Make #8 - Dungeons and Dragons Themed Level 7 Acrylic Packing Puzzle

Posted by Jonathan Borders on

Hello everyone, Jon here again to show you my most recent re-skin of a packing puzzle.  In this post I wanted to talk a little about one of my other hobbies - Dungeons and Dragons.  

I started out playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition about 24 years ago when I was around 14.  We played for a few years but then the group broke up and I didn't play again until around five years ago.  Since then we have played pretty consistently every other week or so.  

Throughout D&D campaigns you are bound to run into puzzles and riddles.  Most of the time they are just on paper or in the theatre of the mind.  I wanted to create something that could be used in one of these campaigns that a player could actually hold and manipulate.  I didn't want something too difficult but still challenging.  I found another puzzle by Jürgen Reiche that featured four pieces of cheese which was a bit easier than the L puzzle I showed in my previous post.

I wanted to think of a way to re-skin it to use in a fantasy setting.  So I decided to change the four pieces of cheese into four "runes".  I sharpened the edges and cut out a symbol in each piece.  I decided to pair these symbols to 4 common elements in D&D (earth, fire, air, and water). The symbols can be found in the Princes of the Apocalypse module of the four cults featured in that campaign. 

I cut the pieces into different color neon acrylic and used an acrylic black as the base to really make it pop.  Now you are ready to incorporate this into a puzzle of your choosing.  Here is one thought you could use this for.

You could have the players find a large stone base with arcane writing around it giving them a simple riddle like this:
Runs and never wearies, Drinks and is always thirsty, Eats and is never full, Sings a song forever.

The answer to the above riddle being water, earth, fire, and air.  Your players could then be required to find the four stones within the dungeon and bring it back to the stone base.  They try to arrange the stones in the base only to find it a bit more difficult that expected as there is only one configuration that will allow the pieces to fit together.  Once they accomplish this task it could unlock a door, a hidden compartment, or whatever else you think will enhance the adventure.

If your players struggle to complete the packing puzzle you could always give them a hint by saying something like "as your maneuver the fire rune around the base it locks into place."  Then show them the position of that rune and let them continue.  

And of course if you do not want to use this in a D&D campaign it can always just be a great packing puzzle to add to your collection.  You can grab your own here!


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