Page 465 - Preemptive Hysteria

10th Jul 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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Preemptive Hysteria
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Jul 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Player paranoia can either be a hindrance or an opportunity. Sometimes, it's the DM's job to create traps where there weren't originally so that the players can feel like they were right.

And then you drop a second trap on them, immediately afterwards, just when they thought they were safe.

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Delicious Taffy 10th Jul 2014, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Story time!? Talk about traps! Lots of traps!
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I once had the PCs explore the ruins of a mad wizard. Unbeknownst to the party, there were two entrances, and another team of adventurers that the party did not like entered through the second way.

The dungeon was filled with lots of deadly traps (thanks to Grimtooth books I own). However, there were lots of levers, buttons, and knobs around the traps that didn't seem to do anything to that trap.

That's because those levers and knobs activated or reset other traps in the dungeon. So both parties were triggering traps on each other without realizing it. It was when the two parties had their first encounter versus each-other that the rogues on both teams figured it out. Oh IT WAS ON after that! Too bad everyone decided to go nuts and spring all the traps at once, as fast as they could.

Destruction. XD
Dusk Raven 10th Jul 2014, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Do Mimics count? One DM threw a mimic at us, simply because in D&D 3.5 they had an adhesive ability that was unique to them, and he wanted to try it out on us.

All well and good, except that the mimic was on a bottom of a river. The result? Half the party stuck to the mimic, slowly drowning, wailing desperately at it in an attempt to kill it.
Night Sage 10th Jul 2014, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
In my session, I had all of my players arrested. They were hired to do a job, which involved stealing valuable information. No one in the group thought anything of it, as it was the norm.

Except the Mr. Johnson who hired them, potentially may be completely evil and corrupt. Mr. Johnson took what he knew of the heist, and had it broadcast on the news and all over the matrix.

Then while my players were in a convenient store, they were ambushed not only by gang members, but by law enforcements as well. They were all really pissed off about that. Until I told them "I had already told you this was going to happen. Well... less told and more showed."

They were still mad at me. Until the next day where they contacted my on Skype all of whom are going "Oh my god you evil bastard. The very first run. How did we not notice that?" They were mighty calm after that while at the same time kicking themselves for not realizing what I had done earlier.
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
I had a GM who did something similar. That is pretty evil, but when the party doesn't notice it, it does make one feel dumb for ignoring the large warning sign. XD
FanOfMostEverything 10th Jul 2014, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
At the entrance to a eccentric old wizard's mansion, there was a doormat rigged to cast baleful polymorph on anyone who stepped on it, with a one-minute recharge time. When the PCs entered the house, the vanguard made his save. When one guy tried to run from a rampaging clockwork golem? Yeah, he got turned into a newt. He didn't get better.
Mykin 10th Jul 2014, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
We had a quest one time to grab a magical orb from a chest in an abandoned castle. Traps were pretty much non existent in my group of friends so none of us thought to check the chest when I volunteered to open it and get what was inside. It was rigged to cast fireball on anyone stupid enough to try but that wasn't the bad part. My now lifeless corpse flew into one of the still existing walls around the place and triggered a pit trap with spikes at the bottom. Then our monk, who actually managed to dodge that trap, triggered another one that shot an army of paralyzing darts into the room. It was as if our DM suddenly remembered "Oh yea, DnD has traps in them, I should probably put some in there!" How I was the only one to die from all of that is beyond me. Then again, the dice have always hated me so *shrug*
Celestdaer 10th Jul 2014, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
One of my first DMing experiences, I wrote an adventure with a tower full of riddles, somewhere in the tower, the party came across a giant bird cage, with the door open (inward, I might add) and a key hanging out of the lock. Gave them the riddle, which was basically 'Sacrifice your weakest party member for this key that may or may not do anything?' Their fighter walked in to grab the key and found out immediately that the cage wasn't going to let him back out. And the next level of the tower had what was originally going to be a very difficult battle versus three elemental gargoyles, missing the fighter.
Luna 10th Jul 2014, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
I love traps ! Whenever I'm DMing, I always try to put in some traps of all sort. And I can be quite devious, like making traps that will shoot purses full of jewel and gold at the pcs, just to make sure that they'll try and trigger every trap they find, hoping to get more and more valuable, dropping their waryness... to have a real deadly trap at some point that they'll set off gleefuly.

