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View Full Version : DM Help Is this math-based riddle too hard

dascarletm
2016-02-18, 06:18 PM
Here is what the players will find on an encrypted hard drive.

They are looking for a password, which is a number, and it is supposedly on this storage device. However the data that is encrypted is a riddle to find the answer. Anyway here it is.

9*3=23
E*X=92
10-5=7
E+1=10
X/2=5

If the players do something I'll five them this hint
The answer is fifty, but not 50

DavidSh
2016-02-18, 06:28 PM
It looks pretty straightforward to me. The answer is
the answer to the ultimate question, of life, the universe, and everything, at least in terms of digitscalculations are in base 6*2.

dascarletm
2016-02-18, 06:30 PM
It looks pretty straightforward to me. The answer is
the answer to the ultimate question, of life, the universe, and everything, at least in terms of digitscalculations are in base 6*2.

Yes, did you find that it was too easy?

and

What in particular made it too easy if it was?

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-18, 06:51 PM
Yeah, the trick is that it all seems to that...
It all seems to be base 12, which isn't a base I'm used to working in (I tend to use 8 or 16 when deviating from 10, because it converts to binary easily).

So instead of 9+9+9=27, you have 9+9=16, 14+9=13
E*X I'm not sure of at this point in the calculations.
10-5=7 is the easiest way to work out that it's base 12.
E+1=10, working back we can find out that this means E equals 1110
From here we can in theory work out X, but I'm not confident dividing 9216 by 1110.
However, X/5=5 means that X must equal 1010.

Using this we look at X*5=?, and we substitute in X=1010.

Therefore the answer is 5010 in base 12. Now this is where I fall down a bit, but by what I think is the way to convert between bases by hand, we have:
50/12=4 remainder 2.
Take the first number as the 'tens', second as the 'units'. Therefore, the answer is 4212

That is, I think, the easiest way to do it by hand, it requires entirely on spotting 10-5=7 and realising the implication. For a harder riddle how about something along the lines of:
When 10-5=7
6T+4U=28
2T+10U=24
XT+YU=?

The maths is harder, and it's still not in decimal, but it's still not unreasonable to work out. The real trick here is working out that T is the 'tens' and U is the 'Units'.

Disclaimer: please check with your group before excepting riddles from nameless mages. The Anonymouswizard will not be hold liable for any sessions that grind to a halt through application of his ideas.

DavidSh
2016-02-18, 06:54 PM
It depends on who the audience is. If the players are math students, I think it is too easy. If they are, for example, history students, then it should be all right.

It may just be that my first few steps when seeing equations like 9*3=23 are
1: try another base than base ten.
2: try calculations modulo some number
3: try to redefine the symbols '*' and '=' in some way

Socksy
2016-02-18, 06:58 PM
Fifty, or 42.
I only used the first four equations.
9*3 = 23 established that it could not be any lower than base ten. As 9*3 is 27 in base ten, 9*3 = 23 must be base twelve. (27 = 2(x^1) + 3(x^0)).
10 - 5 = 7 confirmed this.
Now we know E = eleven, from E+1 = 10.

Using the second equation, eleven * X = 92 in base twelve.
So, eleven * X = 9(12^1) + 2(12^0) in base ten.
eleven * X = 110
X = ten

So X*5 is fifty, which is written as 42 as the question is in base twelve.

EDIT: @DavidSh I tried to redefine * at first, but I'm a maths student, so there's that.
I'd remove the X/2 = 5 bit. Too easy.

NRSASD
2016-02-18, 07:19 PM
As an archaeologist, I have to admit that one made me stumble. But once I realized we aren't operating in base 10, it's simple enough. Just be aware that non-math majors may not make the same realization. I think I've only ever been introduced to non-base-10 systems once for a day in my entire educational career.

JNAProductions
2016-02-18, 07:22 PM
Yeah, I'm a math person (or was, all throughout high school and my first semester of college) and I never got introduced to new bases. Make sure there are math majors.

goto124
2016-02-18, 07:29 PM
But once I realized we aren't operating in base 10, it's simple enough. Just be aware that non-math majors may not make the same realization.

