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Articles By Author - Greg Marks

Trapmaster: The Soft Touch

In a previous post, I brought up focusing your traps with purpose and mentioned nonlethal traps. These types of traps are often overlooked when designing adventures, but they are equally valuable. Nonlethal traps alert guards to the presence of intruders, scare off dangerous animals, capture valuable prisoners, or hobble fleeing prey. We will discuss using these kinds of traps primarily to build suspense. When an alarm is raised, what is coming...

Trapmaster: Enough Rope to Hang Themselves

What is the philosophy of traps in your game? Answering this question helps you design the types of traps that you and your players want to see. Those looking for fun puzzles will have a quite different experience from a game that incorporates traps into encounters to create dynamic combats. I recently ran an adventure where the characters revisited a dungeon famous for its bloodthirsty traps. While they were having fun, it was clear to me that...

Trapmaster: Finding Your Purpose

Been thinking a lot about the Exploration pillar in 5th Edition lately—and traps in particular. When you are adding combat scenarios to your game, it’s easy to understand why they’re there: bandits want to steal from the characters, demons want to spread chaos, and for beasts, they just want to defend their lairs. Similarly, it’s easy to understand the motivation behind roleplaying and social encounters: the spy is hoping the character will let...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Cogs and Gears

Patients with the strange metal-transforming disease I have spoken of in the past have been appearing at the hospital in greater frequency. I have been able to confirm that the strange rust covering the gearforged patient I went to see is indeed the same disease that infected my previous flesh and blood patients. How a mechanical body could so be infected by disease is still beyond me, but that is not the most troubling news. The disease rust...

Designing a Better Cat and Mousetrap

So you’ve been investing in some of Kobold Press’s many good adventures for Pathfinder, but your players want to try out the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. No problem—I’ve got you covered. I’ve recently converted Richard Pett’s Cat and Mouse to fifth edition. In doing so, I’ve been reminded of a few things that will help you when converting any of your Pathfinder-compatible adventures. The Value of...

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