Puzzle-based adventure...

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I am slowly working on a campaign, which will be heavily puzzle based. For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 

My question is, where can i find different sources on how to make such an adventure? I'm thinking mostly adventures/campaigns that either hav e alot of puzzles, or specific interesting puzzles within some adventure/campaign. Ideas in general are also appreciated :3

For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 



Idea in general: Be clear with yourself, and with your players, whether any particular puzzle can be solved by . . .

a) The player. E.g. you describe a room layout or clue in character, and then the players have to think through and solve a specific problem, describing PC actions. Classic examples include stepping on tiles in specific order, solving a verbal riddle, doing math or lateral thinking.

b) The character. E.g. you describe a book as containing an ancient riddle, or markings on the walls give clues on how to defeat the end-level monster. Figuring things out and sorting the problem might be a skill challenge, perhaps with bonuses for apt descriptions. The exact wording of the puzzles or runes can be left to the imagination.

c) By ad-libbing/roleplaying around the situation. E.g. you describe a layout with an invisible Force Wall that prevents access to the treasure. The Eladrin uses Fey Step . . .

This can be in any combination, and you don't have to set it in stone - puzzles  can easily be added to D&D games according to taste and play style, because they are not "core". It's worth monitoring how well things are going down so you can figure out your groups best combination of a/b/c.

I am slowly working on a campaign, which will be heavily puzzle based. For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 

My question is, where can i find different sources on how to make such an adventure? I'm thinking mostly adventures/campaigns that either hav e alot of puzzles, or specific interesting puzzles within some adventure/campaign. Ideas in general are also appreciated :3



I'm working on the same kind of thing at the moment, and as of now I've only been tossing ideas around. I have two different quests which would be heavily puzzle based. One is a labrynth, which will have mostly traps and various "Figure this out before you can continue" type things. The other will require the players to enter a Dragon's lair seeking help for an upcoming Demon Apocalypse. The entrance to the lair will be filled with the same types of puzzles.

For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 

Idea in general: Be clear with yourself, and with your players, whether any particular puzzle can be solved by . . .

a) The player. E.g. you describe a room layout or clue in character, and then the players have to think through and solve a specific problem, describing PC actions. Classic examples include stepping on tiles in specific order, solving a verbal riddle, doing math or lateral thinking.

b) The character. E.g. you describe a book as containing an ancient riddle, or markings on the walls give clues on how to defeat the end-level monster. Figuring things out and sorting the problem might be a skill challenge, perhaps with bonuses for apt descriptions. The exact wording of the puzzles or runes can be left to the imagination.

c) By ad-libbing/roleplaying around the situation. E.g. you describe a layout with an invisible Force Wall that prevents access to the treasure. The Eladrin uses Fey Step . . .

This can be in any combination, and you don't have to set it in stone - puzzles  can easily be added to D&D games according to taste and play style, because they are not "core". It's worth monitoring how well things are going down so you can figure out your groups best combination of a/b/c.

That sounds a bit complicated, so i just want to make sure i got them right:
a) Asking the players to solve a problem.
b) Making the Players' characters solve the problems (Skill challenged)
c) I get the specific situation, but don't really see a way on how to make other similar situations. Could you describe another situation or two?
I am slowly working on a campaign, which will be heavily puzzle based. For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 

My question is, where can i find different sources on how to make such an adventure? I'm thinking mostly adventures/campaigns that either hav e alot of puzzles, or specific interesting puzzles within some adventure/campaign. Ideas in general are also appreciated :3

I'm working on the same kind of thing at the moment, and as of now I've only been tossing ideas around. I have two different quests which would be heavily puzzle based. One is a labrynth, which will have mostly traps and various "Figure this out before you can continue" type things. The other will require the players to enter a Dragon's lair seeking help for an upcoming Demon Apocalypse. The entrance to the lair will be filled with the same types of puzzles.


About that labyrinth, i'm planning on making the entirety of my puzzles a bit labyrinth, that is, the entire island and the rooms they will walk through will be formed like a labyrinth... And that will be a big twist, to show how epic a puzzle this island is. However, I am struggling with how Epic level character will not have beaten this puzzle, as the reward will be something any non-god will want.

And this second one is convincing a dragon to help them?
And this second one is convincing a dragon to help them?


