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Re: (TFT) riddles


I've enjoyed the concept of riddles in gaming. I even played in and created one for a city campaign which will be in another posting.

I like riddles, but don't care for the strictly obvious situation that THIS IS A RIDDLE FOR RIDDLES SAKE. Again, this is my viewpoint and I KNOW it is not the viewpoint of many. The Sphinx Riddler should only work for the Sphinx. I'd rather see riddles that come from dreams/trances/GMvisions or from the context of half written research of brilliant but erratic scholars posing questions or RARE fiendishly diabolical villains making vastly unreasonable traps for some sick fun (when it would be easier just to blow up the heroes...) or just some simple nonverbal, nonwritten clues that when enough of them are come upon, form a riddle. [note: after this tirade, I will show you I completely chucked this concept when I did the city campaign. Oh well, so much for holding one's position.]

MYST and its sequal were an incredible riddle excercise.

The mathematical riddles should have a reason to exist outside of it being A RIDDLE. Give the mathematical riddle a context that it would fit in and that isn't obviously A RIDDLE FOR RIDDLES SAKE. In other words, the riddle fits the problem. Apptitude tests and the like are good for this. You have one boat that only you and one other can fit in and you need to get the duck, the werewolf and the gryphon with the broken wing across. Put that golem and the 4 doors concept into a reason the solution needs to be a Prime number. Perhaps some 10 quasidoors and scribbled on the wall are some obviously hysterical rantings 'not to go into door#6 because you'll change and that door #3 seemed safe', etc. The non-Prime doors converge one into dual existence in the non-prime reality (door #6 spits you into the reality of door 2 and door 3 so that you are at half value in these realms until you can figure out the mathematical reason your split and get back into the Room of Doors?)

Here is a concept I came up with as I was writing this. Your group is celebrating its victory of the moment at Wong's Ceremonial House. You have just finished the consuming your foreign holy meal (which translates into something like "though I am victorious, I salute and humble myself to those I made succumb", and are having your ceremonial tea and revelation moment. Yosef, the savior of half the party over the malicious rats of Tenement House, is designated first to partake the GREEN TEA and reveal his FORTUNA. Yosef is unconcerned as he places both brawny hands around the delicate teacup, chugs the liquid and breaks the small hard thin bread. Out of Yosef's mouth comes "It is written that the time will come when those few who have no immediate needs will help those with great need because they are know of the danger and the needy do not." Yosef shrugs. So it alway is at Wong's Ceremonial House.

Oliander is given the Fortuna Secundus as she held at bay (with only chacolati and nerves of steel) 40 street urchins, allowing the party to take their swag to D'shonest John's Pawning Establishment. This waif of a girl cautiously lifts the warm ceramic to her lips, inhaling the GREEN TEAs aroma. She sips, then sips again. She delicately places the cup down and taking the bread, snaps it with dread. She intones
"Origninal armor for a mushy mass,
it served its owner well...
Becomes a cup for evil mass,
to serve the Fires of Hell.
And when did all the come to pass?
When original owner fell.
Time strips the cover from shield, alas,
and reveals a holey bell."

Oliendar is shaken by the glimpses she has seen in her revelation. A hero falling, Evil Priests with ceremonial knives at an alter, blood being poured, the gong of somber bells. She speaks of these images.

Valter the Jaded is assigned the Triad Fortuna because his glorious oration at the steps of the courthouse left the Cretano Imperitus mystified and provoked such a rankor in the crowds gathered that their pelting Valter with vegetables rotten allowed the party to sneak away unmoleted (except for Valter).

With great style, Valter rubs the grease from his hands, then picks up his cup of sweetened! GREEN TEA. He waves it in a swirl then consumes it quickly. Valter nods at his mentor ThunderThighs and then takes up the bread, cracking it only slightly. Valter speaks:

"I am symbolic of life,
for one grows when I am used.
But I am a mystery to most, for they do not understand me.
Most know me by my winglike shell,
 which houses each leaf that gives me substance.
I am different than my spineless cousins,
 who must roll around like snakes.
I have been told that I am ageless and when I
 reproduce in great numbers, generations are
 affected by my humor, horror, dullness, profoundness.
Yet for all my ability to affect others, simple things affect me:
The four elements are my enemies in various ways.
Fire and water are obvious, but earth will eventually break me
and air can send my leaves flying."

Valter tilts his head contemplating his revelation.  Valter Speaks,
"This reminds me of the time.."
Valter is pelted with more vegetables.

Nachos the sneak, who did all the work and was not honored as numero uno, grumpily is next. He grabs his cup, chugs and slams down the cup. He crushes the bread in his calloused hands. Nachos burbs this out
"I house the killer from your eyes
and give him sanctuary in moments of peace.
We are tight, my killer and I,
Like a wolf in the fold of lambskin fleece."
Nachos burbs again.

And now in honor of our glorious leader, ThunderThighs takes the wrap up position, Fortuna Ultima. With a lear to what may come, Thunder grins. "For those who we are about to kill, I salute you!" The drink is drunk, the bread is broken. Our Glorius Leader utters:
"I help to balance that which swings,
whether dull of style or one that sings.
A tool thats used to eviscerate,
is countered by all my weight."

Silent moments pass, then Thunder points to Nachos "you pay the bill. CHECK PLEASE."

The above Ceremonial Dinner can start the "Adventure Against the BloodSucking Landlordians". All the riddles actually refer to items that they will encounter during the adventure. If they are clever and use the riddles, they can discover that secret passage or see an item for what it is, etc.

Can you figure out the riddles above? Sure they aren't in context of the room that the item/activity would be in, but part of ThunderThigh's party's fun will be anticipating what it all could mean.

I came across a great sourcebook called Riddle Rooms #1 Dungeon Dilemnas for Cloud Kindgom Games 1992. It has about 15 riddles set up as room encounters. Here is one of them:

"Provider, devourer,
a double-edged blade,
Man he has tamed her,
accepting this trade.

Ravenously hungry,
must all the time feed,
Yet drink she must not,
this can kill her indeed."

Hail Melee,
John Paul

From: "Cas Liber" <casliber@ozemail.com.au>
Subject: (TFT) riddles
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 20:54:41 +1000

Dear all,
this is more of a general roleplaying idea. I love sphinxes and the riddle
game and always have in mind dungeons with riddle barriers, but end up
running out of riddle ideas after the ones in The Hobbit and the original
sphinx one:

Q: What has 4 legs in the morning, 2 at lunch and 3 in the afternoon.
A: Man (baby, man, old man with stick)

Anyone else come up with other creative ones for dungeons etc? Apart from
the Hobbits ones and 'Whats big, red & eats rocks..........................'

I remember one with 4 golems in front of 4 doors with the numbers 3,5,7,9 on
them - pick the odd one out (9 - composite number)
Or the one from Dr Who/Pyramids of Mars truthful and lying mummy robot A:
'If I asked your friend which button to press, which one would he say?'

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