Pinging Paizo Staffers
As many of you know, this game involves both real world and in-game puzzles. This year, we have a set format for most of the real world puzzles. And, it involves everyone’s favorite in-game Easter Egg hunt.
As in previous years, Paizo staffers/contributors are assumed to be one of the Thousand Faces of Nyarlathotep, sworn enemy of the Harbingers of Fate. Discovering what these enemies are doing aids the Harbingers of Fate in their existential struggle against the Lovecraftian horror.
This year, the puzzle works as follows:
Step 1: In character check. These take various forms such as skill checks or checking languages known. So, for example, we could determine that this week’s clue is written in Aklo. Characters who speak Aklo get the first clue. Getting the first clue is a pretty big boon, but the puzzles should be solvable without the first clue.
Note: You may use a spell or other class ability to meet step one. For example, if you do not speak Aklo, but can cast comprehend languages, you may use that ability to get the week one clue. HOWEVER, all abilities used in the real-world puzzle game are considered used at the final table. So if you use a spell slot to cast comprehend languages, that spell slot is burned for the PaizoCon game.
Step 2: A clue and a search.
At this point is it easier to give an example from last year.
Last year, players found a “Gut-Spindle,” a tool used by troll augers to pull out their guts in order to read hieromancy signs. At step one, players with a perception modifier exceeding +10 noticed a faint inscription discussing a servant of Nyarlathtep who worships the Nightstalker. We told those players that the Paizo Staffer/Consatributor was Ben Bruck (who has a benchack the nightstalker avatar). That is, the answer lies somewhere within a Paizo message board post authored by Ben Bruck.
At step two we gave everyone the following clue (even if they didn’t have the skill in step 1):
Astride her lathered mount,
neither maiden,nor a whore,
with wings as black as midnight,
she leads them into war.
Now, a few especially canny players correctly guessed that the riddle referred to Szuriel, the Horse(wo)man of War and didn’t need the first clue. Other used the first clue, Bruck’s name, and searched his posts and found the mention of Szuriel.
Regardless of how each got the answer, anyone who guessed Szuriel got a Fate Point.
Rewards. In prior years, rewards were cool pieces of equipment or bonus feats/skills. This year, they are mythic tiers. See the Fate Points Table here
Week 1 In Game Puzzle