Page 209 - Adventurer's Warrant

20th Nov 2012, 5:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
<<First Latest>>
Adventurer's Warrant
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Nov 2012, 5:00 AM edit delete
I know far too many DMs who'd leave the door unlocked and pack no less than three different deadly, undetectable, unavoidable magical traps behind it.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
That sounds like a good idea for storytime!

Let's hear stories about when your DM or players set some kind of devious, insidious trap!
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
The best traps, are ones you can't disable, only spring safely with specialized items. One example. Our group was going into a vampire mage's lair. (ECL 18 fight) The vampire, being aware that any slayer after him would be living, coated the entire place with a high damage contact con poison. Bad roll would cripple the fighters if they failed, kill the rest of the party. One simple spell. Detect Life, was tied to a simple spell, gust of wind. (a defensive spell designed to block arrows) So when anything living moved through the area (and because there was no trigger, no rogue could find or disable it) It triggered not one dusting of the poison, but a second as you tried to remove it or keep having to save against it on you. Thats just the tip of the iceberg.
Doomboy911 20th Nov 2012, 5:57 AM Barney says clean up edit delete reply
You could've beat that with a broom and a very tidy wizard.
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
A wizard in 3.5? I can only wish. (In five years of 3.5, i was the only wizard we ever had. every other mage was a sorcerer.) We had the usual min/max sorcerer for our mage. It was the red half dragon monk that was more help than him. (and why i love gold/red half dragons) Contact poison burns nicely, but the point of once you saw it used, it was a double edged sword. You didn't know until it coated you. But we knew what it was, and just burned our way in, a simple one shot trap, but it was effective. The choices we had, were let the half dragon burn the dust away (as that was what the poison was mixed in) or use a wind wall from the cleric (Exhausting healing options as designed) But your right, and thats the point, it was easy to beat, but in executing it, you could expect to pay for not thinking normal crypt dust was a deadly poison.
Zaranthan 20th Nov 2012, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Objection: Detect Life is a trigger, a rogue can find the area it's monitoring with a search check.
aylatrigger 20th Nov 2012, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Detect Magic, Dispel Magic combo could take out the spells, thereby making the trap useless.

I prefer traps with no trigger and with critters in it, so those at least can't be dispelled. My favorite combo: illusioned pit trap (no trigger, as it is just a pit, or trigger with illusion so the trigger cannot be seen) with flying invisible gelatinous cubes overhead, in large enough quantities to fill the pit trap and block the hallway. Failing to spot the trap means falling damage, more falling damage as gelatinous cubes land on you, engulfment damage, acid damage, and more damage as you try to climb out of the cubes. Due to the gelatinous nature, it is harder to climb, which means it takes longer and thus more damage. If you avoid the trap, you still have to go through and/or fight flying invisible gelatinous cubes, which would chase you. Killing the gelatinous cubes will leave the pit trap filled with their goop, which is still going to give acid damage. If you dispel flight and invisibility, you still have to deal with normal gelatinous cubes.
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
The old pudding/slide/chute combo. If you want extra lethality, put in a gibbering mouther with glass-steel walls. You risk going confused/insanity plus acid damage and losing the rogue's body and soul if they go down with the mouther.
And in wondering, have you played DDO at all zaranthan? If you have, you'll understand why that wasn't an option for disarm. (And why he favored non-reset traps) The thief had to trigger the trap, as the point of emanation for the spell was in its trigger range. (The rogue was more a striker than trap disarm focus, and sadly the new one of the group.) The counters are plenty, as people have pointed out, but this was a post tomb of horrors fight and the dm still far to happy with nasty trap ideas. Sadly, the group up and made a ring of telekinesis by the end of the dungeon with an arcane eye enchantment to just up and middle finger the dm's choice of traps in that.
CJT 20th Nov 2012, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
I think I've already mentioned this one, but our wizard ran into a fun one while looting the long-abandoned tower of a sorceress in the ruins of Roman London^W^WTalimar.

Looting her bedroom. Found a small jewellery box. Opened it.

*Fwoosh!*. Fire trap.

Recovered. Took a look inside, figuring he'd spring the trap.

*Boom!*. Exploding runes on an inscription in the box.

Thankfully, the widget inside had plot-armour. The wizard now employs a rogue/commando-type to check for such things before opening any container found in hostile territory (among other things, enemy army payroll-chests are routinely trapped).
Xerolynk 20th Nov 2012, 8:52 AM A trap! edit delete reply
I had a DM come up with a trap that had us spend 6 real time hours trying to solve.
The trap is once bodies enter the room the doors seal and a timer starts counting down, the entire room is indestructible and the only thing to interact with is a timer reset button. As adventurers nothin is usually scarier than a count down timer, so we each took turns pressing the button and trying to figure out what was gonna happen. In game time it was a good day and a half, so our wizard and cleric got a chance to prepare new spells, the standard anti-trap combos, knock, detect, and any other spells we could think of that would help us. After exhausting all of that we decided to let the timer run out and hope we survived what was gonna happen.
As the timer ran down, the doors just opened, and that was the trap, a timer, a button, and a Ickes room.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
If I were there I'd both hug and kill the GM :)
nekollx 20th Nov 2012, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
in my current game which reatures the return of my elf paladin we have to hold up in a shack as some uber evil batters it from the outside. Meanwhile there's a dead elf in the basement and the walls decorated with severed heads...needless to say things don't look good
CJT 20th Nov 2012, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
That... sounds suspiciously like the setup from Evil Dead 1 and 2, actually.

