Death from above! Designing traps.

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  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited October 2006
    We once entered a dungeon where the DM had traped EVERYTHING. Well pretty much everything. Open a door? Get asploded. Move? Trip a wire that shoots a poison arrow at you. Open a chest? lose a limb. It was just too much.

    I remember getting bored very quickly and convincing the party that we didn't need to find the amulet that would stop the dead from fucking with us. (and not doing so also set up an awesome Hack'n'Slash graveyard raid then an epic battle with the necromancer)

    Traps are awesome, just don't over use them. It isn't fun to have to spend all of your time looking for traps.

    noobert on
  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2006
    We played a game on Friday that had a rather nice little trap work out extremely well. It was a simple one - there is a dead adventurer in the center of the room. He shows obvious signs of how he died - he has been stabbed repeatedly and has a number of arrows sticking out of his back. Upon searching the room, the adventurers found a very, very thin silver wire running from the corpse, along the floor, up the wall and across the ceiling to a thin hole about an inch across. Nobody had "disable device" as a skill, so instead of cutting the wire or trying to plug the hole, the party just jerked the body as hard as they could, which was about the worst thing they could do.

    A thunderstone dropped from the hole and struck the stone floor, detonating and deafening the entire party (no passed fortitude checks). The party had found a secret door, and decided to check it out before opening the double doors on the other side of the room.

    Well, while they were opening the secret door, the double doors were opened by a Wererat rogue who was alterted to their presence by the thunderstone. Being unable to hear him for the next few rounds, and facing the wrong way to see him come in, the mage suffered a backstab attack before they realized what was happening.

    Rankenphile on
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  • gredavingredavin Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    A normal room with two doors, situated on opposite ends of the room from each other. The group walks into the room and move over to the next door. Open it and step through. The second door has a seamless teleport spell which sends them back to door #1. Infinite Hallway.

    Wouldn't take them long to figure that out.

    Pit trap with the same idea, except when they fall 20 feet down, the teleport sends them 10 feet up. Bottomless pit/infinite fall.

    gredavin on
  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Three carpets in a hallway, each short enough to jump over.

    The first covers a simple pit trap.

    The second covers a pit trap with an invisable wall over the carpet. Try to jump it, hit the wall and bam, in the pit.

    The third trap is as the second, with convenient hand-holds in the sides of the walls. The bottom of the pit is a pressure plate, that causes the pit to seal, with the party inside.

    Legionnaired on
  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Three carpets in a hallway, each short enough to jump over.

    The first covers a simple pit trap.

    The second covers a pit trap with an invisable wall over the carpet. Try to jump it, hit the wall and bam, in the pit.

    The third trap is as the second, with convenient hand-holds in the sides of the walls. The bottom of the pit is a pressure plate, that causes the pit to seal, with the party inside.

    It's reasons like this that my characters always carry a pole-arm, chain, or some other weapon that I can use to test everything I come across.

    Also why I like having a pad of paper to talk with the DM while testing out traps, so I can figure them out without informing the party, and extort money from them ;p

    tehmarken on
  • Burnt out mageBurnt out mage Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I like doing a couple of traps in a row springing one just as the party think they have escaped from the first one.

    In one of my dungeons the party turn a corner and see a door 100ft away at the end of the corridor. In the corridor is a pressure plate which when stepped on cause the wall at the opposite end of the corridor to start slowly moving in (moves 20ft per round for a unavoidable amount of crushing damage). The party run to the end of the corridor to discover the door is actually a solid reinforced bit of wood blocking the entire corridor and painted to resemble a door, they start hacking at it and shoulder barging. The door collapses and theres a pit on the other side 10ft wide 10 ft deep (reflex save for the guy who shoulder barged the door down to avoid falling in). The really evil bit is the floor on the other side of the pit is another pressure plate which starts filling the pit with lava so while the first player can climp down into the pit and then out the other side everybody else is going to have to jump it whilst the wall is closing in behinf them threatning to push them in and cutting off their room so they can't get a run up.
    The party make it into the new room to discover there is only one apparent exit a bricked up archway, just as they start to catch their breath they realise the lava isn't stopping at the top of the pit but is overflowing into the room. Fortunately a mural on the wall hints at a secret exit which they manage to find just in time and escape (had they bashed down the bricked up archway they would have found a 10ft by 10ft room with a long dead skeleton chained to the wall).

