View Full Version : Modern Day Traps

2010-10-30, 08:58 PM
hi all i'm looking to run a horror based D20 Modern game climaxing in a basement turned dungeon and am looking for some modern day traps something along the lines of saw, i have had a look at both the traps and treachery books both 1 and 2 and there not quite meeting up to what i expected i will admit the false floor board is a classic and that is probably one of my favorites but i feel like its missing that modern day, saw like "UMPH!" as it were

i've had a look at the saw movies in true spirit of role playing games i've continued to use the ever so scary "in effecitant slow crushing walls", and pinched a few from saw such as toilets and other stuff full of needles, putting your hands into a box of razor blades and not getting them out, nerve gas rooms, shotgun doors, electrified floors and the old faithful "contact posion on the final quest object" but i still feel like something is missing, like there should be some other kind of trap.

the game is based heavily on the occult and i'm trying to keep is as least psycological as possible, i once ran a "d20 modern horror movie game" which was basicly a typical horror movie without all the crud of the killer taking 20 minutes to cross a 3ft room to stab someone and i gave one of my players nightmares for a month.

i once ran a resident evil game, one of the players failed to tell me she suffered from bipolar disorder and she was paranoid about an incident with real zombies.... she was later commited to a mental institute, part of me is proud but part of me is like "whoa dude thats some extreme crap right there"

i was thinking of a new trap where the player would effectively kill themselves for example a suicide vest with 10 blocks of C4 on it...

player would find said protective vest and go dude this is awesome! probably searching it first, with a decent enough hide check from the BBEG and assuming they don't roll to well they put it on, connecting the metal cup links connects a small circuit a message displays in the old fashioned die hard 3 style saying "i am a bomb you have armed me" and begins counting down, instead of using initiative and the one encounter lasting 45 hours we could just count down in real life stopping the clock every time someone makes a check.

how ever i still feel like something is missing and not quite right...

anyone suggest anything??

2010-10-31, 10:32 AM
c'mon people throw me a bone here

Evil DM Mark3
2010-10-31, 10:41 AM
You only left it a few hours, it takes a bit longer than that.

Anyway modern day traps...

Any kind of sensor linked up to a firearm.
There are a plethora of noixious gasses available.
Given the time of year, blades and/or needles in food is probably apropriate.
Animals trained to attack when an alarm goes off (the trap specificly is the alarm)
Flamable liquid poured over the PCs with an ignition source either slightly later or actualy being carried by the party.

The main idea does not change, in fact the only real change is the types of hazard available, more advanced weapons, more sensitive and possibly more delicate sensors and activation mechanisms.

2010-10-31, 11:13 AM
I try to break traps into groups:
- Caustic liquids
- Explosives
- Guns
- Blades
- Pits
- Sticky

Triggered vs non-triggered. A lot of traps are set off by a character doing something (opening a door, turning on the ignition of a car) whereas others are usually encountered through being in the wrong place (pits).

I wouldn't get too graphic or realistic though. Strong bases do some pretty horrifying things to people IRL, and I don't know if you want to go quite that far. Wear gloves when you play with this kind of fire.

Zeta Kai
2010-10-31, 11:34 AM
Claymore mines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claymore_mine), land mines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_mine), & bear traps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_trap) are pretty much the modern trifecta of man-made traps. Although IEDs (improvised explosive devices (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvised_explosive_device)) are making a big splash lately (pun intended).

2010-10-31, 11:40 AM
so would an explosive pressure plate work,
PC steps on pressure plate,
reflex save for half damage?

what about a furnace room you know how crematoriums have the cremation thing where they slide the body in, was thinking a large size version of that, metal floors and such

2010-10-31, 11:58 AM
It depends how heavily occult you want to go with your campaign. Is magic real in your d20 world? In many of the more realistic ones, the answer would be "no."

If magic isn't real, I'd suggest traps that fire off hallucinogens. Things like "Oh, I stepped on the pressure plate and now I'm tripping balls" or "that dart shoots you in the neck and you're seeing Freedie causally stroll your way."

If magic is real, them magic-trap them up.

2010-10-31, 12:01 PM
yes magic is real in this, how ever its avalible to the BBEG if theres some kind of trainee spell caster in the party they can learn spells and such as they go to be honest i haven't quite worked that out i don't want to be too restricting on the PC's

2010-10-31, 02:36 PM
One important thing to consider is what the builder wants to accomplish with the traps.

Traps are a solution to achieve certain means, you don't place them because you want to trap something. It's either guarding a place against intruders, or preparing an ambush.

- The most simple, but also most useful trap is a sensor that locks down all the doors in an area and triggers an alarm. This keeps the intruder in place until someone can arrive to deal with them.
- If you don't want to allert them that they are discovered, make it a silent alarm and leave the doors nearby open. Only lock critical rooms and the exits.
- If you assume intruders will likely be able to break out before the guard team arrives, make the doors air tight and add some gas that knocks everyone inside the room or corridor unconscious.
- If you want to kill them anyway, use poisenous gas instead.

If you want to ambush someone, different types of traps are called for.
- The classic: Landmines.
- A bit more compliactes: Connecting a tripwire to explosives. This can be an improvised landmine, or you can put the explosives on something else you want to collaps, to trap the targets in place. Or blow up an entire building or a bridge right under their feet.

2010-10-31, 02:55 PM
intresting, do you think a claymore with small razor blades attached would be cool for a trap like in swordfish they have explosive vest with ball barings which when detonate cause serious damage to like a 100ft radius, same principle but razors?


2010-10-31, 04:33 PM
Actually, small metal balls would probably be more effective than razorblades, as they have more mass, and so more impact force. Plus, most razorblades would probably be seriously damaged by such an explosion.

2010-10-31, 11:33 PM
You could also rig a shotgun to point at a door so it blasts anyone who opens it. Max Payne FTW!

2010-11-01, 03:30 PM
yes max payne does own, although i was reading up on people who rigged thier houses as traps and basicly theres one guy who put 20 shotguns as traps around his house, which were so well concealed that it took 3 teams of military mine detectors a week to find all of them, besides one, the last one is speculated to be a shotgun hidden in a statue, good trap/puzzle, ah to open a secret door you need to put something in the statues hand, so you do, you get shot in the fun zone AND THEN the door opens XD.