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Dealing with Mazes

Discussion in 'Pathfinder' started by Lonewolf147, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Lonewolf147

    Lonewolf147 Member

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    I'm wondering what folks do when there is a maze in your maps.

    Not specifically how you handle them in d20pro, but if you do anything different with them.

    My players, and me, don't like playing through mazes. We don't want to waste time mapping them (by hand, digitally, or with fow). It's especially hard to do it digitally when you have a maze that is filled with confusion gas and the GM is expected to give false directions or when a maze changes while in it.

    What I do, when players first enter a maze, I make them do an intelligence check to realized they have entered a maze. If they get it, they have the option to back out without getting lost in it. If they fail, they end up lost in the maze. Then, to save time, I roll a d12. This is how many hours they spend wandering around the maze. Then I roll a die equal to the number of exits available to them. This determines which exit they find themselves at after the hours of wandering.
     
  2. Blind2karma

    Blind2karma New Member

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    That seems an efficient method of "roll-playing" a maze section if it's only purpose is to consume playing time. Are you specifically speaking of mazes inside modules that someone else created? I guess I'm trying to understand why you or really anyone would put a maze within a game for that purpose alone. Personally if I come across elements which seem pointless I either remove them or endeavor to give them some life within the game. I consider it a GM challenge, to take something everyone assumes will be a tedious, boring waste of time and instead create a memorable and meaningful session. In my experience mazes can be great if you give them a purpose and design them well.

    Here is a site that might give that boring maze purpose: http://www.intotheabyss.net/maze-theory/
     
  3. Lonewolf147

    Lonewolf147 Member

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    Yes the mazes are inside a module/campaign (Rappan Athuk). Thanks for the link and your thoughts :)
     
  4. owlbear

    owlbear Administrator
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    Mazes can be tedious on the tabletop as well as in VTT land. To help resolve this I tend to do one of two things:

    1. If the players really need to crawl the maze then I use auto reveal features and grant a "control" token the publicly owned property. This token represents the party's position in the maze.

      The actual creature tokens are placed in "marching order" elsewhere on the map and assumed to meander accordingly. Then the publicly owned control token is moved to reveal the maze and allow for encounters and what not to happen.

      When an encounter occurs, then I (GM) mass move the party into the right location on the map.

      Another way to handle this is controlled zoom and reveal. You can simply zoom way out and for the players to same view port. Then you roleplay the navigation and move the control token with light source to reveal the map as they adventure onward -- staying in an assisted theater of the mind.

      Then when/if an encounter occurs or just at rooms large enough to accommodate the party, you move the player tokens up and keep going with the control token until something requires a tactical moment.

      Something to note -- if you only move the player tokens up when something going to happen they'll get wise pretty quick. If you do it ever so often and sound like there might be trouble, you'll have an appropriately wary party which is a lot more fun anyway!

    2. Let the players wander. In this maze explore method, I change "ownership" of the players to be public and nominate one player as the mover. The actual player who owns a creature (for real) has final say on where they end up, but by nominating one player the lead in maze navigation we can vastly speed up the response of the group and "walking" a maze doesn't take quiet so long.

    Obviously mixing and matching these methods can be lots of fun and will depend on how your group plays.
     
    Lonewolf147 likes this.

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