If you happen to find three books on an altar, be very careful when handling them.
Rusty 20th Nov 2012, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
Not so much a "trap" as "playing on the player's bullheadedness."

Werewolf: the Apocalypse game. The characters are picking their way through the basement of an apartment complex in search of a kidnapped packmate. They managed to find a "supply list" on one of the guards they encountered. On the list was "K-mine," which I had intended to be shorthand for ketamine, but one of the PC's assured the others that it was an ANTI-TANK MINE. Made of SILVER. (Turns out there is in fact an anti-tank mine called a k-mine, go figure)

The guy in the lead uses his power to sense silver before they go through a door... and detects a large amount of silver at head-height just behind hte door. The PC's begin to psych themselves out, convinced that there is a gigantic landmine made of silver just behind the door... And they apparently lack the ability to NOT set it off. So that lead guy, he comes to a decision. He'll bust down the door, grab the mine,and charge down the hall before it goes off, in an act of heroic self-sacrifice.

So he SMASHES through that door, makes a grab, and tumbles down the hall! Where is the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom! All they hear is this guy cussing like crazy.

...he had grabbed the maintenance man's lost-and-found basket, which contained someone's antique silverware set. Which he had proceeded to scatter all over the floor, creating a nice path of what amounts to silver caltrops for the other Garou to walk through... And alerting the bad guys of their presence.

Somehow they all lived... And never listened to the dude who talked about anti-tank mines ever again.
Zodo 20th Nov 2012, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
The favorite trap I like to leave is the floor panel that goes *click*.

Nothing else. I leave the rest to my players' paranoia.
Zodo 20th Nov 2012, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Another of my favorites was the 20 ton meteor made of magnetite, buried deep underground, but with the tunnel of a dungeon going alongside it.

The adventurers go along and see a bunch of metal objects stuck to the wall ahead of them. As they approach to investigate, all steel and iron objects are pulled to the wall where they are stuck fast. very hard strength checks are required to remove an item.

One adventurer just cut a hole in his backpack around his frying pan, as he couldn't get it free. Full plate armor suits present an entire world of difficulties.
Demonu 20th Nov 2012, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
The best traps are the ones the players THINK you've laid out for them.

I was DM'ing for my group of the Five Fathers as usual, when in said adventure they were persuing a forest hermit for intel. This hermit is rather fond of his forest but no so of people trying to catch him so he has pretty booby-trapped the entire forest.

After the party makes their way through the forest, sustaining considerable damage from the traps they didn't notice/disable, they arrive at a clearing with a wooden cottage in the middle. They walk up to it very carefully while trying to detect any traps of any kind by any means possible. Then they see that the floormat in front of the door is a brightly red and green coloured one with the word 'WELCOME' on it. The other strange thing they didn't expect was that a note was taped on the door reading 'Please wipe your shoes, I just cleaned'

The party figured this was way too obvious a trap so they unleash the entire set of trap detection on it. Nothing. Nothing magical, mechanic or otherwise. They also had been rolling averagely or below average so that just feeded into their suspicion of actual traps being there.

So they try a different option. One that took a lot more effort and time but they managed to get inside. But they get the job done. They drag the hermit outside and start interrogating him about a particular item he's supposed to have.

Hermit: "Then why didn't you just say so?"

He gets up, dusts himself off, walks into his cottage and turns around:
"Are you guys coming in? It's not like I booby-trapped the door or anything."

The paranoia levels were at maximum capacity that moment. Turns out there were no traps. The kicker?
Hermit: "I may be crazy but I am not so rude as to turn someone away from my door. Politeness goes a long way, you know."

Later it turned out that he booby-trapped nearly everything, including his tea pot but never his door. He just loves visitors XD
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
I have had the idea for a room to be a scaled up, then hollowed out gelatinous cube with contact paper for the floors, walls, and ceiling.

when stone walls are jiggling, it's time to run away.
Hennith95 20th Nov 2012, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
As a paranoid rogue, let me just say: That is EVIL.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I have a homebrew module called "The Bored Wizard" percolating somewhere. It's full of hideously terrible things like that. One such room fills to about knee height with water as part of a puzzle, but they players have to make spot checks in the room full of water. Why? Because slimes are easily concealed beneath the surface.
CaptainAizen 20th Nov 2012, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
Just recently I put a small table in the center of a completely empty room with fabulous treasure on top. Magical weapons, armour, the works. A large amount of runes were written in blood on the floor surrounded it.

When the players stepped over it, nothing happened. (it wasn't actually a trap) However, when something was removed from the table, walls of an unbreakable material (I used adamantium) rose up around them instantly. Putting everything back caused them to lower.

The best part? The walls were just an illusion and they could have just walked out. They chose to leave all the treasure there instead.
Kirby 20th Nov 2012, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
I can't help but be reminded of a D20Monkey comic where a knight/paladin/meatshield character class here breaks down a door, which had been rigged so that when the door was broken down, there was a ballista that fired on said door-breaker.
Blyndir 21st Nov 2012, 5:37 AM edit delete reply
The ballista is a vastly underestimated stealth weapon.

