entrance, one exit. I had built it up before - and looking from above it was simple to find several ways through the small maze.

So why would you enter a dead end at all - why not take the shortest route??

Well - you figured it out once you went to the nearest dead end - as you would find a lever there. Going straight - and you would have got a nasty surprise.

So while the players could see the whole maze, I was the only one with the hidden notes where I had placed all the traps (some 6 or 7 in total) and the levers to disable the traps.

I think there where several possible routes to get through without triggering a trap. None was straight, in all you had to go to at least two dead ends first. And a lever on the right did disable a trap on the left to ensure the whole maze was used and you sometimes had to pass a junction 2 times - one in the middle even three times on the 'best' route.

I think the party managed to go through with only a single trap triggered. But it took them a while.

Thod
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#6875
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 8 Years, 6 Months ago  
If I understand the question correctly, there are two methods I would suggest.

First, incorporate some of the Swinging and Swivelling Walls that, of course will swing/shift when "traps" are tripped. That way, no matter what the players see - all bets are off!

Secondly, I would suggest teleport points -(these could have either fixed or random destination points).

These ideas may not make it "appear" any more interesting, but in a maze aren't appearances meant to be deceiving?
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#6876
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 8 Years, 6 Months ago  
A great way to get players lost in a maze is to have Guards and Wards cast on it or encased in a glyph to be triggered by the PC's passing.
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#6877
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 8 Years, 6 Months ago  
It's more work for the DM, but you might try NOT laying out the maze portion of your dungeon until the players get to it. Then, you can lay it out as they go. Add each hallway as they come to each intersection or turn.

To add an order of magnitude to the difficulty, pick up the hallways they can no longer see behind them. Not only does this make dead ends more meaningful, it also allows you to put your party through a maze you don't actually have enough pieces to set up all at once. (Unless your players get clever and start leaving one PC at each intersection they come to...)

The difficulty of trying to get players lost in a maze is that EVERYONE knows the trick of "following their hand" -- pick your right or left hand, stick to that wall, and you WILL find the other end of the maze. This trick can be thwarted by adding moving walls to your maze, but that will make your life very complicated.

The simplest way I can think of to simulate a maze with moving walls is to use the method of laying out the maze as you go and picking it up after the players, but ignoring what the configuration USED to be when they backtrack. You might put down posterboard so you can slide the pieces easily, as your partial maze will tend to "wander" around the gaming surface.

Finally, you can randomize your maze by setting up a table ahead of time to determine what kind of DF piece goes next. Let the players roll a d20, and set out the resulting piece -- stop (and pick up) when line-of-sight runs out. Depending on how they roll, they could be "lost" for hours.

entrance to maze 1
straight passage 2-4
opening in left wall 5-6
opening in right wall 7-8
X intersection 9-10
T intersection 11-12
trap/room/encounter 13
right turn 14-15
left turn 16-17
dead end 18-19
exit from maze 20

You can expand this table and play with the odds of getting particular pieces by using percentile dice instead of a d20. If you've run out of the piece that comes up, go to the next one on the table that you DO have.
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#6878
Mazes...actual mazes. Help me out here. 8 Years, 6 Months ago  
Some neat maze ideas.

I see someone already suggested what I was thinking ---> Narrow Passage Sets - LOTS of them.

I've only been able to snag 2 of these from Ebay.
I attempted to make a maze out of them and it was a pretty neat looking but small maze. You really need lots more sets to do what I'd like to see (4'x4' maze). You could make use of the diagonal walls/floors and curved walls to make small and slightly "off" rooms to add to the mystery of the maze.

Good luck,

JKW
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62 sets and counting. In addition, a boatload of individual pieces or sets of pieces.
 
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