Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Traps, Not Just for Ex-Girlfriends Anymore

When I first started running Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) I tended to treat traps as an exercise in dice rolling to overcome the challenge I had placed before my players. There was the roll to detect the trap and then another roll to disarm it. All this rolling tended to make for rather dull gameplay.

In an effort to remedy all this tedium I started looking for more complex traps, such as those found in Grimtooth’s Traps, and began to describe them to my players in detail. We still rolled to determine the chance of success but by actually describing the traps it made them exciting in the game and players spent time discussing how to conquer the challenge the trap presented.
I got so wrapped up in the process that I started neglecting the traditional, banal traps: arrow, pit, door, and poison traps were all too mundane. This neglect resulted in me falling back into the old habit of rolling to overcome. I was dissatisfied with this aspect of my Game Mastering but then Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition (D&D 4e) was announced.

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