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Trapsmith: No Rest for the Wicked

Study for the dead alchemist -- Elihu Vedder
Whistling a tune, with a fishing rod slung across his right shoulder and his hammock wrapped under his left arm, Gavin strolled down toward the lake’s edge. A day of leisure would do him good—no clients, no deadlines, just him lying in the sun, angling for fish.

The corpse ended his whistling, and distant fighting noises reached Gavin’s ears at about the same time. Near the corpse, a beautiful rapier lay on the ground, but the corpse’s hat was exquisite: a deep blue with feathers in the latest swashbuckler’s style. Gavin wanted it, so he took it.

He also noted that the dead swashbuckler’s legs were covered by rusty spiked greaves. Gavin removed them as an idea formed in his head.

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Trapsmith: Seasonal Solutions


“Don’t.” Turmish looked at him quizzically. “It’s only a decorated tree, Gavin. Besides I am hungry and that goose looks tasty.”

“Again. Don’t. You know how druids get all excited during the season, so don’t. I am not going to save you. That,“ Gavin pointed at the large fir tree decorated with tinsel and baubles, “is a trap. I can feel it in my bones.”

Druids are scary. Their dealings with the fickle fey and their strange seasonal rituals can cause a certain “wrongness” when and wherever they decide to build a trap. The decorated tree with goose guardian is a perennial druidic favorite. Any who near it must deal with its various ornamental and enchanting abilities.

Tinsel Tie Trap     CR 3
Type magical; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic
Effect tinsel touch (+10 melee, 2d6 slashing damage plus tinsel tie)
Effect tinsel tie (gain the grappled condition; tinsel tie has a CMD of 20)

The tinsel is unnaturally strong. It has hardness 10 and 10 hp.

Ballistic Baubles Trap     CR 3
Type magical; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic
Effect ballistic baubles (+5 ranged touch, treat as a ray of frost spell plus boreal bind)
Effect boreal bind (succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or 1d3 Dex damage)

Fey Fir     CR 10
Type magical; Perception DC 34; Disable Device DC 34
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic
Effect fey fir (treat as the sympathy spell, DC 23 Will save negates); multiple targets (all humans within 100 ft.)

Next Installment

What can Gavin do with a fishing rod, rusty spiked greaves, a swashbuckler’s hat and a hammock?

The Challenge

Name four adventuring items and receive a murderous trap in return.

(This post is Product Identity.)

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Trapsmith: Wretched Wrecking Ball Trap

“What is a wizard? A wizard is a cold, calculating mind ruled by reason. A wizard possesses untold power.” After his little speech, Thersus proudly looked down on his pupil. “So, Gavin, do you want to be a wizard when you grow up?”

The boy looked Thersus up and down and answered, “You’re just a man. Daddy says men die.”

* * *

Gavin smiled as he remembered the beating that followed. Thersus had remained his tutor for the rest of the year, but his dad had been so very proud of him. “Strength is weakness, Gavin. Always remember that, but take care because shared knowledge can hurt you.”

Unwrapping the long metal cord he had coiled around his waist, Gavin looked around the wizard’s study. He noted a fine crystal ball, some sort of magic flask, and countless books and assorted scrolls. The key to a wizard’s demise remained the same: Angry wizards are not ruled by reason. They are just people when anger takes over, and people die.

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Trapsmith: Surgical Traps

Maybe I shouldn’t continue.

The thought surprised Gavin, and he stopped working on one of his more experimental designs. Pacing back and forth, Gavin considered his supplies: a neat row of surgeon’s tools, a stuffed weasel, a potion of healing, and a bedsheet. He knew what he considered to do with the potion of healing was “wrong,” but if he did it, the result would be legendary.

In the end, legendary won.

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Trapsmith: Troolboon Teeth Trap


“And these are the teeth of a vampire. I’ve forgotten his name, but I’ll never forget the look on his face when I knocked them out.” Thundar the Mighty grinned widely before moving to the next display in the former warrior’s trophy room.

As he followed his host, Gavin didn’t doubt a word Thundar the Mighty said. Even at his present age, the man could tear him in half.

“Oh, and look here,” his host said, pointing at the next display. “This is the hand of a troll. We grappled a bit, and then I tore its hand straight off. It grew back, of course, but he didn’t want to mess with me any more. After I killed the thing, I had its hand magically treated so that I can display it here. Don’t you worry a bit about it regenerating back into a full-size troll!”

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