View Full Version : A Slew of Sphinx Riddles

dragonwings

2007-03-08, 09:50 PM

Good evening. I need a bit of help.

I'm a bit new to DMing, but I've got a story line that involves a whole heap of sphinx and eleven different major riddles. Of course, I'd like to find some minor riddles to keep as back ups in case the PCs want to pester the sphinx for more information.

The problem? I'm terrible at coming up with riddles. If any of you could offer advice, your own riddles, or a place where I could find some decent riddles, I would really appreciate it. I'd kinda like to find riddles that had some ties (maybe even a loose one) with the eleven classes. You know... a riddle with the answer of "trees" for a druid or the answer of "music" for a bard. Just something like that. The back up ones wouldn't have to have such ties and if I can't find said ties, I'll be fine. I just really need the riddles.

Thanks in advance!

- Jinx

Jayabalard

2007-03-08, 10:06 PM

you should check out http://www.artsforge.com/humor/riddles.html

lots of riddles there for you riddling pleasure, though no answers afaik.

dragonwings

2007-03-08, 10:14 PM

The answers are rather important. It's sad. Sphinx are my favorite mythical critters and yet I'm terrible at riddles.

Dhavaer

2007-03-08, 10:45 PM

you should check out http://www.artsforge.com/humor/riddles.html

lots of riddles there for you riddling pleasure, though no answers afaik.

That's a good site. That's my evening's entertainment taken care of...

my answers:

#1: Quartz

#2: Water

#3: Air (or Wind)

Jayabalard

2007-03-08, 10:47 PM

You can probably google for most of the answers if you can't figure them out for yourself. For example:

1. The first answer is sand: it blinds you if it gets in your eyes, it's used to make glass (and therefore glasses), in an hourglass it tells time and it's composed of crystals; I remember a variation of this one on the old Batman TV show.

2. is water

3. is air/wind.

4. is smoke

5. is a glove

6. Path/Trail

7. A River

8. A hole

9. Teeth

10. YOUTH

11. A key

12. Your breath

actually, there's several answers/riddles here: http://www.bautforum.com/archive/index.php/t-11951.html

Nahal

2007-03-08, 10:50 PM

One word: Mindtrap. Reword for DnD if needed. Will look for some more.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom

2007-03-08, 10:51 PM

I think somewhere on the web is the big book of riddles or something like that. I'd just do a google search for riddles, and you'll have more than you ever wished for.

kamikasei

2007-03-08, 10:55 PM

This (http://puzzles.brainsphinx.com/riddles/) link (found off Wikipedia) seems to have answers.

Riddle answers:

#4 - smoke

#7 - a river

#8 - a hole

#9 - teeth

#11 - a key

#13 - a shield, or armor?

#16 - a pen

dragonwings

2007-03-08, 11:21 PM

Yay! Thank you all.

Galathir

2007-03-09, 12:29 AM

Here is a good one:

"What is it that walks on four feet and two feet and three feet and has only one voice. When it walks on most feet it is the weakest?"

Congrats to anyone who gets the reference.

kamikasei

2007-03-09, 12:31 AM

Here is a good one:

"What is it that walks on four feet and two feet and three feet and has only one voice. When it walks on most feet it is the weakest?"

Congrats to anyone who gets the reference.

I've not heard it phrased in quite that way before, but isn't that just the standard sphinx's riddle? Four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, three in the evening? I wouldn't try to use that on anyone who was supposed to think it through (rather than just remember the answer).

Lemur

2007-03-09, 12:52 AM

In situations like these, I think ripping off of Planescape: Torment works fairly well. Even if someone's played the game, I'd doubt they still remember all the answers. They go from fairly simple, to borderline ridiculous:

Uncles and brothers have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son. Who am I?

- His son

The maker doesn’t want it, the buyer does not use it, but user does not see it.

-A coffin

What five-letter word does even the greatest of mortal sages pronounce wrong?

-Wrong

At night they come without being fetched and by day they are lost without being stolen.

-The stars

I never was, am always to be, no one ever saw me, nor will ever see. And yet I am the confidence of all, to live and breathe in this hallowed hall.

-Tomorrow

What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end and the end of every place?

-The letter "e"

Think of words that end in ‘-GRY.’ Angry and hungry are two of them. There are but three words in the Common Tongue … what is the third word? The word is something that one uses every day. If you have listened carefully, it has already told me what it is.