One of my favorite lines from a movie ever, "You're going to backstab him with a BALLISTA!?"
SomewhatAnonymousPoster 21st Nov 2012, 1:46 AM edit delete reply
the worst i've seen was the AD&D "everything in the room is trying to kill you" room.

it looks like a simple underground cave, with a simple wooden door blocking off access to an area. door's not trapped or anything.

you go through the door and you see what amounts to a supply room: various chests are littered about, barrels full of cheap swords, cloaks hung on one wall & a pile of rags is stacked against another. there's the normal array of stalactites/mites with a few torches attached for lighting

then the poo hits the air conditioner intake and proceeds to go everywhere and get into everything.

the door slams shut, the floor begins to quiver, the walls begin to shake, the ceiling starts to ripple. the chests grow appendages, the swords begin scuttling out of the barrels, the cloaks take flight, the pile of rags take the form of a man, the stalactites' maw opens as it grows tentacles and the stalagmites being blinking and taking aim at you.

all monsters. every. single. object. ropers, piercers, cloakers, xaviers, mimics, ragamuffins, trappers, lurkers above... you name it. hell, i wouldn't be surprised if the moss was green slime an the whole place infested with rotgrubs.

the worst of all?

the reason the door slams shut? the whole room itself is a greater mimic waiting to digest the leftovers.

ever wanted to tell a player you hate them? tell them the vendor trash eats them alive.
Sewicked 21st Nov 2012, 5:59 AM the non-trap edit delete reply
How about a trapped door with only one way to bypass it?

The door to the Bandit King's bedroom was rigged to any attempt to search it, unlock it or disable any traps on it would result in springing a trap or alarm. Or both.

There was only one way to bypass it. Pull on the handle & open the door. Which the rogue, alarmed by the sound of an approaching patrol, did.
Chakat Firepaw 21st Nov 2012, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
Not mine, but here is one of the nastier traps from the days of 1ed:

A corridor, 70' long with a mirror at the end. "You look down the passage. You see lights, oh, about 150' away."

What's so nasty about that? Those were the days of volumetric fireballs and rebounding lighting bolts, trigger happy MUs ate their own spells.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
Three different undetectable, unavoidable magical traps?! AMATEURS!!

The skilled DM needs onlt two traps:
One obvious and very easy to disable trap.

And a second (slightly less) obvious trap that'll catch the party because they'd assume the first trap was the only one there. :D :D :D
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Sort of like the door in Sombra's castle last week, Digo?

I'm rather partial to wards that let players interact with an illusion of the room behind the door. If they loot the place, they'll think they've left with treasure, only for it to disappear after a certain amount of time. Having it include "secret lore" can be especially fun for that, where a player can "learn" something valuable about an enemy only for it to vanish from memory soon after -- which is okay, since it was no more real than some of the things you can't remember learning in a dream.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Yes, like Sombra's door. Nothing like using a party's confidence as a liability.

Also, I like your ideas about illusions and memory management. I did that to the PCs once in a Shadowrun game, except the adventure started "In Media Res" just after forgetting everything.
They had fun retracing their steps to re-remember what it was they forgot. The fun was doubled when they learned the villains got subjected to the same problem and were also retracing their steps.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
Ah, wonderful. Players are less irritated with such nuisances when they find their opponents are faring no better under the circumstances. Thanks for mentioning that.
Chakat Firepaw 21st Nov 2012, 10:10 PM edit delete reply
Shades of how to hide a secret door:

If you place the secret door at a dead end, the PCs will search for it and probably find it.

Place it 50' or so back from the dead end and many parties will never even look in the right place.

Also place a secret door leading to an empty room at the end and the real secret will never be found. At least, not until they find it from the other side and learn they didn't need to go through the trap gallery.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
I have found that a doormat reading "ENTER FREELY AND OF YOUR OWN WILL" sometimes works surprisingly well as a deterrent.

And why am I NOT surprised by who got first and second comment today? :P
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
I woke early this morning. The comic is posted at 7AM my time now.

Digo 20th Nov 2012, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
All the managers are on vacation at my jobsite. I'm with free time until 9, and the comic posts at 8am for me. :)

Also, my players really don't do "insidious" traps. Or really, traps at all (other than occasionally disguising themselves as the opposite gender).
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
It was at 8am before daylight savings time! Why would it go back two hours?
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
I do not think we're in the same time zone...
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
You too, Raxon? I've been up since 1 this morning, and the comic posts about an hour before I go to work.

Well, that's funny. It seems I reside between Digo and Raxon in terms of time zones.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
How's the weather in Phoenix?
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
I don't know. I'll never been a snowbird.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Darn. I guessed the wrong town in that time zone.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
It's okay. My thick, Newfoundland accent confuses most people, possibly because I don't have one.
ANW 20th Nov 2012, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
The Mega Poll Time
Who is the best pony of the 6
Mine is Fluttershy.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 5:06 AM edit delete reply
I'm sorry, but the only way I can answer that poll question is, "Yes." I don't mean in the Abbott and Costello fashion of answering either.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
^ +1 for Zuche
CharginChuck 20th Nov 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
How many times are we gonna do this again?
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Every night. Hey, it worked for Pinkiey and Twilight the Brain.
CJT 20th Nov 2012, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Of the Mane 6? Twilight.

Of ponies in general? Depends on the interpretation one takes, but based on in-show personalities, Luna.

Celestia is very nearly a perfect person. This makes it difficult to think of her _as_ a person. Luna, by contrast, is a very _good_ person, who is not perfect, and who struggles with her flaws (but keeps trying) through the entire Nightmare Night episode.

