Kobold Press

Trap Themes (Part 4 of 5): Daemonic Implements

hellTrap themes are templates that can be applied to existing traps to give them a distinct and shared flavor.

Each theme introduces new powers—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but upgrade a trap to an elite or solo if you apply two or more themes.

[part 1][part 2][part 3]

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Few places inspire as much terror as the burning cities of the Hells and the infinite yawning layers of the Abyss. Some trade in stories of demons and devils to spur righteous obedience; others do so as a warning to those who might pass beyond the wall of mortal existence in search of adventure.

In either case, the realm of demons is not simply chaotic—it is chaos incarnate. It is the collective nightmare of a thousand peoples protected by gods who themselves fear the screeching, keening mouths of those that dwell at the bottom of the multiverse…

The daemonic implements trap theme allows you to flavor classic traps, so they feel native to the scorched hellscapes, churning flesh warrens, and wrought iron fortresses that demons and devils call home. Dart traps might be re-skinned to fire screaming skulls, enervating bone thrusts upward from the floor rather than spears, and pit traps become slobbering maws that open beneath the feet of the unwary.

Traps with the daemonic implements theme emphasize high damage attacks, draining effects, and corruption. Parties with little to no healing will struggle to overcome most daemonic implements; conversely, adventuring groups with an abundance of healing may easily manage traps with this theme.

Skill Modifications: Increase Perception DCs by 4. Additionally, a character can detect and identify a daemonic implement with an Arcana or Religion check (hard DC).

Baloric (Trait)

Veins of cerulean lightning split and flash across the hissing brimstone surface of this trap.

Traps with this trait reflect the most dreadful and iconic features of the mighty balor. Use baloric traps in confined encounter areas, or on traps that can move (such as rolling boulders).

Baloric (fire, lightning)
Attacks made by this trap deal fire and lightning damage. In addition, baloric traps gain the flaming construct and fire burst powers (see below).

Fire Burst (fire) • Encounter
Trigger—The trap is disabled or destroyed.
Attack (No Action)—Close burst 3 (creatures in burst); Level + 1 vs. Reflex.
Hit—Limited fire damage by level and ongoing 5 fire damage/tier (save ends).

Flaming Construct (fire) • Aura 2
Creatures entering or starting their turn in the aura take 5 fire damage/tier.

Befoul (Power)

A cloud of billowing ash and vaporous bile lingers in the wake of the trap’s attack, spoiling the perishables in your backpack in mere seconds.

Befouling traps are most threatening to adventuring parties that rely on potions and elixirs for healing and other extraordinary abilities.

Befoul (poison) • At-Will
Trigger—The trap hits with an area or close attack.
Effect (No Action)—One potion or elixir the target is carrying (target’s choice), including those stowed away, becomes poisonous until the end of the encounter. Creatures that drink befouled substances take 10 poison damage/tier, lose 2 healing surges, and are weakened until the end of their next turn.

Blackfire (Power)

The attack wreathes your body in icy black flames that consume your life force as a campfire consumes air.

This dangerous power is most effective against groups with an abundance of healing abilities.

Blackfire (cold, reliable, necrotic) • Recharge 4, 5, 6
Trigger—The trap hits with a melee or close attack.
Effect (Immediate Reaction)—The target is affected by blackfire (save ends). While affected, the target takes ongoing 5 cold and necrotic damage/tier. In addition, whenever the target spends a healing surge to regain hp, it is treated as if it had just failed a death saving throw for the encounter.

Siphoning Veins (Power)

This trap is forged not from wood or iron but rather from splintered bone wrapped in bubbling sheets of raw skin. The wounds it inflicts run deep, however, and the veins beneath its flesh soak in your blood.

Apply this power to any trap that acts alongside powerful demons in an encounter, particularly brutes and soldiers who take the manticore’s share of damage each turn.

Siphoning Veins (healing) • At-Will
Trigger—The trap hits with a melee attack.
Effect (No Action)—The target takes ongoing 5 damage/tier (save ends). While the target is taking ongoing damage, one non-minion demon within 5 squares of the trap gains regeneration 5/tier.

Marilithic (Trait)

Six crooked limbs jut from the cracked bloodstone statue, each grinding on bone pivots.