-Tongue (The first two sentences are a diversion. There are only 3 words in "The Common Tongue", the third being "tongue")

Falconsflight

2007-03-09, 01:44 AM

Here's a couple good ones

"Two bodies have I, Though both joined in one. the more I stand still, the quicker I run"

"On one farm there are three feilds. On the north feild there are 8 bales of hay. The south feild has two times the amount of the north feild, and the east feild has tree times as many as the south feild. The farmer put them all together. How many bales of hay does he have?"

"Where does a king get crowned?"

There is a music one, I know it, but I can't get it right in my head, So it wouldn't be much of a riddle. But it I think it goes like this (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong "4 men sat around a table and played, They played all night and each won money, but nobody lost. What did they play?" The answer is "INstruments" But I know that riddle isn't right...

Mewtarthio

2007-03-09, 02:10 AM

What can run but never walks,

Has a mouth but never talks,

Has a bed but never sleeps,

Has a head but never weeps?

It's a pretty simple riddle:

A river

Falconsflight

2007-03-09, 02:17 AM

btw, on that one page that people brought up earlier, I know the answers to 17, 18, 19, 21, 22(I think) and 24

But I can't do that hidey thingy, So people don't see the answer straight out.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom

2007-03-09, 02:20 AM

Off topic. Hey Falcon, it's been a while since I've seen you around.

Maryring

2007-03-09, 03:04 AM

"What do I never see, but always know I have? It cannot be bought, it cannot be sold, and it can never truly be lost."

Can you find the answer to this riddle?

HeinleinFan

2007-03-09, 03:22 AM

Anything from Dream Park.

Having said that:

1. Do as I say, not as I do. Say boots without shoes.

Boots

2. Inside walls as white as milk,

Lined with a skin as soft as silk,

Within a fountain crystal clear

A golden apple doth appear.

No doors there are to this stronghold,

Yet thieves break in and steal the gold.

What am I?

Egg

3. By W. H. Auden:

"O where are you going?" said reader to rider,

"That valley is fatal where furnaces burn,

Yonder's the midden whose odours will madden,

That gap is the grave where the tall return."

"O do you imagine," said fearer to farer,

"That dusk will delay on your path to the pass,

Your diligent looking discover the lacking,

Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?"

"O what was that bird," said horror to hearer,

"Did you see that shape in the twisted trees?

Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly,

The spot on your skin is a shocking disease."

"Out of this house"---said rider to reader,

"Yours never will"---said farer to fearer

"They're looking for you"---said hearer to horror,

As he left them there, as he left them there.

Answer: "them" are the horseman's inner fears.

You can find some nursery-rhyme ones at www.apples4theteacher.com/ mother-goose-nursery-rhymes/riddles.html

Wippit Guud

2007-03-09, 03:33 AM

First chapter of Dark Tower 4: Wizards and Glass - they have to try to stump an artifically intelligent monorail intent on committing suicide. Lots of good riddles in that one.

Attilargh

2007-03-09, 04:21 AM

"On one farm there are three feilds. On the north feild there are 8 bales of hay. The south feild has two times the amount of the north feild, and the east feild has tree times as many as the south feild. The farmer put them all together. How many bales of hay does he have?"

One. Damn, took a while to figure that out.

"Where does a king get crowned?"

On his head.

"What do I never see, but always know I have? It cannot be bought, it cannot be sold, and it can never truly be lost."

Err, mind?

Here's a pretty popular one:

"On my way to St. Ives

I met a man with seven wives.

Each wife had seven sacks

and in each sack was seven cats.

Each cat had seven kits

and each kit had seven lives.

Kits, cats, sacks and wives,

how many were there going to St. Ives?"

And the other evergreen:

Dead, you find yourself walking through the Planes and before long you arrive to a fork in the road. One road leads to the Higher Planes, the other to the Lower. By the road stand three gods in the guise of men, and each one is dressed in a cloak of a different shade of grey. One of the men is Kelemvor, who never lies. One is Mask, whose answers are random, and just as probable to be true or false. The last one is Cyric, the dark god who never speaks the truth. Your only way to find the road to the Higher Planes is to ask the gods, but they will only answer two of your questions. What will you ask?

Maryring

2007-03-09, 04:24 AM

Close, but no cigar.

And there is... no way for me to answer your riddles since I don't know how to make spoilers.

Attilargh

2007-03-09, 04:32 AM

Aww, I suck. :frown: Use [spoiler] tags.

Ędit: Translated a riddle I wrote some time ago.

A round vault amongst the clouds

with seven gates:

A forge behind two of them,

two covered with mirrors,

three let the wind in

to ventilate a library.

