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Trapsmith: Blue Billowing Barrel Trap

Trapsmith: Blue Billowing Barrel Trap

Leaning against the rail just above the barge’s prow, Gavin gazed upon his four companions. They were fast becoming exceedingly drunk on the captain’s ale. The barge’s captain, a burly dwarf, stood at the rudder with a deepening scowl on his face. Leoman had taken the lead in splitting the proceeds from their latest adventure. With an unsteady hand, he was creating five stacks of coins, one for each member of the party, on the barge’s deck.

Gavin had already done the math. Because the profit margin was low, he had taken steps to increase his share. He didn’t have to wait long for a return on his investment.

Urb loudly burped, drained his tankard, and went aft to refill it. The captain’s scowl deepened as Urb made his way past the barge’s cargo to the barrel of ale. Suddenly Urb yelped in surprise as blue billowing smoke enveloped him. There might have been a muted splash, then shocked silence stretched out for a few moments.

After the smoke dissipated, a blue circle remained on the barge’s deck and, in the center, they could make out Urb’s footprints. Of him and the barrel of ale, no trace remained.

“Gentlemen, might I suggest a four-way split?” Gavin offered.

A nervous exchange of glances followed that statement, but sly grins formed almost as fast. Gavin knew that there was no honor among thieves.

Nothing is as unnerving as a disappearance. Suddenly a loved one is there, and a moment later he or she is gone, forever. The blue billowing barrel trap is a trapsmith’s adaptation of such a traumatic event. It is frequently found on pirate ships and certain trading vessels of ill repute or those ships that have a desperate need for security. Blue dye is mixed with a smokestick so that anyone standing in the smoke will be dyed blue. A set of manacles is attached to an empty barrel. If the trap is triggered, the manacles will attach to the target and the barrel will be ejected overboard. As the barrel fills with water, it drags the unfortunate target from the deck and under the waves. The blue dye helps conceal the target in the water.

Blue Billowing Barrel Trap     CR 4

Type mechanical; Perception DC 22; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger touch; Reset none

Effect smokescreen (as a blue-hued fog cloud; everyone within the cloud will be dyed blue; the blue dye offers a +10 bonus to Stealth checks while in water*)

Effect attachment (succeed on a DC 17 Reflex save to avoid the manacles closing on a limb)

Effect dragged below (the barrel’s CMB is 16; if the barrel beats the target CMD, its drags the target 5 feet toward the water; for every 5 points that it beats the target’s CMD, it drags the target an extra 5 feet; this effect continues each round; once in the water, the barrel imposes a cumulative –1 penalty to the target’s Swim checks)

*GMs can adjust the bonus based on the water’s clarity.

Next Installment

What can Gavin do with a cask of ale, a skin of wine, a can of oil, and a will-o’-the-wisp in a jar?

The Challenge

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

(This post is Product Identity.)

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