Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pathfinder: Hall of a Dozen Deaths


The Hall of a Dozen Deaths is a room I devised for a recent game. I designed it to be, primarily, a kind of fake-out encounter. One which appears very daunting on the surface, but has a very simple and safe solution. However, there's no reason it couldn't be used in a game without including the bypass mechanism, forcing the players instead to make the difficult series of checks required to make it through the hallway in one piece.

I should also note, before anyone corrects me, that there are only 7 traps, not 12. The 'Dozen' in the title is figurative.

I have not included any DCs or other information regarding the disabling of these devices. In part because the players I ran this for had no character who could even attempt such a thing, and in part because it is not in keeping with the spirit of the encounter. For me, this was a magically created hallway meant to test those who wished to beg a favor of a powerful Wizard. For you, it may be used differently.

I would suggest, however, that any disable check DCs be very high. My thinking is that "traps" which are not hidden, and thus lack the element of surprise, would be constructed extremely sturdily, to resist any disabling attempts.

Lastly, if you are putting this on a map, the hallway is 10ft wide, and 60ft long (not including any area used before and after the series of obstacles.)

As you ascend the spiraling staircase, you hear a cacophony of noise from the room above. When you reach the top, you find yourself in a hallway. In front of you, the obvious source of the noise, is a series of deadly traps which separate you from the only door on the opposite end of the hall. It's a maelstrom of blades, spikes, and fire.

Misc Information
Any character who spends at least 1 minute (10 rounds) studying the hallway can add their INT bonus to any checks made to avoid the traps. (They may not, however, add it to their AC, or to any skill checks made to escape the traps.)

Perception check DC: 12 will reveal a button above the door at the opposite end of the hallway. This button deactivates or seals off all of the hallway's dangers, making it safe to walk normally to the door. Attempting to hit the button with a projectile weapon is made against AC: 8, with a 50% miss chance due to the traps constantly getting in the way.

If a character attempting to make a ranged attack to depress the button spends 1 minute (10 rounds) studying the hallway, they can reduce the miss chance by (10% * Their INT modifier.)

Trap 1: Pendulum Blades

Three pendulums swing from the ceiling. They have heavy curved blades at the base, along with smaller blades along the shaft to prevent anyone attempting to jump over them. This section is 5ft long.

DC: 17 Acrobatics check to avoid all 3 blades.

Fail by 1-2: attacked by one blade.
Fail by 3-4: attacked by two blades.
Fail by 5 or more: attacked by all three blades.

Pendulum Blade (Attack) 1D20 + 12
Pendulum Blade (Damage) 3D6

Note: Each blade is treated as a Greataxe made for a large creature.

Trap 2: Acid Pit

A 14 foot long, 3ft deep pit filled with bubbling green acid immediately follows the swinging blades. This obstacle covers 3 squares (or 15 feet)

Acrobatics Check DC: 14 to leap across, +2 for each blade the player failed to avoid with an acrobatics check. If a character pauses after the swinging blades, then they are unable to get a running start, which adds an additional 14 to the DC of the acrobatics check.

Fail by 1-4: land on feet within the acid pit.
Fail by 5 or more: fall prone within the acid pit.

Acid causes 1D6 damage per round of contact. However, if a character falls prone within the acid, they are treated as having total immersion. In cases of total immersion, acid deals 10d6 damage per round.

Climbing out of the acid counts as 2 squares of movement. Standing up from a prone position counts as a full move action.

Trap 3: Smashing Walls

Two 10ft sections of wall on each side of the hallway continually smash together, meeting in the center.

Acrobatics Check DC: 12 to jump through. If the character fell into the acid on the previous trap, the DC gains an additional +4.

Failure results in 4d8 crushing damage. No attack roll or saving throw is available to avoid this damage if the initial acrobatics check is failed.

Note: Each wall is treated as a separate Greatclub made for a large creature.

