Bridges in Dungeons and Dragons have always fascinated us. They are the narrowest of connections between one realm and the next. And to cross over players must follow this perilous path or fall into the abyss forever. Or they can just take a tumble into a babbling brook. Your choice.
Puzzles are perfect to use with bridges. Players usually can’t avoid using a bridge if they wish to cross over. And by combining a bridge with a puzzle they can’t avoid the puzzle either.
This, of course, does mean that we have to be very careful to only use puzzles that can be solved. You don’t want your players to become stuck and have the story grind to a halt. And it also means you’ll have to use puzzles that players enjoy and that match the bridge theme.
We like to bridge use puzzles in two ways:
- Solving a puzzle allows PCs to cross a bridge or makes a bridge appear.
- The puzzle is the bridge. And the puzzle pieces make up the stones of a bridge.
Using a Puzzle to Summon a D&D Bridge
For our first idea, we like to use Laser Puzzles, available in our webshop.
With this puzzle, instead of having just one bridge cross a chasm, you can create an entire network of bridges leading in different directions.
Envision a pitch-black canyon of magical darkness. The PCs are standing near its edge and see a small puzzle on a pedestal. Four-headed lion headpieces, about the size of chess pieces, are cemented to the stone and cannot be moved. They each have a number on top of their heads. A closer examination reveals that the paws of these small pieces are levers. And if a PC presses a paw, a laser shoots out from the corresponding eye in horizontal or vertical direction, depending on which way the lion head was facing.
If the laser connects with another lion head the laser beam becomes stable. And the players can see a much larger laser shoot across the canyon between two corresponding lion heads on a much greater scale. But the light of the laser is still too weak to reveal a path underneath. Only when PCs connect all the lasers the correct way do the lasers shine bright enough to reveal the path through the magical darkness.
With Laser Puzzles you can create a massive canyon with little islands and multiple puzzles and bridges leading in different directions. They could even present a way to travel through the abyss or shadowfell. Your choice.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
- D&D Pillar Puzzles: they go together very well thematically.
- Puzzles that Require Teamwork.
- Elemental puzzles for D&D: Add more depth to your bridge puzzle by adding an element!
How to Use Bridge Puzzles to Build a Bridge
For our second idea, we like to use Runestone Puzzles, available in our webshop.
With Runestone Puzzles you can create your own puzzle design. And one option is to lay out floating runestones in a string (like domino’s).
So you can start out with a rune-covered steppingstone on each side of a ravine and give the players all other runestones to create a bridge. But the floatation magic only works if the rune symbols on each rune match with the previous stone.
So players lay the first stone by matching its symbol with the anchor stone on their side of the ravine. Next, they can walk onto the floating stone they just laid to place the next stone and so on. Of course, as they progress and they have fewer stones to work with, finding matching symbols becomes increasingly difficult. So they will have to plan out how they place stones very carefully.
And then there’s the fact that floating stones are very wobbly and it’s easy to slide off. And there’s also the dragon interfering while they try to solve the bridge puzzle. Or maybe not. Your choice.
All these puzzles are available as individual packs in our webshop. But if you are interested in even more puzzles be sure to check out our Puzzle Bundle. It contains hundreds of puzzles for your D&D game. Many of which you can easily adapt to use as a bridge puzzle.
Dark Ulf is the founder and editor of DNDpuzzles.com. When not writing for DNDpuzzles he travels the multiverse and destroys demons with a crossbow in one hand and a crossword in the other.
We hope this site inspires you to put more puzzles into your D&D games.