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TOPIC: Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns

Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #1

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So this thread is to continue the discussion about concerns over tokens/abilities breaking puzzle rooms, etc.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #2

I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.

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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #3

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.



On another thread, a few people said they would volunteer to review the rooms ahead of time, and to try to brainstorm possible problematic token interactions that should be considered during room design.

Hypothetical example: there is a puzzle room planned where players will have to solve a puzzle in more or less total darkness. Room reviewer would think about this, and ask:
* What if a player has Goggles of Seeing?
* What if a player has Tindertwig gear token?
* What if a wizard attempts to cast burning hands to get some light?

These questions would be fed back to the room designers prior to TD, giving them a chance to update the room and/or module design and/or DM training to try to ensure a smooth experience during the event.


I'm having a hard time interpreting your statement above. Do you disagree with this proposal?

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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #4

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Matthew Hayward wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.



On another thread, a few people said they would volunteer to review the rooms ahead of time, and to try to brainstorm possible problematic token interactions that should be considered during room design.

Hypothetical example: there is a puzzle room planned where players will have to solve a puzzle in more or less total darkness. Room reviewer would think about this, and ask:
* What if a player has Goggles of Seeing?
* What if a player has Tindertwig gear token?
* What if a wizard attempts to cast burning hands to get some light?

These questions would be fed back to the room designers prior to TD, giving them a chance to update the room and/or module design and/or DM training to try to ensure a smooth experience during the event.


I'm having a hard time interpreting your statement above. Do you disagree with this proposal?


I don't think there is anything untoward in any of the offers, but I do disagree with the proposal. I just don't think it's necessary.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #5

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.



On another thread, a few people said they would volunteer to review the rooms ahead of time, and to try to brainstorm possible problematic token interactions that should be considered during room design.

Hypothetical example: there is a puzzle room planned where players will have to solve a puzzle in more or less total darkness. Room reviewer would think about this, and ask:
* What if a player has Goggles of Seeing?
* What if a player has Tindertwig gear token?
* What if a wizard attempts to cast burning hands to get some light?

These questions would be fed back to the room designers prior to TD, giving them a chance to update the room and/or module design and/or DM training to try to ensure a smooth experience during the event.


I'm having a hard time interpreting your statement above. Do you disagree with this proposal?


No - I don't disagree with that proposal. I'd misunderstood what Brian was saying, I'd thought people were offering to identify tokens that would break rooms and provide that info to players to help them defeat the Dungeon. I do think it's a good idea to think ahead of time about token interactions that could be problematic, and maybe redesign the room to prevent some problems.

I also think it would be good & fun, if some tokens like gear tokens were identified that could help in the room, if the DM's were prepared so that if the players had those tokens and tried to use them, they would allow that and be prepared for that. And, maybe even have props in the room. For instance, if it were determined that rope/string might help, the DM might have some in the room, but the players could only access it if they had that token. Of course, the room needs to be able to be solved without any tokens, in this instance rope can't be required for the solution or everyone would need to have access to it.

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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #6

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.


Currently my guess is only Directors and Adventure Coordinators get to know several (or all) rooms in advance. Otherwise only the DMs get to know their room in advance. I don't see a need to expand that pool of people.

However I would like to have seen more discussion between the DMs before GenCon, at least for my specific rooms. Other rooms had much more discussion (however I didn't read them since I didn't want spoilers). I'd like to see the DMs make efforts to break the rooms ahead of time.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #7

Mike Steele wrote: And, maybe even have props in the room. For instance, if it were determined that rope/string might help, the DM might have some in the room, but the players could only access it if they had that token.


Yeah, that would be really awesome, however in my (limited) experience the DMs would need access to the room description sooner. I think last year I got my room about a week before GenCon which probably isn't enough time for Jeff to deal with finding or creating new props or rules.

At the very least I would like to see the DMs come up with uniform responses to various tokens and abilities.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #8

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Kirk Bauer wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.


Currently my guess is only Directors and Adventure Coordinators get to know several (or all) rooms in advance. Otherwise only the DMs get to know their room in advance. I don't see a need to expand that pool of people.

However I would like to have seen more discussion between the DMs before GenCon, at least for my specific rooms. Other rooms had much more discussion (however I didn't read them since I didn't want spoilers). I'd like to see the DMs make efforts to break the rooms ahead of time.


Some rooms certainly had more discussion on the forums than others. DMs who have been more active on the forums tended to provide more feedback/ask more questions before GC via the various room threads.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #9

bpsymington wrote:

Kirk Bauer wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: I guess I missed the conversations where people that will have advance knowledge of rooms are offering to help identify tokens to defeat the rooms. If that is really happening, those people should be removed from positions that give them that advance knowledge.


Currently my guess is only Directors and Adventure Coordinators get to know several (or all) rooms in advance. Otherwise only the DMs get to know their room in advance. I don't see a need to expand that pool of people.

However I would like to have seen more discussion between the DMs before GenCon, at least for my specific rooms. Other rooms had much more discussion (however I didn't read them since I didn't want spoilers). I'd like to see the DMs make efforts to break the rooms ahead of time.


Some rooms certainly had more discussion on the forums than others. DMs who have been more active on the forums tended to provide more feedback/ask more questions before GC via the various room threads.


On the one hand, I've heard that spoilers for every room are available by noon on Thursday, if you know where to look, so having a bunch of freelance room-breakers may not be so risky. They're a trustworthy lot anyway.

But, to avoid the appearance of impropriety, maybe it's best to just provide a little more guidance to the volunteers on what "module review" means.
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Puzzle/Token Breaking concerns 3 years 11 months ago #10

The first question I have is how many people generally are reviewing a particular room, separate from what their roles are.

The second question I have is what we're calling "Puzzle/Token Breaking". If the review is being done from the perspective of "here's what players might do outside of the intended method of solving a puzzle, so that we can shut it down", that is not helpful from my perspective. On the other hand, if it's trying to figure out ways that a puzzle might not work for some people or groups, then I think that's a helpful way of trying to break things. Two semi-recent examples:

1) A puzzle involves distinguishing between 8-12 different colors of Christmas-sized lights. A player who is colorblind may be at a distinct disadvantage (if red/green colorblind) or totally unable to help. A possible suggestion might be to have additional symbols near the lights to add another visual cue. (Another example is "hearing quiet sounds in a noisy dungeon" for people with poor hearing)

2) A puzzle relies upon the continuous functioning of a mechanical/electrical device. If the device malfunctions or operates in a degraded fashion, there should be a manual backup so that players can tell whether they are solving the puzzle or going along the wrong track. At the least, the device should be robust enough that a player cannot accidentally damage it when moving through the dungeon.

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