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In 2013 our plans call for us to add an additional adventure to the event. There will be two consecutive adventure modules, and each module will have two variations of either a combat or puzzle orientation. The first module called “Lycans Afoot” tasks the party to travel through a dark forest in search of a tower, while the second module called “Golembane” challenges the party to reach the top of tower.

TOPIC: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts

Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #1

Our group ran Golembane on Saturday (3:50pm, Combat) and really enjoyed ourselves. The 'monsters' in the run were awesome (especially the chained djinn/genie/blue monster, glad we could free you!) and we enjoyed most of the puzzles, and really enjoyed the combats that were more than straight-forward hack and slashes

[First Puzzle]
Two things I wanted to comment on, the first and final puzzles. The first puzzle we figured out eventually, but in the time it took to figure it out, the machine's sound effect, while neat, took so long to process that we were sprinting to the pedestal and dropping the power source, immediately hitting the button again, and we ran out of time with 3 power sources left. I heard this same feedback from other TD groups as well

[Final Puzzle]
After we defeated the Golem in room 6, The final puzzle was not bad in and of itself, we actually enjoyed figuring out the puzzle's logic. However, what frustrated our group was the fact that there were at least 8 correct switch combinations that satisfied the clues on the wall as well as the clue from the rogue box.

The clues, as we read them, gave this information

1) At max, there could only be one set of three switches in the same position, and no more than three.
2) The first and last switches were the same
3) The first and last switches were "ON"

With x representing on, and o represent off, here are the permutations I can see available to us. If there was a clue somewhere in the room that I missed that gave more information, please let me know

1: xxxoxxox
2: xoxxoxxx
3: xxoxxxox
4: xoxxxoxx
5: xxxooxox
6: xoxooxxx
7: xxxoxoxx
8: xxoxoxxx

Our issue is that with a puzzle zapping you for either 2 or 4 points of damage each try (I think we heard both numbers from the GM, but at the very least I know we had our last attempt hit us for 4), having a puzzle with that many correct possible solutions seemed a bit cheap. Was there another clue we missed somewhere along the way? Otherwise, it seems like luck to guess the correct combo.

Needless to say, we enjoyed TD as a whole this year (our 5th year running it as a group) but it left a bad taste in our mouth.

I'd love to hear any thoughts TD or others have, and hope I came across with some constructive feedback instead of just griping

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #2

We did our first run on Nightmare in the Golembane combat with none of us doing it before. We actually enjoyed the last room and the other puzzle rooms, even though as a group we prefer the combat.

[First Room] Red activation button lit. (other times after that the button wasn't lit and was told it wasn't supposed to be lit) We looked around the room saw the vents, I said after about 2 minutes looking around, "Don't push the big red button, never push the big red button!"... so of course we push the red button! Took damage when the ball hit the ground and then just covered the holes and done with like 2 minutes to spare.

[Last Room] Did you know you can bribe NPC's in the city scape for clues? I didn't, but my son did some how and was given the clue, 3-2-1-1-1-1-1! Rogue got the clue from the box which helped out a lot! We solved the puzzle on the second try. We went with another group that didn't have the clue and we didn't give them the clue. They figured it our on the third try. Yes there are eight possible combinations...
Team Legacy
Yes I'm an Arneson you do the math.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #3

Nope, I didn't know we could bribe the NPC's. That being said, I actually questioned every NPC/GM we came to (was playing the bard) and asked them what rumors they've heard. What everyone told me, including the cloaked figure who came to you in the training room, was that he hadn't heard any rumors to speak of, and it didn't seem to us that there was anything more to be gleaned from him.

I don't know if we led with the bribe it would have mattered or not, but there seems to be some inconsistencies between the volunteers and what info/help they give. I'm glad your second group got it without any help, but the reality remains that without the bribe from the NPC, it's all up to luck whether you complete the puzzle. It's possible to get the correct answer through trying every combination, but at that point you may have failed up to 7 times already, causing each party member to take 28 points of damage (7x4). That's assuming you have the time

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Last edit: by Neil.

Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #4

I missed the Last puzzle in the Golem Run twice, the second time through I knew the clue but the party I was with had several head strong people and refused to work together or listen to several others suggestions.
Wants: Topaz Trilliant, Pouch of Tulz

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #5

Did you not notice that on the last puzzle when you flipped the switch that the light bar lit up indicating how many switches were in the correct spot. Using the clues and knowing how many we had right after one try we were able to figure out the correct pattern on the next try.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #6

In our first run of Golembane (we absolutely loved the run, by the way) it took us perhaps five or six tries to get the correct switch combination. We didn't have any trouble healing sufficiently, but we broke into teams with a few people running the switches, then the cleric, druid and the bard (myself) managing any necessary healing.

We did our first run on Normal with no extra clues other than the plaque on the wall. The next day we ran it combat side on Nightmare, and an NPC came into our coaching room fishing for a bribe. We got a couple bits of info from him, but nothing pertaining to the last puzzle, I don't believe.

I also heard there was a clue in the 6th room, a number that could be converted to binary to show the correct position of the switches, but we didn't notice it when a few of us looked during our second run through.

