Puzzles in PBP? - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Puzzles in PBP?

   
The issue with puzzles and riddle gates is that they are binary; you either get it and pass or you don't. In games they should be built so they can be achieved or circumvented in different ways. If a sphinx is demanding a riddle challenge you can just kill the Sphinx. If a dungeon puzzle can't be solved, the rogue can get at the mechanism and disable/open lock on it.

Multiple solutions is always good practice. If the players offer a solution that you didn't think of but is backed with sound reasoning, be prepared to allow it.

Good puzzles/riddles indeed should just be complications in the way of adventurers plus, as you become higher levels, a lot of puzzles/riddles/traps can just be circumvented.

Now of course, if the puzzle is something like get piece 1, 2,3,4 from different places in the dungeon or even somewhere else, feel free to go wild with that idea but I do enjoy the Sphinx example the best, as he offers you a chance to solve it, you solve it good, you fail, you have to fight a relatively tough monster which depending on parties could be taxing to resources. Breaking into a temple without solving a riddle could have the players potentially affected by a curse for example, still keep the fun of adventuring and have players deal with a curse.

You can always use symbols. Here are quite a few that you could use to build puzzles. I use em for asci art maps

Code:
⊕ ¤ ☼ o O ♋ ㊝ ► ◄ ✿ ﻬ ஐ ✲ ღ ☃ ■ ↔ ↕ ↘╬『』☃ ❣
·•● ➸ ❝❞ ﹌ ✎ ✟ ➹ ❀ ☂ ♨☎ ☏ ★ △ ▲ ♠ ♣ ♧ ∵ ∴ ∷ ♟ 
# ✖ ♂ ♀ ❤ ◈ △ ▲ γ ┋ ︻ ︼ ¤ ▽ ㄒ ∵ ∴ ∷ ω ㊣ § ↘↙
〓 ψ × ◢ ◣ ◥ ◤ ◇ × Ψ ▓ √ ¤ ∞≡ 灬 ˇ ● ﹌ ﹎ ╱ ╲
 ※ ☆ ★ ゜。 ゚ ‘ ・ ’๑ ۩ ۞ ๑ ●•✗☉♤ ✙ 〠 〄  ◈ ☺ ☻ ♀ ♂
 ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ ♪ ♫  ღ ♡ ♥ ❤ ✩ † ‡ •v ← ↑ → ↓ ↔ ↕ ↨  
▓ ▌ ▐ ░ ▒ ♦ ▀ ▄ █  
√ ∞ ∟ ∩ ∫ ≈ ≠ ≡ ≤ ≥ ⌂ ⌐ ⌠ ⌡ 
─ │ ┌ ┐ └ ┘ ├ ┤ ┬ ┴ ┼ 
═ ║ ╒ ╓ ╔ ╕ ╖ ╗ ╘ ╙ ╚ ╛ ╜ ╝ ╞ ╟ ╠ ╡ ╢ ╣ ╤ ╥ ╦ ╧ ╨ ╩ ╪ ╫ ╬
 ▀ ▄ █ ▌ ▐ ░ ▒ ▓ ■ □ ▪ ▫ ▬ ▲ ► ▼ ◄ ◊ ○ ● ◘ ◙ ◦☮✌❤ © ® ™

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☼ ✿ ❀ ✲ ☂ ☎ ☏ ♪ ♫ ☮✌❤

♥ ღ ❤ ★ ☆ △ ▲ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ ◇ ♀ ♂

× 。 ゜ ゚ ・ ● • ◊ ○ ◘ ◙ ◦ 

© ® ™

↘ ↙ ➸ ↨ ↔ ↕ ← ↑ → ↓ ▲ ► ▼ ◄ √ †

Common Shapes:



Frames and Etc:

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◢ ◣ ◥ ◤

Actana crushed it on the first post, IMHO, so the only thing I have to offer is this:

If the puzzle experience can be summed up with "There are pressure plates on the floor here. After some experimentation and frustration, you figure out the combination that opens the door," then scrap the entire puzzle.

Honestly... who would put puzzles or riddles in a dungeon? Some mad toy maker maybe.

This kind of thing always makes me picture someone coming to my house and installing an alarm system. They're there putting it in and the boss comes and tells me "Only your code will shot off this alarm... oh, but we also wrote this riddle on the wall. If someone knows the answer that will disable the system. Oh, and there's these pressure plates at the back door. If people stand here and here that will make the back door open."

I always saw puzzles and traps as something to protect tombs but not some place monsters have to live.

Yeah in my case it's in a concealed dungeon specifically designed by a certain faction to protect/entrap/seal away a dangerous McGuffin. No one actually lives there except automated guardian golems. There would be a secret yet fairly simple way to bypass the whole thing (useful if members of said faction want to enter without going through their own puzzle) that the PCs will be able to find with high enough search rolls in the right locations but would also be easy to miss.

I wasn't married to the pressure plate idea; it just seemed like the easiest thing to implement. But reading some comments and thinking I'm reconsidering trying to do something more original, and trying to present it in a way that doesn't immediately scream "conspicuously placed puzzle" but more, "convoluted and difficult method for opening very carefully sealed chamber that defies simple measures."

Simply blasting the door open with disintegration or brute force or something would be an option, but I'd still like there to be some kind of penalty for brute-forcing their way in. Wouldn't have to be super harsh. Maybe just a slightly deduction in the XP reward that they would have gotten for properly figuring it out.

I'll share a concept that I field tested in a game I've been running:the Vault door. The idea is that instead of a single open lock roll that just involves just the rogue, the door is a large and elaborate series of skill checks, traps, disable device checks and even strength rolls. It requires help from the whole party to get through and hopefully becomes more interesting than just some dice rolls. Link to the field test: http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=293963

I intended to formally write up the concept but never got around to it?







 

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