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-   -   Puzzle help for 3.5 (http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=102026)

Tumius Jul 15 '10 5:45am

Puzzle help for 3.5
 
I'm thinking up a campaign that I will hopefully have running soon but I need a few puzzle ideas for these set parts. In my other campaign I had a puzzle where the players had to get a key that was in the shape of an animal and the way one of the players solved was that I described one picture with a few more words then the others. (Needless to say, I wish i pummeled him)

So I was hoping to bounce around some ideas, I was planning to use a few from the God of war game since i thought they were a challenge but I'm also trying to find ways around a few spells that are a headache (like stoneshape). Any ideas around stuff like that?

Aexicas Jul 15 '10 8:08pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tumius (Post 3364434)
I'm thinking up a campaign that I will hopefully have running soon but I need a few puzzle ideas for these set parts. In my other campaign I had a puzzle where the players had to get a key that was in the shape of an animal and the way one of the players solved was that I described one picture with a few more words then the others. (Needless to say, I wish i pummeled him)

So I was hoping to bounce around some ideas, I was planning to use a few from the God of war game since i thought they were a challenge but I'm also trying to find ways around a few spells that are a headache (like stoneshape). Any ideas around stuff like that?

How brutal do you want to be? =D

One that we always had fun with was an entire illusory dungeon. Stone shape? Nope, thats not gonna work to get you through to the next room. You want to disbelieve the illusion? Sure, shame the whole dungeon is one big illusion, so you see none of what would be the puzzle in the first place, and can't progress because all you see is a blank room.

Less brutal a selection would be a lampshade hung explaination of "the owner of this dungeon lined the walls with lead", or some such. That should be sufficient to get around stoneshape, at least.

Anti-magic fields always work too, but depending on your idea for the puzzle, it might not be possible. You could also have a field that seals off schools from a specific descriptor, too (ie, transmutation spells, fire spells, chaos spells, etc).

In the end, though, no matter what you do, you -will- have people trying to get around your puzzles. It happens in every game, because players notoriously do not like to do things the "right" way, though, of course, thats not saying they don't think up ideas that are just as good.

Besides stone shape, what else are you worried about?

Allucard Jul 15 '10 9:36pm

He is in my RL group, so I know what he is talking about and I don't blame him. Though he is still being Needlessly hostile to a certain player. At any rate, using spells AGAINST the players helps also. Such as:

DM: "You walk into a room, the small rod from the last room begins to glow in your hands, Illuminating the huge cavern. Three pedestals stand in front of you. In front of the Pedestals a thirty foot chasm stands between you and the door. Each Pedestal has strange markings, each one unique in its own right. Each also has a small opening as if made for something to hit into it." (Rolls secret spot checks for the statue on the cieling)

Wizard: (Fails Spot Check) " I cast Fly and Fly to the other side"

DM: "The Statue on the cieling fires a bolt of Azure light. As it hits you, you begin to plummet, luckily you hadn't made it into the chasm yet."

Wizard: "Am I Hurt?"

DM: "Nope"

W: "Well I cast stone shape then and make a bridge."

DM: "Attempting to channel arcane energy, your fingertips sputter, producing no effects."

Dispel Magic+ Anti-Magic Bolt (Modified Field)

dauphinous Jul 15 '10 9:48pm

Well, the other way to go is to require such spells to complete the puzzle. Or, at least, make that the best way to complete the puzzle. And then, once those spells are blown, put in part 2, or 3. In part 2/3, having those spells sure would be helpful, but but since they've already been used, the players have to think of something else. Include a 'can't get out/rest' clause, and they can't just come back tomorrow to bounce through it.

Dirty Kobold Jul 15 '10 10:49pm

One thing I wanted to do in a campaign im designing is incorporate clues and quotes of words that have no meaning on their own, but when all gathered and collected, the players need to decifer it to open the secret room or get into the epic villians dungeon.

Of course in my campaign they are dsplaced 1940's golden age heros trying to capture their villain and return home. So the villian leaving them clues and puzzles is SLIGHTLY easier to explain.

diremage Jul 17 '10 8:08am

Room 1: As the last player enters the room, the narrow bridge connecting it to the rest of the dungeon catches fire and falls into the magma.

Oh ya, this room is connected to the rest of the dungeon by a narrow bridge; it's an island of rock in the middle of a river of lava and everyone takes 5 heat damage every turn.

On the next isle of rock, you can see ice mephits busily freezing the magma upstream of them so it doesn't destroy their island. (mephits take 7 damage, less 5 DR, less fast healing 2. Alternately, apply DR before multiplying for their vulnerability) There's a large block of ice slowly melting around a pedestal holding the McGuffin you need to proceed. The lava occassionally gloops, releasing a hot bubble of gas and molten rock; flying over it at low altitudes would be to risk getting hit by a large glob of molten rock.

