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Jeff the Green
2013-03-15, 04:15 AM
My PbP DM gave us a code that we're having a horrible time cracking, and I'm hoping for some help.

We're in a room surrounded by something like a solid fog, except completely opaque, permanent (apparently), and a lower spell level. The five of us are each standing on our own transparent box, inside of which are six daggers (produced with or producing or something with a flame strike spell) oriented to each face of the cube with the hilts pointing in. Each dagger has a rune on it. The boxes are arranged in a regular pentagon. There's a torch on top of the box and hanging from the bottom, and the fog stops ~five feet away from the cube. The cubes are hanging from chains, on which are more runes in different colors, which is the code we need to figure out.


The knives are unusually long, with clean edges that taper to a point. They are all highly decorated in brass and silver, and each has a different symbol carved into the center of the blade.








The torches are carved from dershanan, a valuable Brelish hardwood that has a reddish-orange colour and often displays quilted or fiddleback figure. Aside from the unusually ostentatious wood used, the torches are very plain; they are just cylindrical shafts of wood, with the tops wrapped in burning, pitch-soaked burlap. The stand for the top torch is made of bronze, and depicts four dragons, with their wings covering each other and their heads looking up towards the burning end of the torch. The bottom torch hangs down in a harness attached to the bottom of the cube by four ropes spliced together above the torch. The stripes on the cube are, as far as you can tell, intrinsic to the cube rather than painted on. The arrangement is thus:

http://www.magic-squares.net/Image_object/cube-prime.gif

Lines 05, 32, 61, and 74 are black. (Or 03, 52, 76, and 41- you could orient it either way, since they're floating in space and are pretty much fourfold-rotationally symmetrical.)
The chains are inscribed with symbols of all different colors:

언덕q위에높이가요들송누워히요들송이누워외로운염e소aty을역임요들송이후희다헻죠札패뱁 멮l형태

부가음을빌새讀긒김a을f향가c새려찰鄕구결이두sd吏비롯4한국어e문장전체를표기다고는해 hg

자借에ㅎ호字방법은의미부g오기때문에만들e었다a길에서e바람으g로부s터쌓았다바람ad으 로h부s

입구터id문에만da가요들들었다길에워히gf요d들서x바람으로부터쌓았다바람으로부터jo 입구요언

Finally, the fog itself is extremely thick and is pitch-black, so as to entirely obscure objects at all but short distances. The cloud stops abruptly at the edge of the cube, though.

Through Knowledge checks we've been able to figure out:

It's a variation on a pre-industrial but post-classical (so medieval, renaissance, or enlightenment) cipher.
The symbols are in an alien language called "Korean," but the language doesn't particularly matter.
札 讀 鄕 吏 借 字 aren't Korean.
There is "absolutely nothing up with that single "4".
Multiple characters stand for the same letter, both in a sense of redundancy (i.e. 札 and 讀 could stand for a) and polygraphics (i.e. groups of characters could stand for a single letter)


Also, I used comprehend languages and apparently the translation is
High above the hills q lonely clusters lying wohi yodel yodel, press e cow salt served at y, yodel after huida het's mep l form paebaep short note

Added that bilsae read geup Kim a new ryeochal c f HyangGa Xiang nine-grain two sd minor official entire sentence including 4 Korean e notation dagoneun to hg

I No. word party borrow How to Import g silver tail in the door when e had to make a road from e to g robu s wind from ad to built the wind h Department s

Id statements only from the entrance da Are heard road surrounded Hebrews gf x d deulseo the wind built from part of the wind from jo entrance yoeon
I have no idea if that's actually what it says in Korean or if it's relevant.

Finally, I've already tried some things:

Ignore the characters and only use the colors, in simple substitution and substitution in digraphs and trigraphs.
Simple substitution for the characters (there are more than 26).
Frequency analysis for characters and colors.
Ignore non-roman characters.
Ignore roman characters.


So, if anyone could maybe help me figure out how to go about solving it I'd appreciate it. :smallsmile:

Stubbazubba
2013-03-15, 04:36 AM
Wow. That's a doozy.

The characters that aren't Korean are traditional Chinese. I know he said this doesn't really matter, but it's all I can offer at first skim.

札 = zh, it means to jot down or a short note
讀 = d, it usually means to read
鄕 = xiāng, it means the countryside, rural
吏 = l, an obsolete word referring to a minor government official, very uncommon
借 = ji, to borrow
字 = z, letter, word or character

Here I've bolded how they're translated in the translation, as well.

There's another possibility; Japanese Kanji (sp?) uses a lot of traditional Chinese characters, but they would have different pronunciations and likely different meanings (though there are often overlapping meanings, as well). Unfortunately, I don't know Japanese at all, and wouldn't know whether or not to trust what an online translator told me.

Yora
2013-03-15, 06:18 AM
In Japanese:

札 = fuda, meaning a paper-slip, which are also used for magic wards, can also mean money.
讀 = yomu, reading.
鄕 = sato, rural, countryside
吏 = ri, government official
借 = kariru, borrowing
字 = ji, letter, word

One very important thing about decoding secret messages is knowing the context. If you have nothing to work with, it would be pure code cracking for which people have been using supercomputers for decades.
Personally, if I were to come upon such a code as a PC, I would probably just ignore it and get the pickaxes out to just dig myself through the walls of a tomb or a vault, or whatever it is.

only1doug
2013-03-15, 08:31 AM
Try splitting the symbols into groups of a single colour and translating them?

Throwing these symbol strings into google translate, the location of spaces between symbols drastically changes the translation, so ask the GM for his translation of the colour grouped letter strings.

언이요워e을패다 "Language L is e. Wars"

덕가누송소임이멮 "Doug mep press the transmit duty"

q송이외t요헻뱁

위히누염y희札형 "Of Hebrews, press y white salt 札 type"


에요워로a들후l "Of a John Warrington and l"

높들들운역송죠태 "Increase of luck Backhaul's status"

NM020110
2013-03-15, 09:47 AM
Are the symbols on the blades colored, and is there a translation for said symbols? Reading through, I'd say that the blades are the key to the puzzle, and those symbols stand out a bit.

