Premonition Mural

Posted In Articles, Front Page | 8 comments

mural of Saint LadislausTraps. 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.

What the Dust Hides

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. Watch out!



The dancing grotesques shown in this mural evoke haunting visions of your own demise…

Premonition Mural

Level 3 Obstacle; XP 150

Trap A frightening mural attacks living creatures that look upon it.

No check is needed to notice the mural.

Additional Skill (Religion)
DC 16—You recognize the nature of the mural.
DC 26—Your knowledge gives a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks made to grant allies a saving throw against the trap’s effect.

Trigger When a living creature moves within line of sight of the trap, it makes an attack. The trap activates again when a new character moves within line of sight or if a character leaves and then re-enters line of sight.

No Action                            Ranged
The triggering creature.
+6 vs. Will.
1d8 + 3 psychic damage, and the target takes a −2 penalty to Will defense and death saving throws (save ends).


  • Once per round, with a minor action and a Diplomacy check (DC 16), a character can help an ally within 10 squares shake off the visions, granting them a saving throw against the trap’s effect.
  • Characters can avert their gaze to avoid being attacked by the mural. Characters doing so do not trigger the trap, but grant combat advantage to nonadjacent enemies.

Upgrade to Elite (Elite XP)

  • Increase the DCs for Diplomacy and Religion by 2.
  • Increase the trap’s attack rolls by 2.
  • Increase the trap’s damage to 1d10 + 3.


  1. Scott,

    This is seriously good stuff. I am not going to steal your thunder by posting my pathfinder version of it, I’ll just send it to Scott G. :-)


    February 22, 2011

  2. Thank You Scott! Traps have become somewhat of an anachronism in later editions but add much to the game.

    Tom Allman

    February 22, 2011

  3. Traps are classic!

    And I think they provide a much-needed check on PC smugness or overconfidence in some situations.


    February 22, 2011

  4. 4E definitely needs more traps, and this is very much a fun one.


    February 22, 2011

  5. I wanna see the Pathfinder version!


    February 22, 2011

  6. I like it as a starting point. The -2 will and death saves is not so serious. Being hit is probably preferable to having combat advantage if your defenses are low. This can work for some encounters, especially as an over-the-top addition instead of being calculated into the XP budget of the encounter. Giving it a different effect, like “can’t use daily encounter or daily powers” (and for RP, a creature in the mural is now depicted stealing/using them) has more teeth. Ongoing damage is another option.

    As written, does the trap only attack once, when you enter line of sight? And can it be disarmed? For a strong party, I would probably add an option to attack either in initiative or even at the start of each PC’s turn if they aren’t avoiding it. Disarming could be an interesting skill challenge if the trap is brutal or minor actions (perhaps even against the mural’s display) otherwise.


    February 22, 2011

  7. Sorry, that was a very “end of my day and I’m scatterbrained kind of comment.” I did really like this concept. I like the old school way it kicks in upon sight of the trap. It is inspiring me to use something similar in an upcoming home game.


    February 22, 2011

  8. Yep, kicking in on sight is the key. I do like “can’t use dailies” and having them appear in the mural.

    Sure to make players grind their teeth!

    Kobold Quarterly

    February 25, 2011

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