Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 88
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jeff the Green's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    The Great PNW
    Gender
    Male

    Default Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    My PbP DM gave us a code that we're having a horrible time cracking, and I'm hoping for some help.

    We're in a room surrounded by something like a solid fog, except completely opaque, permanent (apparently), and a lower spell level. The five of us are each standing on our own transparent box, inside of which are six daggers (produced with or producing or something with a flame strike spell) oriented to each face of the cube with the hilts pointing in. Each dagger has a rune on it. The boxes are arranged in a regular pentagon. There's a torch on top of the box and hanging from the bottom, and the fog stops ~five feet away from the cube. The cubes are hanging from chains, on which are more runes in different colors, which is the code we need to figure out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    The knives are unusually long, with clean edges that taper to a point. They are all highly decorated in brass and silver, and each has a different symbol carved into the center of the blade.








    The torches are carved from dershanan, a valuable Brelish hardwood that has a reddish-orange colour and often displays quilted or fiddleback figure. Aside from the unusually ostentatious wood used, the torches are very plain; they are just cylindrical shafts of wood, with the tops wrapped in burning, pitch-soaked burlap. The stand for the top torch is made of bronze, and depicts four dragons, with their wings covering each other and their heads looking up towards the burning end of the torch. The bottom torch hangs down in a harness attached to the bottom of the cube by four ropes spliced together above the torch. The stripes on the cube are, as far as you can tell, intrinsic to the cube rather than painted on. The arrangement is thus:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Lines 05, 32, 61, and 74 are black. (Or 03, 52, 76, and 41- you could orient it either way, since they're floating in space and are pretty much fourfold-rotationally symmetrical.)

    The chains are inscribed with symbols of all different colors:

    qeatyl

    afcsd4ehg

    geaegsadhs

    iddagfdxjo

    Finally, the fog itself is extremely thick and is pitch-black, so as to entirely obscure objects at all but short distances. The cloud stops abruptly at the edge of the cube, though.
    Through Knowledge checks we've been able to figure out:
    • It's a variation on a pre-industrial but post-classical (so medieval, renaissance, or enlightenment) cipher.
    • The symbols are in an alien language called "Korean," but the language doesn't particularly matter.
    • 札 讀 鄕 吏 借 字 aren't Korean.
    • There is "absolutely nothing up with that single "4".
    • Multiple characters stand for the same letter, both in a sense of redundancy (i.e. 札 and 讀 could stand for a) and polygraphics (i.e. groups of characters could stand for a single letter)


    Also, I used comprehend languages and apparently the translation is
    High above the hills q lonely clusters lying wohi yodel yodel, press e cow salt served at y, yodel after huida het's mep l form paebaep short note

    Added that bilsae read geup Kim a new ryeochal c f HyangGa Xiang nine-grain two sd minor official entire sentence including 4 Korean e notation dagoneun to hg

    I No. word party borrow How to Import g silver tail in the door when e had to make a road from e to g robu s wind from ad to built the wind h Department s

    Id statements only from the entrance da Are heard road surrounded Hebrews gf x d deulseo the wind built from part of the wind from jo entrance yoeon
    I have no idea if that's actually what it says in Korean or if it's relevant.

    Finally, I've already tried some things:
    • Ignore the characters and only use the colors, in simple substitution and substitution in digraphs and trigraphs.
    • Simple substitution for the characters (there are more than 26).
    • Frequency analysis for characters and colors.
    • Ignore non-roman characters.
    • Ignore roman characters.


    So, if anyone could maybe help me figure out how to go about solving it I'd appreciate it.
    Author of The Auspician's Handbook and The Tempestarian's Handbook for Spheres of Power.
    Ask me (or the other authors) anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Well, of course I'm paranoid about everything. Hell, with Jeff as DM, I'd be paranoid even if we were playing a game set in The Magic Kiddie Funland of Perfectly Flat Planes and Sugar Plums.
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Spring Greenman by Comissar/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Wow. That's a doozy.

