Trials 1-3   


Lore #1: The Washburn Girl
Location #1: The Kumeyaay
CP: Where-When #1
Legend #1: Esteban Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #1

Lore #2: The Phantom Bells
Location #2: Lottery Numbers
CP: Where-When #2
Legend #2: Rosa Maria Leon
CP: Burden-to-Bring #2

Lore #3: The Ghost Ship
Location #3: About Gold
CP: Where-When #3
Legend #3: Ignacio Souza
CP: Burden-to-Bring #3
  Trials 4 - 6  

Lore #4: The Bast Curse
Location #4: Extended Family (Feral Cats)
CP: Where-When #4
Legend #4: Jorge Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #4

Lore #5: Apacheland Movie Ranch
Location #5: Jacob Waltz
CP: Where-When #5
Legend #5: David Ravello
CP: Burden-to-Bring #5

Lore #6: An Orderly Hanging
Location #6: George Hunt
CP: Where-When #6
Legend #6: Penelope Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #6
  Trials 7-9  

Lore #7: Getting in Touch
Location #7: Send Help
CP: Where-When #7
Legend #7: Doris Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #7

Lore #8: The OK Corral
Location #8: This Room is Haunted
CP: Where-When #8
Legend #8: Daniel Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #8

Lore #9: Billy the Kid
Location #9: Silver!
CP: Where-When #9
Legend #9: Maurice Arroyo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #9

  Trials 10-13  

Lore #10: Prettiest Cowboy
Location #10: Branding Cattle
CP: Where-When #10
Legend #10: Christopher Freemont
CP: Burden-to-Bring #10

Lore #11: Party Girls at the Driskill
Location #11: Remember the Alamo
CP: Where-When #11
Legend #11: Oliver Souza
CP: Burden-to-Bring #11

Lore #12: La Llorona
Location #12: Visit the Departed
CP: Where-When #12
Legend #12: Anne Ravelo
CP: Burden-to-Bring #12

Lore #13: Jean LaFitte
Location #13: Have a Drink
CP: Where-When #13
Legend #13: Victor Garcia
CP: Burden-to-Bring #13

  Putting It All Together  

Where-When - Burden-to-Bring
  New Games  

Game A - Game B - Game C - Game D - Game E - Game F - Game G - Game H - Game I - Game J

crest  Introduction

Welcome to the Basic Guide to Lawn Games for Life. In case you don't know, Lawn Games for Life is a game that was set up by dear Aunt Anna Ravelo before her death in the hopes that it would guide all of her family members to an ancient family heirloom: The Fountain of Truth.

Aunt Anna has created three different types of trials for us to solve as we progress through her game: Lore, Location and Legend Trials. The one other thing you have to know about the Trials is that each family receives points for how quickly they send in the answers, so it has created a bit of competition between the players. And with that competition comes a bit of secret keeping between the various 'family members'. The main purpose of this guide is to ensure that new family members aren't left out of the loop simply because they came to the game late. All of my previous guides have been primarily for myself. But this time I'm making it for every player who has ever felt fustrated at getting stuck in a game because they came in late. So this is for you. As for everyone who thinks that walking someone through ruins the game experience, may ferrets nibble the toes off of all your socks and hide all of your shiny things inside your couch.

Update (December 4th): I've gone through and rearranged things a bit on here. I now have the trials grouped together by number rather than when they were unlocked. I've also added in the Garcia Burden-to-Bring information, links to non-passworded versions of the BtB pieces, and the new messages from Aunt Anna.

Update (December 21st): Yep, I've been bad. After getting some lame excuse for the gun puzzle, my interest took a huge nose dive, and I sort of took a break. But when a game is only a month long, it's probably not a good thing to do. So, we have one day left before the ghosts invade, so I might as well finish up the puzzle guide. Because the ghosts may one day want to do a puzzle trail of their own, and it always helps to have examples.

crest  Lore Trial #1: The Washburn Girl

A nice easy puzzle to get us started off. Aunt Anna tells Taylor about something that happened to her when she was younger. §

A little girl that Aunt Anna used to babysit for was tragically killed at an old house on Taylor Street in San Diego. Supposedly, the ghost of the dead child still leaves messages written in chalk (or chaulk as Aunt Anna spells it - did she grow up in Canada?) The message the little girl leaves (KFG QKW JPL JGB HEK PQL QHR BPQ KOB U) is a pretty easy one to figure out. §

A couple items to note about this trial. The story of the Washburn Girl is "true" in an urban legend/ghost story kind of way. The Whaley House is considered to be the most haunted house in America. According to the website, the first sighting of the Washburn girl was in the 1960s. The story goes that "a playmate of the Whaley children who accidentally broke her neck on a low-hanging clothesline in the backyard" and that her name was either Annabel or Carrie Washburn. We'll just ignore the fact that there are no records that any child of that age died at the Whaley House and that there wasn't even a Washburn living in San Diego at the time.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that Aunt Anna states "Here is one story about something that touched me when I was a very young lady, still living with your Great Grandparents. You and your relatives should call for more information when you understand." Call who? The Whaley House? Someone else? And what additional information should we be asking for?

crest  Location Trial #1: The Kumeyaay

With the success of solving the first Lore Trial, we move onto our first Location Trial. § So, our quest is to go to Old Town San Diego Historic and do....something. Not exactly sure what, so while we are figuring that out, let's look a little closer at the Kumeyaay. The Kumeyaay are a Native American group that live primarily in the southern California and Baja California region. There is a small blurb about them in the brochure for Old Town San Diego so it's possible that whatever we have to do there involves the Kumeyaay.

A little while after we get the text for the Kumeyaay trial, Taylor finds some additional photos that she believes are associated with it. The photos show a sign describing the Californian Indian Era in Old Town. However, if you read the sign, you'll see that the last word has been blurred out. Therefore, our mission seems to be to find this sign and discover what the last word is.

While there may be a bunch of Souzas/Ravellos/Garcias/Williams/Freemonts in the San Diego area, those of us a part of the extended family only have one person that we know to contact: celina. Luckily for us, even though she isn't playing this game, she's almost always willing to go out and track information down for us if it's in San Diego. So braving the harsh San Diego weather (most people just cannot handle 70° and sunny day in and day out), she travelled to the Old Town San Diego Historic State Park and found out the answer we are looking for is rabbits.

Yay celina!

crest  Challenge Piece: Where-When #1

With the correct answer for The Phantom Bells, the first member of each family received a link to a password protected Challenge Piece. This brings us to our first little conflict: do we share the passwords with others or not?

Personally, I'm all for sharing. While I have no problems with families striving to solve puzzles first to get the points, sitting on information revealed from puzzles really bugs me. I can't help it. I'm used to games where we share our accomplishments, not sit on them because it might boost individual glory.

There are others though that don't share this philosphy and even want to go so far as to have secret areas on the LGFL board that only approved family members can see. As I said in ARG Netcast #6, I think this is a mistake as I believe that the ultimate trial we will face is 'Can We All Cooperate?' and I think the more we work together in secret to boost the position of our adopted families, the more likely we are to fail to recover the Fountain of Truth. But I've been wrong before and maybe what Aunt Anna wants is to see which family can out manuever the others to be The Ultimate Champion! Time will tell.

So, in keeping with the tradition of cooperation, the challenge piece that we received is a bit of the family tree that Aunt Anna has on her page, with additional information added to it. § Right now, it's way too early to figure out what we're supposed to do with this. Are we going to have to piece together the entire family tree and figure out what all the red question marks are? Is there something else going on? It'll be interesting to find out what the next piece will bring.

crest  Legend Trial #1: Esteban Ravelo

Aunt Anna loves to tell stories. This one is about all of her father's penpals, and she even provides a picture of one of the postcards that he received back. § If you look closely at the postcard, you'll notice that the windows are somewhat outlined in black marker. §

Clearly, we are missing some vital information in order to solve this, as there are numerous ways that the cipher can initially be set up. Luckily, Taylor finds a new picture that shows just how we are supposed to set up the cipher in order to get the results we are looking for. §

crest  Challenge Piece: Burden-to-Bring #1

With the sucessful solution of our first Legend Trial, we get another Challenge Piece. This time it's a Burden-to-Bring piece. Not only that, it's in a family specific folder, so it could very well mean that each family is getting something different. However, since I'm the 'head' of the Souza family, and I've declared we're an open family, I'm not gonna keep results secret. §

The Garcia piece (thanks Garcia's for sharing!) is a small picture of Esteban Ravelo with some sort of overlay on the picture. §

And we now have access to both the Ravelo's and Williams/Freemont pieces! Looks like everyone got variations on the portraits except the Souzas. Wonder why we were so special? §

crest  Lore Trial #2: The Phantom Bells

With the correct answer of rabbits, celina opened up a new Lore Trial. Once again, Aunt Anna tells us a story about when she was younger. This time around, it involves a young neighbor who followed in the footsteps of her grandfather and went in search of magical bells that only she could hear. The tragic result of her disappearence led to the death of both her mother and father, leaving Anna to wonder how she could truly do justice to their story. §

This is a somewhat tedious puzzle to solve. The clue on how to solve it comes from the second to last paragraph.
I wonder now if my story is verbose or one-sided. Do I tell it only from the perspective of the living? What might it look like in between that and death? Where can I poke holes? Where do I need to cover things up? Can I understand it in a different way as an adult than I did as a child or a teenager? I’d like to reshape my words in new but familiar ways. My friend’s death – and the ways I have told about it – must symbolize something else when I look at one on top of the other.
While at first glance the handwritten pages appear to be the same as the printed story, a closer look reveals that there are a lot of words missing from the handwritten version. In fact, so much is missing that if you just read the handwritten pages, you would have no idea what the story was about. So how does this fit in with the clue Aunt Anna gave us? We must find a way to look at these one on top of the other. § So that's two Lore's down, and it seems like we know where we're going for our next location trial.

