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Acanthus’s Conundrums #1: Puzzles & Riddles for RPGs

puzzles and riddles for your rpg

Acanthus’s Conundrums is a weekly post with a dnd puzzle and three dnd riddles to use in your game or any RPG for that matter.

Each comes with a suggested solution, but be generous to your players if they come up with reasonable answers, especially when it comes to the riddles. These diversions aren’t meant to cause disagreements or slow down the game.

Do you have any puzzles or riddles of your own to share, or requests to make of Acanthus? Get in the comments or join our Discord server!

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d100 – Spell Components

AI art of an arcane laboratory, vials, beakers, tubes, neon spell components

Being a list of flasks, boxes, beads, vials, tubes, and bags containing a bevy of knick knacks of interest only to those with arcane insight.

To get a random result, either use the standard d100 to get an even chance of any result or roll 11d10 (getting between 11 and 110) and take 10 from the result.

On average this will move the result to the middle of the table where spell components for cantrips, then Level 1 spells, then Level 2 and final Level 3 are situated. This second method makes it more likely that low-level components are found when a wizard is searched. Note: these components are intended to be found on low-level arcane casters.

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Rise of the Drow GM Tips and Advice: Adrik’s Folly

Rise of the Drow GM Tips

Our second-most requested section of Rise of the Drow for more detail is the first half of the final chapter of the prologue: Adrik’s Folly. After the harrowing trek through the Dark Wood, the party is finally assuming some control over their fate as they discover the drow stronghold and decide how best to free the Rybalkan prisoners. This vast castle is almost 115,000 square feet over several floors with a LOT to take into account when running this adventure. Here, then, are some Rise of the Drow GM tips and reminders for running Adrik’s Folly.

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From the Scrollshelves of the Sage

Welcome, friends, to my  library. Once just my workplace, it’s now my greatest treasure. To introduce myself, I am Acanthus, this region’s foremost sage.

The Past

Over the years since King Tokolvor expanded the Klavek kingdom, I’ve helped adventurers, merchants, and travelers alike gather vital information. Whether about where they’re going, who and what they’ll encounter, or how to deal with all three, I’ve been there. As fine a collection of views, thoughts and facts as exists in all Klavek is upon my scrollshelves and bookcases. Perhaps nothing rivals it in all Aventyr, but that is for others to decide!

The Present

However, now I’ve made my own fortune and live an easy life, I intend to share it all. What I know to be true, surmise to be broadly correct, am in the process of clarifying, and imagine is worth further investigation, will become yours. Topics will be wide, allowing interested parties to gain insights wondrous and delightful, amazing and awe-inspiring, and hopefully entertaining. They’ll be worthy of a pipe of tobacco at a campfire, if not a meal at a prince’s table, during their retelling.

Welcome to the Future

Of course, I’ll take commissions, and happily dig into my resources, giving you my opinions on any and all topics. But remember, what you hear and read in my reports may set your feet inching, heart pumping, and mind racing.  Far horizons and distant adventures are yours to discover when you know where to look. For what is a visit to a sage if not the key to the locked chest of unexpected but great rewards!

So, my friends, I await word from you with regard to your questions and queries. Until then, I’ll make my thoughts available on myriad subjects whenever something interesting comes my way. Good fortune to you all!

– Acanthus the Sage

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When the Ship Goes Down by Stephen Yeardley

Jonathan: Stephen, tell us a bit about A12: When the Ship Goes Down and what inspired you to write this adventure.

Stephen: Well, this was inspired by one of the two comments from our group that have stuck with me most as I DMed. Foz, a player that really likes to know what’s going on before he flies into action, had been caught out by a trap and for a while, his character’s mantra became;

“I check there’s a floor to this room…”

(For the record, the other comment is, “You greedy dwarf, you’ve eaten all the candles!” But that’s another tale.)

I’m also a big fan of confusing PCs’ expectations. PCs are mostly used to getting their own way, so, for example, in A6, they are thwarted at every turn and have to go through a lot before they succeed and in areas of A9, many of their expected ways of doing something have to be changed completely around.

So it struck me that PCs expect “the dungeon” to be a certain way up. We’d looked at zero-gravity in A9, so didn’t want a repeat, but sometimes it’s a minor difference rather than a major one that becomes the inconvenience. What might that inconvenience be?

Two films came to mind as well. “The Cube”, which has been an inspiration in many ways for a decade and a half, as it goes from providing ideas for deadly traps all the way to showing the way characters’ feelings ebb and flow, albeit in a shortened timeframe, and to a lesser degree, “The Undiscovered Country” with its the assassination scene, not because of the anti-gravity, but the way it looks with the assassins in the magnetic boots, climbing up and down at different angles.

Of course, creatures that can fly, climb well or just plain float won’t ave any probem with any of this, so the inconvenience is only for the PCs, who must either be well equipped, use lots of magic or just climb a lot. That fighter in his banded mail, boy, I bet he wishes it wasn’t quite so heavy…

Jonathan: You can read Stephen Yeardley’s adventure “When the Ship Goes Down” right now on Adventureaweek.com or purchase the PDF which should be released on Paizo and RPGnow sometime next week! Enjoy!