It’s a Trap!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hazards are some of the most common challenges in Pathfinder, apart from monsters, and the most common hazards are traps. Most of the hazards in the Pathfinder Playtest are traps, but there are also environmental hazards like mold and quicksand, or even haunts. Rather than have different rules for each type of hazard, in the playtest, hazards all have a unified format, though how you might find them and deal with them can be quite different.

Noticing a Hazard

Most hazards can be noticed using Perception, although simple or obvious magical hazards are easily noticeable via detect magic and similar magic. Some hazards are so easy to locate that you might notice them even if you aren't even searching. Other hazards might be created or hidden in a particularly devious way and require a certain proficiency rank to notice them before it's too late, even if you're searching. (The rogue's Trap Finder feat improves this even further in the case of traps, but any character with legendary Perception can find any Perception-based hazard—not just rogues!) These harder-to-locate hazards don't appear until higher levels, since it's incredibly unlikely to encounter a level 1 trap created by a legendary crafter, though that doesn't mean all high-level hazards are hard to notice. For instance, the most dangerous example hazard below, the Armageddon Orb, is trivial for almost anyone to notice.

Disabling a Hazard

The skill needed to disable a hazard varies. Traps are usually disabled via Thievery, environmental hazards via Nature or Survival, and haunts via Occultism or Religion, though there are exceptions in every category. Many hazards require a certain number of successes before they are fully disabled, and a critical success typically counts as two successes. A critical failure means you've accidentally triggered the hazard! Many physical hazards can also be destroyed by brute force. In many cases, breaking the trigger mechanism might set the trap off prematurely, which you might be able to do from a safe distance. We felt it was really important to make dealing with hazards a more narrative experience without taking lots of extra time or requiring the GM to make up details on the spot, and so every skill that can be used to disable a hazard is listed in the stat block, along with a description of the how a PC would use that skill to do so.

Simple or Complex?

Out of everything in the playtest, hazards may be the one component for which you can get the best preview right now. How? Starfinder. We had already created an early framework for hazards by the time Starfinder came around, so when I was asked to create a framework for Starfinder's traps, I adapted what we had for the Pathfinder Playtest, and the rest of the Starfinder Core Rulebook team liked what they saw. We've refined the playtest's system since then, which means that we have two main types of hazards: simple hazards that trigger, take their reaction, and are then done, and complex hazards that roll into initiative and shift the game into encounter mode until the PCs deal with them (or at least escape).

For Example…

Let's take a look at several sample hazards!

Hidden Pit Hazard 0

Mechanical, Trap

Stealth DC 16

Description A trapdoor covers a 10-foot-square pit that is 20 feet deep.

Disable Thievery DC 12 to remove the trapdoor, making the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0 to notice)

AC 10, TAC 7; Fort +1, Ref +1

Hardness 4 (trapdoor); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

[[R]] Pitfall

Trigger A creature walks onto the trapdoor.

Effect The triggering creature falls in and takes falling damage (typically 10 bludgeoning damage). That creature can use the Grab Edge reaction to avoid falling.

Reset The trap still causes falling damage if anyone falls in, but the trapdoor must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again.

Ah, the pit, the most basic of all simple traps. Anybody can find a hidden pit, even if they aren't searching for it, because the Stealth DC doesn't require a proficiency rank. If someone walks onto the trapdoor, the pit uses its reaction to open up, and the triggering creature might fall. The Disable entry explains how a character can pop the trapdoor off and make the pit obvious to all. Still might want to be careful crossing, though!

Armageddon Orb Hazard 23

Magical, Trap

Stealth DC 10 or detect magic

Description A roiling red orb, forged from a drop of Rovagug's blood, rains fire from the sky when a specified condition is met.

Disable Thievery DC 51 (legendary) to imbue thieves' tools with aspects representing Asmodeus and Sarenrae and use them to drain away the orb's power over 10 minutes, taking 5 fire damage each round during that time

[[R]] Burn It All (divine, evocation, fire)

Trigger A special condition set by the trap's creator, typically on the event of her death.

