30 Ways To Deliver Clever Clues

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1093

Table of Contents:

You know how you want to give players clues in clever ways in-game without just blurting them out?

The opportunity is there. The need is there. But nothing comes to mind.

Then the moment passes and you move on, a bit disappointed, sometimes frustrated. “If only I could have thought of a great way to drop a clue back there!”

So here’s a table of 30 interesting methods for dropping clues onto your players.

Keep this list handy next session.

When opportunity strikes, pick one, improv, and drop it into the encounter.

d30 Fantasy Clue Methods

  1. A prophecy written on an amphora now in shards
  2. Written as a cypher on a bookmark inside a book it’s the key for
  3. Carved with a dagger and scarred into the back of a powerful monster
  4. Embedded in a nursery rhyme
  5. A toy akin to a Rubik’s Cube
  6. Worked into a famous piece of art
  7. Sewn as a tag inside a foe’s special item of clothing
  8. Passed down from mother to child, garbled after five generations
  9. Runestones that can be ordered into words
  10. Petroglyph grafitti on a wall, floor, or ceiling
  11. An anagram of a book title
  12. A demon knows, but they must be convinced
  13. Three parts, each known by one king
  14. The result of a ritual you must cast, but the ritual has bad side effects
  15. Tattoos inked onto the chest of a dangerous NPC
  16. Like the puzzle of a clever personalized license plate, but as a collection of simple objects in a box
  17. Stained into parchment and revealed when held up to light
  18. The scrambled phrase a parrot repeats
  19. Where a body seems to point toward
  20. Roll twice more with roll one being a false clue that hides the real clue via roll two
  21. The first letter of each line of a bard’s song
  22. Written on the bottom of a heavy statue
  23. Classic: the answer to a riddle
  24. Summon a djinni and it quests for it but it demands an unusual price
  25. Charades performed as part of a repeating permanent silent illusion
  26. A talking animal that requires the party to play Twenty Questions
  27. Carved into the ground or a wheat field and then seen from great height
  28. Reverse spelling of a fiend’s name that summons the fiend when spoken
  29. Buried beneath the lair of a dangerous monster
  30. A secret compartment or portal that opens via chemical reaction when three types of potions are mixed together

Can you think of other clever ways to deliver clues along with a dash of danger or mystery?

Hit reply and I’ll put together another table if enough entries come in. Next time you get stuck for a novel way to deliver a clue, this table will help.