Yup. Not all dragons are evil, you know. The leader of the base city is a Silver dragon in human form. Got the idea from the Dragonomacon 2 on Metallic Dragons. There's a skill challenge in there about convincing a lair to help. But that's not the point. The point is the entrance to the lair will be filled with puzzles, because hey, dragon's don't like just anyone to enter their lair uninvited. Then there will be more difficult puzzles once they reach the lair. The leader will require them to pass a few tests to make sure they're worthy.

For example, in addition to typical puzzles, how badly PCs fail a puzzle will determine how difficult battles will be. 

Idea in general: Be clear with yourself, and with your players, whether any particular puzzle can be solved by . . .

a) The player. E.g. you describe a room layout or clue in character, and then the players have to think through and solve a specific problem, describing PC actions. Classic examples include stepping on tiles in specific order, solving a verbal riddle, doing math or lateral thinking.

b) The character. E.g. you describe a book as containing an ancient riddle, or markings on the walls give clues on how to defeat the end-level monster. Figuring things out and sorting the problem might be a skill challenge, perhaps with bonuses for apt descriptions. The exact wording of the puzzles or runes can be left to the imagination.

c) By ad-libbing/roleplaying around the situation. E.g. you describe a layout with an invisible Force Wall that prevents access to the treasure. The Eladrin uses Fey Step . . .

This can be in any combination, and you don't have to set it in stone - puzzles  can easily be added to D&D games according to taste and play style, because they are not "core". It's worth monitoring how well things are going down so you can figure out your groups best combination of a/b/c.

That sounds a bit complicated, so i just want to make sure i got them right:
a) Asking the players to solve a problem.
b) Making the Players' characters solve the problems (Skill challenged)
c) I get the specific situation, but don't really see a way on how to make other similar situations. Could you describe another situation or two?



For a) b) Yes that's what I mean. For example is your labrynth something you want the players to solve by mapping it, or do you want to describe an epic tale of wandering through the twisted passages as part of a skill challenge? Generally you and the players will want to do one or the other. For a labrynth puzzle, I would recommend not having an actual map (for Epic you could even go with are-configuring maze a la Aliens vs Predator movie), and stocking it with traps and events that "attack" the PCs and are part of the skill challenge to solve.

For c) you don't usually need to set it up. Although you could look at PC abilities and throw in a puzzle that can only be solved by flying/insubstantial etc, because it's cool for the player to have a useful ability once in a while.

Generally, c) is about how willing you and the group are to forget about the planned puzzle and do something else.

Other (almost classic AD&D) examples of c . . .

1) DM: "Your way is barred by a heavy door, with an unusual-looking lock mechanism".
     Player: "I cast Knock"
or. . . Player: "I smash the door with my hammer"
or . . .Player: "I summon a monster that is big enough to bust down the door"
or . . .Player: "I unscrew the hinges"

2) DM: "The treasure is on a pedestal in the centre of the room. All the floor tiles are marked with arcane symbols."
    Player: "I use Telekinetic Lift to collect the treasure"

Both these are very simple for DM to "defend" against by preventing line of sight, line of effect or suppressing some kinds of magic. However, you may feel in some cases that a player comes up with an imaginative use of power or great description and deservers to "beat" the puzzle. It really depends how much youand the players want to play the original puzzle.


However, I am struggling with how Epic level character will not have beaten this puzzle, as the reward will be something any non-god will want.


The puzzle is unsolvable without a cipher key (e.g. important instructions written in code). And gee, what do you know, the PCs found the key in the last adventure...
Reply will end up too big if i have to quite everything, so i'll just mention who it's directed at.

@ShadowFox516:

Hmmm, I think i could use that one... Would be interesting for them to run into a dragon, and a skill challenge could, for each success, weaken the dragon somehow. So, at any point they can choose to engage in battle with a weakened dragon, or ultimately simply bypass it through reason. This could be something like calming it so much down, that it iis consiered helpless, as it trusts the PCs completely. Or for each success/every other success, i could lower the level of the battle by one, by letting them set up an advantageous start for the PCs. This way, whatever point they fail, they can still get a benefit from how well they did do...

@
slobo777a:

Ah, now i get it. I'll try and keep this in mind. This way I'll need to know the party beforehand, or just spend some time thinking up what they'll probably have. Thanks for the ideas :3 They will be helpful.

@
CrowScape:

I do see where you're coming from... Alternatively, maybe some lore that those already at epic tier simply aren't dumb enough to go after it being so near to getting godlike strength, while those more impatient go after it... it would be hard to find an item that would work... Although i do have an idea, so thanks :3