Three doors cover three gateways,

a great hall behind one,

two cover round lakes,

a red carpet on the hall's floor

urrounded by white benches,

upon which few sit for long.

"What do I never see, but always know I have? It cannot be bought, it cannot be sold, and it can never truly be lost."

Time

"I see my brother, he sees me. By our side two more I see. What are we?"

"Shapeless, I take shape. Unguarded, I escape. Death in excess, death without slake. What am I?"

Dareon

2007-03-09, 05:43 AM

A round vault amongst the clouds

with seven gates:

A forge behind two of them,

two covered with mirrors,

three let the wind in

to ventilate a library.

Three doors cover three gateways,

a great hall behind one,

two cover round lakes,

a red carpet on the hall's floor

urrounded by white benches,

upon which few sit for long.

A face.

"Over the water and under the water, but never touches the water. What is it?"

"Has a head, but never thinks. Has a foot, but never walks."

"Lighter than a feather, but a thousand men cannot lift it."

martyboy74

2007-03-09, 07:44 AM

Dead, you find yourself walking through the Planes and before long you arrive to a fork in the road. One road leads to the Higher Planes, the other to the Lower. By the road stand three gods in the guise of men, and each one is dressed in a cloak of a different shade of grey. One of the men is Kelemvor, who never lies. One is Mask, whose answers are random, and just as probable to be true or false. The last one is Cyric, the dark god who never speaks the truth. Your only way to find the road to the Higher Planes is to ask the gods, but they will only answer two of your questions. What will you ask?

Would this work? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0327.html)

\/ That's what Manyshot's for. :smallbiggrin:

Attilargh

2007-03-09, 07:49 AM

I'd advise against it, with them being gods and all. 'Sides, you have a one in three chance of aiming at Mask.

Oh, and Dareon got the other riddle right.

Swordguy

2007-03-09, 08:26 AM

Thirty white horses

on a red hill.

First they champ

then they stamp

then they stand still.

It's Tolkein, but practically nobody remembers this one, just the one about the egg. The answer, BTW, is "teeth".

ziratha

2007-03-09, 09:33 AM

Dead, you find yourself walking through the Planes and before long you arrive to a fork in the road. One road leads to the Higher Planes, the other to the Lower. By the road stand three gods in the guise of men, and each one is dressed in a cloak of a different shade of grey. One of the men is Kelemvor, who never lies. One is Mask, whose answers are random, and just as probable to be true or false. The last one is Cyric, the dark god who never speaks the truth. Your only way to find the road to the Higher Planes is to ask the gods, but they will only answer two of your questions. What will you ask?

Ask "If I asked you 'is the left path the road to the upper planes?', would you say yes?" The god who tells the truth will say yes or no honestly, the god who lies will know that he would lie about which path to take, so he has to lie about lieing, so he will answer the same as the god of truth. So ask the one question, If two of the gods say no, then go right, if two of the gods say yes, go left.

spotmarkedx

2007-03-09, 10:34 AM

I know it isnt exactly what you are looking for, but if you want to have the players take an entire game session figuring out the riddle, assuming they are decent at logic:

I have 12 coins, here under my paw. All are of the same weight except for one, which may be heavier, it may be lighter. There in front of you is a set of scales so that you may weigh these coins against eachother. You will have only three measurements to determine which of the coins is of a different weight, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the others. If you fail to correctly identify it, I'm afraid I am bound to [insert penalty game of your choice here]. There is a solution that leaves nothing to chance, so please take your time before you start measuring any coins.

The balance is the type you typically picture "Justice" holding. The PCs will be placing coins on both sides of the balance. Also, there is a logical formula for this; there are no tricks such as weighing the coins in your hands, biting the coins to see which is only gold plated, etc. The scales are the only accurate way to find the odd coin.

So can you figure it out? It may take a while. I suggest pencil and paper too :D

Hint:

The first measurement pits four of the coins of the dozen (call them ABCD) against four more (call then EFGH). What happens if the sides balance out? What if one side is heavier?

Answer:

The first measurement puts eight coins on the balance, four on each side. There are two possible outcomes:

The two sides are balanced:

Call the four unmeasured coins ABCD. The coins that you measured that are equally balanced we'll call XXXXXXXX. You have two measurements left. Measure AB against CX.

If the two sides are balanced, you know D is the "odd" coin. Measure it against X to figure out whether it is lighter or heavier.

If AB was heavier than CX, measure AC vs. XX. If AC is still heavier, A is the odd coin and heavier. If AC is lighter, then C is the odd coin and lighter. If they balance, then B was the odd coin, and it is heavier.

