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Test of the Venery/Bastet

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Main Shard Bastet T5 Beta

The Test of the Venery challenges you to create a puzzle that can potentially cover a large portion of land. Veneries consist of a series of lockboxes scattered across the land, each containing a key that leads to another lockbox and a clue that will lead to this next lockbox. A simple venery will play as a single chain between lockboxes. More complex veneries can exist, that have multiple chains going on at once. Upon completing a venery, you get a Venery Certificate.


Demonstrate the Principle

Demonstrated by Ari on 2010-08-04.


A Venery consists of a Venery Gathering Point and at least 7 lockboxes placed around the land.

Venery Gathering Point


Built in a Small Construction Site (1 Canvas, 4 Rope).

Simple Lockbox

Made in a Forge (2 minutes to cool)

Designing a Venery

(copied from T4 Main)

  • Hints are on the "exterior" of the lockbox, and will appear if, and only if, the lock box requires a key and the player does not yet have that key.
  • Clues are on the "inside" of the lockbox, and will appear if no key is required, or once the player has all of the required keys.
  • You must put a lockbox in the Venery Gathering point. This should be the last box that people go to.
  • The Venery gathering point will have 2 Venery menus (important for when you want to generate keys)

Is there anyway to set the final text at the Venery Gathering Point when someone gets back to it at the end?

Dreasimy: the way I do my veneries is make the lockbox on the gathering point require ALL the keys in your venery so it can only be opened at the end. Then I use the Welcome Text as my intro and when they search for keys on the base at the beginning, it tells them they dont have the keys they need and instead gives them a Hint which directs them onto the next lockbox, this way you use your CLUE as your final text at the end :) Here is a step-by step guide I wrote: Dreasimy's Guide to Creating a Venery

Puzzles like the Venery are subjective: what one person finds challenging and fun, another might find infuriating. You can't please all of the players all of the time, but there are a few tips you can follow to make your puzzle as entertaining as possible.

Every Venery Tells A Story A venery should be more than just a random series of locations and objects. It should tell a story, with each location revealing a little more of the tale. It adds depth to your puzzle, and gives the player additional motivation to keep playing.

You don't need to write a novel: just decide on a simple storyline, and let that guide the development of a puzzle. Is the player trying to find a lost camel? Is he on the trail of the man who stole his gem collection? Is she following a map to some elusive treasure? Are they touring exciting landmarks across the face of Egypt?

You decide!

Location, Location, Location! When selecting objects for your lockbox locations, try to choose distinctive sites. Unique landmarks such as a particular sculpture, or the only deep well for 200 coords would be excellent choices. One single apiary in a field of 4 dozen would be an awful choice.

Once your player finds your lockbox location, there should be no doubt in their mind that this is the place!

This doesn't mean that you can't use common, everyday objects in your puzzles. It just means that you'll have to be careful to guide the player to the target you've chosen, rather than having them run willy-nilly across Egypt.

Clues Blues No matter what form your venery takes, the clues you write will make or break your puzzle. The trick to writing good clues is to give the player just enough information to figure out the target, without telling them the answer. Designing good clues is a puzzle of its own!

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Hint, but don't tell. Rather than telling the player to simply "go east", find a way to subtly guide them in that direction. The sun rises in the east, so you could tell the player to "journey in the direction of the rising sun". Nowhere do you say the word "east", but the clever player will figure it out. (The less clever players will ask for help.)

Be colorful. Let's say that, in your venery's story, you tell the tale of the Lost Queen Pleocatra, and have the players follow her wanderings through the desert. Why not wrap your hints into the story? "Pleocatra grew thirsty. After a moment's wandering to the north, she found a lone Royal Cactus, and judging that it must be fit for one of her royal upbringing, she drank the sap straight from the trunk."

In this paragraph, you've given the player clear directions to "go north a short distance until you find a single Royal Cactus", and you've furthered the tale of your venery, all in one shot.

Feel free to add colorful details to your clues: the venery is as much story as it is puzzle.

Play with the puzzle. You can have fun with your clues by rhyming, telling riddles, even inserting puzzles of your own in the venery clues. The more unusual your venery, the more people will be drawn to it, and the higher a rating you are likely to receive. Don't be afraid to bend the rules and try new things!

How about a venery done entirely in song lyrics?

   Sweet desert rose
   This memory of Eden haunts us all
   This desert flower
   This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of her love
   (with the next lockbox on a nearby sea lily)

...Or a venery that uses word games?

   You'll find your next clue in the public works compound. All you have to do is take out the trash:
   (remove the letters T-R-A-S-H from the above, and you're left with "box kiln")

...Or a venery where all the lockboxes are attached to players? Let the manhunt begin!

Now that you've got some ideas to play with, let's see some top notch veneries!

   Taken from T3, and modified a bit


Dreasimy's Guide to Creating a Venery

Venery Locations

  • Green for recognized (passed) puzzles (use "Gr" prefix on pin)
  • Red for unrecognized (unpassed) puzzles (use "Rd" prefix on pin)

Region Coordinates Designer Passed Title Date Opened
Saqqarah 806, -1016 Snoerr 2010-08-16 The Scarab Circuit 2010-08-07
Stillwater 1383, 3156 Chet 2010-08-09 Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it 2010-08-04
Stillwater 1387, 3100 Basmati A Queens's Secret 2010-09-08
Shabbat Ab 1040, 1390 Taouret 2010-08-22 Pharaoh's Investigation Unit - Detective 2010-08-16
Stillwater 1381, 3144 Avanya 2010-09-12 The Cicada's Safari 2010-09-10
Stillwater 1383, 3114 Reese The Galactic Visitors 2010-09-08
Shabbat Ab 1326, 1575 Sawyer The Three Holy Sheep 2010-09-02

Recognized Veneries

Region Coordinates Designer Date Passed Title
Stillwater 1383, 3156 Chet 2010-08-09 Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it
Saqqarah 806, -1016 Snoerr 2010-08-16 The Scarab Circuit
Shabbat Ab 1040, 1390 Taouret 2010-08-22 Pharaoh's Investigation Unit - Detective

Test Constructions that require judging