Effect Fire rains from the sky in a 100-mile radius, dealing 10d6 fire damage to creatures and objects in the area (Reflex DC 46 for half damage, or no damage on a critical success). Any creature reduced to 0 Hit Points in this way dies instantly. This is not enough damage to completely burn away a forest or level a mountain or city, but it typically kills most creatures in the area.

This one was pure, over-the-top fun to write. What would a level 23 hazard even look like? This one is really obvious but incredibly difficult to disable. The effect's damage is not even remotely a threat to high-level PCs—but if they care about any NPCs in the region, chances are they're not going to want to set this thing off!

Bloodthirsty Urge Hazard 10

Haunt

Stealth DC 29 (trained)

Description An object imbued with echoes of a vicious mind tries to kill someone who comes near.

Disable Religion DC 27 (master) to exorcise the spirit or Diplomacy DC 29 (expert) to talk it down

[[R]] Quietus (emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult)

Trigger A creature moves within 10 feet of the haunted object.

Effect The haunt takes control of the triggering creature, forcing it to attack itself. The creature is affected by phantasmal killer (DC 25), except that instead of mental damage, the damage type is based on a weapon the creature has drawn, an object it holds, or its unarmed attack damage if it's holding nothing.

Here's an example of a haunt. As you can see, it uses the same basic framework as the other hazards, so once you learn the rules, you can use them flexibly for almost any hazard you can dream up! In this case, a PC could use Religion to exorcise the haunt, but a character could also potentially use Diplomacy to talk it down. Still, the master of Religion has the advantage with an easier DC. You could even imagine an adventure where it matters how the PCs deal with a hazard. Perhaps exorcising a haunt using Religion helps sanctify the area, while using Diplomacy might persuade the spirit to impart some hints to the PCs about what happened before it departs.

Spinning Blade Pillar Hazard 4

Complex, Mechanical, Trap

Stealth +10 (trained) or DC 24 (expert) to notice the control panel

Description A metal pole with three razor-sharp spinning blades is hidden in the floor, connected to trigger plates in up to eight floor tiles and a hidden control panel within 30 feet.

Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) twice on the pillar, or Thievery DC 16 (expert) once on the control panel deactivates the entire trap

AC 19, TAC 15; Fort +6, Ref +10

Hardness 11 (2 dents) on the pillar, denting the panel causes the trap to stay constantly active and prevents disabling the panel; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

[[R]] Rising Pillar (attack)

Trigger A creature steps on one of the floor tiles.

Effect The trap pops up in a grid intersection and makes a spinning blade attack against one adjacent creature (if any), then rolls initiative.

Routine (3 actions) On its initiative, the trap spends its first action making a spinning blade attack against each adjacent creature, its second action to move straight in a random direction (roll 1d4 to determine the direction), and its third action to attack each adjacent creature. This trap doesn't take a multiple attack penalty.

Speed 10 ft.

[[A]] Melee spinning blade +12, Damage 2d10+5 slashing

Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 minute.

This is the first complex trap ever created for the game. It was also responsible for the first death in the game, as Logan kept rolling randomly for the blade's movement, which just happened to be wherever Stephen's rogue had moved while trying to avoid it—and then it rolled right back over him after he fell unconscious. Note that the complex trap has a Stealth bonus, rather than just a DC, since it actually rolls for initiative in encounter mode (using Stealth). If your party has an expert in Thievery who can find the hidden panel (we didn't; our expert lay bleeding on the ground), this hazard is actually a breeze to disable, but even a trained character can disable it with patience, and a not-so-patient character can always smash it apart with enough big hits to deal 11 or more damage.

So what do you think? Care to hazard an opinion?

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tallow wrote:

I have an issue with the Armageddon Orb as a trap. If its a thing just sitting there on a pedestal, sure. But if the bad guy has it in their pocket and the trigger is their death, do you even have a chance to notice it?

