Players' Guide: Craft (Trapmaking), Revised

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Players' Guide: Craft (Trapmaking), Revised

Postby Jiriki » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:14 pm

Craft (Trapmaking/Locksmithing): Improvised Trapmaking

The Craft (Trapmaking) skill is not just limited to the manufacture of extravagant and complicated Rube Goldberg machines worth thousands of gold pieces; it can be used to make "improvised traps," using little more than what is readily at hand, and anyone with a modicum of knowledge about how traps go together can do so. Classic examples of improvised traps include snares, swinging logs, mole-holes for horses to trip on, crossbows or spring-loaded swords rigged to triplines, and the like. Your options are limited only by your imagination and the items at hand. Many rangers, rogues, and scouts take ranks in Craft (Trapmaking) specifically for this purpose.

Check: Constructing an improvised trap requires a DC 20 Craft (Trapmaking) check. You may use this ability to craft any non-magical trap on the CR 1 trap list that does not involve a pit. (Additional options may be available at DM discretion; see the next post for a sample listing.) Regardless of their listing on the trap list, improvised traps are subject to the following rules and limitations:

  • If an improvised trap makes an attack roll, it has an attack bonus equal to your ranks in this skill.
  • The Search and Disable Device DCs of an improvised trap are equal to the result of your Craft (trapmaking) check when making the trap. (You can disable your own improvised traps without a check.) Creatures that observe you making the trap (for instance, if such a trap is made during combat) automatically succeed on Search checks to locate the trap.
  • If an improvised trap requires a saving throw, the DC is equal to 10 + half your ranks in Craft (trapmaking).
  • An improvised trap cannot target a space larger than a single 5x5 square.
  • You may add poison to improvised traps without increasing the CR, but the poison dries out in 1 hour and becomes useless.
  • Improvised traps have no value, and their components cannot typically be recovered.

Action: Constructing an improvised trap takes 1 minute. You can voluntarily make your Craft (trapmaking) check at a -10 penalty to decrease this time to one full-round action, or at a -20 penalty to decrease the time to one standard action.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Disable Device, you gain a +2 bonus to Craft (Trapmaking) checks made to craft improvised traps.

Special: A 1st-level Trapsmith (see Dungeonscape) uses the above-listed rules rather than those printed in the book to produce booby traps. He takes no penalty to make such traps with a full-round action, and takes only a -10 penalty to make such traps with one standard action. By taking a -20 penalty, he may make such traps as a swift action. Any trap that makes an attack roll is considered a "weapon" for purposes of being a valid target for spells that enhance a weapon, such as magic weapon or even holy sword.

A 3rd-level Trapsmith with the Advanced Booby Traps class feature likewise uses the above system, but can select one of the following options when making an improvised trap:

  • If the trap makes an attack roll, you can increase the number of attacks it makes (to a maximum of one-fifth your ranks in this skill, rounded down). Each additional attack the trap can make adds 1 full round to the time needed to build it. You need not add the maximum number of attacks to the trap.
  • Any trap utilizing a solid object to deal damage can use a larger object to make the same attack, increasing damage by +1d6 per Trapsmith level.
  • If the trap requires a saving throw, you may add your Intelligence modifier to the save DC.
  • If the trap employs a special maneuver (usually trip, grapple, or bull rush), you may add your Intelligence modifier to the trap's maneuver check.
  • Instead of a single 5x5 square, your trap may affect every square in a 10x10 area or a 20-foot line; doing so doubles the time required to make the trap. You may designate the location of the trigger(s) within the target area.

Sidebar: Sample Improvised Traps
The following are examples of some common types of impromptu traps not in the DMG, along with descriptive notes and a list of the materials consumed in the trap (if any). Each of the traps listed below are quick to make, with few moving parts or points of failure, and range from defensive warning mechanisms to effective murder devices. Note that the availability of some of these traps may depend on your surroundings, at DM discretion.

Alarm Wire
A rope, vine, or wire is connected to several empty cans or other objects designed to make noise when moved. A can of paint, ink, flour, or the like is often also employed to mark invisible creatures.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; repair reset; flour/paint/ink (Atk melee touch, as Dungeonscape 32) and/or audible alarm (Listen DC -10). If ink, flour, or other material is employed, it is expended in the making of the trap.

