Puzzle: The floor of runes

I was asked after I posted my runes last week to also share the puzzle that these runes appear in. As you wish!

This puzzle appears in my forthcoming adventure Descent Into Darkness (the sequel to the Staff of Suha and Tallinn’s Tower). During a trek through some caverns, the adventurers come across a square chamber, 30 feet by 30 feet, with runes carved into the tiles of the floor. It soon becomes apparent that some of these tiles have solid pillars beneath them while others are false floors that lead to a nasty fall. The runes give a clue to which tiles are solid and which are not.

The party is entering from the tunnel on the left side of the map and is trying to get across the chamber to the tunnel on the right side.

Any PC who speaks elven recognizes these runes as representing the numbers 1 through 8 (the number of lines in each rune corresponds to the number it represents).

While tiles are safe, and which lead to pits?

The PCs enter from the west side of the map and are heading east (left to right)

Hint 1: If you need a hint, mouse over the next section of text (white text on a white background: Keen-eyed PCs can spot the rune that equates to the number 1 carved over the tunnel on the far side of the room (the east wall).

Hint 2: They can also spot the rune that represents the number 3 carved into the south wall.

Hint 3: The rune for the number 7 is carved into the north wall.

Are you able to figure out the puzzle?

17 thoughts on “Puzzle: The floor of runes

  1. Pingback: RPGs General/Other Free puzzle: The room of runes - EN World: Your Daily RPG Magazine

  2. I think I have it figured out, but I’m possibly confused abut what a number 2 stands for. Are there diagonal moves in the solution?

    (If not, then I may have a cool alternate path to use…)

  3. (SPOILER)
    If the key is: → ↘ ↓ ↙ ← ↖ ↑ ↗
    Then the answer goes * 8 1 3 3 4 …

    Cute, thanks for posting it. I think I might something like this with my kids.

      • Cool! It looks like it’s following the same general logic as the original puzzle, but having the PCs follow the shaded areas when going left to right and the light areas when going right to left.

        The part that’s confusing me is what the PCs are supposed to do when they cross the halfway point. Are they then supposed to say, “Okay, which other tile points to this one? That’s where I’m going!”

        For what it’s worth, I did create a version of this puzzle with two runes per tile – one to follow left to right, the other to follow right to left. It just looked cluttered, though, so I let it be. Also, it would probably be another layer harder!

      • What are PCs supposed to do when they cross the middle? Realize that the rules have changed, either through deduction or trial & error (aka trap damage). I’m confident they’ll make fewer mistakes in the second half than the first.

  4. I really love this puzzle, and I’d love to use it for a game I’m running, but I cannot work it out for the life of me. Unfortunately Frankie’s comment is a little too vague. Any chance you could post a solution?

  5. The solution to this version of the puzzle is that the number of lines in each time corresponds to the direction you should move when you’re standing on that rune’s square. 1 is directly to the right. 2 is down and to the right. 3 is straight down, and so on, through 8, which is up and to the right.

    Thus, you start on the 8 and move up to the right, which puts you on another 8. You move up and to the right again, which puts you on a 1. From there, you move straight to the right, and so on.

    I later scrapped this puzzle for a less opaque version in the final adventure.

  6. Sorry may be a n00bish question and im on night shift at the min so brain isn’t working. I get the 8 goes to the 8 and then 1. But how would the pc’s know that 8 would goto 8 is there more details on the wall?

  7. Thanks. Had to modify it as I couldn’t work out what the clues meant so I made up my own path. I can’t expect my players to get around something I can’t work out.

  8. Okay, I have to admit it took me a while, even with after reading the solution to get it but I finally understood it. Very cool puzzle. I am certainly going to use it in my tommorow’s session 😀

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