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I am creating a maze for a tabletop roleplaying game. The maze will reveal itself as the players advance through it, but simply presenting a maze to them to walk through is too simple. I also don't want to present to them a very hard maze that takes an hour of them simply tracing lines, since I don't think that will interest them.

I like the idea of them coming up to 10 or so paths that lead left or right and at each intersection they face a riddle or a puzzle to point them in the right direction. If they go the right way their path continues, if they go the wrong way their path has obstacles.

I don't know anything about puzzles and am wondering if someone can suggest some resources on how to find puzzles/riddles etc. I Googled this and found repositories with thousands of puzzles, but they don't have a way to search for what I need. Maybe I am missing a keyword. I suppose if someone is feeling very helpful they could provide me with 10 puzzles relating to directions or choosing a path, but that might be asking too much!

Is there a name for 1 or 2, or A or B, or Left or Right type puzzles?

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  • $\begingroup$ Isn't this just binary choice? $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 10 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Adam yes exactly. But I want there to be a puzzle or a riddle of some sort that gives them a hint about which direction to go. So for example the puzzle about a lying and a truth-telling man in front of each door is great and I will use that, but I'd like more ideas. There must be more puzzles that end with a binary answer... $\endgroup$ – Behacad Jul 10 at 19:08
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The answer to a puzzle can be reduced to either being correct or incorrect. Thus you can make almost any puzzle have two outcomes by simply giving a correct option A and an incorrect but persuasive option B.

The real issue is if the puzzle can be undermined if the solver simply tests both options; essentially reverse engineering the puzzle (e.g. a typical riddle). The issue can be highlighted with this classic riddle:

What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps? Question
Option A: A river
Option B: A prisoner

To address this issue there should be some hidden logical step to arrive to the answer which is independent from the answer itself.

Going through this site's tags I can identify that these puzzle types could acceptably be made into a binary choice:

Even then, you can make other puzzle types into a binary choice if you ask for an answer that describes the solution to the puzzle but doesn't actually contain the solution. For instance:

  1. You can present a which can be solved by identifying an object, but the two options represent the length of the object's name.
  2. A question could ask you to find out the minimum amount of moves it takes to reach a certain configuration and the two options are the number of moves.
  3. could require you to identify something interesting about the solution which only someone with the solution can identify.

I don't know if there is a name for puzzles with only two options/outcomes however I've shown that you can make almost any puzzle have two options if the question is cleverly worded!

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate on what you mean by "Thus you can make almost any puzzle have two outcomes by simply giving a correct option A and an incorrect but persuasive option B."? What would this look like? Second, you state "The real issue is if the puzzle can be undermined if the solver simply tests both options.", but since this is a maze testing an option would mean going the wrong way potentially, so I don't see this as a problem. You have great ideas here, but I'm having trouble proceeding due to my feeble mind. $\endgroup$ – Behacad Jul 11 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ I think what Adam means is you come to a fork and the paths are labelled "kitten" and "crocodile" and then there's a riddle to which the answer is kitten, but crocodile almost fits. The problem I have with that is it's much easier to establish "is kitten the answer to this riddle?" than to think of kitten in the first place $\endgroup$ – Kate Gregory Jul 11 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Behacad Quite simply you can pick any random puzzle and then say "Is the answer to this option A or option B?". One of the options is the answer and one of them is a fake answer. The catch with making puzzles in this way is that the solver will be able to see the answer plainly in front of them, next to the fake option. It is still a puzzle but the integrity of the puzzle been affected by giving extra information. I'll edit my answer to give an example $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 11 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Adam most riddles and puzzles that involve finding a word are difficult exactly because players have no options to chose from. As soon as you see the answer plainly in front of you it is no longer a puzzle, or at least a trivially easy puzzle. No? This means I need to find puzzles that have at least 2 ambiguous answers, which is quite specific. Any thoughts? Your edits are helpful. $\endgroup$ – Behacad Jul 11 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Behacad 2 paths, no labels, one statement: "Head to the Correct Answer". Because, the correct answer is right. $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Jul 11 at 16:00
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A solution would be to have some visual puzzles, who have a direction as a second layer.

For example, a Crossword labelled "Complete me, and I will tell you where to go" - and, once completed, drawing lines between the letter "I"s in the answer will create an arrow pointing in a direction. Or logic puzzle like a "liars" puzzle with labelled pictures of people pointing in different directions - the correct answer then points which way to go. (Of course, if they can eliminate every person pointing in once specific direction, they have no need to work out which of the others is correct...)

On a similar note - you might have multiple pots/chambers with Keys in. One of the keys opens the "correct" door, and the other keys all open the "wrong" door - but the players can only claim one key, and can't compare them to find the odd-one-out. This way, it doesn't matter if your puzzle has 2 options or 100 options: they only get one of 2 keys in the end.

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