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Review Simple Riddle... but TOO simple?


The Game Is Over
Hey all,

Saturday we'll finally be playing again on Saturday (after the holidays and a long break) and I decided to challenge the group with a riddle. Now, the group is great, but frankly not the brightest bunch so I want something they might have to think about but really shouldn't stump them. So, I know for most people here this shouldn't be too hard but I would like some thoughts or feedback.

The riddle length will vary depending on how many "clues" you think it needs, so please comment on that if you care to and thanks.

Base riddle:

Vanity's nightmare, a child's desire
More ravaging than any fire
Worst of enemies, best of friends
With value one rarely comprehends

(EDIT: VARIANT after feedback)

Vanity's foe, an old man's desire
More ravaging than any fire
Worst of enemies, best of friends
With value one rarely comprehends

Ever flowing, yet no destination
Always going, since first creation

I can be spent, but never earned
Only through me life's lessons are learned

I'm often too much, and often too little
Often I'm wasted when you while or whittle

Answer quickly, for I've not long
You'll live if you're right, but die if you're wrong

What am I?

So, I am definitely going with the base riddle, and any of the extra lines depending on what people like the most and might help without just giving it away.

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That seems like a decent riddle. I have trouble gauging the difficulties of riddles. Generally, people find them easy or perplexing, with no middle-ground. I would stop with the initial riddle, without adding additional lines. If you do dole out extra clues, swap out #2 for #3.


He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
So, I got that from the base riddle, and all the clues just seemed to confirm it. I like it. It was tricky, but not too tricky and those clues worked nicely.

I suck at these types of riddles and all my PCs that I play would probably violently attack whatever book/plaque/sign the riddle was presented on, or if it was an NPC I'd ask the DM if I had to roll initiative if I wanted to attack the NPC. :)

But I managed to get the answer. I needed all the clues though!

In his literary context, not really. With the riddles in the dark sequence having spent eighty-odd years as increasingly the most familiar riddle challenge in Western literature, yes.
Every Easter my parents would hide Easter baskets somewhere around the house, and then my dad would write a series of riddles. If my brother and I got the riddle right, he would tell us the location of the next riddle.

One year my dad decided to use the riddles from the Hobbit. Coincidentally, the day before, I had been trying to remember the riddles from the Hobbit so I sat down and reread them all. On Easter I was able to answer each riddle immediately.

My dad still talks about that day!


The Game Is Over
Thanks all for the responses. I thought it up on the ride home from work last night.

I think I will offer just the base to start with, and maybe the extra lines if the PCs are will to pay a "price" to get extra hints.

Most of you said the correct answer, and it is a cliché riddle answer, but I really didn't want anything crazy or extreme for these guys.

And yes, most riddles can have more than one answer if you think about it long enough. If they said something like "age" I would offer them one of the hints for free. shrug

It seems like none of it is really "off" or "problematic", which is what I really wanted to avoid. Thanks again for the feedback! Much appreciated. :)

Apparently I never got it. I thought 'Trust' at first, and then after the second clue thought 'Experience'. I guess that's close to the answer, but I still wouldn't use it. But then I don't use riddles for anything important in my RPGs. Just like any type of puzzle, they don't fit for me and rarely for the people I play with.

But if they work for your table, go for it.

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