A friend brought up the story of a campaign I ran where a fighter got more than he bargained for. This story contains a spoiler for Dungeon #126′s “The Clockwork Fortress”.
Our heroes were tasked with assaulting a mighty clockwork castle, where they made it across the drawbridge and into the forecourt unscathed. They encounter a massive wall with a huge door in the middle, covered with mechanics and pipes and parts. The fighter knocks on the door.
A voice booms from a brass pipe in the door, in Dwarven.
“Who are you?”
The party discusses. Whichever dwarf is behind this door, they surmise, is probably some low-level guard, and probably a warrior, so he should have low enough Sense Motive to be fooled by a well-crafted lie. The party’s rogue replies. “Let us in. We have important business.”
“Are you a Maker?”
The rogue thinks. “Yes. We are all ‘Makers’, and you must let us in.”
There’s a pause, and the voice booms again. “You are not a Maker.”
The fighter decides this isn’t going anywhere. Whoever’s behind this door is going to need convincing the hard way. No door in this campaign has ever withstood his might, and this party has left a trail of wood splinters and torn hinges in their wake.
“I punch the door.”
“Suddenly,” says the DM, “the massive brass door lifts itself off its hinges and launches an attack. It slams at you twice, dealing…”
The player’s eyes widen as I roll against his low AC. There never was a dwarf warrior. This door is an intelligent construct, its very own door guard, and after a campaign of “I force the door” and “what’s its hardness?” the doors are finally fighting back.
“…one regular hit and one critical hit, for… forty-nine damage.”
“Help! I’m at -7!”
Two campaigns later, the player is still afraid of doors.