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Trapsmith: The Refuse Pit

Trapsmith: The Refuse Pit

pitFirst and foremost, trapsmiths are engineers, and not every project concerns itself with the destruction of intruders. Waste disposal is a daily concern for most dungeons and once collecting and carting it away becomes cost inefficient. Trapsmiths are contracted to deal with the problem — and sometimes they make the solution a bit of a danger for visitors, out of habit.

The Refuse Pit
Four statues holding rakes and ornate pitchers surround a deep pit. You can smell something decomposing nearby.

A DC 15 Spot check reveals that the squares adjacent to the walls have seen more use than the squares beside the statues. A DC 20 Spot check determines that the statues can move. Detect magic shows that the pit radiates Conjuration magic.

Moving within 5 feet of a statue — or dropping an object within 5 feet — triggers the trap. The statue tries to sweep the object or creature in the square into the pit. A successful DC 20 Reflex save prevents this.

If the statue pushes the object or creature into the pit it tilts its pitcher to pour a stream of acid down the pit. A DC 15 Reflex save halves the damage. If two or more Medium sized objects occupy the pit, an acid fog appears to dissolve the collected refuse.

Refuse Pit Trap
CR 6; mechanical and magical device; location trigger; automatic reset; multiple traps (sweeping statues, stream of acid, acid fog); DC 20 Reflex save avoids, statue sweeps targets into pit (3d6 falling damage); multiple targets (all targets within 5 feet of a statue); DC 15 Reflex save half damage; downpour of acid (4d6 acid damage); multiple targets (all targets that occupy the pit); spell effect (acid fog, CL 12), only activates when two or more Medium-sized objects occupy the pit; Search DC 31; Disable Device DC 31. Market Price: 128,000 gp and 2,880 XP.

The pit is 30 feet deep; scaling its walls requires a DC 25 climb check. The statues are AC 14, and they have 30 hp and hardness 8.

Design Notes
The Refuse Pit trap is rated CR 6, and not CR 7, because its most damaging effect is only triggered when two or more Medium sized objects (read adventurers) occupy the pit. This reduces its effectiveness, hence the lower CR.

GM Tip
The traps’ true purpose is waste disposal and thus it requires some assistance to reach its full potential as a deadly trap. Dungeon denizens aware of its function will take advantage of its capabilities; hostile creatures may bull rush a PC near a statue. For this reason, orcs, hobgoblins and ogres are good choices for monsters encountered with the trap.

2 thoughts on “Trapsmith: The Refuse Pit”

  1. Nice trap, with a good reason to exist in most dungeons.

    I have to say my favourite version of this was a garbage pit with a gelatinous cube trapped in it. You could throw any orgnic matter down the pit and it would just dissolve it. As they can’t climb walls there was no problem keeping it in the right place. It sprang to mind after the gelatinous cube article in this month’s KQ.

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