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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    So, Leomund's Trap, also known as Phantom Trap. I've never looked at this spell before (I think I probably just immediately skipped over it because expensive material components are annoying—sometimes necessary for balance, but annoying), but I kinda wish I had, because it seems hella weird to me. It's one of those game elements that just gets stranger the deeper I look at it.

    So it's a 2nd level Illusion spell that's Permanent. Not Permanent until discharged; Permanent. That's a little cool, and it's probably why the expensive material component is there. It also has no saving throw and no SR, so it's hard to straight up ignore it if you're below True Seeing levels. And it's apparently 100% effective; "any character able to detect traps, or who uses any spell or device enabling trap detection, is 100% certain a real trap exists." No check, no save, no nothing: it just works. Which gets even weirder when we consider that anyone with Trapfinding doesn't have to actually be looking for traps; they just look at the enspelled item and immediately say "that's the trappiest trap I've ever seen in my life."

    That's sort of interesting, now that we look at it, don't you think? It doesn't specify in any way what the onlooker thinks such a trap might be, of course. The text is entirely silent on that. Nor does the text specify that there's any way of disabling said "trap", unless it falls under the general-purpose Disable Device rules for "magic traps," which the spell kinda is and kinda isn't. I feel like it isn't, really, but if it's true that it isn't, then a Rogue (or whomever) who tries to disable the "trap" will always think they failed. Always. Because the trap is still there. And they know this with absolute certainty. No save.

    Even if they decide to open the enspelled item anyway and see that nothing happens, they still think a trap is there. With 100% certainty. The spell doesn't discharge. It's still there, and therefore it's very clearly still trapped, as anyone (with Trapfinding) can tell. Even the text (indirectly) states this: "nothing happens is the trap is 'sprung,'" and the onlooker realizing that the item isn't trapped would probably qualify as something happening. The spell does not change.

    In fact, since there isn't a "disbelief" clause (and therefore the "you automatically disbelieve your own illusions" rule doesn't apply, just like how you can't naturally see something you cast Invisibility on if you can't normally see invisible things; both this spell and Invisibility are [glamer] spells with no saving throw to disbelieve, so they should work similarly in this regard), if the caster has Trapfinding or something similar, then even they believe with absolute certainty that there's a trap on this item. It doesn't say "anyone other than you." It just says "anyone who can detect traps." So, you know, this probably isn't the best spell to pick up with your Beguiler's Advanced Learning feature. I mean, unless you like doing that sort of thing. Maybe you're on a diet and want to lock away the cookies from yourself without preventing your Cleric buddy from having the occasional responsible cookie after dinner (unless they cast Find Traps). I dunno, man, you do you.

    The clause stating that the spell fails if another iteration of it exists within 50 feet is semi-logical but also slightly vulnerable to being gamed. First, if you just want to be a jerk, it's possible to cast the spell multiple times on movable objects that are then brought together. (Imagine several nested chests, each "trapped" with this spell. Someone opening the chests would still be 100% convinced at each level that the next chest is, for sure, trapped for real. Which one probably should be, but whatever.). Second, it would theoretically be possible to attempt to cast this spell as a test to see if anything in, say, the room you're searching already has this spell on it. It wouldn't necessarily do you much good if you can find traps, of course, since you'd still believe with unshakeable certainty that the target is trapped, but it might help a party member who can't find traps realize that they should probably turn on Detect Magic. (At which point you'd want Nystul's Magic Aura, but that at least has a non-permanent duration.)

    If anything, that's the spell's weakness: it only works on characters capable of finding traps. (No, I checked: Find Traps isn't on the whitelist for Hallow.) Which might lead to some interesting interactions if folks are good at not metagaming.

    I dunno where I'm going with this. I just think it's a really, really weird spell, and it's strange that I've never noticed it or paid attention to it before. Any thoughts? Any experiences with it? Any weird optimization tricks we can fuel with it?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    So we create a spell trap, that casts Find Traps on people, and casts Phantasmal Traps, and finally have a magic mouth trap that casts suggestion on anything that comes in, and makes people believe that every time they spring a trap an innocent creature is killed. So everyone that finds this spell trap knows inexplicably that there is at least one trap in the room. Have many many fake traps all over, and several real ones. Put this in a labyrinth. make the wrong way be "less" trapped, but have the actual traps activate once they reach the dead end. So they know with definite proof that there are traps on the way back, that dont seem to have done anything, but if they failed their save seems to have killed many innocents whenever triggered. And have them dodging real traps the whole time. Add in some Trap Haunts (ghosts that possess traps) and maybe a fiend of possession or twelve that possess the traps. Make it so that the group absolutely hates traps by the time they make it out of this. And for the finale, a resetting Dimension Door trap that teleports people to the beginning of the dungeon, and one at the entrance that teleports people back in.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    In my entire career playing this game, with all the times I've reread the phb, I have never laid eyes on this spell before.

