On the Thursday Trick, Doors & Chests

Doors & Chests (Category: Varies)

Trigger: Mechanical: Latch or Switch
Mechanical: Interaction
Other: Player Greed
Effects: Varies
Save: VariesDuration: Varies
Resets:  ManualBypass: Disarm

Description: Doors and chests!

I talk a lot about agency in traps, about having signs of the traps be obvious but subtle, about distracting from what the real clues are and about how to make them interesting.

All this gets tossed out the window for doors and chests. Why?  Because they are common and commonly trapped. In most cases the trapping mechanism is subtle and hard to detect. And the procedure for checking them using player skill would rapidly reach the point where it was comprehensive and going through that process would be boring and repetitive.

It is an actual example where character skill trumps player skill. I can explain how to crack a safe or pick a lock, but it is practice and exposure to different safes and locks that really determines your ability.

So, for traditional, classic, door and chest traps, I don't bother describing the mechanism of the trap. [Tweet this]
This is reliant upon the relevant thief skill.  It is the thief's equivalent to fighting or casting spells. I do certainly think it is reasonable to create a unique game or subsystem for opening locks or detecting traps (Such as pulling Jenga blocks, winning hands of war, etc.)


Detection/Disarming: Here are some lists of common door and chest traps!

  • Poison
    • Contact poison on treasure
    • Contact poison on container
    • Poison needle in lock or handle
    • Poison darts in front, top, inside lid, or bottom.
    • Poison Gas (in chest, in door handle)
  • Scything blade, cutting, up, down, etc.
  • Contains deadly vermin
  • Triggers another nearby trap, trap door, crushing stone block, etc. (Note that this trap can have plenty of agency)
  • Triggers a Magic Spell
  • Mimic
  • Acid spray
  • Explosive
How to deal with overactive door kickers?
  • Dropping blades
  • Weighted line that releases a metal spear shaft from the ceiling behind the kicker
  • Weakened doors that break eaisly to allow blades to amputate the limbs
  • Snares in the door
  • Spring loaded blades in doors
  • Shooting blades that fling out
  • Portcullises that drop when the door is opened (to prevent the peek and flee)
  • Spiked clamps triggered around the surrounding ceiling, floor, or walls
  • Door contains deadly substance
  • Doors that spring out, slamming targets into the walls, floor or ceiling
  • Things perched on the tops of doors
  • Doors covered in sticky, toxic, or dangerous substances
Still time to vote! Yes, I know this post is up on Wednesday.

2 comments:

  1. I was looking for some general advice on how to handle such traps, especially concerning how common they are and how boring checking out every individual door/chest would be...

    Any new thoughts on this since you wrote this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! Pretty much if they examine a door or chest to tell if it's trapped, they automatically detect the trap. But they must ask.

      Delete

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