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D&D 3E
I'm looking for trap ideas for a group of level 14/15 adventurers.… 
17th-Aug-2005 09:07 am
Ren!
I'm looking for trap ideas for a group of level 14/15 adventurers.

Any help would be appreciated.
Comments 
17th-Aug-2005 12:21 pm (UTC)
One of my more vicious traps:

the location of a lich's phylactery:

In a room, a 300' deep pit, with a 60' spire of frozen acid suspended from the ceiling down into it. At the base of the spire is the locked strongbox safe type thing.

The trap that must be disarmed here was a flesh-to-stone type trap.

It went off and hit the flying thief, who failed a save and plummetted. The party used a wish spell to reassemble the statue, and were successful on the second try.

Another vicious one: Iron Golem standing in a wall of fire.
18th-Aug-2005 01:33 am (UTC)
Or have the cylindrical wall of fire with the golem in the center of it.
17th-Aug-2005 12:24 pm (UTC) - DMG II
The rotating spell traps in the DMG II are pretty sweet. It's just a spell point on a wall that has an arsenal of 4 spells of a certain level, and rotates through them every round, and then takes the fifth round to recharge before going through them all again. Pretty nasty trap, especially with 9th level spells.

17th-Aug-2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Double traps could be a good way to fool the party's rogue, who probably has quite high spot and search by 14th level. One easier one to find first, then a harder one that they won't think is there because they "already found the trap."
17th-Aug-2005 01:10 pm (UTC)
Is this fair though? I mean, if you keep requiring the player to keep making follow-on rolls to locate subsequent traps, how will they ever know when to stop searching?

I guess one way you co this is have a stepped DC. Like the Search DC for trap 1 is just a 20, but the DC to find the 'real trap' is a 30. With one roll they might find both, only the DC20, or neither.

I truly think it's important to only require one roll though, otherwise the game will slow to a crawl at every doorway (which I've seen before, and it was really painful because the player kept trying to talk his way past the doorway:

GM: "You come to a door."

Player: "I search for traps..(rolls a dice) nothing? ok.. hmm... I prod it with a stick... I throw some water at it. Can you describe the handle? Is there any space underneath the crack of the door... how do the hinges look. I listen at the door.. but from a distance. I don't touch the door with my ear. No.. do I hear anything?"

GM: "JUST OPEN THE DOOR. GEEZ. FINE. IT'S A BROOM CLOSET."

Player: "I check for traps on the brooms..."


17th-Aug-2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
Search only covers a 5X5 area for each roll. It is my experience that if a group finds one trap in a relatively small area (like a 20X30 room), they will assume that's the only one. That's what I meant.

If I had put them both on the same thing, then yes, I count a single Search check as finding everything that the roll would find (if they roll a 26, everything whose search DC is below 26 gets found, etc)
17th-Aug-2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize search only covers 5x5!

That's a good point though. I mean- thats a bit like the classic chessboard floor with certain squares being trapped (with spikes, electricity, etc).

We have a joke in my group about some guys they ran into at a con that liked to try and overtalk their way past everything.

Like one guy got a room at the inn and spent 30 minutes describing how he was creating a special web of string around the room tied to various plates and dishes, "just in case he was followed". Another guy insisted he was always "walking..indian style" to investigate everything, and then he got up and demonstrated.

Apparently "indian style" means creeping around on tippy toes, a bit crouched over with your elbows bent sort of like Elmer Fudd hunting wabbits.




17th-Aug-2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, and it's the players' prerogative to be slow and paranoid if they want. As the DM, it's important to make sure that any consequences of that behavior are suffered by the party. This is especially significant if your party is taking 20 on their search checks, since each such check takes 2 minutes. Wandering monsters will find them, timed objectives time out, tortured princess get tortured longer, etc.
17th-Aug-2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
slow and paranoid isn't that fun, though! I mean, it might be fun for the one guy playing the rogue, but we're usually talking about three or four other guys who have nothing to do during this time.

