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Puzzles for Players

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Puzzles for Players

a collection of templates to help you build puzzles into your game world

Designed for fantasy tabletop RPGs, these 20 puzzle templates provide GMs with concepts and starting points to introduce challenges that will engage players, no matter how high (or low) their characters’ levels may be. If you want more from puzzle solving than skill checks and dice rolls, these are for you.

Puzzles are categorized at three scales: encounter/room, module/dungeon, and campaign/world. This lets you know how much work you will have to do to integrate the puzzle idea into your game and how broadly the puzzle may impact your adventure.

  • Encounter/room scale puzzles require that players only figure out and solve a one-shot challenge. These can be easily dropped in to an existing dungeon or game night, perhaps an empty room on your map or a random encounter on the road, and will result in relatively small, quick payoffs. 
  • Module/dungeon scale puzzles generally require solving parts in multiple rooms or floors, and then bringing them all together at some point. These may require extra work on your part to prepare; perhaps the final piece will be in the pocket of the 20th level mage located on the top floor! 
  • Campaign/world scale puzzles are designed to be built in to your game world, with different parts taking place in different environments, city-states, or even planes of existence. These will generally involve extended efforts by players that may continue during much of a party’s or story’s lifespan, resulting in epic treasures, discoveries, and encounters that will enter the history books of your campaign.

Each template includes setting suggestions, examples terms to use with online image search tools to stimulate your own creative work, presentation and gameplay tips, and additional ideas to make this your unique gaming experience. Each also includes an example map and script to guide you in integrating the puzzle into your game quickly. You should feel free to update, change, or add-on whatever you like for your own campaigns.

Finally, remember to enjoy the game at least as much as your players do!

Thank you for playing!


Thank you to Sebastian S. for the great idea! This book has now been updated to include a full black & white printable "edition". For an easily readable physical copy, print the (new) PDF file from pages 67-110. This will produce something you can easily bind and keep with you in your library. (Note: the B&W version does not have the third "map" page for each example puzzle, as these did not look very good in black & white.)

If you purchase this title, I would very much appreciate your rating and review. Thank you!

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Reviews (5)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Sebastian S July 09, 2020 3:57 pm UTC
Thank you for this inspirational book!

Are there any plans to create a printer-friendly version?
Customer avatar
Mark C July 09, 2020 10:24 pm UTC
Hi Sebastian,

Thank you for that compliment!

The PDF should be printable as is, although it is in full color and may come out poorly in black & white. Could you describe any issues you had while printing it out? Thanks!

Customer avatar
Sebastian S July 10, 2020 2:39 pm UTC
Hi Mark,
you are absolutely right - it works for printing in color! What I actually meant was a black & white / grey version. Sorry for the confusion.
Customer avatar
Mark C July 10, 2020 3:37 pm UTC
Hi Sebastian,

I had not thought about that before but it is a great idea. I will work on putting one together. Thank you!

Customer avatar
Sebastian S July 13, 2020 9:28 am UTC
Fantastic, Mark. Thank you very much!
Customer avatar
Mark C August 10, 2020 9:54 pm UTC
Well Sebastian, I just rolled out your awesome idea right now. Thanks again!
Customer avatar
John B April 16, 2020 1:17 am UTC
I find resource texts like this one to be the absolute greatest thing to come out of the OGL. While there is satisfaction to be had with creating or incorporating the next campaign setting, magic item, new beastie, or untested character class, to have a resource that actually makes running the game more fulfilling and creates elements that might be beyond the capability of a new GM/DM has instant and continuous value for every player or world-builder.

Given that this product is as pure a GM/DM tool as I can imagine, I would be interested in what others thought made for resource or reference that didn't rely on player options.
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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File Last Updated:
August 10, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on April 14, 2020.