I would appreciate some help designing puzzles for an upcoming adventure. I'm running a Dungeons and Dragons game in the Iron Kingdoms which, if you are unfamiliar, is a fantasy-meet-Industrial-Revolution-Europ
e kind of setting, with all the trappings of both.
My players need not read further, or they will find themselves horribly disappointed in the near future.
Without going into too much long-winded detail on my campaign's backstory, I'll get to the point. The player characters are trapped in an NPC's nightmare, which consists of 9 shifting areas. The party must solve puzzles in the first eight rooms in order to get into the ninth room and fix the problem causing their situation. The catch: stuck in there with them are three seperate parties of their enemies: a pack of Devourer-worshipping Trolls, a group of Cryxians with a necromancer, and a unit of Khadorans with a warcaster. These three factions are the main enemies of the party in this campaign, and they've all been attacking each other time and again to get their hands on a certain artifact, and in this adventure, I want to force them to work together to survive.
So here's the setup. They're all stuck in this 9-area nightmare. The first eight areas have puzzles that must be solved, most of which require working together with one or more of the other factions. The areas are all different, some being completely different, and some being horrific, dark versions of previous areas. The first, for example, is a wealthy, ornate sitting room with a cozy fire and a nice view outside (through unbreakable windows). Another is perhaps a small wooded glen, perhaps another is a courtyard, and so on. The only features in common with each area are:
1. A large painting/mirror/carving/sculpture/mosaic/b
as-relief/whatever, depicting a scene in history crucial to the backstory of the character having the Nightmare.
2. One or more open, unblocked exits, which appear to lead elsewhere in that specific area but in fact teleport the party into another room.
The variables: When one member of a party attempts to leave the immediate area and explore beyond, the entirety of that party is teleported to another area, randomly rolled on a d8, arriving in predetermined positions specific to the area (sitting in chairs in the sitting room, around a campfire in the glen, etc). Areas can be visited multiple times, and the puzzles do not have to be solved in any particular order. Randomly, different parties of their enemies will warp in as well.
Each area has a puzzle that must be solved, based on the specifics of the area. Some puzzles require that 1 or more of the enemy factions work together with the players.
Now, what I come to you for, is assistance with puzzle design. I've never before attempted something like this, and I have a good bit of time to plan it, and I'd like to get as much help as possible. Any suggestions for good puzzles requiring a motley party and possibly the assistance of a Khadoran Warcaster, a Cryxian Necromancer, and a Troll Warrior-Priest?