17th-Aug-2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
I find that when one person is slow and paranoid and the rest of the group are not, the group manages itself. :)

Also, if the group is unified in their paranoia, you can speed things up by establishing a "protocol" for repeated situations. "At each door, we will do A, B, C, and D." You can streamline the gaming without forgetting how much time the characters are wasting.
17th-Aug-2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
If by 'the group manages itself' you mean the dwarf fighter starts charging forward to knock down all of the doors while the rest of the party restrains the rogue, I know exactly what you mean...



17th-Aug-2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
GM: "You come to a door."

Player: "I search for traps..(rolls a dice) nothing? ok.. hmm... I prod it with a stick... I throw some water at it. Can you describe the handle? Is there any space underneath the crack of the door... how do the hinges look. I listen at the door.. but from a distance. I don't touch the door with my ear. No.. do I hear anything?"

GM: "JUST OPEN THE DOOR. GEEZ. FINE. IT'S A BROOM CLOSET."

Player: "I check for traps on the brooms..."


I've actually had players that would do this just to drive me crazy...
28th-Aug-2005 02:50 am (UTC)
This is why I am entirely too reluctant to use traps anymore, much to my rogue's disappointment. I only throw them in there anymore to keep the rogue from boredom.
17th-Aug-2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Hey sailor. New in town? :)
When you get into the teens in levels, you really need to get abstract. Traps need to be more than your typical spell trigger, spiked pit, or poisoned arrow.
Here's one I'd like to see get used:
Door in stone corridor.
Trying to open the door without the magic password triggers the trap.
Transmute rock to mud under AND above the party, for a nine square spread around the area in front of the door.
Reflex save (DC 25) to get out of the way of the falling mud and sinking into the muddy ground.
Insert rules on suffocation and all that fun.
17th-Aug-2005 02:14 pm (UTC)
I've got a trap like that damned water puzzle from Onimusha 1 in mind. Assuming the players activate it, it should be interesting to see what they do since I'm considering putting an antimagic field in the same trap... no water breathing... mwa ha ha ha!

I like the rotating spell trap idea too. With some tweaking, that one could be a lot of fun(for me anyway).

I also considering doing something obvious... pressure plates, trip wires, etc., and adding something extra to the trap to surprise the characters, something like entering fog or breaking a beam of light.
17th-Aug-2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
Anti-magic areas are great traps for higher-level characters. By those levels, all the characters have magical equipment & the mages are near useless. :)
(Deleted comment)
17th-Aug-2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
permanent Unseen servant.
17th-Aug-2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
easy: the Clickieplate.

it doesn't DO anything, but it SOUNDS and LOOKS like it does.

Suspicious noises. :3

Teleport traps. not teleporting them out, but teleporting things in. Random things. Like a rock. a rellly big one. Or mud. Or acid. Or a portal to the Paraelemental plane of Ooze. :D
17th-Aug-2005 03:34 pm (UTC)
Or a really NASTY trap. Teleports you into a room with no exits. Sucks to be them LOL
17th-Aug-2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
YES

THE EVILLEST TELEPORT.

or it's ancient brother, the semi-pit. It's a normal pit, but much smaller in diameter (perhaps kept unclimbeable with a permanant Grease spell?). When they slip down it, it's a bigger room. Full of..um. Gelatinous Cubes. Or Ooze monsters.

Or that one rustmonster.
17th-Aug-2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
A couple favs...

1. The flickering Reverse Gravity Trap and spiked ceiling. They fall up slam into spikes, gravity turns off they fall down. Thats 2 falls and spike damage. Now, this trap can instantly reactivate making it 4 falls and 2 spike damage and so forth.

2. Drop and Slam. You step into the pit, the pit floor then rockets you up and crushes you into the cieling, pinning you there taking damage every round until a good strength check frees you.

