After the Imperial Guard took notice of the old Rogues' Den, Brian O'Richard shut down his maze and opened the doors to his Flash Powder Factory instead. Inside players can operate the factory, while dodging obstacles and the sneaky fingers of other players.
Some Thieving experience can be gained from pickpocketing other players as well as Herblore experience from mixing ingredients at the Factory. Pieces of the old Rogues' Den rewards can also be found lying around.
Although the format of this minigame is similar to that of the Agility Arena, it is not an actual Agility course. You don't gain Agility experience for traversing obstacles in the Factory. Thus, the Surefooted/Greater Surefooted auras cannot be used here to prevent failure like you can at other courses.
All games at the factory take place on an Instance shard world - accessible from any server but actually taking place on another server.
- Stat boosting items CANNOT be used to gain access to the factory.
- Players CANNOT enter the factory with a familiar or pet.
Playing the gameEdit
The aim of the game is to make flash powder. The first step is to collect the two reagents known simply as "A" and "B". These can be obtained from the reagent machines A and B, marked with blue and yellow arrows on the minimap, respectively. These can also be located by checking the map of the Factory, which replaces the usual world map during the game. Each game takes 15 minutes, wearing a Factory top or Rogue top will grant you an extra 2 minutes per game.
To navigate the map, players must pass agility obstacles that separate each room. Some corridors, namely the diagonals and the ones coming from the centre room, also have pressure doors at each end of them, which are sometimes locked, making navigation more difficult. Doors will lock or unlock when catalyst is taken from a machine in a room that it is joined to. Some doors may be opened by operating the nearby call buttons when they are blue - if the button is red it cannot yet be opened. If a player is trapped in a corridor by two locked doors, they have a few seconds to step through one of the doors before they get teleported to a random corner of the arena.
Once both the reagents have been obtained, they must be taken with catalytic powder to one of the four mixer machines, marked by the dark red arrows on the map, to make the flash powder and gain points. This uses 1 dose of catalytic powder. Players start with 6 catalytic powder, although more can be collected from the catalyst machine (hopper) in the centre of the arena, or found in the fallen rubble.
You will gain a minimum of 100 points for each batch of flash powder made. Additional points can be obtained when making powder by having a bonus, provided by certain factors:
- Charge - charge can be obtained through an active charge machine, marked with an electricity bolt on the Factory map. The machine will give a 10% bonus for 100 seconds. The maximum bonus is 20%, achieved by charging two machines.
- Apparatus - determined by the number of refining apparatus in the inventory, a maximum of 6 can be held at one time for 15% bonus when making flash powder. Players will have three of these at the start of the game; more may be obtained by pickpocketing other players in the arena, but they may also be lost to other players who are pickpocketing. The number of apparatus each player has will be displayed as a number of green bars above their head. It is not possible to pickpocket a player immediately after they have pickpocketed you, nor can you pickpocket one person twice in a row. There is a slight delay in the ability to pickpocket if an attempt to do so fails. It is advised to click quickly to either escape pickpocketing or to pickpocket the other player before they can pickpocket you. A good way to get pickpocket victims is to click on a player immediately after they cross an obstacle. There is no period of immunity in the beginning of a game, so players can pickpocket or be pickpocketed immediately after spawning in the factory. Since apparatus only gives a small bonus, it is generally better to focus more on getting to the correct machines.
- Residue - increases by 1% for every batch of flash powder made.
- Factory outfit - Wearing the full set gives an extra 10% bonus if the bonus by the above means is equivalent to a score of 120 or more when making the flash powder.
Note that the bonus stacks additively - the individual bonuses will be added together to form the actual bonus.
Taking advantage of all of the bonuses, it's possible to gain upwards of 150 points for each batch of flash powder made.
While traversing through obstacles you may come across Fallen rubble (at times it might be difficult to spot - it looks like a pile of grey bricks). Searching these can yield pieces of Rogue armour, catalytic powder, sets of apparatus or flash powder (an average batch, a rather decent batch, or a very nice batch). It is also possible to find nothing at all (useless rock). Receiving a piece of Rogue armour is considerably rare.
- Players who already have full Rogue armour can still obtain extra Rogue equipment in the rubble.
- Rubble does not appear on the mini map.
- Rubble only appears around the Reagent (A) (blue arrow machines) and Mixers (red arrow machines).
- Sometimes one set of rubble can be searched a few times (up to seven confirmed).
- All players can see the rubble, and it is possible for a few people to search it simultaneously if they are quick enough.
- In rare cases two sets of rubble can appear in one room at the same time.
- It is assumed that with more players present in the Factory, rubble is more likely to appear.
- Factory mask improves possible loot found in the rubble. "The helmet reduces the chance of finding nothing in rubble by 15%, spreading that 15% around the other outcomes" 
- The 20% charge bonus is worth more than one or two more apparatus; try and make sure you always have 20% when going to a mixer.
