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TOPIC: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not

Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #13

Someone brought up another problem in a different thread with this practice.

Question: Who gets burned the most if you make enough mistakes to not get the treasure?

Answer: The "new blood" of true dungeon, those who want to try it out, and as such aren't going to have +treasure looting equipment, aren't going to buy into more than one run, and in all likely hood, are not going to return if they don't have a good experience.

A veteran who books +5 runs and can walk out of a run with almost 10 grabs from the loot box is going to be okay with the idea that they might miss out on their first few runs, since once they know the trick to each puzzle, they just roll through on all their other runs and make up for it, possibly even being abrasive to new people, as seems to have happened based on what was written in another thread.

A new person who doesn't have any of that and who only bought one run....losing out on one or more of the treasure pulls doesn't feel really great, and makes them unlikely to return, especially since for many people, dropping 50+ on even just one run isn't a cheap financial burden.

Again, I'm not totally against the idea that you have to solve a puzzle to get the rewards. I just think there needs to be three things improved.

1. Consistency. Make sure GMs know what does and doesn't DQ treasure stamps
2. Knowledge beforehand: Make it known in the training room that mistakes can cost loot
3. Explanation: Ensure that players understand what qualifies as a mistake, and just why they're being denied the loot token.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #14

LordDamax wrote: The lava room this year was horrible.


I thought it was great, and we solved it, but it took quite a few tries. I didn't know about the treasure stamp because we used Troubadour to get the stamp initially.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #15

Adam Pillari wrote: Question: Who gets burned the most if you make enough mistakes to not get the treasure?

Answer: The "new blood" of true dungeon, those who want to try it out, and as such aren't going to have +treasure looting equipment, aren't going to buy into more than one run, and in all likely hood, are not going to return if they don't have a good experience.

I disagree.

A lot of new players don't care too much about treasure and don't value tokens. So one less treasure chip (or one more treasure chip) is unlikely to make or break their experience.

A veteran who books +5 runs and can walk out of a run with almost 10 grabs from the loot box is going to be okay with the idea that they might miss out on their first few runs, since once they know the trick to each puzzle, they just roll through on all their other runs and make up for it, possibly even being abrasive to new people, as seems to have happened based on what was written in another thread.

Eh, I would say that casual players or dedicated players with limited means are hurt the most.

They value treasure chips but are not able to acquire the treasure enhancing tokens.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #16

Incognito wrote: I disagree.

A lot of new players don't care too much about treasure and don't value tokens. So one less treasure chip (or one more treasure chip) is unlikely to make or break their experience.


To a certain extent yes, but I don't mean the ones where it's just a matter of one token. I'm talking about the runs where they got literally nothing, which I understand did happen. It was not hard at all to fail at both the mushroom and the lava. And we all know how lethal the final puzzle was. And yet, someone with the right token or class can still walk away with goodies.

I do agree wholeheartedly however, that the casual that does one or two runs a year without all the plus loot tokens really does get burned.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #17

I agree that new players/low-end players are most hurt by limiting treasure in the way this year's puzzles were limited.

I also have no problem with brute-forcing some puzzles either through creative token use or just plain beating your head against them. The reason we remember the Gordian Knot is not because Alexander daintily untied it.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #18

I'd be good with raising the number of fails for lower difficulty. Like, infinity for normal or care bear.

And a guarantee of at least one treasure chip at those levels. Random draws are fun.

As usual, no punches pulled for HC and NM.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #19

One thing I didn't like about the lava room was the fact that a misstep was a failure that got you to the other side (a success, sort of, if the goal was to get to the other side). I definitely think a misstep should have sent you back to the start or back onto whatever stone you'd made the misstep from. Then, you'd still need to walk across the right stones to get to the far side.

Also, the notion that falling into a pool of lava and getting swept to the far side only caused 6 points of damage was a little implausible. If you misstepped, took 6 damage, and jumped back on a stone, that would have seemed a little more believable.

Losing treasure because you solved the puzzle, and one or two people also walked across with lava boots was just a terrible call, I think.

And I think it should have been very clear from the flavor text that not stepping on all the right stones in exactly the right way would lead to lost treasure, if that, if fact, was the case.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #20

For all the complaints about handling this year's treasure stamps, I'm definitely glad that the Horn of Plenty was changed from a stamp multiplier to a fixed amount of treasure. That was probably all-around easier on bookkeeping, but it also softened the blow on questionably missed treasure stamps (the 'failures' cost only 1 chip instead of 3).

Still, when you're getting 15+ pulls, it's easy to shrug off the one that you missed over an arbitrary ruling that you didn't like. Or, if you don't care about treasure at all, you're not likely to care about missing one. But for players who actively want treasure, who have very few treasure enhancers, rulings like this can mean losing 33% or more of their total treasure. Trust me, no party with a full 10 Charms of Avarice would be happy about a ruling that cost them 33% of their treasure.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #21

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Jason Brown wrote: Losing treasure because you solved the puzzle, and one or two people also walked across with lava boots was just a terrible call, I think.


More or less agree, our group went through on nightmare, had a few errors due to exhaustion (our pali forgot how to spell fifth and took some damage), but we still felt like we had solved the puzzle. It was a bit of bummer to get everyone else across clean and be told there was basically zero tolerance for mistakes even if you had worked out the methodology.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #22

Losing treasure because you solved the puzzle, and one or two people also walked across with lava boots was just a terrible call, I think.


It would be much more interesting if only the people who bypassed the lava with the boots lost the treasure, but in the process gave the team a clue. That's essentially the choice the rogue gets for solving the puzzle box. I've also read that people with the lava walking boots felt like they were being punished for having good equipment. If the puzzle worked that way, they could "take one for the team" using their good equipment.

To my way of thinking, the damage should be the penalty for bad jumps and forgetting how to spell. If the party gets across safely, the puzzle was solved. There were too many letters too far apart to luck your way across.

For something like the mushroom puzzle, where there were only a few options and brute forcing is obviously an option, I think the damage needs to be punishing enough that you really have to think twice about trying to "solve" the puzzle by trying every solution. For the mushrooms, 1 of them probably needed to be instant death or reduced the eater to 1 HP. If the damage is severe enough to potentially impact the rest of the run, the decision to brute force becomes interesting enough that I think treasure would be warranted.

Not allowing any mistakes is not all that interesting in my opinion. I think you want people trying oddball solutions to the puzzles, and the no missteps rule effectively prevents that.

One game designer I talked to elsewhere at the con said that game design boils down to giving the players interesting choices to make. I think that applies to the TD puzzles. I think the x strikes or fewer to get the treasure rule was intended to keep the players from doing something boring to get past a puzzle, but it's probably not the best way to accomplish that goal.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #23

I have similar horror stories about this year's Lava room.

I know that I would have appreciated some sort of DM-Aid to let you know that you only have "X" chances. I groused, and fussed and cursed about not getting that treasure and wondered at the balance it was setting. It would have been fairly easy to have added some phrases that have been mentioned ( and I like the in character scripting ) to give players a warning that this is a room with limited damage to be taken.

I would say that perhaps this year in and of itself, with the Lava room, will serve as a good warning: be careful for random trial and error. . . or you risk your treasure!
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 5 months ago #24

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I still think the lava room was a pretty awesome puzzle, I liked someone's idea of having the DM say something like, "You see treasure balanced on the edge of the opposing bank. If you make more than one error crossing, it might fall into the lava."
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