Saturday, November 7, 2015

Riddle Me This

A necromancer is exploring a dungeon with his trusty skeleton bodyguard, a charmed goblin, and a big bag of loot. He comes to a river of lava cutting across a chamber, preventing further progress to those without magical assistance.

The necromancer casts fly on himself, and then floating disk. But he has a problem. The floating disk is only big enough to carry one of the three -- skeleton, goblin, treasure -- at a time.

If he leaves the skeleton and goblin alone, the skeleton will kill the goblin. If he leaves the goblin and treasure alone, the goblin will make off with it.

So what's the optimal way for the necromancer to get his henchmen and loot across the lava?


  1. Let's see...he can't leave the goblin alone with the treasure, but he can't leave the skeleton alone with the goblin.

    It sounds like one will need to be left behind because, even if he ferries the goblin first (since the skeleton can be safely left alone with the treasure), once he goes back for the second he ends up with same problem (who do you drop off with the goblin while you go back for the final load?).

    In the end, I can only think to do what's EASIEST for the necromancer. Take the goblin first. Take the skeleton second. Take the treasure third. Then raise the goblin as a zombie to carry the loot. Serves him right for being unreliable help.

  2. Why can't the Necromancer give specific orders to the skeleton to not harm the goblin?

  3. I believe the traditional answer is to take the goblin across, go back and get the treasure, take it across, bring the goblin back and take the skeleton across, and finally go bring the goblin across a second time.

  4. Simon J., that's the traditional answer, but what I was thinking is closer to JB's answer, and should show why JDsivraj could do that, but might not want to.

    First, the necromancer should take the treasure across, then bring it right back. While he's away, the skeleton slays the goblin. The necromancer casts animate dead, gaining a 2HD zombie instead of a 1-1HD goblin flunky. Then take either the skeleton or the zombie across, go back for the treasure, and then finally the last of the undead.

    JB's way leaves the treasure unguarded on the far side for a while, and you never know when the DM may roll for a wandering monster. :D