As the party travels, they encounter a strange rotund man carrying a large pack. His yellow shirt makes him extremely easy to see and his gigantic backpack appears to have most of his possessions. He appears extremely paranoid and keeps looking over his shoulder. While looking behind him he bumps into the party.
Startled, he screams and jumps back into a fighting stance, making a weird “omma omma” noise. The pack on his back clangs with an assortment of items. Once he determines that the party is not a threat he flings one part of his pack around and open it. A glowing light emits and he pulls out a bright cookie which also glows. He chomps away at it, making his strange “omma omma” noise again.
Between bites he says, “I’m Puck by the way. Sorry if I spooked you, but I’ve been on edge for a few weeks. I’m an explorer and on one of my expeditions I found a strange tome called the Toruii Watani. It outlined a strange series of mazes across the realm that house portals. These portals open to dungeons, other dimensions, and in one case a different plane that turns you into a werewolf.”
Puck shudders as he thinks about that one. “I’ve had a chance to explore a few of the mazes and am on my way to another, but there are these strange ghosts that keep following me!”
If the party asks about the cookies, Puck notes he finds them in the mazes and they seem to give him extra powers that allow him to defeat the ghosts. He calls them his “Power Cookies” and is unconcerned about the yellow glow, even though his skin is beginning to turn a slight shade of yellow as well.
I’ve Got A Fever
While the party talks to Puck, there is a rustle in the nearby bushes. Emerging from the treeline are four colorful ghosts. They are unlike any ghosts the party has seen up to this point and should be described as having large eyes (googly eyes preferred but not required) and more of a spherical shape with flowy amorphous appendages that flow as they float. Their movement is linear, but erratic, turning in 90 degree angles and seemingly reacting to the movement of Puck.
Puck yells, “these are the ghosts I was talking about! Come on, the next maze and portal should be right over this ridge, we’re only able to defeat them there!” He sprints off and the party will note his speed is 40ft at a time, likely a byproduct of his Power Cookies.
Your party will likely scoff at this and attempt to attack the ghosts immediately. If they do so, all attacks simply graze through the ghosts, doing no damage. While the ghosts can take no damage, they can use their Possession attack at will. They are primarily focused on Puck, but will attack the party if they get in the way.
Possession (Recharge 6). One humanoid that the ghost can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the ghost; the ghost then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The ghost now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The ghost can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except ones that turn undead, and it retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and immunity to being charmed and frightened. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics, but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.
The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hit points, the ghost ends it as a bonus action, or the ghost is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the ghost reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to this ghost’s Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.
If the party follows Puck, they crest the next ridge to find a strange forest maze inside a shimmering field of magic. The field is a rectangular prism that covers the entirety of the maze and cannot be deactivated, but Puck and the party are able to pass through without issue.
The edges of the prism are along the same planes as the edges of the maze. Once inside the field, the party can only move forward, back, left, or right and their speed is set to 40ft, regardless of size or encumberment.
At the center of the maze, as Puck noted is a portal that appears to open up into a dungeon. What plane or what location that dungeon is in is unclear.
As Puck enters the maze, his eyes turn black and he hunches over. The party is welcome to follow him or make their own way toward the middle. Puck will continue to find and pick up more Power Cookies along the way and yelling “omma omma” as he does so. He says the portal will not unlock unless he has grabbed all of the Power Cookies in the maze (the party begins to understand a bit more about his shape).
Reaching the edge of the maze, the ghosts flash between blue and white, then disappear in a popping noise. A siren blares throughout the maze as a bright light shines in the center. The glow of the ghosts emanates as they reappear in the middle of the maze, spreading out attempting to find Puck.
It’s up to the DM as to how big or difficult the maze is, but consider using a generator and editing unless you really enjoy drawing mazes. The key piece to remember is to give space in the center for the portal. We prefer to keep the maze at 5ft width for all channels, but you can expand it to 10ft if you’re feeling generous.
Some other variations you can consider to increase the difficulty:
- Add traps
- Add more ghosts
- Add other spooky bois like Banshees, Wraiths, Shadows, or undead
Throughout the maze navigation, if Puck gets attacked and hit by ghosts, he will fold in half eight times and pop out of existence. The ghosts will return to the center of the maze until Puck explodes back into the maze in front of the party, screaming and charging forward once again. If he disappears 3 times, he does not come back, but the ghosts will continue to chase the party.
The party can now attack the ghosts as the field gives them an attackable form. They take on the full stat block of the standard DnD Ghost, along with the same attacks. If the party defeats a ghost, it will disappear, the siren will sound again, and they reappear in the center of the maze.
Important to remember is that the ghosts generally do not travel together, but will attempt to corner the party whenever possible, triggering combat.
If the party make it to the center of the maze with Puck (if he’s still alive) and are able to recover all of the Power Cookies, a different siren blares and the ghosts disappear. The shimmering field powers down and the magic wall in front of the portal door also disappears.
The DM must decide what to do at this point to fit the campaign, so we won’t worry too much about telling you what happens once the portal is open and available to the party and Puck.
Puck thanks the party and takes some notes in the tome, laughing that he’s still got a few more to discover, though there’s no way to be certain how many are left. Before he steps through the portal he gives the party a bag of Power Cookies, thanking them for their assistance.
Power Cookies: These cookies are yellow and glow from some undetermined power. When a creature eats the cookie, they are immediately given the ability to one-hit incorporeal undead, as well as immunity to attacks from incorporeal undead for the next two rounds of combat.