I... think this is beyond the reach of a lot of people, just due to this :smalleek:

And I thought it was plain algebra!

nedz
2016-02-18, 07:33 PM
I found it to be easy from the first line:
9*3=23 tells you the trick.

But I have a maths degree so that might not be a useful observation.

Know your players - is the usual trick with these.

kraftcheese
2016-02-18, 07:34 PM
Here is what the players will find on an encrypted hard drive.

They are looking for a password, which is a number, and it is supposedly on this storage device. However the data that is encrypted is a riddle to find the answer. Anyway here it is.

9*3=23
E*X=92
10-5=7
E+1=10
X/2=5

If the players do something I'll five them this hint
The answer is fifty, but not 50

I guess it depends on who the players are; I have no idea why the answer is what it is (are you adding two on the end of every answer? And if so why? Because X should be 10 and E is 9 if that's what's happening, the only problem being Answer which???? I don't understand; its either 50 or 52 but why the extra 2????? What is it?) but I've only done basic highschool math, regular algebra etc.

If you're using a math rule or function theyre aware of they should be fine but yeah, if they don't have any experience with it (I.e. theyre a math pleb like me) you might wanna revise it.

NRSASD
2016-02-18, 07:52 PM
Quick question: How do you represent eleven in a base 12 number system?

Telok
2016-02-18, 08:01 PM
Traditionally you start using letters. In hex its a=10, b=11, etc.

Milo v3
2016-02-18, 08:13 PM
My players would never figure it out since they didn't do anything beyond high-school mathematics.

Beleriphon
2016-02-18, 08:15 PM
Quick question: How do you represent eleven in a base 12 number system?

Other symbols. Like in hexadecimal where you go 0-F where A to F represent the units ten through sixteen. The reason this puzzle works is because none of the numbers are ten or eleven, which if represented by letters rather than numerals gives away the trick. Doing this is in hexadecimal for example would be a give away since most people at least passingly familiar with computers should be able to recognize what's going on.

Like they say there are 10 kinds people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

9*3=23 (total value is twenty-seven units, but in base 12 we have two units of twelve and three extra)
E*X=92 (nine groups of twelve, and two more)
10-5=7 ( in base twelve this is one group of twelve less five units = seven units)
E+1=10 (since we determined this is Base 12, the numerals 1 0 are a single unit of twelves and nothing else, so we have a total of E equals eleven units)
X/2=5 (as above anything divided in two parts equaling five units must be ten units)

X*5=Answer (42, or rather four groups of twelve and two extra)

Quertus
2016-02-18, 08:26 PM
Here is what the players will find on an encrypted hard drive.

They are looking for a password, which is a number, and it is supposedly on this storage device. However the data that is encrypted is a riddle to find the answer. Anyway here it is.

9*3=23
E*X=92
10-5=7
E+1=10
X/2=5

If the players do something I'll five them this hint
The answer is fifty, but not 50

So, I a) was a computer science major, math minor; b) I love puzzles; c) I'm something of a math genius (perfect 800 on math SATs, published my own math theory while in high school, etc).

I didn't find the puzzle hard, but that doesn't say much. 10-5=7, confirmed by 9*3=23, was the fun part. X/2=5, X*5=Answer was nice to trick people who would jump to the wrong answer. And many smart people I know would likely never be able to solve this puzzle. And certainly not have fun solving this.

So, know your players. How familiar are they with alternate bases? How much do they enjoy this type of puzzle?

I did, however, find it... odd. Why would anyone put their password on an unencrypted storage device, and encrypt it as a puzzle? Does the system you are playing have hacking skills?

I love puzzles In RPGs, but this just feels out of place to me.

Feddlefew
2016-02-18, 09:02 PM
There's some precedent for these kinds of puzzles. The Myst series (and a few other adventure games) also had a few puzzles using non base 10 number systems. For instance, doing math in base 25 (Riven) and base 8, 60, and 2 (RAMA) were pretty standard back in the day. Usually you had to lean an alternative numbering system, too.

That being said, these games expected you to take your time and sleep on it if you couldn't figure it out. So, like others have said, it really depends on your players.

Laserlight
2016-02-18, 10:12 PM
It depends on who the audience is. If the players are math students, I think it is too easy. If they are, for example, history students, then it should be all right.

