Traps 3.5

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My players want to use some simple traps but I am not sure the trap making section of the DMG covers what they want. They want really simple traps and I have trouble charging them the prices that would arise from the DMG. For example, they want snap traps (the kind used to snap on an animal's leg when it steps on a plate). It seems like these traps should be cheap as many hunters would probably have a few. Since hunters are not wealthy, I imagine either they make these things or they can get them for non-adventurer costs. I also do not imagine they are incredibly lethal since they do not necessarily kill the animal but keep it in one place.

Has anyone ever developed stats for these things?

Has anyone ever redesigned the prices of other simple traps? Some of the other traps seem overpriced when considering that common people might use them too and could never afford the costs.

As an aside, do players get XP simply for surviving the trap even if the players set it off or do they have to actually disable it? I had a player who did not look for a trap, set it off, but made the reflex save to avoid the damage (pit trap). Does she get XP for that encounter? She was the only PC within 60+ feet of this trap and were in no danger. The other PCs do not get XP for this trap. Correct?
  Your party could hire an NPC rogue who has trapmaking as a profession or a trapper/woodsman commoner who will work for a day's wage.

  As far as the trap and XP, I'd say your right about the player getting the XP and not the others. Experience would be looking for traps in the future.

  It would also cover encountering a trap. Disable device or make a Reflex save.These are the tools of the rogue.Who should now be a little wiser in the future.
There are some additional rules and traps in various books. Beyond the encounter-traps from Secrets of Xen'drik and Dungeonscape, which are rather more complicated than wilderness traps, Dungeon Master's Guide II has some of the type you describe. 

For your players, both Complete Scoundrel and Dungeonscape have trapmaking related PrCs - one's called the Combat Trapsmith, the other simply Trapsmith. I also have not seen them in use (or seen anyone discussing them being used), so I cannot say how useful they will be. The web enhancement for Races of the Dragon has some kobold related traps, though again, they are rather expensive if you're on the hunt.

Finally, the ranger spell Snare can create simple traps, though it may not be what you want - if, as you say, hunters are not wealthy, they are not all spellcasters either.

My Eberron Characters. Commissions by various artists on Deviant Art.

For your players, both Complete Scoundrel and Dungeonscape have trapmaking related PrCs - one's called the Combat Trapsmith, the other simply Trapsmith. I also have not seen them in use (or seen anyone discussing them being used), so I cannot say how useful they will be.

Ahem.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Forgive me for answering the easy part:
As an aside, do players get XP simply for surviving the trap even if the players set it off or do they have to actually disable it? I had a player who did not look for a trap, set it off, but made the reflex save to avoid the damage (pit trap). Does she get XP for that encounter? She was the only PC within 60+ feet of this trap and were in no danger. The other PCs do not get XP for this trap. Correct?


If the players encounter the trap and "defeat" it they get XP for it.  Defeating a trap can mean disarming it, finding another way around it, and even just walking into it and surviving what ever it will do.  PCs do not get XP for traps when they never even know they are there and fail to set them off (say a trap on an undiscovered secret door) and when the trap actively prevents them from from accomplishing a goal (like a pit trap across a hallway and the PCs never make it over to the other side.)

As for who gets the XP, EVERYONE gets to share the XP.  At least that is how things are supposed to be played.  When 3e came out the rule pretty much did away with any concept of "individual" XP for performing various act and instead figure that all party member should share in all XP awards.  I mean if you have a thief who is scouting ahead and he locates and disarms a trap does he get all the XP?  If you said 'yes' then is there anything different if the entire group is there but if the thief blows the disarm attempt he is still the only one getting hit by it?  Now it his last case does the cleric get XP for healing the thief after it failed to disarm the trap?  It gets so confusing that XP is simply divided evenly amoung everyone in the group.  I could go on about this but there have been plenty of threads devoted to the topic of XP distribution in the past.
 
For your players, both Complete Scoundrel and Dungeonscape have trapmaking related PrCs - one's called the Combat Trapsmith, the other simply Trapsmith. I also have not seen them in use (or seen anyone discussing them being used), so I cannot say how useful they will be.

Ahem.



Thanks! Now I have seen! ;)

My Eberron Characters. Commissions by various artists on Deviant Art.

