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Puzzles

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:43 am
by Onix
What are the coolest puzzle systems you've made, read, heard of in RPGs? I'm asking about anything that is used in a mystery game, or a way of making traps, or anything that results in an unknown that needs investigation. I'm interested in things to generate mysteries, to resolve them, anything that would have to do with puzzles.

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:58 am
by Rob Lang
The coolest one I've seen was where the GM was given a bunch of tiles with squares on them. Like Geomorph map tiles. The GM would lay them out as a map for the players to use. However if you looked at the tiles from a distance (toward the end of the adventure) it looked like the face of a villain. Really clever.

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:49 pm
by Onix
Very interesting! Maybe a little too focused to a single experience, but I wonder if you could use a generic set to create rudimentary silhouettes to be the final clue?

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:05 am
by Rob Lang
I like the idea of giving the players something physical that are normal game tokens - such as a map - but can be combined in a different way.

I've used anagrams as hints to name things quite a lot. Such as the good guy and the bad guy being the same person and having an anagram of each other's names.

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:03 pm
by Onix
My problem is that my players suspect all my NPCs all the time. I wouldn't even have to hint, having the good guy and the bad guy be the same person would be the first thing they'd guess.

Maybe if I made the bad guy's name an anagram of their name?

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:45 am
by Rob Lang
Can you just have an NPC that isn't suspicious at all. Isn't that as disturbing? Perhaps make them so friendly and helpful, solving some of the most hateful problems.

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:19 pm
by Onix
My players always think I have a "brilliant plan" up my sleeve. It's usually simple tricks and nonsense. I usually just capitalize on events that seem clever at the time, even if I hadn't planned them that way. I think it's so random that they figure, "lets just suspect everyone and we'll eventually be right".

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:00 am
by Rob Lang
Onix wrote:I usually just capitalize on events that seem clever at the time, even if I hadn't planned them that way.


I think it's too easy to forget how very clever that actually is. Being able to think on your feed to keep a cohesive story going is fantastically clever. I think we forget that as GMs because we do it so much. Even if you have big set-pieces planned, they never really work out how you intended but being able to be malleable and make good use of the randomness IS the hard bit. That's not easy. It's also not easy to describe in a GM manual.

Re: Puzzles

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:38 pm
by Onix
Rob Lang wrote:Being able to think on your feed to keep a cohesive story going is fantastically clever. I think we forget that as GMs because we do it so much. Even if you have big set-pieces planned, they never really work out how you intended but being able to be malleable and make good use of the randomness IS the hard bit. That's not easy. It's also not easy to describe in a GM manual.

Sure it is!

Have you ever built a sandcastle? Being a GM is basically the same thing. All you have to do is learn to build out of completely dry sand while your players do their best to kick over whatever pile you've accumulated!

See? GMing is easy! :mrgreen: