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TOPIC: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat

Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #1

Just seeing what was everyones favorite and least favorite puzzle and combat or aspect about this years True Dungeon was. Spider Infestation!

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #2

I enjoyed all of the puzzles, though my least favorite was probably the lava puzzle on the Underdark side - the letters were a bit far apart, I'm in decent shape and still stutter-stepped into the lava after landing on the correct tile from trying to jump to it. My favorite puzzle was the mushrooms, it took several tries to figure out to listen to both the sex and the mood of each to find the one true one. The elevator effect was neat on the first Underdark puzzle.

The combats were all great, the only thing that was irritating was fighting the giant spider and blowing my backstab only to find out it was an illusion - but that's exactly what it's supposed to do, get you to waste your good attacks, so it was well designed (still irritating though!).

True Grind was amazing, excellent use of multiple environment and combat mechanics. I definitely learned I need psychic defense more than I thought I would (I spent half of each of my grinds on Team Incognito!) - plus it's a good idea to keep different weapon types on hand, always.

My sole negative experience was the one PUG I did - a group of nine, all family/friends with kids, newbies to TD - and me. The first combat room DM on the Sable Gauntlet side was really rude and short with them - like it was a huge bother to him that they didn't know what they were doing. After I pointed out to him quietly that they were all new and maybe he should cut them some slack he was a little nicer, but it spoiled the experience for the group - luckily the remaining DMs were fantastic.

All in all, I had a great time, and got to run with great people. :)

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Last edit: by Joshua Baessler.

Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #3

As a coach, I always give the trainers a heads up when I have a lot of new players in a group.

Maybe I'll put that info on the party card in the future. # of first time players or something like that.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #4

Harlax wrote: As a coach, I always give the trainers a heads up when I have a lot of new players in a group.

Maybe I'll put that info on the party card in the future. # of first time players or something like that.


The coach was great, the trainer was great - that first DM though treated the whole group like "Ugh, a bunch of people that don't know what they're doing, GREAT..."

He had a really sour attitude towards the group when they asked questions about what they could and could not do (between sliding for the first time and not fully understanding the effects of the water swirling around them).

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #5

I ran combat on both sides.

I enjoyed the Underdark combat except for the last room. We did not kill the Mind Flayer as the DM rolling low/high kept rolling low. So in the 30 hits to the creature, 8 went through. I don't mind losing a run, but the 50/50 based on someone else rolling the dice irked me a little. The group make up was 2 new players, myself and a friend that were well equiped, and a group of 6 that were twinked out a bit. Normal run difficulty due to new players

Sable combat run was a bit easier. The water run only let 3 of the players do anything in it due to a couple of bad rolls on the save. Add the room later where you could burn off the spiders, and most of the party couldn't/didn't really do anything for 2 of the rooms. Party makeup was no new players, 2 twinked out, 2 well equiped, the rest hobbled together equipment.

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #6

DMs should be able to tell if the party is newbies or not. Hint: over half of the squares will be unmodified. And their job is to help the party have fun, regardless of experience level. If you can't be patient with people who ask questions or make mistakes, volunteer in an area where you don't have to deal with people.

My least favorite puzzles were the ones involving colors. I'm colorblind, so the blue/teal/green and the orange/amber ones all looked the same to me.

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #7

rooms i liked

Underdark combat- I enjoyed everything until we reached the mushroom room and mindflayer. we were only given one attempt on the mushroom before losing our treasure stamp and the mindflayer fight seems near impossible on normal difficulty.

underdark puzzle- the entire run was great, I really enjoyed the Lava Room puzzle and the final puzzle, and the combat with the salamander was really fun.

gauntlet Puzzle- the entire run was great, we failed the ball room and the exit puzzle and had a few people die during the spider queen battle, bu were able to recover pretty well.

gauntlet combat- still failed the spider ball puzzle, but rocked the rest of the dungeon the last fight was pretty fun with our cleric and druid healing the monster to death.


it's so hard to pick favorites out of all those rooms, but have to say the spider web puzzle, lava floor room, and the drow House spider puzzle were extremely well done.

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #8

The room with the spiders and grubs that attach to the players went through several modifications as the convention progressed. It started out beyond deadly on thursday and ended up nerfed to insignificance by saturday night. A middle ground to start with would have been best.

The main issue I noted was DM variability, already raised as an issue by others. Most DMs were great, a few were crabby and one was confused.
Of all the traits of humanity, there is only one we do not share with other species, which sets us apart and makes us unique <br />-- the ability to imagine.

