# Thread: Need a door puzzle

1. ## Need a door puzzle

I need help. The group I DM is in a mansion, and will eventually come upon a door to a vault with some sort of lock mechanism. For this lock, I'd like to put in a puzzle on the door that the group must figure out to open it. The problem: I can't figure out a good puzzle! I was thinking of putting a magic square on the door that the group would have to figure out, but I'd like other ideas. Does anyone have any ideas, or links to good, appropriate puzzles?

2. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Oh dear, I know just the one.

Have you ever played the Kingdom of Loathing? Near the end of one quest, there's a puzzle to unlock a door. It's wicked.

I'll look for it on the 'tubes and edit this post.

As you approach the door, you notice that someone has scrawled a message on it with a pencil: "BEWARE: One of the guards always tells the truth, one of them always lies, one of them alternates between the two, and one craves the taste of human flesh!" Ominous.

Hesitantly, you push the door open and enter a small room. You find four guards seated at a round table, playing bridge. You grab your weapon and prepare for a fight, but they just look up at you and nod amicably. "Hello," says the guard playing North.

"Er, hi," you say. "Um, don't mind me, I was just passing through."

The guard playing South says, "I suppose you want the combination to the other door, then? I'm getting really tired of people asking about that."

"He's lying," says North.

"No," says East, "you're the one lying."

"Graaaaagh," says West.

"Great," you sigh. "What's the code, then?"

"Well," says South, "the first digit is 3."

"No it isn't," says East. "It's 8."

North shakes his head. "They're both lying -- it's 9."

"The second digit now -- that's 4," says South.

"Graaaaagh," says West.

"It's 1, in fact," says North.

East grumbles, "It's definitely more than that."

"Sorry, I meant to say 6," replies North. "And the last digit is 5."

"Don't listen to him," says East. "It's 2."

"No, it is 5, I'm sure of it," says South.

"Graaaaagh," says West.

You roll your eyes. "Great. Thanks a lot, guys."

3. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

You could always make a cipher.

Ooh! Pull a Contact, use a math-cipher. Replace numbers (use whatever digit system you like) and symbols with different symbols, and include enough distinct equasions for your players to figure out the system.

4. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

I have a couple ideas, but here is a link to a database of puzzles and riddles and logic problems hosted by a tech major at UC Berkely. There are TONS of great puzzles from easy to ridiculous.

5. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Use the Nazi gold vault door from Operation: Condor (Jackie Chan). You need a special key and you needed to know the three digit combination that MIGHT have been in the journal or may be known to someone else. Then it turns out to be neither and you have to spin a set of dogtags to get the illusion of the code. Turn the key back and forth to the various numbers, and then two people have to pull a set of levers too far apart for one person... get any step wrong and big guns drop out of the ceiling and hose you down.

6. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Give the players a Rubik's cube and tell them they must solve it or their PC's die.

I loathe in-game riddles like this. They are fine if the DM allows for both alternate solutions (like bashing down the door or knock), and for the fact that the characters and players know different things.

7. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by DaMullet
It's wicked.
It is wicked. Gimme a hint, is it over nine thousand?

8. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by DaMullet
Near the end of one quest, there's a puzzle to unlock a door. It's wicked.
I have a guess as to the combination:

Spoiler

8-4-2, with East telling the truth, North telling lies, South alternating, and West being hungry for human flesh. South begins with the truth and so lies about the first and third digits.

So, do I get the combination, or does West eat me?

9. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

its 842...

East is telling the truth, south alternates and north lies.
EDIT: Doh! Ninja'd

10. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by lukelightning
Give the players a Rubik's cube and tell them they must solve it or their PC's die.
All too easy. They need a time limit on that cube.

11. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by Irenaeus
All too easy. They need a time limit on that cube.
Breaking and reassembling a Rubik's cube takes less than a minute. :P

12. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Don't set impossible challenges. I set my group a simple word puzzle, and they couldn't get it. Then theyt all failed intelligence checks for hints. Fortunately, they'd just rescued an academic NPC, who proceeded to roll a 19 on his intelligence check. He solved it.

13. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by Indon
Breaking and reassembling a Rubik's cube takes less than a minute. :P
Well, I have to give it to you Alex, that's thinking outside the box.

14. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

On some of the cheaper ones, you can even rip off the stickers, which is even quicker.

For a real challenge, give them 5 minutes and a similar number of dimensions on their cube. Specifically, this.

15. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

As I have said before, adding four useless levers that change colour make any puzzle harder.

16. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

1 - Door.
2 - Door has a cleverly hidden button.
3 - Button goes click when you press it.
4 - Players expect the door to roll/swing open when button is pressed.
5 - To open door, you must hold button down and lift door from the base at same time.
6 - Players never figure it out, leave in disgust.
7 - ???
8 - Profit.

17. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

I know this is a long shot, but can you write right to left in cursive? One in 6,500 people have the genetic trait that allows them to. Da Vinci was probably the most famous. But I digress. The best puzzle I ever did was to simply write the password on a slip of paper, hand it to them, tell them its written above the door, and let them think. Eventually, one thought of the Da Vinci Code (I am ashamed to admit that I have read it), and held a mirror in front. Problem solved, door bypassed, everybody was happy (well really they were pissed at me for not just handing out the standard logic problem, but it was a good kind of pissed.)
While not the most difficult of problems, it is clever in that you have to think outside of the box, rather than just passing the problem to the group's mathematical or linguistic savant and waiting.

18. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

I'd say, instead of a puzzle, just make it that you need certain items to get through the door. like you need two halves of a moon or something. Some sort of drawing that is the key. And then you place these peices around the dungeon. (Think Resident Evil puzzles) that way they aren't stuck on a riddle they can never figure out, and can just go back and search rooms till they find it.

19. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

http://www.thievesguild.cc/traps/index.php?p=2

Number 59 is my personal fav.

My group got it, but had a great time figuring it out.

20. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

2 cool doors here...
http://www.goblinscomic.com/tf5.html
but probably not that suitable for play

21. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

The Door of Riddles that are too Damn Hard is the best.

22. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Do a double cheese doozey with a little, "SO DARK THE CON OF MAN" and then a level six sudoku to wrap it up! With the time it takes them to solve it properly on the first try, you'll be able to plan your whole next adventure!
And if they fail the puzzle...you can have a teleport trap go off!

23. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by bugsysservant
I know this is a long shot, but can you write right to left in cursive? One in 6,500 people have the genetic trait that allows them to. Da Vinci was probably the most famous.
I never knew southpaws were so rare...

Actually, anyone can learn to do this. Indeed, Arabic is a cursive language written right to left. It's easier for people who are already left-handed, but it's not impossible for right-handers to do so as well. It's perfectly possible to learn to write English backwards, even in cursive. It's just harder for right-handers, and not worth the effort for most people.

24. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

The best one I ever did had this huge long rhyming sonnet of some kind covering the entire door. The players spent *ages* trying to decipher the puzzle.

The stupid door wasn't even locked, but none of them dared touch it in fear of some horrendous magical trap.

25. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by mikeejimbo
The Door of Riddles that are too Damn Hard is the best.
I never quite got that. Was the point of the comic that the DM cobbled the door together at the last minute, and forgot to actually lock it?

26. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by Jack Mann
I never knew southpaws were so rare...

Actually, anyone can learn to do this. Indeed, Arabic is a cursive language written right to left. It's easier for people who are already left-handed, but it's not impossible for right-handers to do so as well. It's perfectly possible to learn to write English backwards, even in cursive. It's just harder for right-handers, and not worth the effort for most people.
It may be possible to learn, but some people certainly have a predisposition. I personally was able to do it with no practice, effectively taking about 30 seconds to "learn it"
Wikipedia (all hail the great wikipedia) says-
"Research suggests that the ability of mirror writing is probably inherited and caused by atypical language organisation in the brain. Approximately 1 in 6500 people in the population inherited the ability of mirror writing and half of their children also inherited the ability. There are more left-handed mirror writers than right-handed ones, probably because left-handed people tend to have atypical language centres in their brain."

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1119739.htm

Edit: Forgot to mention, its not strictly limited to lefties, my dominant hand is my right.

27. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by TigerHunter
I never quite got that. Was the point of the comic that the DM cobbled the door together at the last minute, and forgot to actually lock it?
Well, remember that the Tempts Fate adventures were bonus comics as part of a fundraiser, with his success dependent on how much was donated by a certain date. The level of donations was so hugely more than expected, that the author wanted Tempts to succeed proportionately. So in this case instead of barely answering some riddle, Tempts "owned" the puzzle door by bypassing it completely, Ender's Game style. Similarly, notice how he overcomes the trapped door, or how he uses the explosive treasure room as a joyride.

That was my understanding, anyway.

28. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by SpiderBrigade
Well, remember that the Tempts Fate adventures were bonus comics as part of a fundraiser, with his success dependent on how much was donated by a certain date. The level of donations was so hugely more than expected, that the author wanted Tempts to succeed proportionately. So in this case instead of barely answering some riddle, Tempts "owned" the puzzle door by bypassing it completely, Ender's Game style. Similarly, notice how he overcomes the trapped door, or how he uses the explosive treasure room as a joyride.

That was my understanding, anyway.
Yeah, I thought it was just a hilarious way of showing how cool Tempts is when enough people donate. Just walking past it, heheh.

29. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

To be able to do it right off the bat, sure. But anyone can do it with a little work. And the "study" the scientist performed was pretty badly flawed. For one thing, not everyone looks at the ads in the paper, and certainly not everyone who sees the ads is likely to respond. Of course, there's also no guarantee that everyone who responded was really able to read the fable without resorting to the mirror, but in any event, but the odds are still good that the real percentage is higher than the poll suggested.

30. ## Re: Need a door puzzle

Originally Posted by Jack Mann
To be able to do it right off the bat, sure. But anyone can do it with a little work. And the "study" the scientist performed was pretty badly flawed. For one thing, not everyone looks at the ads in the paper, and certainly not everyone who sees the ads is likely to respond. Of course, there's also no guarantee that everyone who responded was really able to read the fable without resorting to the mirror, but in any event, but the odds are still good that the real percentage is higher than the poll suggested.
There is always error in studies in all branches of science, right down to the quantum mechanics of the heisenberg uncertainty principle, but for the moment we still trust them reasonably far. And it doesn't really matter that they had to use a mirror for the fable, because they also had to write backwards to be considered a mirror writer. While his figure may be a little low, I wouldn't disparage its accuracy too much.
And even if you doubt the statistics of his study, it is pretty clear that untrained mirror writing is genetic, linked to language centers and inherent traits of the corpus callosum, and it is unreasonable to expect a DM to retrain his entire mind solely for a clever door puzzle.

PS-have you or any of your friends ever learned how to write from right to left? I would be interested to learn how difficult that is.

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