Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything has many rules for D&D, including a new take on Puzzles. Come take a look at mysteries for your game.
Puzzles are one of the more difficult parts of D&D, and not necessarily for the reasons you’d think–while it’s true there are some tricky puzzles out there, most of the time it’s hard to figure out how to get players the info they need. Do you create handouts? Do you describe magic runes?
Whatever you try, most of the time you end up with frustrated players and GMs rolling dice and waiting for something to happen. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything hopes to change that by introducing some more guidelines for puzzles–guidelines which it then exemplifies, much like how Xanathar’s Guide looked to change traps. Come take a look at one of the Puzzles in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
This puzzle description tells us many things. It shows you that puzzles will have a difficulty rating, that they’ll also have a setup. Specificity seems to be key with these puzzles. Display of Daggers, as we see, is specifically about figuring out what happened to Kleg. It sets them up with a reason to solve a mystery, outlines the stakes if they don’t, and most importantly outlines the various clues that you can uncover.
They also, helpfully, provide handouts to accompany the puzzle. Here you can see the code that the players will have to figure out. But what really helps things to sink in, there are some hint checks to help move the puzzle along:
- Intelligence (Nature) DC 15. If at least half of the letters of a single material in the notes (e.g. “BRONZE” in “BRONZEWOOD”) are solved, but the characters are stuck on the rest, the character remembers learning about the material and is able to fill in the rest of the letters.
- Wisdom (Perception) DC 10. The character notices the daggers in the shop look exactly like those in the notes
And this ultimately should help players arrive at the solution. I’m curious to see what goes into building a puzzle like this. But I suppose we’ll have to wait another couple of weeks. If you want to see the full puzzle for yourself, click below.