Lucky 13 of the 30 Day D&D Challenge!
13. What is your Favorite Trap or Puzzle?
No specific trap or puzzle stands out for me. When I was younger I went through a Raiders of the Lost Ark phase and came up with several variations on the rolling boulder trap, but I wouldn’t pick any one of them as a favorite. The same is true of Glyphs or mechanical traps, I like them but don’t have a favorite.
Puzzles have always been something I’ve used sparingly and cautiously. I like the idea of having the players solve problems with their own cunning but I’m always leery of what to do when someone says, “I have a 17 wisdom, what does my character think the answer is?” Part of the fun of role playing games is that your characters can do things you can’t. If you’ve got an 18 strength you can force a door, an 18 dexterity should let you parkour over the rooftops. It feels out of place to not let a high wisdom or intelligence score contribute to solving a puzzle.
The closest I have to a favorite would be a trap that once sprung isn’t apparent to the victim, something they have to figure out. This could be a slow acting poison or hallucinogenic drug. Magic curses or cursed items are also good for this. Things that cause the player to gradually realize that something isn’t right and that they should figure it out while they still have time.