Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

If it doesn't fit into a category above, then inscribe it here, O Mighty One...

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, michaelcurtis, finarvyn, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
User avatar
MrHemlocks
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
Posts: 756
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:07 am
Location: The Rollings Hobbit Hills of Ohio

Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by MrHemlocks » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:53 am

My DCC campaign using the Blackmarsh campaign setting, waiting till Aereth is reworked, is in month nine now and the players have left Toad Hill headed back toward the Keep. I am designing a nasty dungeon that will be filled with traps, puzzles and riddles to solve. Are there any books that describe dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps? I could sure use the help.... :?

User avatar
Ravenheart87
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
Posts: 883
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:34 pm
Location: Győr, Hungary
Contact:

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Ravenheart87 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:13 am

Of course. The various Grimtooth's traps books and Dungeon Alphabet are highly recommended. :)
Vorpal Mace: a humble rpg blog with some DCC-related stuff.

User avatar
Flexi
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:59 am
Location: England

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Flexi » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:50 am

A big +1 for The Dungeon Alphabet.
I raid my old AD&D Dungeon Builder's Guidebook for a long list of random traps.
Frog God's Tome of Adventure Design (hah! :) )is a great resource to dip into too.

Thunderdave
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:08 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Thunderdave » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:54 am

Cloud Kingdoms publishes riddle books and have several with RPG themes:

http://www.cloudkingdom.com/Products/Cl ... books.aspx

Also, out of print CK books can be had at Nobleknight:

http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts ... _GenreID_E_

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2486
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by finarvyn » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:37 am

Good riddles are hard to find. You need something hard enough to be a challenge, but easy enough where the players can actually figure them out. I have a couple of books of riddles for RPG adventures laying about somewhere, but even those hardly ever seem to do what I want. I'll try to find them so I can post the name, etc, for you.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

User avatar
Clangador
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:22 am
Location: Tacoma, WA

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Clangador » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:46 pm

Crawl 7 is a traps issue. You might try that.
~Clangador

I'm not a wizard but I play one in DCC...

Join the DCC RPG Rocks Facebook group.

User avatar
DM Marcus
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by DM Marcus » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:44 pm

I have found in my experiences DMing that riddles and puzzles work great in movies and books but are a little trickier in a real game. The reason being, in a movie or a book, the outcome is decided by the author and the protagonist can be as smart as they need to be.

In a game with real people, it can be hard to focus in a crowd on solving something that takes mental focus any time. The very mindset that a puzzle-solving requires can often take the player out of their character's role and into their own abilities.

A bad thing? Not necessarily, but it is helpful to know what it is going on in your player's head.

That said, I love to drop old-school riddles in my games, but I am very careful to not make them a roadblock. I have collected many through the years that are clever but not too hard. I only want to present riddles that the party can figure out with just a few seconds of thought, to give a little flavor, but not grind the game to a halt.

If you need a riddle or two, I'd be glad to post a few if you would like to peruse some for options.

outlander78
Ill-Fated Peasant
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by outlander78 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:19 pm

I would appreciate it if you posted your riddles.

I quite like this list of riddles - it was worth the $1: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/1 ... al-Riddles
Please try my old school computer game (link) and tell me what you think.

User avatar
DM Marcus
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by DM Marcus » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Here are a few. Again, my preference are riddles that have old-school flavor but will not slow the game down too much and pull the player out of character.

To make it more fun, I'll leave off the answers.

Like...

1. It has a golden head... A golden tail... And yet it has no body...

2. What is light as a feather and yet, no man can hold it for even ten minutes?

3. Has a mouth but cannot speak... Has a bed but never sleeps...

4. You break it even if you name it.

5. It occurs only once in every minute, twice in every moment and yet, never in one hundred thousand years.

6. The part of a bird not in the sky, can swim in the ocean and always stay dry.

7. So simple minded, when asked a question I can only point. Yet I guide wise men all over the world.

8. A warrior amongst the flowers. He bears a thrusting sword... that he is willing to use... to guard his golden hoard.

9. I weaken all men for hours each day. I show you strange visions while you are away. I take you by night, by day give you back. None suffer to have me, but do from my lack.