Fan interpretations range all the way from serene goddess ("It Takes a Village" has her show up a couple of times) to a Fluttershy-clone ("Progress" was mostly written before Luna Eclipsed aired).

"Scootamom" has her a bit closer to normal. And then introduces her to caffeine. And the joys of walking on ceilings with suction-cup boots (courtesy of Scootaloo). Hilarity ensues (along with more serious story arcs).
CJT 20th Nov 2012, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Fun easter egg from It Takes a Village:

Luna apparently stashes moonbeams all over Equestria in case of dramatic entrance emergencies.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
CJT, I'm now stuck with an image of Celestia as Mary Poppins, thanks to you.

At least now I know where all those other nannies were sent.
Tatsurou 20th Nov 2012, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
My best pony of mane 6 has always been a toss up between FLuttershy and Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy because she's just so cute, and RD cause I've always liked the rough and tumble tomboys.
andreas002 20th Nov 2012, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
All of them. The best pony varies by episode.
Valron 20th Nov 2012, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
My choice for the mane 6 is impossible, as my favorite changes based on my mood, the last episode I watched, etc. The current winner is Pinkie Pie, because Smile Smile Smile.

For the side characters? Luna, definitely, for many of the same reasons CJT mentioned. Luna Eclipsed is still in my Top 5 episodes of the series.

And for background ponies/ fan characters, I'm going with the turntable temptress herself, DJ-P0n3! aka, Vinyl Scratch. This is especially true for the Vinyl/Octavia combo, which is has been my favorite pairing ever since I read The Vinyl Scratch Tapes fanfic. You should give it a read if you like cute romance, radio shows, and Blue Blood getting his ass handed to him.
ANW 20th Nov 2012, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
When I mean the 6, I meant the mane6, You know, Elements of harmony.
shineyorkboy 21st Nov 2012, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
ANW 21st Nov 2012, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
This poll is null and void for now. It was not specfic enough. Brand new start tommorow.
P.s. Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash would have won, I didn't count.
Beard 20th Nov 2012, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
Traps eh? My group's pretty lucky at avoiding traps...usually they end up going around them without even realizing they're there.

The Time Corridor from Dead Stars (A Dark Heresy adventure) got 'em pretty good, though. It was a hallway you had to get through, but the problem is that if you moved too slowly you started to age. Some sort of gravity time is relative bullshit but the point is everyone aged a couple years walking down a hallway.
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
Welcome to the world of the rogue. Worse dms will put a living trap that will drop the rogue instantly, and enough stealth that the only one that could detect it is the mage or healer. Oddly, only a few dms will ward the door against magic like disintergrate or passwall and tossing a summoned monster in there to trapspring. I've yet to see any dm that will anticipate a shades spell. (And because no one ever uses them is why.)
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
I like the idea of having a door at the end of an uphill corridor, and a large boulder on the other side, resting against the door.
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
Oh my, flashbacks of giant bowling are returning. So many boulders, so many times for the party to play the part of sir robin and bravely, "RUN AWAY!!"
Chakat Firepaw 21st Nov 2012, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
You are Grimtooth and I claim my five Pounds.
LastExpellian 20th Nov 2012, 5:33 AM Party Actually Learns Something edit delete reply
I somehow managed to pull a great trap on my normal play group. I have no idea how they didn't see it coming.

They were infiltrating a mine under a flying island city where all of the populace was being controlled by some dark magic. They'd fought random citizens who'd attack them and the various miners inside that blocked the path without question. Eventually they came upon a rest area inside the time that had a lone Brute enemy which was quickly dispatched. They surveyed the room; which held a table of rotten food, chairs, a pair of tents, and a small cooking fire; and after eating a few edible mushrooms in the cave, secured the doors to have a rest. Everyone spread out to sleep. Two in the tents, the Shade behind them in the darkness, our monk next to the fire (with his pet dragon IN the fire) and the Bugbear tried to climb onto the ceiling to sleep and promptly fell onto his back.

While they slept I described a rather unsettling dream the two in the tents were sharing in which they seemed to be inside a giant, slimy maw. The monk's dragon suddenly cries out and everyone wakes up and realizes that all the furniture are disguised mimics.

The tents swallow the two inside, almost killing one of them, while the table had wrapped itself into a ball around the dragon and the chairs had the monk surrounded. Everyone at the table just gave me the most blank, unbelieving expression and proceeded to utterly destroy everything around them (they we're very good at that).

Everyone passed out from fatigue after the battle and when they woke up again they found that all the furniture was back in place and everyone was OK. So they destroyed everything all over again, swore off mushrooms of all kinds and made a note to punch every piece of furniture they ever encountered from then on.
TheStratovarian 20th Nov 2012, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
You had to bring up the mimics. *shudders*

I'm glad 2nd edition died out. The mimic types in that could terrorize a small country. The first smell, sign, or anything remotely resembling one by any dm is enough to warrant any remotely safe place to be burned first, then anything flame resistant stabbed with a ten foot polearm to see if its alive. The alarm spell is sadly not as used in 4th, or is it even in there at all? But one of the great ways to ensure no mimic could do anything like that, as movement could be set in what triggers it.
Zeeth 20th Nov 2012, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
This is why the mage should memorize Sepia Snake Sigil. Which is no longer listed in the 3E supplements, I believe.
Hennith95 20th Nov 2012, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
Sepia Snake Sigil is in 3.5 (at least, according to dandwiki:

