Immediately following the “Library Siege” encounter, the adventuring group has the option of following the surviving students on their journey to the next library sanctuary, or taking a shortcut by attempting to navigate the labyrinthine stacks beneath the library. “Navigating the Stacks” is another big skill challenge in Escape from White Cliff, designed with an idea to try and keep everyone busy.

There are actually to challenges involved: the first is simply to navigate the stacks, and this functions similarly to the “Navigating the Wreckage” from the first encounter cluster, except there’s a second challenge going on in the background that determines whether the party even finds the shortcut. Navigating the stacks is the easy part, it’s actually finding the shortcut that’s difficult. And halfway through the challenge, there’s an ambush.

The flavor of this challenge was originally intended to be fairly mundane, if a bit strange, but I improvised a lot at the last minute and took some inspiration from the movie Cube to make the Stacks a strange, hyper-dimensional location that reshuffled itself according to the coordinated desires of the occupants. Each failure on the challenge (complexity 2, requires 6 success) triggers a Fortitude attack against the party as the Stacks fold space and the characters are merged with “hyper-dimensional” incarnations of themselves.