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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 Dargon’s damned tower. But tonight he would return and tomorrow Dargon would be sorry. And very dead.

* * *

At the break of dawn, Dargon’s eyes opened. One of his magical alarms had been tripped! Jumping out of bed, Dargon cast several protective spells upon himself. Dressing quickly, he grabbed a wand and slowly opened the door of his sleeping quarters. A small porcelain doll was strung up a few steps from the door. Startled, Dargon stepped back into his chambers. The doll’s face resembled him, and in its hands it clutched a folded piece of paper.

Casting spells that allowed him to detect magic and poison, Dargon edged even farther back. After he determined that there was neither magic nor poison, Dargon wiggled his fingers and magically retrieved the folded piece of paper. Nothing happened and that worried him. Unfolding the piece of paper, he read: You were a very stupid man. —Gavin

Dargon threw the paper away. As he did so, he noticed that his hand was reddened. Blood? Looking down at his hands, he saw the tiny cuts on his fingers and thumb where he had touched the paper. The cuts were bleeding quite profusely.

Thinking quickly, he downed a potion, which stopped the bleeding, then made his way to his study. There he found another doll strung up in the same manner as the first. This doll, slightly larger than the first, also clutched a piece of paper.

“Really, Gavin, do you think I am that stupid?” Dargon murmured.

* * *

Gavin saw the bright flash before he heard the boom of the explosion. With great satisfaction, he watched the tower burn for several hours before he made the trek back to town.

Your strength can also be your weakness, and if you use your mind and magic against a trapsmith, you can be sure that he or she will use them against you—eventually. Somatic components are an important part of most spells, and the paper cut trap impedes a mage’s ability to cast. The parchment is treated with powdered glass, and handling the parchment creates many tiny cuts.

The dust-to-dust trap is a devilish device that ends most lives. Interacting in any way with the doll releases the grain dust that it holds, then the doll’s body will detach from the head and fall into the dust, creating a cloud of dust. A small vial of alchemist fire will fall from the head and ignite the cloud of dust. Death and destruction follows.

Paper Cut Trap     CR 1
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect sharp paper (touching the paper causes 1 point of damage; casting spells with a somatic component requires that the caster succeed on a DC 13 Concentration check until the damage is healed)

Dust to Dust     Trap CR 10
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 30
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect dust explosion (10d6 fire damage, DC 20 Reflex save for half damage); multiple target (all targets within 20 ft. of the doll)
Effect explosive push (treat the dust explosion damage roll as the CMB roll result for a bull rush attempt to determine how many feet the targets are moved backward; if the target cannot move backward due to an obstacle, then for every 5 ft. of movement that remains, the target is dealt 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage); multiple targets (all targets within 60 ft. of the doll)

Next Installment

What can Gavin do with a dead robin, a canned ham, a ball of string, and some painkillers?

The Challenge

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

(This post is Product Identity.)

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