I freaking love puzzles. Throwing something at my players to confuse, entice or provoke them and test their problem solving and teamwork abilities is the highlight of the session for me. A good puzzle fits with the theme of the location, is logical for the original owner of the dungeon and makes sense when solved by the PC’s. I take a lot of inspiration in the making of my puzzles from videogames, books, movies an other D&D’ers, so although I made and adapted the following puzzles to fit my scenes and style, they are not fully of my own making.
The Running Key puzzle
“When entering this room you see that there are a lot of big pieces of furniture which provide an abundance of small nooks and crannies. On the other side of the room is a big and tough looking steel door with a doorknob and quite a large keyhole. In front of this door lies a key but when entering the room the key stands up on four little legs and sprints behind a big closet. What do you do?”
This scenario can make your players roll a lot of perception and dexterity checks before they get their hands on this key. They might even have to watch out for traps, but the real kick in the groin comes when they find out the door was unlocked the entire time.
“At the end of a long hallway is a door with mystical runes along the doorframe. After opening this door you enter a medium sized room with a small pond from side to side in which live Quippers. On the other end of the room is another door which seems the same as the first. Going through the second door leads you back into the room from the side of the first door. What do you do?”
An Arcana check might teach them the door possesses teleportation magic and the Quippers are there to give the players some small stakes every time they jump or wade across. To get past this room players must enter the room, close the door behind them and open the first door again.
Prison Storage puzzle
“After they put your group in jail they took your stuff and asked you for your names. A series of events eventually got you in the storage room with the key and before you there are multiple lockers and on the wall is one keyhole. When you put the key in the hole and turn the keyhole lights up for 5 seconds before dimming again. What do you do?”
This puzzle is super easy once you get it and makes sense for the establishment. All you have to do is turn the key and speak the name of the person whose locker you want to open. People who are allowed to open vaults know this and merely have to ask for a name when filling or emptying a locker. People who are not allowed in have no clue and can only get their stuff after getting this information from someone who is allowed, however they do that is up to them.
Are you gonna use any of these? Do you have any puzzles of your own? Or do you rather make riddles in stead of puzzles? Let me know below!
Are you ready to play some D&D, and do you want to further explore fantasy worlds like that of Harry Potter, Pokémon, Hunger Games or Avatar? Try out these free one-shots!