View Full Version : Puzzle and riddle ideas

2019-06-05, 01:12 PM
I am running a pathfinder campaign where the players will have to go through a 14 level tower. Some of the rooms will have monsters and some will have riddles.

Any ideas for some riddles or puzzels?

2019-06-05, 01:43 PM
the water jug problem is a good one.

there's a lock that requires two jugs to each contain 4 litres/gallons/pints/units to be placed on pedestals to deactivate.

(say the liquid is special and the jugs are also special if you want to discourage cheesing the puzzle).

The three jugs in the room are sizes 8 (full), 5 (empty) and 3 (empty).

Capacity / 8 / 5 / 3
Start / 8 / 0 / 0
Step 1 / 3 / 5 / 0
Step 2 / 3 / 2 / 3
Step 3 / 6 / 2 / 0
Step 4 / 6 / 0 / 2
Step 5 / 1 / 5 / 2
Step 6 / 1 / 4 / 3
Step 7 / 4 / 4 / 0

2019-06-06, 10:17 PM
I recommended this one to another:

My tines be long,
My tines be short,
My tines end ere'
The first report.

The answer is lightning. The last two lines referring to how thunder comes after the lightning.

2019-06-07, 03:25 PM
Important question to answer: Are the puzzles for the characters, or the players?

If they're for the players, make sure they don't matter all that much. Have some kind of side-solution that offers worse rewards (or greater punishments) that allow them to proceed.

If they're for the characters, make sure that they require multiple parts to be solved at once, so that the team works together to find a solution. Stats and abilities need to matter when individual Player ingenuity should matter less. Rather, a Wizard should be able to solve the riddle, not a smart player playing a Barbarian. This is trickier than Player-based puzzles to pull off correctly, but it's overall a better solution.

2019-06-07, 10:53 PM
Also to build off MOG's comment, don't be ashamed to present the players with low hanging fruit for acceptable answers.

Some players are great at riddles... many are not. If a riddle has a singular answer you may find yourself frustrated with players unable to work it out. Telegraph those answers either in room design, motifs on enemy equipment, monsters. Make them hard to avoid.

Similarly, close enough is good enough. If an answer is given which you can draw a clear link to the proper answer, say it works and move on (like MOG said, you can adjust the reward on the opposite side to be better or worse based on the quality of the answer). Exampe: "The opposite of burning light (fire)"; instead of water, you can accept, ice, snow, shadow, darkness, burning light composed of negative energy, etc.