- Due to how the reward points are calculated, it's advised to exit the Factory if a score of 1260 points is reached. See the section on Brianpoints below.
- Stick to the outside where possible, as you won't get stuck behind locked doors (there aren't any around the outside) and it will take you past the charge machines, and also past more rubble spots.
- Yellow arrows (Reagent machine (B)) are harder to get than the blue arrows (Reagent machine (A)) due to the doors, so if you are at a fork and the way to the yellow arrow is clear, take that one and come back around for the blue one.
- Pickpocketing can be a waste of time, but if someone is standing still, or they are charging, it can be very quick to pickpocket them as you go past. Also the faster you move, the harder you will be to catch. Note that the time it takes to pickpocket another player often results in potential lost points.
- If you do go through the middle, you'll often find the direct route through is blocked. Rather than wait, use one of the side doors that will always be open; it'll only be one extra obstacle.
- There are always two open doors around the catalyst machine in the middle. The open doors cycle in a clockwise direction approximately once every 21 seconds.
- The quickest way to leave is to abandon (drop) a piece of equipment.
Within the Factory the player raises his/her game score by making or finding flash powder. On exiting the factory, the game score is converted to reward points called "Brianpoints". Brianpoints can be used to buy rewards including Thieving experience, Agility experience, and pieces of the Factory outfit. Each piece of the Factory outfit offers benefits within the Flash Powder Factory; in addition, wearing any three or all five pieces of the full outfit outside the game offers Herblore benefits.
Brianpoints are calculated by multiplying the players score by 0.1428 (1/7th of the score) and rounding down to the nearest whole number. For example, a score of 1000 would award 1000*0.1428 = 142 points. However, a maximum of 180 Brianpoints can be obtained per game. Thus, scoring above 1260 does not improve the end reward any further. A Quick Chat phrase can be used to check your Brianpoints.
Brianpoints can be used to buy rewards from Brian O'Richard. The rewards that can be bought are as follows:
- Thieving experience - 175 xp per reward point (in 10, 100, 1k and 10k lots - there is no bonus for trading in the higher amounts)
- Agility experience - 95 xp per reward point (in 10, 100, 1k and 10k lots - there is no bonus for trading in the higher amounts)
- Rogue kit (Multitool) - 35 points
- Factory outfit (10,800 points total), which provides benefits inside the Factory:
- Factory mask - 2,025 points - increases the chance of finding useful items in Fallen rubble.
- Factory top - 3,150 points - gives an extra 2 minutes in the game.
- Factory trousers - 2,475 points - gives an extra 3 Catalytic powder on entering the game.
- Factory gloves - 1,575 points - increase the chance of successfully pickpocketing players by 10%.
- Factory boots - 1,575 points - reduce the failure rate on obstacles.
- Wearing 3 out of the 5 Factory set pieces gives a 1/10 chance to make 4 dose potions instead of 3. This effect even works with some untradeable potions, such as Extreme potions and Overloads.
- Wearing the full Factory set increases experience gained for making unfinished potions, equal to the amount gained for cleaning the herb used to make that potion.
The Flash Powder Factory awards moderate Agility and Thieving experience when played efficiently. Using obtained Brianpoints, approximately up to 70k Agility experience or 130k Thieving experience per hour can be purchased. Exchanging points for experience uses up accumulated bonus experience.
- On the day of release players received the message "The instance you tried to join is full. Please try back later." This was due to a bug limiting the number of instances and the huge volume of players trying to access the minigame. Players on foreign servers did not have this problem.
- Brian O'Richard opened the factory; a quote of what he said: "Depressed. My wonderful Rogues’ Den is full of cooks rather than thieves, using the everlasting fire to burn lobsters. It is hardly the purpose I had in mind for my wonderous cavern." (From RuneScape "Behind the Scenes December" News)
- It is possible to get the Flash Powder Factory as a Daily Challenge when you do not have the required levels to do it.
- There appears to be a connection to a television programme 'The Crystal Maze' which was first aired in 1990 in the UK. The first presenter of the show was called Richard O'Brien, and it seems that the name 'Brian O Richard' was based on this. The track 'Flash Powder' that plays in this minigame appears to have some similarities to the actual theme tune of the programme also.
- After an update on 11 January 2012, players were penalized for leaving more than two minutes before the end of the game. This penalty was set at 50% when time remaining on completion showed 8 minutes or more and decreased as follows:
- 8+ minutes remaining: 50% penalty
- 7 minutes remaining: 46% penalty
- 6 minutes remaining: 40% penalty
- 5 minutes remaining: 33% penalty
- 4 minutes remaining: 26% penalty
- 3 minutes remaining: 20% penalty
- 2 or fewer minutes remaining: no penalty
- The above penalty was later removed and the Brianpoint calculation formula altered to its current form as part of an update on 20 October 2014.