D&D General School of magic related puzzles


Lowcountry Low Roller
I've got this new plot trajectory which revolves around a missing wizard. The PCs have made it to his tower and what they'll find is the tower is in "defense" mode. To gain access to the real tower they will have to prove their magical adeptness by solving puzzles in each of the 8 schools of magic (each solution offers a "key" that will aid them in transitioning to the real tower). Each school is housed in its own chamber within the tower.

So now you see that I've left myself a problem: what are these puzzles? I do have a couple of puzzle books that I will try to use to create suitable puzzles, but I thought I'd see if anyone has done anything similar and might have some cool ideas?

Just as a reminder, the schools are: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation.

I do have various damaging spells picked out, related to each of the schools, with which wrong answers will be punished :)

So, any suggestions?

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I've done something vaguely like this, though probably simpler than what you're looking for.

Receiving room with eight non-structural pillars and solid fog effect completely obscuring the floor. Each pillar is marked with a bas relief of a story vaguely reminiscent of the corresponding spell school – e.g. in my game this was depicting a conquering mage, so on the transmutation pillar he was depicted turning his soldiers into beasts to fight his enemies, whereas on the enchantment pillar he was depicted charming people to fight for him, and so on.

Anyone strong in one of these schools of magic who touched a pillar caused it to turn ethereal and a bit of the fog to thin. This required constant skin-to-pillar contact. For instance, the oathbreaker paladin was strong in necromancy and also conjuration (since he used find steed a lot), while the divination wizard was obviously good at divination, the monk I allowed to trigger the evocation pillar (since his fists were considered magical weapons), etc.

When all pillars were suitably touched at the same time, the mists enshrouding the floor cleared (ending the solid fog effect) and allowing a mosaic on the floor to be viewed. This mosaic had stuff specific to my campaign on it, but you could put anything there.

I also placed a wraith guardian in the room as added tension and to pose leading questions if the group got stumped.

My puzzles tend to be quite hard, so this was a nice change of pace for the party who solved it in about an hour.

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