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Deep Magic: Dream a Little Maze of Doom

Deep Magic: Dream a Little Maze of Doom

Theseus-Minotaur-burne-jones-1862-LDSThe second stretch goal for the Deep Magic Kickstarter is Labyrinth Magic. A few notes from the designer about this style of magic:

Minotaurs have always been one of my favorite monsters in the game, but the one problem is that mazes are actually quite tedious to explore. When Wolfgang asked me to write some spells for these iconic monsters, I wanted to make sure that I gave them some tools to actually make their labyrinth homes into an exciting encounter. Sure, you might know your way through the maze, but when the Minotaur can teleport you through walls, the twisting corridors become a part of the challenge.

That and I’ve always wanted a spell that gave minotaurs the ability to cause their horns to burst into flames. You can’t go wrong with that.

Jason Bulmahn is a veteran game designer whose work includes numerous books from Paizo, Wizards of the Coast, and his personal imprint, Minotaur Games. He is the lead designer behind the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and has won numerous ENnie and Origins awards for his work.

6 thoughts on “Deep Magic: Dream a Little Maze of Doom”

  1. Minotaurs are one of my all time favorites and don’t get enough love. Can’t wait to see what comes of this!

  2. Why is it that D&D minotaurs are always connected to sailing? Always seemed weird to me.

    Anyway, don’t forget the peculiarities of Midgard Minotaurs, they’re medium sized, can’t be flanked and love to both carve and cap their horns with metal. I’m sure their description in the CS could help you with the spell design. Not that a proffesional such as yourself needs any help of course.

  3. Love minotaurs.

    @Doomedpaladin- Dragonlance minotaurs are associated with sailing and they are awesome. Its not that much a stretch because Minoa where the minotaur myths originates was on an island in the mediteranian, a volcanic island…

    @Jason- please tell me you got more then mere flaming horns! I would love to see a Minotaur spell that effects cloaks as a kind of reverse bullfighting!

  4. I think there is lot’s of room for linking mazes to brains – and so linking them to knowledge and information. Minotaurs as guardians of knowledge, and thus sworn enemies of those who would eat and destroy/steal both brains and knowledge. Possible links to ghouls/zombies, as well as Yog-Sothoth from CoC as an entity trapped outside of space time and seeking the way in, and mind flayers etc.

  5. Charles Carrier

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 6: “Still lost in the maze. Provisions running low, as our priest is having trouble praying for food and water. Nightmares getting worse.”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 7: “Still lost in the maze. We are all getting jittery from the nightmares, and today our priest was not able to sanctify himself enough to pray for any spells at all.”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 8: “Found that Scratt had taken the minotaur’s horns as trophies after the combat, even though the Oracle had specifically warned us not to! He must have sneaked back while we were opening the Eye of Knowledge. Tempers were perhaps a bit short – Garth stabbed Scratt to death, then kept smashing the corpse until it wasn’t even recognizable.”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 9: “Trying to find our way through the maze to return the horns to the minotaur’s corpse. Very hungry and thirsty. The nightmares continue unabated.”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 10: “Saved! Found the corpse and returned the horns, laying them reverently in place on each side of the head. Strange, the corpse showed no signs of decay or scavenging… The enchantment that had kept us turned around faded immediately, and we soon found our way out of the maze. Spent the afternoon eating berries and drinking rainwater from puddles. Muddy water never tasted so good!”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 11: “No nightmares last night – everyone feeling refreshed this morning. When breaking camp we found cow prints nearby. Really shook up our priest, as he thought the minotaur might have come back to life just to stalk us. For a holy man, he is very superstitious. Ha ha, imagine being afraid of a cow’s hoofprints.”

    Rorgat’s Journal, Day 12: “Priest was right! We are being hunted, and there is no doubt it is the same minotaur from the maze! Taking the minotaur’s horns was a mistake, but so was returning them. Not sure what to do now…”

  6. When I think of labyrinth magic, I think of confusing spells that might prevent a party from determining depth and direction, mess with their ability to spot hidden/secret doors, or cause walls to shift, turn, or pivot. Perhaps a spell that masks corridors so that they look like illusory walls — the characters can pass through them, but have to touch them to realize they are not really there, otherwise they might pass several side passages and never know it, throwing their maps off and really befuddling them if they return that way. Walls that grind and crush, sections of corridors that distort the distance traveled, or archways that lead to distant corridors would be fun, too. How about a phantom portcullis that materializes with a clank behind a party after they pass a hidden glyph? A glamer spell that follows the party and makes random minotaur sounds every 1-4 rounds from a different direction like the clatter of cloven hooves in a nearby corridor, a bovine snort, or absolute silence would be maddening for the PCs. I think the possibilities would be delicious!

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


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