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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    The players REALLY hated that goblin, no idea why they trusted it in the beginning.
    Well maybe because after a while, looking at the blood on our hands, the piles of corpses behind us, the trail of death and destruction ... we look on our works and find them not so good. We're in a constructed world where we can be anything, and we're just relentless murder-bots?

    But hey, here's a chance to do something different. If we accept surrender, work with people when they're willing, then maybe we're not murder-bots, we're just having to deal with mostly unreasonable opposition. Maybe we can make an alliance with one group here and ... oh. It was just a trap. Welp, back to being murder-bots. Beep boop.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-01-12 at 03:54 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Well maybe because after a while, looking at the blood on our hands, the piles of corpses behind us, the trail of death and destruction ... we look on our works and find them not so good. We're in a constructed world where we can be anything, and we're just relentless murder-bots?

    But hey, here's a chance to do something different. If we accept surrender, work with people when they're willing, then maybe we're not murder-bots, we're just having to deal with mostly unreasonable opposition. Maybe we can make an alliance with one group here and ... oh. It was just a trap. Welp, back to being murder-bots. Beep boop.
    Yes.... but the goblin threatened them with "my big troll friend will eat you and crap you into a shallow grave you dumb ugly humans" followed by a "ok please don't kill me I'll show you through the mountain".
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I forget where I saw it, but I remember a particularly devious trap that horrifies most parties.

    They spend hours - days? - killing monsters, wedging open doors, disarming traps and they finally get to the McGuffin at the bottom of the dungeon. The McGuffin itself isn't trapped, but it is magically warded like the Holy Grail - once it leaves the room in which it's stored, it activates a massive Dungeon-wide reset and every trap rearms, every door slams shut again and locks anew, and a few new ones not yet seen come online.

    The players are now trapped *in* the Dungeon and, tired, injured and probably low on resources, now have to make their way back OUT again. Have fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kishigane View Post
    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.
    "You walk into a room, which eats you. The ceiling is a Lurker Above, the walls are Stun-Jellies, the floor is a Trapper and the door is a Mimic. Roll initiative, jerks."
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  4. - Top - End - #34
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grendus View Post
    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.
    Sounds like classic loss of information. The characters see the shadowy alcoves, but the players just heard about it once, just before they had to deal with a bunch of traps. Chances are they completely forgot the layout of the room.

    Quite often, when players do something idiotic, they're not idiots. They just don't have the same mental image as the GM, because they forgot/didn't hear/didn't understand some information, or its rules implication. So reminding them might be a good idea, since it will allow them to do an informed choice.

    "You're jumping over the chasm. The 7-meter-wide chasm over a river of lava. The chasm that you would need a DC30 jump roll to clear, and that will instakill you if you fail. You sure?"
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2021-01-15 at 10:51 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    "You walk into a room, which eats you. The ceiling is a Lurker Above, the walls are Stun-Jellies, the floor is a Trapper and the door is a Mimic. Roll initiative, jerks."
    And there's a gelatinous cube moving up the hallway behind the party...
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  6. - Top - End - #36
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Wildstag's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I've fallen for it, but the GM threw a dungeon at us where the doors were all locked with high DCs but had no magic traps or mundane traps on them (except for a doorknob covered in oil). But the walls on either side of the doors were trapped with magic traps.

    We didn't need to go through one door, but the Open Lock DC was too high for the rogue. So me being the strongman, I took a pick and tried to break a hole in the wall around the door. It didn't occur to me to just break the door, I just tried to hit the wall and all of a sudden a flash of multi-colored lights. I saved, but the priest did not and was turned to stone.

    And since then I have not been allowed to touch walls.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildstag View Post
    I've fallen for it, but the GM threw a dungeon at us where the doors were all locked with high DCs but had no magic traps or mundane traps on them (except for a doorknob covered in oil). But the walls on either side of the doors were trapped with magic traps.

