Wizard's Maze (5e Quest)
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In Neverwinter woods hides a reclusive wizard and his trainee. This quest was written as an additional side quest whilst playing Dragon of Ice Spire from the Essentials Kit and is my first attempt writing my own quest as a DM. I imagine that it could be used in many different campaigns as an aside for fun, to level up and to gain magical items/ rewards. The Wizard lives in a building housing a large maze which results in his trainee being permanently disorientated and items being lost. The characters can meet the wizards trainee wondering lost in the forest. He will ask for cartography supplies and then for the characters to come with him to help his master the wizard find his glasses. He will promise that they will be rewarded but doesn't provide any specifics.
Describe the backstory to the adventure, explaining the setting and the forces which lead up to the current situation. Make sure to make clear what is and is not known by the public and the player characters.
The main aim of this adventure is to navigate a three dimensional maze and retrieve objects. Whilst there are some combat encounters these should not be difficult but may become so whilst later in the adventure navigating the maze whilst it is flooding. The wizard's home from the outside is a large cuboid grey stone building. The building outside and in is covered in a green moss which glows with a dim light. Inside the building is damp. On inspection the characters can find that the floor, walls and even the ceiling of the lower level of the building are wet. The upper level is much drier. The building has 2 levels. Most of the building is filled with a maze which goes upstairs and downstairs, contains dead ends, some doors, a few secret doors and many twists and turns. Downstairs there are also 2 other areas. One is a garden containing a well. This garden is indoors and surrounded by walls and ceiling. The other is a room filled with water. Upstairs in addition to the maze is the wizard's living quarters. This includes an opening in the floor to a pool which links with the room downstairs filled with water.
Events in this building could unfold in many ways. It is possible that the adventurers could have an easy time of it and navigate the maze finding and returning the glasses to the wizard without ever having to deal with any water. The wizard would reward them with some treasure 100gp or a magical item or portion which is relevant for your other quests. He then sets a second mission for the adventurers to find his wand. In addition to the rewards there can be some other items and creatures randomly lost within the maze. This adds the oppertunity for more encounters, providing items relevant to your quest. As the downstairs frequently floods consider that monsters downstairs may be drowned and for example rations or a book found could be wet and useless. This adventure was designed for a small party of level 2, so monsters levels and numbers can be increased depending on the number of characters and their levels, however combat is not the main activity of this quest. It is more that fighting some stirges whilst swimming in a rapidly flooding maze that you are lost in.
In addition characters that do explore the water either by swimming from the wizard's rooms down or by accidently or deliberately opening the door downstairs may be able to retrieve some holy water and/or additional treasure.
Give a quick run-down of how the adventure plays out.
The characters can meet the wizards trainee wondering lost in the forest. He will ask for cartography supplies and then for the characters to come with him to help his master the wizard find his glasses. He will promise that they will be rewarded but doesn't provide any specifics. He will then lead them to the wizard's building The characters could happen upon the building in the forest whilst on route to another location, particular if they have failed on a tracking throw and wondered off track. The characters could have heard of the wizard in the woods in Phandalin at the miners exchange and set off in search of him to see if he can offer to help with fighting the dragon / orcs / other quest goals.
A stage is a chapter, or an important phase of the story. In a dungeon crawl, a stage would be one floor of the dungeon. In a more episodic, story-like adventure, a stage would be a series of connected scenes.
Arrival: The entrance to the building is the North west corner. The building is 100ft by 70 ft and 20ft tall. The entrance once found is 5ft wide. Characters would need to walk around the building to find the entrance, once at the northwest corner the opening is obvious. There are no windows or discerning features on the uniform stone work on the outside of the building. The characters may have been guided here by the wizard's trainee, or have found the building themselves.
Text to read: "In between the trees and dark grey stone building can be seen. The walls are smooth and grey apart of a green moss. The moss luminouses with a dim light."
If they approach to the North West corner or after walking round the building to this corner. "A narrow opening in the wall leads to a long corridor with stairs at the end. The corridor glows with a dim green light."
On inspection of the walls , floors and ceiling a DC Int or Wis check reveals that the moss is the source of the light and the walls, floor and ceiling are damp. On squeezing the moss water drips out.
Stage Inside the Maze.
Inside the Maze the walls on each level are 10ft high and smooth so can't be climbed. Secret doors can be found on a DC 10 check and doors can be unlocked with a DC 10 check with thieve's tools or forced with a DC 15 strength test. Once the building is flooding any doors through which water is flowing can attempt to be closed against the water but this takes a DC strength test determined by the water level. No water doors can be opened and closed at will. 4 foot of water requires a DC check 10, 7 foot requires a DC check 15, 10ft requires a DC check 20.
