New DM looking for help on a poem

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Hey guys!


I'm brand new to DM'ing and i'm prepping my very first campaign.


At this moment I'm working on a mini-dungeon where my adventurers can find a few magical items and a quest item for a sidequest they might take.


Setting:
The party enters a tomb via a corridor leading into a big room. In the center of the room stands a statue of a dwarf (Darku, former head of the cityguards). Against the walls stand 3 smaller statues of dwarven warriors.
The ceiling of the room consists of a few colored lenses which send the incoming light to the statues' eyes. The eyes are prisms which defract the light into different colors. The players can move these lenses which enables the mto change the eyecolor of the statue.


I'm only working with the main colors blue, red and green (the lenses are yellow, cyan and purple. Don't botter, it's a physics thingy :D)


This is the point where I'm stuck. I'd like to give some clues in the form of a poem:


Eg. When the eyes are green: nothing happens / when the eyes are red, the 3 smaller statues come to live and an encounter starts / when the eyes are blue, the big statue moves revealing a stairway to an other part of the dungeon.


I'm looking for someone who can help me write a poem containing these clues (You can choose how to use the colors).
I had something written down, but I believe it to be too straightforward and barely challenging:


When eyes glow green, there's nothing to be seen (eg: all the torches are magicly blown out)
When eyes glow blue as water, be ware for slaughter (eg: the small statues come to live leading into an encounter)
When eyes glow red as wine, consider yours what once was mine (eg: secret door opens to a next part of the dungeon)



Any input will be much appreciated!



Thanks in advance



- Khrovax

As someone who played a lot of old Lufia games back in the old days, your poems and riddles shouldn't take a genius to figure out. What a way to grind a game to a halt, wonder why we call them dungeon crawls?

Your current poem is absolutely fine from a functionalist view. It gets the job done, and it notifies the players what to do.


There are 2 kinds of challenges (probably more, but for the sake of this, there are 2).

1. Guess what I am thinking.
2. Beat me in a roll of dice with modifiers.

To sum this up, one of these 2 things is like charades; it doesn't play well in a story game where you want to use one scene as a tool to the next. One of them is a good tool to determine success or failure. Don't create some archaic riddle for the "player" to solve; make your riddle easy, and relatable so the game doesn't "hang" on it.

Your current riddle is fine

Within; Without.

Thadian is right.  For the specific scenario your poem could be much harder because you've created a failure state beyond 'bupkis.'  If they get it wrong and trigger a fight, well they do the fight then they can get at the goodies.  If they blow all the torches out they know they need to take another option.  It all leads to the goodies.  You just need to make sure you don't create a situation where failure, either the players' or the characters', leads to a pure dead end.

Also, if you're going to continue along these lines in the future let me direct you to here. 

Lots of other good reads on that site for a DM.
How about something like this:

A magic mouth on the statue activates as the PCs approach the statue.

Welcome adventurers to my lair
To get past me do beware

My eyes shine colors three
Only one gets you past me

When my eyes glow red
My pets need to be fed

When my eyes glow green
Everything is peaceful and serene

When my eyes glow blue
I have something to show you

You have the free will to agree or disagree.
You have the ability to act freely on the above choice regardless of the consequences.

As someone who played a lot of old Lufia games back in the old days, your poems and riddles shouldn't take a genius to figure out. What a way to grind a game to a halt, wonder why we call them dungeon crawls?

Your current poem is absolutely fine from a functionalist view. It gets the job done, and it notifies the players what to do.


There are 2 kinds of challenges (probably more, but for the sake of this, there are 2).

1. Guess what I am thinking.
2. Beat me in a roll of dice with modifiers.

To sum this up, one of these 2 things is like charades; it doesn't play well in a story game where you want to use one scene as a tool to the next. One of them is a good tool to determine success or failure. Don't create some archaic riddle for the "player" to solve; make your riddle easy, and relatable so the game doesn't "hang" on it.

Your current riddle is fine



Thadian is right.  For the specific scenario your poem could be much harder because you've created a failure state beyond 'bupkis.'  If they get it wrong and trigger a fight, well they do the fight then they can get at the goodies.  If they blow all the torches out they know they need to take another option.  It all leads to the goodies.  You just need to make sure you don't create a situation where failure, either the players' or the characters', leads to a pure dead end.

Also, if you're going to continue along these lines in the future let me direct you to here. 

Lots of other good reads on that site for a DM.

Hey guys,


Thanks for the quick answer! Never expected to my riddle to be any good. I thought it was to plain and obvious. Your tips are written down on my "What to watch out for"-list. 


Odin, also thanks for the link. I'm scouring the website as we speak.



How about something like this:

A magic mouth on the statue activates as the PCs approach the statue.

Welcome adventurers to my lair
To get past me do beware

My eyes shine colors three
Only one gets you past me

When my eyes glow red
My pets need to be fed

When my eyes glow green
Everything is peaceful and serene

When my eyes glow blue
I have something to show you




Astromath,


SurprisedSurprisedSurprised I'm absolutely speechless. This is exactly what I was looking for! The clues are at hand, but it all got spiced up a little. Thanks!

I came up with that poem after about 5 minutes of thought.  Poems are not my specialty, but I do what I can.

You have the free will to agree or disagree.
You have the ability to act freely on the above choice regardless of the consequences.