I was a history and English major, back a few decades ago, and I got Base 12 within a few seconds from 9x3=23 and 10-5=7.

georgie_leech
2016-02-18, 10:21 PM
Other symbols. Like in hexadecimal where you go 0-F where A to F represent the units ten through sixteen. The reason this puzzle works is because none of the numbers are ten or eleven, which if represented by letters rather than numerals gives away the trick. Doing this is in hexadecimal for example would be a give away since most people at least passingly familiar with computers should be able to recognize what's going on.

Like they say there are 10 kinds people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

9*3=23 (total value is twenty-seven units, but in base 12 we have two units of twelve and three extra)
E*X=92 (nine groups of twelve, and two more)
10-5=7 ( in base twelve this is one group of twelve less five units = seven units)
E+1=10 (since we determined this is Base 12, the numerals 1 0 are a single unit of twelves and nothing else, so we have a total of E equals eleven units)
X/2=5 (as above anything divided in two parts equaling five units must be ten units)

X*5=Answer (42, or rather four groups of twelve and two extra)

I've always been fond of 'there are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who aren't expecting a joke in base 3.'

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-19, 03:30 AM
I've always been fond of 'there are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who aren't expecting a joke in base 3.'

I've always heard it as 'and those who mistake it for trinary.'

Although my favourite has always been 'there are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't.'

AvatarVecna
2016-02-19, 04:03 AM
It was pretty easy for me to figure out...but then, I'm a person who annoyed enough people to prefer avoiding an entire sub-forum because at the time I was refusing to count in anything other than dozenal/dodecimal in a game based around counting. 9*3=23 showed me everything I needed to know for this, and I just skipped right to the end.

Lord Torath
2016-02-19, 09:16 AM
I'd say it should be fine. Be ready with a couple of other clues that it is Base 12, though, or make it so solving the riddle is a bonus, not a necessity for moving the plot forward.

dascarletm
2016-02-19, 11:56 AM
Quick question: How do you represent eleven in a base 12 number system?
I use E to represent eleven, and X to represent ten.

So, know your players. How familiar are they with alternate bases? How much do they enjoy this type of puzzle?

I did, however, find it... odd. Why would anyone put their password on an unencrypted storage device, and encrypt it as a puzzle? Does the system you are playing have hacking skills?

I love puzzles In RPGs, but this just feels out of place to me.
Well, the system is a cyberpunk game that I've been working on myself for some time, and I'm going to have my gaming group try it out within the next few months. The villain is going to be the type that likes to play with the investigators (the players). He may also be obsessed with the number twelve (yet tbd). So, if they go with 50, they will still advance the plot, but in a less fortunate way. If they go with 42 they will advance it in a positive way.

I'd say it should be fine. Be ready with a couple of other clues that it is Base 12, though, or make it so solving the riddle is a bonus, not a necessity for moving the plot forward.
I expected it to be too easy for most of the people coming in here (since the title would draw math lovers). However, my players are smart people, but I'm not sure if they've done alternate base systems before. I do think I can actually cut-down on the clues due to everyone's feedback. They really like riddles, and they like being stumped by a challenge. Hopefully they won't think to look at different base systems right away.

EDIT: also the riddle isn't needed to advance the plot, it just allows them to narrow down 50 buildings they can search.

ComaVision
2016-02-19, 12:42 PM
As someone who stopped taking math classes in university as soon as I could, I didn't get this even after reading the solution. I get it now but I had read most of the posts in this thread before it clicked. There's no way I'd get this on the spot.

dascarletm
2016-02-19, 12:49 PM
As someone who stopped taking math classes in university as soon as I could, I didn't get this even after reading the solution. I get it now but I had read most of the posts in this thread before it clicked. There's no way I'd get this on the spot.

If it proves too hard for my players perhaps I'll drop a hint about it being in base 12. Not sure what that hint is yet... any suggestions?

Raimun
2016-02-19, 12:59 PM
Without reading, yes. Yes, it is.

"I'm not here fo no math. Now, let me calculate my attack and damage modifiers and we're good to go."

ComaVision
2016-02-19, 01:04 PM
If it proves too hard for my players perhaps I'll drop a hint about it being in base 12. Not sure what that hint is yet... any suggestions?

