A Village Name That’s a Funny Puzzle

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0705

Here’s a funny, simple puzzle for your game.

My mom is reading a book called The Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman. In it there’s a place called Saint Ophere.

Turns out the place was named because someone long ago misread a sign.

The sign read:

Stop here

Stop here with some punctuation becomes St. Ophere.

A little humorous. But when she told me, I immediately thought, aha! A great puzzle.

Here’s how I’d roll it out in-game.

There’s a sign previous adventures left for their baggage train and hirelings to stop and make camp. The adventurers went ahead to explore a cave they discovered (or whatever kind of adventure site you need in your game) and never came back. The hirelings returned to town and told exaggerated tales. And the only literate one, not being the sharpest arrow in the quiver, misread the sign.

I’d only say the sign text out loud to the players: “Go to Saint Ophere.”

Let the PCs find at least three signs, the last reading “Stop here.”

The rest is for the players to figure out. If they catch on immediately, they’ll have a good chuckle.

If they don’t figure it out, it becomes a great puzzle. Thanks mom.