The Mazeworks

This entry is part of the PBM List.

Costs: Free
Frequency: Depends on players; from once a day to once a week.
Type: Cross genre multiversal adventuring
Last-Update: 2014Sep30
Keywords: free, open-ended, email, www, human, fantasy, space, historical, rpg


I've been running the maze since last March, playing continuously before that since 2001 shortly after the game first started, and I instituted a time jump/soft reboot to put away ten years of dangling plots and usher in all new characters.

This is an ongoing multiversal adventure game centered around a hub of all universes called the Mazeworks. The players are pulled from any work of fiction or non fiction you can remember or imagine, so long as their powers or abilities are not godlike in power. Spiderman, not Thor. That sort of thing. After character creation, all number crunching is done on my end.

New characters are gathered by an enigmatic 'Keeper' at the center of the Maze in cycles, pulling them without warning or explanation into a glowing portal by faceless minions that vanish as soon as the confused individual goes through the portal (either of their own accord or by force from the strange, seemingly endless creatures; this is usually a character's introductory post and can be fully written by the player at once or played out over a few posts with me handling npcs). Once inside, the forces of the maze twists the halls so that new arrivals inevitably wind up in the center, at the Keeper's chamber. Usually new arrivals bump into others in the maze, either npcs or players, who are able to fill them in a bit on their situation. Once they've met the Keeper, it sends them as it's 'Champions' (should they so choose) on missions to worlds in peril with nothing but cryptic information and universal translation.

All worlds/realties are connected to the Mazeworks, so the official missions can vary greatly from one to another! One mission may be set in the world of an established work of fiction set far in the future and full of intrigue and blasters, while the next may be set in the recent past with more of a Mythos/occult focus. I try to tailor the missions to the current group of Champions while also switching it up between missions. I try to run a realistic campaign, so no unkillable god npcs, but PCs will die if they are consistently careless. There are consequences for every action; blow up a library, don't expect to check out any books!

Once the Champions complete a mission and gain 'Attunement', they can see and use the portals that line the endless, blue stone corridors of the Maze; previously invisible and inaccessible to them before attunement). After that, it's up to each individual Champion on what to do next. There will always be missions by the Keeper, but having access to all realities often tempts Champions into side quests and personal motivations. Some form groups, guilds, and even empires; depending on their temperament and scope of vision. Many try very hard to find their world of origin, but for whatever reason very few ever actually do.

The stat system for character creation is simple enough. The stats are strength, hand to hand, accuracy, toughness, stamina, willpower, agility, perception, charisma, and intelligence. Rate them each on a scale of 1 - 15, with 4-5 being human average, and try to limit the amount of stats in the teens. I also ask for any powers, abilities, special training/knowledge, and equipment they have on them when pulled into the maze listed on the character sheet. It's all explained in more detail in the introductory email on joining the group, along with a simple character sheet to fill out. Alternatively, you could email me first with any questions you have about character creation or the game in general before actually joining the group. Here's an example of a Champion's filled in character sheet (from the first cycle of Champions in 2001).


Strength 12 Agility 12 Hand-to-Hand 8 (14 with sword) Accuracy 4 Toughness 12 Stamina 10 Intelligence 8 Perception 8 Willpower 12 Charisma 8


Utsutsu could be the best swordsman to have ever breathed, especially considering he is blind. Although one of the eight devils of Kimon, he fights with honor.


Average height, muscular, long jet black hair.


Master of the daito. Blind fighting. Nearly impossible to beat in one on one combat when he is in posession of his sword.

Powers: Super keen hearing. Though his perception is listed at 8, Utsutsu will hear any sound that is detectable within audible range, no matter how minute.


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Greg Lindahl