Saturday, March 5, 2011

Traps as a Greater Challenge

On the subway today, both to and from a private tutoring session, I was making notes for some traps to put in the Megadungeon.

Of course, I don't need to take notes about pit traps, pendulum blades, lock needles, and the like.  I was brainstorming ideas for more interesting or elaborate traps.

And I started writing quite a few ideas for traps that were intended to create interesting challenges for the players and their PCs, rather than just the typical damage or delay effects of most traps.

And I liked it.

It got me thinking in ways I hadn't before.  What about a trap that will hinder henchmen/hirelings but leave the PCs alone?  Traps that affect logistics, like ruining rations or disintegrating all torches and lanterns.

And some 'traps' that aren't traps per se, but are more fool's bargains that the players might be foolish or desperate enough to attempt, like a magical pool that will give a spell-caster back their daily spell allotment, but permanently lowers one ability score.  Or a magical funnel that if you pour treasure into it, half of the treasure will be teleported to your home (got that XP earned) but the other half will disappear, never to be seen again.

I really like how my ideas were developing.  They're creating interesting choices for players, rather than just knocking off a few more hit points, or forcing a saving throw against some nasty effect.

Of course, there are also a few ideas for easily escapable traps involving an overly elaborate death, Dr. Evil style.  The game wouldn't be as fun without them.

But I'm more jazzed about these traps that are designed to make "story points" rather than just having them be a hindrance or obstacle to be overcome in the standard sense.

On a separate note, my class work hasn't been too bad yet, so I've had a bit of free time to work on Flying Swordsmen RPG while I wait on Paul's feedback about my latest version of Presidents of the Apocalypse.  The FSRPG monster section is about half finished now.  PotA will likely be released as a playtest version soon if Paul gives it the thumbs up.

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