Perhaps removing or substituting the symbols on the blades where they appear in the text would work? I'm not sure.

Kalirren
2013-03-15, 10:25 AM
The string "한국어" right after the 4 is "Korean" in Korean. Maybe the Korean actually says something if you read it straight, take out all the foreign characters?

Edit: I just noticed that the color transitions are highly non-random. For instance, pink is very, very often followed with light blue.

Deophaun
2013-03-15, 10:57 AM
What is the point of all this? Generally in a game, when I see something like this, I assume the DM's trolling and I ignore it.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 11:17 AM
1.Thats an odd way of numbering the Cube. I wouldn't be susprised if that had something to do with this.
2. I'd guess its a bi-part order cypher, with the blades being the key to reordering. Just not sure how. Partly because the translation is an obviously broken message as opposed to fully random jiberish. Which means its not a replacement cypher.
3.It seems to be a SYLLABIC as opposed to LETTER symbol set. There are just too many letters/words in the translation for it to be otherwise.
4. Coming from that figure out what WIND is. Thats repeated way to often to not be a coincidence.

Kalirren
2013-03-15, 11:22 AM
On the daggers, there's three bolded Korean characters, and three smaller ones. The smaller ones always go in a cycle, red, pink, light blue, repeat. The bolded ones...don't? Or maybe they do? The dark gray is so hard to tell from the dark green, I wish your DM had used, like, an orange or something...

It looks like both cycles repeat, actually. Since both cycles are periodic you actually only need two colors to represent all the color information. I'm going to use 0 to refer to the bold color sequence, and 1 to refer to the nonbold color sequence.

So the colors read,

010011011101100110000110011000110111100010001101

0000111110101011101110110110110111000111111010

010100011001100011011101001011111001110000110011

110110110111011011010101101111111101001101111100

Each line except the second line has exactly 48 characters. The second line has only 46. You might want to ask the DM if there is an error there, although I doubt there is, because as written, the cycles are preserved across line breaks, and the given ordering of the lines is the only ordering of the lines for which that is true. So we can tentatively conclude that the text as written is correctly ordered and not cyclical.

Given the heavy-handed hints towards the importance of the number 4, I would group these off into fours, giving an alphabet 16 large. Then try substitution from there.

spoiler for reference:


언덕q위에높이가요들송누워히요들송이누워외로운염e소aty을역임요들송이후희다헻죠札패뱁 멮l형태

부가음을빌새讀긒김a을f향가c새려찰鄕구결이두sd吏비롯4한국어e문장전체를표기다고는해 hg

자借에ㅎ호字방법은의미부g오기때문에만들e었다a길에서e바람으g로부s터쌓았다바람ad으 로h부s

입구터id문에만da가요들들었다길에워히gf요d들서x바람으로부터쌓았다바람으로부터jo 입구요언

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-15, 11:32 AM
Personally, if I were to come upon such a code as a PC, I would probably just ignore it and get the pickaxes out to just dig myself through the walls of a tomb or a vault, or whatever it is.


when I see something like this, I assume the DM's trolling and I ignore it.

+1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-15, 11:37 AM
Also, you should have taken 10 on those various knowledge checks. Just saying. Always Take 10 on Knowledge checks.

Deophaun
2013-03-15, 11:42 AM
+1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...
That's only if they don't find codes enjoyable (I personally don't, as they're based on trial and error even when you do get the principle behind it, and trial and error is tedious, not fun). Of course, as he's asking for help, the code may have already worn out its welcome.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 11:50 AM
+1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...

Yeah, this is pretty much one of the biggest mistakes a GM can make (as opposed to outright bag GMing). A bizarrely obscure single-answer puzzle that you can't even begin to approach. This is even taken to its most extreme form.

Bypass or circumvent.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 11:55 AM
Line counts: That was actually use.
First line has 6 roman characters, second has 7 (8 counting the 4), third has 9, fourth has 10. Dang doesn't line up with a guess. Have you asked if it reads any different read cross-wise (aka vertically).

EDIT: Wait with the line counts (without roman character 42, 39, 39, 38) It actually makes a sensible(ish) pattern for vertical reading.

The New Bruceski
2013-03-15, 12:05 PM
The way that cube is numbered makes me think "base 8" but I don't know what to do with that.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 12:09 PM
The way that cube is numbered makes me think "base 8" but I don't know what to do with that.

Base eight is also three digits long in binary, which would go with what Kalirren is getting at. My only issue with that is that would be a MORSE cypher which didn't start coming about till the invention of the telegraph, way later than the period this cypher supposedly came from.

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-15, 12:25 PM
If you all want context... what the DM and the other players have been doing... this is a game on giantitp!

Follow the link in the OP that the quote goes to.

nedz
2013-03-15, 02:16 PM
It's almost certainly a substitution cypher. Solving these is straightforward, though tedious.

Are you meant to solve this IC or OOC ?

Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 02:30 PM
It's almost certainly a substitution cypher. Solving these is straightforward, though tedious.

Are you meant to solve this IC or OOC ?

Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.

They can't search for the key, as was revealed in the thread they are pretty much trapped. For heavens sake they don't even know what kind of characters they should be substituting. Are they regular character? The characters on the knives? Other ones of the written characters? Short of brute forcing it (and getting lucky at that) I don't see how they could break a keyed cypher in this situation. We leaves very few types of cyphers (specifically hidden cyphers and directional cyphers) left.

Seerow
2013-03-15, 02:33 PM
Oh hey look, I found a game to walk away from.

navar100
2013-03-15, 02:41 PM
Try this.

Ignore the character meanings. Colors may be the key but not to translate. "Connect the dots" with lines for each color. See if some symbol or picture comes up that you recognize.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 02:42 PM
Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.

Yeah I'd pretty much just start googling "substitution cipher" and looking at those.

Just wait until the DM reveals it's a one-time pad cipher. :smalltongue:

d13
2013-03-15, 02:43 PM
Have you tried exchanging the roman characters with the dagger-color-code-equivalent and starting from there?