The things that aren't discussed on this are similar to PF1 traps that are triggered by the alarm spell. Can you disable the alarm spell? Some folks say that such traps can't be disabled if the alarm trigger is far enough away from the trap itself that you couldn't reach the trap to disable it.

In this case the brevity of the stat blocks is done in such a way that the attempt to cover many things for the GM actually brings up more questions than it answers.

I feel like when the stakes are 36,415 square miles of devastation, the details have to be considered/established by the GM anyway. This level of power is much more plot device than traditional trap. The GM can include a time delay, or whatever. If the bad guys trigger with no chance for detection, your characters might as well not have been there.

I hope the generic hazard rules text either fills in some of the gaps or makes it clear that things not specified (effective area for spinning blades, for instance) should probably vary from trap to trap to keep things fresh and interesting for players who have encountered such traps before.

Scarab Sages

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Evilgm wrote:
Quandary wrote:

"Thievery" Please take that term to a shed and backstab it. Seems especially non-intuitive to newbies IMHO.

I strongly disagree. I think most people will see Thievery and think of exactly the things the skill is used for- disarming traps, opening locks and picking pockets. I find it a big upgrade over Disable Device and Sleight of Hand.
What universe do you live in that you find Thievery more intuitive as the skill to disable a device than the Disable Device skill?

The term, "Thievery" has a connotation to it. There are plenty of characters that want no truck with being a thief, but will still have the "Thievery" skill. There has to be a better synonym to use than Thievery. Perhaps Legerdemain?


Voss wrote:
The spinning blade trap is somewhat puzzling. 'Denting' the panel is an obviously bad thing, as it limits options for dealing with it, so once meta-knowledge sets in, no one should even try. Alternately, the trap setter SHOULD 'Dent' it, as it makes it more difficult to deal with, with no effect on the effectiveness of the trap.

As to the first point (about no one denting the panel) different traps might react in different ways to attacking the control box, so mis-identifying might impact there. As to the latter part of the trap setter should do it... it really depends on the circumstances around the trap. If it's in the middle of an area that you expect to travel through a lot but don't want others to travel through... having it constantly running is going to be quite the pain. On the other hand, if it's in an area that you just want everything that enters there to die then yeah, go ahead and dent the panel... provided you can get out again afterwards.


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Tallow wrote:
But one of the goals of creating PF2, I thought, was to make it as intuitive as possible for new gamers, and if changing a word in a stat block to something more intuitive doesn't change the nature of the rule and helps with intuitively reading the stat block, then that's a design language learning curve we don't need.

You're right, especially as a general rule, but some amount of learning is inevitable. Once upon a time Microsoft had to teach people how to double click, and what a start button does.

Paizo is going for the "learn this once, and it applies everywhere" approach for a lot of stuff. That pretty much always requires some internalization of specific terminology or rules grammar.

Once past the transition period, it will feel much easier. Listening to Jason Buhlman call it an armor DC (I think) in the Glass Cannon podcast instead of just an armor class sounded wrong, repeatedly, but I get how making target numbers DCs, even with attacks and passively opposed skills, makes sense.

Also, I hope you realize I keep replying to you because you're asking good questions that are worth thinking about.


Anything I was going to say about this article was incinerated by that Armageddon Orb...

Now the only thing I wonder about is how the text will change in the new (assumed) PRD, on which catchy phrases the associated 3 gods' names will be replaced with.


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Looks great.

Maybe a slight rewording for a few parts of the pit trap description, removing a "trap door" and describing it as "camouflage":

Description Camouflage trapdoor covers a 10-foot-square pit that is 20 feet deep.

Disable Thievery DC 12 to remove the camouflage, making the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0 to notice)

Trigger A creature walks onto the square with the pit.

Reset The trap still causes falling damage if anyone falls in, but the camouflage must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again. This takes 5 minutes. {or some other amount of time}

Scarab Sages

RicoTheBold wrote:
Tallow wrote:
But one of the goals of creating PF2, I thought, was to make it as intuitive as possible for new gamers, and if changing a word in a stat block to something more intuitive doesn't change the nature of the rule and helps with intuitively reading the stat block, then that's a design language learning curve we don't need.

