Saturday, March 30, 2013

Solo Traps: A Rough Draft

Last weekend, we took Young Lord Shadowmoss to one of those "play" centers where dozens of kids from the ages or 1 to 10 or so run around inside "bouncy castles" and the like, play with a myriad of ride on toys and, importantly, spread germs like plague rats. I staved off infection the longest, finally succumbing on Friday (Lady and the Young Lord both had it for the first half of the week).

So, while I had hoped to play the Ever Expanding Dungeon tonight, I'm not sure how up to it I am. Never the less, I spent a fair bit of time creating the following for use in said dungeon as a means of generating more varied traps in an attempt to move away from what I now perceive as an overuse of Save or Die poison of types X and XX. I still need to add the actual trap details generation portion, this first part is simply a mini-game of chance for determining if a trap is present and how it is triggered:

Step 0: Declare party actions [I do it in writing] prior to proceeding. Will the thief try to detect traps? Will the M-U cast Detect Trap or Detect Magic? Will the fighter try to pry it open with her sword blade? Will they hurl it down the steps to open it? Will the fighter kick down the door? Will the thief pick the lock first?

At the very least, you must state how you will attempt to open the door/chest now. If no trap is detected, the PCs will carry out this action and they can not change their mind. 

Step 1: Play the GM for a minute:
1. Determine if a chest or door is locked:

                    For chests:
     Locked : 01-66
     Stuck: 67 - 90
     Easy to open: 91 - 100

For Doors:
      Locked: 01-30
      Stuck: 31 - 66
      Easy to open: 67 - 100

2 Determine if the item is trapped, roll 1d100:

For Chests

Check Lock is TrappedCheck Lid is trigger
if lock not trapped
Locked01-6601 - 34
Stuck/Easy01-0501 - 66

For Doors:

Check Lock is TrappedCheck Door is Trigger if Lock is not Trapped
Locked01 - 2501 - 25
Stuck/Easy01-0501 - 25

3 If a Trap is Present, Roll Type of Trap:
Physical 01 - 60
Poison 61 – 90
Magic / Other 91 - 00

4 If poison/physical, roll to detect (or cast Detect Trap or similar) if party declared that action.
If magic/other, then only detectable with a Detect Magic or similar, if party declared.
5  If a trap is detected, an attempt to disable may be made using appropriate means. If the disable fails, the party may stop the process at this point and leave the chest or door closed and/or locked.

6  If no trap was rolled in Step 2, there is nothing to worry about, but if the trap exists and was not detected,  the party is assumed to take all of the actions specified in Step 0 without the option to back out. If one of those actions would logically trigger the trap, then that's what happens.

 For Chests Only:

Once open, if no trap has triggered, another attempt may be made to detect a trap on the contents (no additional spells need be cast, but thieves would have to roll again or if no spell cast yet, it could be declared now). Roll trap type as above. 
If one is found, a disable attempt may be made (again a Dispel Magic spell can be assumed to have dispelled a magic trap on the contents. If not yet cast, can declare to do so now).

If detect roll fails or disable roll fails, check to see if contents are trapped, roll 1d100:
Contents trapped: 01 - 34

I'm fairly certain in my congested head-feels-like-it's-buried-in-peanut-butter state, I've missed something obvious.  I'm sure that will come out in testing, but if anyone sees something glaring, please let me know.


  1. Since you often use Labyrinth Lord, you might check out the fungus called a "Shrieker" for use as a Hall or Room "trap".

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Tackling hall and room traps is definitely on my "to do" list. I would like to get away from 50 percent chance of pit, 50 percent chance of "other" where I usually insert either a dart, a scythe, or flaming oil. The shrieker would do well there - non-lethal on its own, but increasing the risk to the party.


  2. I recommend organizing the categories in the same way for Chests and Doors. Make "Easy" a high roll and "Locked" a low roll for all things. Just a thought.


    For chests:
    Locked : 01 - 66
    Stuck : 67 - 90
    Easy : 91 - 100

    For Doors:
    Locked : 01 - 33
    Stuck : 34 - 66
    Easy : 67 - 100

    1. Hi Jim,

      Ack! I had even made a note to myself to go back and do just that. I will update it in the main body of the post.



  3. You should incorporate these into your Dungeon Generator.

    1. Hi Chris,

      An excellent idea. I did that in a crude sort of way off-line when I stuffed them all into the same binder, but explicitly defining how the two integrate will undoubtedly make it more useful for anyone else who decides to give it a go.


  4. John,
    I am not sure if your dungeon generator is intended as such, but for my more recent crawl, I used it as the game progressed rather than generate the dungeon beforehand. So, for my purposes, the integration of trap generator is a great addition.