Trapsmith: Deadly Darts

Trapsmith: Deadly Darts

Focus, intent, misdirection, quality versus quantity: these are all concepts a good trapsmith plays with to achieve his goal. Indeed, a great trapsmith does more than set a trap; he asks a question of intruders: “Is this a price you are willing to pay, to progress further?”

This week the author of the astonishing “Traps of the Mind” in KQ#8 examines the classic fusillade of darts, and tweaks it for maximum carnage. [More…]

Fusillade of Darts

Standard SRD Darts
CR 1; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Atk +10 ranged (1d4+1, dart); multiple targets (fires 1d4 darts at each target in two adjacent 5-ft. squares); Search DC 14; Disable Device DC 20. Market Price: 500 gp.

This trap wants to be two things at the same time. It wants to spray two targets with darts and it wants to lure a rogue near so he can fail his Disable Device check. To achieve those two ends, a trapsmith needs to spend more than 500 gp.

Misdirection is a vital concept in the endless war between rogue and trapsmith: you want to give a rogue a false sense of security before turning the tables on him. The fusillade of darts trap tries hard, but a Disable Device DC 20 check is not good enough. On average you will inflict 8.75 points of damage per target if the darts hit; while high damage is one of the better parts of the trap, everything can be improved on.

Improved Fusillade of Darts
CR 1; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Atk +14 ranged (1d4+2, dart); multiple targets (fires 1d3 darts at each target in two adjacent 5-ft. squares); Search DC 15; Disable Device DC 24. Market Price: 2,300 gp.

As you can see, we trade quantity for quality and volume for power to make the trap slightly more powerful.

Rogues’ Bane
CR 1; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; Atk +14 ranged (1d6+4/x3, arrow); Search DC 5; Disable Device DC 29. Market Price: 3,000 gp.

Creating a false exterior with many launch tubes akin to a fusillade of darts trap, you lure the rogue near. By increasing the sensitivity of the trap, the fusillade of darts activates whenever anyone meddles with it, launching a single high-powered arrow at the unfortunate target. The trap automatically resets itself because pride is the deadliest sin — and most rogues just don’t know when to quit.

Special: a Search DC 5 check means you are not even trying to hide the trap. A Spot DC 15 check will also locate the trap.

DM tip
90% of the time, the Rogues’ Bane will knock out an average 1st level rogue if he attempts a Disable Device check.

Help us welcome the Trapsmith! Tell us whether you’d like to see more DM min-maxing of devious traps — and which traps are your favorites!

3 thoughts on “Trapsmith: Deadly Darts”

  1. Do I need to keep it under a specific CR? Wolfgang already has an article featuring pit spikes, but that one is only CR 1 and I am guessing you want something nasty.

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