Figured out how I wanted to pull off another one of the encounters for the first section of White Cliff. I’ve been kind of disappointed with the lack of skill challenges and cool action sequences in our campaign so far, and so I’m putting together a “roller coaster” of action sequences (drawing heavily on the Half-Life series for inspiration).

I stopped myself partway through the encounter design when I asked myself if there was any way to get through the encounter without the characters suffering some kind of injury in the process. The encounter that I’m working on at the moment is basically an obstacle course of doom, and I was worried that I was creating a death trap.

Now, the fact that I’m even worried I’m creating a death trap is probably enough evidence that I’m not, because if I weren’t worried I’d probably be making the thing impossible to survive. I want to avoid making the encounter frustrating, though, so I’m keeping an eye on each section and running some ideas by other people for sanity’s sake.

There’s very little combat in the first eight or so encounters I’m designing. Most of the encounters involve escaping a room while trying to sustain as little injury as possible, and I have these weird spatial distortions as a recurring trap/pitfall. One of my early thoughts was that if I was going to design a cool map, I needed to make sure the players spent as much time there as possible (to get the best use out of it).

Now, that idea is starting to worry me. Will the players be frustrated by being repeatedly dazed, slowed, and immobilized? Will they get tired of being pushed, pulled, slid, and teleported around the room? I mean, probably, they probably will be frustrated, unless I can make it really cool at the same time. I’m basically designing a series of set pieces.