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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Indiana Jones May Teach You About Writing Role Playing Games

One of the reasons that the fellow with the whip was so popular were all the traps protecting the treasures.

Most role playing games involve finding a single treasure, and so in the Indiana tradition they need to be protected by traps. The one everyone knows about is the giant ball, and that can be played in special ways-can it roll uphill? Will it force people down a certain tunnel or pit? Does it seem to be being controlled by an unknown force?

A lesser known one is the IEHOVAH trap from The Last Crusade. The premise is this:

You need to step on the correct stones in order to cross the gorge and collect the treasure. But instead of the code word being 'Jehovah' its the old spelling 'Iehovah'.

A variant of this may be spelling goddess as 'goddeff'. Using the first version may make you end up in the pit...

But how did Dr Jones know about the code word in the first place? Answer: a book found beforehand. Something else you might use-a clue which isn't the complete solution.

Something else from the Last Crusade is that it is impossible to take the treasure-the Holy Grail in this case-away from the dungeon. This may annoy the players, after all they do all the work and get no treasure, but it's only a game after all.

It is important not to copy the plot of an Indiana Jones film completely, but to come up with your own spin on it, After all, that way is far more entertaining.

Paul Wimsett is an ebay seller, has a Auctiva shop and has also self published work on Createspace and http://Lulu.com

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