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Awesome Traps: Drawn and Quartered

posted Monday, March 16th 2009 by Jonathan Drain
Dungeon Mastering Advice

Drawn and Quartered Trap

The players enter this room from either direction, passing through a set of double doors. A heavy portcullis bars both entrances, but each of these is easily raised using a mechanical winch just outside the room (not pictured). Thus, anyone who enters the room must find a way to raise the other portcullis to leave via the other side.

This large square room has a domed ceiling. The floor is crossed with deep grooves one foot thick which divide the chamber into four equal parts. The grooves continue up the walls and across the domed ceiling. The chamber is decorated throughout with patterns drawn with strange and ancient text. Each corner has a decorative pillar, carved with the appearance of a fierce demon, and embedded with a lever.

Pulling any one lever causes both portcullis winches to release, trapping the player characters inside. Pulling all four at once raises both winches, if each character speaks a password in the demonic tongue. If all four are pulled at once but the password is not spoken, a double trap is triggered. First, a wall of blades trap springs from the floor along the groove, dividing the room into four equal parts, most likely with one character in each. Second, the runes drawn on the ground glow and one demon is summoned into each quarter.

Both effects last for one minute, after which they vanish as quickly as they appeared and the portcullis rises on each side. Player characters can pass through the wall of blades, but doing so incurs damage.


  1. Toord

    March 16th, 2009

    As usual, great stuff. I personally like puzzle and trap-filled dungeons than the hack-n-slash type. This is good material.

  2. Louis Porter Jr.

    March 16th, 2009

    I like it!

  3. Undead

    March 17th, 2009

    Pretty clever trap. Nice site =), it seems that today everybody claps at 4E, anyways, everybody is still playing 3.5 secretely

  4. Boltgog

    June 5th, 2009

    May the Gods have mercy on whatever adventure gets caught in there.

  5. quicksilver

    August 23rd, 2009

    Bullrush demon through the wall of blades into the wizards quarter, for the win.

  6. Jinlung

    November 29th, 2009

    Play 3.5 secretly? Are you crazy! That is the only one I play as far as I’m concerned 4E doesn’t exist.

  7. Otter

    November 29th, 2009

    Personally I don’t really mind 4E but I like 3.5 better and why would I really want to play a system that I kinda like when I got one that I love. And I like pathfinder too but that is just like 3.6 really.

  8. bodoku

    December 14th, 2009

    pathfinder is more 3.75, in my group we have converted to pathfinder

  9. TheGhost55

    April 15th, 2010

    Dam people i still play 2E , gotta get back to the basics.lol

  10. 4EFan

    June 7th, 2010

    What makes you assume that this is a 3e trap? This could be created in any edition, in pretty much any setting.

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