3. The old, what does that say? Enter into a cave they see a message on the other wall. It's dark and dingy so even people with dark vision (Being black and white) cant make it out. If they light a torch they find it saying "Danger, Natural Gas. Do not use fire" Before it goes BOOM! That is pretty much a fire ball plus a chance of the place collapsing.

4. The oxidization trap. Reflex or your gear rusts.

5. Hypnotize trap. A simple suggestion spell saying everyones an enemy is very easy to make the strongest into a killing machine.

They are just some of my favs. :)
17th-Aug-2005 04:34 pm (UTC)
5. Hypnotize trap. A simple suggestion spell saying everyones an enemy is very easy to make the strongest into a killing machine.

Yikes....
17th-Aug-2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Number 5 reminds me of the time my paladin, having just been healed to full from unconciousness while most of the rest of the party was still slightly wounded, set off a Word of Chaos trap and consistantly chained 'attack nearest enemy' round after round after round.

It was quite nearly a TPK.
17th-Aug-2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hell one of my favorite tricks when using Yuanti. They have it everyday LOL.

"Hey you. The big strong guy. We are your friends THEY are your enemies"

Watch them get wiped out by their own party. heh hehe heh
17th-Aug-2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
I particularly like the "Lich's phylactery holds more than you think". This can be done by using Trap the Soul spell I believe. Dragon magazine paired a Lich Necromancer19's soul in the phylactery with that of a tarrasque. You destroy the lich, and his phylactery...BOOM tarrasque pops up. Or something to that extent. I know that's much too high level for your party right now. However, something else equally evil, but lower level would do
17th-Aug-2005 09:48 pm (UTC)
A magical trap teleports the players (without them knowing it) to a medium sized room (50x50 ft) with a door at the end, guarded by (something slightly weak). Defeating the (something slightly weak) and opening the door reveals the exact same room, but with two of the (something slightly weak). The next reveals 4, then 8. I would make the first one about the same EL as the party, just so that when it doubles it's actually challenging and they don't end up fighting 64 of whatever you choose. Will save removes them from the illusory construct of the repeating rooms and enemies, to actually arrive at what's on the other side of the door.

You could also combine traps to make the CR suitably high (or so I've done). Like a water trap with closing spike walls, or a pit trap with arrow traps lining the walls, or maybe a boulder that falls from the ceiling and that chases the players down a hallway armed with wall-mounted fire traps. The possibilities are endless with this method.
17th-Aug-2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
A dungeon constructed of many round tunnels set in crossline form, that is, like a series of tic-tac-toe boards. Every fourth junction is a room consisting of a ten foot wide walkway overhanging the lower level: a system of open aquaducts with green fluid rushing forth.

The centralmost part of the upper level has a ladder ascending into an ancient and ruined village, from all appearances what was once a summer vacation villa for nobility and wealthy merchants. At present, only a very high level wizard (17th) who is a ghost dwells there.

The northernmost part of the upper level has a small door leading north to a small room. Therein are five levers. The first lever causes the aquaducts to drain out or to restore the drain. The second lever only works if the aquaducts are drained, and it permits the flooding of the entire dungeon with the green fluid, setting off an alarm spell in every junction room. The third lever also only works if the aquaducts are drained, and works like a heat metal spell (except on stone) on all surfaces of the aquaduct, although the surfaces are not metal: unlike heat metal, this spell will continue until the lever is deactivated. The fourth lever cancels the prior lever's requirement that the aquaducts be drained. The fifth lever cancels the function of all prior levers, drains the aquaducts, and releases a host of fifty ghasts on the upper level of the dungeon that have been instructed to slay everyone except those located in the lever room.

A goblin tribe has made their home there, but the goblins are all tough: being five hundred in number, most are clerical wizards focusing on necromancy to the remiss of the diviniation category of spells. Only two hundred are "students" of first to second level. Fifty are teachers: 5th level wizards, 3rd level clerics who wear rings of tactical retreat, that all function to teleport only to the centralmost room. One hundred and fourty are guards that are sixth level monks, first level rogues: as such they prefer to take turns hitting and running, wielding light crossbows, each carry a single bolt pre-loaded, with a hollow crystal tip: the crystal is filled with purple worm poison. As weapons, they also carry masterwork knives that have been sharpened so well, they function as if keen: but these knives do not gain a +1 to hit like other masterwork weapons.