Our wizard liked using it to guard the back door to his house.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I didn't find alarm among the rituals, but I only checked PHB1 and 2. As long as your party includes one or more races that don't need sleep (several of the fey races, shardminds, warforged, and thri-kreen) or someone whose passive Perception isn't modified when sleeping, it shouldn't matter too much in most games. Then again, many games assume a party will have some way to avoid encounters while they attempt an extended rest, even without the benefit of rope trick from earlier editions.
Kiana 21st Nov 2012, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Eye of Alarm (lv4) and Eye of Warning (lv14) are both in the PHB1. Both keep watch over a camp or other such area and alert the party the second they spot trouble. (Eye of Warning also sports anti-scrying capabilities.)
Panoptes 20th Nov 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Well, because of the Mentally Advanced series, all I can think of when I see that first panel is "BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
Calypso 20th Nov 2012, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
Vegetalss4 20th Nov 2012, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I sympathize with Dash. It is always so annoying when DM's place "invisible" walls to deter ones progress.
Feels so fake.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
My favourite invisible wall is, "And we'll have to continue this next week," especially when it's announced five minutes into the session.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
As a long-experienced DM, I totally understand those invisible walls are annoying. I do by best to avoid them, usually by enticing players to go the other way rather then blocking.

PCs: "Let's go off the rails in this direction!"
DM: **Dangles tasty +3 treasure with the main plot**
PCs: "Let's go follow the main plot!"
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
That can work, but what do you do about the monomaniacs who won't leave the scent no matter what you offer them?
Digo 21st Nov 2012, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
If I'm lucky, I'll find a way to connect the scent back around to the main plot. Maybe they wander off and bump into a high-level minion of the main plot BBEG and slaying him points clues toward where they should be.

If I'm not very lucky, well I suppose I could try boring them on the side adventure until they want to go back tothe "fun" main plot.

If I have zero luck... well that happened once. The players blew themselves up in a meth lab.
Roll credits.
Zuche 21st Nov 2012, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
You show great skill with punch lines.
Loyal2Luna 20th Nov 2012, 6:52 AM The Chest edit delete reply
Myself, My then-boyfriend (now husband) and two of his friends were playing in a homebrew D&D game which was turning out to be a fairly standard adventure. Myself a half-elf paladin, BF a human rogue, and his friend a min-maxed Minotaur barb (never would have allowed that in my game, but what the hay)

Eventually, we came across ye olde treasure in the center of a room and after defeating it's guards, my husband (the rogue, i know, great relationship cue, right) determined their were no traps.
Now, the BF is always fairly specific when it comes to his characters, right down to what they are wearing at all times, in his case, he always has on gloves. As we were unable to open the chest there (he failed lockpicking) it was determined we would bring it with us using our giant herculean bull.
We got it back to safe civilization and popped the lock to discover the chest was empty.
Red flags went up for me while BF ran his gloved hands over the inside to determine why the chest was so heavy.

Come to find out, the entire inside of the chest was lined with solid platinum, something like 300 pounds (we were 7th level so this was insanely valuable)

Our minotaur smiled triumphantly.

"I lick the chest."

After doing so, his character fell into a spastic fit as we discovered the surface of the platinum lining was coated in contact poison and he failed three straight constitution rolls. We had to trade the value of the chest to have him razzed, putting us right back in square 'broke as hell'.

This taught me two important lessons: Always wear gloves when handling new treasure.... and never lick the booty.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
"Never lick the booty" is valuable advice, in or out of context.
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
**Dies in a giggle-fit of laughter**
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
She didn't die, but I knew a DDR player that got awfully sick as a result of licking the safety bar on a dare.

Poison's a lot less dangerous in 4E, but I still remember the time my dwarven avenger failed six saving throws against it. On the plus side, he was the only character who could survive that many failures at that point (ongoing 10 poison hurts at 6th level) and the other PCs survived because he'd used Heal checks to grant them extra saving throws.
Masterofgames 20th Nov 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Minotaur bard huh? Let me guess.

"I've got a fever! And the only perscription, is more COWBELL!"
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
I thought it was barb, a shortening of barbarian the same way some people write sorc for sorcerer or tl;dr for "I have no attention span".

(I'm kidding about the last one. Mostly.)
Loyal2Luna 20th Nov 2012, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
It was barb as in barbarian. Brian was a munchkin who always did that kind of stuff. Ironic he failed the constitution rolls like that, so I guess the dice just hated his character.
Malroth 20th Nov 2012, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Sad part is a straight no feats wizard could probably be a more powerful character by that level.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
Hey, I can make a huge barbarian with massive strength and dex scores, who wields colossal weapons with no penalty. It only takes two traits, and one feat. The traits Gigantism, and Compensating For Something, and the feat Wield Oversized Weapon.

The second trait is a homebrew I picked up off the web and haven't seen since. It allows the wielding of a weapon one size larger, but in exchange, your assets in certain areas are... diminished. Use such a trait at your own risk.
Ravenscroft RAVEN 21st Nov 2012, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
The feat you're looking for is "Monkey Grip" and is, in fact, a real feat and not a homebrew one. And then the kicker feats: two-weapon fighting and Oversized two-weapon fighting. Then use two huge Fullblades (4d8 damage) as your primary AND secondary weapons.