Solution? Cone of cold, blizzard, or other cold spell on the slightly-cooler magma. Then just walk across. Or wall of stone a bridge (which gets hotter every turn until it melts). Let your PC's be creative within the bounds you've set--if they try any method of flying they're likely to get knocked out of the air, and so on.

For bonus points, make multiple isles in the magma, each with a different method of advancing to the next one. Alternately, Wall of Something, which takes damage from the magma each round. And, of course, once they get to the McGuffin at the end, they have to get -back-. And their bridge already fell into the magma.

Note that magma by itself is pretty tame--it's only 2d6 damage per turn unless you go swimming in it; you might want to buff that a little if your party, like many others, can basically spend all day taking 2d6 damage a round and still fight the red dragon on Isle 3.

Hope that gave you some ideas!

ChaosHarbinger Jul 17 '10 10:07am

If you want to be especially cruel, why not introduce a block puzzle? But not just ANY block puzzle - one that requires a specific arrangement of magical runes in its completion to work, meaning that Stone Shape can only be used to actually make the stone on which the runes are carved easier to move about. Also gives you the opportunity to request a few special Spellcraft and/or Knowledge (arcana) checks outside of combat and research.

Jomonkey527 Jul 17 '10 12:29pm

What about a 4 pillared square that has the 4 pillars on the 4 corners of the square. On the floor are blocks. The blocks would have a line for lack of a better word. You can use a pegboard, where the blocks can turn. The goal of the puzzle would be to connect all four pillars to "activate" them. Once all four are activated at the same time something, a magical item, etc, appears in the center. You can add an extra twist, by having the party make strength checks, etc, to move the blocks into the right position.

Roi Jul 19 '10 3:45am

Quote:

Originally Posted by diremage
Solution? Cone of cold, blizzard, or other cold spell on the slightly-cooler magma. Then just walk across. Or wall of stone a bridge (which gets hotter every turn until it melts). Let your PC's be creative within the bounds you've set--if they try any method of flying they're likely to get knocked out of the air, and so on.

For bonus points, make multiple isles in the magma, each with a different method of advancing to the next one. Alternately, Wall of Something, which takes damage from the magma each round. And, of course, once they get to the McGuffin at the end, they have to get -back-. And their bridge already fell into the magma.

My problem with this is that it requires the players to have a specific array of spells prepared. If they've got the right spells, they'll waltz on through. But if they don't, then the DM is essentially telling the players, "Oh, you can't do anything. Go home and sleep so the Wizard can prepare the right spells." And if you've got a sorcerer who doesn't know the right spell or spells, you just screwed the party over. Put in a time restraint (The villain is blowing up the city in 24 hours!) then the players are screwed even more.

Instead, I might suggest something less specific, where the spells used could be more ambiguous. If you take the same lava thing, make the lava a huge persistent image (underneath is just actually floor). Take out the glooping lava so the players have a few possibilities right off the bat (Assuming 3.5 here), without coupling spells
-Fly
-Dispel Magic/Disbelieve
-Lava to Stone
-Stone Shape
-Teleport

The problem with many puzzles such as a combination of pressure plates is that (okay, I'm ripping this off of someone else in the forum. Just read it a few days ago, I think) , without any clues, they just say, we take as long as necessary to try every possibility, in a binary fashion (i.e. If 0 is up, 1 is down, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, etc).

Allucard's/dauphinous' suggestions are things to follow, for sure. Give open-ended sorts of puzzles. The only puzzles which should only have one solution (such as, you must cast Resistance on the smallest spider) should be ones which are optional. Ideas for open-ended puzzles include (but are not limited to) large chasms, waterfalls, shrinking rooms (moving walls/collapsing ceilings/crumbling floors), etc.

Time restraints are also fun as well. Spawn an enemy into the puzzle room every round. Make water steadily flow into the room. Have a bomb (or contingency fireball, if you're not in modern times) that explodes in X rounds.

Just my 2 cents.

Shtychkn Jul 19 '10 5:12am

The problem with many puzzles such as a combination of pressure plates is that (okay, I'm ripping this off of someone else in the forum. Just read it a few days ago, I think) , without any clues, they just say, we take as long as necessary to try every possibility, in a binary fashion (i.e. If 0 is up, 1 is down, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, etc).

give clues and have it set up where bad things happen if they choose the wrong code. You won't go through every option if you'll be dead by the third wrong guess.


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