10. I have many tongues but cannot taste. By me most things are turned to waste. I crack and snap and yet stay whole, a spreading plague to take my toll. Around me some feel safe to sleep, yet run when I escape my keep. I jump in anger, leap and bound. The cold man wishes I were found.

Hopefully, one of these will fit the bill. I have collected hundreds of these down through the years that strike a balance of not-too-hard but evocative of the genre.

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2982
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:06 am

DM Marcus wrote:1. It has a golden head... A golden tail... And yet it has no body...
gold piece
2. What is light as a feather and yet, no man can hold it for even ten minutes?
Breath
3. Has a mouth but cannot speak... Has a bed but never sleeps...
And it runs all night. A river.
4. You break it even if you name it.
Silence.
5. It occurs only once in every minute, twice in every moment and yet, never in one hundred thousand years.
The letter M
6. The part of a bird not in the sky, can swim in the ocean and always stay dry.
Shadow
7. So simple minded, when asked a question I can only point. Yet I guide wise men all over the world.
Signpost
8. A warrior amongst the flowers. He bears a thrusting sword... that he is willing to use... to guard his golden hoard.
Bee
9. I weaken all men for hours each day. I show you strange visions while you are away. I take you by night, by day give you back. None suffer to have me, but do from my lack.
Sleep
10. I have many tongues but cannot taste. By me most things are turned to waste. I crack and snap and yet stay whole, a spreading plague to take my toll. Around me some feel safe to sleep, yet run when I escape my keep. I jump in anger, leap and bound. The cold man wishes I were found.
Fire
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

User avatar
DM Marcus
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by DM Marcus » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:38 am

7. Signpost is a good answer, compass is a good answer too!

Judge Hook
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:22 pm
Location: Rockford, MI

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by Judge Hook » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:35 am

I included a riddle in a recent adventure, and the players got it almost immediately. (By coincidence, it actually happened to be #3 on DM Marcus's list.)

That's what I find often happens with riddles -- either the players get it immediately, or they can't get it at all. That can be true of any puzzle, but I think puzzles that have an experimental/interactive component (pulling levers, pushing buttons, moving tiles, etc.) keep the players more in-character and tend to have a smoother difficulty curve and broader appeal.

Something I've started doing are puzzles that have consequences if the PCs fail, but aren't a complete roadblock. For example, pulling the right sequence of levers kills a tough monster, and lets you pass through the doorway at the back of its cage. Pulling the wrong series of levers releases the monster. Now you have to fight it, but once you've killed it, you can pass. I found this worked quite well the last time I used it.

User avatar
GnomeBoy
Tyrant Master (Administrator)
Posts: 3783
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:46 pm
FLGS: Bizarro World
Location: Left Coast, USA
Contact:

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:43 pm

I totally agree on the "not a roadblock if failed" idea.

I once ran a puzzle/code, where an NPC that was known for playing solitaire was mysteriously missing. The I gave it to the PCs that the cards he left on the table looked sort of like one of his games, but not quite. They deduced that he had left them some kind of message before we was spirited away, perhaps a clue to his kidnappers. They all got interested, and almost solved it, and I was surprised by how long they all stayed interested (maybe 20 minutes, or so).

But had they ignored it, it would've just meant not having that early lead. There were future actions from the kidnappers that would mean the party was behind the 8-ball somewhat, but they'd still be able to try to rescue their friend.
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com - The Home of Inner Ham

oncelor
Hard-Bitten Adventurer
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:55 am

Re: Any books on dungeon puzzles, riddles & traps

Post by oncelor » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:34 pm

For math puzzles, I really recommend "Amusements in Mathematics" by Henry Ernest Dudeney. Here's the Gutenberg version: www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16713?msg=welcome_stranger

Post Reply

Return to “DCC RPG General”