You're right, especially as a general rule, but some amount of learning is inevitable. Once upon a time Microsoft had to teach people how to double click, and what a start button does.

Paizo is going for the "learn this once, and it applies everywhere" approach for a lot of stuff. That pretty much always requires some internalization of specific terminology or rules grammar.

Once past the transition period, it will feel much easier. Listening to Jason Buhlman call it an armor DC (I think) in the Glass Cannon podcast instead of just an armor class sounded wrong, repeatedly, but I get how making target numbers DCs, even with attacks and passively opposed skills, makes sense.

Also, I hope you realize I keep replying to you because you're asking good questions that are worth thinking about.

No worries, I think the discussion is worth having.

And I totally get what you are saying. But it should be easy enough to come up with "learn this once, and it applies everywhere" terminology that is intuitive as well as comprehensive.


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JoelF847 wrote:
Armageddon Orb definitely needs more description - dimensions for sure.

Yep. How big is it? Does it float in the sky ominously, or does it need to be on a surface, or... what? These are important things to establish for interacting with the object.

Scarab Sages

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Malthraz wrote:

Looks great.

Maybe a slight rewording for a few parts of the pit trap description, removing a "trap door" and describing it as "camouflage":

Description Camouflage trapdoor covers a 10-foot-square pit that is 20 feet deep.

Disable Thievery DC 12 to remove the camouflage, making the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0 to notice)

Trigger A creature walks onto the square with the pit.

Reset The trap still causes falling damage if anyone falls in, but the camouflage must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again. This takes 5 minutes. {or some other amount of time}

This makes a ton of sense for the originally written level 1 pit trap.

This then leaves design space for the "trap door" pit trap for a higher level, that allows for "jamming the door shut" as a way to disable it.


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So how do we handle haunts that have a specific condition to get the haunting spirit to calm down/go to whatever is next?

Like "find their bones and bury them on consecrated ground" or that sort of thing. Some haunts like that are great. Most Haunts can be just "traps with different relevant skill sets" but I would like to be able to tell a story with one.


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Interesting that the blog mentions that "some hazards require multiple successes to disable". Personally, I think that this is a good change, as it moves towards the entire party participating in the "hazard encounter" instead of the Rogue/resident trap expert just making his roll while the rest of the party stands back and does effectively nothing.

I understand that some people knee-jerk at anything remotely similar to D&D 4th edition, and that a lot of people legitimately dislike ye olde "skill challenges".

But anything to break up the monotony of having the "skill monkey", "party face", etc while the other members of the party twiddle their thumbs because they either can't participate or it isn't worth it is good in my book.

I hope that certain social encounters similarly have a requirement of multiple successes (with different success options possible) so that several party members can get in on the social action, instead of designating one "face" and everyone else safely dumping Charisma.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tallow wrote:
Perhaps Legerdemain?

I want this to be the word, but I know that no one I introduce to it will have a clue what it is.


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Tallow wrote:
The term, "Thievery" has a connotation to it. There are plenty of characters that want no truck with being a thief, but will still have the "Thievery" skill. There has to be a better synonym to use than Thievery. Perhaps Legerdemain?

I don't see the issue with the connotation: It's relates to stealing. And all the skills ARE skills used in stealing. None of that implies that you USE the skills for that. You can have a skill in explosives and never blown anything up. Most of the alternatives people come up with just don't cover the subject: for instance Legerdemain refers to conjuring tricks [sleight of hand] and really has nothing to do with opening a lock or disabling a trap.


As cool as it is to have different types of 'disable' conditions - are there any traps that have different types that all *have* to be met to disable the trap?

like 'all 4 levers on different walls must be pulled a the same time' kind of thing - I'd love to see traps that are 'encounters' that require several rounds of group interaction to bypass.