As a player, I like to play rogues and to set up traps whenever I can too. I remember this one campaign in pathfinder where we found the secret passage used by one of the antagonist. I went and buy some glue to a merchant and set up a sticky trap, making sure to make a slightly obvious tripwire that was a fake and the real one just after, so that anyone trying to step other the fake woul trigger the trap anyway.

Unfortunately, during the in-beetween session as many of us pcs had to do things on our own, I forgot in the heat of things to go and check my trap (even thought that was the thing I had in mind at first...) When we went to check with the whole party, a few in-game days later, the trap was triggered, but no traces of the prey.

Some times after, when we finally came face to face with the target, she was really pissed at me for that trap, as she spent three days deep in dried glue before managing to escape. Well this kind of made up for the fact that I forgot to check on it.
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
One of the funniest traps I threw at my players was the "Treasure Vault". A huge vault door on the ceiling with a single pull rope to open it. When they opened the door, a pit trap opened up under the party, followed by four tons of treasure dropped on their heads.

No one survived as everyone refused to "dodge the treasure".
Disloyal Subject 11th Jul 2014, 10:12 AM Darwin Awards: d20 Edition edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
...why wouldn't they dodge it, and just haul it up from the pit after? Even for adventurers, that's a special kind of avarice and stupidity...
JSchunx 10th Jul 2014, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
I'm always terrible at traps. Since I assemble most of my dungeons in an impromptu fashion, I usually completely forget about them. Pretty much, they only show up when the players start searching for them.

Although, on the other side of the DM screen, our party was once hit with a Wail of the Banshee trap which, due to some bad rolling, killed all but one of our party members, who had to drag all our corpses back to town for resurrection. This all occurred before we even entered the dungeon proper. We opened a hatch, descended a ladder, opened a door at the bottom, and promptly 4 people dropped dead.
Raxon 10th Jul 2014, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
Heh. You want traps? Raxon's home is designed to piss off Kames Bond types. When someone inserts something into the lock other than an approved key, like, say, a duplicate, or a lockpick, the lock has a little display. A red light flashes and beeps, and counts down from five. At zero, there is a ding, and the door opens. "Welcome, *Guest*."

Bond walks in, and the door shut behind him automatically. Almost immediately, green mist begins to spray from the walls. Holding his breath, he realizes the green is settling all over his suit. They're paintball misters.

Certain he has been marked, as he steps onto a tile, it sinks a bit. A video screen turns on, and two plexiglass walls trap him in the corridor. Raxon appears on the screen sitting in a fancy chair stroking a kitty. "You're a mess! Why don't you wash off?" The floor opens and the spy falls into a tank of piranha. "Feeding time, my darlings!" A bunch of fruit and veggies are dropped into the pool, and they swarm the food, leaving the agent alone. "Ah, good. Now that you're clean, please proceed!"

The spy climbs out of the pool, and comes to a fork with a sign. To the left, "secret lair." To the right, "booby trapped corridor." The two paths go around a bend and immediately become the same path. Suddenly, a solid wall appears before him, and behind him. Spikes poke out of the walls as they close in on him. There is a hatch on the ceiling, and the spikes form a convenient ladder. He reaches for a spike to climb out, only to learn the spikes are make of styrofoam.

Seriously, Raxon wastes four hours of this dude's time with this irritating crap.

None of the traps are even remotely lethal. Raxon is just a huge movie nerd, and loves good fiction.
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
I would come over every week!!
Raxon 10th Jul 2014, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
Raxon has an actual trap that uses kinetic lance, a force spell that basically impales the enemy on fence post sized lances, made of force damage. Even if you survive the initial stab, you would be hard pressed to survive when the lance fades, and you begin to bleed profusely, and possibly lose organs through the hole.

