Not long ago, I had a playtest session of ICv0.2 and my players encountered a rather peculiar trap.
They had entered a room in some sort of underground complex - they do not know whether it is a tomb, dungeon, end of the world, or something else - to escape a legion of automatons. As they entered they saw that the room was filled with silks, gold, and a fountain. But as they began to move around, they managed to go only a few steps, before the room seemed to extend it self.
What was going on? After a player had thrown a piece of gold toward the fountain and saw it was stuck in the air, he looked at one of his party members. That member who was trying to get back to the point of entry suddenly saw himself move rapidly through the room, he looked back at his friend and then the stone fell into the fountain.
Then it clicked for them.
They were in a chamber where one person had to watch the other move through the room, otherwise they would be stuck in place. They had solved the puzzle that could have starved them to death.
Clues can be hard to provide in a manner that does not feel forced. The way I did was to simply having multiple places that provided similar clues. Sometimes they would provide a suggested action. Here are some examples I used:
- "A tapestry depicts two people looking at eachother and walking away from the fountain." (A clue)
- As you are staring at the fountain, you notice no other sound then the footsteps of your friend. (A suggested action, to look at his companion)
- As you are skimming your grimoire for a solution, you come upon the bewitching of areas. It reads "First order of magnitude when bewitching any locale, is to have a clear visible source. For enchanting works best if tricked by the source with your eyes." (A clue)
I try my best to not make red herrings, as it could create an atmosphere of distrust between GM and player. With players questioning every. single. clue. Let's try to avoid that.