Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Trap #7

We're going to try a little experiment today. I'm getting rid of the six short entries at the front of these trap stat blocks and adding a third longer entry at the end. Also, I'm going to try to take more liberties with adding to traps from here on out. "Inspiration, not dictation" is a great motto for these traps; otherwise you can just roll them up yourself. This trap is intended to be something that can be used in battle, both against or by the PCs, though the latter will be pretty risky.

15: Magical Devices
1: Latch/Switch Trigger
8: Curse

Description: On a wall is a lever in the "up" position. On the end of the handle of the lever is a symbol; it shows a flask being poured out inside a shield design. If the lever is pulled, randomly select a character in the room that is NOT touching the lever; that character is cursed and their prime attribute (or, at your option, a random attribute) is dropped to 3 until the curse is removed. The lever gains energy from the drained attribute and resets itself with that energy, moving bace to the "up" position. The area around the lever (~5 foot radius from lever) is bathed in a sickly blue, occasionally flickering, obviously unnatural light; the source of this light is a small panel in the ceiling. Taking inspiration from here, the blue light prevents any character with a Strength score over 9 to enter the area it bathes.

Detection/Disarming: The lever is easy to see, and a Detect Magic spell will clearly show that it is magical. The symbol on the lever is difficult to understand, but clever players may deduce that the lever is intended for defense (the shield) by draining or pouring out (the flask being poured out) something of the target (the ability score). Dispel Magic or physical violence are effective ways to destroy the trap, but give the PCs a 75% chance to knock the lever down, triggering the trap again, if they do not specifically state precautions the PCs take to avoid this; also, note that a PC that, say, clubs the lever down is vulnerable to the curse, since that PC is not touching the lever. The panel emitting the blue light is also powered by the drained ability scores. If the lever is destroyed, the panel will cease to emit light. If removed, the panel could fetch a good price from the right buyer.

Designer: This trap was placed by a magic-user of some sort who was afraid of being attacked. The idea was that, if he was attacked, he would flee to this room and pull the lever as much as he could, weakening his attackers, all while being protected from most fighters by the blue light. He'd then finish them off in more normal ways. This magic-user could still be around or he might be long gone. If he's gone, the trap may seem random and disjointed from the nearby occupants and rooms; newer residents may or may not be smart enough to use this trap in violent encounters with the PCs.