d30 Challenge Day 13

d30 Challenge Day 13
This is my 13th entry in the d30 Challenge, which is a bastardization of an idea I first saw on Mark "CMG" Clover's feed. Now I'm a sucker for these things and I know some folks aren't so while I'm committed to answering one question about my favorite hobby each day, and putting together a d30 table before the end of the month, I know not everyone is so interested. I'll put the question & answer after the break, posting late in the day, and not promoting this on G+ so those who don't like this kind of thing should be exposed only minimally.

I think this is the best I can do....
Day 13's question is "Favorite Trap/Puzzle".

I'm glad this question didn't call for favorite riddle because I hate those as a GM. I'm also not so fond of puzzles either, but they aren't as bad a riddles. The thing is, puzzles and riddles are for the players to figure out, not the characters.

Now I'd like to think I'm a smart guy, but even if I was to be able to prove I had an 18 Intelligence I'd have nothing on....let's say my old DS Invoker Urddas Nerthol.....that dude had a 22 INT. I might be stumped by a puzzle or riddle that my boy Urddas would scoff at.

Of course it could go the other way easily. I might know the riddle or puzzle from past experience but my PC wouldn't. I recall a GM using the 3 gallon & 5 gallon buckets bit where you needed to get exactly 4 gallons in one container. Because of previous exposure (like anyone who has seen Die Hard 3), it would be solved in about 10 seconds of explanation.

Nope....I prefer traps. My favorite are those that have some rationale on how they could be reset & reused. I've written a few traps for Knights of the Dinner Table, but don't ask me which issue because I don't know. I do remember liking one particular Indiana Jones-ish trapped hallway from Howler. That trap didn't get any of my players, but it really did help me move part of the story along and make a few things seem more "real" because it was smartly designed.

I'm pretty sure I designed a similar trap that may have made it to KoDT. The trap mechanism was pneumatically driven by water-powered air pumps with leather seals. When the pressure got to be too much the pistons would "burp" out extra air, which was a warning sign that there were traps ahead.

I also like traps that are designed to hinder, not kill, but if they have the capacity to kill I'm ok with that. Since traps essentially go off when a specific requirement is met I like the idea that there could be a random element that works for or against the party. A trap that requires 200 pounds of weight can be easily bypasses by PCs weighing 190 pounds and a trap that is designed to shoot a nuisance arrow at someone's waist might just spear a poor halfling in the head....

So overall give me a multi-use debilitating trap with well-defined triggers.