D&D 5E Riddle Me This

I find riddles extremely fun. A couple sessions ago I sprung this one I found, on the pc's.

If you have it... You want to share it... If you share it... You no longer have it.

200 xp's if the pc's could figure it out with their non character brains. Divided by 4 pc's. They couldn't, so I allowed them each to make an Int check. Two of them passed a DC of 15 and so I gave them the answer, but cut the xp award in half to 100 for 25 xp each.

Love riddles.

Nef

What's the answer? You can tell me. It will be our little secret! ;)
 

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the Jester

Legend
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.

See, I don't ever mind if the party stops and obsesses over something all session, or even for multiple sessions. I don't feel the need to enforce a certain pace in the game. Pacing is largely dependent on what the pcs do.

There's a great example of this from my halfling 3.5e campaign. The party spent almost an entire session around a crossroads. They found it, debated which way to go, made a choice, started, changed their minds, went back, debated again, etc.

It was hilarious and tremendous amounts of fun.
 

Gargoyle

Adventurer
I've found that they can be fun as long as they don't bog down the game. Have to use them in a way that doesn't prevent them from progressing and that doesn't keep them sidetracked too long, since some players enjoy them and some don't.
 


I hate puzzels with only out of game answers... it is so crazy that I have seen 2 extremes and very little inbetween

1) Got it... solved right away by knowing the out of game answer

2) game stall...
 

Unwise

Adventurer
The secret to using riddles in a game is to know when lunch time is and plan accordingly.

If the PCs make good int checks, then you give the players the riddle before they break for lunch and expect the answer after it. If they do poorly, they need to answer before lunch. This way the PCs Int scores really make a difference, but the riddle is not made pointless by simply giving them the answer. After all, I would not simply tell them "who dun it" in a mystery adventure if they have a good Int and Wis score. This also means that the game does not slow down for 20 minutes as people wrestle with the answer.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
See, I don't ever mind if the party stops and obsesses over something all session, or even for multiple sessions. I don't feel the need to enforce a certain pace in the game. Pacing is largely dependent on what the pcs do.

There's a great example of this from my halfling 3.5e campaign. The party spent almost an entire session around a crossroads. They found it, debated which way to go, made a choice, started, changed their minds, went back, debated again, etc.

It was hilarious and tremendous amounts of fun.

It's not all about pacing; some of it has to do with my patience as well. Also, admittedly, it has to do with my free time. Sitting around and watching my friends wrack their brain over something while not talking very much isn't much fun for me. I'd much rather a) let them progress in the adventure, or b) end the session there and give them time to think it over before the next session.
 

In general I don't mind puzzles and riddles in games. That said, I did have one bad experience with a riddle in a game as a player.

I entered the room of a dungeon and a magic mouth told me that I needed to give the next letter in the series: O T T...

I said O, which was incorrect. As a result I lost all items in my character's possession, including all my magic items and even my clothes. This was in a 2E AD&D game and I was about 10th level (starting at 1st level), so I was pretty pissed to lose all my worldly possessions in one go like that.

To make matters worse, the next player entered the room and gave the right answer (F, as it was the first letter of each number, starting at one. So one, two, three, four). All his possessions doubled, so he now had 2 of everything.
 

I hate puzzels with only out of game answers... it is so crazy that I have seen 2 extremes and very little inbetween

1) Got it... solved right away by knowing the out of game answer

2) game stall...

Yeah, that's the problem with them I think. Players either know the answer, or figure it out very quickly. Or they can't solve it and the game hits a roadblock.
 

the Jester

Legend
Yeah, that's the problem with them I think. Players either know the answer, or figure it out very quickly. Or they can't solve it and the game hits a roadblock.

Interesting. I've had good experiences with using riddles and having them take a little while to solve but not too long.

Logic puzzles might take longer.
 

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