Puzzles

Two orcs

Officially better than you, according to PoN
 

bryce0lynch

i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
There's only sixteen possible combos and twelve have already been taken. I get to work ...

You can't solve it using the moons and colors since there are four missing. Any combination could be either Norus or one of the other three. Theerfore it's got something to do with the actual letters and the moons/shapes.

Jesus DP, do you hate your players?
 

DangerousPuhson

Should be playing D&D instead
It's precisely because I don't hate my players that I'm posting the puzzle here, before actually deploying it.

So far, the general feedback I'm getting is that it's too hard to figure out - I can appreciate that, but mostly I'm trying to learn whether or not it's impossible to figure out.
 

DangerousPuhson

Should be playing D&D instead
EDIT: I went back to the puzzle long after I'd forgotten my answer key to see if I could solve it. Well, I did. Took about 20 minutes. Here's how I did it.

There are four vertical positions in both the color set and the moon set - first, second, third and fourth position (from the top).

Look at the colors long enough and you'll notice that each color is represented in each position only 3 times. The first position (in total) has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue. This repeats for all the positions - the second position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue; the third position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue; and the fourth position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue.

Knowing this, looking at the moons should make it immediately apparent which is the odd one out (Norrus) - in first position there are FOUR instances of the "left" moon. Going along to different positions will show you that moon placard IV is the odd one out, whose every symbol breaks the "three appearances per position" rule. So we know we need to translate the moon symbols on the "IV" plate to find the order in which Norrus's colors should be arranged (Left, up, down, right).

With me so far? Ok, here's how I went about cracking which colors mean what.

I started looking at patterns in groups of two. Though each color appears exactly three times in each position, pairs of colors do not. Looking at the first pairs (positions 1 and 2), we see three color pairings appear twice: black-red, yellow-black, and red-yellow. Moon pairings at the same position (ignoring placard IV because we know it's Norrus') show us another three pairings appearing twice: up-left, right-up, and left-right.

From this we can infer three scenarios:
1) black = up, which means yellow = right, red = left, and blue must = down
2) yellow = up, which means black = left, red = right, and blue must = down
3) red = up, which means yellow = left, black = right, and blue must = down

Either way, we know blue MUST be down, as both "blue" and "down" don't appear in any of the pairings of the first two positions.

From here you troubleshoot by direct comparison using the assumption of the scenario to see if it fits. Translate the moon plates into their colors according to the assumption, and see if the color combinations are all present and accounted for.

-Using assumption #1 (black = up), we find that placard VII doesn't fit the scheme (Red-Blue-Black-Yellow doesn't exist).
-Using assumption #2 (yellow = up), we find that placard II doesn't fit the scheme (Blue-Red-Yellow-Black doesn't exist)
- In this case, the correct assumption is assumption #3 (red = up), so Norrus's color combination (going by moon placard IV) is going to be Yellow-Red-Blue-Black.

This may be even easier if you look at pairings on another set of positions, but I went with the first two slots for convenience sake.

I suppose insight comes when it's realized that there are only three instances of each color in each position. Maybe I should make that an obvious clue somehow... though I expect that a table full of actual, intelligent "nerds" would be able to solve this regardless. I guess that's the problem inherent of puzzles in adventures: there's a wide breadth of different intelligence ranges, and you have to appeal to as many of them as you can.
 
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Two orcs

Officially better than you, according to PoN
I realized the "trick" right away but it was still a lot of work. In my opinion puzzles are more satisfying when they suddenly click instead of requiring work. This is why I prefer riddles as door locks, the answer space is infinite and can't be brute forced, but is obvious and easy if you get that flash of insight (or recognize the riddle).
 

DangerousPuhson

Should be playing D&D instead
Again, there's a spectrum of intellect out there to appease. I'm just going to throw it in there as it is - people who want to do the work or are perhaps smarter than your average person will likely get it, and the others won't. I'd rather scale a puzzle's difficulty down by way of clues rather than try to scale the difficulty up somehow.
 

Beoric

8, 8, I forget what is for
I looked at it for about 3 seconds, and decided to break out a hammer and chisel to get into the sarcophagi. Or hammer and iron spikes in a pinch.
 

bryce0lynch

i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
There are four vertical positions in both the color set and the moon set - first, second, third and fourth position (from the top).
Obvious.

Look at the colors long enough and you'll notice that each color is represented in each position only 3 times. The first position (in total) has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue. This repeats for all the positions - the second position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue; the third position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue; and the fourth position has 3 red, 3 black, 3 yellow, and 3 blue.
Easy. Got this.

Knowing this, looking at the moons should make it immediately apparent which is the odd one out (Norrus) - in first position there are FOUR instances of the "left" moon. Going along to different positions will show you that moon placard IV is the odd one out, whose every symbol breaks the "three appearances per position" rule. So we know we need to translate the moon symbols on the "IV" plate to find the order in which Norrus's colors should be arranged (Left, up, down, right).
Not following. There are 16 possible combinations, correct? SO there are unmentioned cominbations?



I started looking at patterns in groups of two. Though each color appears exactly three times in each position, pairs of colors do not. Looking at the first pairs (positions 1 and 2), we see three color pairings appear twice: black-red, yellow-black, and red-yellow. Moon pairings at the same position (ignoring placard IV because we know it's Norrus') show us another three pairings appearing twice: up-left, right-up, and left-right.
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Got this.
 

DangerousPuhson

Should be playing D&D instead
For guys who tout the old school way, you all sure are adverse to the old school doctrine of puzzle useage and adventures designed for smart nerds. Just an observation, not an indictment.

Not following. There are 16 possible combinations, correct? SO there are unmentioned cominbations?
There are 24 possible permutations when you are arranging 4 unique things into different orders (1x2x3x4 = 24), not 16.

There are 12 known color placards and 1 blank one, and 13 moon placards. So we know the blank placard is likely included in the moon placards, because there are 13 of each kind. The rule of "three colors/symbols to a position" (rule of three) helps you find the right moon placard with which to populate the Norrus color placard, because it breaks this rule in every one of its positions.

Let me make this easier for you to envision: take all 13 moon placards and go along each position, starting at the top position, counting the appearances of the symbols. When you see 4 symbols crop up in the position instead of the usual 3, that means those placards break the "three colors/symbols to a position" rule - circle them . You know one of those 4 placards to be Norrus', since the color placards are supposed to adhere to the rule of three. Do the same for the second position; you'll circle a different set of placards, but one of them will have been circled twice. If you were to do the same for all the positions, you'll see one placard gets circled four times - that's because it's the anomaly that's consistently breaking the rule of three; it's the odd one out, the one you've been looking for.
 
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