I'm not even sure if telling them flat out that it's base 12 would mean anything. It wasn't until people starting talking about binary and such that I realized. If I didn't have any familiarity with that then I'd be googling 'base 12' right now.

Pex
2016-02-19, 01:35 PM
I got an answer of 42.

42? I see some shenanigans here. :smallbiggrin:

It's base 12 math.

X = 10 in base 10 so X * 5 = 50 in base 10 which is 42 in base 12.

N810
2016-02-19, 02:19 PM
Give them a hint that it's in feet and inches.

BWR
2016-02-19, 02:44 PM
We can't answer this for you, you know your players better than we.
In both my groups this would probably be solved fairly quickly. No pure mathematicians here but at least one programmer in each, and a physics doctorate in one (not sure if the biology doctor would get it or not, but it wouldn't surprise me), and a History major who is quite bright and likes math in the other. As an English major it took me a bit of fooling around before I realized that I had to be thinking in different bases. Longer than would be fun to waste time on in a game, but more people might make things go faster.
However both groups also have people who have literally been reduced to tears at the sight of anything more complicated than simple arithmetic.

This is also the perfect example of a situation where character stats are more important than player abilities. It would for instance be most unfair to have a PC be e.g. a professor of math but have them be unable to solve this simply because the player sucks at anything containing numbers, then have the illiterate, innumerate mentally deficient brick solve it because that player knows this stuff.
Sure, you might argue that so long as one player solves it, in game it is the most appropriate PC who comes up with it, but what happens if you have appropriate PCs and the players cannot solve it?

What I do in these situations is I would give the puzzle to the players, let them try to solve it with their own brainpower and if that fails, let their characters roll for it.

dascarletm
2016-02-19, 04:32 PM
We can't answer this for you, you know your players better than we.
In both my groups this would probably be solved fairly quickly. No pure mathematicians here but at least one programmer in each, and a physics doctorate in one (not sure if the biology doctor would get it or not, but it wouldn't surprise me), and a History major who is quite bright and likes math in the other. As an English major it took me a bit of fooling around before I realized that I had to be thinking in different bases. Longer than would be fun to waste time on in a game, but more people might make things go faster.
However both groups also have people who have literally been reduced to tears at the sight of anything more complicated than simple arithmetic.

This is also the perfect example of a situation where character stats are more important than player abilities. It would for instance be most unfair to have a PC be e.g. a professor of math but have them be unable to solve this simply because the player sucks at anything containing numbers, then have the illiterate, innumerate mentally deficient brick solve it because that player knows this stuff.
Sure, you might argue that so long as one player solves it, in game it is the most appropriate PC who comes up with it, but what happens if you have appropriate PCs and the players cannot solve it?

What I do in these situations is I would give the puzzle to the players, let them try to solve it with their own brainpower and if that fails, let their characters roll for it.

Well, yes, I am mostly seeing what a (partially) random representation of people think about the difficulty.

I also of course only put in logic puzzles because my players enjoy working them out, and if they ever want to roll for it they can. Heck they could ignore the puzzle and role for it right away, and I'd give them the answer on the spot.

My point in this is to possibly refine the puzzle (which I've taken some redundant steps out) and get a general feel for how difficult many people seem to find it.

Segev
2016-02-19, 05:36 PM
As a physics major and a Ph.D. in CpE, taking about 5 minutes to think about it before giving up, I realized quickly you were in a non-decimal base, but wasn't sure what base in which you were working. (My CpE shows in that I tried Hex, but when that turned out wrong, I didn't bother trying to figure out the right base after that.) <-Highlight for spoiler.

My opinion on these is that they are only fun if the players really like solving math problems. Otherwise, you're putting too much effort into creating something that is better abstracted. The players' characters are the ones who theoretically are supposed to be solving the puzzle, and they'll have different skills than the players.

I would replace your hint with "it's not base 10" as the first thing. The second hint should probably be to tell them it's base 12.

You want to make these things feel like something they accomplished, while making it something they benefit from their characters' abilities on.

The more you can give them abstracted tools to try, rather than puzzles they themselves must have the skill and brains and social graces to solve, the better, in my opinion.

That said, if they like this kind of thing, then go for it. Groups like different things.

