Was running a side quest and there was a riddle involved. My players were very close to solving it but it took awhile so I just let them finally solve it and be happy.

You are watching: What is the sound of silence riddle

However, is it more realistic to make people pass wisdom checks to see if they solve it? Would someone with a low wisdom be able to actually solve a complex riddle? I didn't do it for time's sake but I'm not sure how other people would handle it.


Some encounters, like combat, challenge the characters. Riddles are designed to challenge the players. If you let them roll for it, there’s no point in coming up with a riddle. (You might as well say, “you find a crossword puzzle; roll a d20 to see if you can solve it.”)

If your players are having trouble with the riddle, you can have their characters make an Intelligence or Wisdom check to get a hint, but that’s all.

Alright thanks. I only ask because the player that figured it out had a wisdom score of 7 or 8 as a barbarian, but after them spending 15 minutes slowly piece it together I just let him solve it

When I do puzzles I physically show it to the players. To me, puzzles are meant to challenge players, not characters. So I never have any rolls involved in my puzzles. They just solve it IRL and it is solved in game.

IF you actually want to devise a real riddle, let the players solve it, regardless of ability scores. If you want just a DC INT or WIS check, don't bother actually writing a riddle.

Riddles are for the players, not the characters. That's just their design. It's one of the few times the DM gets to throw something at the players instead of their characters.

I've heard that a lot of DMs will have some extra clues that they can give out if a character passes a certain check, and I think that's great as well.

Currently I am playing a low INT Ranger. She's not going to solve a puzzle. I however, am. So when/if I solve it, as a player, I tell the highest INT player what the answer is. Their character is the one who actually solves it.

Riddles are hard because it's never the characters solving them, it's always the players. You can either let the group solve it and handwave who did the actual solving OR you can turn a puzzle into a series of skill challenges.

Honestly the only time I would factor in a players wisdom score is if they carry a negative modifier would they have trouble with riddles, a ten or anything higher is an average or above average wisdom and those character would be able to solve riddles as normal people do.

Even people with a lower intelligence have good ideas now and then so a character's score shouldn't be the only determining factor.

I allow people to get clues from a successful check. That way it becomes easier but anyone can still solve it anyway.

I might let them make an intelligence roll. 1 per character. Maybe. Depends on if they are enjoying the attempt to solve it.


the DM: Okay, at the end of the hallway is a stone door with no visible locks, latches, or opening mechanisms. Carved into the stone is an inscription that reads, “What is the sound of silence?”

the bard, instantly: ♪ Hello darkness my old friend ♪

DM: …………………Oh my god. I forgot-

bard: ♪ I’ve come to talk with you again ♪

DM: No, that’s not the answer- 

bard: ♪ Because a vision softly creeping ♪

DM: Here, I’ve got my notes, let me change the riddle-

bard: ♪ Left its seeds while I was sleeping ♪

DM: Please-

bard, emphatically now: ♪ AND THE VISION THAT WAS PLANTED IN MY BRAIN ♪






bard: ♪ OF SILENCE ♪

DM, with a visibly broken spirit: …Yeah, okay. The door swings open.

level 1
· 4y

With riddles set a secret time limit if they don't solve it in that time let them do an Int check to see if their character solves it. Also add in bonus rewards that they only get for solving it themselves out of game.

level 1
· 4y · edited 4y

Its an Intelligence check. Edit: I woudnt describe the riddle if they are just going to roll, however. I personally dont see any real appeal in riddles in play unless the characters are the players.

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