Thinker

2012-06-15, 12:48 PM

Are there any mechanics from any systems that are fun to use, satisfying for the players, and easy to implement that can properly approximate riddles? How about the same for puzzles?

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Thinker

2012-06-15, 12:48 PM

Are there any mechanics from any systems that are fun to use, satisfying for the players, and easy to implement that can properly approximate riddles? How about the same for puzzles?

jackattack

2012-06-16, 08:31 PM

If you can come up with riddles or puzzles with several components, you can use INT or WIS checks to determine how many (extra) clues you give your players.

One of the simplest things to do is to simply have players roll, then allow them a number of guesses based on successful rolls.

Then there are riddles like the ones in The Transporter 2, where you keep adding more details. In this case, they get X plus a number of bonuses based on a roll.

Similarly, there are the logic puzzles that have a list of clues like "Mary lives next door to John" and "Steve's house has a blue door". There is a minimum number of clues necessary to solve those, but you could write a few more to feed your players based on a successful roll.

For physical puzzles that involve a number of steps, you might reveal a random step. If a player makes their roll by three, you might reveal step three, for example.

Depending on the complexity of your riddles/puzzles, the number of players, and the stats of the characters, you may want to decide whether to add the results of all successes, or add and subtract the results of all successes and failures. You should also decide whether to count a successful/failed result as "one", or tally the actual results (made a roll by three, failed by two, etc.).

You should also decide whether to give all of the bonus clues at once, or whether you want to provide them one at a time. IMO, the second option is potentially more satisfying for the players, as it gives them a chance to solve the puzzle/riddle before they have all of the (bonus) clues.

Hopefully, these ideas make character stats relevant, but leave the actual solutions to the players. I hope they help, or at least inspire a better solution.

One of the simplest things to do is to simply have players roll, then allow them a number of guesses based on successful rolls.

Then there are riddles like the ones in The Transporter 2, where you keep adding more details. In this case, they get X plus a number of bonuses based on a roll.

Similarly, there are the logic puzzles that have a list of clues like "Mary lives next door to John" and "Steve's house has a blue door". There is a minimum number of clues necessary to solve those, but you could write a few more to feed your players based on a successful roll.

For physical puzzles that involve a number of steps, you might reveal a random step. If a player makes their roll by three, you might reveal step three, for example.

Depending on the complexity of your riddles/puzzles, the number of players, and the stats of the characters, you may want to decide whether to add the results of all successes, or add and subtract the results of all successes and failures. You should also decide whether to count a successful/failed result as "one", or tally the actual results (made a roll by three, failed by two, etc.).

You should also decide whether to give all of the bonus clues at once, or whether you want to provide them one at a time. IMO, the second option is potentially more satisfying for the players, as it gives them a chance to solve the puzzle/riddle before they have all of the (bonus) clues.

Hopefully, these ideas make character stats relevant, but leave the actual solutions to the players. I hope they help, or at least inspire a better solution.

Oracle_Hunter

2012-06-17, 12:30 AM

Are there any mechanics from any systems that are fun to use, satisfying for the players, and easy to implement that can properly approximate riddles? How about the same for puzzles?

That's a lot of terms that need defining.

(1) What do you mean by "properly approximate?"

As many puzzles and all riddles can be conveyed either by word or by text you don't actually need to approximate them at all if you want to use them in a game. On the other hand, if you want the characters, and not the Players, to be solving them then what sort of approximation is even needed? Any middle-ground must be clearly defined.

(2) What do your Players want to get out of facing down puzzles and riddles?

For Players that enjoy solving riddles and puzzles there is no need for a system; adding a system of abstraction will therefore make it less fun. For Players who don't like solving riddles and puzzles and requirement that the Players solve them will be less fun than a system which doesn't. Again, middle-ground will need to be defined.

That's a lot of terms that need defining.

(1) What do you mean by "properly approximate?"

As many puzzles and all riddles can be conveyed either by word or by text you don't actually need to approximate them at all if you want to use them in a game. On the other hand, if you want the characters, and not the Players, to be solving them then what sort of approximation is even needed? Any middle-ground must be clearly defined.

(2) What do your Players want to get out of facing down puzzles and riddles?

For Players that enjoy solving riddles and puzzles there is no need for a system; adding a system of abstraction will therefore make it less fun. For Players who don't like solving riddles and puzzles and requirement that the Players solve them will be less fun than a system which doesn't. Again, middle-ground will need to be defined.

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