    The characters that aren't Korean are traditional Chinese. I know he said this doesn't really matter, but it's all I can offer at first skim.

    札 = zh, it means to jot down or a short note
    讀 = d, it usually means to read
    鄕 = xiāng, it means the countryside, rural
    吏 = l, an obsolete word referring to a minor government official, very uncommon
    借 = ji, to borrow
    字 = z, letter, word or character

    Here I've bolded how they're translated in the translation, as well.

    There's another possibility; Japanese Kanji (sp?) uses a lot of traditional Chinese characters, but they would have different pronunciations and likely different meanings (though there are often overlapping meanings, as well). Unfortunately, I don't know Japanese at all, and wouldn't know whether or not to trust what an online translator told me.
    Last edited by Stubbazubba; 2013-03-15 at 04:48 AM.
    *********
    Matters of Critical Insignificance - My Blog for all my favorite entertainment
    11/4: Announcing the Vow of Honor KS! (I contributed)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    In Japanese:

    札 = fuda, meaning a paper-slip, which are also used for magic wards, can also mean money.
    讀 = yomu, reading.
    鄕 = sato, rural, countryside
    吏 = ri, government official
    借 = kariru, borrowing
    字 = ji, letter, word

    One very important thing about decoding secret messages is knowing the context. If you have nothing to work with, it would be pure code cracking for which people have been using supercomputers for decades.
    Personally, if I were to come upon such a code as a PC, I would probably just ignore it and get the pickaxes out to just dig myself through the walls of a tomb or a vault, or whatever it is.
    Last edited by Yora; 2013-03-15 at 06:24 AM.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Try splitting the symbols into groups of a single colour and translating them?

    Throwing these symbol strings into google translate, the location of spaces between symbols drastically changes the translation, so ask the GM for his translation of the colour grouped letter strings.

    e "Language L is e. Wars"

    "Doug mep press the transmit duty"

    qt

    y "Of Hebrews, press y white salt 札 type"


    al "Of a John Warrington and l"

    "Increase of luck Backhaul's status"
    Last edited by only1doug; 2013-03-15 at 09:19 AM.
    Doug

    Currently GMing :
    Moonshae Mysteries IC / OOC / Central Map / west rooms map / east rooms map
    Moonshae Tales IC / OOC / Map
    Map of Area

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Are the symbols on the blades colored, and is there a translation for said symbols? Reading through, I'd say that the blades are the key to the puzzle, and those symbols stand out a bit.

    Perhaps removing or substituting the symbols on the blades where they appear in the text would work? I'm not sure.
    Last edited by NM020110; 2013-03-15 at 09:47 AM.
    Status: Recovering. ETA: 3 days

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    The string "한국어" right after the 4 is "Korean" in Korean. Maybe the Korean actually says something if you read it straight, take out all the foreign characters?

    Edit: I just noticed that the color transitions are highly non-random. For instance, pink is very, very often followed with light blue.
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2013-03-15 at 10:32 AM.
    Of the Core classes, Bard is the best. It optimizes the most important resource of them all: play time.

    Grieve not greatly if thou be touched a-light, for an after-stroke is better if thou dare him smite.
    The Play with the Two-Hand Sword in Verse, circa 1430. British Museum manuscript #3542, ff 82-85.

    Current avatar: Sascha Kincaid, a lost country girl in a big city. Aldhaven: Vicious Betrayals

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    What is the point of all this? Generally in a game, when I see something like this, I assume the DM's trolling and I ignore it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    1.Thats an odd way of numbering the Cube. I wouldn't be susprised if that had something to do with this.
    2. I'd guess its a bi-part order cypher, with the blades being the key to reordering. Just not sure how. Partly because the translation is an obviously broken message as opposed to fully random jiberish. Which means its not a replacement cypher.
    3.It seems to be a SYLLABIC as opposed to LETTER symbol set. There are just too many letters/words in the translation for it to be otherwise.
    4. Coming from that figure out what WIND is. Thats repeated way to often to not be a coincidence.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    On the daggers, there's three bolded Korean characters, and three smaller ones. The smaller ones always go in a cycle, red, pink, light blue, repeat. The bolded ones...don't? Or maybe they do? The dark gray is so hard to tell from the dark green, I wish your DM had used, like, an orange or something...

