Thread: Can this puzzle be solved?

1. Can this puzzle be solved?

I just need a little help, I'm working on it right now, myself, and I just want to make sure this is possible before my PC's have to do it. I shamelessly stole the idea from DDO.

Concept: you enter a room through a magical mirror portal, and through many walls of force you see another mirror portal on the far side of the room. The entire room is dimensionally locked, with exception given for the teleportation caused by the features of the room. You have access to 5 unlit braziers, and the grid of walls of force shows braziers in each cell. Also, there are 5 braziers at the far end of the room.

Your goal is to light all the braziers. When you light a brazier, the direction from which you light it dictates your movement. If you attempt to light a brazier from directly north, east, west, or south, the brazier is blown out by a magical wind effect. If you light it from northeast, northwest, southeast, or southwest, the brazier is lit and you are teleported in to another cell in the same pattern as a Knight would move in chess.

If you enter a cell where there is a lit brazier, it is magically extinguished and you must re-light it.

The magical mirror at the far end of the room will not take you out of the room until all braziers are lit.

Here's a quick and dirty graphical view:

X = brazier
I = vertical wall
- = horizontal wall
~ - spaceholder for forum, no wall here

edit: hmmm this didn't work they way i wanted it to, working on it

X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X
~-------------------------
X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X
~-------------------------
X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X
~-------------------------
X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X
~-------------------------
X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X I X

pardon the horrible artwork, if there is a better way to make this (like code tags) please help!

2. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

With enough Antimagic fields, you could bypass the puzzle entirely bu deactivating both the instant teleportation, the *blowing out braziers* effect, and the magical sense location effect, thus enabling you to manually go through all the rooms with no hassle and light all the braziers.

Even Better
Since your antimagic field deactivates the no planar transportation thing, you could open portals above the antimaic field to the elemental plane of fire, let dozens of fire elementals onto the material world, and let THEM do the lighting for you.

3. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

Originally Posted by TechnOkami
With enough Antimagic fields, you could bypass the puzzle entirely bu deactivating both the instant teleportation, the *blowing out braziers* effect, and the magical sense location effect, thus enabling you to manually go through all the rooms with no hassle and light all the braziers.

Even Better
Since your antimagic field deactivates the no planar transportation thing, you could open portals above the antimaic field to the elemental plane of fire, let dozens of fire elementals onto the material world, and let THEM do the lighting for you.
Since I already know, beforehand, that they won't have an Antimagic Field, this point is rather null and void. Interesting, though.

Also, there'd be no way to get from cell to cell without the teleportation effects. I can actually see the Summon Elemental reserve feat being nice for this, without needing to bother with an AMF.

4. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

Well, the first thing that strikes me is: will the PCs know what the goal and the rules are? The angle of lighting the brazier is not something that most players would think of when lighting one, so that might make it harder for them to figure it out, unless you're specifically asking them what angle they're lighting it from. Also, I'd strongly suggest having the goal noted somewhere, even if it's in riddle form, just to make sure they know that they're supposed to light all of the brazers.

The second thing I thought of is: how long will this take to solve? What I'd do is work out how many moves are needed to solve the puzzle, if you do it perfectly. Then estimate how many moves the players are likely to actually take (you know your group, so you'll have a better guess on this number than I will). Then multiply it by how many minutes they're likely to argue over each move. If you end up with more than an hour, I'd look into simplifying the puzzle, as you don't want your players to get too bogged down in it, and in my experience an hour trying to solve a puzzle is really frustrating.

5. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

The puzzle itself does not seem impossible. I agree that you should pay attention to how long the group will take to solve the puzzle. I am wondering where the starting point is for the characters. Are they beginning in one of the corners, along a wall, or somewhere near the middle? This will definitely help to determine how long this takes to solve and how difficult it will be to plan out their steps.

6. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

Dunno about the puzzle, but you could try changing the font (look above the italisice/underline buttons) to Courier New, which I believe is a Fixed Width Font. It's a bit thin, though, so try bolding it.
Like this:
XIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIX
~----------------
XIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIX
~----------------
XIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIX
~----------------
XIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIX
~----------------
XIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIX

7. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

So... your room looks something like this then?

{table]X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X[/table]

8. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

Originally Posted by Herpestidae
So... your room looks something like this then?

{table]X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X
X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|X[/table]
Something like that except the first and last rows do not have walls separating the braziers vertically. The players will be able to choose a starting point on the left side, and when they make their way across the room they will be able to choose a brazier to start at to make their way back.

As for the length of time, I'm not incredibly worried about it. I only have two players, so there'll be less discussion and opinions. Also, they are very patient and have been in incredibly combat-heavy encounters thus far. It should be a welcome break. They will pick it up rather quickly, I am sure, it will just be a matter of figuring out the nuances.

9. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

It should be solvable: there is a similar chess problem called the Knight's tour, where a Knight tries to visit every square on the board once and only once.

10. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

And he doesn't get to "pick" a square allong the edge to move to, either.
sure, knight's tour is on an 8x8 grid, and this is a 9x5, but....

11. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

This is easier than Knight's Tour, since by the rules as stated there's no penalty for entering a given space more than once. The only problem would be if the different size/shape of the area restricts certain movements, which I don't know enough about knight's tours to say if it would.

12. Re: Can this puzzle be solved?

Originally Posted by Aspenor
Since I already know, beforehand, that they won't have an Antimagic Field, this point is rather null and void. Interesting, though
Aww...

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