Hello fellow adventurers! Welcome back to the Arcadian: the premier blog about all hings for Calgary escape rooms. If you like escape rooms, board games, video games, or other nerdy hobbies, I’m willing to bet you’ve played or heard of Dungeons & Dragons! Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, and Call of Cthulhu are all popular tabletop roleplaying games that both give inspiration to and draw inspiration from locked rooms. These tabletop roleplaying games often integrate puzzles, riddles, and dungeons into different encounters that players experience. Reminisce on your favorite Calgary escape room experiences and step up your Game Master game!
Escape Rooms are Dungeons!
Having difficulty imagining what kind of dungeon crawl your players are going to have next? Think of your favorite adventure rooms, and recreate them right within your campaign setting! This is especially effective if the escape rooms you have done are multiple rooms. But, even single-room escape rooms can serve as inspiration for part of the dungeon, or stretch out your favourite escape room into multiple rooms and chambers in your game. Keep the theme the same, or change it to suit your unique world’s needs!
Linear vs Nonlinear Styles
Escape rooms can have lots of different formats and ways that puzzles are coordinated. The main two locked room experiences tend to be linear – when you MUST solve one puzzle before going onto the next – and nonlinear – when there are multiple puzzles you can solve at once. If your characters are diving into a super secure lab or wizard’s tower, linear is a great way to emulate security measures or rooms that are one right after another. If your characters are perusing a mad alchemist’s messy workshop, or are exploring an abandoned mine, nonlinear would provide the experience of group investigation that everyone can play a part in. Changing it up between linear and nonlinear are excellent ways to diversify your Game Master expertise!
You might not be able to remember word for word the trapped room puzzles and riddles you faced and struggled with – and if you can, good for you! – but even thinking about the different kinds of puzzles can be helpful in designing your own. Integrating rune-based deciphering puzzles into your Dwarven stronghold dungeon crawl, codebreaking into your sci-fi ship takeover, or artsy pattern puzzles into your Elvish castle heist are all great starts. Diversifying your puzzles is important to give a full-rounded experience. Make sure you don’t rely on just one or two puzzles – escape rooms never have just one or two puzzles!
Copy That Aha! Moment
Picture this: You and your friends are playing in a tough trapped room, and after a long effort with tons of tries and creative ideas, you finally figure out the puzzle. Aha! You input the answer into your lock, crack it open, and feel that fantastic wave of joy and relief. When you translate an escape room into a dungeon, don’t just hand your players the puzzles. Descriptions are still very important! Give your players a sense of the dungeon with detailed,
sense-based descriptions, describe how the puzzles are embedded into your dungeon, and be sure that when they solve something, reward them with that glorious Aha! moment when they crack that puzzle. Or, ask your players to describe how their character goes about solving this
puzzle in their own special way to make them create that Aha! moment.
Whether you are new to tabletop roleplaying games like D&D, or an experienced veteran, there is always room to improve your dungeon-crawl and puzzle game. Even looking through puzzle room websites to see what kinds of themes there are and reading their descriptions could be a great opportunity to inspire your next session. Next time you feel the need to endlessly peruse Google for inspiration and resources for your next dungeon crawl or puzzle, instead, direct your creative mind back in time to your favorite escape room experiences! Better yet… Why not really inspire yourself by going to one of Calgary’s many
fantastic escape rooms? It’s for research purposes, right?…
Arcadia Adventures Escape Room is Calgary’s premier escape room experience. Our real-life Calgary escape room is an excellent way to have fun, solve puzzles, and improve your team-building skills. Our rooms can host parties, small groups, families, couples, and is great as a team-building activity for Calgary businesses. Book your spot at our one of our Calgary escape rooms online or by contacting us on 587-356-0440.