    It looks like both cycles repeat, actually. Since both cycles are periodic you actually only need two colors to represent all the color information. I'm going to use 0 to refer to the bold color sequence, and 1 to refer to the nonbold color sequence.

    So the colors read,

    010011011101100110000110011000110111100010001101

    0000111110101011101110110110110111000111111010

    010100011001100011011101001011111001110000110011

    110110110111011011010101101111111101001101111100

    Each line except the second line has exactly 48 characters. The second line has only 46. You might want to ask the DM if there is an error there, although I doubt there is, because as written, the cycles are preserved across line breaks, and the given ordering of the lines is the only ordering of the lines for which that is true. So we can tentatively conclude that the text as written is correctly ordered and not cyclical.

    Given the heavy-handed hints towards the importance of the number 4, I would group these off into fours, giving an alphabet 16 large. Then try substitution from there.

    spoiler for reference:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Code:
    qeatyl
    
    afcsd4ehg
    
    geaegsadhs
    
    iddagfdxjo
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2013-03-15 at 11:52 AM.
    Of the Core classes, Bard is the best. It optimizes the most important resource of them all: play time.

    Grieve not greatly if thou be touched a-light, for an after-stroke is better if thou dare him smite.
    The Play with the Two-Hand Sword in Verse, circa 1430. British Museum manuscript #3542, ff 82-85.

    Current avatar: Sascha Kincaid, a lost country girl in a big city. Aldhaven: Vicious Betrayals

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Personally, if I were to come upon such a code as a PC, I would probably just ignore it and get the pickaxes out to just dig myself through the walls of a tomb or a vault, or whatever it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    when I see something like this, I assume the DM's trolling and I ignore it.
    +1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2013-03-15 at 11:36 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Also, you should have taken 10 on those various knowledge checks. Just saying. Always Take 10 on Knowledge checks.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    +1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...
    That's only if they don't find codes enjoyable (I personally don't, as they're based on trial and error even when you do get the principle behind it, and trial and error is tedious, not fun). Of course, as he's asking for help, the code may have already worn out its welcome.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    +1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...
    Yeah, this is pretty much one of the biggest mistakes a GM can make (as opposed to outright bag GMing). A bizarrely obscure single-answer puzzle that you can't even begin to approach. This is even taken to its most extreme form.

    Bypass or circumvent.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Line counts: That was actually use.
    First line has 6 roman characters, second has 7 (8 counting the 4), third has 9, fourth has 10. Dang doesn't line up with a guess. Have you asked if it reads any different read cross-wise (aka vertically).

    EDIT: Wait with the line counts (without roman character 42, 39, 39, 38) It actually makes a sensible(ish) pattern for vertical reading.
    Last edited by jindra34; 2013-03-15 at 11:58 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    The way that cube is numbered makes me think "base 8" but I don't know what to do with that.
    Now with half the calories!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by The New Bruceski View Post
    The way that cube is numbered makes me think "base 8" but I don't know what to do with that.
    Base eight is also three digits long in binary, which would go with what Kalirren is getting at. My only issue with that is that would be a MORSE cypher which didn't start coming about till the invention of the telegraph, way later than the period this cypher supposedly came from.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    If you all want context... what the DM and the other players have been doing... this is a game on giantitp!

    Follow the link in the OP that the quote goes to.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    London, EU
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    It's almost certainly a substitution cypher. Solving these is straightforward, though tedious.

    Are you meant to solve this IC or OOC ?

    Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

    In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


    Completely Dysfunctional Handbook
    Warped Druid Handbook

    Avatar by Caravaggio

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    It's almost certainly a substitution cypher. Solving these is straightforward, though tedious.

