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Making an obstacle course... need obstacles


First Post
My players and I, all full-time students, will be beginning a new campaign this summer, but we haven't played a single game of DnD in a while and I'd like a refresher. To accomplish this, and to give them the opportunity to win useful magical items that I will not let them begin the campaign with (they'll be level 6 - their old characters), I want to create an obstacle course. I want it to made of various types of challenges, puzzles, highly tactical battles, etc. I want them to heavily use skills, strategic, and battle tactics to get them used to playing well again before beginning the actually campaign.
But to accomplish this I need some obstacles. I have some vague ideas so far, but any suggestions will be welcomed. :)

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First Post
Strart with the basic stuff: 20ft wall to climb, balance beam over water, crawling under barbwire, run through tires, swim/fjord a river, navigate maze, and other basic things that use specific skills. Then bring magic into it. Have them climb a wall they can't see (invisible wall) or use illusions to trick them. The fighting should be non lethal and test them against infatry, bowmen, infantry and bowmen, ambush, things like that. Agian use a little magic here and there.


First Post
Dungeon magazine has a serie of adventures....'Challenge of Champions' I believe...let me look, these are basic dungeon type challenge without a level requirement and they might fit what you are looking for. The latest one, 'Challenge of Champions IV" is in issue 91, currently on the shelves.


Registered User

I had something like a forest.

Trees everywhere and to the left and right some archers who pop up randomly and shoot. PCs can use trees as cover. Each PC got 3 shots to hit an archer and disable him. Archers do have 3/4 cover, so waiting in front of a archer spot to shoot him is advisable. Running through works too. The trees itself hit randomly (d8 for direction) each round.

I had 6 archers and rolled 3d6 each round to see who pops up (sometimes less than 3). Players are not allowed to wear armour :D


First Post
The D&D movie had this GREAT course set up... no one had beaten it in like a kajillion years... you could try something like that...

or you could use Crothian's idea it sounds MUCH better than mine


First Post
I once sent my players through a "character" test.

First they found the entrance, a hole in the ground. At the bottom of the hole was a long corridor. Atfer about 100 feet, a very well hidden trap goes off, which springs up a gate made of iron bars, behind the party. (Or, if the party just sent one person in it seperates the party. Test #1, does the party work together, taking equal risk, or do the cowards hang back and let one person take all the risk?)

Assuming that either all the party was there together, or they managed to get reunited, they move on to find the passageway ends... and before the players is a cavern. Above, below and to all sides are sheer walls, and to all sides is darkness. Anchored to the floor of the passageway is single rope, which goes into the darkness before the players. If your players have access to higher magic this is a good place for an Anti-Magic sphere, which extends into the blackness. Test #2, bravery. The cavern is actually an illusion, so if anyone falls, they simply dissapear and appear at the end.

After making it across the cavern, they move on into another room. Once everyone is off the rope, it collapses. Down a hall, they enter a room. Too the left they see a girl trapped in a cage, with a heavy metal spiked celing decending down to kill her. To the right a large pile of gold with a large heavy metal door decending to block off the gold. Test #3 is simple, greed. No matter which they choose, both are illusions.

After that, another door opens, which leads to a large room with 6 inch wide by 2 inch tall grooves cut down the center of the left and right walls. The grooves are spaced 6 inches apart and run from the celing to the floor, and are 2 inches deep. Once everyone is in the room, the door shuts and seals. Then the celing begins to decend, grinding lower. The only way to stop the decent is to jam the strongest weapon the party has (like a +1 magic sword!) into the grooves. Once the celing hits the weapon, it grinds to a halt, and the floor opens beneath the party. They drop about 20 feet and land in low corridor and the floor slams shut. Test #4, sacrifice.

The corridor leads to the last test. It opens up to a large room. Before the players is a cliff, with an apparently bottomless chasm. Extending out is a 1 foot wide stone path suspended in midair. It goes out about 20 feet, and splits into 3 seperate paths. Each paths leads to a platform. The right path leads to a large, ancient looking book (which represents Knowledge, but they have to figure that out!). The center path leads to a large sack overflowing with gold (ie, riches). The left path leads to an empty platform (ie, the Unknown). Once a person begins walking down the path, it crumbles behind them so that only one person can make the choice. The correct choice is of course the Unknown. What are adventurers for anyway, but exploring?

After the 5th test, the room disolves away to reveal the person who conducts the test. Usually a wise sage with information the party needs. Of course, the party needs to convince the sage that they are worthy of the information...

Yikes, that got longer than I intended. Anyway, good luck!


First Post
hmm a bit much?

Well that last suggestion seems a bit much :( I don't know maybe it is just me. I guess it depends on how you view things. Perhaps the good group would split up its members and go for the gold and the girl, saving both, would that not be the best solution? It seems to cut and dry and to easily interperated as the wrong moral, but maybe that is just me.

I think the Paladin would run through that type of challenge fine and be a happy camper but certainly not some other classes and or poeple.

The obsticals should be unbias and equal. They should rely not on your moral code or conduct but on your ability to complete a situation with the given equipment.

Unfortunatly I sprained my finger so I am in a lot of pain typing this :( so I can't offer any suggestions, but the challenge of the champions was a good one :) I love those adventures


First Post
Well, I was just offering an alternative...

Besides, the test was judged by the morals of the test giver. Figuring that out is also part of the test. As for splitting the party members up during test #3, that doesn't count. Going for the gold is bad! :)

However, that's what my party did. Failing only one wasn't held against them too much. They didn't get all the answers they wanted, but they did get a few.


First Post
Here's one obstacle I used once in an obstacle course of my own. It's more of a moral dilemma, and is supposed to teach the players to look beyond the obvious and to keep an open mind.

While the party is going through a lull in the adventure, they hear some screaming from up ahead. I've used this one twice, each with different NPCs. The first time, I had a grungy looking old man dragging a screaming girl through the dirt. The man was a paladin, and the girl was a polymorphed succubus. She calls out to the party to save her, and says that he is an evil old man. He claimed she was a demon and that she needs to die. Luckily for the party, they had a paladin in their group too, and he detected evil in the girl (This is the kind of reason that I hate detect evil and alignments as a whole).

The second time I ran this encounter, there was an orc prodding at a bound human, dragging him through the woods. The orc was also a paladin. The human was a murderer and thief, but he called to the human party to free him from the orc. The orc threatened them, and told them that he was going to bring this human to justice. Basically the party is in the same situation... trust the good orc, or the evil human.

The thing I like best about these encounters is that they are appropriate for parties of any level. Level 1 characters don't have to fight and still get to be involved in the plot. Likewise, the immense power of level 20 characters doesn't necessarily make this any less challenging.



First Post
maybe you could try a series of rooms that are geared toward each class... help the players showcase their characters and learn what they can do right away.


rogues' room: lots of traps and locked areas and alarms.
clerics' room: undead.
fighters' room: battle royale type arena.

and so on. another idea would be to link some of the obstacles, so that failing one causes the next one to be harder, or different. failing to deactivate the alarm will cause more creatures to attack the party from the next room, or something like that.

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