Kobold Press

Dust of Candle Snuffing

Smoking SkullFor generations, the tomb has endured as the most iconic and menacing of adventure sites. Countless campaigns have been carried out in search of relics and lore secreted away, and few creatures inspire such terror as the undead, which wait forever in a disquieting stillness and silence. However, the rumors spread by adroit explorers and loquacious bards warn of threats more perilous than the touch of a wight or the stench of a ghoul.

Traps. Devices devious and deadly. Understood to be a crypt’s most treacherous wards. Many so ghastly they become emblematic of a particular tomb’s history and character.

In the spirit of preserving the tomb’s reputation as a place of unparalleled danger, this article series offers 10 macabre new traps for use in tomb adventures at any tier of play. The first is just behind the jump!

What the Dust Hides


Colorless dust sprays from the mouth of a silver skull, eating away your light source and plunging your allies into darkness.

Dust of Candle Snuffing

Level 1 Blaster XP 100

Trap A trigger you define releases a cloud of dust that destroys mundane items that shed light, such as torches, lanterns, and sunrods.

DC 10—You notice the nozzle that sprays the dust.
DC 20—You identify the trap’s trigger, if possible.

Additional Skill (Thievery)
DC 15—You recognize the nature of the residual dust left by the trap.

Trigger When the trap is triggered, it attacks.

Immediate Interrupt                      Close blast 3
Targets Creatures in blast.
Attack +4 vs. Reflex.
Hit The target is blinded until the end of its next turn. In addition, any active mundane light sources the target is carrying are destroyed.


  • A character in or adjacent to the trigger or the nozzle can disable it with a Thievery check (DC 20).
  • Dealing 15 damage to the nozzle disables the trap (AC 12; Fortitude 9, Reflex 6).

Upgrade to Elite (Elite XP)

  • Increase the DCs for Perception and Thievery by 2.
  • Increase the trap’s attack rolls by 2.

5 Replies to "Dust of Candle Snuffing"


December 7, 2010 at 6:21am

I like this trap!

My Pathfinder version would be like this:

Dazzling Winds Trap CR 3
Type mechanical and magic; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset automatic
Effect spell effect (gust of wind, combined with the dust of candle snuffing even protected flames are snuffed out); multiple targets (all light sources in a 15-ft. radius)
Effect dazzling dust (DC 13 Fortitude save or target is dazzled for one round); multiple targets (all targets in a 15-ft. radius)

Kobold Quarterly

December 7, 2010 at 5:37pm

Huh. Not a single comment from 4E readers? That’s a little odd.

a 4E reader : )

December 8, 2010 at 8:25am

Just saw it today and I like it. Very cool idea for a non-lethal trap.


December 8, 2010 at 6:43pm

Also a 4th Ed reader. I followed the link from ENworld, and I really like this one. I may use a higher level version against my 5th level party sometime soon!

Charles Ryan

December 9, 2010 at 11:33am

Love it. I’m starting a new 4E campaign on Saturday, and have been thinking hard about how to stage the second encounter of the first adventure to get the effect I’m looking for. I might use this–if not, it’s opened up a new line of thought that might inspire something else that works well.