I ran this adventure about 4 years ago is D&D 3.5. I'm not sure how old it was when I ran it (it could have been earlier editions as it didn't have any combat and minimum mechanics). It was only one sitting long to complete and focused on problem solving and riddles in a D&D setting.

The main story was that a mage's guild had created a Gauntlet challenge of twelve rooms. The dangers weren't all real and were adjudicated by guild members spectating each room. The group entered without their equipment and were meant to solve each room with just what was in the room.

The idea was the adventure was meant to run in real time. The characters had 1 hour to get through the gauntlet and the players had 1 hour to finish the adventure.

I recall some details of some of the rooms (admittedly I'm not sure how accurate these memories are):

  • The first room had a statue of a creature (hippogriff or similar) which turned back to flesh after a certain amount of time (I think 5 minutes). Players were meant to decode a message which told them how to open the door to leave. There was a red herring of a mirror provided that they didn't need.

  • Another room was filled with lava, which was actually an illusion just above the floor but characters were out of the gauntlet if they fell in. Each character was on a separate pillar and there were several potions they could drink in the right order to get out of the room.

  • Another room had a water section in it with illusionary or pretend piranhas in it. The adventurers had to take a trident (pretending to be a trident of fish command) from a multi-armed statue without touching anything else or the statue waked up or something else bad. They had several planks of wood and ropes to accomplish this.

  • In another room their was a central area and multiple doors around the outside separated from the middle by a gap. One solution involved petrifying a player then casting levitate on the statue and using that as a 'air-boat' to float across to the doors to open them.

  • In each room the players got a numbered token from 1 to 12. In the end they had to arrange the tokens to spell a name. It was done using bad calculator style writing (e.g. turning numbers upside down to for letters and not looking at the shapes to carefully) and the answer was "Hobgoblin" or "The Hobgoblin".


1 Answer 1


"Challenge of Champions V"

Dungeon Magazine #108 includes "Challenge of Champions V" (49-70). A PDF of the handouts is here. The events and setup are much like you remember. (That V is a Roman numeral 5. It's the fifth in the "Challenge of Champions" series that ran in various issues of Dungeon.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly the one I was thinking of. Thanks. Hmm I was off about the number of rooms. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian Miller
    Oct 9, 2016 at 16:06

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