    We didn't need to go through one door, but the Open Lock DC was too high for the rogue. So me being the strongman, I took a pick and tried to break a hole in the wall around the door. It didn't occur to me to just break the door, I just tried to hit the wall and all of a sudden a flash of multi-colored lights. I saved, but the priest did not and was turned to stone.

    And since then I have not been allowed to touch walls.
    You did everything wrong: you collapse the dungeon on the hostages from far(destroy the evil walls and the people at once) then rescue the monsters and kill the loot(if there was loot that survived it meant that loot was artefacts and so was likely to be evil and needed to die).
    Last edited by noob; 2021-01-15 at 05:06 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    A devil who lived in town, relatively out in the open. Anyone could walk into his tent, pay him a hundred gold, and have him permanently increase an ability score of their choice by 1... and decrease a different random score by 2.

    Although, to the players' credit, the lower their intelligence and wisdom scores got, the more believable it became that they'd keep going back.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStarNorth View Post
    A devil who lived in town, relatively out in the open. Anyone could walk into his tent, pay him a hundred gold, and have him permanently increase an ability score of their choice by 1... and decrease a different random score by 2.

    Although, to the players' credit, the lower their intelligence and wisdom scores got, the more believable it became that they'd keep going back.
    Wow, each and every player in my group would fall for that every time...

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Vecna's Head. Nuff said.

    But for the not quite gullible enough for that one...the Deck of Many Things. There is always at least one who will overdraw from the deck.

    Also the ancient colossal mimic who sits openly on a bare hilltop on cold, rainy, miserable evenings disguised as a ruined watchtower. Anyone who shelters in it...
    Last edited by aglondier; 2021-01-16 at 05:58 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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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.
    I dunno. I rate it as about 80% effective without an accompanying Do Not Touch sign.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I was running a homebrewed Elder Scrolls game, and at one point the party was clearing an Oblivion Gate which was set up as a series of tests for Dremora; stuff like the Test of Accuracy, Test of Endurance, etc. There were prizes for each room completed.

    They come across a puzzle clearly labeled "The Test of Deception", with a woman strapped to a table. They immediately move to free her, and a Dread Wraith pops out from under the table, which they dispatch. The woman thanks them and introduces herself as Aurelia, a Priestess of Mara (the goddess of love). They take this at face value, and free her from the Oblivion Gate, upon which she offers a boon from Mara to the PC who's been the nicest to her. He also takes this at face value, and gets a nice kiss on the forehead which grants him an "untyped" bonus to a stat.

    Aurelia met them a few more times, always asking for aid with something or another. The party never did quite catch on that she was actually a priestess of Boethia (the Daedric Prince [read: demon lord, basically for those unfamiliar] of among other things, deceit, betrayal, and plots) and a Succubus to boot. She was using them to undermine rival cults, and was quite taken with the idea of having power over life and death for one of the great adventurers of the realm without his knowledge.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    A magic sword. Hilt covered in gems. Lit by a red light. On a pedestal. In a temple of a demon cult of Mamon.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BisectedBrioche's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Best accidental idiot trap: My DM trapped us in a cottage with a bunch of shadows.

    We spent ages trying to find a source of UV light (after my character triumphantly tried to ward them off with a lantern, which didn't work).

    Turns out we'd forgotten it was still daylight, and we could just open the door/windows.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    LordCdrMilitant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I've had a couple of good traps and "AHA! I've got you now! And now you DIE!" moments [notably from a Traveller game which had a bunch of hilarious bond-villain-esque traps], but I think the most idiot-bait one was from a Black Crusade game:

    At one time, my party was preparing to assault a spaceport, and received word that an artillery battery had set up position a distance away to provide support to the defenders. The trap, of course, was not outwardly idiot bait. The guns were protect by a battery of SPAAA and a company of mechanized infantry who had taken up prepared positions in the buildings around the square, with their IFV's guarding the approaching roads. The rest of the battalion was waiting in the wings to launch an encircling counterattack if the party attacked in force, and destroy them in detail with the artillery both serving as the bait and the anvil for the mechanized force's hammer. This was the real intended trap, and it was not idiot bait.
    BUT...
    The party observed the area, and determined that they were going to attempt an aerial insertion directly into the center of the square. Directly into the lethal crossfire of the SPAAGs and the company of prepared infantry, where they had no cover. Somehow, the party had managed to not only find a trap that I hadn't planned for, but also walk [well, jump] right into it.



