Tycho Brahe’s Underdeep: Lethal Traps

The latest Penny Arcade comic has a D&D theme. Tycho Brahe’s Underdeep presents some lethal traps to handle stubborn player characters who just won’t die.

Here are a couple of my own favourites:

The infamous Tomb of Horrors includes several nasty traps. Look away now if you don’t want spoilers:

  • Every door is a fake door which triggers a fusillade of spears. The real door is always a hidden door.
  • A dark portal which is actually a sphere of annihilation
  • A corridor with the floor on a pivot: past a certain point, the floor tilts and dumps the PCs into lava (20d6 per round)
  • Tapestries which turn into green slime if pulled, instant death
  • A cursed gem of wishing which not only gives the opposite of what you wish for, but deals 200 fire damage afterward

Any favourite traps yourself?

Comments (2)

Frost (October 10th, 2009)

Looks like we were both inspired by that Penny Arcade comic. I wrote about my favorite on my blog, too.

It’s from “A3: Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords.”

Cunning Gelatinous Cubes
“As soon as the first rank of the party walks onto the 10 foot x 20 foot area (marked by the dotted lines) a 1-foot-thick slab of stone tilts, spilling them into a pit on top of a gelatinous cube. Characters in the second rank must save vs. Paralyzation to avoid falling into the pit. [Frost - Note: only the *second* rank gets to make a save.] Every round, a character who is in contact with the cube will take 2-8 points of damage and must save vs. Paralyzation or become paralyzed for 5-20 rounds. In addition, once per round the cube will extend a pseudopod and strike an opponent up to 15 feet away. The pit is 10 feet wide, 20 feet long, and 5 feet deep. The cube has altered its shape to fits this area.”

To make matters worse, there is a second cube in the room that sneaks up on the party while they deal with the first. Glorious.

When I DMed that module back in high school, I do recall it messed up the party’s monk pretty badly, but I don’t think anyone died. I think it’s the evil simplicity of it that appeals to me. Well, that and it involves gelatinous cubes (and cunning ones at that).


Trifith (November 7th, 2009)

The best I ever heard of was a huge room with a long bridge. As DM you keep repeating that the room stinks. Really emphasize this point. At the end of the bridge is a large stone golem. When the players fire their steel tipped arrows, or strike it with their steel swords the stone golem, which is made of flint, has a suitably high chance of creating a spark that ignites the methane in the room (Remember the bad smell) This results in massive fire damage to the whole party, and usually a new party.

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