This trap has only been triggered once. This jackass got in, and took a severely weakened, magically drained Raxon hostage. "Hah! Your house won't shoot! The safeties will prevent it from harming its mas-" They are impaled together, the lance going right through Raxon to get at the invader.

"Safeties, huh? That's a good idea."

Raxon is simultaneously a badass, and a terrible supervillain.
Akouma 10th Jul 2014, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
Well, I haven't had any noteworthy traps in my time, BUT I do know the most evil trap ever created. I believe I've shared it here before. It comes from the hilarious web series Unforgotten Realms

Players walk into a room with only one entrance, which is the door they came through. This door immediately shuts and locks, with a DC too high to be picked and is magically immune to Knock or the like. The room resists any attempts to leave without using the door (teleportation, for example). The players here a series of clicks and other machine noises from above them, revealing the ceiling has extended spikes from itself, and is now descending. Very slowly. Very, very slowly. In the center of the room is a button, with absolutely no markings indicating what it does. Players will agonize over whether they push the button or not, because some will assume it makes this trap deadlier, and some will assume it's an out of some nature. (Or at least that it can't possibly make the impending doom WORSE.) Eventually, a player cracks and pushes the button. The ceiling goes back to start position, then begins descending again. This is all the button does. It has no additional function with additional presses. Eventually, the PCs give up on life. As the DM, really encourage your PCs to RP out their last rounds alive. Really play up their impending death. Then the ceiling reaches a point one inch above the tallest character's head, and stops. A door on the other side of the room magically appears, and the locks on both doors click open. At this point, it likely becomes obvious that the trap was not mechanically capable of doing so much as one point of damage.

Your players will hate you. You won't care. You'll be too busy laughing.
Jackobol Trades 10th Jul 2014, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
I don't have much in the way of interesting traps, as none of my players ever play a rogue, so traps become night impassable deadly obstacles to the fighters, whose armor check penalties drop reflex saves like a lead balloon, and the mages whose dump stat is Dexterity.

However, I do have an interesting story on how the party disarmed one of my traps during one of my first campaigns. The trap was a room of swords, which is where a room has a bunch of pressure plates that, when stepped on, cause holes to spew giant spikes and/or swords.

The party, not wanting to spend the time and effort to go through and disarm the trap, decided to sacrifice the least liked party member. So they knocked out and tied up the barbarian, their only tank, who was a complete bitch at the time both in character and out, and swung her body around to trigger all of the spikes, as a mage used the Break spell to destroy the revealed spikes.
Penrose Twirl 11th Jul 2014, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
THIS. is where the wizard uses his summon spell to either summon a master trap finder demon or a woolly rhinoceros tank to dismantle or trigger all the traps.
Toric 10th Jul 2014, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
By incredible coincidence, I just unleashed a nasty trap earlier tonight. I had a wide dirt road surrounded by fields on both sides, and the party was a traveling circus with many wagons in a two-by-two line. The first rank blew their perception check and kept moving. The second rank nailed it and noticed lots of scuff marks and wayward wagon tracks on the dirt road. When the monk convinced everyone to investigate, they noticed the dirt was slightly looser in the area and their was evidence of a collision. There were definitely NOT any ambushers. Even digging just revealed hard, packed, rocky ground under the road. So they continued.

Once the third rank of wagons went over the large area, they all heard a cracking noise beneath them. Only one of six wagons escaped the 30x60 pit trap in the road. It had been dug with sheer edges and was 25 feet deep. Stoneshape had been used to place a thin, sturdy lair of rock over it and dirt to cover that so that only heavy loads could trigger it. Wagons broke, axels broke, horse legs broke.

The best part was the note I gave them. Basically, it said "Sorry we're not here right now to take full advantage of this, but we are otherwise occupied. Feel free to try and escape, but if you can't don't worry. We'll be there in a few days." The party made it out eventually, and there just so happened to be a carpenter/wheelwright a few miles ahead...
Toric 10th Jul 2014, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
In a campaign someone else was running, we'd entered a room with a maze that had several dart, spike, buzz-saw, and similar traps at regular intervals. Rather than dealing with them one at a time, our priest summoned a wooly rhino and sent him charging down the hallways to spring all the traps and clear a bunch of the webs in the halls.

