Deadly Dungeons 24: Pools of Dimensionally Attuning Paint

ColorpoolRoomSo your players have fallen down a pit. Maybe they spun the stone disk in The Flippy Turny Fally Room. Maybe they came upon their fate some other way. What matters is that you don’t want the pit to be terribly deadly, but you would like the pit to present the players with new challenges.

The fall from the room above has the players skidding out of control down a twisting, greased chute. Suddenly, it branches into three paths, and the players become separated from one another. Have each player roll 1d6 for their characters, with hirelings and animal companions rolled separately. The results of their rolls determine which of the three chutes they careen into, and consequently, which pool of colored paint they land in a moment later.

1-2, Blue
3-4, Pink
5-6, Yellow

The paint is thick, goopy, and very difficult to get off. Otherwise, the players appear to be unharmed. As they regroup and make to examine their surrounding, note that the only exit from the room is a “brightly colored door.” This phrasing is important, because each player will see a door which matches the color of the paint they fell into. If the players are clever, they will ask specifically what color the door is, and the GM should reveal this tidbit of information. If the players don’t think to ask for details, though, they’ll be taken by surprise by what happens next.

The door opens normally, and regardless of what color paint the players fell into, the room beyond looks the same to all of them. It is empty and nonthreatening, with a single exit. However, once a player walks through the door, they are sorted into one of three parallel pocket dimensions, associated with their color. Each pocket dimension consists of only a handful of rooms (perhaps 3-5, not including the first room which is identical across all three dimensions). A Wall of Force prevents anyone who has walked through the door from walking back into the paint pool room.

The party has been forced to split, and whatever oddball groups of players have ended up together must face the next few challenges alone. As GM, be sure to note any hirelings or animal companions who are separated from their employers / masters, as the fighter’s squire will probably be much less willing to help the creepy old wizard.

Note that if the players discover the trick before entering the room, they will likely try to keep the party together either by having everyone dunk themselves in the same color, or by having everyone clean themselves. The latter should be difficult and take quite a long time, but both should work. If the players do succeed in cleaning themselves, roll randomly to determine which of the three paths they’ll go through.

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5 thoughts on “Deadly Dungeons 24: Pools of Dimensionally Attuning Paint”

  1. How would you counter simple cleaning magics such as Prestidigitation? Anti-magic field seems a bit heavy-handed.

    1. I wouldn’t. If the players clean themselves, roll randomly to see which path the group goes through. If only a few clean themselves, I’d probably send the clean player with which ever group of painted players which was largest.

      1. Alright. I’ll definitely keep this room in mind for my next high-magic dungeon.

        For the sake of argument, I think I would alter the pools of paint to a magical field that colors the entire character in a bright monochrome that wears off after 24 hours (or after passing through the portal/prism). Passing through the same field would keep the group together as per usual, but the impulse to clean themselves wouldn’t be as high.

        The value of this… trap? seems to be more in the forced character interaction between characters that wouldn’t necessarily work together rather than any inherent danger, so I’d want to avoid having them immediately remedy the situation before they even encountered it unless they took some very specific step outside of “I’m covered in gunk! Wizard, get this crap off of me!”

        1. Turning the characters skin into whatever color they fell into is a cool idea, and the room would certainly work that way without any issue.

          Personally, I like that the players have a chance to avoid being separated. I don’t think any of the groups I run with would feel compelled to clean themselves, so long as the paint doesn’t cause any penalties.

          1. (I’ll shut up soon, I promise! This is my first time commenting, so I guess I’m making up for lost time.)

            To clarify, the players could avoid separation by dyeing themselves all the same color. If a group doesn’t have cleanliness issues, then the room works perfectly as-written, but my group is almost religious about keeping their characters clean, so I’d be afraid they’d bypass the separation without ever realizing it was a thing in the first place.

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