    This series of traps in a row led to a really fun/hectic session.

    Burnt out mage on
  • busfahrerbusfahrer Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Andorien wrote:
    I recall a rather devious trap (could be used in any game really).

    You have a single, somewhat large room filled with bones, corpses, etc. Line the walls with whatever deadly looking devices you like. There is a single entrance/exit in the room. On the far wall from the door is a clock with a button under it.

    When the adventurers enter the room, the door closes and locks behind them, and the clock begins to tick down. Should one of the adventurers hit the button, the clock will reset and count down from the beginning.

    Most likely, one of them will hit the button before the clock finishes its first count down, and the rest of the party will search the room while one of them keeps mashing the button. There is no way to open the door, and the room contains no other way out.

    Should the clock finish its count down, the door will slid open.

    I think a vein in my head just popped.

    busfahrer on
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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I've always liked the traps in Tomb of Iuchiban.

    Start out simple, to lure the foolish into a false sense of security. The outer ring of traps were designed to be solvable.

    The inner ring, however... they were designed to *kill*. Of course, the Tomb is breaking down due to the Big I's influence, and so it's actually possible to get past some...

    Friends in Need is a awesome one, IMO. It's a standard "walls closing in" trap, except there's a alcove that could hold maybe one or two people, keeping them safe from the walls.

    The idea is to break out squabbling within a party of Bloodspeakers to who lives or dies. Perhaps even a fight, maybe killing one or two of the party members, and sending waves of distrust through them.

    Of course, the walls don't actually touch. They stop about 18" from each other, then start to roll back, giving the people who were "left for dead" a chance for retribution. (Party members will probably be more honorable, though. Good chance to prove it.)

    Endless Corridors are fun as well. A room who has a spell placed on it that works off spatial perception and player's unconscious belief that if the corrodor looks infinite, it *is*. Doesn't matter if you "disbelieve" the illusion, the player's eyes are telling them that the corrodor is infinite, which is enough to trigger it.

    Easy way out, as well. Just cut out all visual stimulai. If the players want to cut out their own eyes, that'll work just fine. Closing your eyes, walking forward until you hit the far wall, then turning left and walking through the doorway at the end will work as well.

    PMAvers on
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  • InxInx Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    A friend was telling me about a very simple, evil trap that he uses that works every time:

    A rop hangs from the cieling with a sign that says "Pull for bears".

    Ivariably, SOMEONE will pull the rope.

    Bears flood into the room from the cieling and hidden alcoves. HUNGRY bears.

    Inx on
  • TreboriasTreborias Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Here's a devious trap for your paranoid Rogues. Should you ever DM for a party that insists that the rogue search every door, nook and cranny for a trap do this. Make the Search check activate the trap, or lead to a trap that does nothing other than hurt the rogue. Example

    The rogue beats the DC 25 search check and finds the trap, make the DC of the trap ridiculously high, so that the Rogue will fail by 5 or more, thereby activating the trap. The party the wonders why the trap doesn't reset, the trap hides nothing, leads nowhere,and absolutely nothing happens other than the rogue getting injured. So had the rogue not searched for the trap, he never would have gotten hurt in the first place.

    Treborias on
    "Sit down, relax, I just want to ask you some questions.": The Interrogator/Umbrage
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited October 2006
    If I have thieves checking every door obsessively for traps, I put spiked pits just behind the door. They check the door for traps, find none, open it, step through and fall into the pit.

    Aroused Bull on
  • TreboriasTreborias Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    If I have thieves checking every door obsessively for traps, I put spiked pits just behind the door. They check the door for traps, find none, open it, step through and fall into the pit.

