Trapsmith: Homing Horror Trap

Posted In Articles, Front Page, Traps | 6 comments

Gark peered deep into the flame, waiting for the blessed moment when the Mother of Destruction would whisper her words of inspiration. Blinking heavily, he withdrew from the flame. “Free the flame” she had said, but what did that mean?

Snacking on some pigeons, he sifted through his trapsmithing stores. There was the sturdy dwarf-sized backpack his tribe had taken from an unlucky miner. He cracked a toothy smile, remembering the fun they’d had with the dwarf. Then there were the cans of paint he had stolen from the halfling temple. Gark’s eyes lit up when he spotted the lantern he had taken from the thieving human. Free the flame. Free the flame, indeed.

Every good trapsmith knows about the three C’s: cheap, crude, and cruel.

Every wise trapsmith knows that goblins excel at designing traps based on the three C’s and as a result, many retain the services of a goblin as a servant or assistant. Neighbors may complain, but consulting a goblin’s expertise is usually worthwhile, since goblins themselves are cheap, crude, and cruel. They seem full of inventive ideas for maiming and mutilation, and they consider trapmaking to be an art.

The homing horror trap is something only a goblin could devise. Several pigeons are dipped in paint—red is always a good color—and then secured in a backpack. The lit lantern acts as a lure. When the trap is triggered, it douses the pigeons in lamp oil and sets them aflame. The pigeons’ fiery flight is something to behold.

Homing Horror Trap    CR 4

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset none

Effect flying flames (+10 ranged touch, 1d6+1 fire damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 30-ft. cone)

Effect horrific comprehension (all targets witnessing the flying flames must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or be affected by the conditions listed below); multiple targets (all targets in a 60-ft. cone)

Horrific Comprehension

2 HD or fewer: The creature is unconscious and stunned for 2d4 rounds, then stunned for 1d4+1 rounds. (Only living creatures are knocked unconscious.)

3 or 4 HD: The creature is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds.

5 or more HD: The creature is stunned for 1 round.

Next Installment

What can Gavin do with a sock, 12 feet of rope, the head of a morningstar, and some squirrel jerky?

The Challenge

Name four adventuring items and receive a murderous trap in return.

(This post is Product Identity.)


  1. That is crude, cruel and cheap! I’m impressed!


    November 28, 2012

  2. I love it! Finally a use for all those pidgeons that flock the larger cities.

    Damian the Tiefling

    November 28, 2012

  3. Maurice, you are truly cheap, crude and cruel. :)

    James Thomas

    November 28, 2012

  4. Thanks guys, don’t forget to suggest some items for a Goblin or more humane trap.


    November 29, 2012

  5. A spatula, vampire teeth, a spring, and the festering hand of a troll. This is from a kobold friend.

    Damian the Tiefling

    November 30, 2012

  6. Items are on the list.


    December 1, 2012

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