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"Favorite Dungeon Trap?" Topic

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04 Nov 2017 7:28 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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709 hits since 18 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Mar 2017 10:33 a.m. PST

Do you have a favorite?

JLA10518 Mar 2017 10:49 a.m. PST

The Whipped Cream Pit Trap in Grimtooth's Traps. The character falls into a 15' deep pit which is filled with whipped cream…you can't swim in it, can't breathe it and can't really brag about how your character died.

Chris Wimbrow18 Mar 2017 10:59 a.m. PST

A cylindrical room with multiple doors that imperceptibly spins and/or goes up or down. Watch the map-making character squirm.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

The false ceiling which drops down when you try to open the false door on the far side of the room.

shirleylyn Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

I'll be dating myself here, but when I was in a RPG club in the mid-1980's, our GM had a series of soft back manuals with very cool traps. I honestly can't remember the name of the series, but they were neat.

The traps were drawn and a written discription of how the trap worked. They were also "rated" in, IIRCC, SKULLS, 1-4 or something(again, if I am remembering correctly. when did I become 40something?LOL) to show how deadly the trap was.

Anyway, if I could remember the name of the series(there were at least 6 books. maybe more) I'd most likely buy them just for gigils.

Anyone remember them?

CeruLucifus18 Mar 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

Don't have a favorite. I like ones the give a nonlethal warning and which characters can then puzzle their way out of.

Mardaddy Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

Grimtooth's traps?


There were four total. They made "Too", "Fore" and "Ate" bypassing 3, 5, 6 & 7 because those numbers lacked homonyms.

Look it up.

Mardaddy Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

Back OT…

From the original Tomb of Horrors: Room divided into two areas you can walk, with two pits, one in the middle, one on the opposing end of the room. Moderately easy to jump the first pit, but the floor on that other side is greased and if you jump you slide into the pit on the other side.

OR – the 20ft pit trap with 5ft of Green Slime inside of it. Fall in, even if you escape fall damage, you are now head to toe in Green Slime, cannot scrape it off because it is too deep, only chance is to climb out while covered in slippery slime eating away you and your equipment.

A 7th level Ranger was saved from this trap by a quick-thinking wizard who cast fireball into the trap. Yes, the Ranger took damage, but far less aggregate to him and his equipment than if he attempted to climb out with all the negatives.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

To stumble into:

The magical riddle trap. I love having the riddle battle with the monster/disembodied voice/piece of parchment. It's just a lot of fun for me.

To plan:

The good old-fashioned cave in. It's so versatile.

- Players going too fast? Break a leg or two.
- Wow! the Amulet of Infinite Power is really useful here … too bad a rock broke it in half.
- Players too smart to split up? Yeah, well, sometimes nature decides for you.
- You know, fireballs explode with a lot of concussive force and the ceiling doesn't look too firm …
- No matter how many consecutive stealth rolls the party seems to be able to pull off, that collapsing floor never seems to make its save.

Plus, there's just the good old plain logic in being able to not have someone weasel around it. Great innovative solution there. Started another cave-in. Have some more damage. Try again?

And it's even good for helping the party!

- Did they skip that really important bit? Send them back to go around.
- Getting too beat up? Crap! The walls fell in. Oh … look … a short cut to the next level!
- Being chased to death? Well, take a little damage, and get cut off from your pursuers.
- Likewise, just, can't seem to catch the goblin with the Map of Mongodore? Good thing his leg is pinned under a boulder now!
- Did the revenant thaumaturge that is beating the party down just summon a tornado? … indoors?

It's even a basic plot device …
- What is that shiny thing the cave in uncovered?
- Dwarf construction falling apart? Unbelievable! Unless something else is going on …
- Think you're just heading back to the tavern the way you came in? Think again!

One simple, believable device with tons and tons and tons of different types and degrees of use.

Weasel18 Mar 2017 3:31 p.m. PST

Illusionary bridge over a monster pit.

The real bridge is next to it and invisible.

Stryderg18 Mar 2017 5:01 p.m. PST

Door at the end of a hall. Open the door and you see a shaft with stuff falling from the ceiling, over and over again. Teleportation portal at the bottom of the shaft that sends it all to the top. Now watch the players try figure out how to get at the really cool gear that's just flying past.

Toaster18 Mar 2017 5:02 p.m. PST

I always loved the coward traps, you know they wait in the corridor while they send the thief forward to loot the idol only to find that pulling the eyes out of the idol collapses the corridor.


whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

A dungeon master

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 6:23 p.m. PST

Ah, that would be telling, wouldn't it? wink

But I do *love* coming up with kobold trapsó low tech, made from dungeon environs, and very sneaky. Not always lethal, but that can be even more fun.

I also like the puzzle trap, usually magical, where all the clues are present, but the players have to make that leap of logic or suffer the consequences.

I will say that I'm actually *not* a fan of lethal traps. I never considere it my job as a DM to kill the characters, but instead to ensure there is a challenging adventure with a story the players will enjoy and remember.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 6:57 p.m. PST

Sand trap with the room slowly filling up.

Capt Flash22 Mar 2017 5:00 a.m. PST

Soul stealing gem resting on a pillow in a glass display case set on a plinth as a prized possession.

Der Krieg Geist Inactive Member04 Apr 2017 9:40 a.m. PST

long hallway with greased channels in both walls at neck level,huge blade up a shaft at other end of hall, trip trap and high speed horizontal guillotine races down hall accelerated by drop from shaft and weight.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 4:34 p.m. PST

From the original Tomb of Horrors

Took a party of around 20 into their once only like 5 came out and two to them were trap in the Orb.

One very nasty place.

The Pit of Green Slime is always good when you have low level characters since about the only way you can survive it is to have a Priest or Paladin with Cure Disease.

Otherwise they are dead.

Was running in a dungeon and Green Slime fell on two of the members and we had no one who with that spell.

Had to put both of them down so that we could burn it.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

Another favorite trap is one where the party moves down the hallway and floor releases 1-2 Ghost in front of them.

Which would cause them to age if they don't pass their check and then releases 1-2 Ghost behind them as well.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 4:39 p.m. PST

Then there is the struck door where they had to use brut force to get it open.

But the door is a trap where once they do force it open it drops and turns into a slide that drops party members into a 100 foot pit.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

I always thought this was a very funny trap story:

Mike [Monard] told us the story of one of Gary [Gygax]'s lesser players who decided to go adventuring alone. He encountered a room filled with gems. Apparently, he didn't suspect that Gary was trying anything devious: he ran into the room and started reveling in his treasure.
"It's great!" said Gary… "You're in gems up to your ankles!"

The player showered himself with gems like Daffy Duck. "I'm independently wealthy!"

(As a one-time recipient of a cache of random gems, I can relate to the player's joy.)

"It's great!" said Gary. "You're in gems up to your knees!"

The player shoveled gems into his pack.

"It's great!" said Gary. "You're in gems up to your waist!"

I'm sure you can see where this story is going. When the player tried to leave, he found out that he was sinking in quicksand covered with three inches of gems.

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