Those poor rhinos that bravely gave their lives for us are remembered to this day. I think they collectively soaked up over 300 plus all the webbing.
Codeman 11th Jul 2014, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
My group and I were doing a pre-made dungeon crawl that was basically nothing but puzzles and traps, with a few fights thrown in. It was all going great for awhile, (other than 2/3 of the party fell off the cliff in the beginning (luckily I remembered to use a rope tied around myself, but still fell and took damage XD)). Then we hit this straight hall way, we had ran into a few traps already at this point so we check for traps and find one in the very first 5'. Well we walk forward, right into a trap. So then we started checking every 5' square for traps because the entire 5' wide hall way was just trap after trap and there was no way to get around them but to disable them... and we had to roll search and disable device for every square and every trap... It was the longest most boring part of the dungeon. Who ever made the dungeon though couldn't have made that hallway it feels like. The rest of the dungeon was amazing with fun puzzle traps and interesting challenges... and then there is that hallway... I just don't know what went wrong.
CrowMagnon 11th Jul 2014, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Got a story about traps just from last night. So in my group's Carrion Crown campaign, we're making our way through the property of uber-alchemist Count Caromarc, which we have reason to believe has been seized by cultists. While in the building reserved for his taxidermic collection, our witch climbs up a ladder leading up to the attic, and of course this is the ONE time she doesn't reflexively cast Detect Magic, so she triggers a trap left behind by one of the cultists, releasing an acidic cloud into the stairwell.

Turns out there wasn't even anything up there. The cultist just set up the trap because they're jerks.
Siccarus 11th Jul 2014, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
the Front door of the Dungeon. we just rested up and got into marching order when the Rogue says he will check for traps. Now right before he could roll his girlfriend distracted him and the rest of the party started the usual side chatter. One player just came back from getting Pizza, asks what is going on, The DM tells him we are in front of the door, SO he then Proclaims, "I Open the Door."
Grey Slimes Rain from the Ceiling Melting A weapon on every Player, and My knight and another Knights Heavy armor Melting the metal armor off all of our Paladins and Knights. And that is how we ended up having a Nude Dungeon run, and why our Party wasasdfadf;.
Siccarus 11th Jul 2014, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Sorry Comment wouldn't Respond so I opened a new one not realizing the old one Posted.
Siccarus 11th Jul 2014, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
Opening the Door Releases Grey slimes From the Ceiling. It melted the Armour off all of our Main combatants, and A weapon off of every other character. The rest of the Fortress was similarly trapped and we went through it naked. But the Cream of the crop was the Old man we found in the dungeon. we freed him and he gave us all a big hug while ranting about the Shaman who trapped him there. A few months later we all start feeling down AND SO IS THE REST OF THE CITY WE ARE STAYING IN. The old man was a Carrier for a Disease that Deals charisma damage.
ToTZ 11th Jul 2014, 9:06 PM Tom and Shortround edit delete reply
My DM and I were the only bronies in our group. He had an app that played soundbytes from the show, certain popular quotes, etc. Anyway, we split the party one time, and our dwarf manages to set off a trip wire. The DM says: "Suddenly, you hear a purple unicorn say," *cue ipad app saying* 'Look out, here comes Tom!', and then a boulder started rolling down the tunnel toward the paladin. My response to this, after the subtle nod of 'I see what you did there', was have my character communicate with the dwarf telepathically, calling him 'short-round' and humming the Indiana Jones theme music in his mind. I knew the DM loved all references, and so he gave the dwarf a bonus to running speed and defenses against the boulder, and somehow managed to survive being flattened.
RinaldoLuke 12th Jul 2014, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
Back when 3rd edition D&D came out, I was running a game for an evil party. Now, I like to screw with my players a little. They know this, but are paranoid about my more... creative, moments. This lead to two hilarious encounters which were not traps, but *paranoia* about traps, which is even better.