(Currently at work, can't help much more than that..)

Randomguy
2013-03-15, 03:07 PM
Try taking 20 on a decipher script check, buffed with as many spells as possible, to solve the cypher.

Make a few knowledge checks to find out if HyangGa Xiang is a person or place or whatever and see how that might be relevant.

The "boxes" and "cube" you mentioned are the same thing, right? Are all 5 identical?

Look at significant numbers. There's 5 boxes, 7 points on each if you start the count with zero, and 6 daggers in each box, making 30 daggers in total.


Needless to say, loot everything of value after you solve the puzzle.

TBFProgrammer
2013-03-15, 03:07 PM
The "solution" to this "puzzle" is to fall back on role-play:

Grab the knife pointed into the pentagon and strike the cube in frustration.

For a character that never gets frustrated, rearranging the knives to see what happens sounds appropriate.

If your character is well and truly paranoid, then sitting in a corner of their box and sobbing is about right.


(bearing in mind that the character has failed to gain any significant information from knowledge checks, I don't consider further attempts to reason out a solution without experimentation valid)

jindra34
2013-03-15, 03:09 PM
Just burst out laughing at the problem after poking around on wikipedia. Which leads me to believe you likely are missing key facts about this code. Most relate to the fact that it is on a chain, a three dimensional object that is relatively thin and long meaning the code as given likely isn't written quite as shown.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 03:20 PM
Just burst out laughing at the problem after poking around on wikipedia. Which leads me to believe you likely are missing key facts about this code. Most relate to the fact that it is on a chain, a three dimensional object that is relatively thin and long meaning the code as given likely isn't written quite as shown.

You are such a tease. :smallmad:

jindra34
2013-03-15, 03:26 PM
You are such a tease. :smallmad:

Assume the symbols are written vertically on a rod, even at the top, with spacing to mark the different lines. How many ways could you end up reading it? And if the aren't even at the top, how many then? And if physical/spacial alignment was not important why use the chains as opposed to the boxes themselves?

Feddlefew
2013-03-15, 03:34 PM
Can you move the daggers? What corners sides are the daggers facing?

Edit: I misread sides as corners..

nedz
2013-03-15, 04:51 PM
Just wait until the DM reveals it's a one-time pad cipher. :smalltongue:

OTPs are very modern early 20th C IIRC


Assume the symbols are written vertically on a rod, even at the top, with spacing to mark the different lines. How many ways could you end up reading it? And if the aren't even at the top, how many then? And if physical/spacial alignment was not important why use the chains as opposed to the boxes themselves?

Interesting, but why the Jenga orientation ?

jindra34
2013-03-15, 05:19 PM
Interesting, but why the Jenga orientation ?

Because its the only orientation that makes sense to put on a chain as opposed to anything else. Remember chain links are NOT fixed in relative vertical orientation.

nedz
2013-03-15, 05:57 PM
Right, so each chain has 48 symbols in six colours.
There are 8 segments in each vertex of either tour.
So there are 6 segments per vertex, one for each colour.
Except chain 2 only has 46 characters, are two missing ?

jindra34
2013-03-15, 06:05 PM
Right, so each chain has 48 symbols in six colours.
There are 8 segments in each vertex of either tour.
So there are 6 segments per vertex, one for each colour.
Except chain 2 only has 46 characters, are two missing ?

My reading was that the full set of characters was on each chain. And not per link per chain, the series of links. Could be enlongated links, with two per post, front and back. Essentially its something which there should be more info available but we just don't have it (because it wasn't asked for).

nedz
2013-03-15, 06:33 PM
Well I was looking at the two tours

0-5-6-1-2-3-4-1-0 or 0-3-4-1-2-5-6-7-0

But we are missing 2 characters ?

In each of the five boxes are six daggers which reveal colour coded axes.

It would be useful to know:

Are each set aligned in the same way ?
Which colours are opposite pairs ?


Each of the five boxes are hanging from four chains, do these all have the same symbols ?

jindra34
2013-03-15, 07:12 PM
Each of the five boxes are hanging from four chains, do these all have the same symbols ?

Each box has a torch suspended below it by four ropes, the number of chains per box is currently unstated.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-15, 07:19 PM
Wow, lots of responses. Thanks, everybody! I'll try my best to answer questions and forward the ones I can't to my DM.


+1 on these. You should do the same, and privately contact the other players and suggest that they all do the same, and do the whole, 'we mutiny from this thing you set in front of us' thing...


That's only if they don't find codes enjoyable (I personally don't, as they're based on trial and error even when you do get the principle behind it, and trial and error is tedious, not fun). Of course, as he's asking for help, the code may have already worn out its welcome.

For the most part I and at least one other player enjoy codes. It's just that I have no idea how to solve this one, since we've exhausted our cryptographic knowledge.


It's almost certainly a substitution cypher. Solving these is straightforward, though tedious.

Are you meant to solve this IC or OOC ?

Unless your characters have cryptographic or mathematical skills you aren't going to solve this IC. High Int may help though.

In any event, what you need is the key. I'd suggest searching elsewhere for it.

It's not a basic substitution cipher. First of all, there are too many characters (>26). Second, I ran it through a bayesian substitution cipher cracker and got zip.

My character has 22 Int and +13 (buffable to +43) Knowledge (arcana) and +14 (buffable to +34). It would certainly be in-character for him to solve it.


Try taking 20 on a decipher script check, buffed with as many spells as possible, to solve the cypher.

Make a few knowledge checks to find out if HyangGa Xiang is a person or place or whatever and see how that might be relevant.

The "boxes" and "cube" you mentioned are the same thing, right? Are all 5 identical?

Look at significant numbers. There's 5 boxes, 7 points on each if you start the count with zero, and 6 daggers in each box, making 30 daggers in total.


Needless to say, loot everything of value after you solve the puzzle.

Decipher Script requires a week to solve a cipher. I'm undead, so that's not a problem, but the others might get cranky.

Like I said, we're pretty sure that it doesn't matter that they're Korean, and the translation is a red herring.

