Water Hazards

Water Hazards

No one can deny the destructive qualities of fire, but sometimes a designer of traps wants something insidious, something unexpected: the unrelenting force of water. [More…]

Cold Shower Trap

Often implemented as a final warning to trespassers, urging them to turn back, a cold shower trap unleashes a downpour of freezing rain in a 20-ft. radius spread that lasts for one round. The freezing rain deals 1 point of cold damage to everyone caught in the area. The rain has a 50% chance to extinguish protected flames and automatically extinguishes unprotected flames.

Cold shower trap: CR 1; magic device; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset; spell effect (create water, 5th-level cleric); spell effect (ray of frost, 5th-level wizard); Search DC 25; Disable Device 25. Cost: 5,000 gp, 400 XP.

The Drowning Pool

Water drips down from a ruined aqueduct into a sizable pool of water, 30 feet across. A DC 25 Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) check reveals that the aqueduct is an elaborate fake. The pool of water is no more than an inch deep at its edges, but even at its center, it is just a foot deep. It is a glorified puddle.

When a target wades through the centre of the pool, a 10 by 10 feet area, he is targeted by an extended telekinesis spell. The spell will try to grapple the target with a +24 bonus to the check; a successful spell resistance check negates this effect. If successful, the spell will try to pin the target on subsequent rounds. The danger of the trap is not the grapple, but being submersed in a foot of water for a prolonged amount of time.

Any character can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to twice his Constitution score. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round in order to continue holding his breath. Each round, the DC increases by 1. When a character finally fails his Constitution check, he begins to drown. In the first round, he falls unconscious (0 hp). In the following round, he drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, he drowns.

Drowning pool trap: CR 7; magic device; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset; spell effect (extended telekinesis, 20th-level wizard); spell effect (create water, 1st-level cleric); Search DC 31; Disable Device 31. Cost: 60,500 gp, 4,840 XP.

Reversed Water Well Trap

Typically found in deep dungeons, a reversed water well trap is a deadly hazard. A 10 by 10 feet shaft extends 150 feet upwards; an illusory wall hides the shaft from view. The walls of the shaft are rough and slippery. Scaling them requires a DC 30 Climb check.

Directly beneath the shaft a permanent reverse gravity spell is in effect. The first 60 feet of the shaft above the trigger area is clear, but the upper section of the shaft is filled with 90 feet of water. Falling upward into the water deals 2d3 subdual damage plus 2d6 falling damage. Temporarily negating the reverse gravity spell releases all the water in the shaft. The water picks up great speed as it rushes down the shaft, and everyone within a 30-ft. radius spread of the shaft is dealt 10d6 damage (DC 15 Reflex save halves). Regardless of the saving throw, all creatures are washed 5d10 feet downstream by the water.

Reversed water well trap: CR 8; magic device and mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; spell effect (permanent reverse gravity, 15th-level wizard); DC 20 Reflex save avoids, 60 ft. fall in water (2d3 subdual damage plus 2d6 damage); spell effect (illusory wall, 7th-level wizard, DC 16 Will save disbelieves); DC 15 Reflex save halves, downpour of water (10d6, falling water); Search DC 32; Disable Device 32. Market price: 8,000 gp, 2,000 XP.

1 thought on “Water Hazards”

  1. Ooh, an evil twist on the reversed water well:

    Cap off the well, just as a normal well has a bottom.

    Put two permanent gust of wind traps on either side of the shaft beyond the illusory ceiling, opposite of each other and pointed up, diagonally, into the shaft. The crosswinds of both will rapidly accelerate the falling of the player. Seeing as how the victim is unlikely to be the first, there should be a pile of rotting and bloated corpses within the well. Fortitude Save to avoid being nauseated. The victim will first have to worry about drowning and then how to get out of the well with the gust of winds keeping him pinned in.

    A clever PC really needs only to “lower” a rope into the well for him to grab onto and climb “up”.

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