...By incredible min-maxing, you can near parity with a normally built wizard!
Kiana 21st Nov 2012, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
Dual wielding fullblades?

Hi Cloud! Are you over your Advent Children induced emo phase?
DracoS 20th Nov 2012, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Oi...I remember the last time my party burst into a witch's hunt uninvited. We ended up having to fight her cauldron over some herbs we needed for a quest.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
Wait. The cauldron attacked you?
Digo 20th Nov 2012, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Hey why not?
One time I had a Treasure Golem attack the party. That's right, they were fighting deadly loot and the damage they dealt was breaking their wonderful future toys. XD

Thankfully the party Cleric had Disjunction and remembered to use it before they lost all the good stuff.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
Well played, Digo. Master class points.
error 20th Nov 2012, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
The comic is not funny.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
Heh. A statement made by, as well as in, error.
Mordenheim 20th Nov 2012, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
Yay! A story time I can participate in!

I still think one of my own most devious traps was one I sprung on my own players way back in my old Greyhawk campaign. They were hunting down a treasure lost in a desert known as the Sea of Dust. This was a particularly deadly place as it was not filled with sand, but cursed by the gods and filled with powdered lye.

Well, the players took all the precautions they could think over, draping loose cloth over their armor to keep the joints from gumming up. Cloth over the nose and mouth to prevent caustic burns in those areas, and goggles to keep it out of their eyes.

Well, they found their way to the temple where the treasure was supposed to be hidden at the top of what was once a high cliff. However a great drift of the powdered lye was heaped up to make a slope right up to the front door. The players were cheering and clapping each other on the back as they made their dex checks, stumbling and clambering their way up the hill. Finally reaching the top, they checked the door for traps, threw them wide, and stepped inside.

However, an evil wizard had set up shop in the ancient temple and knew just how to deal with pesky intruders. As they stepped through the doors, pushing them open, a horse trough fell on top of them, dousing them all with water, soaking them to the skin. Then, staggering forward angrily, they trod on a pressure plate, triggering a spring-loaded iron bar which swung out, smashing into them violently and causing some damage. However, it also sent their water-soaked forms tumbling head over heels down that dune of caustic powdered lye.


Maybe that was a little much even for me...
Lixie 20th Nov 2012, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
In my first ever d&d game, a duo game, me and the other party member triggered a darts trap. It killed the rogue and knocked me unconscious. In the first encounter of the campaign.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
I've found that the most insidious traps are schmuck bait, usually in the form of a big red button that says "Danger! Do not press under any circumstances, no matter what!"
CJT 20th Nov 2012, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
My favourite "big red button" scene, subverted: the one from Jyrras's lab in DMFA.

"Ooh! What does *this* button do?" *click*

"The big red flashing one? It disables all of the real buttons."

"[[Warning! A moron is at the computer!]]"

My favourite "big red button" scene, played straight: Third season ReBoot.

One of many systems visited during the game-hopping arc had a conflict between "sprites" and "spectrals" and a virus infestation each making the other a lot more complicated. The system control room is compromised, and the villain is threatening to destroy the system... by pushing a big red button labelled "danger - do not press!".

They had a couple of Kirk homages in there too. Sad that the series ended before the third movie could wrap up plot threads.
LoganAura 20th Nov 2012, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure if it was talked about before, but I'm currently the dm for a few sessions of Fusion, essentially an MMO with ALL OF THE THINGS inside it.
I made a series of rooms related to the Sailor Moon characters for a trap since the current antagonist for this area is a sailor moon fangirl who exploited a glitch in the game to get Admin-esque powers. The rooms each had an orb wih one of the Sailor Sehshi Symbols on it.
First room was Mercury and a shit ton of bubbles that, if the party had stayed in there for a long time, would start to freeze them.
Second room was Mars and a huge flamethrower, one of the party took the orb and wanted to use it on all of the things.
Third was Jupiter and had a lightning orb that dealt 4 damage to the nearest guy every few seconds, stunning them too, and one of the party used a force field to stop it.
Fourth was Venus and made two of the party fall in love, but another raged and destroyed the orb.
Fifth was Uranus which was simply LOTSA SHAKING
Sixth was Neptune, or as one of the party called it, a toilet.
Seventh was Pluto and every few seconds one of the party was stopped in time.
Jarrakul 20th Nov 2012, 9:55 AM Traps edit delete reply
I like traps in theory. In practice, they tend not to interact with players in interesting ways. "You get poisoned" or "you fall into a pit" are pretty boring, gameplay-wise. But that's not to say you can't spice them up by adding more complicated traps or traps with associated monsters.

But my favorite traps are pure mind games. A valuable golden idol in a room lined with gargoyles, for example. Not animate, monster-type gargoyles. Just intimidating statues. Sure, the party will eventually take the idol, but watching them prepare and agonize over what to do will be totally worth it.

Probably by favorite trap story is when the party was trying to break into a mage's house, which was surrounded by a field of stakes in the ground. Very strange, but not inherently dangerous-looking. But walking crossing between any two stakes would teleport you to another part of the field, turning the whole thing into a giant confusing teleport maze. Except the whole thing was just an elaborate illusion, and if you just kept walking straight you'd eventually get through, which is exactly what the party's gloriously stubborn tank eventually did. That's okay, though, because the whole thing was just rigged up to delay visitors so that the mage would have a chance to prepare.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
In general, this is one of the things I generally like about 4E design. Traps work best as part of an encounter or something easily bypassed. This plays very well to encounters with kobolds or gnomes, as well as dungeons designed to prevent some menace from escaping.