    Your post does a good job laying out the basics. I don't think there's anything you're really missing here. While it is silent on rolls re: disable device/search, I feel like it's logical to give one that treats the "trap" as a 2nd level spell.

    I see few optimization tricks you could do with this, aside from paoing someone into an inanimate object like a chest or flask, casting this, and then waiting for pao to wear off. From that point on, the person would seem "trapped" to all characters who could find traps, which they'd definitely think was weird, and people would assume it was some kind of ambulatory construct that blew up when you high fived it or something.

    The "if one is active in 50 feet" clause could be used as a way of passing a coded message, like leaving your window blinds in a certain orientation. You go to a location and cast the spell, and if it fails, then it communicates something to you, and if you can cast it, it communicates another thing. if for whatever reason you can't use another method of communication.

    There's definitely some fool's gold to be mined here. I'll think on it some more. Very good find. I love worthless, obscure core spells.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    So we create a spell trap, that casts Find Traps on people, and casts Phantasmal Traps, and finally have a magic mouth trap that casts suggestion on anything that comes in, and makes people believe that every time they spring a trap an innocent creature is killed. So everyone that finds this spell trap knows inexplicably that there is at least one trap in the room. Have many many fake traps all over, and several real ones. Put this in a labyrinth. make the wrong way be "less" trapped, but have the actual traps activate once they reach the dead end. So they know with definite proof that there are traps on the way back, that dont seem to have done anything, but if they failed their save seems to have killed many innocents whenever triggered. And have them dodging real traps the whole time. Add in some Trap Haunts (ghosts that possess traps) and maybe a fiend of possession or twelve that possess the traps. Make it so that the group absolutely hates traps by the time they make it out of this. And for the finale, a resetting Dimension Door trap that teleports people to the beginning of the dungeon, and one at the entrance that teleports people back in.
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    In my entire career playing this game, with all the times I've reread the phb, I have never laid eyes on this spell before.
    Right?! This is exactly how I felt. Maybe we just don't have Trapfinding as class features.

    I see few optimization tricks you could do with this, aside from paoing someone into an inanimate object like a chest or flask, casting this, and then waiting for pao to wear off. From that point on, the person would seem "trapped" to all characters who could find traps, which they'd definitely think was weird, and people would assume it was some kind of ambulatory construct that blew up when you high fived it or something.
    That's all kinds of stupid and I love it. Hell, you don't even need PAO: just go in reverse by casting Animate Object on something that you've "trapped."
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    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Can I make this the first thing I ever Sig?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Can I make this the first thing I ever Sig?
    I'd be honored.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 28. Everyone is welcome!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Use misdirection to prevent detect magic from revealing the trick.

    I am absodamnlutely certain there's a 3.X spell that makes an item seem locked when it's not and vice versa, but I couldn't find it with twenty minutes of searching.

    Get a 2nd-ed chaos mage to come in and top it off with a there/not there spell. So you walk right through the space where a door doesn't exist for you, turn around, and suddenly a hella trapped door has sprung into existence ...

    I also like the 3rd-party illusion spell that covers something real with the impression of being illusory. "Oh, that's clearly not actually a dire crocodile, you can tell from the--" CHOMP. (Reverse illusion, Relics&Rituals page 101.)
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Continuing on the PAO path, I'm pretty sure that a creature with the spell stuck on them would trigger trap sense in combat for any character with it. If you could drop this on a person in combat you'd get a decently scaling dodge bonus against them.

    Edit: Alternately find a way to target their held weapon for the same result, and without using the overkill of being able to change your opponent into an inanimate object to set this up. Would Ocular Spell make this possible? (Can you even attack an item without trying to sunder it?)
    Last edited by RaiKirah; 2018-03-02 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Avoiding Double Post

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    That's all kinds of stupid and I love it. Hell, you don't even need PAO: just go in reverse by casting Animate Object on something that you've "trapped."
    Glad you approve. Then incarnate construct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Use misdirection to prevent detect magic from revealing the trick.

    I am absodamnlutely certain there's a 3.X spell that makes an item seem locked when it's not and vice versa, but I couldn't find it with twenty minutes of searching.

    Get a 2nd-ed chaos mage to come in and top it off with a there/not there spell. So you walk right through the space where a door doesn't exist for you, turn around, and suddenly a hella trapped door has sprung into existence ...

