Sunday, April 17, 2011

R is for Riddle

A riddle veiled in double meaning has been a way to entertain and challenge since ancient times. Riddles challenge the players forcing them to use something other than their swords to solve a problem. They provide a memorable encounter and if the answer correctly they reap the rewards and if the don't suffer the consequences. They are a great way to add detail about an area as well as background information. The key with riddles are to make them challenging with out making them so difficult to solve the players become frustrated. One of the easiest ways to make it easier for the players is to foreshadow the riddle. Give clues about the riddle before the riddle is given. Drop references in the game sessions before the riddle is give or the very least at the beginning of the adventure well before the riddle is given. This give a frame of reference if the riddle contains seldom used words, double meanings, and specific items. In most RPGs riddles are presented as formalized guessing games. Others are in the form of poems and are often the most baroque. Often the person charged with answering the riddle has but one guess or face a penalty. Many cant resist posing or answering a riddle to prove their cleverness. The key the riddle is to make it solve-able yet challenging enough to give the players a since of accomplishment. Remember that riddles may have more then one answer that is acceptable. If you are not that adept at creating riddles find a suitable short riddle and replace key words to change the meaning enough to make it met your needs with out making it insolvable. Or just research riddles and find one uncommon enough that it is unknown to the players. Presenting riddles in the game are a fun way to break up the monotony of hack and slash and add interest to a game.

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