Saturday, January 15, 2011

How NOT to use Puzzles in your OSR game

At some point in the near future, I'll post the ways I use puzzles in my games.  Until then, here's a cautionary tale about how not to use puzzles in your Old School game.

(In fairness, I like his idea about hiding a clue and making puzzles subplots, but at the end.... Ugh!)


Roger the GS said...

Man, what kind of evil supervillain protects his treasure hoard with a Rubik's Cube?

Seriously though, I could see using a physical puzzle maybe once, if ever. There is something about it that breaks the fourth wall. I mean, to get players really into the sensation of being attacked by a green slime, would you drop a wet green dishrag on their head?

Jim said...

I like Gimmicks and Handouts as I suspect many people do. Of course, I prefer using riddles, cryptograms, and handouts that have some "hidden aspect" to them. At least those are the ones I have had the most luck with.

I have made pictures that have clues in them. Maps with other clues in them. Cryptograms are fun, too, using a Font that looks like a language from ancient times. One font I have used is called "Common Tongue" I think, and it is a little hard to read, but is readable. Others are symbols made up to represent letters, and you just let the players figure out the key to it, and then let them solve it (or many of them as the adventure goes on.

To me, I think it has added flavor without getting in the way of the fun.