Content of the article: "I need encounters specifically designed for my players to break"
I'm running a level 12 evil one shot shortly, in which I will encourage the players to effectively steam roll all of my encounters and generally act as chaotic and murder-hobo-ey as possible.
Here's the idea:
The characters are inter planner consulting criminals, who are far to valuable to execute, but far too dangerous to let roam free. They are housed within a highly magical maximum security prison, kept in relative comfort.
The characters have been told a carefully constructed lie about the nature of this prison– no one has escaped because in order to do so one must trawl through a labyrinth of rooms filled with magical puzzles, traps and monsters. Any intelligent creature who wishes to pass in or out of the prison must first know the safe route to pass and the solutions to all the challenges they encounter along the way. This knowledge is only imparted to a few very important individuals.
The truth is this:
There isn't actually a secret route to escape the prison. The prison itself is the manifestation of an massive creature who's power lies in creating highly specific pocket dimensions. The creature was once a great terror, who would trap people in a randomly generated, constantly shifting labyrinthine dungeon filled with traps, puzzles and monsters. The creature thrives off watching it's victims play it's twisted game, always hanging the possibility of escape ahead of them like a carrot on a stick. Rather than being destroyed, the creature was employed to make this prison and now lives happily feeding off any who try to escape, while letting guards and officials pass in and out freely and without trial.
There is one way to escape, however; defeating this creature and causing the prison to collapse. It lays hidden, silently watching it's victims try and solve it's maze. There is one way to draw it out though: Absolutely refuse to engage in it's game the way it was intended.
Essentially the creature is a DM, carefully constructing an adventure for the PCs to completely ignore and break. I will be constructing a series of rooms, each molded after super cliched d&d encounters. The players can choose to progress the "correct" way, thereby feeding the creature. Or, they can do everything in their power to wreck the creatures plans. Ignore puzzles, break through walls, murder npcs to get past social encounters and otherwise act like complete murder hobos. As they continue to ignore the carefully laid plans of the creature it will get angrier and angrier, before eventually meeting them head on in a confrontation. Upon killing the creature, the prison will collapse, setting the players free.
What I need help with is this:
I need encounters that are absolutely cliched and poorly designed; they should be railroady, discourage creative solutions not written into the encounter, and have a single way of solving them. I would also like ones that, in a meta sense, can be "broken" in creative ways. While the creature is a "bad DM" I want to encourage my players to think outside the box when they try to break these encounters and cause a whole lot of chaos.
I hope this all makes sense, feel free to ask any questions. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
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