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What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:35 pm
by shesheyan
I decided to add a puzzle to my next dungeon. I was never good at these. Solving the puzzle will unlock another part of the dungeon. Do you have any suggestions? :?:

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:53 pm
by zontoxira
If by puzzle you mean an obstacle to be dealt by any other means other than combat, the simplest I can come up with is your typical stone/iron door that is locked and needs three different keys to open, scattered around the dungeon.

If instead you're looking for something akin to a contraption that needs be solved at the very room, you can use the three-point mechanism: three levers/statues/heavy objects that must be moved/rotated in the correct way in order for the door to open.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:12 pm
by shesheyan
zontoxira wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:53 pm
If by puzzle you mean an obstacle to be dealt by any other means other than combat, the simplest I can come up with is your typical stone/iron door that is locked and needs three different keys to open, scattered around the dungeon.

If instead you're looking for something akin to a contraption that needs be solved at the very room, you can use the three-point mechanism: three levers/statues/heavy objects that must be moved/rotated in the correct way in order for the door to open.
The second option is closer to what I'm looking for. Are there any D&D Modules that include such puzzles with the solution?

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:38 pm
by agathokles
IIRC, B4 has a rotating fragment of the pyramid that gives access to different areas. Rahasia has teleport areas at the end of corridors, as well as other puzzles featuring teleports, wine bottles, etc.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:19 pm
by shesheyan
agathokles wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:38 pm
IIRC, B4 has a rotating fragment of the pyramid that gives access to different areas. Rahasia has teleport areas at the end of corridors, as well as other puzzles featuring teleports, wine bottles, etc.
I have B4. I'll look at B7 Rahasia.

The chess room in C2 Inverness is an option I just recalled. Is it too easy to figure out? We played it in the 80s but don't recall if it was a challenge or not.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:36 pm
by agathokles
shesheyan wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:19 pm
agathokles wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:38 pm
IIRC, B4 has a rotating fragment of the pyramid that gives access to different areas. Rahasia has teleport areas at the end of corridors, as well as other puzzles featuring teleports, wine bottles, etc.
I have B4. I'll look at B7 Rahasia.

The chess room in C2 Inverness is an option I just recalled. Is it too easy to figure out? We played it in the 80s but don't recall if it was a challenge or not.
I never played that one. However, these kind of puzzles were a staple in '80s adventures, so you'll probably find more that we can't remember now.

G

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:53 pm
by RobJN
The 2e audio CD module "Hail the Heroes" had tests at key junctions to the dungeon. Carvings would animate, and speak the challenges or riddles. The PCs would then have to answer either directly or indirectly by performing some sort of action(s) based on research carried out earlier in the adventure. ("A test? Nobody told me there was going to be a test!") Failure usually sprang a trap of one sort or another: floors vanish, blades spring out, ceilings collapse, etc.

Some of the questions are rather vague, leaving a lot of room for interpretation and PC creativity.

The Temple's "entrance."

A few more open-ended questions from the dungeon.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:56 pm
by agathokles
RobJN wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:53 pm
The 2e audio CD module "Hail the Heroes" had tests at key junctions to the dungeon. Carvings would animate, and speak the challenges or riddles. The PCs would then have to answer either directly or indirectly by performing some sort of action(s) based on research carried out earlier in the adventure. ("A test? Nobody told me there was going to be a test!") Failure usually sprang a trap of one sort or another: floors vanish, blades spring out, ceilings collapse, etc.

Some of the questions are rather vague, leaving a lot of room for interpretation and PC creativity.
Yes, that one looked a lot like it was lifted straight out of Indiana Jones...

GP

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:00 pm
by RobJN
Oh, it's got a very Indiana Jones vibe.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:54 pm
by Parzival
I love puzzles in a dungeon. I typically put at least one in every adventure I create. I’ve done physical puzzles, riddle puzzles, code puzzles, and (my favorite) “pay attention to the details” clue puzzles. (I particularly love springing the latter on teen players, who invariably don’t. “Wait... he said something about that earlier, didn’t he?” gets said a lot. That’ll learn ‘em. :twisted: )

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:23 pm
by Princess Strega
I love puzzles where the dungeon itself is the puzzles. Rotating and shifting rooms, corridors and other elements. I once played in a solo game and the GM was impressed with my ability to deduce that the dungeon was a mechanical construct that moved things around ... he told me that he had run it several times and that I was the first to figure it out.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:18 pm
by Parzival
My recent favorite creation: The Endless Hallway. The party is magically transported into a length hallway that appears to continue in both directions without change or exit. It’s actually a perfectly normal hall about 100’ long, with no distinguishing features. Invisible teleport traps are located at each end of the hall. Beyond the trap, the actual end wall is hidden by an illusion of the hall continuing onward into darkness (out of visual range). The teleport traps simply move the person entering the trap to the teleport spot on the other end, but produces no visual or physical sensation of being teleported. The illusion pretty much acts as a CCTV, showing whatever is in the opposite end of the hall— so if a party member enters the teleport space, he is now actually behind the party in the normal hallway, but appears to be just walking down the hall in front of them! There is a secret door which is very difficult to find hidden midway along the hall— and it’s the way out. In the meantime, the illusion also creates illusory skeletons “guards” who appear behind the party (regardless of which way they travel), which the party must fight, only to have them vanish and reappear later.

