If you are looking for a statue puzzle for your D&D game, you’re in luck. There aren’t that many resources for statue puzzles but I have just the thing. For all of you statue lovers, I’ve created a series of statue puzzles that you can use with D&D or any other type of RPG. And also, it has four lion heads and shoots lasers out of its eyes. Because who doesn’t like lasers, right?
Wait wut? Lasers don’t belong in fantasy RPGs! You wanted statues puzzles, not lasers. nobody uses lasers with statues in fantasy.
Remember neverending story? Statues shooting lasers. That’s the kind of old school vibe these D&D statue puzzles have. But you can call it magic if you absolutely have to.
How Statue Puzzles for D&D Work
The pack of statue puzzles for D&D I’ve created is called ‘Laser Puzzles‘ but I might as well have called them statue puzzles. Here’s how they work:
For centuries Statues of the Four Headed Lion, have appeared on ancient hillsides and in ruins long forgotten. Recently the statues have come alive! Why is anyone’s guess.
You can make up a reason that fits your campaign or have it remain a mystery. Even though the lion statues have come alive, they cannot be harmed or moved from their place. If attacked they shoot lasers from their eyes.
When the players approach a statue they hear four deep voices in their mind, speaking a number that tells them how many lasers must shoot out from the statue in order to solve the puzzle. The number can also be found on top of the image of each lion.
Touching the paw of a lion makes a laser shoot out from its eye. So touching the left foot switches on a laser shouting out from the left eye and so on. Each lion face shoots one or two lasers from its eyes or remains dormant. Up to two lasers can connect statues together.
The Lion Statues also lament: “Where are the others? They are lost. We cannot see them in the mists…” Players must connnect all lion statues in a way that any lion statue is connected to the whole. Not all statues have to be connected directly, but following the lasers, you must be able to ‘travel’ to each statue.
Lasers can go horizontally or vertically and may NOT cross each other. Each laser must connect to another statue.
Players must draw lasers between the lions to solve the puzzle.
Setting up Your Statue Puzzle for D&D
The puzzle pack contains images of lion statues for virtual table tops and printable images. For regular play, first choose if you want 1 square inch lion statues or 2 square inch lion statues. Print as many copies as needed on thick paper.
Once you’ve created enough lion statues, pick a puzzle from the instruction manual. There are thirty puzzles to choose from. It’s best to start out with an easy small puzzle first. Recreate the layout on a battle grid mat. If you’re using a virtual table top, you can just upload the images.
Each lion statue has a number that corresponds with the numbers of the puzzle. The lines between the lion statues show the puzzle solution. Do NOT draw these onto the battle map. That’s the players job.
All players can work together simultaneously to solve the puzzle. For this puzzle to work it doesn’t really matter if a laser shoots from the left or right eye. When all statues are connected correctly a door unlocks, portal opens or a clue is given.
You can do several things to avoid players getting stuck on harder puzzles:
- Offer an alternative: You can solve the puzzle or take a more dangerous route, pay a price, etc.
- Buy a clue: Each clue is a little bit more expensive.
- Trial and error: When a player makes a mistake the whole puzzle resets.
- Costly mistakes. Each time a player makes an mistake a lion attacks with a laser beam once. But the mistake let’s players know where they went wrong.
- Let players roll intelligence checks. This challenges the character instead of the player. It might be a good choice for players who aren’t good at solving puzzles but are playing highly intelligent PCs. Use this sparingly though.
Integrating the Statue Puzzle Into Your D&D Campaign
Think of a reason these statues are appearing in dungeons or outside. To what event in your campaign history might they be connected? What do they represent? Maybe they represent the shattered mind of a fallen lion god. Maybe, a cult of the thousand lions have been imprisoned in the statues and players are freeing them.
If you can also tie these statues to PC’s background stories somehow, that’s even better. If you have no clue how these statues are connected to your game, just leave it a mystery for players to explore. After all, there are plenty of things beyond your PC’s understanding.
A really simple way to get more use out of your statue puzzles is by rotating the solution 90 or 180 degrees, or creating a mirror image layout of the solution. Even though you are using the same puzzle, it will feel new to you players.
Finally, this puzzle pack is also a part of the Vault Bundle which contains over 180 puzzles, several card decks and lots of other stuff for your D&D games. You can get the vault bundle in our webshop.
By Paul Camp
Image credit: Skyrim Elder scrolls, Neverending story