Trapsmith: Keep Them Guessing

Posted In Articles, Front Page, Traps | 4 comments

Trapsmith CoverIn the recent interview I did, I mentioned my love of fencing, feinting, and second intentions. Let me show you how that is applied to trapsmithing.

First, let’s acknowledge that the players are excellent and efficient problem solvers. A GM presents a problem and most players will find a solution for it within a minute—usually faster than that. But, maybe this time the trap lies in the solution?

The world burns! Arch-heretic Haxian Firetongue has done the unthinkable. He has brought the Elemental Plane of Fire into direct alignment with the Material Plane. Azers, fire elementals of all sizes, and numerous other beings from the Elemental Plaen of Fire run wild, wreaking havoc. The affected area, several square miles, literally burns. Only the heroes can stop Haxian’s madness. They must venture into the burning zone and put an end to him and the fruit of his labor.

The Burning Zone Trap     CR 5
Type magical; Perception DC 10; Disable Device DC 30
Trigger special; Reset automatic
Effect fiery furnace (each round that a target remains in the area of effect it receives 2d4+5 fire damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 3-mile radius)

The trap can be disabled at its center, which contains a fiery dimensional rift guarded by Haxian and his pet hellhounds.

Given the situation, resist energy (fire) seems like the perfect answer? Yes, it is, but it is also the desired solution. At a distance, roughly 5 rounds of movement from the dimensional rift, we will place the following trap.

Greater Dispel Magic Trap
Type magical; Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none
Effect spell effect (greater dispel magic, area burst, all creatures within a 20-ft. burst are affected by a dispel magic effect, caster level check is 1d20+11)

Maybe the trap will dismiss their precious protection against fire damage. Did the heroes prepare for that? Will they press boldly on to confront Haxian Firetongue on his terms? Traps sure can make adventuring interesting, as we see here!


  1. What is the CR for the Greater Dispel Magic trap?


    July 30, 2013

  2. Oops

    That would be a CR 7 trap. Just the average spell level +1 CR.

    Maurice de Mare

    July 30, 2013

  3. Ah tuesday traps how I’ve missed you… We should collaborate on a peice at some point.

    frank gori

    July 30, 2013

  4. Hi Frank,

    James Thomas can attest that collaborating with me can take quite some time, we started on something last fall and it is still not done. I have some good excuses (RPG Superstar happened), but speedy realization of content…..well that remains an illusion :-)

    Maurice de Mare

    July 31, 2013

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