Tuesday Toot – G+ is closing. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.
The ‘Balanced’ Encounter’ was a puzzle/trap submitted to a competition organized by the podcasts ‘Gaming and BS‘ and ‘Hobbs and Friends of the OSR‘ (as it was then). I learnt about these podcasts on G+.
The competition idea was to make an OSR-style encounter using one of: giant rats, giant spiders or ogres.
The compilation of the competition entries (including this one) was published on DriveThru and can be downloaded for free here: Link
How it works: Essentially, the puzzle involves figuring out that a giant Archimedes Screw (see above) can be used as a novelty staircase.
That is, for the PCs to get across the chasm, they must walk in single file along the groove in what looks like a giant (and slowly spinning) drill bit – see image left.
While the ‘pitch’ of the screw is not quite right in the below animated gif, it might help to explain the idea. Imagine you’re looking down from above and this giant screw spans a chasm. Then imagine walking from right to left between the ‘fins’ of the spinning thread (you can use your mouse icon to recreate the idea; stay between two ‘fins’). Eventually, you will reach the other side. Walk too fast and you out pace the thread and walk off the edge. Stop (or walk too slowly) and the thread spins you off. Also, because of the shape and way the thing spins, there is no way to walk back down the ‘screw’.
To spice things up, when exposed (and separated) on the ‘staircase’ the PCs can be attacked, for example by giant spiders or perhaps flying creatures like stirges.
This puzzle gets a nice mention here on the Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk podcast at 5:50: https://morrus.podbean.com/e/33-exploring-dragonlance
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“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”
Fight on dear Gexit
(drawing by James V West)