Box=cube. And yes, they're identical.


Interesting, but why the Jenga orientation ?

Jenga orientation?


Well I was looking at the two tours

0-5-6-1-2-3-4-1-0 or 0-3-4-1-2-5-6-7-0

But we are missing 2 characters ?

In each of the five boxes are six daggers which reveal colour coded axes.

It would be useful to know:

Are each set aligned in the same way ?
Which colours are opposite pairs ?


Each of the five boxes are hanging from four chains, do these all have the same symbols ?

Yes, they do. I have telepathy and checked with the party members.

nedz
2013-03-15, 07:43 PM
Jenga orientation?


This bit

Lines 05, 32, 61, and 74 are black. (Or 03, 52, 76, and 41- you could orient it either way, since they're floating in space and are pretty much fourfold-rotationally symmetrical.)
You have four horizontal vertices, one layer one way, the other layer perpendicular.

Feddlefew
2013-03-15, 07:51 PM
If you hadn't mentioned it was pre-modren I would suggest treating the colors like nucleotides and see if there are repeating sequences of 3 or 2 colors. There'd probably be a distinct start and stop point on the chain then.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-15, 07:54 PM
If you hadn't mentioned it was pre-modren I would suggest treating the colors like nucleotides and see if there are repeating sequences of 3 or 2 colors. There'd probably be a distinct start and stop point on the chain then.

I tried that before I knew it was post-Classical, actually, since DNA is way pre-industrial and I study genetics so it came to mind pretty quickly. It doesn't work all that well. There aren't any repeating 3- or 4-character codons, and 2-character codons were a dead-end, at least for basic substitution solving tools (frequency analysis, bayesian solvers, etc.)

jindra34
2013-03-15, 07:54 PM
I honestly disagree with the idea of the translation being a red herring. You got back a (relatively) meaningless response, but it showed that each symbol can represent between 1/3 and 3 words in common. And that there was some meaning to be had there.

russdm
2013-03-15, 07:59 PM
I would suggest asking the GM/DM for some clues to the key to solving it to reflect your characters high int, and then you can slowly solve it. That would represent good rolls on decipher script.

Other you could just threaten your DM/GM for the solution. That always works especially if you dangle them out of windows.

Feddlefew
2013-03-15, 08:02 PM
I honestly disagree with the idea of the translation being a red herring. You got back a (relatively) meaningless response, but it showed that each symbol can represent between 1/3 and 3 words in common. And that there was some meaning to be had there.

There was an old medieval/Renaissance code that involved wrapping a length of paper with letters written on it around a cylinder of a specific diameter. Since it's written on a chain, maybe its supposed to be used like that? :smallconfused:

jindra34
2013-03-15, 08:07 PM
There was an old medieval/Renaissance code that involved wrapping a length of paper with letters written on it around a cylinder of a specific diameter. Since it's written on a chain, maybe its supposed to be used like that? :smallconfused:

Thats actually a Greek method but yes, thats what started me on thinking how are they laid out on the frickin chain. And it would be the counter of that method.

1337 b4k4
2013-03-15, 08:08 PM
I honestly disagree with the idea of the translation being a red herring. You got back a (relatively) meaningless response, but it showed that each symbol can represent between 1/3 and 3 words in common. And that there was some meaning to be had there.

Depending on how you interpret "the language doesn't matter" determines whether the translation is a red herring. If the meaning of "the language doesn't matter" is that the same cipher would have resulted if a different character set was used, then I would say the translation is a red herring except perhaps in demonstrating the frequency of certain word/symbol combinations.

One thing I noticed is that it appears (though I won't guarantee) that no character that is repeated is repeated in the same color.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 08:33 PM
Depending on how you interpret "the language doesn't matter" determines whether the translation is a red herring. If the meaning of "the language doesn't matter" is that the same cipher would have resulted if a different character set was used, then I would say the translation is a red herring except perhaps in demonstrating the frequency of certain word/symbol combinations.

Except there is quite clearly a garbled tale in the words.

russdm
2013-03-15, 08:45 PM
It may be wise to try running it through google translate by individual symbol and you may want to try considering that the message in the words are color-coded for a reason, Maybe the first letters of words? Can the symbols respesent letters and what letters are those, for those can understand the language? Or maybe you could re-arrange the message after knowing what the symbols mean by placing them in the order suggested by the boxes.

Personally, i think your DM should have given you some clues to his/her translation key. Otherwise, just have the party spend a week. You probably are not getting out of there anytime soon.

jindra34
2013-03-15, 09:04 PM
Id statements only from the entrance, entrance yoeon, yoeon uses same character as starting which means either high or high above. I think your giving up far too soon Jeff. And working on incomplete information.

EDIT: Scratch that potentially incomplete information. Note that if the cypher is not a substitution cypher then it must work by either adding in extra characters, or by re-arranging the characters. I think I know where the key to the first is, and the second would absolutely require more information about the spatial layout of the characters on the chain.

Asmodai
2013-03-15, 09:59 PM
<grabs popcorn, sits down quietly and watches>

nedz
2013-03-15, 10:00 PM
Well there are block cyphers
48 = 2x24 = 3x16 = 4x12 = 6x8
But the lines can be sliced, folded, railfenced or spiralled.

Then we have
46 = 2x23, which just looks wrong.
This can be sliced, folded or railfenced.

But then there are four chains ?

And what do the colours / directions mean ?

jindra34
2013-03-15, 10:02 PM
Well there are block cyphers
48 = 2x24 = 3x16 = 4x12 = 6x8
But the lines can be sliced, folded, railfenced or spiralled.

Then we have
46 = 2x23, which just looks wrong.
This can be sliced, folded or railfenced.

But then there are four chains ?

And what do the colours / directions mean ?
Note that block cyphers post date the periods which this cypher can be from.
EDIT: And again where did you get the 4 chains thing from. The only things that are mentioned that there are 4 of are the black wood sections, and the ropes below the boxes.

Lateral
2013-03-15, 10:27 PM
Look, I screwed up with this whole thing. I realize that now, but just trying to handwave it away at this point would be pretty much the worst thing I could possibly do.

