Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Housing Scavenger Hunt

The Housing Scavenger Hunt (HSH) was brought up in the thread I posted about the Library on the Homeshow forums. The question of whether the Library had a section for the Hunt was asked.
The very first books on the shelf in the Library!
The answer is "Yes." The HSH has its own section in the Library on the Adventurer Authored Tomes floor. There is plenty of space for tomes documenting other player-run events as well. In fact, that reminds me that I need to move the books for the Festivals of Unity and Discord scavenger hunts to their spot beside the HSH books.

On to some background:

For those who don't know, in February of 2011, I decided to host what I named a "housing scavenger hunt." I requested submissions of homes. For each home submitted, I and the homeowner determined a good location for a clue to be hidden. Contrary to my belief that only a few people would be interested in submitting homes, I wound up with 75 homes submitted, belonging to approximately 50 different players. Some players submitted one home, others submitted many.

I learned a lesson--never allow unlimited submissions for something like this. Put a cap on it!

To give you an idea of what the HSH was, the text from the event book that each participant read is copied below. The event book was placed on the top floor of the Library v2.0, and adventurers were directed there to read the book. The event ran for one month, from Feb 8 - March 8 of 2011.

Adventurers of Norrath, 
  An associate of mine has encountered a rather embarrassing problem. She is a young wizard still learning her trade. During the casting of a routine spell, she managed to switch some runes around. The result is that she is stuck speaking in rhyming riddles!
  Jazamin has been understandably shy since the accident. However, now she has disappeared completely. The last time I saw her, she mentioned something about visiting various homes in Norrath to see if she could find the components for a cure. I would be most appreciative if you would take the time out of your schedules to see if you can track her down.
  As the Head Librarian of the Norrathian Research Library, Kelethin branch, I did some research for her. From the little I have been able to determine about my young associate's affliction, some of the ingredients for a cure will be rather difficult to obtain. There is also a bit of a timeline. If the components are not found by March 8th, 2011, Jazamin will be stuck speaking riddles for the rest of her life. Please spare us all the horror of listening to an Erudite rhyme.
  Jazamin mentioned that some of the possible items for the cure are best used fresh. If it turns out that she requires some of these items, you will not need to bring them back. Merely let me know what and where they are. In plain Common please, I am not fond of rhymes!
  To help you begin your search, I have included the last thing Jazamin said to me.
Thank you,
Jazabelle Wra'Eth, Head Librarian of the Norrathian Research Library, Kelethin branch
  Welcome to the first Housing Scavenger Hunt! This is not a competition. I repeat, this is NOT a competition. This is instead a challenge.
  You are to "run the course" as directed by the clues you will find in players' homes and guild halls. Please take the time to explore the houses and halls! These players have opened up their hard work for your pleasure and enjoyment, and it would be rude not to take advantage of the opportunity they are presenting.
  There are two paths to pick from. One will take you through Neriak. This is marked as the "evil" path. You do NOT need to be evil to run it, but you WILL need to be able to sneak through Neriak safely. The other is the "good" path. You do NOT need to be good to run it. Both paths will take you through good and evil cities.
  Some clues in the houses and homes will have secondary instructions. If you are not interested in the prize at the end, you may ignore these instructions. If you would like to receive a prize, and you qualify (restrictions on qualifications are in the rules section), you must carefully note down the secondary instructions and figure them out.
  If you cannot find a home on the list when you click the door, try typing in the homeowner's name.
  ANYONE MAY PARTICIPATE! That is right. Anyone may participate. Complete the challenge on time, and if you are eligible, you will win a prize!
  If you find any errors with the Hunt, please let Jazabelle know immediately, so they can be fixed and others may enjoy the hunt error free.
  The hunt will continue until March 8, 2011
  1. Unless you are from another server, you must be level 20 or above to participate.
  2. You are welcome to use whatever means at your disposal to view a clue EXCEPT sending someone else to find it for you. Ingenuity is required for good characters visiting evil cities, and evil characters visiting good cities. It is possible! Just difficult.
  3. Keep a list of the items the scavenger hunt wants you to obtain. Some items are part of the game world, and so you only need to tell Jazabelle what they are and where to find them.
    Example of how you might describe a reagent to Jazabelle:
    "A plate on the table in the Halfling's house in Rivervale."
    Other items are actual items you must loot. These items must be brought or mailed to Jazabelle before you may claim your prize. At the end of the hunt, you should have 8 items to give to Jazabelle, and 12 locations to tell her. 
  4. When you BEGIN the challenge, contact Jazabelle. It may be by mail, private message on the SoE forums, or /tell. If you do not, you will NOT be eligible for a prize.
  5. When you COMPLETE the challenge, contact Jazabelle. It may be by mail, private message on the SoE forums, or /tell. If you do not, you will NOT be eligible for a prize.
  6. ONE entry per player. Do not bring multiple characters through the challenge, and expect multiple prizes. You may run the courses as many times as you desire but only once will you receive a prize.

  Many wonderful prizes have been donated by generous individuals. This is just a small sample of some of the prizes.
SC Plushies
Mahogany furniture
Eucalyptus furniture
Music boxes
Rare books
Rare furniture
Venril Sathir paintings
Firiona Vie statues
LON paintings
LON tapestries
Happy Scavenging!

Good path:
Within the manors of the Twins,
It is the place your path begins.
Innis' name is on the door,
Use the portal on the floor.
It lies below the mining bins,
Where furnace burns and bellows roar.

Evil path:
On a road where Deadmen Walk,
Close by fearful dreadknights stalk.
Through the third door to survive,
Xravilec waits as you arrive.
In room where one is made to talk,
Grab the clue while still alive.

Included in the books for the HSH are three books with clues--the good side, the evil side, and the neutral side that both the good and evil merged into. There's a fourth book with the riddles for the different components.

I had two individuals who did an incredible job documenting their journeys through the 50 player houses each of them had to visit. Optikal kept a rather amusing journal (three volumes' worth!), while Aluriel took a screenshot journal through the homes she visited. (And yes, Aluriel, if you put the link into a book, or transcribe the captions under the pictures into a book, it will go on the shelf beside the other HSH books!)

I would like to do another HSH in the future, but it was a lot of work. Part of it is that I didn't delegate work figuring out clue locations. While I did have someone write the clues for me (I'm not that good at rhymes), I had to error check each clue, location check each clue, copy each clue into a book, then deliver each clue to the homeowners. Lastly, I had to ensure that the clues were placed properly before the Hunt began. Phew!

I'm tired just thinking about it. I think I'll go take a nap... Or maybe I'll shelve more books.

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