Seto
2016-02-19, 05:42 PM
Yeah, I'm a smart person but with no math culture (I'm on the literary side). I'd never solve that. Even reading the solution, I don't get it. Like, I'm vaguely aware that there are other ways to count than the decimal system and that base 12 is a thing, but I don't know how it works. I don't know what it means and how I should manipulate numbers with it. The most I remember of it is a teacher mentioning it in passing like nine or ten years ago.
If I had to solve this puzzle, upon hearing the solution I'd probably feel cheated in a "I wasted my energy, I was condemned to fail from the start" sort of way.

But apparently, reading other people's reactions, it's easy if you've done some medium-to-high level maths. So, know your players. I wouldn't put that in a module if I was a designer, out of fear that the table might be full of people like me. But if I know my players like maths, sure.
Another cause for concern, though : reading the reactions here, people seem to either find this puzzle quite easy (like most posters), or terribly difficult (like me). Few people if any appear to find it challenging, "tough but doable". This might be a case of binary (pun intended) separation between those who know the answer, and those who don't. (Then again, I'm incapable of directly gauging the difficulty of this, and it all depends on your players' skills).

ComaVision
2016-02-19, 06:01 PM
Yeah, I think Seto nailed it. It's a very simple puzzle if you understand the concept, and impossible otherwise. It's akin to posing a simple clue in a foreign language, either someone knows the language and trivializes it or it's impossible.

dascarletm
2016-02-19, 06:12 PM
Yeah, that was part of my concern, Seto. I may think need to think of something else.

On that note, does anyone have a good riddle for a character that is obsessed with a certain number? In this case it is twelve. The number is going to be showing up a lot during this villain's arch, and I'd like the riddle to showcase that in some way.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-19, 06:14 PM
I had the base 12 thing within half a minute (wasn't timing, but it was definitely not longer than that). But... I semi-recently been teaching myself to count in base 5 and then 6 (I tried 16 after that, but that's way harder. I was bored in a job where I got to count things okay?) If they get the idea that this is a non decimal system just one of those equations will tell them it's base 12, the rest are just confirmation. And while it's certainly possible for any single person, even a physics major (on an off day, I presume :smallamused:), to not figure out the right way to find which base this is, a group will find it, because they can think along several lines at ones. If they don't get the idea to think in different bases or don't even know the concept (probably pretty common among "normal people"), well, good luck. They'll never find it. I think the best people for solving this are programmers, and all-purpose nerds like myself.

So basically, what everyone else said. Except it's not so much a higher level math thing as a "has thought about the concept" thing. I suck at math, I'm a biochemist.

I'd like this puzzle in an RPG. I'd solve it quicker than I could explain it, but that's part of why I'd like it. :smallbiggrin:

EDIT: If this guy is obsessed with 12 this might work as a puzzle a bit later in the arc. Even (smart) people who don't know the concept can figure out it has something to do with 12 and take it from there.

Segev
2016-02-19, 06:16 PM
Physics doesn't actually call for base conversion, much. And while there are doubtless formulae and procedures for it, Computer Engineering usually only works with hex, bin, and dec, so we don't make use of them.

As for puzzles involving 12...

Again, how much do the players themselves enjoy solving puzzles using their own, OOC skills?

AvatarVecna
2016-02-19, 07:14 PM
I think the best way to include this puzzle is to introduce the concept of base-12 counting to the PCs subtly in a way that they'll notice tge clue but not why it's a clue. It's rather simple, actually: have this villain make use of custom clocks, timers, or dates. Like, "you heard one of the villains henchmen remind the other to feed the moat kraken at 1000 sharp and that it'll try to eat them otherwise. If the PCs try to later swim the moat after feading the kraken at 10 o clock instead of noon, they'll be in for a nasty surprise.

EDIT: If you include things like that, where the idea of base 12 is present but not mentioned, by the time the PCs reach the puzzlen they'll have been co fused over it for long enough that somebody will have realized what's going on.

mephnick
2016-02-19, 08:01 PM
My last exposure to math (history major) was Math 11 over a decade ago. If this showed up in a campaign I would gladly go grab a drink and watch TV until my party solved it.

