1. #1
    Skillkoil's Avatar
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    Clever Riddles, Puzzles and Tricks you have used in a Campaign

    What are some fun or funny Riddles, Puzzles or Tricks you have used or seen in your campaigns? I would love to get a list started. Here is one example I just used.

    The Neverending Hallway

    My adventurers rounded a corner and entered a hallway 60' long and 20' wide. It was made of stone. At the far end of the hallway was an open exit but it was shrouded in darkness. Even those with darkvision could not see past the opening. They did some investigation and discoverd there were arcane runes every ten feet across the walls and ceiling of this corridor. They even saw that the rune above the exit was an exact mirror match to the one at the entrance. So they first try to just push through the exit. The first person that walks through it disappears and is transported back to the beginning of the hallway. After three of the party do this a Gazer appears in the middle and they must defeat it. The party gives up and goes back the way they came ending up at a dead end exploring the rest of the area. So they return once again and go over the details. Something clicks in the rogues head and she says. "I walk backwards through the entrance." and poof the darkness at the end of the hallway disappears and she is safely in the room beyond.

    What have you seen over the years?

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    Skillkoil's Avatar
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    Found this while searching around online...

    My favorite trap was a long hallway that spiralled in on itself until the PCs arrived in a 10' x 10' room.

    About fifteen feet into this hallway, they find odd stains on one wall, stains that look like old blood. About ten feet later they see a scrap of cloth stuck between two tiles in the floor.

    "This hallway is trapped! One of them blurts.

    The rogue starts searching for traps, and finds a few, but they've all already been triggered. And they pass by more evidence of different traps. A scorched wall, a dead body, etc.

    Finally they make it to the end of the hallway, in that 10x10 room. All that is in the room is a massive treasure chest.

    They thoroughly check it for traps, and find none, but still end up wasting a scroll of knock to get it open. It opens. It's full of treasure.

    They hear an ominous clicking sound.

    Everyone ducks, expecting traps to go off. They don't. The PCs gather the treasure and leave.

    and THAT is when they realize that opening the chest caused all the hallway traps to reset.

    Hilarity ensued.

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  3. #3
    Simple, cruel, effective: 15' wide pit, spikes on the bottom, easy to jump across. Wall coming down from the ceiling to just a few inches above head-height. Magically invisible. Jump, smack your head, feet go forward, head goes back, body drops down into the pit. Hilarity ensues.

    another "simple" pit trap I've used has antigravity field half way across so you fly up to hit the ceiling instead of falling down to the bottom.

    I'm also a big fan of small creatures like goblins and kobolds living in areas sized for small creatures so medium sized folk have to crawl on hands and knees everywhere. Makes all the usual traps and hazards so much more exciting.

    Also had a room with an obviously trapped door the party couldn't figure out how to disarm. They eventually drew straws and one unlucky sod had to open it and take one for the team. The whole rest of the room was engulfed in flames leaving a 2' arc around the door untouched. His response was to open and close the door three times quickly in retaliation for them trying to make him the sacrificial lamb. The next room also had a door that was trapped. Two players ran for it and tried to open it first. A square cube of stone 10'x10'x20' dropped out of the ceiling onto them. The third trapped door made them upset.

    Making the ceiling the dangerous area instead of the walls or floor is a favorite a way to spice things up for variety. Along with having traps that work in two steps. Like take your normal arrow trap: step on a pressure plate and darts fly out of the wall attacking people in the room. Then the back of the darts start to glow and lightning arcs from all the darts to all the other darts.

    But if the area where the PCs are exploring is inhabited, the inhabitants always have a practical way of getting around safely and the PCs have a reasonable chance to figure that out or observe it. I may make particularly cruel traps, but I don't actually get to inflict them on my players very often. Lots of my long-term players are scared enough of the potential of the traps they've seen that they treat every trap as a TPK waiting to happen.

    My puzzles are usually complex and long term and would take an essay to describe because they are story driven and without context they don't make any sense but with the context they're not actually hard at all to solve. So my players usually figure them out from half or less of the possible clues.
    Last edited by GavinRuneblade; August 30th, 2018 at 06:49.

  4. #4
    Skillkoil's Avatar
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    Haha! Those were great, thanks for sharing! Puzzles are always the hardest for me to come up with. I want to make them hard enough so that it challenges the players but not too hard that they feel completely defeated. Traps and Puzzles are where some of the funniest things have happened in many of my games. Keep them coming!

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    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skillkoil View Post
    Haha! Those were great, thanks for sharing! Puzzles are always the hardest for me to come up with. I want to make them hard enough so that it challenges the players but not too hard that they feel completely defeated. Traps and Puzzles are where some of the funniest things have happened in many of my games. Keep them coming!
    Puzzles are typically player focused, not character focused. As such my suggestion is to make sure any puzzles (riddles, etc) should always use the Three Clue Rule.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Puzzles are typically player focused, not character focused. As such my suggestion is to make sure any puzzles (riddles, etc) should always use the Three Clue Rule.
    Very good advice! And for any GM this group of writings on The Alexandrian are great. LordEntrails turned me onto this in a post he made a while back.

    https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress...hree-clue-rule

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Puzzles are typically player focused, not character focused. As such my suggestion is to make sure any puzzles (riddles, etc) should always use the Three Clue Rule.
    The three clue rule is good, but I also like to use some ad libbing with puzzles. If my players come up with a valid solution that fits all the clues, even if it is not my solution, I'll usually make their idea the correct one. Unless there is some reason for me not to. Sometimes it is fun that there could be two very similar solutions to a mystery. But if finding the solution is holding them back or slowing them down, then their solution becomes THE solution and the story moves forward.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GavinRuneblade View Post
    The three clue rule is good, but I also like to use some ad libbing with puzzles. If my players come up with a valid solution that fits all the clues, even if it is not my solution, I'll usually make their idea the correct one. Unless there is some reason for me not to. Sometimes it is fun that there could be two very similar solutions to a mystery. But if finding the solution is holding them back or slowing them down, then their solution becomes THE solution and the story moves forward.
    That is good advice for any GM, In my opinion, our overall goal is to provide as much fun and entertainment as possible for the group. We can't be precious about our encounters/traps/puzzles etc.. If the players have exhausted all their clues and come up with a functionally correct answer, moving on is probably what I would do as well. Challenging the players and making them work for it is not trivial either. We always need to walk that fine line and try to guage the group as best we can. Thanks for sharing this Gavin!

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  9. #9
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    Anyone else have a cool puzzle or funny riddle they have used to crush their player's spirits?

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  10. #10
    Maybe any other help can be added to complete this essay with the additional illustrations or anything else?

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