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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Nov 2020

    Default Best idiot trap?

    DM's of GiantITP, what is the best idiot trap you've pulled on players? As in, a trap that is so obvious that only a blithering idiot would ever fall for it.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    The goblins begged for mercy, and offered to show them big treasure....
    Lead the party down a hallway to a "pile" of coin ( layer of silver over some sacks) stepped on the pressure plate and set the trap off...

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    PRAK

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    NPC: Here are written instructions to bypass the deathtrap that the top wizards at the Tower of the Magi made to defend the pocket dimension where we keep the really nasty stuff. The entrance is at the back of the high security lab for dangerous experiments, I'll show you the way.

    Later...
    PC: I turn the crank counter clockwise.
    All: Clockwise.
    PC: No. I want to see what it does.
    All: RUN AWAY!

    Later...
    DM: Well, next character.
    Niven's Laws, #5
    If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Apr 2017

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Not so much a trap, but I find the good old Gelatinous Cube is a excellent idiot magnet.

    I have had the cube show up in every campaign I have run for decades (even non-D&D campaigns, my players cursed me for weeks over using one in Dark Heresy, they thought they were safe there ), and I always give my players a fair chance to detect the danger, but they are always just too inquisitive.

    For example, the most recent 'use', I described a barely-perceptible 'shimmer' in the air of the corridor ahead. Expecting a forcefield, spell effect, of other mystery, a character (quite sensibly) rolled a single coin down the corridor, which i described coming to a sudden abrupt slow, then stop, at about the point they saw the shimmer (which again repeated as the coin slowed to a stop), and over the next couple of minutes, described that the coin was slowly sliding back down the corridor. Now, if all that didn't scream "cube", I don't know what does (and my players are all experienced, with several having run campaigns as long if not longer than me), but still, a character just had to creep closer, and try to retrieve the coin...
    Last edited by Glorthindel; 2021-01-07 at 06:12 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    An idillic valley, home to an utopian society.

    in the middle of the valley, an old concrete bunker, dirty and sinister, with a rusted armored door.

    Above the door, a sign reading "Don't release the monster!"

    They opened the door. And released the monster. Which destroyed the utopian society.


    To be fair for the players, releasing the monster was the only way they found to escape the valley (the dreamscape of a mad scientist - the "monster" was the suppressed part of him that didn't want to be trapped forever in an illusionary paradise). So it was not really idiotic. But seing them struggle with temptation in front of the door was pretty entertaining. Especially when they first found it and didn't know yet it was the "exit", but reaaaaaally wanted to know what this "monster" business was about. ^^


    Big red buttons with obvious "don't press the button" signs are Player-characters magnets.
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2021-01-07 at 07:20 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    a line of coins on the floor. the players started picking them up, never checking for traps
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Aug 2005
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    Virtual Austin

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    An empty room with a large red button on a pedestal.

    Works every time.
    Last edited by Democratus; 2021-01-07 at 10:19 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Nov 2020

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    My personal favorite is to have two signs under a rug.

    The first sign says, "That sign is a mimic."; the other says, "No, THAT sign's the mimic!".

    They're both signs. The mimic's the rug underneath.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Nov 2020

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I've found that if you provide a Knights and Knaves puzzle, the players, after correctly deducing the safe path, will often pause on the way out of the dungeon to see what was behind the other door.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Democratus View Post
    An empty room with a large red button on a pedestal.

    Works every time.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Nov 2011
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    Waterdeep
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Any sort of statue with gemstones or other valuables on/in it. My players will always stop to plunder, deface and vandalise statuary no matter the consequence.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    The goblins begged for mercy, and offered to show them big treasure....
    Lead the party down a hallway to a "pile" of coin ( layer of silver over some sacks) stepped on the pressure plate and set the trap off...
    You do know by doing this you are training your players to be murder hoboes donít you?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Dec 2020
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    Area 51

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    The giant magnetic cliff face...

    it was black, and about 1000 yards nearly vertical. Skeletons of corpses were strewn all around the ground, which was visibly dead. Hundreds of weapons and countless metallic objects stuck in its side like a pin cushion. Some of the armor pancaked flat or deformed.

    The players had to ascend this cliff to get into the entrance of the cave.

    Atop the cliff was a giant black swirling energy storm, numerous thunder bolts striking the plateau...

    DM notes to Players: As the players got close, they could feel a slight tug from anything with iron in it, while characters like druids and so forth didn't notice anything.

    Players: "Draw weapons and get closer"
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-07 at 04:07 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jan 2021

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Any sort of statue with gemstones or other valuables on/in it. My players will always stop to plunder, deface and vandalise statuary no matter the consequence.
    That seems more like it.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    You do know by doing this you are training your players to be murder hoboes donít you?
    Nah, that's if the harmless merchant pushes them into a pit. If goblins who were part of an attacking force, surrender when a bunch die, come up with a story about treasure and offer to escort you into the dungen area its in.. you should be a lot more carefull and a lot less "let's follow the goblins" :)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    It is a big hole and there is an display above it indicating "this is a trap with lava" and looking at the pit fills you with an instantaneous understanding that it is a trap and that falling in it hurts you.
    The pit have very bright glowing lava at the bottom of it and there is safety railings around the pit.
    Furthermore there is someone nearby willing to tell you it is a trap if you did not already understand and this person will protect others from the trap by blocking access to it.
    If you fall in it all that happens is that the fall hurts and the lava hurts too.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    Mar 2005
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    PRAK