...So I'm going to say this. Kalirren's 2nd response is on the right track, but 4 is a red herring. The translated meaning of the given symbols are a clue, but they aren't critical, and you're looking at the wrong ones. Hope that helps enough, and sorry about this whole mess- I assumed that this would be easier than it was because I was starting from the solution.

Kiren
2013-03-15, 10:38 PM
Look, I screwed up with this whole thing. I realize that now, but just trying to handwave it away at this point would be pretty much the worst thing I could possibly do.

...So I'm going to say this. Kalirren's 2nd response is on the right track, but 4 is a red herring. The translated meaning of the given symbols are a clue, but they aren't critical, and you're looking at the wrong ones. Hope that helps enough, and sorry about this whole mess- I assumed that this would be easier than it was because I was starting from the solution.

The puzzle managed to unite everyone in the playground who likes ciphers to try and solve it together, so you accomplished something cool!

And if you are wondering why I haven't posted to help... I don't know anything about ciphers or codes. Still, this is interesting.

nedz
2013-03-15, 11:20 PM
Looking at Kalirren's 2nd post, we have 190 chars

Well we have 190 characters, which is 2x5x19

I we split out the 2 colour sets we get a block of 94, and a block of 96
94 = 2x47
96 = 2x48 = 2x2x24 = 4x4x6
So its not a block !

This is most likely a red herring, but that's been true of almost evreything so far :smallbiggrin:

Colours broken out below, just in case it's useful for someone.



언q위이송히
요이누워외염
ety을요희
다헻札패뱁형
부가음을af
가찰이d롯국
장전체해g자
에호字방의미
오기때만다길
에e부s다바
람a로h터문
d들다워g요
서았바람부요



덕에높가요들
누워들송로운
소a역임들송
이후죠멮l태
빌새讀긒김을
향c새려鄕구
결두s吏비4
한어e문를표
기다고는h借
ㅎ법은부g문
에들e었a서
바람으g로터
쌓았d으부s
입구id에만
a가요들었길
에히fd들x
바람으로부터
쌓다으로터j
o입구



Can anyone translate this stuff ?

Hyde
2013-03-16, 01:57 AM
[Edited]

Information:

Numbers:
6 knives
6 colors
4 chains
6 cubes
4 lines on the cubes, in two sets.
2 kinds of knife, bold and not bold.

Other:
Cycle of colors

Obviously, the colors and knives are related. Without knowing the orientation of the knives on the cubes, we must assume that information is irrelevant to the outcome, meaning the sides of the cubes are independent. Offhand, I would sort the symbols by color, set them in order (in order of appearance and then by chain), and recheck the number of characters unique to each color (take them as unique ciphers) First glance suggests that's unlikely, but hey.

The use of chains and the pattern of lines on the cubes could mean that only every other character is relevant, but that seems dubious since we're already working on a double-cycle.

Questions:
Is the space between the cycles relevant? Using Kali's post, this would mean merely counting the members of each grouping.
11221312224222321431321145111113131212121336111111 32223213...etc this assumes the chains are in order, but even not, there doesn't seem to be enough information there to come up with an "answer" on it's own.

Are there more than 26 character if the cycles are divorced? I'm not personally going to work these things out, my eyes aren't good enough to squint at bizarrely colored Korean.

I would say that, if the chains were oriented in a cube in such a way that each color symbol would be on a side with each other, then does reading the passages created create meaning? Since there's no frame of reference for this, this becomes sort by color and re-translate.


There are five cubes. Given the prevalence of six, this suggests exclusion (one sentence created by the sorted colors might not fit, remove the corresponding knife from all cubes?) Without doing the above work, no idea if this matters. There are five characters, but six cubes, language of OP is misleading.

Waker
2013-03-16, 02:10 AM
Numbers:
6 knives
6 colors
4 chains
4 lines on the cube, in two sets.
2 kinds of knife, bold and not bold.

The stand for the top torch is made of bronze, and depicts four dragons, with their wings covering each other and their heads looking up towards the burning end of the torch.
Not sure if that is relevant or not.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 02:10 AM
The black lines might be a thing, but since the orientiation of the knives in relation to them is not provided, then at most it could suggest to take the symbols alternately or by twos.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 02:14 AM
Not sure if that is relevant or not.

Since it has rotational symmetry to the cube, I sincerely doubt it. It might be useful if one of the dragons was even a little different.

SiuiS
2013-03-16, 03:09 AM
Look, I screwed up with this whole thing. I realize that now, but just trying to handwave it away at this point would be pretty much the worst thing I could possibly do.

...So I'm going to say this. Kalirren's 2nd response is on the right track, but 4 is a red herring. The translated meaning of the given symbols are a clue, but they aren't critical, and you're looking at the wrong ones. Hope that helps enough, and sorry about this whole mess- I assumed that this would be easier than it was because I was starting from the solution.

Would I be able to get the solution from you, either now or after the party bypasses it? This si fascinating but I can't devote the processing power to even crack the surface anytime soon without such help. Rassunfrassun working all the time...


The puzzle managed to unite everyone in the playground who likes ciphers to try and solve it together, so you accomplished something cool!

And if you are wondering why I haven't posted to help... I don't know anything about ciphers or codes. Still, this is interesting.

preeeety much this, yes =D

Rabidmuskrat
2013-03-16, 05:43 AM
Disclaimer:
I am both new and have not read the entire campaign thread. I also know nothing of Korean, but I am an avid puzzle solver.

Summary of known facts:
-6 cubes. Identical. (Or is it 5 cubes? 6 is stated, but 5 is implied in the configuration.)
-6 colours, alternating as 2 intermeshed cycles of 3 (both on knives and on chains).
-4 chains, each bound to a corner of a cube. Chains on each of the five cubes with PC's on are identical.
-3 of the chains have 48 runes on them, the other chain has 46.
-Colours are {Dark Slate Blue, Dark Green, Dark Slate Grey}, {Dark Red, Light Pink, Light Blue} (DM given). This means colours are NOT divided into light and dark, but they are divided into the two distinct groups.
-No (obvious) way to open the cubes.
-Daggers register the spell Flame Strike. Possible trap, possibly just loaded with a spell.
-Box has stripes (lines?) along four of its vertices in a "jenga" configuration.

