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My First Quest

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My First Quest

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby StarrTiger on Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:52 pm

So I am creating a campaign for our EverQuest group. But I am really bad at puzzles and riddles, I am not all that creative when it comes to that stuff. I am bad at doing them and coming up with them. Basically I have 4 characters locked in separate rooms. It's a nice room, think hotel room. The door is locked. I need a way for the character to unlock the door, not just break it down. So far all I have come up with is a riddle they have to solve to find where a key is hidden (behind a painting). I want to come up with something a little more elaborate, and different for each character.

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StarrTiger
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Re: My First Quest

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Marionette on Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:17 am

Puzzles are tricky. They can bring games to a screeching halt if the players are unable to solve them. Ask yourself about the needs of your group: do they like puzzles, are they any good at them? Even the cleverest puzzle will not help your game if your players don't like puzzles. Think of it from your own perspective. You say you're bad at puzzles. If you ran into one in a game and simply could not progress if you didn't solve it, it would be annoying, right? You might never get past it, and if it's utterly necessary, you wouldn't ever be able to progress in the game. Thus, be careful with puzzles, and consider why you want to use them.

If you do think puzzles are a good fit for your group, a good rule to go by is the "three clue rule," which you can read about in depth here. It's long, but it's a really great read with lots of practical examples. By no means "required reading," but a good resource. To quote this article, this is the basic rule: "For any conclusion you want the PCs to make, include at least three clues." It can be easy to overlook or misinterpret details, and everybody thinks about things from different angles, so if you really need your PCs to get from point A to point B, give them as many chances as you can to figure it out.

The other piece of advice I have is not to limit your players artificially. If they can reasonably break that door down, and if they would do so in any other situation, it's just going to be annoying that they "aren't allowed" in this situation. So that door had better be a pretty tough door with a pretty tough lock! It's probably also the first thing they're going to try to do if it's not really obvious that there's another way.

On that note, make the presence of at least one clue really obvious -- make sure there's something right out in the open that tells them "this is not just a locked door to break down, this is a weird situation." Something to get their mind moving. Going back to thinking about the needs of your group, also try to think about how your players usually approach things and see if you can work with that.

Now, on the subject of actually creating a puzzle! There's no right or wrong way to do this so long as it can reasonably solved. If you think you're not good at it, though, don't be afraid to use existing puzzles. Comb around the internet for brain teasers, D&D puzzles, and that sort of thing to see if there's anything you can use. The only worry here is that someone might have already seen your puzzle, but this is not the end of the world. Just don't use the most common of the common (none of those riddles from The Hobbit :P) and you'll probably be fine.
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Re: My First Quest

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby StarrTiger on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:34 am

Thanks for the reply, it was very helpful. 2 guys in our group are engineers so they are really good at puzzles and riddles. I am not terribly bad if I have unpressured time to figure it out, and I usually have to write it down. The engineers usually figure it out long before me. I will probably just skip puzzles all together then, they would most likely be way too easy for those guys if I can do them. lol

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