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I found the post where they triggered the trap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    linkback
    Niven's Laws, #5
    If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I donít have to trap my players, I can describe to them the lovely unguarded escape route and they will ignore it/forget about it in favor of trying to batter through the increasingly hopeless fight.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga View Post
    I donít have to trap my players, I can describe to them the lovely unguarded escape route and they will ignore it/forget about it in favor of trying to batter through the increasingly hopeless fight.
    I do remember some players in a scenario where they were supposed to lose not being aware of it and being happy there was a constant onslaught of opponents ramping up in strength more and more to fight.
    Maybe they just like fighting that much?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    The best example I have ever seen of an idiot trap is probably what the DM in this story did. It's pretty common, but I liked how they changed it just enough that if you were familiar with the trap from another DM, you still wouldn't be able to notice it immediately.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    The best example I have ever seen of an idiot trap is probably what the DM in this story did. It's pretty common, but I liked how they changed it just enough that if you were familiar with the trap from another DM, you still wouldn't be able to notice it immediately.
    Ah yes. The perfect trap.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Corvallis, OR
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I had one in a tutorial dungeon for new players. They were well aware that the place was totally ackbar'd, there had already been traps. Their job was to get an item and get out.

    A big room, with two statues. And big, colorful, totally out of place rugs covering most of the floor. There was a clear path to each side and down the middle. Under the rugs a pressure sensor magic glyph that set off an alarm, waking the guardians.

    One group walked straight across them, even with a "show me the path you take" warning. Facepalm.

    Another was even better--they recognized that the rugs were traps, then decided to roll them up to see what was under them. Double facepalm.

    One group, totally new to ttrpgs but totally genre savvy, avoided all the traps but were convinced that the cup they were sent to grab had a pressure plate under it out a trap around it. So they developed a plan to lasso it off. No trap there though.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post

    Another was even better--they recognized that the rugs were traps, then decided to roll them up to see what was under them. Double facepalm.
    that's actually not a silly idea. assuming there were regular pit traps, it would have worked. they could also have concealed trapdoors to something useful. one thing i like doing, and one thing a savy dungeon maker could actually do, is to set up some obvious traps that actually hide treasure or other rewards. the idea is that a savy adventurer will stay away from those, and thus miss the stuff. so, checking the obvious traps is not actually a bad idea.
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    that's actually not a silly idea. assuming there were regular pit traps, it would have worked. they could also have concealed trapdoors to something useful. one thing i like doing, and one thing a savy dungeon maker could actually do, is to set up some obvious traps that actually hide treasure or other rewards. the idea is that a savy adventurer will stay away from those, and thus miss the stuff. so, checking the obvious traps is not actually a bad idea.
    But by having the clumsiest person just start rolling them up, not even taking any precautions?

    And this was an illusion dungeon, in universe a training exercise. They knew that they'd not get anything unless they finished the job, no matter what they found.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    There's a room with a shadowy alcove and a few containers. As we enter the room, we set off a few traps. We find them, disarm them, and start working on getting the chests open.

    And creatures ambush out of the obvious shadowy alcove.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I've seen players stand on top of a literal target painted on the floor... Because it had a small sign saying "Wait here" next to it.

    It felt like something out of a Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoon...
    Homebrew Stuff:

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TeChameleon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    In my very limited experience GMing, the best I managed was a schmuck bait trap- described the scene in detail, including the (currently inanimate and apparently innocuous) monsters... and a single, out-of-place gold pen.

    The gold pen was just a gold pen, dropped by one of the mages doing the ritual that created the monsters when said monsters promptly killed them.

    The players weren't happy when they discovered that the perfectly innocent plush toys were, in fact, extremely angry golems animated with blood magic

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajustusdaniel View Post
    I've found that if you provide a Knights and Knaves puzzle, the players, after correctly deducing the safe path, will often pause on the way out of the dungeon to see what was behind the other door.
    Videogame logic.
    1 - The princess is being sacrificed to some elder abomination in the chapel
    1b - The sacrifice will take place only when we get into the room, so that we have our climax scene
    1c - The chapel is behind the right door
    2 - There are probably stuff to kill and treasures to gain in the rest of the dungeon. Maybe even sidequests
    2b - When we finish the quest, we won't be able to explore the rest of the dungeon
    3 - So the rational thing to do is to open the right door and explore the entire freakin' dungeon, and go into the chapel at the very end.

    That's the reason I can't take dungeons in CRPGs seriously anymore, and it kinda bleeds into TTRPGs sometime.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    The goblins begged for mercy, and offered to show them big treasure....
    Lead the party down a hallway to a "pile" of coin ( layer of silver over some sacks) stepped on the pressure plate and set the trap off...
    Similar story. Goblin begged for mercy and told the party it could help them navigate through the mountain and avoid the trolls.
    It navigates them into the goblin lair. They are forced to flee and the goblin survives and becomes a hero to the other goblins.

    The players REALLY hated that goblin, no idea why they trusted it in the beginning.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jan 2021

    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    Videogame logic. [...] That's the reason I can't take dungeons in CRPGs seriously anymore, and it kinda bleeds into TTRPGs sometime.
    The chapel door is magically sealed from the inside. You need to find another hidden way in through the rest of the dungeon. Easy fix. Plus, it allows the players to skip the dungeon and interrupt the ritual earlier than expected if they find a way to dispel the magical barrier.

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