    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    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" :)
    You are absolutely training them to be murderhoboes. After such an event, they are unlikely to accept surrender or take surrender or negotiation seriously at all, which seems to be precisely what you want them to do given that you expressed effectively that "only an idiot would accept an offer of surrender".

    Once bitten twice shy caused by this situation is exactly why it's a war crime to use surrender, negotiation, or other symbols of protection as cover for military action.
    Last edited by LordCdrMilitant; 2021-01-16 at 07:13 PM.
    Guardsmen, hear me! Cadia may lie in ruin, but her proud people do not! For each brother and sister who gave their lives to Him as martyrs, we will reap a vengeance fiftyfold! Cadia may be no more, but will never be forgotten; our foes shall tremble in fear at the name, for their doom shall come from the barrels of Cadian guns, fired by Cadian hands! Forward, for vengeance and retribution, in His name and the names of our fallen comrades!

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    A machine, crystal ball, etc clearly labelled Ďunstable, do not expose to magicí

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Back in the 80's and 90's there was a series of books called Grimtooths Traps that listed nothing but really outrageous (and extremely deadly) traps.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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  18. - Top - End - #48
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Back in the 80's and 90's there was a series of books called Grimtooths Traps that listed nothing but really outrageous (and extremely deadly) traps.
    Not really idiot traps, though. Most of them were "gotcha" traps designed to slaughter cautious PCs by subverting their expectations (like pit traps that made you fall "up"). The idiotic thing was the very idea of using those contraptions in a real adventure, and expecting the players not to rebel and tar-and-feather you afterward ^^

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by aglondier View Post
    Also the ancient colossal mimic who sits openly on a bare hilltop on cold, rainy, miserable evenings disguised as a ruined watchtower. Anyone who shelters in it...
    Hey, there was an adventure like that in an early Dungeon magazine!
    The setup was that the party enters an abandoned town, where a group of Giant Mimics disguised as everything from chicken coops to baker shops are stalking them.
    Much hillarity was had as players would notice movement out of the corner of their eyes, and there would suddenly be an outhouse standing in the middle of the road, standing suspiciously still and all but whistling innocently.


    Best idiot trap I ever saw someone walk into was from an old 1st ed. TSR module.
    - Big, empty room with a prominent red X on the floor.
    - Player immdiately declares "Too obvious!", and goes and stands on it.
    - Gets squashed by big block of stone, roadrunner style, for tons of damage, and as we were using the Player's Options Black Books, he also got a fractured skull and brain damage.
    - Five minute break until everyone can stop laughing.
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Back in the 80's and 90's there was a series of books called Grimtooths Traps that listed nothing but really outrageous (and extremely deadly) traps.
    Actually having read those books I recall only about half the traps being deadly threats. Most of them are what a real dungeon builder would want, hard to detect, activates with no easy evasion, maims or cripples an intruder. They just don't fit into the modern D&D thinking of "level appropriate" HP/healing drain & multiple combat encounters a day.

    Really, playing something like DwarfFortress you don't build a single trap in a corridor. You put a retractable floor over a 80' by 80' by 80' pit that you can flood with lava or water (bonus points for fire imps and sharks). Critters with [trap_avoid] tags don't get to skip past it, no dodge/parry chances, certain death even to stuff like a bronze colossus. Exactly what a defender wants from a trap.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    I had both a set of idiots and one savvy player in a single trap/event. Party had been hiking through the wilderness for days and came across a rustic cabin. Upon entering, a crone greeted them behind a table set out with a fresh-made meal. She invited them to eat. They must be tired and hungry, after all. I ask the players if they eat. Various perception checks reveal nothing (not the best rolls), so I get wary nods all around (mostly, as we'll see...). These were not newbie players, mind you. I think I must have just described things in a way that threw off their suspicions somehow.