As for the first room the only trouble we had was getting a good hold on the power cells when the first few came out. At first we were just standing near the ports, and the initial cell was the darkrift one, so a black ball flying out of a hole in a dark room... I didn't even notice anything happened until the GM bent down to pick it up off the floor. The second one was wet and slick and slipped out of a hand. After that we were ready and snagged the rest. I imagine if you spent a long time avoiding the red button then, yeah, you could burn off some time to no effect.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #7

the NPC in coaching room, actually gave you the sequence (you just needed to decide which way)..if you paid him gold
I didnt like that
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First solo Nightmare survivor-2014 Viper pit

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #8

I heard the rumor of the binary on the walls as well about the last puzzle. I can tell you I help step up and the walls were not specific that I saw so I doubt that. We sound the room the way I solve things at work. I work in product support. When someone says something doesn't work you start with one thing and see if that is the issue. This is troubleshooting. You only change one thing before testing again to see if that is the issue. If you change of bunch of things and it works you don't know what you did to fix it. So we flipped all 10 switches what we thought was correct based on the clues. We saw how many were correct based on the lights. We then proceeded to make minor changes quickly to see the result. This gave us immediate feedback on the changes we made. We were not worried about the damage that was resulting as it was the final room and life and death there mean only the difference in a pin. I don't know how many changes it took. to know half of them were right. Once we knew that. The rest fell into place. Alex from the build team was in the room watching us do it. He told me later he thought it was an interesting way to do it. We I ran it later with a different group I wasn't paying attention to the time as I let others attempt to figure it out. When I realized we were almost out of time it was too late to put in the solution. I blame myself.

The first puzzle we thought was a blast. The first ball we missed but that is fine. We had some trouble knowing which ball went where. Holy looked like a brain to me. The DM also let us keep pressing the button to collect all the balls before we placed the ones we were uncertain of. It made it easier and I know other DM's did not let us do that later. I think one of the keys for the room was not to wait for everyone to get back to the vents but press the button immediately upon placing one of the balls. It take a little while. Plus everyone does not need to go look at the table every time. The person with the ball only needed to go to the table to place it. They could describe it to the others if they had doubt.
You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #9

I forgot about that part about the lights lighting up...

The lights light up saying how many switches were correct.

I would have liked to see more NPC interaction in the city scape, and better lit areas.

Maybe bring back the tavern I have heard so much about!
Team Legacy
Yes I'm an Arneson you do the math.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #10

Not much to add about the first room. The final room, however, did have a clue that I missed on my first run through but essentially gives you the answer. In room 6, when you defeat the monster, there's something in the audio cue about a self destruct sequence, and I believe there might even be an audio cue that says "3,2,1". Essentially, you just have to figure out that if the countdown never gets to zero, the tower can't self destruct. 3-2-1-1-1.

This brings me to a recurring issue with the NPC audio. Audio volume and quality seems to vary wildly from room to room. That in itself wouldn't be a huge problem, but if you are going to use that audio to relay vital information to the party, I think it's imperative that it's assured that the information is able to be reliably received by the party. For this reason, I prefer that the dialogue be read by the GM, even if it does break down the 4th wall a little bit.

On a related note, I helped with install this year, and it's a cramped window to build a dungeon and ensure it works in, but during the audio testing, I'd like to see us do more to ensure that you can hear the audio in less than ideal conditions, such as when half of your party is having a conversation about the dealer hall, other groups are cheering, and chatter is coming from the other areas in general.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #11

Not much to add about the first room. The final room, however, did have a clue that I missed on my first run through but essentially gives you the answer. In room 6, when you defeat the monster, there's something in the audio cue about a self destruct sequence, and I believe there might even be an audio cue that says "3,2,1". Essentially, you just have to figure out that if the countdown never gets to zero, the tower can't self destruct. 3-2-1-1-1.

This brings me to a recurring issue with the NPC audio. Audio volume and quality seems to vary wildly from room to room. That in itself wouldn't be a huge problem, but if you are going to use that audio to relay vital information to the party, I think it's imperative that it's assured that the information is able to be reliably received by the party. For this reason, I prefer that the dialogue be read by the GM, even if it does break down the 4th wall a little bit.

On a related note, I helped with install this year, and it's a cramped window to build a dungeon and ensure it works in, but during the audio testing, I'd like to see us do more to ensure that you can hear the audio in less than ideal conditions, such as when half of your party is having a conversation about the dealer hall, other groups are cheering, and chatter is coming from the other areas in general.

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Re: Golembane - First Puzzle and Final Puzzle thoughts 6 years 1 month ago #12

On our first puzzle we got all but the last one. The GM gave it to us because the balls seemed to not be coming out as quickly as they should have.

I did a similar thing with my group as BC did. I ran the three on on one side, then changed it. The one thing about this type of puzzle is that it really only benefits the group of ten to have two, maybe three people working on the logic of the switches, with everyone else watching/keeping low HP members healed up. I could see a group without a clear party leader fall apart as they discussed over one another the puzzle.
My group was a mix of new players/veterans and this discouraged some players, so they sat to the side.
Two of us mainly discussed our patterns once we tried the first pull.
We solved the puzzle on the 4th switch. We pressed it the 3rd time with just under the one minute warning and had 8 right. With 10 seconds left we had not concluded which two were for sure the wrong ones and at 5 seconds left I switched the first two that made sense and we were right!!! The best part was that I thought we had not solved it and had died, so I had a few seconds at being mad to myself that we got it wrong (the GM had accidentally moved the lights the wrong way). :laugh:

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