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Not Everything is as it Appears to Be

Spax_ScrewsSometimes it is fun to present a little challenge. In this case, we have a door secured by stripped screws. Some parties would hack this door down and not be bothered, but there is always going to be somebody who is going to realize he can use his carpentry profession or Dungeoneering skill to fix it. No good deed goes unpunished.

Stripped Screws (CR 7)

The door seems secured with several screws.

Type: mechanical; Perception DC 27; Disable Device 29

Trigger touch; Reset None


Each screw is actually a small valve that just appears to be a stripped screw. The screw can be turned with a DC 12 Dungeoneering or Engineering check. However, once this happens, poison gas leaks in from the next room, which requires a DC 27 Perception check to notice. After 1 round, everyone in the room needs to make a DC 12 Fortitude Save or gained the sickened condition. 1d4 rounds later, A DC 15 Fortitude Save is required or characters are knocked unconscious; a new check is made each round for conscious characters. Each round after being knocked unconscious, a DC 18 Fortitude Save must be made or the character loses 1d3 Constitution.

This one is fun because the PC’s can use one of those lesser used skills in an attempt to subvert the door.  And, for awhile, it will appear that it is probably working, so that PC will be more than pleased with himself. Of course, once he starts killing the party off, he may not feel so clever. Of course, this trap is most effective if something else is happening, like being attacked by an orgre magi or something.

Now, if you truly want to be mean, have the gas come from metal tubes within the door itself. If someone does bash the door open, they will find these metal tubes, and if they open them, release the gas. Or, once everyone is revived and they realize they have to bash the door down anyway… they discover empty tubes. Either way, fun is had by all, or at least, you.

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Using an Irresistible Item as a Trap

Old_book_bindingsSometimes, even though they know better, there are certain items which are irresistible. Some PC is going to pick it up and look at it. A spellbook is one such item. This makes it a perfect opportunity to trap the item, but in a way which is a little more subtle than something like exploding runes or poison.

Mispellbook (CR 5)

A old, ornate tome sits closed on the table.

Type: magical; Perception DC 29; Disable Device 29

Trigger touch; Reset None


This book appears in all respects to be a spellbook. However, if anything is read, the reader gets dyslexia. (DC 16 Will Save) When preparing spells from a spellbook or reading spells from a scroll, the PC must make a Concentration check for each spell or it won’t be prepared, but will still occupy a slot. The PC will think it is prepared, and will only find out when it is cast, at which point nothing will happen.

This one is nice, because the PC’s may not necessarily know that the spellbook was the cause of the dyslexia, meaning that you might get to use this one a second time! Or, even better, just trap one spellbook in a pile of spellbooks and magical tomes. Then, sit back and watch them try to figure out which ones are bad. All the while, there can be some choice, juicy spells in a perfectly fine spellbook that they don’t get to use right away.