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Guest Post: The Azerothian Riddle Hunt

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Welcome to the doldrums of summer! This miserable time of year, when we see interest in raiding melt away as the temperature rises, can be a stressful time for even a well-established guild. A good way to combat the stress is to gather the remaining troops for a bit of a morale boost in the form of a little light-hearted, fun event such as a scavenger hunt. This article provides the able morale officer with everything he or she needs to know to prepare and run one such hunt, a variation called the Azerothian Riddle Hunt.

The Azerothian Riddle Hunt combines 10 cheesy and not-quite-literarily correct rhymes with player knowledge of original Azeroth and the challenge of swift (or not-so-swift) travel around Azeroth, in order to create an event that can be both amusing and challenging. Once unraveled, each rhyme tells the player where to go to answer the question given in the rhyme's last line.

The ground rules

Level range: 55+
Time limit: an hour and a half
Required for participation: pencil and paper or other way of recording answers as they're found
Where: answers found across Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms
Rules: This scavenger hunt is light on rules. No outside web sources allowed (on the honor system), but pretty much everything else is fair game. Trash-talking is encouraged, so long as it fits within your group's atmosphere. Don't be afraid to egg it on yourself!
Winning: The person with the most right answers wins the game; use time of answer turn-in to break ties.

Prep and setup

As with any scavenger hunt, thoughtful preparation will make your Azerothian Riddle Hunt go much smoother. Obviously, providing your participants with the riddles and having your prizes in hand are the most important things; however, a little extra work in prep goes a very long way.

Know what you are going to award in advance, and get it in hand by the start of race time. That way, you're not scrambling to do that last bit of farming or what have you, and you can mail out the prizes or hand them over directly when you announce the winners. Plan for first-, second- and third-place winners. I like to give everyone something small for participating, too, as long as I do not expect to have too many players.

Have your list of riddles written out ahead of time in whatever form you need to get it to your players. I like to provide my players with three ways of getting their lists, including our guild website, an event channel in game, and lists sent via in-game mail. Any method you use has to be ready to go with the push of a button or two at start time. It helps immensely to have your list prepped and written out somewhere, so that it can just be copied and pasted into whichever form you are using. Don't forget to have the rules, including how players should get the answers to you, written down somewhere for easy copying and pasting; you will have to either write them at the top of all of your lists or repeat them often.

Pick a location for your toon to wait, and be there by the time the event starts. This is helpful because it makes you easy to find over the course of the race, so that your players know where to pick up in-game lists or ask questions. You should be prepared to hand out lists in one form or another throughout the duration of the hunt. In my experience, this hunt does not always handicap latecomers so harshly that they cannot place. Having your toon physically in a set place also means that at the end of the race, you already have a gathering point from which to announce winners and hand out prizes.

The riddles

Changed to bustling busy overnight,
the halved zone map was never the same.
The druids opened for business in the rare uptime's light,
including the innkeeper. What's her name?

Though after our time, we may be familiar
with the giant sea monster raring to fight.
Between the Defias and him, it couldn't be trickier.
With how many cannon can we aid the island's plight?

Many crystals dot the zone
of jungles and stompy danger,
but DK would feel at home.
Since his folk carry what, they are no stranger?

A little-known strand normally,
bustles busily when Midsummer is near.
Housing a poorly known instance, quite comfortably.
What clams are part of the local mob's gear?

A dragon, fierce but lonely
has nothing but himself to talk to,
though neighbors he has in a-plenty.
What giants has he chosen not to schmooze?

To the place of epic mob trains,
in the desert where ruins lie,.
an instance where it never rains.
How many trolls are there just inside?

Restoration committees hemmed and hawed,
after the crash that stranded them all,
But their priorities may be a little bit flawed.
How many mailboxes did they install?

A city of nature, of green and blue,
yet drowning death to a tailoring gnome,
where priestesses watch yet retain their cool.
How many benches reside within the dome?

A horrible plague covers northern Kalimdor,
a clan recruiting for murderous raids,
while plantains, fried, they do yet adore.
Which feathers will they take in trade?

A zone of green and ruins will not narrow it down,
but choose none of the three and go straight to the center.
For fighting the Razza, may win you the crown.
When standing, where may you see the fight better?

There you are -- all you need to set up and run your very own Azerothian Scavenger Hunt! Happy hunting!

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