"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
As always, thanks to everyone for the responses. I did find some information in the DMG2 that covered the concept I mentioned with respect to cheap and available traps. I looked at it very quickly so I might find even more in the chapter that I like.

Steve, I understand what you said about splitting XP and rewarding individual activities (i.e., cleric's heal). Part of the reason I feel the rogue might warrant individual consideration is that no one else was even near the trap, no one knew what she was doing (not because she was hiding but because everyone else was so far away), and only one other PC even saw what happened. I struggle to reward PCs who were not a part of that "encounter." I do realize that if I start down this path, then I create a potentially arbitrary gray area as to who participated and who did not. So I may just consider it as a group encounter.

I also struggle to fully reward simple survival of the trap. I want to award full XP for some sort of purposeful interaction with the challenge (even if the interaction is does not result in a win). I feel like full XP is a bit much for sheer luck. Maybe the rogue learned something about traps but she did not learn as much as she might by studying the trap and making an attempt to defeat it. Similarly, it seems wrong to reward a fighter for simply tanking through traps with no attempt to spot them, understand them, learn from them, or avoid them. I would feel wrong awarding full XP for a party that simply ran past a room with a few zombies, even if the goal was to get to the other side. Sure, they made it and "defeated" the zombie obstacle but they did very little. They did do something, but the amount of thought put into running past a zombie is minimal. Another example are shiekers and violent fungus. If the fungus is at the entrance of a cavern and the party runs past the fungus into the dungeon, they should get full XP for getting past the encounter. They then run past the fungus on the way out and get full XP again simply for making past the encounter a second time. 3.5 might not be designed to accommodate my view on earning XP, or maybe I am just wrong. Still, giving full XP does not sit well with me for this trap.
Then give half for a "failed attempt".
And your fungus example is a bit erroneous; they'd only get XP for running past it once, since it's still "the same encounter".
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
As draco hints at, it may be possible to "defeat" an encounter yet still have it be active.

My measure for an encounter is basically "would the PCs face this, or something identical to it, even if they go by it the first time?"  Looking at guards as an example the PCs can usually "defeat" the guards simply by getting past them; if the PCs happen to run into those same guards they may not get any additional XP from them if the PCs weren't supposed to encounter guards again or they may get full XP if I decide the guard would/could have been replaced by a new set after the first group was defeated.

Looking at your "room full of zombies" I'd say "running past them" may be a perfectly valid method of "defeating" them but if I have them pursue and they happen to catch up to the PCs at an inopportune time well then the PCs are just SOL.

I'd say that part of what bothers you about XP for traps is that they are encounters that are usually over in a single round or two with only one really active participant.  I mean if you go Search/Disarm that could be two rounds with the rogue involving two "rolls" which may not even need to be rolls if "take 10" is sufficient which it actually could be much of the time.  Similarly when the Barbarian blindly walks into a trap things are done in a round except for any patching up that needs to be done.  But I'll ask if that is really any different then a Sorcerer walking into a room full of low level humanoids and dropping Sleep on them 'dropping' the encounter's worth of advesaries in a single blow?

If it wasn't for DnD having a number of metagame things that actually use XP like the penalty for dying, magic item construction, and also the occasional powerful spell I would really suggest just throwing out the use of individual XP and just level the entire group periodically.  This is what I often recommend for StarWars SAGA Edition which doesn't have any XP costs as it really simplifies book keeping.  If you feel the need to reward one player who you'd want to give extra XP I suggest you just let him level an encounter or maybe even two before the rest of the group.  Considering how 'mapped out' some characters are I have even advocated "dynamic levelling" which can take place DURING an encounter and give a PC access to new things while in the heat of battle.
 
I don't think what bothers me is the one active participant. I do not mind when the rogue searches and disarms the trap. I also would not mind the barbarian (actually, I do not allow barbarians as a class in my game. You can have a barbarian template/modifiers but not a class. No one has ever asked so I cannot tell you with more detail what that template actually is or how its mechanics work. If someone ever asks, I'll figure it out) decimates the bad guys in one round. I also like the sorcerer completely trashing my well thought out strategy by dropping sleep or whatever and wiping out the encounter.