Suspicions:
-The following sequence is of importance
0 is first cycle, 1 is second cycle. Each string refers to a single chain.

010011011101100110000110011000110111100010001101

0000111110101011101110110110110111000111111010

010100011001100011011101001011111001110000110011

110110110111011011010101101111111101001101111100
-Translation of symbols on chains is unimportant. Looks like someone copy-pasted random collections of symbols to google translate (2 symbols together can have a different meaning to the two symbols seperately).
-Translation of SOMETHING is a useful hint, but not a critical requirement to solving the puzzle. Most likely the daggers' symbols.
-Daggers are a key to solving the puzzle and must be reached somehow. Alternatively, they may be the result and 'solving' the puzzle opens the cubes.
-Lines on the cubes could imply hinges/seams.

Notes:
-Translating the symbols on the daggers yields interesting results. Especially if some of the symbols are paired. (note: this was done using simple google translate)
*On This container of the Cancer Arc (all six symbols seperately)
*bays Kern's Password (pairing symbols up two-two)
*On This container of the Password (only the last two paired up, seems most probable)
*bays container of the password (first and last two paired)
*on this Kern's password (middle and last two paired)
-Pairing up the 2nd/3rd or 4th/5th symbols yields "Yikeon" and "Uiam".
-Combining symbols 1-3 gives the word "Bacon". So, the translation in that case is "Bacon's password" or "Bacon of the Cancer Arc".
-Regardless of how the symbols are paired, the 4th symbol seems to be a possessive word. "Of the" or "of" is the best translation I think.

Questions:
-How many cubes are there? Configuration implies 5, but 6 is stated initially.
-If there are six cubes, how are the PCs aware of the sixth if they cannot see anything?
-Is there a seam or a crack along any vertex (or anywhere else) of any of the cubes?
-Is your DM Korean? Chinese? Can he speak/write either of the languages? (bit of metagame knowledge, but I can't be in character so meh)
-Do the daggers react in any way to your actions?
-Can you smash the cubes? (Have one of the expendable adventurous characters try this)
-Is there anything else you can jiggle/move/push/pull/yank/adjust/press/twist? (Adventure game approach)
-Can you reach the torches?
-If one chain has less symbols than the others, is it shorter or does its symbols just stop sooner?

Random hunch (If this is the solution this is a terrible puzzle, so I doubt it)
Try saying the words "Bacon" or "Yikeon" out loud.

The problem is, we don't even know what kind of action the solution to the puzzle is. Is it a command word? Is it an emotion? Is it an object? Is it something you do with a specific object? Is it the death of a party member? Is it a spell?
Only the fact that the DM called it a puzzle even implies that there is such a thing as a 'solution'. Otherwise it just seems like a 'how do we get out of this alive' type problem.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 06:48 AM
Disclaimer:
I am both new and have not read the entire campaign thread. I also know nothing of Korean, but I am an avid puzzle solver.

Summary of known facts:
-6 cubes. Identical. (Or is it 5 cubes? 6 is stated, but 5 is implied in the configuration.)
-6 colours, alternating as 2 intermeshed cycles of 3 (both on knives and on chains).
-4 chains, each bound to a corner of a cube. Chains on each of the five cubes with PC's on are identical.
-3 of the chains have 48 runes on them, the other chain has 46.
-Colours are {Dark Slate Blue, Dark Green, Dark Slate Grey}, {Dark Red, Light Pink, Light Blue} (DM given). This means colours are NOT divided into light and dark, but they are divided into the two distinct groups.
-No (obvious) way to open the cubes.
-Daggers register the spell Flame Strike. Possible trap, possibly just loaded with a spell.
-Box has stripes (lines?) along four of its vertices in a "jenga" configuration.

Suspicions:
-The following sequence is of importance
0 is first cycle, 1 is second cycle. Each string refers to a single chain.

010011011101100110000110011000110111100010001101

0000111110101011101110110110110111000111111010

010100011001100011011101001011111001110000110011

110110110111011011010101101111111101001101111100
-Translation of symbols on chains is unimportant. Looks like someone copy-pasted random collections of symbols to google translate (2 symbols together can have a different meaning to the two symbols seperately).
-Translation of SOMETHING is a useful hint, but not a critical requirement to solving the puzzle. Most likely the daggers' symbols.
-Daggers are a key to solving the puzzle and must be reached somehow. Alternatively, they may be the result and 'solving' the puzzle opens the cubes.
-Lines on the cubes could imply hinges/seams.

Notes:
-Translating the symbols on the daggers yields interesting results. Especially if some of the symbols are paired. (note: this was done using simple google translate)
*On This container of the Cancer Arc (all six symbols seperately)
*bays Kern's Password (pairing symbols up two-two)
*On This container of the Password (only the last two paired up, seems most probable)
*bays container of the password (first and last two paired)
*on this Kern's password (middle and last two paired)
-Pairing up the 2nd/3rd or 4th/5th symbols yields "Yikeon" and "Uiam".
-Combining symbols 1-3 gives the word "Bacon". So, the translation in that case is "Bacon's password" or "Bacon of the Cancer Arc".
-Regardless of how the symbols are paired, the 4th symbol seems to be a possessive word. "Of the" or "of" is the best translation I think.

Questions:
-How many cubes are there? Configuration implies 5, but 6 is stated initially.
-If there are six cubes, how are the PCs aware of the sixth if they cannot see anything?
-Is there a seam or a crack along any vertex (or anywhere else) of any of the cubes?
-Is your DM Korean? Chinese? Can he speak/write either of the languages? (bit of metagame knowledge, but I can't be in character so meh)
-Do the daggers react in any way to your actions?
-Can you smash the cubes? (Have one of the expendable adventurous characters try this)
-Is there anything else you can jiggle/move/push/pull/yank/adjust/press/twist? (Adventure game approach)
-Can you reach the torches?
-If one chain has less symbols than the others, is it shorter or does its symbols just stop sooner?

