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

Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #25

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bpsymington wrote: 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 a lanced on the edge of the opposing bank. If you make more than one error crossing, it might fall into the lava."


Don't get me wrong, my group enjoyed the puzzle immensely. The treasure thing was a minor point for us.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #26

The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to compare treasure rooms to video game "quicktime events"; it should be reasonably possible to get through successfully without having to restart multiple times, especially when a full retry costs over half a grand.

The dichotomy on avoiding brute forcing versus stifling creative problem solving or trial and error is a fascinating one, as a new user (but long term gamer). Obviously people diving into lava or just snacking on random giant talking mushrooms is less than ideal, but as part of a group that got but a single treasure token (and was primarily made up of people without bonus treasure gear), it's worth keeping in mind that if an 11 person run can get 33 or 44 or however many draws (before the bonus gear) and snags only 11, isn't that a rather harsh penalty? Yes, the treasure is obviously intended as a reward, but is it rewarding the right behaviour? Is removing it punishing the right (undesirable) behaviour?

Considering the existing factors in play (damage and time limits, especially since one can accrue damage over the room's duration and then get hit again for more with the push), knowing that the puzzle was failed AND taking damage AND losing out on the treasure (especially due to missteps or trying things) seems a touch harsh.

Not to mention that let's not overlook that this isn't just a single person acting, but potentially 9 (or in my case, 10) potential strangers expected to act in unison/without more than a couple of mistakes (even on Normal) and possibly without more than a primer (if that) on how things even work.

Of course, I say this purely as a brainstorming session, not meant as a complaint, just thinking aloud based on my first experience (hopefully one of many).

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #27

Eric Martin wrote: 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.


And that's another closely related topic: Being punished for having good equipment.

Should a party ever be punished for having good (what seems like ideal) equipment? Say that you've got 10 reds and one of them happens to be Lava Boots. "Cool," you say, as you gear up, "those might be useful." Then you get to a place where you need to cross lava. "Awesome," you think, "These are the perfect boots for this." But then, you basically get penalized for just walking across. In fact, your WHOLE PARTY gets penalized for that.

So, a puzzle like that is no obstacle at all for parties that are completely immune to fire damage. How do you make that same puzzle challenging for a group where everyone has Lava Boots? I know, you're thinking, "Eldritch Lava! It burns through Lava Boots!" But, that's always going to feel like a cheap shot.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #28

The grubs and spiders combat was also like that. While you weren't necessarily being punished for having great gear, it seemed specifically designed to render your most powerful gear completely useless. The great equalizer. You could have a full page of legendary gear that was of absolutely no use to you. While anyone who walked in could just pull a torch off the wall and instantly succeed. (Well, maybe and maybe not - we ran into and heard about a LOT of inconsistency in how that room was run.)

It also didn't make a lot of sense that the things were vulnerable to torches, and not magical fire. But, I suppose it's a fantasy world and there are precedents for creatures that are completely immune to magic, yet vulnerable to fire. Frustrating, but, okay.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #29

Incognito wrote:

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.


Yeah, I don't see this being a valid interpretation at all. The treasure in each run is MARKED on the PARTY CARD. It's clearly there as a core of the run. The majority of RPG players are treasure focused. Missing the ONLY treasure you can get on your run? NOT COOL. Missing it even tho you solved the puzzle? NOT AT ALL COOL.

Does it hurt me on the run? Nope, 1 less token is no big deal to me.
Does it hurt the new player out to run for their first time? HELL YES.

On NORMAL I think the stipulation should be "did you complete the room in any way? TREASURE.

Let Hardcore and Nightmare require a specific solve.

But even then allow trial and error to be OK or TELL THE PLAYERS WAY AHEAD OF TIME and limit the 1 and done treasure to 1 room.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #30

Jason Brown wrote: The grubs and spiders combat was also like that. While you weren't necessarily being punished for having great gear, it seemed specifically designed to render your most powerful gear completely useless. The great equalizer. You could have a full page of legendary gear that was of absolutely no use to you. While anyone who walked in could just pull a torch off the wall and instantly succeed. (Well, maybe and maybe not - we ran into and heard about a LOT of inconsistency in how that room was run.)

It also didn't make a lot of sense that the things were vulnerable to torches, and not magical fire. But, I suppose it's a fantasy world and there are precedents for creatures that are completely immune to magic, yet vulnerable to fire. Frustrating, but, okay.


On one run through there the bard got from his lore that bugs over the centuries were changed by the Underdark background magic to be immune to all types of magic but nature balanced this out by making them vulnerable to natural fire.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 8 months ago #31

Eric Martin 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.


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.


"The mushrooms look TERRIBLY poisonous, you can sense the spectre of death gleefully watching you" and instant death from a bad choice I would be 100% OK with if the treasure was still stamped if you find the correct one.

Let those who brute force pay with life or resurrection tokens but don't deny the loot.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 7 months ago #32

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Arcanist's idea of normal level getting the stamp if they make it thru the room/puzzle in any way, but HC/NM parties having stricter solution requirements for treasure is worth considering, IMHO.
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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 7 months ago #33

Jason Brown wrote:

Eric Martin wrote: 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.


And that's another closely related topic: Being punished for having good equipment.

Should a party ever be punished for having good (what seems like ideal) equipment? Say that you've got 10 reds and one of them happens to be Lava Boots. "Cool," you say, as you gear up, "those might be useful." Then you get to a place where you need to cross lava. "Awesome," you think, "These are the perfect boots for this." But then, you basically get penalized for just walking across. In fact, your WHOLE PARTY gets penalized for that.

So, a puzzle like that is no obstacle at all for parties that are completely immune to fire damage. How do you make that same puzzle challenging for a group where everyone has Lava Boots? I know, you're thinking, "Eldritch Lava! It burns through Lava Boots!" But, that's always going to feel like a cheap shot.


Well, they're also being punished by having to stand there for 12 minutes doing nothing. Having experienced this a few years ago in the "Drink a Keg" room, I was immune to poison, went up to the DM and said "I'm immune to poison - I can brute-force this. But we're going to try to solve it and I'll do that as a last resort." Because it's fun to try to do the puzzles. Brute-forcing is its own punishment. I see no need to further punish the players in terms of treasure draws and it just makes it more complicated for the DMs as shown by the inconsistency of the number of tries allowed this year.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 7 months ago #34

Arcanist Kolixela wrote:

Incognito wrote:

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.


Yeah, I don't see this being a valid interpretation at all. The treasure in each run is MARKED on the PARTY CARD. It's clearly there as a core of the run. The majority of RPG players are treasure focused. Missing the ONLY treasure you can get on your run? NOT COOL. Missing it even tho you solved the puzzle? NOT AT ALL COOL.


Not to dissent just for the sake of argument but I was not even aware of the "treasure rooms" until my 3rd year of TD. I just thought they handed out treasure pull tokens to everyone who completed the run.

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Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 7 months ago #35

They're the ones marked with the "T" on the wall, I assume?

If so, I noticed the markings but didn't realize it meant Treasure until days after my first run.

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Last edit: by Forar.

Re: Puzzle rooms with treasure....or not 4 years 7 months ago #36

Yeah, Treasure rooms are marked by the "T" on the checkerboard blue background. They've only been marking treasure rooms for a few years (I don't remember exactly when they started, but it's definitely not something they always did).

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