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I believe this is the way to get records. Has it always just been a matter of luck for everyone, or has anyone set out to deliberately do this? If there is some kind of technique to this, please share. ;-)

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Some great answers already, I'll have to try these out. –  Kurley Oct 29 '10 at 14:20
    
You can get records using inventory edit! althought thats probably not what you're looking for. –  Joe the Person Aug 21 '11 at 22:38
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6 Answers

up vote 22 down vote accepted

One way you can do this is hitting a creeper with an iron sword twice, and then run around until you find a skeleton. From there, run circles around the two until the skeleton (hopefully) hits the creeper.

Another way takes a bit more preparation but is safer. Make something like this . . . alt text alt text alt text

. . . and lure a creeper into the middle pit, a skeleton into one of the sides, and then go into the other side. The skeleton will shoot the creeper.

(Now that I think about it, you could probably suffice with the pits being one square wide instead of two.)

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I like this, especially with the screen shots :-) I particularly like how this would allow me to engage with one mob at a time. –  Kurley Oct 29 '10 at 14:22
    
Genius!!!! +1! :D –  parion May 6 '12 at 22:18
    
If you put water in the bottom, that would prevent the creeper from destroying your trenches, in case he blows up. –  musicwithoutpaper Jun 7 '13 at 16:37
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I have always gotten them by accident. However, it shouldn't be too hard to make it happen if you know what you're doing.

If you have a flat area, it is fairly easy to kite creepers. You can run as fast as them. The other important thing to note is that the skeleton should only need to land the killing shot - it doesn't have to do all the damage.

If I was going for records, I would get to a high place, at night, with relatively flat areas around it (in my case, the tower at my main base). Wait a little while and look for where skeletons and creepers spawn. Go get a creeper's attention first. Kite him around, and get a few shots in with sword or bow/arrow. Then, head toward the skeleton you spotted. You need to strafe or circle the skeleton to avoid his shots, and the nearly-dead creeper will be following and get hit.

I believe the creeper will switch targets to the skeleton as soon as he gets hit, so he needs to be one arrow away from death, or he'll just turn and blow up the skeleton.

Obviously, there are several risky elements to this, so you may want to practice kiting creepers and strafing skeletons (seperately!). I'd also suggest emptying your pockets of anything important. You may want armor for survival, or you may want to ditch it, rather than use it up on record-farming.

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Here are a couple ideas that might help:

  • If you shoot a creeper 4 times (with your arrows) it will not die, but will die on a 5th arrow (let's say from a skeleton?)
  • Its probably easier to line them up if you have the creeper between you and the skeleton
  • If you build a trap, and it collects skeletons and creepers, as long as they are on the same square, if you shoot the skeletons the creepers should be between you and the skeleton (thus taking any return fire).

Sadly thats the best advice I have. I do know you can get records from chests, and I also know that this song is awesome, but that's off topic.

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As I mentioned in this question, it is definitely possible to get records by shooting the creeper with your own arrows, so that is another option.

Also, it is possible to find records in dungeon chests.

(there are currently only two records total)

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The first part of your answer is incorrect, you cannot get records by shooting the creepers with your own arrows; the fatal blow has to be by a skeleton. (the rest is correct, albeit dated) –  IQAndreas Jul 14 '13 at 10:53
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My preferred way of getting records is to find a creeper, hit it enough times to make one arrow shot kill it, then find a skeleton. Here are the amount of times you must hit the creeper with each sword:

  • Wood & Gold Sword: 4 times.
  • Bare Fists: 19 times.
  • Stone Sword: 3 times.
  • Iron Sword: 3 times.
  • Diamond Sword: 2 times.
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My approach was a disc-farming attachment to the sky mob farm.

First, there's "selection": A water channel pushing the mobs towards the dead drop chute was augmented - glass walls and two pistons triggered through the same switch, one of them extending while the other retracts.

X - piston; | - piston rod (extended); # - solid block or glass; O - hole, @ - water source; ~ - running water, \ - switch

As seen from above, inactive state

       X
       |
 ##############
 @~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
 ##############
      \X

active state:

        X
        #
  ######O#######
  @~~~~~#~~~~~~~
  ######|#######
       \X

First, I pick out a skeleton from the constant stream of the mobs and drop it into the hole.

Below the hole there's the distribution corridor ( @ - the water source block - is located right below the O above):

 ################
 #OO   #@#    OO#
 ######|#|#######
      \X X\

By activating either of the pistons I make the water flow carry captured mob to left or right drop. I send the skeleton to the left set of holes, then close the water flow.

Next I pick out a few creepers and float them to right side hole.

Then I go level below, open the door and stand at the end of the corridor. Once the creepers are dead, I close the door, open the small fence gate and collect the records - then go to bring more creepers.

Then below there's the actual collection corridor.

= - fence gate; ] - door, % - fence; S - skeleton, C - creepers, P - player

 ####################   %
 #S %  ]     =CC%   % P %
 ####### ############   %

Notes:

  • don't leave too much head space, or the mobs will climb over your pistons; I had to use double piston for pushing the mobs down the hole (1-wide would only damage them). There's only need for a single piston on the "hole cover" side. I skipped the redstone schematics, it's fairly trivial, just a single NOT on the way.
  • Make the distribution (water drop) holes 2-wide. Monsters won't let 1-block-wide water suck them down. You can't use standard drop at the end of 8-block water run, because the combined 15 blocks apart plus safe distance from the creepers will put you too far from the skeleton.
  • Glass is nice but don't abuse glass for ceilings. The skeleton will burn.
  • You may bring quite a few creepers, but don't be tempted to speed it up through more skeletons. They will shoot each other and end up fighting between themselves.
  • Do NOT forget to close the fence gate that pens the bunch of creepers in the final corridor, after you collect the disks and go bring more creepers. You'd better have a Yakkety Sax music disk ready if you do.
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