Category Archives: Puzzle/trap

Tuesday Toot!! | MAD (magazine) Map Musings

Tuesday TootG+ 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+.

Background
MAD Mag Map.jpegI think anyone reading this blog post will probably remember MAD Magazine, and in particular the inside back cover, which often had a picture which would fold-in to form a new unexpected picture.

I wondered if a RPG map in this format would present some interesting gaming challenges. For example, the PCs trigger some event and suddenly the map literally expands. Perhaps an interesting trap for a heist type adventure. For example, it might be easy to get into the tomb, but a great deal harder to get out again.  This idea might work well for a Cthulhu adventure where mind-bending antics are the norm.

Anyway, I had this idea because someone posted a vertical (cross-sectional map) on G+. Sadly, I can’t recall who did this now. I believe it was someone that I was following, but not someone I interacted with a lot. For some unknown reason this MAD idea immediately occurred to me when I saw their map. So, no random third-party G+ post, no MAD idea from me. This completely random cross-pollination of ideas will be one of the the thing I miss most about G+ when it is gone (in about a week).

In the wild

After posting this idea, at least one person (i.e. Eneko Menica on YouTube) put the idea into practice, with this nice map, i.e.:

 

More recently from me …

The Indefinite Train – Community Project

I saw this post by Skerples. for a new collaborative project about a sort of Twilight Zone locomotive. I decided to make a train carriage that makes use of this MAD concept.

The idea being the train carriage is about 2/3 normal size (top image). But, if the PC’s solve the puzzle an inter-dimensional portal opens between the carriage (bottom image). So, when triggered, the DM unfolds the map to reveal the portal. The PC’s may even be separated by the portal space when it is triggered causing some potential problems. You can read my submission here (along with the other submissions to date).

Skerples.’s idea is a fun one, please consider submitting your own entry to this collaborative project.

Well that’s it. If you ever make a MAD map, I’d be interested in seeing it!
:O)


1988 Dungeon

1988 Dungeon

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

Tuesday Toot!! | Disadherer

Tuesday TootG+ 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+.

Background

A monster I posted on G+, which I dashed off on a piece of paper and posted. I’ve typed it up below for legibility.

It’s essentially a dangerous mechanic driven monster. Probably useful to have a henchman (or something) torn apart first, so the PC’s take the thing seriously. With a weak AC (especially when attached) the PC’s should be able to deal with the thing, if they take the threat seriously.

Disadherer

When the Monster splits the party … 

Disadherer crop.jpeg

A possible relative of the Adherer (see FF page 9).

The Monster is a mass of sticky limbs, which latch onto a victim’s arms and legs trying to rip them off.

Health – the creature has 4D8 limbs, each having 1HP. When wiggling about, these have AC5, but when latched onto a victim, they have an AC8. When all of its limbs are lopped off, it slopes away to reconstitute itself.

Attacks – It attacks as a 4HD monster, able to attack each combat opponent twice each round (provided it still has some remaining/free limbs), when it makes a hit it immobilises one of the victim’s arms or legs:

D4        = Hit location

1          = Weapon arm
2          = Weapon side leg
3          = non-weapon arm
4          = non-weapon side leg

Escape – the victim can free an arm/leg if they can roll under or equal to their ‘Bend Bars/Lift Gates’ score. Test before rip mechanic below.

Rip mechanic – At the end of the combat round, if the monster has at least two limbs immobilised, it yanks and levers trying to rip these arms/legs off.

Roll a D20, if the roll is above the victim’s STR score, then the creature rips off a limb, on a natural 20 it’s both limbs.

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Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

Tuesday Toot!! | I roll to disbelieve … too late

Tuesday TootG+ 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+.

Background:
Room 20 - Phantasmal Blood Vine.JPGIllusions are funny things in RPGs. Back in the day they were quite prolific and led to a ‘I disbelieve’ culture. Players (or rather their PCS) would alternate from swapping every square foot of the dungeon with a 10 foot pole to disbelieving everything that came before them (when not ‘targeting the darkness’ with magic missiles).

On G+ I saw a post by Shane Ward of the 3toadstools blog fame who was recruiting to make a collaborative dungeon. So, I thought I’d do a room.

I thought it would be nice to have a throwback ‘illusionary’ type encounter.

But since we’re all too ‘street’ these days, and with the foregoing remarks in mind, I thought about making a ‘illusory encounter’ that was more in keeping with the OSR sensibilities.

Idea:
The genesis of the idea was “What if the players didn’t disbelieve the illusion” (after all it was a player not PC driven phenomena). Which led in turn to the idea of the players creating the illusion themselves. It’s hard to disbelieve that which you create, surely?

So, the premise of the room was to ‘source the table’ invite the players to describe what was in the room. AND THAT would be the illusion. The players had already chosen not to disbelieve. Disbelieve that suckers (… errr … would say a 15 year old DM in 1987) !!!!

Implementation:
An Invitation From The Blue Baron 101There’s a whole mechanic involving a blood sucking vine that generates illusions to drink the PC’s blood and what not.

For more on this, please check out Room 20 (Phantasmal Blood Vine) of the ‘An Invitation from the Blue Baron’ (It’s free on DriveThru).

There’s also a sequel: The Return Of The Blue Baron.

c AntMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

 

Tuesday Toot!! | The ‘Balanced’ Encounter

Tuesday TootG+ 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+.

drill.jpgThe ‘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

drill 2How 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’.
giphy

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.

mutrt
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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c AntMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my
procedural adventure ‘
Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony. 


James V West Gexit
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”
Fight on dear Gexit
(drawing by James V West)