There are times you want something special, but you really do have to know your players. Some people love to spend a night trying to solve a puzzle. Others will be screaming sanguinous homocide within a minute if they can't resolve the situation with a few skill checks.

Most of the time, you wind up with a mix of players, which means you'll need to find some way of keeping the less patient ones busy with more hands-on exhibits so the others get in some time for "art appreciation".

I find the special stuff works best as a bonus anyway, rather than an obstacle, much like the role Kangaxx played in Baldur's Gate II. You didn't need what that adventure offered and it had no connnection to any other storyline that you might pursue, but the reward was pretty nifty.
DoubleCross 20th Nov 2012, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
...She's got a dreamcatcher.

...The background artist couldn't even stick to one world's stereotype.
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
It's not like Zecora hasn't done some travelling in her days. What's one more thing out of place in this gallimaufry setting?
DoubleCross 21st Nov 2012, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
Well, there is sort of a problem with treating a dreamcatcher like a door decoration - they're not door decorations.

Zecora is just a big pile of problems already...
Zuche 21st Nov 2012, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
So you're complaining about Zecora not knowing the correct use of something you've identified as alien to her (and pony) culture?

Seriously, where is the problem?
terrycloth 20th Nov 2012, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
The deadliest trap I ever used as a DM summoned a dire bear into a 10' by 10' vault. Everyone was instantly in close combat and you had to make a grapple check against the bear to escape.

I once had a party go to sleep in a locked vault in the middle of a dungeon full of kobolds. The kobolds filled the room outside the vault door with acid during the night. The party was too smart to get caught by that, though, and tunneled through the ceiling to escape.

I had a room with a secret back entrance, that let you bypass the entire dungeon full of monsters. Only, the secret entrance involved coming in from above, and the entire floor of the room sank 20' as soon as anyone landed on it -- no trigger for rogues to find, just monsters watching from stealth and pulling a lever. Then all the monsters you bypassed shot at you through arrowslits and activated other traps from the control room.
Tatsurou 20th Nov 2012, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
My favorite story of setting up traps.
I don't remember the whole scenario, but the party was after a Chaotic Evil aligned villain called "Galado the Considerate." Basically, he earned this name because he sent kindly worded warning ahead to any town/city he attacked, letting them know he was coming and what he was after, with promises that no one would be harmed if they didn't interfere...promises he always kept. However, in his latest raid of a castle town, he kidnapped the crown princess. THus, the adventurers.

Now, his stronghold didn't look very impressive - more like an office building, actually - but every single room was a simple box shape with a sign that read "This room is trapped. Explore at your own risk." COmplete with fine print on the sign about Galado waving liability if adventurers entered after reading the sign. Also, the sign was enchanted every time so that it was legible even to the illiterate. (I really liked this guy. He was crazy fun.)

Now, here's the kicker. The trap in exactly half of the rooms was set up so that it would only be triggered IF THE PARTY ROGUE ATTEMPTED TO DISARM THEM! In addition to that, the doors out of every room were warp gates that sent the party to a random room in the building, determined by two roles of percentage dice (there were 100 rooms). The traps in the rooms that went off only when disarmed varied from annoying to ridiculous, with the occasional dangerous. The rooms that needed disarming, though, had traps that varied from lethal to bang-head-on-wall.

They finally got to the one room that would - guaranteed - get them to the boss room. The party healed themselves up, rested, refreshed spells, getting ready to fight the boss. THe rogue then went to disarm the trap. THis triggered the 'return to start' warp spell. As the party started to rage, Galado appeared before them, laughing hilariously, congratulating them on their determination, before warping them into the final room with him anyway. ...turned out this was Galado's idea of throwing the Princess a surprise birthday party, and the adventurers were the entertainment.

...that was the last time I was allowed to DM...
Zuche 20th Nov 2012, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Standing ovation. Laughter hard enough to draw tears. Well done.
Raxon 20th Nov 2012, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
I am very impressed, good sir! Good show! Bravo! Bravo!
Loyal2Luna 20th Nov 2012, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
I dunno, I would let you DM. That's hilarious.
Tatsurou 20th Nov 2012, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Well, it took me about 20 minutes to get my group calmed down after that return to start portal trap, so...they didn't take it well.
I'm glad you all enjoyed the story.
Oddly enough, this was years before Portal, so the name 'Galado' wasn't even a play on 'Glados', despite how very Portal the 'This room is trapped' was.
WHile not my only inventive trap story, certainly my best.
Zuche 21st Nov 2012, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
Ha. I never made that connection. Maybe it's because you provided cake?
Digo 21st Nov 2012, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Annnnd another fine DMing point that i'd both hug and kill you at the same time. Well played! :D
Tatsurou 21st Nov 2012, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Actually, if anyone's interested, I have a rather curious little campaign I'm working out based in the Equestria setup, exploring the clash between magic and technology for the future of Equestria. Comes with tea and cake.
Kynrasian 20th Nov 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about devious traps, but our party once begun an ambush by tossing our dwarf cleric over a fence.
Destrustor 20th Nov 2012, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
The one time I used a trap, and it was hilarious:
My mage and the party ninja managed to sneak into the local thieves' guild's loot vault.
We took everything and left behind the following: a folded piece of paper with a message along the lines of "ha ha, you guys really" on the outside face, hinting that the rest of the message was written inside. There was only an exploding rune inside.
The party heard an inexplicable explosion in the distance a few hours after my mage and the ninja came back from our "exploration" of the town.
namestoolong4charlimit 20th Nov 2012, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
My favorite trap was one that my Ninja/Psion found inside a dresser in a villain's lair. My first thought upon finding out that the dresser was trapped was "Gee, I sure would like to own a trapped piece of furniture that I could command to open in enemies' faces." So I manifested Animate Object with it as the target and it came to life. I had it walk towards me, which set off the trap that I had apparently detected without actually finding out what it was. Its lifted leg revealed a rune that caused the whole room to burst into flame, destroying everything in it but me. The dresser also survived because it was actually a portal to a pocket dimension or summat.
Hennith95 20th Nov 2012, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
I have a wall of text story again today.

