Thursday, October 20, 2011

From Last Week's Trolls Tusk

Things are so different on the other side of the screens. From the CK's perspective it seems so easy, from the players, it makes no sense. Riddles and any other word play always proves tough at the table.

In a recent game the players found themselves wandering down a steep canyon upon the banks of a wide stream. Eventually they came to a small dam, with several outbuildings and a four boats. The settlement was ancient, weathered and abandoned. But the boats seemed in wonderful condition, but for the small matter of what they were made out of . . . stone.  

Upon a stand in front of each boat the players found written the following words: A Gift from the Sea Kings of Alanti; Call upon the All Father (here was a symbol that meant "spell" or "magic" in Dwarven followed by the word: Restore. It seemed rather straight forward.

But then again, it always does . . . . The Troll's Tusk


Keith Davies said...

I can't say I get it either. Presumably something to do with a restoration spell or something, but... what?

Casting it activates something on the boats? The boats provide the benefits of the spell? The boats will fix the dam?

There may have been more in the context of the scene, but if there's a puzzle here I don't really see it, and if I can't see it, it's hard to solve....

Stephen Chenault said...

Well the spell was just a vehicle to allow the characters to activate the boats. So the nature of the spell didn't come into play (that my players are used); but your confusion is the idea of the article. When I ran the game it seemed so easy, but watching them discuss the whole thing, I realized (once again), hmmm that's not so easy. ;)

Keith Davies said...

I kind of figured it out at the meta level, but I saw nothing there to make it a puzzle. What stopped them from just hopping in the boats and paddling away? I've seen concrete boats, I can pretty easily imagine stone boats.

I subscribe to Justin's Rule of Three. Any time you want the players to come to a particular conclusion, provide at least three things that point to it. As he put it, you can pretty much count on them to not find one, misunderstand another, and get the third (or not find one, find another and have it reinforced by the third).

This is for chokepoints in a scenario. If it's for bonus stuff I wouldn't worry about it, that's a reward for being more clever or observant.