Where’s a sahuagin with military experience when you need one? It’s been a few years since we posted our “It’s a Trap!” comic, but the old ones have a way of coming up fresh again. I say that because a certain paladin in my group recently came face-to-face with an extremely obvious trap. Is it time for another tale from the table? Does a green dragon gargle extra spicy Listerine?

So no shit there they were, down in the depths of the local megadungeon with naught but their wits and their weapons betwixt the party and death. And yet, despite these perfectly-normal working conditions, everyone was on edge. That’s because this particular section of dungeon was the one-time lair of an infamous conjuration mage. According to the history books, this dude had a penchant for collecting exotic specimens, meaning that literally anything in the bestiary could leap out of the shadows. The group had already fought a pair of escaped pyrohydras, as well as a bizarre sentient magnificent mansion. Just last room there’d been a bunch of pits with chaos beasts hanging out at the bottom, complete with hurricane-force winds bull rushing PCs all higgledy-piggledy. (Fail that save, and your adventuring career ends as an amorphous blob with Wisdom 1.)

So long story short, when they came upon the following, the party instantly scented danger:

The echoing sound of dripping water gives this room a vast and ethereal feel. What light you’ve brought with you flickers and reflects from the four pools around its coarse, cave-like walls.

“Hello?” calls a voice from the gloom. “Is someone there? Won’t you please free me?” 

Unlike the hapless catgirl in today’s comic, pala-bro and company could actually see the source of the voice. There was a beautiful half-elven woman trapped in one of the pools. Some sort of invisible barrier prevented her escape, though it didn’t seem to register as magical. She introduced herself as Callie, and explained that the legendary wizard who ran the joint had been her lover. Apparently he’d imprisoned her in a fit of jealousy.

“Detect evil,” said pala-bro. There were no signs of Evil. That was because of the antimagic field around the prison.

“She seems to be telling the truth,” said the party’s investigator. That was because of Callie’s +28 to Bluff.

“How do we free you?” asked the party’s mage. And Callie explained that someone had to stand on a nearby dais, make an offering to the local sea god, and so whisk her to safety.

“I’ve been trapped here for so long,” she declared. “Centuries even. I think these pools prevent aging.”

“Alrighty then,” said the paladin, stepping onto the dais. “But just to be clear: This definitely isn’t going to make us exchange places, freeing you by forcing me into your prison?”

Callie responded with big blue eyes. Shock and hurt. Also the aforementioned +28 to Bluff.

“Fair enough. As long as you don’t turn out to be some kind of creature that forces me to look on helplessly while you attack my friends, I guess I’ll do it. Because I’m a paladin. And I believe in helping people. In fact, I can even imagine a scenario where I would still want to help someone even if they’d been less than honest with me up to that point.”

“Are you doing the sacrifice thing or not?” asked the buxom prisoner.

“Heavy sigh,” said pala-bro.

As a GM, I couldn’t have been more proud of the guy. Of course, that pride didn’t prevent me from running the subsequent dragon encounter with the bitter and somewhat insane Calleosis, but ya know… kudos to the paladin. I feel confident that his heckling and guilt-tripping from the confines of his new prison really got through to “Callie.”

Question of the day then! Have you ever decided to spring a trap by walking into it? Did you have a clever plan, or was it a purely RP thing like my pal the paladin? Let’s hear your tales of very-obvious-traps and the adventures who trigger them down in the comments!


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