If AB was lighter than CX, follow the same instructions as above. Just replace any instance of "heavier" with "lighter" and vice versa.

One side is heavier than the other:

Call the heavier set of coins ABCD. Call the lighter set EFGH. The remaining four unmeasured coins we call XXXX. Measure AEX vs. BFG (note that of the eight, three coins (AFG) stayed on the same scales, two coins (BE) switch sides, and three coins (CDH) are not being measured).

If AEX is heavier than BFG, then one of the coins that stayed on the same scales is the odd coin. Either A is heavy, or F or G is light. Measure AF vs. XX. If AF is heavier, A is the odd coin and heavy. If AF is lighter, F is the odd coin and light. If the scales balance, G is the odd coin, and light.

If AEX was lighter than BFG, then one of the coins that switched scales is the odd coin. Either B is heavy or E is light. Measure BE vs. XX. If it is heavier, then B is the odd coin, otherwise it was E.

If AEX balanced with BFG, then one of the coins taken off the scales is the odd coin. Either C or D is heavier, or H is lighter. Using similar logic to above, measure CH vs. XX. If heavier then C is heavy. If lighter, then H is light. If equal then D is heavy.

Whew!! *sweatdrop* pretty tough isn't it?

Nahal

2007-03-09, 10:51 AM

"On my way to St. Ives

I met a man with seven wives.

Each wife had seven sacks

and in each sack was seven cats.

Each cat had seven kits

and each kit had seven lives.

Kits, cats, sacks and wives,

how many were there going to St. Ives?"

Cute, but not too difficult.

Just one, you. At no point was it specified that the entourage was headed to St. Ives or Canterbury

valadil

2007-03-09, 11:09 AM

Personally I prefer puzzles to riddles. With a riddle the players will either see the answer or they won't and there's no amount of logical reasoning they can do to get the answer. On the other hand a puzzle is something you can work on and develop an answer to. Of course the best bet is to go with a mix of the two as long as they're appropriate.

Here's a math puzzle I gave my PCs in our last session. It looks nasty but took me 15 minutes while I wasn't even paying attention. PCs tried to brute force it though and took almost an hour, even with my hints.

You have tiles, each with a digit 1-9. Arrange the tiles in such a way that the number they represent is divisible by 9. Drop the rightmost tile to get a number divisible by 8. Drop the next rightmost tile to get a number divisible by 7. Etc.

It really isn't as hard as it looks. Making this use tiles instead of any number helps a ton since you can only use each number once and you aren't using 0. If the PCs want to make int checks or need clues, just give them rules for dividing by a number (they'll probably need help with the rule for division by 7, which is essential if you don't want them doing too much trial and error).

spotmarkedx

2007-03-09, 01:52 PM

You have tiles, each with a digit 1-9. Arrange the tiles in such a way that the number they represent is divisible by 9. Drop the rightmost tile to get a number divisible by 8. Drop the next rightmost tile to get a number divisible by 7. Etc.

I'll admit to being stumped on the "rule" for digit #7.

Okay, the second digit needs to be divisable by 2, as must the 4th, 6th and 8th, since they will need to be divisible by even numbers.

So we have a pattern of numbers: odd, even, odd, even, odd, even, odd, even, odd.

The 5th digit is a 5, since only numbers ending in a 5 or 0 are divisible by 5.

OEOE5EOEO.

The first digit can be any (odd) number

The second digit can be any even number

The last digit can be any (odd) number

Any number dividible by three, if you add its digits together, that sum is divisible by 3. Thus the first set of three numbers is divisible by 3. Similarly since six is divisible by three, the sum of first 6 numbers is divisible by three. Since we already know that the first set of three is already divisible, we know if we add digits 4-6, it will be divisible by three. The same for 7-9.

Since digit three is an odd number, the fourth digit is either a 2 or a 6. (numbers divisable by four: 12, 16, 32, 36, 56, 96, 112, 116 etc)

Knowing all the rules so far (digit#4 is a 2 or 6, digit#5 is a 5, digit#s4-6 sum is divisible by three), the sixth digit is either a 8 or a 4 respectively.

Digit #8: the number 1000 is divisible by 8. Thus we can pretty much ignore digits 1-5 in figuring out what digit should go here. Since eight is divisible by four and digit #7 is odd, we can use the same rule we used on digit#4 to determine that this digit is either a 2 or a 6. Since digit 6 is either a 4 or an 8, and 400 and 800 are also divisible by 8 (thus we can ignore them for determining what goes in the 8th digit), if the eigth digit is a 2, the seventh is a 3 or a 7. If the eigth digit is a 6, then the 7th is a 1 or a 9.

