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Top 10 Ways to Make Your Traps More Fun

10. Reward the PCs with treasure. Perhaps the last victim’s skeleton
is still impaled on the spear trap, including his belt pouch.
9. Reveal a world detail. Perhaps the falling block from the ceiling
reveals the ghoulish carving that represents the true deity of the
8. Have an encounter with the trap keeper. The PCs can discover
information about later traps (assuming the clever trap keeper
doesn’t figure out a way to deceive them).
7. Give an adventure tip. The iron portcullis that drops down to seal
the PCs in the hall of spinning blades has a representation of the
dungeon complex in the pattern of its iron bars. It’s a map!
6. Give the players something to learn. If removing the green gem
set off the statue’s trap, stepping on the green mosaic in the floor
sounded the alarm, and turning the green-handled crank made the
bridge turn sideways, the PCs might think twice about opening that
giant green door.
5. Reveal a new section of the dungeon. The spiked pit might have
an access tunnel so that bodies and valuables can be retrieved without
a risky climb into the pit.
4. Team it with other traps. The trapped chest is a bit more interesting
when it sits on the lap of a fire-breathing statue in a room where
poison darts shoot from the wall.
3. Give the PCs control. The PCs reset the trap and trick their foe
into stepping into it.
2. Provide ways for every PC to contribute. Maybe the wizard
can make an Arcana check to reveal a panel hidden by an illusion.
Perhaps the fighter can try to hold the trap open with a Strength
1. Combine it with combat. The room with pit traps is a lot more
interesting if the PCs can push monsters in the pits.
For more advice about how to use traps, check out this article:
Although its traps are designed for the third edition of the game,
much of the advice in the article remains useful.


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