Apply this trait to traps that attack with a weapon or damaging appendage, such as a statue.

Marilithic
The trap may make two melee attacks with a single standard action. Marilithic traps also gain the weapon dance power.

Weapon DanceRecharge 5, 6
Trigger—The trap is missed with an attack roll, or a creature fails a skill check to disable it.
Attack (Opportunity Action)—The trap attacks six times with a melee at-will power.

Vile Bite (Power)

The wound oozes with blackened ichor that hardens like molten rock, searing your flesh and muscle from within.

Don’t overuse this deadly and versatile power—aim to drain enough hp to where the dungeoneers feel the pinch, but not so much that they are entirely unable to heal.

Vile Bite (necrotic) • At-Will
Trigger—The trap hits with a melee or ranged attack.
Effect—The target takes an extra 2 necrotic damage/tier. This damage cannot be healed until the target takes a short rest.

Vorpal Cold Iron (Trait)

The spatters of dried blood coating this trap bring out the intricate patterns etched on its surface.

Apply this trait to traps that make frequent melee attacks against defenders and other tough dungeoneers. Parties with several elves, eladrin, or deva are particularly devastated by this trait.

Vorpal Cold Iron
Melee attacks made by this trap are high crit, ignore resistances, and deal an extra 2d12 damage/tier on a critical hit. If the target is fey or immortal, the trap scores a critical hit on a 19–20, and the extra damage increases to 3d12/tier.

Sample Trap: Dread Marilith Statue Trap

The following sample trap was made by applying the blackfire power and the marilithic and vorpal cold iron traits to the giant warrior statue trap.

Level 4 Elite Trap (XP 350)
This 20-ft.-tall statue of a marilith is bathed in flames the color of midnight. It wields a curved falchion in each stony hand, the shimmering blades frosted with runes.

Detect Arcana or Religion DC 23;               Initiative +4
HP 100
AC 12, Fortitude 10, Reflex 5, Will
Resist 5 all; Immune all conditions, forced movement, necrotic, ongoing damage, poison, psychic

TRAITS
Marilithic
The dread marilith statue trap makes two attacks each round.

Vorpal Cold Iron
Attacks made by the dread marilith statue trap are high crit, ignore resistances, and deal an extra 2d12 damage on a critical hit. If the target is fey or immortal, the trap scores a critical hit on a 19–20, and the extra damage increases to 3d12.

STANDARD ACTIONS
[m] AttackAt-Will
Attack—Close burst 3 (enemies in burst); +9 vs. AC.
Hit—1d8+5 damage (crit 2d12+13, 3d12+13 vs. fey or immortal creatures), and the target is knocked prone.

TRIGGERED ACTIONS
Blackfire (cold, reliable, necrotic) • Recharge 4, 5, 6
Trigger—The dread marilith statue trap hits with an attack.
Effect (Immediate Reaction)—The target is affected by blackfire (save ends). While affected, the target takes ongoing 5 cold and necrotic damage. In addition, whenever the target spends a healing surge to regain hp, it is treated as if it had just failed a death saving throw for the encounter.

Weapon DanceRecharge 5, 6
Trigger—The dread marilith statue trap is missed with an attack roll, or a creature fails a skill check to disable it.
Attack (Opportunity Action)—The trap makes six attacks.

COUNTERMEASURES

  • Avoid: A character can climb the dread marilith statue trap with an Athletics check (DC 16). The statue cannot attack a character who has climbed onto it.
  • Disable: A character adjacent to the statue can access a secret panel to disable the trap. Disabling the trap requires four successful Thievery checks (DC 16).

4 Replies to "Trap Themes (Part 4 of 5): Daemonic Implements"

Sersa V

October 26, 2010 at 12:22am

Oops – the marilithic statue trap should do an extra d8 damage on a crit, in addition to the extra dice from vorpal. My mistake.

Mike Furlanetto

October 26, 2010 at 9:48am

Great stuff, Scott!

The death throw failures from blackfire and the siphoning veins were my personal favorites, but all of these are really good.

Wolfgang

October 27, 2010 at 7:01am

Yeah, the death throw element seems extra-horrific, but there’s lots of great, hellishly nasty stuff here.

I especially like the example trap.

Sersa V

October 27, 2010 at 7:48pm

Thanks to you both. :]