Rats in a Glass Maze
From DivNull RPG
Dramatic Purpose: Minor puzzle, and action.
Metagaming Purpose: Providing panes of adamant for the Three Gated Cage. Foreshadowing of splitting up the circle?
Setting: Within the City of Glass, inside a maze of constantly shifting and rotating glass walls.
Order: After Streets of Glass
Principals: Autochthonian Hydra
Specifics: Point glass shards from the dead beasts lead them to a glass gate (like a Chinese gate) made of all of the magical materials, and humming with power. When viewing the gate straight on, an image of the Eye of Autochthon can be seen, as if it is in a room just through the gate.
Anyone who walks through the gate is transported into a labyrinth of shifting glass. They will be placed at random into the maze, but groups who enter the gate in physical contact wind up together, though there is no way of knowing this ahead of time.
Time progresses minute-long “turns”, in order of entry into the maze. Movement is abstract, and players have two basic strategies available (though they may think of more):
- Thought: They may try to find their way through the maze. This is very difficult with the shifting. Each turn, they can make an Intelligence + (Survival or Investigation or Lore) roll to move closer to the direction they want to go. Any clever ideas act as stunts on these rolls. Characters with glass shards from the beasts are at a huge advantage here, as they have a distinct heading to use. After accumulating 25 successes, a character reaches the hydra chamber.
- Violence: Some characters may just try smashing through the walls. Again, if they have a shard from a glass beast, they have a good idea which direction to go. The glass is stronger than normal, but not overly so (soak 3B/3L, 7 health to damage, 11 to destroy). Flying glass does environmental damage, but armor should prevent real harm. For each wall destroyed, there is a 30% chance it opens into a huge canyon of pulsing magical material lines, leading to a center point. The maze is a network of suspended tunnels leading to the same center, with these large gaps between. Athletic characters might be able to navigate the chasm and break through the wall of the center, which is the hydra chamber. Otherwise, if they spend six turns breaking through walls, they also reach the chamber (assuming they know where they are going).
The central chamber is a large sphere where various lines of pulsing magical materials intersect. The bottom half is filled with a tightly packed network of these lines. Moving on these lines is treacherous. Each round on these pipes:
- PCs must spend a dice action to roll Dexterity + Athletics (3) to stabilize themselves for the turn, or use magic like Graceful Crane to ignore it.
- If hit, must make a Wits + Athletics (raw damage ÷ 5) test to maintain footing.
- Characters who fall make a series of Dexterity + Athletics tests, starting a difficulty five. Once a test succeeds, they have grabbed hold of something to stop the fall, and don’t need to make more tests. If they fail, they fall through that “level” of the piping, taking 4B damage dice, and make another test with the difficulty reduced by one.
- Each level of piping is about five vertical feet.
The top half of the sphere is empty, save for its guardian, an Autochthonian Hydra. It attacks all intruders, suffering no movement problems over the uneven terrain. It tends to stay in the center of the room, as its heads can then reach any spot.
Perceptive characters will notice a handful of glass shards floating aimlessly in the top half of the room. Any glass shards created in this room float, as if in zero gravity. As more accumulate, they slowly begin to circulate in the room. As more are added, they start spinning faster, creating an environmental effect in the upper half of the sphere. For every two health levels of “flesh” the hydra looses, the floating glass increases the maximum damage of this effect by +1Lp. The actual damage will increase by 4L each turn as the glass accelerates until reaching maximum.
The hydra guards a large “airlock” type door in the center, capping a cylindrical tube leading down. To the Glass Sorcerer.
Aspects: Glass Labyrinth, Nest of Pipes, Flying Glass, Vaulting Ceiling.
Variations: It may be that the Alchemical Exalted get teleported directly to the Glass Sorcerer, being the chosen of Autochthon and all.
Outcome: One of the main benefits of this scene to the circle are the plates of magical materials left behind when the hydra is defeated. The hydra will collapse into individual panes of material when defeated. Many of these will be scattered into the network of piping and be difficult to recover, but many will remain, including panes of adamant that would work for making the Three Gated Cage.