Riddle me this...
"My challenge has made men throughout time stumble,
I have defeated kings and left wise men humble,
You see me now, but I am most often heard,
and have killed men when with bullets paired,
You might break a sweat when fighting with me,
but I'll exert no pressure on your body,
a with a direct approach you can never find victory,
work laterally rather than literally.
What am I?"
Well, if you didn't guess it based on the subject of this post then I think maybe there is no hope for you. It's a riddle!
Preparing for a session can take a load of time. Riddles are a great way to challenge your players without any extra preparation from you. Depending on how hard the riddle is, you might create 30 minutes of engaged head scratching by your players.
Dungeons and Dragons is replete with troublesome Trolls and worrying Wizards. While your party might have the tendency murder-hobo their way through an encounter, a riddle can stop them in their tracks and make them think!
So, here are 25 great riddles to spice up your Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
"What always runs but never walks.
Often murmurs, never talks.
Has a bed but never sleeps.
An open mouth that never eats?"
I love this riddle. It's really challenging if you haven't heard it before but is totally logical. So when you get it the penny drops in a satisfying way. The answer is an element of nature so it would fit in great for a fantasy or historical setting. You could have it asked by an aquatic creature ask the question to allow the part to ford a river or even have it inscribed on a door and, when the party get the answer, the door opens only to release a torrent of water which has been held back. The answer for this riddle is a river.
The subject of this riddle has always been fixating to many people over the ages. Part of many mythologies and legends. I've often wondered what it is about it which resonates so intrinsically with us that people will pilgrimage hundreds of miles just to look at it. Needless to say that the answer to this riddle, a waterfall, can easily be tied into a non-combat encounter to add some mythological depth to your session and get your players brains ticking.
You can hear the water droplets rhythmically hitting the ground as you and your party continue into the cave. As you leave warmth of daylight for the cold embrace of the Underdark, a thick darkness surrounds you and your adventuring fellows. Suddenly, all of your light sources snuff out and a women's voice whispers a riddle.
The group readies itself for an attack but before it comes a party member blurts out "A candle!" Instantly, a single candle lights revealing the face of your questioner.
What is it that given one,
you’ll have either two or none?
You delve ever more deeply into the catacombs, following the winding and pressing corridors into the deepest bowls of the city.
Squeezing through an especially narrow bottle neck, you and your party find yourself in a room which splits off into many tunnels and passages.
In typical fashion, the bard pipes up first: "Well, this is great. How the hell are we supposed to know where to go now?"
Not a moment later a cold pressure rolled into the room and a billowing voice echoes oppressively around the room: "Foolish children, you have come this far but you do not know 'What is it that given one, you'll have either two or none?' Answer me or have this room be your grave."
You all exchange puzzled looks, trying to figure out the answer. The rolling echoes of the voice grows quieter, but its words linger in your mind.
With as little hesitation as humanly possible, the bard once again about burst "A choice!"
The walls rumble and the room becomes hazy with the dust of untouched decades, and within the blink of an eye the multitude of corridors move, begin to merge and fully join into a single passageway forward.
If you drop me, I’m sure to crack.
Give me a smile, and I’ll always smile back.
~ A mirror
Never resting, never still.
Moving silently from hill to hill.
It does not walk, run or trot.
All is cool where it is not.
A father’s child,
a mother’s child,
yet no one’s son.
Who am I?
~ The daughter
What has cities, but no houses;
forests, but no trees;
and water, but no fish?
~ A map
Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I’m double, I’m single, I’m black, blue, and grey,
I’m read from both ends,
And the same either way.
The cost of making only the maker knows,
Valueless if bought, but sometimes traded.
A poor man may give one as easily as a king.
When one is broken pain and deceit are assured.
~ A Promise
I am born in fear,
raised in truth,
and I come to my own in deed.
When comes a time that I’m called forth,
I come to serve the cause of need.
What falls but never breaks? What breaks but never falls?
~ Night and Day
What goes through a door but never goes in or comes out?
~ A keyhole
What does man love more than life
Fear more than death or mortal strife
What the poor have, the rich lack, and what contented men desire,
What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves
And all men carry to their graves?
Three lives have I.
Gentle enough to soothe the skin,
Light enough to caress the sky,
Hard enough to crack rocks.
~ I am Water
Often held but never touched,
always wet but never rusts,
often bites but seldom bit,
to use me well you must have wit.
What is it that you ought to keep after you have given it to someone else?
~ Your word
Man walks over, man walks under, in times of war he burns asunder.
~ A bridge
Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it,
Five in the middle is seen;
First of all letter, the first of all numbers, Take up their stations between.
Join all together, and then you will bring
Before you the name of an eminent king.
~ DAVID (Roman numerals)
You saw me where I never was and where I could not be. And yet within that very place, my face you often see.
~ A reflection
One by one we fall from heaven down into the depths of past,
And our world is ever upturned so that yet some time we’ll last.
~ Sands in an hourglass
Alive without breath,
As cold as death,
Clad in mail never clinking,
Never thirsty, ever drinking
~ A fish
I go around in circles,
But always straight ahead
No matter where I am led.
A thousand coloured folds stretch toward the sky,
Atop a tender strand,
Rising from the land,
‘Til killed by maiden’s hand,
Perhaps a token of love, perhaps to say goodbye.
~ A Flower
Well, that's our top 25 riddles for D&D. We hope these prove useful in enhancing your sessions and bringing some new challenges to your sessions.
Still not had enough riddles? Checkout our D&D RIDDLES - THE DM'S MEGA LIST →