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26

This falls under the principle of include three clues for everything. It also is well suited to the approach of using environment-based storytelling. Use Environment-Based Storytelling Introduce the puzzle setting first and let the players be confused over the weird specificity. I like the petrified inhabitants part; maybe have the husband-farmer and ...


16

The reason the rolls seems unfair is a problem called Goblin Dice. When talking about combat, d20 decide if a goblin lives or dies - but we all know sooner or later he will kick the bucket. When we use d20 to determine the success of one-of-a-kind events (like making a bluff check, a diplomacy check or a riddle-solving check), the high variability of the ...


12

No, these abilities are no more game breaking than other things characters will have around level 5, the minimum level for Dance of the Spider. Take for example that a wizard could cast Dispel magic at that level, which can render any magical trap harmless, or dimension hop which is a short teleport like shadow jaunt, and they can also cast spider climb. Or ...


6

She/he's right, but their view is insufficient. Terrain puzzles can be fun for low level parties. Unfortunately, with the advent of fly, levitate, or spider climb (etc...) at levels 5 and 3, or with creative use of other magic at similar levels, most puzzles where difficult terrain is an issue... are simply not an issue. Assuming your DM really likes the ...


4

I'm not the hugest fan of introducing puzzles like this into games but I think the best way to do this is to solve them out of character and then, if necessary, roleplay the solution in character. So long as everyone knows that you're going to do this (announcing it beforehand might be a good tactic), it eliminates or at least reduces many of the issues at ...


4

The key to an epic adventure is not to plan a perfect puzzle, but to plan the story of a perfect puzzle. Players shouldn't find clues where you left them; players should find clues where you let them. Keep a good balance between "too easy" and "too hard", and your players will boast of your brilliance for ages to come. With that in mind, write down a a ...


3

Psychology Handling a hostage crisis and Stockholme Syndrome of the NPCs. Perhaps, unless dealt with, the hostages intervene on behalf of their captors? Or, the PCs are the captors and must diffuse the stressful NPCs and keep them in line (or win them over). Don't just have them roll, have them explain exactly what they're doing and saying. Mitigating ...


3

Tuck the clues into the descriptions of the rooms. Each person has one defining object in their room, but it might not be immediately obvious if you're not in the right frame of mind, especially if you make the descriptions robust enough that it doesn't stick out. Of course, alter these to fit your setting, but here are some ideas: A picture of a castle ...


3

As I understand it, the characters are going to solve the puzzle anyway. because your story depends on them solving the puzzle. So I say, why bother if they will solve it? They do it. Eventually. In my opinion, the real challenge the characters face should be what it costs them to solve those puzzles. Time? Money? Health? Favors? Some other resource? The ...


3

Ok - I'm trying an Answer... Purely Mathematical solution As mentioned in the Comments the Riddle has a very low success ratio, with yes/no questions the only surefire way would be to reduce the remaining possible doors by half - maybe you can reduce them by 2/3, if you ask really cool trick questions, which are yes for 1/3 of the numbers, no for 1/3 and ...


2

Say "Yes" The most important step to getting around single-solution obstacles is to say yes to your players when they ask if they can try something. They're going to propose their own solutions to their problems, and your job as GM isn't to decide what the right solution is - it's to determine how challenging the players' choice of solution is. Appeal to ...


2

Overview I've wrestled with this same problem a great deal over the years. I've tried many different strategies for solving it but most of my attempts have left much to be desired. Focusing solely on the dice rolling helps keep the game moving and prevents the puzzle from becoming boring and tedious, but at the same time you lose most of the novelty of ...


1

Leave solving the riddles to the players and create other challenges for the characters. Some examples for D&D 3.5 (using the giant example but it might work for any riddles or puzzles): Hints related to character knowledge - a riddle may contain a reference to a legend, local event etc. If the character makes a successful knowledge check (history, ...


1

If you don't plan on using the abilities to trivialise any sort of puzzle that is designed to challenge the players (as opposed to the characters), as a lot of puzzles are, then let your GM know that. Personally, speaking as a GM, puzzles can require a sidelining of normal in-game thought processes, the players have to buy into solving the puzzle ...



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