RicoTheBold wrote:
Voss wrote:
Alternately, the trap setter SHOULD 'Dent' it, as it makes it more difficult to deal with, with no effect on the effectiveness of the trap.
Denting the panel would only make sense if you assumed the trap setter would never use that hallway or whatever again. Which is possible, but the idea of the override is that usually the trapper wants a way to bypass the trap when necessary.

Then there obviously needs to be more than one panel, depending on the number of corridors leading to the intersection wih a trap.

But yes, I do assume that trap setters don't walk through their traps, even with deactivation a possibility. If they're paranoid enough to set traps, they're paranoid enough to think someone might have turned them back on after they've turned them off, and never content with assuming no one screwed up.

Traps just aren't for living spaces. Or where minions/messengers/guests might travel through to bring you information.

If it weren't for genre considerations, I'd dismiss traps entirely, especially with the failure rates in D&D style worlds.


Just saying but only an idiot would purchase, or create, an Armageddon Orb without its trigger being.

Trigger: Attempt to disarm Armageddon Orb.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Perhaps Legerdemain?
I want this to be the word, but I know that no one I introduce to it will have a clue what it is.

Early D&D actually hugely expanded my vocabulary and I'm a smarter person today because I was reading D&D books as a kid. It's not like Legerdemain is some absurdly rare archaic word, I see it semi-regularly in other contexts and it would be fine here. That's the one they should go with.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Magus Black wrote:

Just saying but only an idiot would purchase, or create, an Armageddon Orb without its trigger being.

Trigger: Attempt to disarm Armageddon Orb.

So then you're giving your enemies a way to trigger it when they want instead of when you want?

Dark Archive

edduardco wrote:
I'm not sure I like Dents replacing HP for objects, I mean, a high level characters should be able to break objects with less hits if it is doing more damage.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a mechanic for dealing more dents already. For instance, a class feat that lets you spend 2 actions to make an attack against an object, deal 2 dents on a success and 3 on a crit success. We haven't been shown Sunder rules or the details on breaking stuff yet (as far as I know anyway).


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How is 10d6 damage not enough to destroy every forest and wooden structure in the area?


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The Armageddon Orb totally needs a built-in time delay. Like, Rovagug's blood is so volatile that most of the magic of the Orb is just preventing it from going off early, and it takes half an hour for that part to unravel after the trigger condition is met.

It also helps if the Orb is at least a few hundred feet across and floating in the sky to make it easier to find than a trinket in someone's pocket.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So how do we handle haunts that have a specific condition to get the haunting spirit to calm down/go to whatever is next?

Like "find their bones and bury them on consecrated ground" or that sort of thing. Some haunts like that are great. Most Haunts can be just "traps with different relevant skill sets" but I would like to be able to tell a story with one.

All you need is to add something like the following to the trap's text:

Reset: Every day at sunset the Haunt will reform if it was exorcised in the previous 24 hours. This will continue to happen until [action] is performed to put haunt to rest.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Perhaps Legerdemain?
I want this to be the word, but I know that no one I introduce to it will have a clue what it is.
Early D&D actually hugely expanded my vocabulary and I'm a smarter person today because I was reading D&D books as a kid. It's not like Legerdemain is some absurdly rare archaic word, I see it semi-regularly in other contexts and it would be fine here. That's the one they should go with.

No. No, as a matter of fact. It is pretty much exactly that. It is an absurdly rare and archaic word.Emphasis mine.


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I mean, "Legerdemain" is literally "Léger de main" with the spaces and accents removed, and the former is idiomatically "dextrous" (literally "light of hand").

So it's not that obscure; there are a lot of people who speak French.


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SnowFever wrote:

How is 10d6 damage not enough to destroy every forest and wooden structure in the area?

10d6 is minimum 10, average 35, max 60.

Using PF1 rules,

We first decide if the damage type is effective enough to not get halved for being energy damage against an object. Let's go with "sure, you can burn wood reasonably easy"

Then, we apply Hardness, so we have minimum 5 damage, average 30.

According to the PRD, A wooden wall has 60 HP. After taking into account the hardness, even max damage will leave a wall with 5hp.