Random hunch (If this is the solution this is a terrible puzzle, so I doubt it)
Try saying the words "Bacon" or "Yikeon" out loud.

The problem is, we don't even know what kind of action the solution to the puzzle is. Is it a command word? Is it an emotion? Is it an object? Is it something you do with a specific object? Is it the death of a party member? Is it a spell?
Only the fact that the DM called it a puzzle even implies that there is such a thing as a 'solution'. Otherwise it just seems like a 'how do we get out of this alive' type problem.

You did a lot of the hoofwork I was unwilling/ unable to do. I like the idea of Bacon as the password, and move that it should be the solution regardless of original intent.

The DM states six cubes in the campaign thread. Really, if there are any more errors, I'm disinclined to continue.

Anyway. The translation of the knives is nice. Now just do everything else.

Lateral
2013-03-16, 06:49 AM
Would I be able to get the solution from you, either now or after the party bypasses it? This si fascinating but I can't devote the processing power to even crack the surface anytime soon without such help. Rassunfrassun working all the time...

Sure, but it's not nearly as complex or clever as you guys all seem to think.


The DM states six cubes in the campaign thread. Really, if there are any more errors, I'm disinclined to continue.
What? No, five cubes. Where did you get six from?

Rabidmuskrat
2013-03-16, 07:05 AM
What? No, five cubes. Where did you get six from?

No idea. Thought I read six somewhere, but now I can't find it. Doesn't matter.

Interesting thing I just noticed is that the daggers are hilts out, points in, as if they are supposed to be taken. Any chance it is possible to reach through a cube?


I like the idea of Bacon as the password

Bacon is the solution to everything :smallbiggrin:

nedz
2013-03-16, 07:26 AM
As I understand it:

Each PC is standing one of five cubes arranged in a pentagram.
Each cube contains 6 knives, one pointing at each face.


I could be wrong however.

I would love to know which knives point in which direction, because that would give us 3 pairs. This is apparently unimportant though ?

Hyde
2013-03-16, 07:52 AM
From here

Okay, I'm going to be as clear as I can here.

There are six 5-foot cubes. The cubes are transparent. There are six daggers floating inside each cube. You guys are each standing on top of one cube. There is no fog in a ten-foot-high, five-foot-on-side square column above each box, but everywhere else is full of it. There are four chains on each box. The chains hold the boxes up from above- you cannot see where they come from, but they hang down to each top corner of the box.

Emphasis mine. From the OC thread. That said, upon re-re-reading it, there is a lot more incidences of five. Six was just the last thing mentioned.

jindra34
2013-03-16, 07:57 AM
Hm... I wonder.
Counts of each type by row:
23/25
29/17
25/23
33/15
One set lands always in the alphabet.
So: YQWO. Nope thats way meaningless.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 08:09 AM
I suppose another question is if "cipher" is meant in a literal cryptographic sense or in a layman's "Eh, Ciphers, codes, Steganography... whatever" sense.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 08:13 AM
Wait, is it a Vigenere Cipher and the keyword is Bacon?.
I don't think it fits, but I'm operating under Bacon from now on.

Bacon only has five letters, though.

nedz
2013-03-16, 08:34 AM
Sure, but it's not nearly as complex or clever as you guys all seem to think.

Often the case, but we have no idea as to the method.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-16, 08:55 AM
-Combining symbols 1-3 gives the word "Bacon". So, the translation in that case is "Bacon's password" or "Bacon of the Cancer Arc".

You've got it! It's Bacon's Cipher! Split the code into groups of five:

01001 10111 01100 11000 01100 11000 11011 11000 10001 10100 00111 11010 10111 01110 11011 01101 11000 11111 10100 10100 01100 11000 11011 10100 10111 11001 11000 01100 11110 11011 01110 11011 01010 11011 11111 10100 11011 11100

And then 1 as A and 0 as B turns it into

WI T H T H E H O L Y F I R E S H A L L T H E L I G H T B E R E V E A L E D
or

With the holy fire shall the light be revealed.

Now we just have to figure out what to do.

Thank you everybody!

endoperez
2013-03-16, 08:58 AM
Often the case, but we have no idea as to the method.

Indeed. Solving a puzzle once a key is known probably isn't hard, but finding/guessing the right approach out of the thousands or millions of choices isn't.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 08:59 AM
playing with sorting the colors

Dark Green 베
1st chain 언이요워e을다패
2nd chain 부을가d장해
3rd chain 에방오만에s람h
4th chain d워서람언

There are 27 characters, 6 English, 21 Korean, no Japanese, no numbers.
the 을,d,에,워 and 람 repeat. This might be a message, but super doubtful.

Translating it yields basically gibberish, regardless of method.

unique incidences subsitituted with English, leaving the English characters alone-
abcfegijkgldmnopqrosthdfuta

I don't think there are enough things that could be vowels here to really make a message. Frequency analysis is pretty annoying with such a small sample size. I expect chaining it with the rest of the cycle to put us well over 26 characters, and it seems like further inquiries along these lines are futile.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 09:02 AM
...of course, Bacon's cipher. One of the only ciphers that ISN'T ONE.

This puzzle is like, 90% obfuscation. Pretty good for cryography, pretty awful for DnD.

Which isn't to say I'm not satisfied. I think, overall, this wasn't too bad, I'd have avoided korean and used different colors, it was seriously hard to see.

SiuiS
2013-03-16, 09:12 AM
This puzzle is like, 90% obfuscation. Pretty good for cryography, pretty awful for DnD.

Which isn't to say I'm not satisfied. I think, overall, this wasn't too bad, I'd have avoided korean and used different colors, it was seriously hard to see.

I wouldn't say bad for D&D. The game was designed around suchlike, I believe. No, I think it would have even fine except for the DM's self-admitted mistake, whatever that was.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-16, 09:15 AM
I think it may have been that he doesn't use comprehend languages much. You have to touch the item you're reading, so I only read the chains; if I'd read the daggers I'd have gotten it right off the bat. (Or at least as soon as Kalirren figured out the binary.)

