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Episode 2136: Now You’re Thinking Up Portals

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Some locations in adventures are more or less designed to be puzzles that the characters (and their players) need to figure out in order to progress. Think about the sequence of rooms with the devil's snare, the flying keys, and then the giant chessboard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Specific physical actions may be required to solve the puzzle and make it through the room. Just be careful to give plenty of clues, because when PCs are confronted with such a place their thoughts start expanding in all sorts of lateral and irrelevant directions. The wide open sandbox of a tabletop game can actually make this more difficult than a well-defined set of available actions such as in a computer puzzle game.

But ultimately more fun!

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Oh man, this is probably another impressive looking scene-setting shot that doesn't translate well to the comic. It's good to have examples of the scale of this place; I don't think it's easy to comprehend just how massive the Peace Moon and associated machinery is by only looking at corridors and the overall view of the Moon in space. It's one thing to be told "this place is really really big" and quite another to look into the distance and recognize that those tiny dots are people like you. Like the establishing shot of Rey working in the spaceship wreck; I'm hoping the movie conveys the feeling I'm getting here as well.

No surprise Pete is expecting something complicated based on the description. Death trap dungeons, overcomplicating things; I'm not even sure what Pete would think a solution to a puzzle room would accomplish here if there was one. His goal is to find the command room right? Absent any directions given or a map to follow, why not simply go through the nearest set of doors and see where they go? The GM probably will need a bit of time to turn this room into an actual puzzle to solve anyway.

Transcript

GM: Rey is in this side corridor. A patrol goes by in this direction.
[SFX]: trot trot trot...
Rey: I head the other way.
GM: The corridor opens into a vast, tall space. An open-sided corridor is inset into the wall across a broad chasm. Two troopers walk along it to the left.
Rey: I look carefully around the corner.
GM: There’s a symmetrical inset corridor on this side. Three troopers are talking with their backs to you about 20 metres to your right.
GM: The far end of the chamber opens to the snowy landscape outside. Parked near the opening is a single black PIE fighter, with two small figures performing tasks nearby.
Rey: Hmmm. A classic puzzle box room. Any large sliding blocks?
GM: Uh, no.
Rey: Moving staircases?
GM: No.
Rey: Teleport portals?
GM: What do you think?
Rey: Well, if you’re asking me, there definitely are!


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Published: Thursday, 07 April, 2022; 02:11:03 PDT.
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