    Are you meant to solve this IC or OOC ?

    Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

    In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.
    They can't search for the key, as was revealed in the thread they are pretty much trapped. For heavens sake they don't even know what kind of characters they should be substituting. Are they regular character? The characters on the knives? Other ones of the written characters? Short of brute forcing it (and getting lucky at that) I don't see how they could break a keyed cypher in this situation. We leaves very few types of cyphers (specifically hidden cyphers and directional cyphers) left.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Oh hey look, I found a game to walk away from.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  21. - Top - End - #21
    Banned
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Try this.

    Ignore the character meanings. Colors may be the key but not to translate. "Connect the dots" with lines for each color. See if some symbol or picture comes up that you recognize.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

    In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.
    Yeah I'd pretty much just start googling "substitution cipher" and looking at those.

    Just wait until the DM reveals it's a one-time pad cipher.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    d13's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Have you tried exchanging the roman characters with the dagger-color-code-equivalent and starting from there?

    (Currently at work, can't help much more than that..)
    Spoiler
    Show
    I'll have a signature one day...


    Thanks Mr. Saturn for the awesome Pokeatar

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Randomguy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Try taking 20 on a decipher script check, buffed with as many spells as possible, to solve the cypher.

    Make a few knowledge checks to find out if HyangGa Xiang is a person or place or whatever and see how that might be relevant.

    The "boxes" and "cube" you mentioned are the same thing, right? Are all 5 identical?

    Look at significant numbers. There's 5 boxes, 7 points on each if you start the count with zero, and 6 daggers in each box, making 30 daggers in total.


    Needless to say, loot everything of value after you solve the puzzle.
    Last edited by Randomguy; 2013-03-15 at 03:09 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    The "solution" to this "puzzle" is to fall back on role-play:

    Grab the knife pointed into the pentagon and strike the cube in frustration.

    For a character that never gets frustrated, rearranging the knives to see what happens sounds appropriate.

    If your character is well and truly paranoid, then sitting in a corner of their box and sobbing is about right.


    (bearing in mind that the character has failed to gain any significant information from knowledge checks, I don't consider further attempts to reason out a solution without experimentation valid)
    The BareFoot Programmer

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Just burst out laughing at the problem after poking around on wikipedia. Which leads me to believe you likely are missing key facts about this code. Most relate to the fact that it is on a chain, a three dimensional object that is relatively thin and long meaning the code as given likely isn't written quite as shown.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by jindra34 View Post
    Just burst out laughing at the problem after poking around on wikipedia. Which leads me to believe you likely are missing key facts about this code. Most relate to the fact that it is on a chain, a three dimensional object that is relatively thin and long meaning the code as given likely isn't written quite as shown.
    You are such a tease.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    You are such a tease.
    Assume the symbols are written vertically on a rod, even at the top, with spacing to mark the different lines. How many ways could you end up reading it? And if the aren't even at the top, how many then? And if physical/spacial alignment was not important why use the chains as opposed to the boxes themselves?
    Last edited by jindra34; 2013-03-15 at 03:27 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    In a building.
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Can you move the daggers? What corners sides are the daggers facing?

    Edit: I misread sides as corners..
    Last edited by Feddlefew; 2013-03-15 at 03:36 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    London, EU
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Aaaaagh! Help me crack this code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    Just wait until the DM reveals it's a one-time pad cipher.
    OTPs are very modern early 20th C IIRC

    Quote Originally Posted by jindra34 View Post
    Assume the symbols are written vertically on a rod, even at the top, with spacing to mark the different lines. How many ways could you end up reading it? And if the aren't even at the top, how many then? And if physical/spacial alignment was not important why use the chains as opposed to the boxes themselves?
    Interesting, but why the Jenga orientation ?
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


    Completely Dysfunctional Handbook
    Warped Druid Handbook

    Avatar by Caravaggio

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •