View Full Version : Campaigns / Adventures Potion Puzzle

08-09-2011, 05:35 PM
I recently made a puzzle for my group which I thought was a little tough for a game of D&D. Everyone I've tested it on takes a rather long time to solve it, and I'm can't assume that someone in the party enjoys puzzles...
But rather than dumping, altering, or simplifying it, I figured that some people from this community would appreciate a puzzle. Perhaps you can alter it for your own campaign. This puzzle was inspired by Snape's challenge from the first Harry Potter book. So here it is in its gritty beta version before I simplified it for my group.

The setup is this: You and your party are in a dungeon. There is a large magical barrier erected in a passage. A nearby small table is lined with 16 potions and a note. It explains that this barrier is preventing a large blind dragon from escaping. The dragon, though blind, has a very keen sense of smell. You are free to walk through the barrier if you so choose, but the dragon will sniff you out and attack if you do.

The note also explains that among the potions, there are 4 bottles of serum that will mask your scent from the dragon, 4 bottles hold a strong wine, and 8 bottles of powerful poison. 2 of the poisons, however, have been mixed with the components of an elixir. If these two specific vials of poison are mixed together they will neutralize the poisons, act like a serum and mask the imbiber's scent, and grant a permanent +2 to 1 stat of your choice and +1 to all other stats.

1) Poison hides its face behind others. As such, it will not be seen at the start or the close

2) One component of the elixir lies exactly centered between 2 wines, though cannot touch these wines

3) The red-blooded dwarf bears no form of poison

4) The wide twins, though similar in appearance, are quite different to taste

5) There is always a poison at serumís right side

6) One component of the elixir, quite like its very nature, is torn between death and salvation

7) Wine touches none other than the purest of poisons

8) Only one green draught contains a pure poison, the rest are but sweet wines.

9) A serum fits betwixt two vials short and slender; one of the serumís brothers rest on one of the far ends of the line.

10) The elixirís components are never to meet save for their joining.

Here's a link to what the potions look like.

P.S. I bought the bottles for a fair price online and at a hobby store. I got extra cork stoppers from my local hardware store.

08-10-2011, 01:46 AM
The logic puzzle from the first Potter book. Expanded and made more interesting.

08-14-2011, 05:43 PM
well, assuming that the party players like puzzles, i don't see it as that big a deal.

i know that i would consider the possible prize worth the time it would take to unravel the logic. though i would be seriously miffed if the puzzle proved to be a lie. ^^

08-14-2011, 09:59 PM
That... would actually be pretty funny if it were a lie. XP

08-16-2011, 01:29 AM
right? if only from a certain point of view....

classic traps are those which play upon the players preconceptions. i know that most players would take it at face value and believe in the prize as stated.

08-16-2011, 09:27 AM
Since GM description is the only way in which players can interact with the world, I stay truthful. An NPC might lie like a rug, but I don't do gotya and rug jerks.

08-16-2011, 04:55 PM
I wouldn't do it on one that were such high stakes as this one. Probably one that was a little easier to solve, and one that could've been altered by an antagonist of some sort.
Or perhaps the architect of the dungeon never wanted anyone to take his treasure in the first place. Or *sinister giggle* what if there's some sort of time limit on the dungeon, and the puzzle is intended to delay greedy intruders.
Urge to become an evil DM... rising....

08-16-2011, 05:27 PM
I would have to indicate something that revealed that if you are intelligent the trap is bogus. Say rearanging the order of the bottles so the puzzle doesn't add up. Be an interesting DM but don't be evil.

08-16-2011, 09:10 PM
i keep the 'evil dm' games relegated to announced special events. that way everyone as a player knows going in that it is going to be a 'grim-claw' scenario.

08-17-2011, 11:06 PM
I am game. I am terrible with puzzles BTW.
Though would you allow a detect poison spell to work on this puzzle?

01W 02P 03P 04E 05S 06P 07W 08P 09S 10P 11W 12P 13E 14S 15P 16W

I tried to use a spoiler tag but I am that inept when it comes to message boards. :eek:

08-18-2011, 07:36 PM
I am game. I am terrible with puzzles BTW.
01W 02P 03P 04E 05S 06P 07W 08P 09S 10P 11W 12P 13E 14S 15P 16W

Your solution violates rule 9 where you must have a serum at one of the ends. You are also missing a serum. ^_^ Thanks for trying, though.

As for detect poison... I've always considered alcohol a form of poison, thus the wines would join the poisons and elixirs. That is debatable, of course. It would not, however, reveal the elixir without a proper Craft (Alchemy) or Wisdom check WITH the detect poison spell. Also, detect poison can either detect a single target or a 5 x 5 area. If you try the 5 x 5 area, that means you are detecting multiple potions at once, so it will most likely result in an automatic "poison" result. If it's 3.5, that means that the player must spend their lvl 0 spells to target each individually. If it's pathfinder.... well then the party finds only 4 serum and no elixir.

Of course, by my definition of wine, I could put wine in all of the serum so NONE of them will stand out. I choose not to so that detect poison can be a second way to solve the riddle in case the players can't solve it themselves. The players in my campaign used it as a way to check their answers, which thrilled me to no end. C:

Eeerrrrrrrr.... but now that I think about it, my puzzle doesn't quite work if wine is a poison. XD

08-19-2011, 07:16 AM
And if you want to play that game with alcohol being a "poison", then you have to add water as being a poison as well, because if you get too much, it can cause significant health problems and death.

It SUCKS when you try to put TOO much logic into stuff like this.

09-08-2011, 11:52 PM
Assuming that neither wine nor serum is poison, and that the elixir counts as a poison (albeit an impure poison)...
Hopesfirexx (the quirky wizard) casts detect poison on #1, #7, #9, and #14, hands them to his allies, then casts ironguts on himself. Hopesfirexx also mixes numbers 8 & 13, and takes a hearty swig. Hopesfirexx puts numbers 3, 5, 11, and 16 in his pack for celebration later. Hopesfirexx labels 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 15 as "Drink Me" (A helpful instruction for whoever steals them) and saves them for a tough boss battle.

09-11-2011, 04:02 PM
it's amazing how many have never heard of hydration poisoning.

09-11-2011, 05:51 PM
Meh... Isn't it fair to say that too much of anything can kill you? I'm not sure that's a fair argument....

09-14-2011, 08:50 AM
I take your stunned silence as a "Yes, you got the answer right."

09-16-2011, 12:02 AM
Yes, you are right.

09-18-2011, 10:21 AM
now we just need to hope none of the players find the thread, before they get past this point. ^^