    After some dinner roleplaying and some covert rolls, I announce that the party has fallen under her spell due to enchantments in the meal. At which point one player pipes up and says he didn't touch the food. A quick discussion jogs my memory and I'm forced to agree that, yes, he actually refrained from agreeing but instead just sat and watched with some amazement at the rest of the party. He ended up breaking the enchantment and saving the other PCs.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    Actually having read those books I recall only about half the traps being deadly threats. Most of them are what a real dungeon builder would want, hard to detect, activates with no easy evasion, maims or cripples an intruder. They just don't fit into the modern D&D thinking of "level appropriate" HP/healing drain & multiple combat encounters a day.

    Really, playing something like DwarfFortress you don't build a single trap in a corridor. You put a retractable floor over a 80' by 80' by 80' pit that you can flood with lava or water (bonus points for fire imps and sharks). Critters with [trap_avoid] tags don't get to skip past it, no dodge/parry chances, certain death even to stuff like a bronze colossus. Exactly what a defender wants from a trap.
    Sure, traps like that are logical (if you have the resources), but you know what else is logical? Not trying to engage with the trapped dungeon at all, and instead tunneling / excavating your way through. Dungeons don't 100% make sense, and neither does the way PCs typically explore them - it's done that way for gameplay reasons.

    Now you have to ask - what do traps that can't be detected or avoided add to the game? I'm not saying it's nothing, but I'm not seeing a lot of benefit either.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-01-19 at 03:43 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Sure, traps like that are logical (if you have the resources), but you know what else is logical? Not trying to engage with the trapped dungeon at all, and instead tunneling / excavating your way through. Dungeons don't 100% make sense, and neither does the way PCs typically explore them - it's done that way for gameplay reasons.

    Now you have to ask - what do traps that can't be detected or avoided add to the game? I'm not saying it's nothing, but I'm not seeing a lot of benefit either.
    Turn it around. What do unavoidable dungeons and monsters add? What do random encounters add? What do carrying limits and ammo counts add? What do morale rules add? What does random treasure add? What does treasure tailored to the party add? You can ask that of anything in your game. Personally I don't find value in the traditional static dungeon stocked with monsters that conveniently ignore each other, come in "level appropriate" clumps, and posseses but does not use treasure that happens to be exactly what the PCs need to meet some "level appropriate" rule.
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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Sure, traps like that are logical (if you have the resources), but you know what else is logical? Not trying to engage with the trapped dungeon at all, and instead tunneling / excavating your way through. Dungeons don't 100% make sense, and neither does the way PCs typically explore them - it's done that way for gameplay reasons.
    ...How is that logical, exactly? Unless you know the exact layout of the dungeon you have no idea where you're going to or what awaits you there. You may spend days digging and miss the dungeon entirely. What happens if/when the walls are too thick to easily dig through? Spending months or even years on a task that can be accomplished in hours isn't logical at all; all the preparations made for your dig could be better spent on protections from the dungeon threats.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2021-01-19 at 10:58 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Spending months or even years on a task that can be accomplished in hours isn't logical at all; all the preparations made for your dig could be better spent on protections from the dungeon threats.
    What protections? We're talking about stuff like corridors that flood with lava and there's no way to detect or defuse them from the wrong side.

    It varies by system, but in 3.x for example, "able to survive lava or quickly teleport the whole party" is a higher-level thing than "able to turn into an earth elemental and/or summon thoqquas to melt tunnels".

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    What protections? We're talking about stuff like corridors that flood with lava and there's no way to detect or defuse them from the wrong side.