Covered Caltrops
One of the simplest possible traps, as little as a bag of caltops scattered over an area, then covered with a light layer of leaves or refuse for concealment.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; Atk melee (1 and halved speed until the target receives a Heal check, caltrops). One bag of caltrops is expended in the making of the trap.

Deadfall, a.k.a. Pendulum Trap
A heavy log or rock is suspended high above an area, and swings through when triggered--inflicting heavy damage and knocking its target in a direction of the trapmaker's choice.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Reflex negates (2d6, log or rock, and bull rush [Str 18], automatically moving target as far as possible).

Falling Rocks
A bag of heavy stones suspended over an area is emptied when triggered, usually onto the trap-tripper's head. Particularly devious sorts may also use this trap to drop other items, such as crates, casks of oil, or alchemicals.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; repair reset; Atk ranged (1d8, rocks).

Field of Covered Mole-Holes
Commonly placed in fields of tall grass, this trap—little more than a field of 1-foot holes, covered with wads of torn grass—is particularly dagerous for charging cavalry. If a mount is tripped, it takes 1d6 falling damage, and the rider must make a DC 15 Ride check or be thrown (also taking 1d6 falling damage).

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Atk melee (target tripped by hole [Str 18]).

Your standard loop of rope or vine attached to a bent branch or sapling, or a looped length of rope or chain hung from a nearby counter-weight. Grabs the trap-tripper's heel and hauls it up.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Atk melee touch (target grappled by rope [Str 18], suspended above ground). If sufficient space exists (DM discretion), you may choose the suspension height; for any height above 20 feet, add 1 full round per 10 feet of height to the time required to construct the trap, which cannot be accelerated.

Swinging Spike
Usually attached to a decoy item that, when taken, pressed, or moved, triggers an impaling spike through shifting weights or tension. (The movie Conan the Barbarian has a great example of this in action.)

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; touch trigger; Atk melee (3d6, spike).

Timed-Fuse Explosive
A length of cloth, soaked in pitch and cut to length, is affixed to a particular sort of alchemical, which is then concealed under a loose covering of cloth, dirt, or other appropriate debris. When the fuse expires, the alchemical goes off as if it had been thrown/activated in the trap's square.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; timed trigger; effect and targets vary by alchemical used (Atk melee touch; on miss, alchemical triggers as if impacting the ground in that space); onset delay (length determined by user in 1-round increments, up to 1 minute). The alchemical used is expended in the making of the trap.

A coiled spring or bent sapling with a V-shape nocked into the top holds a throwing weapon, which is tossed (not with great accuracy) when the trap is triggered. Spears, darts, javelins, and nets are most common, though with the right rigging any throwing weapon can be used. This sort of trap also accounts for jury-rigged crossbows or other projectile weapons.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Atk ranged (damage as weapon used). The thrown weapon is expended in the making of the trap; if a projectile weapon is used, its ammunition is expended in the making of the trap, though the weapon may be recovered.

Tosser, Fire Variant
This is technically two traps set separately, working together for effect; combining the Alarm Wire and the Tosser, the tripwire dumps black lantern-oil on the target, while the simultaneously-triggered tosser flings a lit torch or lantern to ignite the hapless victim.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Atk melee touch and ranged touch (black oil, as Dungeonscape 32, and 1d6 fire plus ignition, torch). The oil and the torch or lantern are expended in the making of the trap; as this is two separate traps combined, it requires two separate Craft (trapmaking) checks.

Sharpened wire strung between two points. Hard to see but pretty easy to get rid of when it is seen, tripwires are quite effective when strung in the path of mounted targets, who rarely notice the trap until it's decapitating them.

Statistics: CR 1/2; mechanical; location trigger; Atk melee (1d4, wire, and target tripped [Str 18]). Requires razored wire (2 gp/10 feet), which is expended in the creation of the trap; mundane rope can also be used, but it deals nonlethal damage.
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