Friday, September 13, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge - Day 13-Favorite Trap/Puzzle

Traps are some of my favorite things in D&D, and while I've put forth a number of puzzles, riddles, and nefarious traps as a DM that I might describe, I can't help but think of one of the simplest yet most-effective traps I've come across as a player.

It would be the time our old 2nd Edition D&D group was hunting down a Lich's phylactery (I think?) and we came to a Well we had heard was an entrance to his tomb.  As we discussed how to knot the various sets of 50' rope we had brought along and who to send down first, Marcus got impatient and decided to jump in the well since he didn't have any paper on him that could get wet and ruined (our DM was very strict about those sorts of things), and he wanted to move the game along.  Upon hitting the water, the DM rolled a handful of dice behind the screen and said "You take 26 points of damage!"  This almost-killed or immediately-killed (not sure) poor Marcus, so Quinn decided he had to act fast!

Assuming the water was in fact acid or some magic death-water, and having on him a 'Protection from Water' scroll (in 2e anyone could use Protection scrolls), Quinn pulled out the scroll and slid down into the well while casting it so he could rescue Marcus.  The water was repelled, and Quinn saw the entrance to the Lich's lair, as well as Marcus's body laying on the ground. But it was covered in Crawling Claws!  The Lich had filled the well with Crawling Claws, which is what tore Marcus to pieces.  So simple of a trap, yet so effective. The claws immediately lept on Quinn and his only option was to drink his treasured Potion of Gaseous Form to escape, not only using two of his extremely-rare one-use Magic items in two rounds, but also leaving the body of Marcus at the bottom of the well to be torn to shreds by the animated hands for his final death.  It was a sad day in the Forgotten Realms.

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