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Proof i'm not the meanest Dungeon Master around

I'm prepping for tomorrow's D&D session. Often when i'm thinking up tricks and traps for dungeons and trying to come up with new spins on things, i say "There must be lists of this stuff on the internet." Surprisingly, i never really find anything interesting, but last time i looked i found references to a book called Grimtooth's Traps. So i bought a used copy and was flipping through it. So far, it seems to be full of stuff like this:

...the Idiot's Vase, which will point out how stupid some delvers can be. The item is an enchanted crystal vase; eighty gold pieces are visible inside. The vase itself radiates negative magical vibes. Whoever carries the vase will lose 2 strength points per turn. Whoever breaks the vase will lose 6 intelligence points. Whoever reaches into the vase will turn blue, unless he is already blue - in which case he turns green. All attribute losses and changes are permanent.

The way to defeat this trap is painfully simple: merely turn the vase upside down and pour the gold out. Delvers whose mentalities are geared to destruction will seldom think of this.

This seems arbitrary and unnecessarily cruel. It's really more about punishing undesired player behavior than coming up with a cool puzzle or challenge. I see this sort of thing a lot and i don't understand it. Lots of the traps in this book are just pure unavoidable death traps. No solution/escape is offered. The player is presented with some object and if they don't guess the right way to interact with it, they die. Again, i don't get it. It's easy to kill players. You're the Dungeon Master. Just tell them they're dead. The point is to challenge and entertain. Right? Am i doing it wrong?

By fnord12 | July 20, 2012, 9:18 PM | D&D | Comments (0)| Link

Recap 48

The Sword in the Desert

By min | July 18, 2012, 10:38 PM | D&D | Comments (0)| Link

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