My elf rogue, a human engineer who had been a rogue in a previous life (long story), and a gnome illusionist were attempting to steal an artifact out of the bad guy's home while he was away at a party, where the rest of our group was setting up further distractions. The plan was to get in and out without letting anyone know we were there.

The illusionist surrounded us with silence and invisibility spells, and the engineer and I checked for traps every few feet. We also used some plot artifacts that let us detect life forces within a 30-foot or so sphere, which showed us a small number of guards upstairs, two motionless on the other side of a wall that had no door into the hall, and two people in a sitting room on the other side of the main hall. We guessed our target was through a room with no entrance, so we decided to head upstairs.

The first trap was a very obvious set of trapdoors surrounding a vase at the end of the hall by the stairs. The catch was that the vase was enchanted, and we had to make will saves in order to not blindly rush forward and grab it. After making a bit of noise disabling the traps, we listened in on the people in the sitting room, who were thankfully just talking about the weather.

Once we sneaked past the guards upstairs, we found another trapdoor that opened in the ceiling of the room with no entrance, right in front of the guards. We managed to get the "drop" on them with some good Dex rolls that landed us right on their heads, knocking them out. Once inside the room, the engineer had to use a welding torch to cut through the thick metal door, since the lock was just a heavy steel bar on the other side.

Inside this final, secret room, we were greeted with a heated lamp on the ceiling, and a writing desk with a letter on it. We all immediately suspected Exploding Runes, and had the illusionist do everything he could to de-magic it. Something (we never found out what) was dispelled, and we attempted to read the letter. The envelope was addressed to us from the villain, but the paper inside was blank, non-magical, and smelled of ... lemon.

After a bit of prompting from the DM ("Not all secret messages are magic!"), we finally tried holding the letter up to the lamp, which burned the lemon juice and gave us the message "It's in the sitting room footstool, idiots."

As we carefully, quietly made our way back to the front hall, we heard voices from the sitting room: "It sounds as though those intruders found the message." "I suppose tea time is over, then."

The whole time, he had two illusionists sitting right on top of the goal, and trapped the heck out of everywhere else.
Arkaine 21st Nov 2012, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
Best trap ever?

Suspend a Bag of Holding from a wire above a Portable Hole placed on the floor.

Have the wire break when a door is opened/pressure plate stepped on/tripwire is broken/etc.

Watch everybody scramble to catch the Bag, if they even realize what it is in time.
Raxon 21st Nov 2012, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
I had the idea to put two bags of holding halfway inside each other, then reach inside each and pull them the rest of the way into each other.

I don't know what the DM would rule, but I'm pretty sure it's at the very least double amputation, and spraying blood all over everything.
Destrustor 21st Nov 2012, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
My DM has already stated in the past that interaction between any two such otherworldly portals results in the destruction of both. With him ruling, both bags would dispel/destroy each other and/or explode on contact.
Your double reacharound shenanigans would not even have a chance to happen in the first place.
LoganAura 21st Nov 2012, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Hey Newbiespud, I need ta talk to ya about something.
Ravenscroft RAVEN 21st Nov 2012, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
One other trap I like is one that was inspired by an episode of History's Greatest Warrior. Stupid show, but good for silly fantasy inspiration. I found myself shouting "landmines are not melee weapons!" at the time (Irish soldiers?), but soon...

A kobold with the feat Tactile Trapsmith, a genius in his own right, using the construction feats, made dangerous traps on the fly to hinder and annoy the party. He was the BBEG's mascot henchman, and every time the party went to sleep for a night, he'd sneak in an set up traps along their path. Lethal things, too, like deadfall traps and the traditional "turn a PC into a trebuchet's ammo using a lasso" trap.

Good times.
Kiana 21st Nov 2012, 9:59 PM edit delete reply
My favorite traps are the ones in mini-skirts and striped socks.


Zuche 22nd Nov 2012, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Slow. Applause.

I didn't expect anyone to go there. Well done.
Kiana 22nd Nov 2012, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
I once had a player try to use Diplomacy to sway an enemy into changing sides, with the stipulation being that the enemy in question had to become her crossdressing boyfriend.

I allowed it. (Allowed the action. Was surprised she rolled very high, so ruled it was successful.)

I am ALWAYS willing to go there. =D
StSword 24th Nov 2012, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
So I'd guess that Zecara's has the alchemy feat, what's her class? Shaman? Witch (I think witches are a class in 4e)?

Can I vote for a pony having a vampire pony now that they're a class? Or am I a bad bad person for wanting to see a pony devour her enemies? :)