The first was when they were going through a dungeon and they had to get these keys of different colors, which matched the colors of the locks on the door they wanted to go through. One was inside a fairly powerful and vicious undead creature. One was in a trapped chest. One was held in a field of magical energy that zapped them when they tried to grab past it. And then there was the Red Key.

The Red Key was in the middle of a large room whose floor was completely covered in a green moss. One of the players pokes the moss with his quarterstaff. I ask him to make a Fort save. He tells me the result, I roll a d4 twice, and tell him that he feels nothing... yet. The PCs then spend a bunch of time trying to figure out a way around the moss, with all of them making various attempts. One player rolled particularly poorly and figured he was already affected, so he decided he'd just run to the key, try to grab it, and run back. I had him roll 5 Fort saves for the way to the key, a Dex check to grab it without stopping, and 5 Fort saves on the way back. I carefully recorded all of the results, but he made his Dex check to grab the key.

Then the mage of the group decides he's had enough and chucks a couple vials of alchemist's fire into the moss, in frustration, even though they already have the keys. To which I responded "Well, those last Fort saves were for nothing, but the ones you'll have to make for the smoke filling the poorly ventilated dungeon? Those are going to be real, I'm afraid." They nearly suffocated trying to get out.
RinaldoLuke 12th Jul 2014, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
The second time was when they were going to face a necromancer with whom they were in competition (evil does not always get along with evil, after all) and they get to "A dried-up river, with spikes of bone filling the bottom of what was once the river bed, a single bridge of bone crossing it.

Now, the necromancer could just fly in and marched his minions through the bone spikes: it was specifically crafted to fall apart more than a few hundred pounds were applied to the central portion of the bridge. The PCs thought to check this, sending in someone to test the bridge. Sure enough, the bridge collapsed, but they were ready and able to pull him to safety before he hit the spikes at the bottom.

I thought they'd done a good job, and the Rogue was about to lower a rope down so they could cross through the lines of bone spikes, when the mage stopped them and said "Wait. What if the bone spikes animate and try to stab us while we are surrounded?" The party became VERY paranoid, first throwing rocks to see if the spikes react, then summoning a creature, and then actually capturing a squirrel and throwing it down there, each test just making them more and more paranoid, going from "Maybe it reacts to movement" to "Maybe it only reacts to living things" to "Maybe it won't react to summoned creatures." They spent over an hour trying to figure out a way to cross without going into the dried river. Finally, the Fighter of the ground elects to go down first and crosses most of the way... only to find out that the Necromancer did not have thousands of animated bone spikes filling a river bed.

Of course, I decided years later to actually use that as an encounter in a game, but that's another story.
MumaKirby 12th Jul 2014, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
"One of these chests holds a weapon of incredible power. One of these chests holds death. One of these chests holds freedom. Choose wisely."

All three chests were linked to a floor trap that opened up the floor, into a cave belonging to a Mimic Queen, and her very hungry children.
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Second trap of the literal sense--

There was a dungeon created by a very board dragon. He designed all the traps to be a "double-whammy". It involved the first part as an obvious trap (i.e. not so hidden pit, wall spikes that aren't covered, obviously colored poison door, etc). The second part is that somewhere close by is a well-hidden trap.

This meant the PCs sprung the hidden trap the first few times when they walked around the obvious trap. After the 3rd-4th trap they got wise and learned to check for the hidden trap (though the obvious ones were still dangerous).

The punchline? The treasure at the end was a double as well. The obvious large pile of gold/gems/magic stuff was an illusion. That stuff was just pyrite (fool's gold), polished glass baubles, and fake magic items that don't do anything. The real treasure was of course hidden nearby.

Thankfully the party fighter figured this ruse out before they left the dungeon to cash out (the fighter fubbed it in the spellcasters faces that he saw past the illusion when they didn't even think to question it). :D
JSchunx 10th Jul 2014, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Was the dragon in question a Bronze? I can't remember for sure, but I think they're the most trickster-ish of the bunch.

