- 17th February 2008: Resting & The Passage of Time
- 7th April 2008: The Hunger & Vigour System
- 7th April 2008: Vigour & Resting Charts
- 20th November 2009: A Room At The Inn (Economy & Rest Considerations.)
PUZZLES: Player v PC
One of the difficulties I find when designing a puzzle is the potential objection from players that their PC would know how better to solve it than they might themselves. In PnP D&D, this kind of play was easily managed by the DM who could offer clues to the player if need be, either directly or after a successful intelligence roll (or whatever attribute was being tested). In NWN, however, the same kind of opportunity to offer a clue is not so readily available, unless the game is being DM'd at the same time.
When I finally get to play my own module with my group I will be present as a guiding DM at the time of play, but I am interested in how others include puzzles where a DM may not be present? Do you even include puzzles? If you do, what considerations do you include when designing them? I would be interested in comments from both players and builders.
Agility of the Mind
The puzzle I am currently building, I have entitled an "agility of the mind" type puzzle. This is to avoid any direct connection with attributes a player may try to associate with their PC. Some may argue that this sounds like an intelligence based puzzle, but I beg to differ. After all, we can probably all recall the scatter-brained wizard. Such a wizard is extremely intelligent, but can often have moments of "slowness" over what may be considered simple things. In this way, I can design the puzzle to be reasonably simple to understand, but may require an agile mind to work out, especially if there is a given time limit.
In the process of designing this puzzle, I recognised another potential issue: If a timer was to be involved, what was there to stop the player from clicking on the pause button and taking as long as they liked to solve it? This left me stumped for some time, and I did not come up with a solution until later in the day. The answer: By using a GUI to offer a puzzle, I could force the SetPause function to keep the game un-paused all the while the GUI was open! For all other builders out there who like to use timers for puzzles, this is like a breakthrough. I felt like I had solved my own puzzle. ;)
So now, I can offer the puzzle I had in mind (using a GUI) and the player must solve the problem in a given time. Furthermore, I have considered giving bonus time based on some attributes (so maybe I will let the intelligent PC have more time). Lastly, it allows me to even have items available that will also offer bonus time to the PC/player to allow the a better chance at solving the puzzle.
Name Your Favourite Puzzle
I have a couple of puzzles now that make use of this facility. However, I would also like to know what have been your favourite puzzles in games? They can be one-off types, or regular types (like my combination chest puzzles). Whatever they be, give me some details of a puzzle that you enjoyed playing/solving and maybe I can use its style in my own module.
POLL: What Turns You Off A Module?
And once again ... if you haven't voted in the poll yet (on the left hand side), then please do and feel free to comment.