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5E Recreating the Lost Woods in a game

Im DMing a game and are taking alot of influences from the Zelda series. Now i want to try and recreate the Lost Woods feeling but am not rly sure how to go about that.

At first my Idea was to use a version of the handhelds where in each clearing they will find a sign that said something along the lines of
Turn Left
Turn Right
Turn Back
Same a 2 before
Opposite of First
But im afraid that after the first fail they'll Just use the pen&paper infront of them and write everything down :p with some bad Luck they'll do it the first go.

So any suggestions?

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This is a classic trick in dungeons where the corridors restrict your movement. (In a tabletop RPG a forest usually doesn't restrict your movement to right angles. "OK, we climb over the tree to the NW. No wait, I climb to the top and direct the party from above!" ;) )

Once the players realize that there are teleportation-loop shenanigans, it's usually pretty easy for them to figure out the puzzle by leaving a trail of copper coins or making chalk marks or something. Sometimes lower levels of such a dungeon will have inhabitants who specifically mess with these countermeasures (e.g. a rust monster wanders by, and now the trail of copper coins is a mysterious trail of copper crumbs). But upper levels should not have this; figuring out how to decode the proper path IS the solution to the puzzle, not the path itself.

I like your idea with signs that require people to remember previous signs or puzzle things out (the signs could have logic elements, like, "not any of the last 3 directions" or "the direction you have gone the least" or something). I think you should not be afraid that they will write all the directions down. Instead, expect them to write all the directions down, and make sure the sign mini-puzzles are entertaining enough on their own. The final sign might just say, "Guess!"


When my son wanted to learn to play D&D (grade school), I just copied a Zelda dungeon but put classic D&D monsters in it.

So just copy the game exactly, and see if anybody recognizes it. It's a nice 'Easter Egg' for whoever does figure it out; they feel smart and clever.

Later on, maybe they have to return to the Lost Woods and find something part-way along the twisted path, NOT along the way out?


Map out a Zelda dungeon, note which rooms have doors to connect them, ladders up/down, &c. Don't worry about hallways because that's not the game style.
For every monster in the room, make a list of replacement creatures. Use classic D&D monsters like Orc, Goblin, Rust Monster. Be consistent; if Stalphos = Ghost in one room, do that in all the other rooms too. (In my case, Bats in the underground caves = Giant Bats.)
One room has advice carved in the wall. Change the advice / warning to suit your adventure, write your own short cryptic poem. Let the PCs take a breather, drink Heal potions, &c.
The room where Link finds an important device of equipment to keep is where the D&D group finds a magic weapon.
The room where Link finds a Piece of Heart is where the D&D group finds the treasure chests.

Make your own map, cover it with Post-It notes, and pull off the notes as the group explores. Let them draw / write notes on it as they go along.

In my case, the BBEG at the end of the dungeon was a 'Skeleton Dragon' that spit knuckle bones as its breath weapon (re-skinned weakest Dragon; my son was playing a solo character, not a group).