    Generally if you have a paranoid group though, theyy'll be smart and send the fighter in first. Still a good way to piss the fighter off at the rogue though.

    Treborias on
    "Sit down, relax, I just want to ask you some questions.": The Interrogator/Umbrage
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Of course, if you have the opposite problem (walking blindly into things) and/or you really want to mess with their heads, you need a good old fashioned chess trap (or suitable local equivalent, depending on setting):

    The room they enter is set up like a giant chess board and the only exit is locked. As they enter, the pieces appear and white makes the first move, leaving the players to play the black side. they are totally free to wander about, but the pieces don't know they're there and will hurt them if they get in the way.
    So, they play the game (depending on how well you play chess/how vindictive you're feeling, you can either either do the whole game as an opposed int roll vs. the level of the spellcaster that made the board (your Big Bad du jour, mostly) or you can make them actually play you, or something in between) when the game finishes, all the squares of the colour of the losing side disappear, revealing the pit traps underneath.
    None of this is even faintly relevant though, as the locked door is just a door with a lock, and they found the key on the body of one of the guards in the first room of the dungeon. If they'd just carried on and opened the door, they need never have found out about the pits...

    This is especially effective on Harry Potter fanboys... :twisted:

    It also works even better the second time, when the pieces move of their own accord and they try to stop the game by smashing them, fearing the pits. Of course, the only way to get past this one is to let the game finish, at which point the door unlocks with a loud click... Of course, should they manage to destroy some of the pieces, they either have to wait for the reset (once a day) or they set off the booby-traps in the pieces themselves...

    Most all of this should be detectable by the standard means, but if you (as DM) play it right, they won't even try, at which point they're toast... :twisted:

    Mr_Rose on
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  • KKprofitKKprofit Registered User
    edited October 2006
    One trap I threw at a party...

    An anti-rogue device. It is clearly a trap... but there is no mechanism to activate it... except for attempting to disarm the trap. So I guess its not really a trap in the "I can disable it" kind of sense... more in the if you try and disable it it goes off. I usually attach it to an explosive charge... and even then only when the party needs a kick in the pants.

    KKprofit on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Here is an old favorite:

    Have a door that locks/unlocks itself whenever the knob is turned. The party rogue approaches the door and checks it out.

    DM: "It does not appear to be locked"
    Rogue: "Okay, I open the door"
    DM: "You can't, it's locked."
    Rogue: "??? Alright, I pick it."
    DM: "Okay it's unlocked now."
    Rogue: "Alright, going through the door then."
    DM: "You can't, it's locked."
    Rogue: /headdesk

    DeVryGuy on
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  • Burnt out mageBurnt out mage Registered User
    edited October 2006
    The party enter a room containing in an impressive metal thron upon which sits the motionless form of a large spiked suit of armour. In one of the armour's hands sits a key or other necessary item the party must get, it is held out in the open palm of the armour as if inviting someone to take it. The other hand holds a large vicious looking sword resting across the armours knees as it sits on the throne. Above the throne there is an inscription on the wall

    "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once."

    Walking up to the armour and taking the key from its hand is the only way to retrieve it, any cowardly attempts to retrieve it such as mage hand, knocking it out of the hand with a weapon etc result in the fist closing tightly around the key and the armour animates and attacks.

    This works best when the party have already fought a very tough battle against a similar animated suit of armour as even if they figure out the clue in the inscription they will still be very wary of just walking up and taking the key.

