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Day 13: Favourite trap

grimtoothstrapsI’ve always loved traps. Intelligent, complex traps are fascinating and provide fantastic opportunities to role play out solutions. If your style of play is, “I search for traps (rolls 20), do I find any?” then they are probably no more than speed humps. But if you play a more conversational style of game where the DM is talking to you and describing a scene and you are interrogating that scene verbally, then you can have a lot of memorable fun.

The grandaddy of all traps manifestos is Grimtooth’s Traps. Originally made with Tunnels and Trolls in mind, the publication stripped out the mechanics and made them suitable for any system. Grimtooth’s had many supplements after the highly successful first – up to 8, I think. I had several, but have gradually sold them off until I now have only the original first edition which seems to me to have the best collection of general, vicious, offerings.

If I had a dollar for every time I have read every entry in Grimtooth’s i would have… several dollars. I know them all. Most of them, to be honest, I have never used because if used as described they are quite lethal and I like to run a more forgiving game (not so Craig – I’ll never forget the pain of getting a spear trap through the thigh and having no recourse but to cut it out through the muscle because it was made of iron and attached to the floor! Call that fair?)

But some I have used, such as Air Thee Well, where a room is separated from the corridor by a glass wall and the back of that room is covered in spikes facing the corridor. The trap? The room is in vacuum: break the glass and everyone is sucked in at explosive force and mashed into the wall. Or the Spy Glass that appears to be a kaleidoscope, except that when you look and adjust the picture by rotating the lens it releases a spring dagger that shoots into your eye. Ow, my freakin’ look ball!

My favourite that I have never used, though it makes me chuckle to think of it now, is the Cranequin Goose. A crossbow is hidden beneath a long-drop outhouse seat. Any pressure on the seat and, wham! As Grimtooth said, “A fine way for a high and mighty hero to die, don’t you think?”