Of course, I've never had a riddle be interesting in any game I've ever played, either writing it or solving it. It's really something that should stay in movies.

nedz
2016-02-19, 08:19 PM
Hmm, many traditional currency systems used base 12 (The UK until 1970, much of Europe in the past, also AD&D) it's not all that obscure. Also it's quite common to buy things by the dozen - eggs, breadcakes, etc.

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-19, 08:28 PM
I'd do similar to Mephnik.

Even just looking at the riddle I can feel my brain shutting down and not even wanting to try to engage with it even though I'm trying to make it. If I could get myself to sit and think about it, I'd still never figure it out. I am familiar with counting in other bases, but that awareness isn't enough to help me at any rate.

I had the resident actually-likes-and-is-good-at-math come over and look at it. He gave it a good long stare for about 30-45 seconds and figured it out. He said he doesn't know how "hard" of a riddle it is though. He's very highly qualified for doing math, and he loves base 12 so he's got a strong advantage.

Pex
2016-02-19, 09:41 PM
To use 12s, involve clocks and dozens. Could use both with the theme of asking why a chef was killed at 1 pm.

1 pm is 13:00 hours, "13 o'clock". A chef is a baker. A baker's dozen is 13, so the villain hates all bakers because they defile 12, the true dozen.

goto124
2016-02-19, 11:08 PM
I shall assume the players have a reasonable familiarity with non-base 10 stuff. Otherwise the puzzle's impossible for the players.

It's rather simple, actually: have this villain make use of custom clocks, timers, or dates. Like, "you heard one of the villains henchmen remind the other to feed the moat kraken at 1000 sharp and that it'll try to eat them otherwise". If the PCs try to later swim the moat after feeding the kraken at 10 o clock instead of noon, they'll be in for a nasty surprise.

For overhearing the henchmen, might want to have the henchmen remind themselves "it's not 10 o'clock, it's the other 1000, sheesh this villain must be obsessed with something". Because it's really an obscure clue. Make sure to add in a lot of these clues.

Worse come to worst, if any character has knowledge skills in mathematics, say "your genius math knowledge tells you it's in base 12".

dascarletm
2016-02-20, 03:44 AM
Physics doesn't actually call for base conversion, much. And while there are doubtless formulae and procedures for it, Computer Engineering usually only works with hex, bin, and dec, so we don't make use of them.

As for puzzles involving 12...

Again, how much do the players themselves enjoy solving puzzles using their own, OOC skills?

They like puzzles a lot. They are always a hit during a game (I still rarely use them).

nedz
2016-02-20, 05:25 AM
They like puzzles a lot. They are always a hit during a game (I still rarely use them).

But do they like Maths ?

SimonMoon6
2016-02-21, 12:27 PM
Is this math-based riddle too hard

What's the DC of the INT check to bypass the riddle? And what are the INT scores of the PCs? That should determine if the riddle is too hard.

What? You're not letting them bypass a riddle with an INT check? You're trying to challenge the players instead of the characters? Then, yes, the riddle (like all such riddles) is a bad idea.

Segev
2016-02-21, 03:46 PM
Okay. If they like puzzles, go for it.

I would suggest having the villain always refer to things in units of "dozens" rather than in direct mentions of numbers that are nice, round 10s.

In a game setting I ran, a background element that I never overtly emphasized was that the human civilization used base-12. I emphasized this by having them refer to things in feet and yards, and, as mentioned, in dozens. When elves spoke of similar things, they referred to meters and spoke in base-ten numerology (more standard-sounding). As it wasn't plot-important, I don't know that the players picked up on this, but by using this liberally, you can get them to start thinking that way.

I would also spread this puzzle out. Rather than making it one incident, have it be a key to a lot of what the villain does. He always works in base-12. He takes notes in base-12. He has two additional symbols that he uses for ten and eleven, and they're not just letters. Make them something stylized to remind of Arabic numerals, but not be any of the standard ten. Maybe a 0 with an X through it for "10" and something like |_| or an upside-down version for "11."

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-21, 03:56 PM
Ooooh, I like that idea. Give them a way to bypass an impossible boss fight by collecting 10 candles for a ritual or something. Cue their surprise when the monster is not dead (but weakened enough to be of the right CR). Or let them find out they have 10 days to steal the crown of evil before it's moved again, and show them more and more notes as hints as time passes.

