December 23rd, 2013

autumnleaf

Players and Mechanics

The Dragon run last Saturday had an interesting failure mode. The party was journeying through the World Below (the land of demons), which usually means they have to interact with various set pieces and puzzles. The first puzzle they encountered - a visual thing putting together an overlapping pointillized set of circles, to determine what the picture(s) were of - I badly misjudged the difficulty. They got the first picture in about 40 minutes, which was fine, but the second picture proved to be much harder, both to put together and to recognize. After about an hour and a half, mjperson, as the demon, started trying to sell them other exits, but nobody wanted to make a deal. Because of the nature of the puzzle, I think there was very slow incremental progress being made, so people didn't want to give up, plus there was the issue of sunk costs that they didn't want to waste. In the end it took them close to three hours, with several people getting sore necks from trying to look at things sideways.

The other thing that I tend to overlook is that we actually have different visual processing abilities. I read that different people have different mixes of rods and cones in their retina, so they either have good dark vision or good color vision, but not both. I have terrible night sight, and I think it is easy to see the picture. Mike has very very good night sight, and thinks the pictures are impossible.