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Comments: 13
Ideas: 1
Rating: 3.5556
Condition: Normal
ID: 7286


August 17, 2014, 11:21 am

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Pendulum Puzzle


The Pendulum Puzzle is a simple ordering challenge backed up by a neat rhyme. Ready to be inserted into pretty much any dungeon or setting.

You step into a chamber dominated by a massive statue of a robed humanoid. It stands ten feet in the air, the folds of its hood casting its face in dark shadow. Grasped in the statue’s left hand is a scythe, its razor sharp blade carved out of black stone. The statue’s right arm is raised out in front of it, holding in its clutches the end of a metal chain. This chain stretches to the floor, suspending a wicked blade inches over a circular indentation, roughly eight feet wide. This circle is hewn two inches into the stone, and is decorated with lettering spiraling towards its center. The script is fine and spidery, and glows with a faint red tinge. Twelve candles mark the edge of the circle, standing at regular intervals. All are lit, their wicks slowly burning and casting flickering shadows over the chamber. On closer examination, you find that you can read the spidery text.

The statue before you

Holds chain that was made

For keeping the time

With its pendulum blade

The mid hour of night

Is farthest away

From where the eyes of the statue

In its head lay

Hours of daytime

And hours of night

Here are the same

I shall shed that light

Each hour is named

After person or thing

Your job is to find me

I am not hiding

With the silence of grave

A death come too soon

The master of Shadow

Stands thirteen past noon

Past him stands the Gypsy

And somewhere between, a valiant sight

A Knight of the realm

And a Dragon who fight

Merchant, a trader

His wares beside him in Wagon

Crouches as far away as he can

From the infamous Dragon

The mystical Gypsy

With her tarot cards

Steadies his wares

Lest they crash into shards

The beast of red scale

And long crimson tongue

Is caught right between Knight’s blade

And the shadowy one

Across from the Castle

Stands the Giant of rock

The Hydra of nightmares

Stands across from the Hawk

The Hawk is a rooster

With feathers of red

Which stands next to Gypsy

Who gives it its bread

The Peasant sleeps poorly

He tosses and screams

For his is the hour

Of ghosts in his dreams

My place is not tricky

find where I lie

I stand where not mentioned

Which hour am I?

Hour Marks: Holding the pendulum blade over any of the candles (which serve as hour markers), causes that candle to flare up, signifying a possible answer. If the pendulum is then released the answer is assumed to be given.
Answer: Nine o’clock. This might open a door, reveal treasure, etc. Should a player answer incorrectly, the pendulum swings, the candles flare up in a bright inferno, and the text swirls and seethes. Then something terrible is summoned to make them regret it.

Additional Ideas (1)

Instead of summoning something when failing, it could trigger a number of traps (the floor falling away, and a pit opening up; a number of arrows/spears being fired into the room; or even spikes coming out of the floor).

2013-04-14 06:30 AM » Link: [7286#85990|text]
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Comments ( 13 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

April 14, 2013, 7:08
If you were trying for drama and portent, saying "cock" might spoil it somewhat(players y'know). There's also a lot to keep in your head, but I suppose it all depends on what kind of players you have.
Voted Strolen
April 14, 2013, 7:43
With me being dumb and all (and while I enjoy riddles in game, when I read them I am impatient and want the answer almost immediately) I would love if you told us the time that each one describes with a short explanation, if not obvious.

With a group, I think they would be able to figure this out with a little skill which is about perfect for a dungeon crawl. I like it!
April 14, 2013, 18:15
Update: Changed Cock to Hawk. Much better :)
Added solution outline. Note that the Castle and Giant are interchangeable, and do not affect the solution.
October 25, 2013, 15:09
Not to nit-pick, because I actually love this, but I noticed you saying, "added solution outline." I reread it, and unless i'm blind, I don't actually see any "solution outline". What am I missing? Anyway, once again, good job with this! These kind of puzzles bring back great memories of golden-age gaming. I'm glad this survived the "Purge", and now, the Survivor burning tower icon somehow adds a nice touch aesthetically.
Voted Eric the Grey
April 15, 2013, 10:51
I really like this. It would be easy to insert into any campaign/game with little to no modification and the riddle/poem is very well done, which for me, is not an easy thing to do.

Eric the Grey
Voted Snah2
April 15, 2013, 11:15
Only voted
Voted Gossamer
April 15, 2013, 12:21
Y'know I re-read it, and I didn't realize before that the whole thing rhymed, so changing it to Hawk broke it, sorry about that. And it doesn't make sense to give a Hawk bread, but it does to give it to a chicken, so if I were you I would just ignore what I said and change it back really. Good that you added that extra info though.
April 24, 2013, 2:00
Update: Fixed the issue with the hawk being fed bread. Changed the valiant sight line to make it not as long and uncomfortable.
One or two lines are still a bit clumsy; obviously feel free to find better lines!

@Gossamer: Thanks for the comments! Any rhyme that has to back up and explain that by Cock one means a bird is not well crafted; you are definitely correct. "Hawk" rhymes pretty well with "rock," so everything is good.
Voted Murometz
May 15, 2013, 23:34
What Strolen said.Classic dungeon-crawl puzzle.Love it! I would take some license with the wording on the rhyme though, if I was to use this.

Good job, these aren't that easy to pull off well, and you did!
Voted ivioin
June 22, 2013, 13:38
Only voted
Voted valadaar
July 18, 2014, 8:53
Hmm, Hawk is no longer in this revision. That said, this is a good logic puzzle.

Voted ChronoNinja
November 17, 2014, 23:39
Like it, good for a PBP setting where the players can read it and do not have to try to keep it all in their heads while listening.
November 17, 2014, 23:41
Good point. I try to always print out extra copies of any riddle text and pass it out to the players when they come upon a puzzle. Each riddle still gets a dramatic first reading.

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