escape the city within an hour

“You might call it a game,” said the youth. “When the bell completes its song, several strokes hence, the maze will be laid. You will then have an hour until it strikes again. If you have not found your way out of town and away from here by that time, you will be crushed by the buildings’ rearranging themselves once more.” “And why the game?” Dilvish asked, waiting out another tolling before he heard the reply. “That you will never know, Elfboot, whether you win or lose, for you are only an element of the game. I am also charged to warn you, however, that you may find yourself under attack at various points along whatever route you may choose.”
–Dilvish the Damned, Roger Zelazny

Wow, this sounds more like the setup of a D&D set-piece adventure than it does a piece of fiction! You don’t have to go very far to turn it into quite a usable episode.

This would work quite well in older versions of D&D, with their emphases on mapping and time management, but this adventure would also be a good excuse to bring such elements into a 4e game, as a sort of minigame.

The maze in the story features two guys who keep on popping up, and Dilvish isn’t sure which to trust. This is sort of a disguised liar-and-truthteller problem, with the addition of a time limit, which makes things less cut-and-dried.

There are also fun events like this one:

Immediately the flagstones about him were raised like trapdoors and figures rose up from out of the ground beneath them. There were perhaps two-score men there. Each bore a pikestaff.

Nothing like bad guys popping simultaneously out of 40 trapdoors to tell the PCs “Don’t go this way”.


2 Responses to “escape the city within an hour”

  1. LS says:

    I think I’d want to run a group of players through a maze event or two before running the “clear this maze in an hour or die” encounter.

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