Trap 4: Floor Spikes

24 inch spikes extend from holes in the ground at fantastic speeds, only to disappear just as quickly, and come shooting out again at a completely different angle. The deadly holes extend for 5ft of hallway.

Acrobatics DC: 18 to avoid.

Miss by 1-2: Attacked by 1
Miss by 3-4: Attacked by 2
Miss by 5 or more: Attacked by 4

Floor spikes (attack) 1d20 + 11 (Shield, Armor, & Deflection bonuses do not count towards AC against this attack. Characters wearing shoes or footwear get +2 to AC.)
Floor spikes (damage) 1d4
Floor Spikes (Special) On hit, movement speed is reduced to half by 24 hours, until the creature is successfully treated with a DC: 17 Heal check, or until the character receives at least 1 point of magical healing.

Note: Spike damage is treated as a rapier made for a small creature.

Trap 5: Fire Pit

The floor in this 10ft length of hallway is a conveyor belt which moves to the left at 30ft/round. The left side of the wall opens up into a large pit filled with fire.

Acrobatics DC: 18 to maintain balance while moving through this area. If a character chooses to pause in this area, they must spend a full move action each round, in addition to a DC: 18 Acrobatics check, to avoid falling into the fire pit.

Characters who fall into the fire pit begin taking 1d6 heat damage every round, beginning the round in which they fall into the pit.

Characters who fall into the fire pit are immediately at risk of catching on fire, and must make a DC: 15 Reflex save to avoid catching on fire. If they fail, they take 1d6 points of damage each round until the fire is put out. The character may make a Reflex saving throw each round (DC: 15) to put the fire out.

The pit is not deep, however, fire spurts from nozzles on the wall, and a speeding conveyor belt is the only thing to climb onto. As such, climbing out requires a DC: 25 climb check. Characters who climb out must immediately succeed on a DC: 18 Acrobatics check or fall back into the pit.

Trap 6: Saw Blades

Massive circular saw blades extend from both the ceiling and floor. There is one inch between each blade in the row, and 2 and a half feet for characters to pass through between the two rows. The blades cover a 5ft length of hallway. Leaping through the space is a DC: 20 Acrobatics check.

Failure deals 3d8 + 3 damage.

The motion of the blades causes characters who fail the check to be ejected back onto the conveyor belt. Characters must make a DC: 20 Reflex save or fall into the fire pit.

Note: Damage is based on the "Chamber of Blades" trap detailed in the Core Rulebook.

Trap 7: The Beasts

A cage on either side of the last 10ft of hallway houses a Hook Horror*. Leaving this area prompts an attack of opportunity from both, as Hook Horrors are large creatures and can attack anything within 10ft of themselves.

Hook Horror
Large Aberration
HP: 65 (10HD)
AC: 22, Touch 12, Flat Footed 19
Combat Maneuver Bonus: 13
Combat Maneuver Defense: 26

Claw(Attack) 1D20 + 13
Claw(Damage) 1D6 + 7

Bite(Attack) 1D20 + 8
Bite(Damage) 2D6 + 3

Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +8

If players spend at least one round in this square, and do not immediately leave it, then the Hook Horrors can make a normal attack against them.

On a full attack action, a Hook Horror uses its claw attack twice, once for each claw. If both claws successfully hit a creature at least one size category smaller than the Hook Horror (which is medium or smaller), then the Hook Horror can initiate a grapple attempt as a swift action. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

If the grapple succeeds, the Hook Horror automatically attacks with its bite attack in the same round. The Hook Horror continues to bite the player until the player gets free. While grappled, the character cannot be attacked by the other Hook Horror.

*Note: I have not yet encountered Hook Horrors in any Pathfinder literature, and pulled their information from the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 "Monster Manual 2." Since they do not serve as actual foes for the players, I have not included some of their information. If the GM so chooses, they could replace the Hook Horrors with any monster he or she likes.

And that's the Hall of a Dozen Deaths. I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if you use it. Not for credit or anything, but just so I can bask in the glory of actually devising something other Game Masters liked.

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