Friday, 10 December 2021

Quality Reusable Traps (d6)

When I prep for games, I appreciate resources that I can reuse.

I've written about this before with reusable dungeon maps. Another example is the same die roll table I use to help me stock dungeons. I also use Chris McDowall's Small Tables format for all my encounter tables (d6, 1-3 are three variations of a common creature, 4-5 are two variations of a uncommon creature, and 6 is something big and special).

So here are six reusable traps. The mechanism is simple and the details can be reflavoured again and again. I believe that you could use any of these traps with the exact same group of players at least twice before anyone would notice. Even if they do notice, that doesn't mean it's not fun. 

d6 Quality Reusable Traps

1. Glue Sword Pond: A pond/lake of clear water, at least eight feet deep. A magic/bejewelled sword is stuck at the bottom, quite visible from above. The sword is covered in a strong adhesive that isn’t soluble in water. This cannot be seen from above -- anyone grabbing the hilt is stuck fast. (Stolen wholesale from Prismatic Wasteland). 

2. Double Pit Trap: A covered pit trap in a hallway, just barely large enough to be leapt over. At the bottom is spikes, or snakes, or something. A second covered pit trap lies just beyond, which a leaper shall fall directly into.

3. Acid Nozzle Lever: A room has a series of metal nozzles on the ceiling, and a level made of the same metal on the wall. Objects in the room are "scarred and pitted, as if they've been sprayed by acid." You would be shocked at how many players will still pull the lever, spraying themselves with acid. 

4. Hand Sever Doorknob: A large door decorated with an ornate golden skull. Inside the golden skull's mouth is a golden doorknob. The teeth are stained with blood and a desiccated severed hand lies on the floor nearby. The important bit here is to describe the doorknob as a knob, not a handle. A knob must be gripped and twisted, so you can't simply use a stick to push the handle. 

5. Monster Scent Spray: A door/chest has a small metal nozzle which sprays when the door/chest is opened. The spray can be pheromones, perfume, prey scent, or something else, preferably something which will enrage/attract a nearby monster.

6. Treasure Pillar: A pillar of ice with treasure visibly frozen inside is holding up a partially collapsed ceiling. Removing or destroying the pillar will clearly collapse the entire ceiling. (Taken from this /r/osr thread on Reddit). 

Let's Reflavour Them As a Test

1. Glue Sword Pond --> Golden Necklace in a Bath: A deep bath of clear water, with a decorative tile mosaic at its bottom, ten feet down. A gleaming golden chain necklace is coiled at the bottom, quite visible from above. However, the necklace is cursed and will wrap around whomever grasps it, and is attached strongly to a hook at the bottom of the bath. Anyone grabbing the necklace is grasped. 

2. Double Pit Trap --> Double Glacier Crevasse: A thin crevasse obstructs your path, just wide enough to be leapt over. However, the solid ice just beyond is actually just a thin sheet of ice covering a second crevasse, into which a leaper shall fall.

3. Acid Nozzle Lever --> Flamethrower Button: A short hallway has a big brass tube at the end, facing the players. The walls and floor are scorched and blackened, and the hallway smells of smoke. At the player's end is a brass button set into the wall. When the button is pushed, a huge fireball bursts from the brass tube, hitting everyone in the hallway. 

4. Hand Sever Doorknob --> Snake Fang Gateway: An iron gateway blocks access to a key location. The centre of the double-door gate is an intricately wrought snake with its mouth open and huge iron fangs with tiny holes in the points. A corpse lies slumped nearby, clutching its hand, which is a violent purple colour, swollen, and with two pinpricks.

5. Monster Scent Spray --> Glowing Glittery Portcullis: A portcullis is closed, but luckily the wheel mechanism for opening it is on the player's side. As they finish the final crank, a narrow box opens in the portcullis archway, dropping a cloud of glowing glitter on the party. The white-eyed, almost blind cave-salamander-people who inhabit this dungeon can suddenly see the party coming from a mile away, and will fight hard to dissuade interlopers.

6. Treasure Pillar --> Woven Platinum Cable Room: A room opens into a bottomless chasm, with a shaky floor platform suspended by a single platinum cable, woven from several strands of the valuable metal. Removing or destroying the cable will clearly cause the platform to plummet. 

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