There are ten seventh level clerics/fifth level goblin wizards (focusing in necromancy) that function as the leadership here. Each wears a ring of improved invisibility, carries a wand of polymorph (from three to five charges left in each), and a ring of nondetection. They have a predilection for turning unarmoured opponents into gray oozes, very simple to outrun, which they cast magic mouth on. The magic mouth will repeat the following statement every twelve seconds (two rounds): GRAY OOZE APPROACHING in the goblin language. They tend to turn armoured opponents into rust monsters, which suits their sense of humour. Rust monsters are easier to slay than other opponents, and they will slay these immediately.

The ghost upstairs only knows that it was once a great necromancer whose college conquered the city, having used a goblin tribe as mercenaries, and were then in turn slain by the goblins. Evidently he had discovered a method of creating undead of *any* once-living organism, not just humanoids, but this spell is lost to the sands of time. He will go on about the theories behind the spell, which to understand takes a Spellcraft roll of 30 and an Alchemy roll of 30. A success might lead those who understand what he speaks of to be able to lay foundations for study that (after ten years in the game) might permit them to create a spell that will turn any slain organism into an undead version of its living form (a 9th level Wizard spell). Note, this spell could be described to a wizard of 17th level and if they understand the necessary functions, could readily create any number of spells to turn specific nonhumanoid organisms into undead versions of themselves, provided they are already dead, functioning just as Create Undead.

Imagine a green slime with wraith powers! Luckily, this would take quite a bit of time...
17th-Aug-2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
This could also work as part of a larger dungeon or area.
17th-Aug-2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
I also forgot to mention that the guards have two potions apiece on them: a potion of haste and ointment of sloth (the ointment of sloth is in a baked clay grenade, designed to burst on contact when thrown: it spreads an oily fluid all over the target 10x10 area that slows as per the spell all within (saving throw against 17th level caster with 22 intelligence of a third level spell), and also exhaustion as per ray of exhaustion, same saving throw as the slowness.

They will drink the potion, throw the grenade, and if they have time, fire the crossbow then flee... the plan being that their companions fire from behind when the party tries to give chase.
18th-Aug-2005 03:38 am (UTC)
As people have mentioned, any capital-T Trap is going to be a simple matter for a party with high Rogue detect-and-disable skills, good Cleric detection and curing powers, and pretty high saves. Even instant-death traps --high CR-- aren't really going to be a challenge.

The key, I think, is time. Get the party moving through the adventure fast. No, they do not have time to check the floor carefully for pit traps, or move slowly enough for the elf to notice the secret door. Not when they have sixteen minutes, total, to get to the surface, with dimensional anchor keeping them from teleporting out.
19th-Aug-2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
One of my personal favorites to use at high level isn't so much an individual trap as a series of false leads.

PCs climb down a ladder into a room with 12 exits. Each of the exits splits into 2 halls as they traverse it. This central area rotates slowly, and there is an outer ring of 36 rooms-- so each hall leads to a different location-- the room spins slowly enough that a new room will be revealed every half-hour.

The hallways and rooms are populated with a variety of nasties and traps.

The way out isn't through any of the hallways, though. it's through the axle-- there's a secret passage in the pedestal of the room, which leads down to the next portion of the dungeon.

Even high level PCs spend a lot of time wandering around the maze before they figure it out. I had one group that realized the center portion rotated, and assumed that the exit would be from one of the rooms, so they sat at the end of a hallway and waited-- which means they encountered nearly every critter I had in the dungeon, and lost 3 party members in the process (an animal companion, a cohort, and a PC).

You can reverse the procedure-- have them enter through the floor and exit through the ceiling if you wish.
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