Content of the article: "The Four Apprentices – A logic puzzle you can fit into any adventure"
I like to throw the odd logic puzzle into my games, but I know not everyone enjoys them, and they risk slowing down the game if they're too hard or obscure. I think this one strikes a good balance – it looks hard at first glance, but it's surprisingly simple once you start using deduction.
I originally made this for Khazan's Tower in Curse of Strahd (after thinking, why are two floors of this cool wizard's tower completely empty?) but I think it could fit just about anywhere you need a puzzle.
The party enters a chamber containing four coloured tiles: black, white, pink and blue. On the walls, four robes bearing the same colours hang from the mouths of gargoyles. On a roll of paper hanging on one wall is written:
Apprentice White, Apprentice Blue, Apprentice Black, and Apprentice Pink are talking in the courtyard after their naming ceremony. Each is wearing a different coloured robe.
Apprentice Pink says: "I can't believe the Archmage named us after the colours on our robes, yet nobody got a name that matched their robe. I hate my name."
"We should not concern ourselves with such trivialities as our names," says the apprentice in the blue robe.
"Easy for you to say," replies Apprentice Pink. "If I'd worn my black robe today, I might have got a better name."
"If it helps, I don't like my name either," says Apprentice Black.
You can give your players the following hints if they're having trouble, and suggest they draw up a logic grid which gives them 16 possibilities.
Hint 1: Nobody is wearing the same colours as their names. You can eliminate those four possibilities.
Hint 2: From their conversation, we can deduce the apprentice in the blue robe is not Apprentice Pink or Apprentice Black. You can eliminate these further two, meaning the blue-robed apprentice is Apprentice White
Hint 3: Apprentice Pink is not wearing a black robe. Eliminating this means he must be wearing the white robe.
Hint 4: No two apprentices are wearing the same coloured robe. This allows you to eliminate the remaining possibilities, meaning Appentice Black is wearing the pink robe, and finally Apprentice Blue is wearing the black robe.
Apprentice White – blue robe
Apprentice Blue – black robe
Apprentice Black – pink robe
Apprentice Pink – white robe
To solve the puzzle, players must step on the correct tiles while wearing the correct-coloured robes. If a mistake is made, the gargoyles spew fire, with an effect identical to the Fireball spell (adjust to taste). The fire doesn't damage the robes.
Credit to https://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2017/05/21/the-four-color-codes-logic-problem-sunday-puzzle/ for the puzzle – I just simplified it a bit and made it more D&D-like.
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