• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

D&D 5E Riddle Me This


log in or register to remove this ad

thalmin

Retired game store owner
I enjoy but rarely include riddles in my games. But puzzles are often included. First I let the players work on it. If they are stumped I will usually allow INT checks. If they are still stumped, I don't solve it for them. That would be like having them face a monster, but if they can't kill it, me killing it for them!

I figure the players are there to play a game and tell a story, not just roll dice. Sometimes stories do not have happy endings, but those can be even more memorable.
 

Uder

First Post
I love riddles, but I rarely use them; riddles grind on some players' patience and I'm firmly against the idea of "make your save to solve the riddle." No intelligence checks here. When I use them I try to put the solution out there somewhere they can find through exploration or role-playing.
 

Pickles JG

First Post
I enjoy but rarely include riddles in my games. But puzzles are often included. First I let the players work on it. If they are stumped I will usually allow INT checks. If they are still stumped, I don't solve it for them. That would be like having them face a monster, but if they can't kill it, me killing it for them!

I figure the players are there to play a game and tell a story, not just roll dice. Sometimes stories do not have happy endings, but those can be even more memorable.

Puzzles are not games.

They are too often dead ends that are just a frustrating way to eat up half an hour. I reckon if they can be posed as background entertainment thing to be doing while you get on with the rest of the adventure rather than insurmountable blocks they should be fun. Riddles are just a subset of puzzle.
 

the Jester

Legend
Puzzles are not games.

Now that's a weird position to take... or is it? It strikes me as weird at first blush, but is Rubik's cube a game? It's certainly a puzzle. You 'play with it', but it's rather a one-person game. Huh. This is an interesting side trip down the rabbit hole.

They are too often dead ends that are just a frustrating way to eat up half an hour. I reckon if they can be posed as background entertainment thing to be doing while you get on with the rest of the adventure rather than insurmountable blocks they should be fun. Riddles are just a subset of puzzle.

See, I'm one of those guys who firmly believes that it's okay if the pcs don't find all the secret doors, miss some secret levels of the dungeon, etc. Lots of parties missed Thrommel back in ToEE in the 1e days. There are probably plenty of other examples of that kind of thing. I'm okay with "Damn it, we couldn't get through that adamantine door. We'll come back someday!", whether the pcs do or not.
 


MechaPilot

Explorer
See, I'm one of those guys who firmly believes that it's okay if the pcs don't find all the secret doors, miss some secret levels of the dungeon, etc. Lots of parties missed Thrommel back in ToEE in the 1e days. There are probably plenty of other examples of that kind of thing. I'm okay with "Damn it, we couldn't get through that adamantine door. We'll come back someday!", whether the pcs do or not.

This gal is okay with that as well. However, it has been my experience that players will try to keep going back to that riddle/puzzle during the same adventure (assuming they can even bring themselves to walk away from the riddle/puzzle in the first place) instead of just forgetting about it and moving on. If they do it once, okay, that's fine. But, when they keep coming back or never leave the puzzle, the game hits a snag that requires me to do something to get it moving again. The inability to move on is the only reason why I will rule that the PCs just finish the puzzle after a while.
 

Nefzyflin

Explorer
The absolutely most difficult riddle of all ! The riddle that stands head over heels above the rest, not only in it's brilliance... But also in it's effectiveness, goes like this !

WHAT ! Is your favorite color?

Killed a very good man, that one did. :.-(

Nef
 

I enjoy puzzles & riddles but I like to keep them relative to what the characters have experienced or would have the means to find the answer for. This doesn't mean roll a die to bypass using their thinking caps. It means that if there is a riddle or puzzle, it will have meaning in the game world and the clues for solving it will be found there. No riddles based on obscure song lyrics from our world or anything like that.

Culturally neutral puzzles involving math or logic are fair game but anything requiring specific knowledge will be solvable by anyone who pays attention to the setting during play. A riddle might reference a secret symbol belonging to an evil cult that the PCs have seen or may see if they venture in certain places.

Such riddles and puzzles typically unlock bonus goodies or additional information that could be very useful elsewhere. I avoid placing them in situations that would bring the whole adventure to a standstill. The players can decide to work through such things or leave them and move on. That way, any time spent on solving the thing is completely a player decision and not something the PCs HAD to do in order to continue.

Besides, intra-party debates about how much time to spend on this stuff with threat of wandering monsters or the ticking clock of time sensitive operations provides quite a bit of DM entertainment.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
I don't really use riddles or puzzles. I prefer more of an action oriented style.

I like logic and math puzzles but as a personal experience and not a group activity.
 

Remove ads

Top