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Friday, August 13, 2010

Last-Minute GM: 20-Sided Traps

I've updated Table II of the 20-sided quickies so that the lines are evenly spaced and the entries for number ranges don't wrap. New link is here.

I've been thinking about traps lately. There's no formula for traps yet, although I've been testing some trap, trick and hazard formulas. There's also no column that specifically applies to traps, although Table II's Modifiers and Events can be used for basic trap behavior. So, a simple formula for a random trap could be d6 + d20, looking up the d20 result under Table II Modifiers/Events and using the following table for the d6:

  1. Ceiling
  2. Door/Wall
  3. Tunnel/Threshold
  4. Floor
  5. Loot
  6. Statue/Special
"Loot" refers to a loose pile of treasure or otherwise potentially useful items, or to a container (chest, sack, urn) that could possibly contain treasure. Actual contents of the container are the GM's decision, or can be rolled randomly (2d20, Material + Object.) If no container or loose treasure is present or desired, pile can be of items that might be serviceable; either a 1d20 Material roll or 2d20 Material + Object roll can be used to determine items.

"Statue" can be further described with a 3d20 roll for Material + Person + Object (for wooden statues of warriors holding lanterns, for example) or Material + Animal + Animal (for weird hybrid creatures) or other possible combinations of columns.

"Special" refers to a decorative or non-portable object that is trapped. A 2d20 Material + Object roll should work for this as well.

Some sample rolls produced the following:
  • opening a door releases a flood of water
  • a hazy mist descends from the ceiling, obscuring vision
  • disturbing a treasure pile releases a cloud of choking dust

I'm torn over whether to create a new table for traps or not. On the one hand, it will beef up the results and create more variety for what a trap can do. On the other hand, it's an extra sheet of paper for the GM to worry about. With just two tables, I was hoping to shrink the print so both could fit on one side of a landscape-oriented sheet, making it easy to use at the table. Three tables makes this unviable.

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