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ID: 8913


June 10, 2018, 9:06 am

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The Prisoner Box Challenge


This consists of a trap and encounter as the puzzle. There will be ten PCs for this example but this will work with any even number of PCs.

The PCs will enter a chamber in the dungeon and the doors will lock. A sleeping gas then fills the chamber, knocking the PC's out.. when they awake, they find themselves in a large sound proofed prison cell, bound and gagged in front of the head baddie without their weapons.

The head baddie tells them what is going on.

"Outside there 10 large chests. Each contains one set of your weapons. But don't be fooled by the pictures. They have been randomly placed.

I am going to let you out one at a time. While you are outside, you can look inside any 5 chests before my minions take you to the next cell. The chests will then be closed again for the next person.

You cannot touch the weapons or in anyway communicate what you find to the others. No marking the chests, no shouting, NOTHING! If each of you can find your own weapons, then I will fight you. Otherwise I am booting you back to the entrance of the dungeon with your stuff and you have to do this all over again.

You have three minutes to think about it before we begin."

The baddie then exits the cell and locks the door.

HINTS: "Do you think they will figure out the best way to do this?"
"I don't know. Will they?"
"Well if any of them are familiar with the Prisoner Box Riddle they should recognize this situation and that there is a method with a greater then 35% chance of success for the entire group."

THE BEST METHOD TO SUCCESS: Everyone first open the chest with the picture of your weapons. If your weapons are inside, you're done. Otherwise, look at what's inside and then open the chest with that picture one it. Keep going this way until you found your weapons.

EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THIS WORKS: So if PC Amoz opens the chest to with the picture of the Blood Katana and Krysknife (his weapons) to find the Aurial Bow and Molag Arrows, then he will open that one to find the Volungbal Mace and Arce-Spear, and finally get his weapons in the next one.

Note that if he keeps going, it will take him back to the start. So this is a loop. By starting with the chest with the picture of his weapons, he restricts his search to the loop containing his weapons. And there are decent odds, at least 35% that the entire group as a whole will find what they need in only five guesses or less.

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Comments ( 3 )
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Voted Shadoweagle
January 16, 2018, 20:25
I was very skeptical but I looked up that prisoners box challenge and there does seem to be some accuracy to the puzzle. However, the method of delivery of this feels... well, ridiculous.
So the boss baddie has captured the PCs. He has them bound, kneeling, broken before him, and with a murderous glint in his eye he... tells them to pick weapons out of boxes. Oh, and if they get their weapons, they can have all of his hard earned treasure. But if they don't get their weapons they can still fight him for the treasure.

I can see what you're going for, don't get me wrong - puzzles are absolutely great and this is just a way of explaining the puzzle into the game.
I just feel like the prisoners box riddle will be hard to convincingly place into a game without breaking flow or seeming realistic.

Also, the explanation of how it works is a bit lacking (I had to google it to wrap my head around it - I had thought there must be more that you'd forgotten to add).

Don't get me wrong - I think puzzles and statistical manipulations like this are great and I like that you're working them into playable scenarios!
(See the Monty Hall Problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem)
(See also, the Birthday Problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem)
It's just a matter of managing to slide them into a scene without it seeming odd.

Keep 'em coming! I want to see more from you, WAR10CK!
June 10, 2018, 9:07
I revised the baddie's actions to be more reasonable.
Voted Cheka Man
January 16, 2018, 22:46
Only voted
June 10, 2018, 9:06
Update: Revised this so that is sounds more reasonable.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Grendel

The Door

A nifty little encounter appropriate for any powerful sorcerer/magically adept monsters lair.

When the party have penetrated to an appropriatly impressive level/room they encounter The Door, this door is a vessel through which the Sorcerer/Monster can safely work against any intruders, the door is heavy duty iron bound studded oak wrought with craft skill and magic, set in the middle is a crystal orb, once the party get within a preset distance the orb flickers briefly as the door warns its "master" of the intruders, the master can then effectivly possess the door itself, this means that all movement the door is capable of (i.e. opening and closing) come under the control of the master, the master can also cast spells from the door as if he were there himself, all the while any damage that is inflicted in return merely damages the door, this will in effect ruin any of the parties chances of surprise, allow the master to assess the parties abilities while remaining safe and sound and finally will probably cause the party to waste some of their juicier items/spells on a chunk of wood and iron, and if the master happens to have a deadly spell or three it could also reduce the size of the party,

Of course if you wanted to be really nasty you could have the door open to admit one person and then slam shut on the second person (squish) whilst blasting away with every spell in the mastrs repetoir

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | August 20, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

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