But what if you decided that the walls were so flammable that it deals double damage, ignoring hardness? I'm not going to fully math it, but rolling under 30 on 10d6 doesn't seem too crazy. A decent number of wooden walls would survive the firestorm, though having something fully intact would be unlikely.

Again, under PF1 rules,

Prd, Environment wrote:
The trunk of a typical tree has AC 4, hardness 5, and 150 hp.

So a max damage, doubled, ignoring hardness, 10d6 rain of fire cannot fully destroy a tree.

Wood is tanky in PF.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So it's not that obscure; there are a lot of people who speak French.

Not in Murica there isn't.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Legerdemain is not that rare nor is it archaic.

There have even been a couple mass-market books published with that as the title in the past 10 years

Legerdemain

The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts

And music albums as well
"Legerdemain"

Not rare OR archaic

And count me in the group who would much rather explain "legerdemain" to a parent than "thievery".


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I mean a bigger problem from where I sit is that rather than being archaic, it is conspicuously French and so makes little sense as a diagetic term used throughout a setting.

My intended house rule is to leave the name of the skill "thievery" but to allow people to set whatever polite euphemism they prefer. I mean, even if you only study locks out of intellectual curiosity or to design better ones, you still know how to pick a lock.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, "Legerdemain" is literally "Léger de main" with the spaces and accents removed, and the former is idiomatically "dextrous" (literally "light of hand").

So it's not that obscure; there are a lot of people who speak French.

My issue with it is the term is tied to sleight of hand "dextrous" and has nothing to do with pick a lock/stop a trap "dextrous". It comes from the Middle French for folks who were clever enough to fool others with fast-fingered illusions and misdirection... There is a clear link to deception and the term can be use in financial/legal terms for hidden funds and such: legal/financial legerdemain.


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CrystalSeas wrote:

Legerdemain is not that rare nor is it archaic.

There have even been a couple mass-market books published with that as the title in the past 10 years

Legerdemain

The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts

And music albums as well
"Legerdemain"

Not rare OR archaic

And count me in the group who would much rather explain "legerdemain" to a parent than "thievery".

Nor are adscititious, argute, bezoar, draff, concinnity, serac, and zetetic archaic and wierd words, but I wouldn't suggest using them as well.

If a 10, 12 or 14 year old were to pick up a copy of pf2, they'd be more likely to recognize thievery over legerdemain, and that's what we should go with.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean a bigger problem from where I sit is that rather than being archaic, it is conspicuously French and so makes little sense as a diagetic term used throughout a setting.

I guess you don't play many French RPGs then?

Seriously, how is that more problematic than English in setting not speaking English?
Fundamentally though, these terms aren't implied to be used setting. They are tag for rules mechanic to adjudicate 'on screen' events.
There is no reason people in setting even need to conceptualize the areas covered by mechanical skill as one unit.
Rules are virtual approximation to tell story, not 'simulationist' depiction of setting physics.

Grand Lodge

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"Legerdemain" is a pretty rare word in English. So is "thievery". They appear is 1 in 70k and 1 in 30k printed words respectively.

Google Ngrams link for comparison.

The benefit to "thievery" is that anyone and everyone knows what it means, without a dictionary, even though it is rare. I would be very surprised if even the average college educated adult could spell and define "legerdemain" correctly if asked to.

"Thievery" sounds a bit dumb, but only a bit, and at least we all know what's being said.


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Well, we interpret "Dwarvish sounds like English because we are speaking English" so everything in a fantasy world sounds like an English word is fine. What's weird is when it sounds like a decidedly non-English word, even if everybody in the entire fantasy world will be presented as speaking English.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
willuwontu wrote:
Nor are adscititious, argute, bezoar, draff, concinnity, serac, and zetetic archaic and wierd words, but I wouldn't suggest using them as well.

But there aren't any mass market fiction books that use those as titles. So it's still much more common than those.

And if you want to talk about kids, check out the woW lounge

Legerdemain Lounge
Legerdemain Lounge\

Complete with a quest
Convention At The Legerdemain Lounge

Could you please post all the mass-market fiction, popular music albums, and WoW instances for each of those other words?