    I also like the 3rd-party illusion spell that covers something real with the impression of being illusory. "Oh, that's clearly not actually a dire crocodile, you can tell from the--" CHOMP. (Reverse illusion, Relics&Rituals page 101.)
    I don't think that's a spell.

    I believe you're thinking of an alternate use for disable device: DC such and such to make an unlocked item look locked and vica versa.

    I can't find what book it's in though. The only ones I can think of are cadv's bypass trap/quick disable and all the weapon and armor chicanery in city of stormreach. does anyone know what I'm talking about?

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    Continuing on the PAO path, I'm pretty sure that a creature with the spell stuck on them would trigger trap sense in combat for any character with it. If you could drop this on a person in combat you'd get a decently scaling dodge bonus against them.

    Edit: Alternately find a way to target their held weapon for the same result, and without using the overkill of being able to change your opponent into an inanimate object to set this up. Would Ocular Spell make this possible? (Can you even attack an item without trying to sunder it?)
    I don't think so. You don't become a trap, everyone's just convinced you are. Like, if someone disguised themselves as an elf, and you hit them and had FE (elves) they wouldn't take extra damage.

    it is a legal target for ocular spell. you can attack items without sundering them, it's just seldom done since pcs would be destroying their own treasure
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    I don't think so. You don't become a trap, everyone's just convinced you are. Like, if someone disguised themselves as an elf, and you hit them and had FE (elves) they wouldn't take extra damage.
    Would you then similarly not get trap sense bonuses against a Shadow Conjuration version of Create Trap since it's not in fact a trap? Honest question; I don't know how this interaction would work

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    Would you then similarly not get trap sense bonuses against a Shadow Conjuration version of Create Trap since it's not in fact a trap? Honest question; I don't know how this interaction would work
    That's not the same thing. A shadow conjured trap is still a trap and functions as a trap. the only thing you successfully disbelieving will do is make you take a fraction less damage from its arrows or what have you.

    A silent image of a trap that you failed your save against, for example, is not a trap, so even if you thought it was, you would not be able to get a bonus against it.

    Rules bonuses are based on objective reality, not your perceptions. Like I said in the other example, if you're a ranger and have favored enemy (animal) and run into a druid in wild shape, your favored enemy bonus will not apply to him since his type didn't change.
    Last edited by Venger; 2018-03-03 at 01:25 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    I don't think that's a spell.

    I believe you're thinking of an alternate use for disable device: DC such and such to make an unlocked item look locked and vica versa.

    I can't find what book it's in though. The only ones I can think of are cadv's bypass trap/quick disable and all the weapon and armor chicanery in city of stormreach. does anyone know what I'm talking about?
    Can't help with yours, but I did find mine -- it was a nonmagical item called 'reverse lock', listed in Song&Silence.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    "that's the trappiest trap I've ever seen in my life."
    I get that a lot.




    Jokes aside, I have seen this spell before, but I don't think that it's that useful - certainly not massively broken, as none of its uses seem to extend beyond doing its job slightly better than it's maybe supposed to. Certainly, I don't feel any more inclined to cast it now that I realise that it's permanent and has no save or SR.

    EDIT: I also think the "Nothing happens" reading is a little too liberal. You might as well say that time permanently stops when the trap is sprung.

    EDIT EDIT: Slightly more abusable, however, is the material component. The material component is "A piece of iron pyrite touched to the object to be trapped while the object is sprinkled with a special dust requiring 50 gp to prepare," not "A piece of iron pyrite touched to the object to be trapped, and a special dust requiring 50 gp to prepare which is sprinkled on the object." That is, so long as you have a piece of iron pyrite, and so long as it's touched to the object to be trapped while the object is sprinkled with the dust, the iron pyrite qualifies on its own as a material component. The dust, then, is more like a focus, though you'd have to gather it all back up somehow.
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2018-03-03 at 07:39 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Since it's a 2nd level spell, you could use this all over your spellbook to make the enemy rogue think you put Explosive Runes all over it a level or two before you can actually cast it.
    Last edited by Goaty14; 2018-03-03 at 10:10 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Leomund's (Phantom) Trap

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    That's not the same thing. A shadow conjured trap is still a trap and functions as a trap. the only thing you successfully disbelieving will do is make you take a fraction less damage from its arrows or what have you.
    A successfully disbelieved spell has a 80% chance of not having any effect (spell damage is reduced to 20%, but effects have an 80% of not triggering at all. In this case, the spell effect is making the trap itself), but I get your overall point and find myself largely in agreement. Shame, as it would be fun to find a reason to not ACF out any instance of Trap Sense.

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