Review Simple Riddle... but TOO simple?


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IMO, the problem with riddles like these is that their are numerous "correct" answers. Sure, I know the author is thinking of one thing or one correct answer when they write the riddle. But, the riddle, and clues, are not so precise that only one answer fits. So, how are the players supposed to know which one correct answer is the answer the GM will actually accept?

So, I would just suggest that a GM accepts any answer that makes sense given the riddle and the character (not player) knowledge.
 



aco175

Legend
First line I was thinking age- with child wanting grow up and vain people afraid of wrinkles. I came to time rather quickly after the extra clues. I do not think you need the extra clues. You may add them if the PCs roll a DC 15 check if the players are not getting it, but I think they should.
 



Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Overall I thought it was great, the clues are especially good and open opportunities up for a bit more interaction and roleplay.

I do agree though that Time is a bit cliche and thus easily guessed (so either make the riddle more cryptic or get another answer).
I dont tend to like guess or die riddles but for roleplaying you could start cryptic and with each wrong guess impose a penalty before giving another clue, each one making it progressively easier ...

If time is the answer, I don't feel some of the lines fit that well. A good riddle excludes all other options. Is time really a child's desire? It is a bit of a stretch.

Yeah I found that a bit off too, a child might want to be grown up but they rarely would associate that with time. As alternatives mybe
A lovers desire..? An elders desire..?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
You'll probably want to fix your typo in line 2, though: that should read "More ravaging than any fire" - correct?

Johnathan
LOL - yeah -- fixed. You're the first person to notice that. Just goes to show what our minds will put in place when we think we know what something should say... :)
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
UPDATE: I've added a variant to the first line, to try to differentiate it from some of the other "answers" people were coming up with.

Base riddle:

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


This removes the stretch about "kids wishing they were older at times" to the old man (person) wanting more time before they die.

BUT I'm not sold on it, since IMO for some people when you get to a certain age (old "enough") you are not anxious to die necessarily, but you aren't afraid of it, either.

Thoughts?
 

Al'Kelhar

Adventurer
I must admit, until the additional clues you provided, I could've easily gone with:
wisdom
or
wit

But then, the answer becomes pretty obvious with at least the first clue. I agree with the poster who commented that riddles seem to be either easy or impossible, with no middle ground, so hence very difficult to "balance". I think the base 4-line riddle is likely to produce a wide variety of results (each of which could be conceptually correct), but with the first clue added in, I reckon most gaming groups should work it out reasonably easily.

Cheers, Al'kelhar
 


Al'Kelhar

Adventurer
Honestly, I don't think either of those answers support the base riddle much at all, unless you care to elaborate?
It's one of those problems of the framing of the riddle - is it looking for a "conceptual" or "philosophical" answer, or a "pragmatic" or "obvious" answer? I approached the original 4-line riddle from the first perspective, which of course does't seem to have been the angle that you were going for.

Vanity's foe - Both wit and wisdom puncture arrogance, hubris and vanity.

Child's/old man's desire - A child possesses neither wit nor wisdom, which are typically manifestations of manifestations of age and experience. Equally, many old people lack them, and either think they do, or wish they did.

More ravaging than any fire - Both wit and wisdom are excellent means of demolishing arguments and opponents alike.

Worst of enemies, best of friends - Again on the theme of how wit and wisdom are tools to analyse, debate, engage with people and their views, wit and wisdom are double-edged swords that can make you a pariah or a saint, often to different people and for different reasons.

With value one rarely comprehends - Well, this could be said about most positive traits, but IME both wit and wisdom are often in short supply and rarely appreciated these days.

Cheers, Al'kelhar
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
It's one of those problems of the framing of the riddle - is it looking for a "conceptual" or "philosophical" answer, or a "pragmatic" or "obvious" answer? I approached the original 4-line riddle from the first perspective, which of course does't seem to have been the angle that you were going for.

Vanity's foe - Both wit and wisdom puncture arrogance, hubris and vanity.

Child's/old man's desire - A child possesses neither wit nor wisdom, which are typically manifestations of manifestations of age and experience. Equally, many old people lack them, and either think they do, or wish they did.

More ravaging than any fire - Both wit and wisdom are excellent means of demolishing arguments and opponents alike.

Worst of enemies, best of friends - Again on the theme of how wit and wisdom are tools to analyse, debate, engage with people and their views, wit and wisdom are double-edged swords that can make you a pariah or a saint, often to different people and for different reasons.

With value one rarely comprehends - Well, this could be said about most positive traits, but IME both wit and wisdom are often in short supply and rarely appreciated these days.

Cheers, Al'kelhar
Thanks for your insight. Some of this is a bit of a stretch IMO, especially the "More ravaging than any fire" line... but to each their own. :)
 

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