Obviously, this is a puzzle for low level parties. But it’s a lot of fun, as the players begin to realize “somethin’ ain’t right” and start trying to solve things. :cool:

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:00 am
by shesheyan
Parzival wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:18 pm
My recent favorite creation: The Endless Hallway. The party is magically transported into a length hallway that appears to continue in both directions without change or exit. It’s actually a perfectly normal hall about 100’ long, with no distinguishing features. Invisible teleport traps are located at each end of the hall. Beyond the trap, the actual end wall is hidden by an illusion of the hall continuing onward into darkness (out of visual range). The teleport traps simply move the person entering the trap to the teleport spot on the other end, but produces no visual or physical sensation of being teleported. The illusion pretty much acts as a CCTV, showing whatever is in the opposite end of the hall— so if a party member enters the teleport space, he is now actually behind the party in the normal hallway, but appears to be just walking down the hall in front of them! There is a secret door which is very difficult to find hidden midway along the hall— and it’s the way out. In the meantime, the illusion also creates illusory skeletons “guards” who appear behind the party (regardless of which way they travel), which the party must fight, only to have them vanish and reappear later.

Obviously, this is a puzzle for low level parties. But it’s a lot of fun, as the players begin to realize “somethin’ ain’t right” and start trying to solve things. :cool:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:31 pm
by willpell
My long-lasting obsession as a puzzler is with creating a 25x25 Sudoku grid, using all but one of the letters of the English alphabet, and spelling out a hidden message for the PCs in the completed grid. Obviously this is quite a tall order, since it requires a message made up of 25 or fewer words, all of them 5 letters or less, and none of them containing a duplicated letter.

On a less ambitious scale, I also like doing versions of Sudoku around nine fantasy Elements (eg the classic elements plus Lightning, Thunder, Light, Dark, and Cold). Just taking the numbers out changes the Sudoku experience enough to revitalize it, IMO.

If I knew how to code, I'd try it for 2048 as well....

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:57 pm
by night_druid
Here's a fun one from the Tower of Zenopus (the sample dungeon from the Holmes Blue D&D booklet, which I rewrote for 6th level PCs). The dungeon includes a square room with four doors and a statue at the center of it. When the PCs enter the room, the statue is facing them. They cannot open any other door until they rotate the statue to face that door. Nice, non-lethal trap that's not too terribly difficult to figure out. They even used it to their advantage to trap some slow-moving undead they were running away from (like the craven cowards they are...;) )

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:05 pm
by shesheyan
night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:57 pm
Here's a fun one from the Tower of Zenopus (the sample dungeon from the Holmes Blue D&D booklet, which I rewrote for 6th level PCs). The dungeon includes a square room with four doors and a statue at the center of it. When the PCs enter the room, the statue is facing them. They cannot open any other door until they rotate the statue to face that door. Nice, non-lethal trap that's not too terribly difficult to figure out. They even used it to their advantage to trap some slow-moving undead they were running away from (like the craven cowards they are...;) )
Well designed and well played!

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:20 pm
by night_druid
shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:05 pm
night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:57 pm
Here's a fun one from the Tower of Zenopus (the sample dungeon from the Holmes Blue D&D booklet, which I rewrote for 6th level PCs). The dungeon includes a square room with four doors and a statue at the center of it. When the PCs enter the room, the statue is facing them. They cannot open any other door until they rotate the statue to face that door. Nice, non-lethal trap that's not too terribly difficult to figure out. They even used it to their advantage to trap some slow-moving undead they were running away from (like the craven cowards they are...;) )
Well designed and well played!
Blame Holmes; its one area I left pretty much unchanged ;)

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:43 pm
by willpell
For 3E players like myself, the Book of Challenges has a lot of these kinds of things. I'm particularly fond of the Infinite Frogs room....

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:42 am
by Princess Strega
willpell wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:43 pm
For 3E players like myself, the Book of Challenges has a lot of these kinds of things. I'm particularly fond of the Infinite Frogs room....
There was also a Grimtooth book for 3E. I never bought it, but it is on my radar of ones to acquire.

Re: What is your favorite puzzle?

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:21 pm
by Zenopus
night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:20 pm
shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:05 pm
night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:57 pm
Here's a fun one from the Tower of Zenopus (the sample dungeon from the Holmes Blue D&D booklet, which I rewrote for 6th level PCs). The dungeon includes a square room with four doors and a statue at the center of it. When the PCs enter the room, the statue is facing them. They cannot open any other door until they rotate the statue to face that door. Nice, non-lethal trap that's not too terribly difficult to figure out. They even used it to their advantage to trap some slow-moving undead they were running away from (like the craven cowards they are...;) )
Well designed and well played!
Blame Holmes; its one area I left pretty much unchanged ;)
You can have fun with the statue too, which is not described in the original. The room description says the statue is on a base, which rotates, so perhaps the original statue has been replaced with a petrified human, perhaps Zenopus himself. You can also describe the statue as pointing ahead - so it is pointing at whichever door it is facing - to give the party a clue to the nature of the trick.