Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday Trap #2

Tuesday Trap Time, albeit late. I'm not sure if fleshed-out traps just take a lot of space to cover adequately or if I just need to work on being less verbose when describing traps. I feel like I'm writing a stat block for a rules-heavy system or something… we'll see if I can get these more succinct as I continue this series, I suppose. In the meantime, at least this trap works.

My Rolls:
2: Pit
10: Breakaway
2: 10' Deep
14: Poisoned Spike
3: Number of spikes with a chance to hit
4: THAC0 of 18
16: Average trap damage range of 6d6
5: Number of items rolled up for bottom of the trap
59: Broken wooden ladder rungs
36: Snake skeleton
78: Smashed eggs
72: Ivory scroll case
42: Brass ring

Trigger: Pressure
Save: Trap only is triggered 1/6 of the time/ Dwarf stonecraft check if your system uses them/ Optional weight minimum to trigger /Poison
Reset: Manual
Effects: Poison
Duration: Instant
Bypass: None/ Optional low weight

Description: This trap can easily be placed in three situations. The first is your standard "I/ the bad guys that live in this dungeon want to make it dangerous for strangers to traipse about this dungeon." Not as fun as the other two options, in my opinion, because it doesn't make as much sense, seeing as this is an expensive and extra-deadly trap, but it'll work.

Situation two is to place this pit trap in the obvious path to some treasure. There may or may not be an easy way to walk around it.

Situation three is that this trap is placed in an NPC's lair. If confronted and unsure of victory, the NPC will flee via an escape passage (which may or may not be hidden by a tapestry, painting, bookshelf, false wall, etc.) which is thin enough to force anyone going through it to step on the top of this pit trap. The NPC should be lighter than your average PC.

The trap is situated in a place with a floor that is made of stone. Possible options include stone tiles, solid stone and irregular chunks of stone. The chances of noticing the trap should probably be higher if the floor is solid and continuous.

The pit has a lid that is a slab of stone that has been weakened on the underside. If the general floor is continuous, the edges of the slab may be camouflaged with dust; if the floor is made up of tiles, the lid is a tile. When sufficient pressure is put on the lid, it will break apart, dropping anyone on the lid into the pit. The fragments of the lid will be quite big and will contribute to the damage suffered by anyone who falls into the pit. The pit will only be triggered on a roll of 1 on a d6. If more than one character steps on the lid at a time, roll again each time a new character steps on the lid, increasing the chance of the trap being triggered by one, cumulatively. 

That is, if Hogarth steps on the trap, roll a d6 and trigger the trap if you roll a 1. If Stella steps on the trap while Hogarth is still standing on it, roll a d6 again and trigger the trap if you roll a 1 or a 2. If Bill steps on the trap while Hogarth and Stella are both still on the trap, roll a d6 once more and trigger the trap if you roll a 1, 2 or 3 and so on.

If you keep track of your players' characters' encumbrance to the degree where you know how much your players' characters weigh, you can say that pressure below a certain weight will not trigger the trap, a certain range of weight will trigger the trap on 1/6 and pressure above a certain weight will trigger the trap on a 2/6, etc.

If you are running an NPC that uses this trap in an escape route, the NPC can automatically not trigger the trap at your option, depending on how competent your NPC is in designing and producing traps.

The trap is 10 feet/3 meters deep. A character that falls in will automatically take falling damage according to your system of choice's rules for falling damage (1d6 dmg suggested if your system doesn't include falling damage) and damage from the chunks of the lid falling on them (another 1d6 dmg).

There are spikes at the bottom of the pit with a distribution so that each character that falls in has a chance to be injured by three spikes. The spikes each hit at +2 (someone please correct me if that's an incorrect translation of a THAC0 of 18) and do 1d6 damage.

The spikes are also poisoned. Any character hurt by a spike must save against poison or take an additional 1d6 damage and begin to hallucinate. The player should not be informed that the character is hallucinating, but you should inform the player that the character is seeing strange things of your choosing at regular intervals. Ideally, these hallucinations should make safe situations seem absurdly dangerous and dangerous situations seem laughably safe. An example might be seeing a gelatinous cube slipping down a perfectly safe and empty stairway or seeing a contingent of benevolent demi-humans menacing an evil sorcerer who is in fact alone and able to devote all of her attention to fighting the PCs. These hallucinations should last for 1d4 game sessions and then go away as the poison works its way out of the character's system.

At the bottom of the pit, among the spikes, are broken wooden ladder rungs, a snake skeleton, the rotting, smeared remains of broken eggs, an ivory scroll case (covered in egg residue) and a cheap brass ring with the insignia of an ancient minor kingdom, a secret society in your setting, a favorite chariot racer, or something like that on it.

Detection/Disarming: This trap is difficult to detect, but not impossible. Ideally, the context of the trap will be the biggest clue that there may be a trap in the area; players should not expect that, for example, a treasure on conspicuous display in a room is not guarded by a trap of some sort.

Mere poking with a 10 foot pole will not reveal the presence of this trap, though a hollow sound may be produced if a 10 foot pole is thwacked against the lid instead of merely tapped. If large amounts of pressure are exerted against the lid, it will break according to the normal procedure outlined above. Other methods of detecting pit traps, like watching the behavior of liquid cast about the floor to check for the liquid dripping through seams of a lid, should generally work as makes sense to you. Reward efforts obviously meant to detect a pit trap.

The trap may also be detected passively if your particualar ruleset allows for that. This trap counts as stonework for the purpose of detection by a dwarf. At your option, you may modify the chances of detection to be poorer than normal, especially if the floor is tiled.

This trap may be disarmed by covering it with something that can support more weight than the lid can. It can also be rendered obvious by triggering it. If PCs are particularly zealous in their efforts, the trap could be filled with rubble to render it completely safe.