Just got back from NYC. The art got shown and sold and all that. At some point soon I may be able to settle back and resume the regular broadcasting schedule here.
Anyway: still testing the hypothesis.
So I just saw Zach Galifinakis interview Bruce Willis and made me think of this player-skill-test mechanism:
NPC (or magic talking box, or communed with deity or whatever) asks a question. If the PC hesitates, horrible things begin to happen.
Unlike the Python "Name/quest/favorite color" gimmick, it's not just a binary answer-or-get-fucked-over situation, it has to get progressively worse the longer the player fails to answer and the player has to know it.
Also, I wouldn't go with a riddle, I'd just go with something that you have to think about for a minute.
Like the cleric goes "Oh, Mighty Vrogthrot, guide me in my hour of need!"
Vrogthrot: "Then tell me, holyman, what is the finest meal you've eaten since you left the Brass Forests of Klee Ten Krhome?"
DM: "You lose a fingernail"
DM: "Tik tik tik. You lose another. Off your thumb."
And then if you lie, things of course get much worse.
Alright, there you go.
Welcome to your doom
16 hours ago