I do feel there's room for two skills: one for feats of finger dexterity and another for handling mechanical stuff like most traps.

But to get back on topic:

I rather like the multiple options of dealing with traps here.


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Elleth wrote:

Maybe it's just because I'm the group DM, but this blog has me honestly pumped. Thanks!

Same here! I am digging the extra detail, the multple rolls, and sifferent skill uses.


JoelF847 wrote:
Magus Black wrote:

Just saying but only an idiot would purchase, or create, an Armageddon Orb without its trigger being.

Trigger: Attempt to disarm Armageddon Orb.

So then you're giving your enemies a way to trigger it when they want instead of when you want?

What do the hero's gain from triggering the Doomsday Device? Payback against the ungrateful Population? Increased Real Estate sales? Getting back at Bob for overcharging you at the Bar?

Its not like you cant do it too you know, all it takes is a impossible-to-succeed Dispel Magic or a few wacks from a stick (maybe by the hands of a goblin henchman) and BOOM! Instant Armageddon!

Plus think about it! Most heros think the trigger to these kinds of things are obscure or convenient to them:

"When my castle falls to dust."
"At the Blue Moon meets the Red Harvest."
"After a 1000 nights of raging Paizo poster." :p

No one ever thinks its something so trollish...bonus points if you manage to catch a picture of the Rogue's face as he sets off the device he was trying to stop (definitely a Kodak moment).


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Meophist wrote:
I do feel there's room for two skills: one for feats of finger dexterity and another for handling mechanical stuff like most traps.

I feel like the reason we have thievery is because "disable device" and "sleight of hand" both were fairly narrow skills and also were also rarely found on a single character without the other one.

So combining them makes sense. As a general rule, if Unchained made a skill a "background skill" considering it for combination with a distinct but similar skill was probably warranted.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hrm. The problem with traps in PF1E (and 3.0 and 3.5) was that they were very binary: Either your rogue was not good enough yet to automatically find and disable them and then they could screw you up. Or your parties rogue took Skill Mastery at level 10 in Perception and Disable Device and got his automatic check to notice traps when he got near 10 feet to them and then they completely stopped being a problem for the rest of the campaign.

I hope PF2E addresses that paradigm, so that traps keep their effectiveness until even high levels.


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Tallow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Castilliano wrote:

What if PCs want to jam the pit door to walk across?

The lid wasn't built to support their weight, so they would still fall, though it would probably break the lid at that point and leave it exposed like if they had removed it.
I guarantee this is going to irk a lot of players, as it is a pretty common trope to fix the door shut and walk over it, thus avoiding the trap. Telling players its impossible to do so, or that all pit traps have collapsible trap doors, is going to be irritating for sure.

Or, if you’re the GM, you can make the call yourself and do it differently, which is in the job description. It’s pretty clear that every single one of those except for the actual skills and target numbers used are flavor descriptions.


The Armageddon Orb is useful as an example of a high level trap in this blog to showcase the mechanics, but as an actual item in the 2E core rulebook? I'm not so sure.

It seems way to niche (not to mention destructive) to be bandied about as seemingly commonplace high level trap that could be encountered. Something like this should be used maybe once in an entire campaign, and then only as deadly Macguffin that ups the stakes against the final campaign BBEG. As such, I'd prefer something like that relegated to the last encounter/chapter of the final story in an AP, and save the page space in the core rulebook with something more utilitarian.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Nor are adscititious, argute, bezoar, draff, concinnity, serac, and zetetic archaic and wierd words, but I wouldn't suggest using them as well.

But there aren't any mass market fiction books that use those as titles. So it's still much more common than those.

And if you want to talk about kids, check out the woW lounge

Legerdemain Lounge
Legerdemain Lounge\

Complete with a quest
Convention At The Legerdemain Lounge

Could you please post all the mass-market fiction, popular music albums, and WoW instances for each of those other words?