The following are the inside of the building maps used in my adventure. The letters link up the stairs between the levels for ease of understanding. The key to the numbers shows the items and creatures that I used. This can be substituted with creatures and items relevant to your campaign or players interest / amusement.
The players will navigate the maze, finding items and dealing with encounters as necessary. Depending on where they navigate too/ what to do next there are several other stages which could happen in different orders. When navigating the maze there are some glass windows through which water can be seen. The players may realise that they should be cautious due to the water and the dampness of the moss that the building is prone to flooding or not. In either case describe any glass windows when passing and if they look through describe the room on the other side as being large and full of water.
If the players open the door to the water room then go to 'Flooding Maze' If the players find their way to the Wizard's quarters go to 'Meeting the Wizard' If the players enter the garden go to 'Garden'
Navigating the maze. If the party has cartography supplies have a NPC (probably the wizard's trainee who will be with the party) draw an accurate map of the maze when the character asks. Or as DM draw and provide one yourself. If the player's do not have cartography supplies something could be substituted and allow a map with some errors to be drawn. It is up to the DM as to how erroneous this map will be. My characters tried to draw a map on a cart with dead ochre jelly goo. I rolled a d6 and introduced 1 error on a 3 or 4 or 2 errors on a 1 or 2 when drawing the next bit of the map on rounding a corner / climbing a staircase. You could also let the players try and draw their own map on paper.
Stage 'Flooding Maze' Once the door to the water is opened the downstairs of the maze will begin to flood. On each turn the water flows unimpeded 40ft along corridors and raises the water level by 3 foot. At 3ft any medium characters will be able to walk though it counts as difficult terrain. If the party consists of smaller creatures e.g. halflings they would need to swim. Any flying creatures could still fly above the water. At 7ft medium creatures need to swim but can swim at the surface and can breath. At 10ft the entire downstairs of the building is flooded and all creatures downstairs need to swim and are in danger of drowning. They will need to swim between areas downstairs and surface by getting upstairs before they run out of breath. The water flows 40ft along corridors that are open and doors are assumed to be open unless otherwise stated. The only water tight door is the downstairs water room door. If this is closed then the water level will recede at 1 foot per hour. It can be closed with either a DC strength 20 check by a character from inside or outside the room when the water is flooding out. Once the entire downstairs is flooded it can be closed by a DC 15 check. It can also magically be closed by the Wizard (the characters won't know this unless explicitly told by the wizard. The rest of the downstairs is not water tight and water will flow through the downstairs walls and doors at a rate of 20ft and half of the water level on the other side of the wall with a maximum of 3 foot increase and a minimum of 1ft increase each turn.
There are a number of ways the characters can escape drowning. 1. upstairs will not be flooding. navigating to and climbing some stairs. 2. leaving the building. - should the chracters make their way back out the entrance the entranceway to the building downstairs is only ever under 3ft of water with the water draining into the surrounding forest. 3. there is a secret door just beside the locked water room door. If they discover this secret door they can go up the stairs behind this immediately on opening the door to get upstairs. 4. swimming through the water and out of the pool in the wizards bedroom. 5. Some of the garden is 2 storey's high so they would be able to swim to the surface and breath in the garden. Though they can't rest whilst swimming.
The puzzle here continues to be the same but now the maze is also flooding and so the characters will need to be more careful when exploring and navigating the maze so that they do not drown. Also once the downstairs is completely flooded any other creatures and items which were downstairs will now be drowned / saturated in water.
A cleric can perform a DC 10 check or DC for other classes on the water and discern that it once was holy water but has been contaminated by the dust / moss around the building.
'Meeting the Wizard' On meeting the wizard it is expected that the players converse with him. He is antisocial but not hostile. If the players have already found his glasses or wand and give these to him he will be grateful and reward them. If they haven't yet find both of these items he will ask for their help in finding one of them.
If the players ask and DC Wisdom charism check 15 they can discover that the wizard can magically open or close the water door. They can ask the wizard to do this. He will perform this as a reward for finding either of the 2 objects for the wizard or for 100gp. The rewards are 100gp and a magical potion.
If the players choose to attack the wizard he will get angry and first ask them to stop. He is a level 4 spellcaster and can use the stat block as written for sidekicks. On his first turn as well asking them to stop he will act as the DM chooses. On his second turn if the characters continue he will raise the water door and cause the pool in his room to bubble up. In this instance the downstairs begins to flood as described in 'Flooding Maze', but additionally upstairs begins to flood too with water spilling out from the pool. The Wizard will continue to flood the upstairs until the players stop attacking him. When the players attack his trainee NPC will also ask the players to stop on his first turn, on second and third turn he will fight with the wizard against the players. On his third turn the trainee NPC also asks the wizard to stop the water. On his fourth turn he then rights with the players against the wizard attempting to escape. Before the wizard drowns he magically creates a bubble of air which fills his bedroom and slams the door shut keeping any water upstairs out. If the players are within this room they will find themselves also able to breath again. The wizard and trainee will ask the players to stop attacking again.