    Burnt out mage on
  • awesome_andyawesome_andy Registered User
    edited October 2006
    10 foot long chiminey and a very large grey ooze in a trap compartment at the top of it.

    awesome_andy on
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  • Burnt out mageBurnt out mage Registered User
    edited October 2006
    The party come to a crossroads in the dungeon they are exploring, however where all the paths meet there is also a shaft heading straight up and straight down filing the width of the corridor meaning to get to another passageway the players must either leap across or step around the corners over the pit
    I I
    ___I I____
    ___ S ____
    I I
    I I

    A rope descends from the darkness at the top of the shaft and continues all the way down towards the bottom of the shaft dissapearing into the darkness. Light spells, darkvision etc reveals the rope leads upwards to a platform next to a doorway approx 2 stories up. At the bottom of the shaft the rope stops approx 5 ft above a pool of murky water. The passageway directly opposite the one the players entered by is a row of steps ascending out of view of the players current line of sight, the passageways to the right and left each go straight on for about 15ft before ending with a plain wooden door.


    Now for a bit of fun rather than reveal my trap why don't a few people post what they or their party would do here and then I'll post a desription of the trap and what happened when my party encountered it.

    Burnt out mage on
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    KKprofit wrote:
    One trap I threw at a party...

    An anti-rogue device. It is clearly a trap... but there is no mechanism to activate it... except for attempting to disarm the trap. So I guess its not really a trap in the "I can disable it" kind of sense... more in the if you try and disable it it goes off. I usually attach it to an explosive charge... and even then only when the party needs a kick in the pants.

    "I found a trap, but uh... it doesn't seem to have a trigger, so uh... let's keep moving."

    If a rogue can detect the trap and determine how to disable the trap, it's kind of BS to tell him that he can't tell that there's no way to actually trigger the trap without fiddling with it. >>

    INeedNoSalt on
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Now for a bit of fun rather than reveal my trap why don't a few people post what they or their party would do here and then I'll post a desription of the trap and what happened when my party encountered it.

    They would probably hook the rope and draw it close to them without leaning out over the pit, then yank it hard. If it nothing happened they'd probably go around the pit via the corners to get to the stairs, which they'd ascend without checking for traps.

    Aroused Bull on
  • Burnt out mageBurnt out mage Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Identical to my party, they hooked the rope and tugged on it. Nothing happened for 5 secs when it deatched from the top of the shaft ( the platform and door are a fake leading knowhere ) so anybody climbing the rope or anyone who gives the rope a tug thinks its okay and then swings across on it falls down the shaft into a pool of water full of a swarm of flesh eating beasties. The stairs lead up to a door which is trapped turning the handle causes the stairs to rotate into a slide covered in the equivalent of the grease spell sending everybody into the shaft. Once in the pit the players can see a large metal grille on their right with a ladder leading up but the grille is barred from the other side. Anybody who takes the right hand passage at the crossroads discovers this ladder leading down to the water there is a woode platform just above the surface and the grille is easily unbarred from this side, there are also several rusted polearms which look like they have been used to fish bodies out of the water. The door to the left at the crossroads is untrapped and leads further into the dungeon.

    Burnt out mage on
  • KimihiroKimihiro __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2006
    I don't know if you'd classify this as a trap, per se, but it sure as hell tricked my party when my DM did this to us last session.

    Basically, we were in this forest when we saw this peculiar stone on the ground. It was a large slab which, upon inspection by our sorcerer, had elven writing on it in *really* small lettering. She related this to our elven rogue/bard who translated it to say, "What is the letter that most represents death?" After a good deal of stupid guesses and no response, she said the sentence in Elven and a larger slab slid out of the ground about 4 or 5 metres away.

    Our sorcerer notices the new rock and we all move towards it. When she looked at it she found that there was a variety of incoherent writing, all to do with divination, necromancy and teleportation magicks. We try saying the sentence and nothing happens. Then we tried saying a letter, and a pretty powerful ghost appeared for us to attempt to kill (being a low-level party it wasn't the most fun, heh).

    We found out after saying 3 or 4 letters that the strength of the ghost that appeared was dependent upon the letter of the alphabet we chose. For example, A would produce a weak ghost and Z would produce a very very strong ghost. We eventually had to run away because our spellcasters ran out of turn spells. D:

    This is a veeeeery cruel trick to play on a curious party, or a greedy party. It's also a good way to waste time.

    Kimihiro on
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