Hyde
2013-03-16, 09:23 AM
Hey, if OP's happy, I can't complain.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-03-16, 10:23 AM
Told you bacon is always the solution.

Heh, too bad we had to go a bit metagamey to solve this one (the PCs would hardly have access to google translate after all), but still, congrats to the DM for a rather fiendish puzzle.

Still, this begs the question what does it MEAN?

SiuiS
2013-03-16, 11:18 AM
Told you bacon is always the solution.

Heh, too bad we had to go a bit metagamey to solve this one (the PCs would hardly have access to google translate after all), but still, congrats to the DM for a rather fiendish puzzle.

Still, this begs the question what does it MEAN?

Decipher script and comprehend languages is pretty much non-Internet google translate though.

I am however confused about something. The OP describes a cube, with daggers pointing outward such that one knife tip faces each facet of the cube. But later musings implied the handles pointed outward instead. Do we know which it is? That would change the nature of things.

Although Flamestrike is holy fire, so maybe casting it within the cue would cause them to resonate or something.

nedz
2013-03-16, 11:38 AM
Heh, too bad we had to go a bit metagamey to solve this one (the PCs would hardly have access to google translate after all), but still, congrats to the DM for a rather fiendish puzzle.

A bit metagamey you asked the playground :smallbiggrin:

The New Bruceski
2013-03-16, 03:02 PM
This is a good example of why it's difficult to design a good hard puzzle. They tend to be obvious from the solution but there's no clue which trees are the wrong ones to bark up. Still, everything worked out in the end and people had fun.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-16, 03:19 PM
Yeah, like I said, the one problem with this one is that you can't decipher language unless you touch the item. If I'd known the translation for the symbols I'd have gotten it right off the bat, or at least once Kalirren did the binary.

I'm actually okay with a little metagaming and crowdsourcing as I play this character. Even under the most generous IQ-to-INT conversion (+5 IQ = +1 INT), he's way smarter than I am. Probably smarter than any one person on the Playground, in fact.

jindra34
2013-03-16, 05:41 PM
Also on figuring it out IC. Do you have any writing tools? You can see the knives so in theory you should be able to write down and then translate what they say that way.

Hyde
2013-03-16, 06:06 PM
Also on figuring it out IC. Do you have any writing tools? You can see the knives so in theory you should be able to write down and then translate what they say that way.

I'd be willing to bet that'd require some kind of forgery check (was that in bluff or sleight of hand now?)

But damn, that's pretty clever.

Lateral
2013-03-16, 07:39 PM
Emphasis mine. From the OC thread. That said, upon re-re-reading it, there is a lot more incidences of five. Six was just the last thing mentioned.

...Yeah, that was just a result of me being really tired (it was after midnight) and derping.

And... well, yeah, that's it.

Kalirren
2013-03-17, 09:37 AM
I'm actually okay with a little metagaming and crowdsourcing as I play this character. Even under the most generous IQ-to-INT conversion (+5 IQ = +1 INT), he's way smarter than I am. Probably smarter than any one person on the Playground, in fact.

It's awesome to see people actually making use of the Internet like this to play characters whose stats aren't feasible for a single person to play.

Incidentally, if you buy that INT measures the same mental capacities that IQ is supposed to measure, the IQ scale is defined such that 100 is mean and 10 is s.d. That gives a conversion rate from IQ to INT based upon stats generation for the world at large. If we're going with 3d6 for NPC stat generation, the s.d. of 3d6 is about 3, so 3 points of Int ~ 10 IQ.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-17, 02:31 PM
It's awesome to see people actually making use of the Internet like this to play characters whose stats aren't feasible for a single person to play.

Incidentally, if you buy that INT measures the same mental capacities that IQ is supposed to measure, the IQ scale is defined such that 100 is mean and 10 is s.d. That gives a conversion rate from IQ to INT based upon stats generation for the world at large. If we're going with 3d6 for NPC stat generation, the s.d. of 3d6 is about 3, so 3 points of Int ~ 10 IQ.

Any linear INT-to-IQ conversion tends to break down fairly quickly the farther you get from 100 IQ/10 INT. The best thing is just to compare the respective probability/frequency tables.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-17, 10:15 PM
Any linear INT-to-IQ conversion tends to break down fairly quickly the farther you get from 100 IQ/10 INT. The best thing is just to compare the respective probability/frequency tables.

Actually, that's what the +5 IQ = +1 Int rule does. Both 3d6 and IQ are normal curves (or approximately so), so you can compare them based on their standard deviations. The S.D. of 3d6 is 3; the S.D. of IQ is 15 (I double checked, Kalirren). So for any IQ, adding 5 is equivalent to adding +1 Int. Since average Int is 10.5 (I round down for this), and average IQ is 100, Int 18 is equivalent to IQ 140.

Assuming you buy both that IQ is equivalent to Int and that 3d6 is the distribution of the population at large and not just of PCs.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-18, 01:48 PM
Actually, that's what the +5 IQ = +1 Int rule does. Both 3d6 and IQ are normal curves (or approximately so), so you can compare them based on their standard deviations. The S.D. of 3d6 is 3; the S.D. of IQ is 15 (I double checked, Kalirren). So for any IQ, adding 5 is equivalent to adding +1 Int. Since average Int is 10.5 (I round down for this), and average IQ is 100, Int 18 is equivalent to IQ 140.

Assuming you buy both that IQ is equivalent to Int and that 3d6 is the distribution of the population at large and not just of PCs.

...Wait a second. The last time I looked into this I know I remember the percentiles diverging around the ends to where INT 16 came out the same as IQ ~140-150. But now I'm looking again and it doesn't.:smallconfused:

SiuiS
2013-03-18, 03:07 PM
There is still the Real Life Stats thread in Friedly Banter if you want to keep going with this, actually. I believe they came to a different final conclusion, but they went into standar deviation and such as well; it wouldn't be a bad read for you, even if it merely cemented your own understanding. :smallsmile: