Treasure Hunts Idea
A take on the geocaching idea. Let's get everyone out in the terrains hunting down treasure!
"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online." -- http://www.geocaching.com/
Where it starts
There would be an NPC (maybe called Sique Retbocks (secret box)) that you purchase a map from which contains points to cache boxes that they know about (perhaps you could have an NPC in each area of the disc). So this NPC adds points to a map, that you can then track down, using the usual map studying syntax.
Normal players would then follow these maps to find a cache box hidden anywhere. Ideally this would be in the terrains, although I assume there would be coding issues with having persistently fixed objects in the terrains. Or maybe not.
You would be able to hide boxes underwater, in the middle of dark forests, at the top of mountains, or just bang in the middle of a desert. They could also be used for multiple steps. Finding the first one gives you clues to finding the second, etc.
How they work
Anyway, the boxes operate as one-in-one-out, so you can only remove an item from the box after you have put an item in. You'd also only be able to do this once every 24 hours, to discourage people from emptying them. There would also be a public log in the box that you would sign and add a comment to.
A normal player would also be able to purchase a cache box from one of the usual box shops (Tom Boit for example) and then hidden somewhere. After hiding the box, you would need a way of informing the local NPC of the location, so that players could get their maps updated. Of course this could all be a magical discworldy updating system.
Ideally, this would be a completely player-run system, but it could also be integrated into the Achievements system, perhaps in two ways: Hiding 10 cache boxes across the disc, and finding 100 new boxes. This would encourage the rapid placement of many boxes around the disc, and get things going.
Some examples of usage:
> give map to Sique You give the map to Sique. Sique spends a moment studying the map before adding some new points. Sique says: Ah yes, a few new ones for you there.
> study Sonkys' R Us on map You think this is about 200 miles to the south-east.
.. Some hunting and tracking down later...
> search You start to search around, and discover a cache box.
> l box This is a large wooden box with a logbook stuck to the side. There is some writing on the top. It is nearly empty with: A gift box, a pair of pearl earrings and a sonky.
> read box You have found a cache box! This one is called Sonkys' R Us.
> get sonky from box You attempt to remove the sonky but realise it's all about give and take!
> put Pinkfish doll in box You put the pinkfish doll in the large wooden box.
> get sonky from box You get the sonky from the large wooden box.
> sign logbook You start to leave your message on the logbook. Use ** to end >> Nice location, I got 3 rock climbing TMs on the way up here! >> ** You finish signing the logbook.
> read logbook You read the most recent entries in the logbook: A minute ago, Tony wrote in Morporkian: Nice location, I got 3 rock climbing TMs on the way up here! Yesterday, Bob wrote in Djelian: Took 3 attempts and more climbing advancement, but I made it! Woo!
Now, the obvious problem here could be that there may be far too many boxes in existence, so perhaps they could expire if nobody found them for a certain period of time, then they could be collected and returned to a lost-n-found or something similar.