And yet it's still more obscure than thievery.


CrystalSeas wrote:
But there aren't any mass market fiction books that use those as titles. So it's still much more common than those.

You say "mass market" but I'd never heard of any of those. IMO mass market isn't that you can google the work and write down what comes up but what you recall/remember that includes the word. For me, it's not mass market at all. Anyone can print a book after all, that doesn't mean it's known.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Castilliano wrote:

What if PCs want to jam the pit door to walk across?

The lid wasn't built to support their weight, so they would still fall, though it would probably break the lid at that point and leave it exposed like if they had removed it.

That seems fine as an off the cuff ruling, but nothing in the trap description indicates that. And indeed, that the door is 'making' a reaction to open and dump them implies it can their support their weight for some amount of time.

Also not included: a minimum weight to set it off (because properly paranoid adventurers will test the limits of that sort of thing), or how to deal with it once 'disabled,' ie, opened: still a big open pit, which is still a hazard. And yeah. Not responding to non creatures seems like an oversight. For one thing, it makes 10' poles useless.

------

Are you complaining that they added some extra detail, but you want to see more? Most traps I have seen, and those that I gave a cursory glance at on the PRD, didn’t include a minimum weight to set it off. Just seems a bit over the top response. I guess if they don’t

Include a page of minutia for each trap, then they just haven’t done this bew edition its due??

Paizo Employee Designer

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

The Armageddon Orb is useful as an example of a high level trap in this blog to showcase the mechanics, but as an actual item in the 2E core rulebook? I'm not so sure.

It seems way to niche (not to mention destructive) to be bandied about as seemingly commonplace high level trap that could be encountered. Something like this should be used maybe once in an entire campaign, and then only as deadly Macguffin that ups the stakes against the final campaign BBEG. As such, I'd prefer something like that relegated to the last encounter/chapter of the final story in an AP, and save the page space in the core rulebook with something more utilitarian.

A level 23 trap lives in a very interesting design space, which is actually the same design space you posit here: this is the most dangerous and powerful level of trap that you would ever throw at even a party of level 20 PCs. The same is true of level 23 monsters. To an extent, you're not wrong that those top-tier threats are not as useful as bread-and-butter lower level traps, especially if they're more niche. But you could say the same of a solar (assuming its stats accurately match its CR, perhaps unlike PF1): it's a level 23 good-aligned creature, it's rarely at a level you can fight it unless you're level 20, and even you usually have to be evil to do so, plus it's not a great ally for PCs because it upstages them no matter their level. But it still serves a role nonetheless.


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I get the objection to thievery based on the name, but this is also in a game where we have 2 classes that mean uncivilized brute and dishonest person, and I don't see a lot of people who clamor to get rid of thievery clamoring to change those names as well. TBH I actually quite like it as it encompasses what both disable device and sleight of hand did, quite well.


Yeah, I was going to post supporting "anti-Armaggedon Orb in Core" on basis that Core Traps should focus on actually useful as Traps, not plot devices, but IMHO high level play is about world-altering consequences, right? You are either saving the world or destroying it. So getting the serfs all killed or not kind of is key dramatic element for many high level play groups. "Just another level-relevant threat" maybe isn't treading too much new ground, although it'd be good to have those too. My main concern is really, how often do you want to use this Orb, assuming you play at high level all of the time? In that vein, perhaps I don't welcome ALOT of this material in Core, but as a few smattering highlights (and ones which deepend world lore/flavor), I think it's reasonable and positive.


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Just want to say I like the way the information for each trap is organized in this post. It's easy to parse each trap and understand what it does and what it takes to disable it. A measurable improvement from the previous blogs that I had a hard time parsing the info from.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Even if you never use the Armaggedon Orb itself, it's still useful as an example of the type and scope of effects you can include in a max-Level trap.


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Even if you never use the Armaggedon Orb itself, it's still useful as an example of the type and scope of effects you can include in a max-Level trap.

Exactly - I want, above all, examples of what belongs in the design space so we can make more of our own of similar power level.

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