Spiryt
2016-02-21, 04:03 PM
Depends....

Once I've read like 3 post in this thread, and googled 1 thing, it became very easy indeed.

But I'm not sure I would know where to start all alone.

Simply, I don't think that non 10 base system have been really ever shown to me in school....

And people laugh at USA education system in the Net. :smalltongue:

mephnick
2016-02-21, 04:20 PM
Simply, I don't think that non 10 base system have been really ever shown to me in school....

And people laugh at USA education system in the Net. :smalltongue:

Well, to be fair, every decent country in the world uses metric.

Segev
2016-02-21, 04:22 PM
Well, to be fair, every decent country in the world uses metric.

Nonsense! Decency has nothing to do with measuring systems. Besides, we couldn't practice American Imperialism without the Imperial Measurement System, now could we? :smalltongue:

dascarletm
2016-02-22, 11:17 AM
What's the DC of the INT check to bypass the riddle? And what are the INT scores of the PCs? That should determine if the riddle is too hard.

What? You're not letting them bypass a riddle with an INT check? You're trying to challenge the players instead of the characters? Then, yes, the riddle (like all such riddles) is a bad idea.
:smallsigh:
Ah, right you know my players better than me. I mean playing with them over 15+ years has always seemed that they like riddles/puzzles, but I'm probably wrong.

Anyway:

Thanks everyone for their input. I think I know how I'm going to run this. Definitely going to be less straightforward about it.

Faily
2016-02-22, 03:49 PM
I am hardly the right person to answer this, because I can't solve it. Just looking at it makes me want to tear up in frustration over not understanding it, but I've always struggled with math and numbers (much in the same way some struggling with reading and writing because of dyslexia).

As long as it can be a group effort in solving it, I think it's fine, since I know I would never be able to understand it. :smallsmile:

dascarletm
2016-02-22, 03:53 PM
I ended up giving this riddle to my wife and friend who would be playing and like this sort of thing. This is outside of a game. They did not much care for it sadly. Different bases is not the sort of thing they ever really thought about, so.... yeah.:smalltongue:

I will however come up with something more appropriate.

Pluto!
2016-02-22, 09:50 PM
No problem, but math major.

Not that solvable puzzles are bad things, but this is probably going to get polarizing results - for engineers, computer programmers or math guys, it'll take a few seconds. For folks who might not even know that switching numeric bases is a thing, it might not be penetrable.

Depending on the kind of game you want to run, I'd be tempted to slip something like this into a story and build up the culture or world it came from with general alienness, specifically and repeatedly emphasizing otherworldly 12-sided geometries and designs. But I also default to Lovecraft in RPGs, so there's that.

gooddragon1
2016-02-22, 09:54 PM
I'm not a fan of riddles, but it depends on your players. Personally, I think you'd have more luck if you made it hexadecimal. Have one of the results include a letter like 1F. That would be a good hint.

keybounce
2016-02-22, 11:31 PM
Here is what the players will find on an encrypted hard drive.

They are looking for a password, which is a number, and it is supposedly on this storage device. However the data that is encrypted is a riddle to find the answer. Anyway here it is.

9*3=23
E*X=92
10-5=7
E+1=10
X/2=5

Ohh, fun!

9*3=23
10-5=7

This tells us that the riddle is in base 12.

X/2=5

This tells us that X is ... "A" (9+1)

E*X=92
E+1=10

These are distractions. E is "B".

X*5 is 50(10), but we need a (12) answer. 4*12 = 48, plus 2, so that's 42...

UGGH.

No, I did not look at anything other than the OP. I solved it here in this window.

It's a perfectly fine puzzle for anyone with a little math background.
But ... if your players don't know how to deal with non-base 10 numbers, ... you might want to have a HHGTTG reference in there ... Maybe a towel on the chair? Just to give them a hint.

Jay R
2016-02-24, 07:59 PM
The question boils down to, "Will my players enjoy a math problem, and could they solve one that required noticing that it's in base 12?"

It's a question about your players. We don't know them. But don't confuse this with a question about the game. It's about what your players can accomplish and will enjoy.