Incidentally, I'm starting to use illusions in the same fashion, crafting an obvious ruse which cloaks a more dangerous trap. Illusions have the advantage of being no-save until interacted with, which helps a lot with, say, a pit trap covered by the image of a floor.

On that note, I remember a relatively recent campaign wherein our (high-level) party was fighting a half-demon ghost warlock in the basement of a wizard's tower. He used stone shaping and illusions to cover a hole in the ground, and when the party's cleric fell in, he stone-shaped the opening shut and proceeded to charima-drain the trapped cleric for a bit. The party eventually beat him, but I made the encounter as hard as I could for them.
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
I don't remember the type of dragon, but it might have been. My players learned that even the "good" metallic dragons will load death traps into their lairs, because you don't touch a dragon's treasure. Period. :)
Trusnam 10th Jul 2014, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
So our DM led our group into a room by a boss (obviously a trap but I don’t think anyone else cared so I just folled). We wailed on the boss and took out a machine that had captives in it. But then after we had beaten the boss they turned into a child and an army of guards came in on us.
The DM told us we all got captured (with no chance of escape), but since I was having some issues with my character I had them fight the guards (saying that he was being overprotective of the captives we freed) and got him killed instead. It was my first real RP and my second round of that RP…
Pseudonym Sam 10th Jul 2014, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
I once GM'ed a Pulp 1930s adventure-archaeology game that featured a lot of traps (in more ways than one). The party was a group of archaeology students; their eccentric professor offered to give them their degrees if they go out in the field and recover a legendary artifact rather than write long, boring dissertations he won't bother to read. The PCs accept and head off in pursuit of a fabled Maya GOLDEN IDOL hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest.

The party has many whacky hijinks in Brazil, including accidentally killing everyone in a bar (The medic had been seasick and vomited on the bartender, due to crit-failing a streetwise roll to get directions. Things escalated.), almost drowning in piranha-infested waters, and fighting assorted wildlife (jaguars, caimans, parrots...). Finally, they make it an overgrown Maya temple-pyramid.

They enter through rotting doors, and descend down a dark corridor. The point-man fails to notice, but manages to dodge anyway a series of traps that strike the player behind him instead. After surviving a series of swinging saw blades, scythes, axes, falling tanks of piranhas, etc., the PCs finally enter the room with the GOLDEN IDOL. As they struggle with it, suddenly Maya warriors descend from the ceiling! Despite a nasty surprise, modern firepower wins the day. The party extracts the GOLDEN IDOL and after a long journey home, they present it triumphantly to their eccentric professor.

He fails them on sight. The professor explains the GOLDEN IDOL is fake, it was all an elaborate test of their archaeological knowledge, which they failed utterly. He lists off everything they failed to notice, such as:
1.) The Maya were a Mesoamerican culture, thousands of miles north of the Amazon basin.
2.) Maya pyramids were solid, and did not have deep, winding passages. Anything valuable would be buried inside and inaccessible.
3.) The Maya lacked metallurgy, so buzzsaw and scythe traps are ludicrous.
4.) The "Maya warriors" they fought were actually highly trained, professional stuntmen who are alive and well.

And so on. "So yes, you have all failed! I can see without a shadow of doubt that you know absolutely NOTHING about archaeology at all-"

BAM! Suddenly, the professor is shot in the back by NAZIS who storm into the university, screaming "Get ze GOLDEN IDOL!"

Crazy Tom 10th Jul 2014, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
That is priceless! Love the story!
Digo 10th Jul 2014, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
Niiice twist!
Zuche 10th Jul 2014, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
Oh, well done. I guess the only question left to answer is where all the money came from to build, occupy, and trap the pyramid in the first place...and I've no doubt you had an answer prepped for that as well, considering how you wrapped up this chapter of the story.
Pseudonym Sam 10th Jul 2014, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
Zuche: Hmm... from where did he get the money, indeed...?


