Need help creating an encounter set in a collapsing room

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My PC's are currently trapped in an underground room that will shortly start to be falling down around them while they cut their way to an exit door through swarms of rats. 

 My question is how to simulate the danger of fighting in a collpasing room. I figured something like this:

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At the end of every turn, if the creature did not move X (1? 3? any suggestions?) squares, they are subject to the the following attack: +6 vs Reflex; 1d8+2 damage

After which, the square they started on then becomes filled with 1d4 squares of impassible terrain debris. (This is to just stop people dancing back and forth and to create a dynamic battlefield.) 

If they're in the square when the deris hits, I'll just push then to the nearest open square.

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Would this work? Or will it just make combat crappy or impossible? I'm predicting a lot of opportunity attacks from both sides which might be a good thing. 

In terms of monsters to fight, I was just going to go with a bunch of the level 1 Scurrying Rat Swarms (however many would make a standard encounter for 4 level 3 characters), unless anyone has better suggestions (Minions, or fewer but higher level monsters?)
Look up Collapsing Ceiling hazards in the Compendium.  I'm fairly sure there are a few at various levels you should be able to draw inspiration from.

They can certainly work, but you're probably better off basing them on specific areas of the map, and probably doing them in stages (i.e. a little collapse, then becoming completely impassable) in order to funnel them toward the exit.

On the off-chance someone gets caught in the cave-in, incidentally, I wouldn't kill them outright.  Run a quick skill challenge to dig them out, charge them surges for success, more for failure.
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On the off-chance someone gets caught in the cave-in, incidentally, I wouldn't kill them outright.  Run a quick skill challenge to dig them out, charge them surges for success, more for failure.

This is on the right track. It's important to have failure in mind. If failure is interesting enough, you don't have to worry very much if what you set up is impossible or not.

I'd go with something a little stickier than just digging out. That, to me, says that the collapse wasn't really anything to worry about. I'd rather see the party split up, or some items permanently lost. Splitting the party is generally hard, but if that was the planned-for failure, the DM could have a way in mind for handling it.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I think you're on the right track. Two squares is probably enough movement to provoke opp attacks.


As for the consequences Centauri is alluding to, you can also ask yourself "what is happening in the rest of the world while the heroes are busy moving busted masonry?"
I think you're on the right track. Two squares is probably enough movement to provoke opp attacks.

As for the consequences Centauri is alluding to, you can also ask yourself "what is happening in the rest of the world while the heroes are busy moving busted masonry?"

Right, time should always be a factor.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

OP, I love this idea. I might have to steal it for my own game. ^_^

Modified a bit of course, I think. I think I might mod it to have a random probability that the ceiling could collapse into the square they're in. And after a square is filled, it increases the chance other squares will begin to fill. I'll have to draw up a chart...
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