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Comments: 8
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.1111
Condition: Normal
ID: 676


January 19, 2007, 6:08 pm

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The Grove


If the adventurers are smart, they can solve this riddle and get the information they need.

The story can be used anywhere you like.  Put the story on a sign, trees to be planted nearby.  Or actually have a wizard there who actually wants the trees planted.  Maybe it’s just someone the PC’s need to help before they can get something from the other person.  Make the story whatever you would like to fit your game.

A man seeking an apprenticeship wished to prove his worth and mettle to the local wizard.  The wizard said to him:  “I have ten trees I wish to have planted, but I want them to be in five rows of four.  Accomplish this task, and I shall train you.â”

So the man set about planting the trees.  When he was done, the Wizard took him under his wing as his apprentice, and imparted his first bit of sagely advice:  “Never skip meals.”

The trees must be planted on the edges of a five-pointed star(draw a star with a single line on a piece of paper, at every intersection, make a big dot to represent a tree, there will be ten dots).

When the trees are planted in this pattern, they sprout up to full-grown height, complete with fruit.  The fruit will allow for memories to return, allowing previously forgotten information to return as the fruit is eaten.  This is extremely helpful to spellcasters, who can return the memory of a single spell by eating the fruit of the tree.  The fruit doesn’t last long, mind you, so you can’t take it with you.  But, if you’re in the area, and you need a quick pick-me-up, head to the grove you planted.  That is, if you can remember it’s there.  ;)

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Ancient Gamer
August 9, 2005, 7:11
On the puzzle scale it is a 3/5 (I am judging it as a puzzle and not as an item). It gets a bonus point for the cute side effects of the fruit, even though DnD spell memorization is something I haven't used in many, many years. I like the memory stuff for what it is... I bet them geriatric patients would love that grove! Total 4/5
Voted manfred
August 10, 2005, 2:50
Puzzles should go into Puzzles, but there is something very interesting about this one. Not the riddle itself (which is certainly okey) but the effect.

(Btw, I would slow down the growth a lot, can you imagine farmers planting trees to get _immediate_ harvest? Perhaps it requires a special ritual to work.)

Anyway, the thought of trees planted in a special way, that produce a magical effect is interesting. One could think of growing an alley of trees for directing powerful magic - it could take dozens of years! Ritual magic at its finest.

One thing that can be imagined (besides cliche evil spells) is rejuvenation. So the young archmage-to-be plants a few groves of saplings here and there. Decades later, he has grown in power as the trees have. With his old age approaching, he wants to drain their power to make himself younger... something his enemies desperatele want to hinder, and destroy each grove they can find.

(Note also the Garan thread: http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1961)
Barbarian Horde
September 12, 2006, 16:35
i have ten trees i have to make 5 rows of 4 its a math problem that i need help with the need to make them equally
Ancient Gamer
September 12, 2006, 16:37
Visit math.com and begin reading.
August 10, 2005, 19:13
Yeah, I like that, that would work GREAT for a campaign goal. BBEG wizard has groves planted all over the place, find and destroy em, he's going to work against that while trying to enact his typically megalomaniacal plan of world destruction or whatever.

Oftentimes in campaign goals, the protaganists are working DIRECTLY against the bad guys, but in a case like this, he could LITERALLY be doing whatever he wanted, and the party would work indirectly against the plan by removing the power of the big bad guy.

Nice extension on that one, manfred.
Voted valadaar
April 24, 2008, 10:44
Does not quite work for me - it feels too much like a computer game puzzle to me.
Voted MoonHunter
April 24, 2008, 11:39
Okay, I missed this one. Then again, I am normally not in the dungeon section, only running Cyberpunk Verticle Dungeons (i.e. office complex assaults) See The Crawl, Doing It the Cinematic Way for details on how I run a dungeon.

That said, I have to ask, "This is a dungeon puzzle?" It is more of a complex spell.
Voted knowman
February 8, 2013, 11:34
Clever puzzle.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Monument

When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.

To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.

It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.

The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.

It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.

GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | July 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp

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