I'm going to write a series of puzzles for my wizard academy game, inspired by the likes of magic the puzzling and chess problems. One of the strengths of the game is the emergent play that comes for the interactions between all of the different elements and I enjoy seeing people solve problems with whatever they have to hand. To keep things interesting I'm going to post one or two of these a week and offer some prizes at the end for successful solutions. Here's the first puzzle:
The scenario is "Golem construction for beginners" and the game is entering its final stage. Half of the top tier spells have unlocked so it won't be long before the players find the summon guardian spell and win the scenario, but unfortunately the mana crystal is down to its last mana and almost everything is on fire. Bob has just started his turn, his previous disaster card was played with little effect, but now he has drawn a "Fire" disaster, which as things stand is guaranteed to spread a fire to the mana crystal and end the game. The goal of this puzzle is to work out how to spend the rest of Bobs turn and all of Myrrins turn such that there is no chance of this "Fire" card causing a fire to spread to the mana crystal at the start of Bobs next turn.
Bob has been preparing to deal with the fire problem for a while. He has a robe that makes him immune to fire and a staff keyed to let him cast the "Snuff" spell as a move action, he's got a small stock of runes and his next turn will start with the fire disaster.
Myrrin has just finished dealing with an imp problem. Her staff is keyed to cast the "Blast" spell and she has no robe. She's also has a small stock of runes and her disaster card will randomise the facedown spells at the start of her turn.
The pair have done well unlocking spells, most of the spellbook is revealed. This provides a wide variety of options to the wizards, which is only limited by their meagre rune supply.
Every space of the academy is on fire except the mana crystal and cursed room. The cursed room is currently outside of the academy having been switched with the outer dimension using the "Rend Dimension" spell.
A solution to this puzzle consists of the series of moves that Bob and Myrrin take such that the newly drawn "Fire" card does not cost them the game. It is Bobs turn and he has already completed the first two steps (Play disaster and draw disaster).
The rules for wizard academy are here.
Email solutions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first person to email the intended solution gets three points, the second gets two, everyone else gets one. I like getting these solutions because it means that the puzzle worked.
The first person to email a solution that is not the intended solution but that works with the RAW gets three points, the second gets two, everyone else gets one. I like getting these solutions because they help me to refine the way I word rules and setup puzzles.
The games rules will be updated as rules lawyers find tricksy ways to subvert the intention of the rules, so if you want your points make sure you get your message in first.
If the game's eventual kickstarter is successful then there will be prizes.
* A raffle will be held in which each point is worth a ticket, the winner will receive a free copy of the game (If they've pledged for a copy of the game they will be offered another copy, a refund of the base games price or an upgrade to a higher level pledge with more rewards)
* Anyone who completed at least one puzzle who pledges to receive a copy of the game will receive a promotional bonus. This may take the form of a small puzzle book, a bonus spell or a bonus character. My intention here is to include a spell or character that might not appeal to the general audience for the game, but has the sort of ability that appeals to the sort of person who likes solving puzzles.
* If the puzzles and/or the kickstarter are very popular then I'll add in more prizes. If the puzzles are unpopular then I may add other ways to get points. If the kickstarter is unpopular then there will be no game and that will be very sad for everyone involved. At the moment, I don't think that's how this story is going to end.
That's it for this week; I hope that you enjoy the puzzle. I think that tomorrow I'm going to write about promotional cards, I've been reading a lot about them and people's attitude towards them that gives me pause for thought. See you then!