Articles By Author - Maurice de Mare

Relic of Power: Soul Sanctuary

Punishment. Eternal punishment. The prospect of an eternity of Hell weighed heavily on the mind of Black Harran in his final years. He could not undo a life of sin, but he could seal himself away from the consequences. Soul Sanctuary Aura strong abjuration and conjuration; CL 20th Slot none; Weight 1 lb. Description Tiny silver and cold iron tubes surround and feed into a fist-sized diamond. Dark patches churn through the diamond’s core,...

Trapsmith: Keep Them Guessing

In the recent interview I did, I mentioned my love of fencing, feinting, and second intentions. Let me show you how that is applied to trapsmithing. First, let’s acknowledge that the players are excellent and efficient problem solvers. A GM presents a problem and most players will find a solution for it within a minute—usually faster than that. But, maybe this time the trap lies in the solution? The world burns! Arch-heretic Haxian Firetongue...

Trapsmith: Get Gavin (Part 2)

The second part of “Get Gavin” unfolds before you. In this follow-up to the quick little adventure vignette, we have the trapsmith himself, plus more rooms and traps. If you missed part 1, you should certainly check it out. 10. Bedroom Two strong wooden doors lead to the terrace. The bedroom is very spacious. Luxurious linens cover the bed. If taken, they could fetch 75 gp. The doors are currently locked, and  it requires a DC 35...

Trapsmith: Get Gavin (Part 1)

Too many deaths, too many friends lost. They were cheated, drowned, and maimed. All died a horrible death—all because of one man: Gavin. It took some effort to track him down, but you traced him to his workshop and home. It is time to settle scores. 1. Gavin’s Interior Defenses Above two stout wooden doors, bold yellow letters proclaims the building to be home to “Gavin’s Interior Defenses.” A smaller sign lets the reader know that admittance...

Trapsmith: No Rest for the Wicked

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...

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...

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...

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. Trapsmiths do have a conscience—they...

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...

Trapsmith: Kobold Tail Trap

“You’re sure about this?” A stiff nod from Jito and the determined glint in his eyes were answer enough for Gavin. Gavin often had trouble distinguishing between determined and crazed when it came to kobolds, though. Gavin checked his operating theater: He had the inner workings of the cuckoo clock Jito had brought, as well as the shard from a mirror Jito had broken just for this purpose. He’d use the mortar and pestle they had to whip up some...

Trapsmith: Jerky Stake and Seeing Stars Traps

Gavin chewed thoughtfully on some exquisite squirrel jerky as he monitored the bounty hunters’ approach. They clearly knew his reputation because they were moving slowly and methodically checking their surroundings for hidden surprises. Yes, they knew who and what he was. This was going to be fun. Taking off his right boot, Gavin collected his sock and, with his knife, cut off a length of rope. He dismantled his morningstar, taking the...

Trapsmith: Homing Horror Trap

Gark peered deep into the flame, waiting for the blessed moment when the Mother of Destruction would whisper her words of inspiration. Blinking heavily, he withdrew from the flame. “Free the flame” she had said, but what did that mean? Snacking on some pigeons, he sifted through his trapsmithing stores. There was the sturdy dwarf-sized backpack his tribe had taken from an unlucky miner. He cracked a toothy smile, remembering the fun they’d had...

Trapsmith: Toxic Tripping Trap

Running through the forest, Gavin silently congratulated himself. Things were going splendidly. The werewolf pack was hunting him down, and, if everything went according to plan, they would trouble the baroness no more. No sooner had he finished the thought than the ground rose to meet him. Dazed, Gavin picked himself up and looked at the hunter’s snare that had tripped him. The irony didn’t escape him as the werewolves howled and he could hear...

Trapsmith: Bat Trap

Standing over Robin’s motionless body, Gavin felt a slight pang of regret. Maybe he shouldn’t have teased the youth about his lack of experience. Robin’s bold charge of the albino dire bat had been glorious, but the fiendish bat had savaged the boy’s chest to a bloody pulp in return. Scrounging through the boy’s pockets revealed some coins, which Gavin pocketed, and a can of ham, some wire, and several doses of medicine that relieved pain....

Trapsmith: Cuts and Dust

Gavin carefully handled the two porcelain dolls he had ordered. Both carried the visage of Dargon, the foolish mage who had reneged on their deal. Gavin had secured the mage’s tower with several contraptions and then the mage had decided that the secret of those contraptions should be kept by only one person. Gavin had narrowly dodged Dargon’s fireball, a bolt of lightning, and seemingly endless barrages of magic missiles before he could escape...

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