Favorite Trap or Puzzle

13 Sep

Lucky 13 of the 30 Day D&D Challenge!

Today’s question:

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.


Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Dungeon Design, Gaming


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Favorite Trap or Puzzle

  1. Matt

    September 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I have two favorite traps.

    The favorite trap I’ve used was an maze inspired by the Lovecraft story In The Walls of Enyx that I placed in a dungeon created by a powerful sorceress. It was a maze of indestructible glass walls that stretched from floor to ceiling. The maze was navigable for the first half until the player got to the center where there was a pillar with the words “Only the magical word will set you free” inscribed upon it.

    Once the player reached the center pillar, the walls turned invisible and started shifting around so the player could not escape until they figured out what the magical word was. To disarm the trap, they just had to use the word “Please” and it would let you out.

    My second favorite trap is one I haven’t gotten a chance to use yet, so I’ll hold off on telling you about it because I might use it on you in one of my games.

  2. Fractalbat

    September 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    That’s a wonderful trap!


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