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TOPIC: Planar charts and the element of surprise

Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 6 days ago #1

I thought it was very cool that many of this year's combat rooms had both the monster and the table concealed at first to allow for some element of surprise. Unfortunately, if you've played TD for any length of time at all, the presence of a planar chart hanging in the corner remains a dead giveaway.

I'm guessing that the option of somehow bringing the planar chart into the room after combat begins (along with the table) was already considered and rejected as being logistically infeasible. If so, I have another idea:

Just hang a planar chart in every room including the puzzle rooms. That way it doesn't telegraph anything.

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 6 days ago #2

  • Harlax
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The presence of a rogue box is equally revealing.
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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 6 days ago #3

Harlax wrote: The presence of a rogue box is equally revealing.


Interesting... you're right, of course, but somehow I haven't noticed it in the same way. Maybe because the puzzle rooms often have so many other eye-catching things to look at (like the puzzle itself)?

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 6 days ago #4

The cloth doorway can give away when a combat board will be "revealed" also. They try to surprise us, but the more you play and the more you know about how dungeons have worked in the past, the less likely they will be able to "trick" you.
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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 5 days ago #5

I mean those elements will always be there. I just get engrossed in the walls and objects and ignore the "Wizard behind the wall" so to speak. Imagination...you are in a Swamp, Temple, or Hell..play it that way.

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 5 days ago #6

I had a surprising amount of success with "hiding" the planes chart underneath the fake vine covering they had over most of the cloth walls in E1. I hung it at a break between two pieces next to where I stood, and slid it under before I let the group in the door. It was still visible through the holes in the vines, but there were many times when a wizard would come to me for a skill test, I'd say "step 1: find the planes chart" and they'd look past it and start wandering off trying to find it, while I just took a step to my right and pulled it out.

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 5 days ago #7

The first thing I look for in a room is a rogue box to tell me this is a puzzle room and the second thing I look for is a wizard planar chart to tell me it’s a combat room. After the initial exposition in a room, I look for the “combat curtain” to figure out where the table is coming in from.

I like the idea of hanging the planar chart in every room, or just setting it on the table to slide out with the table. I would also enjoy a rogue box in every room followed by “this is an empty box another rogue already looted” or hiding the rogue boxes and revealing them after the initial exposition.
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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 5 days ago #8

Andrew Knoll wrote: I had a surprising amount of success with "hiding" the planes chart underneath the fake vine covering they had over most of the cloth walls in E1. I hung it at a break between two pieces next to where I stood, and slid it under before I let the group in the door. It was still visible through the holes in the vines, but there were many times when a wizard would come to me for a skill test, I'd say "step 1: find the planes chart" and they'd look past it and start wandering off trying to find it, while I just took a step to my right and pulled it out.


Cool! I must not have been running E1 during the times you were DMing...

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 3 days ago #9

There was one room this year...I think it was the lamia in E2. The DM had put the planar chart inside the alcove with the slider table, and there was no rogue box, so I was momentarily uncertain which way it would go!

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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 3 days ago #10

  • Ro-gan
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In years past I can recall at least twice where a Rogue Box was in a Combat Room.
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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 3 days ago #11

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Ro-gan wrote: In years past I can recall at least twice where a Rogue Box was in a Combat Room.


My favorite was the year the rogue box turned out to be a mimic. That room caught everyone by surprise the first time :laugh:
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Planar charts and the element of surprise 4 months 3 days ago #12

Harlax wrote: The presence of a rogue box is equally revealing.


So we need decoy rogue boxes in every room too, maybe hide them so while everyone is looking for it, the DM can stealthy bring in the combat board!
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