    It varies by system, but in 3.x for example, "able to survive lava or quickly teleport the whole party" is a higher-level thing than "able to turn into an earth elemental and/or summon thoqquas to melt tunnels".
    Destroying the dungeon from far away with thrown rocks is also appreciated.(just in case the walls are filled with lava and disintegrate things touching it)
    Last edited by noob; 2021-01-20 at 05:41 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Yes.... but the goblin threatened them with "my big troll friend will eat you and crap you into a shallow grave you dumb ugly humans" followed by a "ok please don't kill me I'll show you through the mountain".
    From what I get from your description there was no neutral/good path to success for the players by accepting the surrender. Their choices
    - Believe the Goblin and walk into a trap
    - Kill a helpless captive (Evil)
    - torture the goblin for information (Evil)
    - release the goblin and have run back and alert the rest of the goblins.
    - keep the goblin as a captive and slow down the party
    - enslave the goblin (evil)
    What was the path for success for the party if they accepted the surrender?

    Iím fine with the goblin leading the players into a trap if they did something like snatch a goblin from a patrol, or the goblin surrendering without a fight when an easy escape was available to him. Iím fine if it was an evil party and they tried a non-evil option. But if the goblin has offered to surrender from a normal combat situation punishing the players for accepting the surrender isnít an idiot trap, itís being an adversarial player hating GM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Destroying the dungeon from far away with thrown rocks is also appreciated.(just in case the walls are filled with lava and disintegrate things touching it)
    IMX it's a rare dungeon where it's just "there are bad things inside, kill them all". Often, there are things that people want on the inside, or people that they'd rather rescue. Both of those make "take off and nuke it from orbit" rather suboptimal.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    IMX it's a rare dungeon where it's just "there are bad things inside, kill them all". Often, there are things that people want on the inside, or people that they'd rather rescue. Both of those make "take off and nuke it from orbit" rather suboptimal.
    There is no such thing as "people to rescue": if they survived the dungeon instead of dying to the super ultra lethal traps it meant they were in fact bad guys.
    Or if they survived those traps not through being a bad guy but by being tough then collapsing the dungeon on them ought to reduce the damage they take per turn.
    Or you have the least trapped dungeons in the world with only 50 traps per cubic feet or some similarly impossibly low trap count.
    Maybe your dungeon is not even made of trapped mimics, killer floors and orcuses(and invisible prismatic walls just in case).
    Them "being in the dungeon" only means you should have rescued those people before they went to the dungeon and so you should have pressed on against the bbeg and their army to stop them from taking "hostages"(they all died the moment they set a foot within a radius of 10 kilometres of the dungeon).
    Last edited by noob; 2021-01-20 at 02:49 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Sharangar's Revenge
    Gender
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    Default Re: Best idiot trap?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    There is no such thing as "people to rescue": if they survived the dungeon instead of dying to the super ultra lethal traps it meant they were in fact bad guys.
    Or if they survived those traps not through being a bad guy but by being tough then collapsing the dungeon on them ought to reduce the damage they take per turn.
    Or you have the least trapped dungeons in the world with only 50 traps per cubic feet or some similarly impossibly low trap count.
    Maybe your dungeon is not even made of trapped mimics, killer floors and orcuses(and invisible prismatic walls just in case).
    Them "being in the dungeon" only means you should have rescued those people before they went to the dungeon and so you should have pressed on against the bbeg and their army to stop them from taking "hostages"(they all died the moment they set a foot within a radius of 10 kilometres of the dungeon).
    I'm not sure how serious you are, but the Caves of Chaos has merchants who had been caught in a raid by some hobgoblins on their caravan. If you didn't rescue them, they'd end up in the stewpots.

    If the 'dungeon' you're exploring is anything other than just a trap for adventures, then, yes, there will be things you want to go in and bring out rather than just destroying the whole thing.
    Warhammer 40,000 Campaign Skirmish Game: Warpstrike
    My Spelljammer stuff (including an orbit tracker), 2E AD&D spreadsheet, and Vault of the Drow maps are available in my Dropbox. Feel free to use or not use it as you see fit!
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

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