Tag: D&D Trap

Dungeon Mastering: How adding one trapped item can nearly wipe a party.

I wanted to make Agatha’s encounter in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set, Lost Mine of Phandelver a little more interesting and almost had my first TPK due to one players action. I felt it should be a little more than just a conversation, so I simply placed a trapped jewelry box on her Dresser. I speicifically wouldn’t have mentioned it if nobody had searched for loot. Unsurprisingly, our Monk did.

This small change changed what I thought to be a boring encounter into a near TPK, and one of my favorite encounters so far.

It was the Warlock who had the roleplaying encounter with Agatha, and earned her favor. (This is important.)

The setup: (This is straight out of my OneNote doc)


[ If anybody decides to search Agatha’s lair ]
In the corner of the room, you see a dilapidated clothing dresser with the doors falling off their hinges. Inside the dresser you see deteriorated clothing - dresses, trousers, and shirts. Atop of the dresser, you see a small jewelry box.
[ If a player takes the jewelry box or opens it: The box is trapped with Frost Breath – Targets take 2D8 cold damage and must take a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking half damage on a successful save and full damage on a fail. ]
In an instant, the light in the room darkens, and the air grows colder. Agatha flashes back into existence in front of you. "You dare steal from me?!"
[ If the player holding the box does not immediately drop it: Agatha immeidately uses her Wail action (The banshee releases a mournful wail, provided that she isn’t in sunlight. This wail has no effect on constructs and undead. All other creatures within 30 feet of her that can hear her must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature drops to 0 hit points. On a success, a creature takes 10 (3d6) psychic damage.) ]

[ roll initiative ] (Agatha is a Banshee straight out of the MM – open with Wail.)

Wail (1/Day). The banshee releases a mournful wail, provided that she isn’t in sunlight. This wail has no effect on constructs and undead. All other creatures within 30 feet of her that can hear her must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature drops to 0 hit points. On a success, a creature takes 10 (3d6) psychic damage.

TREASURE

Agatha’s Ring
• Requires attunement
• The bearer gaines a +1 bonus to CON saving throws
• Contains 1d4 unreplenishable charges of the Ray of Frost spell (1st level).


How it went down:

As soon as the conversation was over, our Wizard said “Okay, we need to get out of here, now. This is probably not a good place to hang around.”

The Monk says “I look around the room for any loot.”

Basically everybody else in the party shouts “No! We’re leaving!”

I read the description of the room.

Cleric warns Monk “Don’t touch anything. We’re leaving”

Monk says “I take the box.”

I could not help the grin on my face.

The trap was sprung. The Monk, Warlock, and Cleric were in the room. Of course, only the Monk passes his DEX saving throw. The other 2 take full damage.

I read the part where Agatha comes back “You dare steal from me?!”

“Drop the box!” The Warlock yells at the Monk.

“I run out of the door with the box.” Monk says.

Banshee uses Wail action.

All but the Warlock fail their saving throw, and are dropped to 0 health.

The Warlock drops to his knees, and roleplays the shit out of it. “Agatha please! I am sorry for the actions of my idiotic accomplice!” He scrambles over to the fallen Monk, takes the box out of his hand, and places it back on the dresser. “Please, beautiful Agatha, let us live!”

He rolls a persuasion check. 17. On top of the fact that he had already won her favor from the earlier encounter. Agatha stops her attack.

“Take your people, leave, and never return!” She vanishes into the air.

I granted 200xp to the Warlock, and 100xp to the rest of the party, specifically “for them to divide among themselves as they wish”. They gave it all to the Warlock.

Needless to say, they were not happy with the Monk for the rest of the night.

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