The next session picked up after that cliff hanger. Nazis back a truck through the wall, load it with the GOLDEN IDOL, and drive off! The party steals some cars and gives chase. After a massive, running gun battle with much vehicular destruction and property damage in the middle of Oxford, the PCs defeat the Nazis and recover the GOLDEN IDOL.

They are congratulated by their professor, who appears on scene out of breath but remarkably fine for someone who had been shot to death a few minutes before. "Nothing to fear, 'twas only a scratch! I am a highly trained, professional stuntman..."

He reveals that he is no mere professor (and stuntman, apparently), but also the COLONEL-CURATOR of the British Museum's SPECIAL ANTIQUITIES DIVISION, a crack unit of COMMANDO-ARCHAEOLOGISTS ("Nothing to see here! British Museum business!"-to passersby). The professor/colonel/curator explains that he knew the Nazis were watching him. He thus devised the elaborate test for the students' archaeological knowledge, which was also an elaborate red herring/trap for the gullible Nazis, which was also an elaborate test for the PCs' combat skills!

"Although you are currently dismal archaeologists, you will make fine highly trained, professional stuntmen indeed!" The professor/colonel/curator recruits the PCs into the Special Antiquities Division. Roll the archaeology and stunt/acting training montages, and soon the party is off seeking the British Museum's REAL objectives while outfoxing the Nazis with archaeological misleads and fake deaths!

*play theme music*
Jennifer 12th Jul 2014, 5:24 AM edit delete reply
This is awesome. Can't wait to read more stories of the Special Antiquities Division!
kriss1989 10th Jul 2014, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
So, the party is in a typical pyramid death trap room, when the Cedric manages to teleport and get to the control panel. The controls are unlabeled, and color coded by an entire other species standards from a millennia ago. She tries green for "good", and the ceiling now is spiked and lowering. Red "for stop" starts causing darts to shoot out of the walls (the poison thankfully had long ago lost potency). Eventually the barbarian manages to break their way out, but not before the warlock says the very quotable soundbite "Our cleric is going to kill us!"

Interestingly, the warlock passes his History check and figures out that PURPLE means "stop". The sad part is, the cleric had a higher score, and could have figured it out if she had thought to ask and didn't push them at random.
Archone 10th Jul 2014, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
I've thrown a few good traps at my players in the past...

One Shadowrun mission involved the team being hired by a grumpy old wolf shifter (a serious badass shadowrunner who wanted them specifically because of their growing reputation for NONLETHAL methods) to rescue his grandchildren from a facility that kidnapped them to research ways of killing various monsters. They were to infiltrate the facility while "Grandpa" Lowell created a diversion in the parking lot using plenty of grenades.

The whole underground level of the facility was a series of traps. First came the rail turrets from the ceiling. Then the first room door was opened by an ork begging them to kill him... just before the spider beasts burst out of his torso, xenomorph style. Then came the gryphons, released by the researchers to attack the intruders. And the combat drones. An then, while the team was dealing with all that... a cyberarm sculpted to look like a robot pit bull's head punched through the wall and grabbed the team rigger in "jaws" that were a hydraulic press.

(the kicker? They STILL survived all that, and got out of there with the puppies, taking them straight to Seattle General hospital where their mother worked)

The other time was when they had arrived in Denver on a smuggling run, looked around and decided they'd rather hightail it back to Seattle, and found work escorting a convoy of trucks containing mycoprotein. Naturally the convoy was attacked by another team of runners... but after the first round of combat, when the team was already realizing these guys weren't fooling around, that's when the second ambush started. About a dozen or so...well, technically two dozen. Looking something like this:

"Willy and Billy, Bob and Rob, Jeff and Jair, you boys get ready to toss! Bert and Ernie, Willie and Wonka, get yer rumps out here! We got us a BIG haul today!"

"The boy on that one truck's got a real purdy mouth, Siggy and Roy..."
GothPoet 10th Jul 2014, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
Alas for my poor PCs. Whenever there's not a trap on what they're searching, they never forget to search for traps.

Perversely, it's when they do forget, they find traps... the hard way.

