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Trap hinting/foreshadowing

ObiJanKenobi

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Hi guys,

i don`t know if this is the right place to ask this question.

I am in a bit of a loss, because i have an idea for a trap but don't know how to hint it to my players. My thoughts are you as a DM have to give the players a chance to discover a trap, otherwise it is just cruel. And i don't want to constantly be asked "i want to make a perception check, can i?" :D This slows the game down i think.

So to the trap, we play SW5e btw.:
The group found the entrance to a hidden liar of a group of thieves. There is a corridor spiraling downwards, four meters wide and they can see maybe five meters ahead due to the curvage. The first occurance of the trap is 10 meters into the corridor, there are sensors in the floor, but only in the middle section. So if the players walk on the right or left side, close to the wall, they can pass it without getting shocked. If they search the floor, they can see were the metal is more polished from the thieves walking around the sensors. Also they could sense the existence of the sensor fields with one of the charakters abilities.

And thats all i got. Thats where we left of, infront of the open entrance. Tomorrow they start down und i really have no clue how to describe the scene with a hint or something, that there might be something to watch out for.
I could just let them run into it, because they should think for themselfs ;) Whats your take on this?
 

Shadows over Scotland

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Early signs:
Rumours of the place they are oing (drop it in a little early if they are speaking to NPCs, especially if they trust them)
"Thieves den must be near impenetrable, least thats my guess, old Barnaby meant to sneak inn there and get his dagger back.. was the last we saw of him"
"I hear they offer their 'security' services as well..keep you safe and those that try to break in dead"

If you want to give more of an idea of well managed and well constructed lair type things.. see if you can add that to your descriptions and check results. Solid stone, well carved tunnels.. no dust build up around the edges.. on a good check of the area.. traffic seems to be avoiding the central area in general or more tracks towards the edges of the corriders than you might expect..

For the general dungeon crawling.. say that instead of a ton of rolls i am looking for a rough idea of how you are headed, marching orders and whoever is in the lead give me a perception check to see how they are going (and set the result aside until they get to the trap)
 

JochenL

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I don't know what SW5e stands for, so I cannot say something to the mechanics there, but instead of requiring rolls from the players there are these options, IMO:
  • I want them to be warned as finding a way around or disabling is more fun the discovering, so I just decide that they discover the trigger or the effects of the trap. No roll.
    • Is the sensor a pressure plate? It stands out a bit.
    • Is the sensor magically? It glows in the magic sight of a character or a magically attuned character has a sudden feeling of being "scanned" or something like this.
    • Is it technical? Maybe it has visible components a tech can easily see. Or a commdot suddenly sounds some static.
    • Maybe the last few shocks have left darker burn marks around the sensors or on the walls?
  • I want a roll but don't want to ask the players every time:
    • I roll myself using the character stats
    • I use passive perception (average roll value + mods vs. difficulty)
    • I roll for the trap master using their skill vs. a difficulty based on the character's perception value
For story stuff, I like the rumors!
 
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ObiJanKenobi

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@JochenL : Star Wars 5th Edition, its a conversion for D&D 5e, pretty awesome. https://sw5e.com/

Thanks for the tips guys, they will help me in the future.

@Shadows over Scotland: Rumors are a bit too late now, as the group is standing right in front of the trap :D

The trap discovery should not require a roll in my opinion. If a player can describe in detail in what way he/she is checking for a trap, then that's totally acceptable.

I guess i just wait and see what they are doing. If they run blindly ahead then they deserve to get punished ;) Maybe the first shock makes them cautious and they start checking if there are more of those traps.
 

Shadows over Scotland

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I mostly wanted to put the advice out there before the next trap filled run :)

I consider the rolls to be based on whether they are disguised well enough or not. I suspect the next question is how dangerous the traps are and are they a deterrent or a kill attempt (deterrent tend to be alarms, slamming doors. a taser plan on the other hand might be an attempt to non lethally capture etc) just worth thinking about why they install them and what they hoped to achieve...
 

ObiJanKenobi

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Yeah thanks, i will keep it in mind/add the stuff to my campaign notes. :giggle:

The taser mode is a great idea, instead of HP loss they get reduction on the movement speed and/or disadvantage on the next hit rolls if an encounter occurs.
 

Gedece

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If the trap has been activated, the electricity arches so there may be some almost imperceptible gas that only makes easier for the electricity to reach the people.
 

ObiJanKenobi

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The session went well overall. They sent one guy ahead and he just walk right into the trap, no caution whatsoever, he deserved the shock :D Our Sith had to force pull him away. Then they were on the cautious side and checked their surroundings.
It was a fun session, although to much improvising. I definitely need to prepare better.
 
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