If they are outside of the room the water level will remain upstairs but stop rising. It will then fall 1 foot per hour. The upstairs will need to empty before the water level downstairs can empty. If they open the doors to the wizards rooms they can enter but the doors will slam shut holding the water behind them.
'Garden' The Garden contains a well with some treasure at the bottom. The treasure can be found on a DC 15 search and consists of 123sp and 3pp. There is a flowerbed with shrubs 8 shrubs planted. When the players examine the flowerbed or move towards the well so that the flowerbed is between them and the door the shrubs reveal themselves to be twigblights and will fight to the death. Each day that the characters are in the building 2 new twig blights are born. In this way should the characters become trapped by the floods they will face additional twig blights. At any one time half of the twig blights born escape from the garden and are randomly elsewhere in the maze.
'Water room' This room is always full of water. It can be entered by opening the door downstairs and swimming in. Or through the pool upstiars in the floor of the wizard's bedroom. The characters may also try and break the glass to get through to the room. The glass is reinforced and has a AC of 20. In the unlikely event that they succeed in breaking the glass flooding occurs downstairs as per the door being opened.
If the characters have discerned that the flood wwaters used to be holy water they may wish to investigate. In the far bottom corner of the room they will find a water spout. This is the source of the infinite water which keeps this room full and is a source of pure holy water. Characters can fill any vials or containers they have with holy water from this spout. However it is up to the DM to determine if the containers are clean enough that the water retains its holy water properties or is contaminated.
Nearby underwater in a hidden corner is an additional magic item (not one that is ruined by water.).
Step or Location
This is one scene in an adventure. In dungeon crawls, each room is a scene.
<- List everything which has actual mechanical importance, like traps, lighting, climb DCs for walls, hidden stuff, etc. -> spout of infinite holy water - maintains the water room as full, allows for flooding and can provide holy water. Pool - entrance upstairs to the water room in the floor Water Tight door - Door downstairs which contains the water in the water room
<- If the step is also a location, list the things that live there -> Twig Blights grow in the garden and defend the well and the rest of the building Ochre Jelly which has got lost downstairs Stirges which flitter in the corridors upstairs and down Dead Body of veteran which drowned downstairs. Wizard Master - 4th level spellcaster Wizard trainee - 1st level spellcaster
<- Describe them. If they're supposed to fight, give them a stat block, link to a creature entry, or give a page reference to the MM. ->
<- List how the scene can change over time due to character actions. ->
<- List any treasure the players might acquire, and how they would acquire it. -> 123 sp + 3pp found on search at bottom of well Chain Mail on the dead body 100 gp reward by the wizard for his glasses Wizards glasses - an ordinary pair of spectacles Wizards wand - a magical item Potion of healing - provided as reward by wizard Amulet of luck to Tymora - found in maze provides advantage or disadvantage randomly in battle when it is worn. Wet spellbook - found in maze and useless as wet and falling apart. Rations - wet - downstairs in maze Holy Water - flasks may be filled from the spout in the water room. Magical item - hidden in the water room.
<- What happens when the adventure is completed? -> The characters leave the wizard and his building hopefully with the rewards, treasure from the well, holy water and the magical item. And also having gained some experience.
This is a transcript of everything to be awarded the players, and the conditions attached to those rewards, at the end of the adventure. Think of it as a sort of checklist to make sure everything was covered.
- Combat Awards
|Name of Foe||XP per foe|
- Non-Combat Awards
|Task or Accomplishment||XP per Character|
The minimum total award for each character participating in this adventure is X experience points.
The maximum total award for each character participating in this adventure is X experience points.
The characters receive the following treasure, divided up amongst the party. Characters should attempt to divide treasure evenly whenever possible. Gold piece values listed for sellable gear are calculated at their selling price, not their purchase price.
Consumable magic items should be divided up however the group sees fit. If more than one character is interested in a specific consumable magic item, the DM can determine who gets it randomly should the group be unable to decide.
Permanent magic items are divided up according to a system. See the sidebar if the adventure awards permanent magic items.
- Treasure Awards
|Item Name||Sale Value|
[[<- Unique Magic Item ->]]
<- If the magic item exists only on this page, remove the header brackets, otherwise make the title a link to the page containing the item. <- Duplicate this section as many times as needed. ->
<- This is an actual effect generated by you doing something that hurt people who still exist in the setting. Think of it is a boon, but absolutely horrible. ->
<- In games which contain factions, this is where you would award renown for completing faction-related activities. ->
Each character receives <-X-> downtime days at the conclusion of this adventure.