This time, the Shadowsworn (ostensibly, the party's trap detector) set it off.

It went like this...

Mage's Disjunction Trap (Hit everybody, though only the Chameleon's henchman suffered any loss from it)

Rockfall Traps at both ends of the corridor (Sealing the corridor, killing the henchman, severely wounding the Cleric and the Chameleon.

Deluge of Holy Water trap (People just got wet. :p )

Impaling Spearheads of Anarchic Power Trap (3 hits on the Paladin, leaving him at about half hit points (~125), and with 3 negative levels; 1 hit on the Cleric mortally wounding her (-4), and 1 hit on the Chameleon putting him to double digits)

Adamantine Plate falls on the paladin, dropping him to 6 hp.

The Shadowsworn went completely unscathed. :|
Disloyal Subject 10th Jul 2014, 10:11 PM I'm in ur base, trappin' ur boxes edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Traps? Oh, yes. I like to think that I use just enough traps to keep my players alert for them, but a lot of them tend to involve triggering an optional combat with the PCs at some disadvantage - like dumping a box of ghasts on the immediate vicinity of a pressure plate, or locking the treasure vault and flooding it with an endless stream of tiny Fiendish scorpions if anyone touches anything. I did borrow the Cone of Lobsters spell from someone here and trap a treasure chest with it, but regrettably my PCs skipped over that room out of fear after finding a hellhound in the last side room they tried.
As a player... Well, I've mentioned our sadism in using a respawning imp to trigger the classic traphall of darts, buzzsaws, and lasers, (oh my) but in the mercenary Dark Heresy game I just started we are the trappers. I'm playing an Assassin specialized in sneaking and sniping, so I always nudge the remainder of the party - four Guardsmen - to be a little stealthier, at least long enough to set explosive charges in case we need an edge in combat. Even if we do fine in the gunfights, some clients give us a bonus for the publicity that leveling a building attracts, and having charges preset means we can leave the smoking rubble in our wake after we've skedaddled, preserving our anonymity a little better.
Anymouse 10th Jul 2014, 10:59 PM edit delete reply
Best trap I've ever heard of was from a friend of mine. He was running a (I think 2e or 3e) D&D game with low-level characters, except some of the players got whiny and wanted to use their higher-level ones instead. After much cajoling and annoyance, my friend gets an idea, and proceeds to begin the story. All the characters (both high- and low-level), begin in a dungeon, and the trap happens about halfway down the hallway past the entrance. The floor, you see, was an illusion, with a DC set to where the low-level guys would fail, and the high-level guys would succeed. When their characters realized the floor was an illusion, they immediately fell through onto a net of razor-wire, dying instantly. The low-levels, unable to disbelieve, were left wondering where their compatriots had gone. Lesson? Most have learned this one: DON'T TICK OFF THE DM! (Especially the creative ones).
Inlé 11th Jul 2014, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
My favorite trap has to be one I stole straight from the fabulous webcomic Order of the Stick. Specifically, the wizard Vaarsuvius' love of Explosive Runes. My party now almost blatantly refuses to read ANYTHING without Dispelling it first for fear that they'll see the words,"Guess what spell I prepared this morning?".

...On a side note, I don't think I've ever heard an NPC get so many vicious, hate-filled death threats from my party either. Must be doing something right. ;)
Specter 11th Jul 2014, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
*Sorry, no video today. My computer is fried and this device i have has no copy url feature.*

Sorry again.
Aggrax 11th Jul 2014, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
One time, only part of our Anima group showed up to the game, so we decided that our part of the group had left the camp to go look for firewood. After a bit of searching, we come across a part of the forest that looked different. So we carefully investigated and found a bunch of animals that looked like they were being controlled by a stump.

Whereupon my first immediate action was to declare that there was nothing here we needed and no reason to stick around, so lets go! The animals weren't attacking or threatening us and, since we were looking for dead wood, nothing in the clearing was useful. The DM looked at me for a few seconds and then says "Huh, your right."

The rest of the party then engages in combat on principle. But fighting.