Add the rule that digits #7-9 must add up to a number divisible by 3.

Our options so far:

?8?65432?

?8?65472?

?4?25816? - removed because 1+6 + [3, 7 or 9] has no options available that are divisible by 3.

?4?258963

Process of elimination (only 10 different possibilities at this point using the group of three divisible by 3 rule) gets me 381654729

but what is the rule of digit #7?

I'm a bit new to DMing, but I've got a story line that involves a whole heap of sphinx and eleven different major riddles. Of course, I'd like to find some minor riddles to keep as back ups in case the PCs want to pester the sphinx for more information.

...If any of you could offer advice, your own riddles, or a place where I could find some decent riddles, I would really appreciate it.If I were a sphinx, my standard policy would be to pass out xeroxed pages from Black Belt Sudoku, with a reminder that failing to fill it out within fifteen minutes would result in being fed to the security. In case you're wondering, I would also carry a lead sheet (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0202.html).

I'd kinda like to find riddles that had some ties (maybe even a loose one) with the eleven classes.One for the paladin:

Mullah Nasruddin was traveling one day when he came across three young men arguing amongst themselves. As was his way, he stopped, dismounted his horse and asked them if he could be of assistance. One of the three men spoke up at once, and said:

"Oh Mullah Nasruddin, our father died three days ago. According to his will, my older brother is to inherit half of his horses, I am supposed to inherit a fourth of them, and my younger brother is to inherit a fifth. But my father has only nineteen horses! What are we supposed to do?"

How did Mullah Nasruddin respond?

Mullah Nasruddin said, "It hurts to hear of your father's death. As a token of my deepest sympathy, let me give you my horse.

"Now, seeing as you have twenty horses, your big brother will inherit half of them, you'll inherit a quarter of them, and your little brother will get a fifth. That leaves one horse to spare, and I'll take that as payment for my services."

And so saying this Mullah Nasruddin got back on his horse and rode away.

Swordguy

2007-03-09, 05:10 PM

How did Mullah Nasruddin respond?

Niiice.............................

Ravyn

2007-03-09, 05:46 PM

I am on the tongue of sage and madman alike. Some seek me to solve their problems, others run from me. And others sweep me under the rug, but listen in the silence of their hearts. They hear me in voices, they seek me in the flights of birds and bones of animals. And when my voice is heard, they call the speaker mad, but as the seasons pass all learn that I do not lie.

Maryring

2007-03-09, 05:51 PM

Okay. I'm going to make an... alternate spoiler. Select the white text underneath to see my guess.

Time or Truth.

Ravyn

2007-03-09, 06:54 PM

Close, but not quite.

Prophecy, actually. *grins* Took my players a few tries, too, if it's any consolation.

And to make a spoiler box, you do (spoiler)text(/spoiler), only using square brackets instead of parentheses.

ShneekeyTheLost

2007-03-09, 07:11 PM

Liza, Elizabeth, Betsy, and Beth

Found four bird-eggs in a little bird's nest

Each one took a single egg from it

And yet when they were done, there were three left in it

Oh woe as me, how can this be, when four take for will equal three?

Liza, Betsy, and Beth are all surnames of Elizabeth. There is only one girl who took an egg.

This brought to you from My Fair Lady

Untamable am I, yet harnessed I have become

Deadly am I, yet let children have fun

I howl with no mouth, and rush with no legs

Who am I, or I will crush you like eggs

The Wind. Untamable, yet windmills and sails harness it's power. Deadly, yet children have fun with pinwheels and dandilion puffs.

Countless ages I have seen

Countless more to come

Few can stop my travel

Of those who think, there are some

Yet I pass all the same

Sooner or late

although you will not heed my passage

one you have found your fate

Time. 'Few can stop my travel, of those who think, there are some' is a reference to the Time Stop spell. One you have found your fate is a euphamism for dying, in which case, you will no longer be able to tell the passage of time, because you're dead.

Jannex

2007-03-10, 05:36 AM

If you've got it, you want to share it; if you share it, you haven't got it.

It's a secret.

Thanks/apologies to Neil Gaiman and Mirror Mask.

Earthstar_Fungus

2007-03-10, 02:41 PM

I'll give it a shot.

A sister and a sister scutter around,

While the rest of their brethren live underground.

They speak not, hear not, but have a keen nose;

Tread lightly or they nip at your toes.

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