What bothers me is the lack of skill (in a different sense than class skills) in defeating the trap or defeating the encounter. The PC (rogue or otherwise) who just stumbles on a trap and lives does not, in my mind, gain much in the way of knowledge about the encounter. I can see partial credit for possibly learning that "gee, in a long, narrow hallway there might be a trap so I better look next time." Full credit just seems too much for defeating the encounter through simple luck. The same applies to the barbarian: "I have massive HP and can essentially survive any trap so I'll just walk through it." This approach requires no skill. It is simply a function of the game mechanics. The sorcerer who sleeps a room full of bad guys is at least acting like a sorcerer: cast spell to defeat bad guys. Similarly, the rogue who actually looks for the trap is at least trying to use rogue skills. A failure would warrant XP (partial or full) because the rogue is learning from the experience. I realize this approach opens up lots of problems and gray areas (how much does one learn from failure, how many different partial amounts are possible, etc.) and it certainly is not perfect. However, this idea sits better with me. It has since very early in my D&D days.

Ultimately, I gave the entire party full XP for this trap. It was a CR=1 pit trap. They earned 75 XP each for it. They earned a total of 75 more XP for defeating 3 goblins, which put the entire party at risk. So, a pit that one rogue blindly set off and jumped back to avoid (reflex save) gave as much XP to everyone, including the PC who was 100 feet away and oblivious to the trap, as the three goblins who were tossing javelins at everyone. That just seems wrong. Ah well. I told the party I may award XP differently in the future but for this particular trap, they got the XP according to RAW.
Ah, but just think if that pit and the goblins were working together.  PC falls into pit, goblins appear and PCs are now at a disadvantage.

While traps should award full XP when ever they are encountered I believe a general suggestion is that traps actually NOT be the total encounter.  Along those lines after a few levels you really shouldn't expect traps at CR = APL or better.  This is often because they are either "easy XP" or "PC death" depending on if it is detected early or not.
Actually, they were working together. The pit trap was the "front door" to the goblins' semi-permanent camp. The NPC human hunter (slightly modified warrior class) and PC halfling ranger were circling around. The dwarven paladin and the half-elf rogue were watching the front of the camp. The goblins detected the party when the dwarf stumbled horribly (move silently = 3 vs. goblin listen = 18 or so). The rogue moved through the entrance and set off the trap. She made her reflex to avoid falling in it. Based on location the ranger could not even see the rogue and dwarf.

I'm not sure I follow your second paragraph. The trap CR should not equal the Average Party Level. Do you mean I should treat them as a monster with respect to determining EL for a given battle and generally only include traps as part of a larger monster encounter?
My last paragraph may be poorly written but my intent is to convey that traps can often be very dangerous for a given CR BUT they can also be completely hit or miss.  If you are familiar with the term "glass cannon" to describe a character that can hit hard but who may fall easily that term can almost always be applied to traps.  I know I should go and find some real examples but many "death traps" actually have a fairly low CR; this is heavy on the assumption that the party will detect and probably even disable the trap before it can really even do anything but if it does get to go off it can be very painful.

You generally (at least at higher levels) don't want the trap to be the sole component of an encounter (thus EL = trap's CR) at the party's level.  Traps are usually "easily handled if dealt with properly but challenging if dealt with improperly" which is why you normally use solo traps below the APL just incase the PCs handle in improperly.  Now if you want to make an encounter around a trap more challenging (higher EL) then you would treat the trap just like you'd treat any other monster in the encounter.  A CR 5 trap supported by three CR 5 creatures would be an EL 9 encounter.

Going back to your pit trap and goblins I wonder how well the goblins used that trap.  In an ideal situation it could serve as an early warning system, PC deterent, and also convient hazard when used correctly.  Assuming the goblins didn't know about the PCs when the trap went off the "proper" methods of dealing with the trap would leave the goblins unaware while just triggering the traps gets the goblin's attention.  With the trap sprung the goblins would use their advantage over who ever fell into the pit and may also use that pit to stop hinder other PCs.  Depending on where it is situated I could even see the goblins trying to force other PCs into the pit even after it was exposed.
 
Experience Rule Number One*: All players are to be awarded equal XP as being behind the rest of the party in level both blows and makes encounter building more difficult.
_________________

*Ok, ya got me.  The real Experience Rule Number One is this: Don't use experience.
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