crest  Location Trial #2: Lottery Numbers

The only time Aunt Anna played the lottery was on the day she visited the Slough and saw a bird that mezmerized her. The bird seemed to be pretty good luck as Aunt Anna won a couple of hundred dollars. Now it's our turn to go track down the numbers and see if Taylor can get the same sort of luck. §

Once again, there is an additional image to help guide our path. The consensus is that the picture of the bird hides the numbers we are looking for. Turning to our resident San Diego ARGer, celina agrees to go track down our lucky numbers. And, like before, she comes through for us, providing picture evidence of Aunt Anna's lottery numbers.

crest  Challenge Piece: Where-When #2

With the successful relay of the lottery numbers from Location Trial #2, we have unlocked our second challenge piece. It's another bit of Anna's family tree. §

crest  Legend Trial #2: Rosa Maria Leon

Having learned about her father during the last Legend Trial, we now turn to Anna's mother, Rosa Maria. She was a local beauty queen and Anna wrote the only poem she ever wrote (Anna likes doing things only once, doesn't she?) to commemorate Rosa Marie's death. § Thankfully, Anna clues us into the fact that each syllable is what is important here, because otherwise I'm not sure how long it would have taken us to figure out. §

crest  Challenge Piece: Burden-to-Bring #2

We've gotten a postcard for our second Burden-to-Bring piece. § Not only that, it appears that the postcard has an additional sort of puzzle for us to solve. If we find the answer, we can share it or keep it a secret. But since I'm a nice person (try not to laugh too hard), we'll share the answer once it's known. §

The Garcia's received another picture similar to their first. Except this time it's of Rosa Maria Leon. § Since it appears that the overlays match up on the edges, I've started a combined version of the pictures to see what appears.

Let's not forget about the Ravelo's and Williams/Freemonts. §

crest  Lore Trial #3: The Ghost Ship

We're really running through these puzzles. We have another ghost story next - kinda involving pirates! § This puzzle is mostly a puzzle of misdirection. While you would think that what we were looking for would be hidden inside of the picture of the ghost ship, it's not. § The Mesquite Mine is one of the largest gold mines in California and is located off California Highway 78, near Glamis. It seems a good bet that this will be where our next Location Trial takes place.

crest  Location Trial #3: About Gold

This time around, Aunt Anna gives us explicit instructions on what to do at The Mesquite Mine, so we don't have to wait around for Taylor. In another wrinkle, each family has to find a different piece of information. I can only imagine what is going to happen if only one person is able to make it to the site and only gathers the information for one family. §

I never specifically heard back from the people I had assigned to doing this, but it appears that someone came though as at least the Garcia's got the password to the puzzle.

crest  Challenge Piece: Where-When #3

The third piece of the family tree. §

crest  Legend Trial #3: Ignacio Souza

It's time for our third Legend trial, and we learn a big secret this time around. § Aunt Anna was married! In secret! For 10 years! Our challenge this time around is to figure out what Aunt Anna used to call Ignacio. Although Aunt Anna says that she used to tell Taylor Igancio's nickname in the stories that she used to tell Taylor, I'm willing to bet Taylor doesn't remember them, so it's gonna be up to use to figure out what it is. §

It only took two days, but the Ignacio video has been solved. If only we could get supersititions as well. Part of the reason it took so long is that there is, in my opinion, two serious flaws in the puzzle: one a presentation problem and the other a design problem. Another reason it took so long is that the hints to get around these puzzles were mainly delivered via email. I have always detested email hints simply because it leaves a huge percentage of the players out of the loop. I understand that there are a number of players who like email coorespondence because it seems 'real' to them, but there should never, ever, ever be any substantial information in an email unless it goes out to everyone. If you want to reward players who email you, fine. Give them some meaningless swag or a shoutout on a webpage. But giving them exclusive information vital to keep the story going is a huge disservice, both to the players and the game. One, it makes the players who haven't gotten the information feel unnecessary to the game and two, it prevents others who just might have a legitimiate shot at solving the puzzle from doing so. Add competition for points on top of this, making players keep their emails a secret, is it any wonder why puzzles take so long to be solved?

But enough puzzle ranting by me. Let's get onto the solution. §

crest  Challenge Piece: Burden-to-Bring #3

Our next Challenge Piece is a mini-cartoon that I believe might give us some instructions on how to get some more loyalty and strength points. §

Update: I got a message from Taylor that seems to relate to this Challenge Piece. § So, it seems as if I was partly right. Instead of a letter, we need to mail Taylor some Christmas wrapping paper. I'm sure I have some stashed around the house somewhere.

The Garcia's are still getting variations of the pictures on the Legend pages. § I wonder if any of the other teams are getting the fun pieces that we are? I'm waiting on adding this to the combined photo as I can't tell exactly where it lines up.

Wonder no more. Here are the other pieces. §

Continue to Trials 4-6 >>

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