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Trap CRs and EL

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Forums: Index > Watercooler > Trap CRs and EL

Trap EL Rules Edit

I've been staring at the SGT a lot lately, as well as it's L5 and L15 versions, and the trap encounters keep throwing me. It's easy to generate appropriate numbers of combatants for active participants, but not so for traps. If several traps are triggered simultaneously, those CRs probably stack into a larger EL. I'm unclear on whether or not they stack when the traps are just sequential though, as could easily happen when you trigger one in the hallway. There you get the option of dealing with it, healing up or whatever, taking the next one, etc. That looks a lot like a string of encounters rather than a single encounter, and makes it difficult to determine just how many of the traps are appropriate in the corridor.

So I'm looking for an interpretation on EL as applied to sequential traps, preferably supported by text. I'm inclined to say that they count as sequential encounters (unless they occur simultaneously) and thus don't stack their CRs into one big EL, but I can't find support for that one way or the other. Anyone have anything that I've missed?

I've been waiting for one of you guys to think of a variant rule for traps. I hate the way CR works for them as is. With monsters a 1st level fighter can say "well, there are 3 left, I'm screwed..." with traps it's "well, this is a hallway..." I don't think most PCs are going to heal after every trap, so in that sense they're pretty much one encounter, right? --The Badger 23:18, May 19, 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. If you don't heal up between 2 groups of goblins, the second of which was unable to affect you until you walked up to it, that doesn't make them 1 encounter. That makes you a person who either isn't concerned about goblins, isn't making the most of their time, or is on a fairly serious resource management schedule and can't be bothered. It's a fairly similar thing with that hallway, and that's my concern. Because if they are separate if sequential, the SGT doesn't support them in a sequential manner and those need to be rewritten into something slightly crazy and very rube-goldberg. - TarkisFlux 23:29, May 19, 2010 (UTC)
The Book of Gears draft suggests treating traps as attacks against you by the dungeon, instead of trying to add them up by CR. Being hit by one powerful trap is like meeting and one-shotting a glass cannon monster. Being hit by a bunch of traps is a long brawl against it. So, probably, compare the trap with monster attacks and find some of similar danger, then compare number of attacks to expected survival time of the monster and get a good match. Remember that a one-hit trap can hit harder than a monster, because the monster will probably also take a spell slot.
Trap cluster resting is an interesting problem, though. If you can take it slow, then they're probably multiple encounters in my reckoning. Maybe that should be disallowed (adding "while being pursued" would do that, as would making the traps reset if you try to rest). The hallway full of magical runes should be made to be one hallway that you "fight", not a bunch of disparate magical runes that each attack once. --IGTN 00:05, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
While pursued is an interesting call, it might not be able to be worked in a way that still allows for searching and disabling (which take about as much time as trap cluster resting). Plus, I'm not even sure that I care about trap cluster resting being in the SGT outside of that being used against a scenario that the SGT doesn't seem designed for. I don't necessarily want to limit random win strategies anymore than I need to to make sure that the encounter functions at it's intended CR. I'm not opposed to rube-goldberging it up (and have some in mind) even though they are really nasty single round multi-hit effects, I mostly just want to know if I have to to get EL for the test that makes sense or not. - TarkisFlux 00:39, May 20, 2010 (UTC)

SGT TrapsEdit

So, I think this can go a couple of ways. I can stack a few lower CR traps into an EL appropriate nasty contraption that you probably can't trigger without dying. And those traps can be made of distinct enough elements that they aren't one-dimensional encounters like the chasm or the moat; they have multiple points of success and failure and are more like an actual combat encounter that you're just on the receiving end of. I am somewhat worried that it's just a "do you have trapfinding?" test in the mechanical cases though and I don't think any of the individual pieces should be that focused, but this is probably the easiest single encounter setup that is challenging and still follows RAW.

I can also take some other B-o-Gears advice and just not worry much about adding more traps after the first. The first trap will probably be triggered, and probably not kill you, and then the rest of the test is just to see if you can get past additional similar effects now that you're on guard. Which is basically what we have now. In that setup, the traps need to be a similar CR to the test, though maybe not as high as the test, and there needs to be a fair amount of them. And that means that this "encounter" is really a string of sequential encounters that you can (and probably should) just avoid after the first. It's worked well enough on the SGT so far I guess, but it really is out of place with the other encounters on the lists. yo Or I can do both. That's an option too, though not one I'm particularly fond of.

Thoughts? - TarkisFlux 18:03, May 20, 2010 (UTC)

I'll second Frank and say to go ahead with the sequential encounters for most of the traps. Probably the easiest way to do it would be a single trap of CR N, and then a bunch of other traps of CR >= N; you eat the first trap, and then decide how to deal with the rest (which may be "soak the hits"). --IGTN 23:33, May 25, 2010 (UTC)

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