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #9

Ross Crabtree wrote: rooms i liked

Underdark combat- I enjoyed everything until we reached the mushroom room and mindflayer. we were only given one attempt on the mushroom before losing our treasure stamp and the mindflayer fight seems near impossible on normal difficulty.

underdark puzzle- the entire run was great, I really enjoyed the Lava Room puzzle and the final puzzle, and the combat with the salamander was really fun.

gauntlet Puzzle- the entire run was great, we failed the ball room and the exit puzzle and had a few people die during the spider queen battle, bu were able to recover pretty well.

gauntlet combat- still failed the spider ball puzzle, but rocked the rest of the dungeon the last fight was pretty fun with our cleric and druid healing the monster to death.


it's so hard to pick favorites out of all those rooms, but have to say the spider web puzzle, lava floor room, and the drow House spider puzzle were extremely well done.


I've heard a lot of players gripe about not getting treasure stamps for solving some of the puzzles in unorthodox ways (immunity to fire/boots of lava walking for the lava puzzle, taking a bite of every mushroom) or skipping straight to the solution. I actually appreciate the effort in making sure people are solving the puzzles and not just brute forcing their way through or relying on previous experience to go straight for the right answer. I thought that was pretty cool.

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #10

I loved the lava puzzle, that was one of the highlights for all of GenCon for me. My girlfriend and I were 1st time players in with lots of experiences, and some very well geared, players. I was playing as the rogue, and solving the treasure box for the clue was the key to our group solving the puzzle, so it felt good to contribute from that standpoint. Once we had the clue, someone was about to jump on the letters that spelled first backwards, but both my girlfriend and I asked if other words could be spelled like "last" or "second". Then we had the solution.

We did have to pick friendly letter layouts for people who needed to do more stepping than leaping, including one man who was legally blind. I felt like that added to the teamwork of solving the puzzle. However, one player in our group did say that the carpet with the letters on it slipped when she jumped, so length of the jumps and the stability of the carpet with letters on it does seem to be a valid concern.

I didn't like the spoken aspect of the mushroom clues. We had a hard time understanding what the voices were even saying, and I think we stumbled on the correct mushroom through luck instead of logic. I honestly don't know if we got a treasure stamp for that room or not. I think from reading another post that maybe you were supposed to use male/female voices to aid in determining who was lying.

I also agree with the person who said that colors looking the same was a problem. In the final room, the DM had to keep checking the eggs to see which was yellow and which was amber. I don't think he was consistent because one try we got a 3 total difference only having switched 2 eggs. It also led to long waits for feedback when trying solutions based on the additional time to verify the colors of the eggs. We had been checking the house names and the color of the lights in each room, but I suspect that we mis-identified some of the house colors leading to a failure to solve the final puzzle. That was frustrating because I feel like we were observant (although we did miss the houses named before the dungeon started) and had the correct strategy, but couldn't tell if we were implementing it correctly based on uncertain assignment of color names.

Overall, I was very happy with the amount of cooperation and support we got in terms of equipment loans and advice from the people who had been through a TD adventure before.

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #11

I ran 2 variations:

Underdark Combat:

Illithid was absolutely brutal even on normal. 50% miss chance was really punishing.

Was there a hint anywhere that eating a mushroom cured you of the fungal effect?

I ran the elevator puzzle on two separate runs, that was exhausting but a lot of fun.

Mushroom forest. Idea is okay but execution could have been better. Inability to differentiate from some colors, inability to hear/some were broken when I ran. Too narrow to move around in, I couldn't get a good view of the sign immediately and missed the fact you had to eat the true one. So i figured out who was true and didn't eat it. A bigger room with buttons you could push to make them talk would have been nicer imho.

Sable Puzzle:


Final Puzzle: Was there a way to reset portal to give hints? I missed half of them before realizing what was happening and then we didn't get them again til a player died. Good puzzle though, we just didn't take the hints well. I did sacrifice a token to the portal. A large sack to match the flour, I got the portal to laugh at least, that's a victory to me.
~Meta: Don't worry, it is perfectly "safe" to follow the drunken dwarf into the dungeon!

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Re: Favorite and least favorite puzzles and combat 7 years 4 months ago #12

How did everyone else do with transferring the spider egg/ball from one point to another without touching it?

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Last edit: by Arthur.
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