30 Ways To Deliver Clever Clues
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1093
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
- A prophecy written on an amphora now in shards
- Written as a cypher on a bookmark inside a book it’s the key for
- Carved with a dagger and scarred into the back of a powerful monster
- Embedded in a nursery rhyme
- A toy akin to a Rubik’s Cube
- Worked into a famous piece of art
- Sewn as a tag inside a foe’s special item of clothing
- Passed down from mother to child, garbled after five generations
- Runestones that can be ordered into words
- Petroglyph grafitti on a wall, floor, or ceiling
- An anagram of a book title
- A demon knows, but they must be convinced
- Three parts, each known by one king
- The result of a ritual you must cast, but the ritual has bad side effects
- Tattoos inked onto the chest of a dangerous NPC
- Like the puzzle of a clever personalized license plate, but as a collection of simple objects in a box
- Stained into parchment and revealed when held up to light
- The scrambled phrase a parrot repeats
- Where a body seems to point toward
- Roll twice more with roll one being a false clue that hides the real clue via roll two
- The first letter of each line of a bard’s song
- Written on the bottom of a heavy statue
- Classic: the answer to a riddle
- Summon a djinni and it quests for it but it demands an unusual price
- Charades performed as part of a repeating permanent silent illusion
- A talking animal that requires the party to play Twenty Questions
- Carved into the ground or a wheat field and then seen from great height
- Reverse spelling of a fiend’s name that summons the fiend when spoken
- Buried beneath the lair of a dangerous monster
- 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.