RPG Challenge, Day 13

Favorite Trap/Puzzle
Speak, friend, and enter
Yes, that’s from Lord of the Rings rather than an RPG, but it illustrates my favorite type of puzzle – the self-contained, clever not-quite-riddle. Something that gives the players all the information they need to overcome it, doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of a specific culture or 17-pages of background history, and if a group of players sit around and work on it someone is likely to spout out the answer and (15 minutes later) the group is likely to try it.
It’s a tricky balancing act to pull off as a puzzle, and I’ve failed more often that I have succeeded in creating something like it as a GM. In most cases when I have succeeded, it’s as a bit of mythology or background, when I have the players discover some such puzzle that was completed by a hero in times or yore as a historical note. I think I have pulled this off once as a PC challenge, in the tomb of Nibul for Dungeonaday.com, and I’m pretty proud of myself for that one.
Honorable mention goes to any of Grimtooth’s Traps, which I generally think are like cayenne pepper – not appropriate for everything, best as at best a dash of spice, and not to everyone’s taste.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on January 13, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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