Kobold Press

Trapsmith: Impromptu Surprises

“Stop! Gods, I’m done.” Gavin’s chest and legs were on fire. Gasping for air, he looked at Thurmish. The giant oaf was barely out of breath. “Where is Zaron?” Thurmish gazed ahead, spat on the ground, and said, “His magic is helping him flee. He won’t return—not for us at least.”

“And what of our pursuer?”

“He is still on our trail. His armor is slowing him down, a little,” Thurmish rumbled “Not enough for you to evade him.”

Hearing that, Gavin’s hands inched toward his blades. It took some effort to stop their progress. “We still have time. We can prepare a surprise. What kind of supplies are you carrying?” Gavin took in Thurmish’s answer. “Give me your rope and caltrops, then, and we’ll give the bastard a nasty surprise.”

Sometimes a trapsmith is thrust into unfortunate situations that require him or her to jury-rig a trap within minutes. These are true tests of skill.

The burning, biting, tripping trap is the result of such a test of skill. A good trapsmith can take a length of rope, a vial of alchemist fire, some lamp oil, and a bag of caltrops, then transform them into a death-dealing trap.

Tripping over a length of rope results in the victim landing in a very shallow pit that is filled with caltrops, a vial of alchemist fire, and a jug of lamp oil. The victim’s fall shatters the vial, leading to a fiery conflagration.

Burning, Biting, Tripping Trap     CR 1
Type mechanical; Perception DC 16; Disable Device DC 15
Trigger location; Reset none
Effect rope trip; fall into caltrops (Atk +8 melee, 2d4 damage); DC 16 Reflex save avoids
Effect fiery conflagration (4d6 fire damage)

Access to more supplies and time can easily yield the following trap:

Improved Burning, Biting, Tripping Trap     CR 8
Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 25
Trigger location; Reset none
Effect rope trip; fall into caltrops (Atk +15 melee, 4d4 damage); DC 25 Reflex save avoids
Effect fiery conflagration (8d6 fire damage)

Design Notes
The burning, biting, triping trap is an ideal trap for a rogue who has access to the quick trapsmith ability introduced in the Advanced Player’s Guide.

(This post is Product Identity.)

5 Replies to "Trapsmith: Impromptu Surprises"


July 18, 2012 at 9:10am

Nice! I really like the idea of trap-building on the fly, and this is a great example.


July 18, 2012 at 1:07pm

OK, let’s make this interesting and challenging.

Tell me which four adventuring items your rogue has access to and I’ll make a trap out of them.

And being a good trapsmith I will cheat, or substitute an item when I am stumped.


July 18, 2012 at 1:47pm

So, yeah, a green slime did a number on my rogue, and his only remaining equipment is a crowbar, bedroll, mirror, and a flask of oil. :)

James Thomas

July 18, 2012 at 6:59pm

Great theme Maurice! Here’s my resources:
You’re on the run from a gang of goons. You have: a bag of marbles, a tanglefoot bag, a coil of wire, a knife, a live cat and a thunderstone. : )


July 19, 2012 at 4:21am

That is 6 items James, I’ll have to charge you extra.

But I can work with both sets, shame about the kitty though.