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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds
151 to 200 of 276 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.

I feel like "really high level antagonists/obstacles/hazards" are worth including in books less for how often they come up and more for how many ideas people are going to get from pondering "how do I work this in for greatest effect."

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Glad to see haunts are still around (not that they wouldn't), as they were a cool addition in PF1.

Also do like that some traps don't require specialist training to pick up on, its good to keep options open.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

ENHenry wrote:
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.

It also gives a point of reference for other developers who may be trying to make high level hazards/traps/etc.


Wow, the site just ate my entry. This really is a trap blog!

Anyway, the short of it is we will need Lore checks for traps.
This will help ID what the game mechanics & ramifications of certain actions are, also whether or not some obvious entities (i.e. Green Slimes, magical gasses, alchemical spills) are hazards or not.
How obvious will it be that an unarmored Halfling cannot safely cross the false trapdoor?
How obvious will it be that attacking the control panel hinders disarming rather than auto-disarms?

======

And 10 h.p. seems pretty low damage for 20' (even if higher than PF1) because that'll only kill the weakest of common people. Is there a landing action with Acrobatics/Athletics that can critically fail and double this?

======
Also, I think "Stealth" works as a label because abilities (if not now, later) will likely exist that aid (or hinder!) Perception vs. Stealth, but not for its other uses.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Castilliano wrote:
And 10 h.p. seems pretty low damage for 20' (even if higher than PF1) because that'll only kill the weakest of common people. Is there a landing action with Acrobatics/Athletics that can critically fail and double this?

There's a check to halve this that you can critically fail and take double damage, yes. It comes up in the Glass Cannon podcast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Assuming they have detected it, does a character automatically know the ways a trap/hazard/haunt can be disabled? Stated another way, once detected does the GM just give them the list of normal options or do players have to guess how to deactivate it?

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Grab edge reaction? Why? Why not simply say “grab the edge as a reaction”, why create yet anothr different action/reaction? Every blog seems to add a new one and i fear its becoming more and more awkward as well as harder to recall and teach new players. Yes i know the old system had a lot as well but wasnt this edition attempting to resolve this issue not simply relabel the complexity?

Got to agree with others the Stealth DC is awkward, why this choice as opposed to listing a perception check (or other skill check) required?

Under the disable could you not list a number of actions required, this then allows for a person to start disabling, get interrupted and continue later. Wouldnt this allow for more dramatic and interactive trap disarming? To awkward?

I like the new mechanism for handling hardness. Not sure i like the term dents but this system seems so much better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:

Grab edge reaction? Why? Why not simply say “grab the edge as a reaction”, why create yet anothr different action/reaction? Every blog seems to add a new one and i fear its becoming more and more awkward as well as harder to recall and teach new players. Yes i know the old system had a lot as well but wasnt this edition attempting to resolve this issue not simply relabel the complexity?

Got to agree with others the Stealth DC is awkward, why this choice as opposed to listing a perception check (or other skill check) required?

Under the disable could you not list a number of actions required, this then allows for a person to start disabling, get interrupted and continue later. Wouldnt this allow for more dramatic and interactive trap disarming? To awkward?

I like the new mechanism for handling hardness. Not sure i like the term dents but this system seems so much better.

If it just said grab the edge as a reaction, then there'd be no obvious rules tied to it. As a "Grab Edge Action", players know they can look it up (hopefully alphabetically!) and see the standard DC checks, how having one vs. two hands free affects it, and so on.

"Stealth" is awkward phrasing for us now, but I wonder if that will change, or maybe thinking from a PC's POV is too ingrained.

Needing to disarm multiple times (as opposed to commit the same amount of time to disarming) allows for critical successes and allies to speed up the process, especially if there are several skills that are applicable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:

Grab edge reaction? Why? Why not simply say “grab the edge as a reaction”, why create yet anothr different action/reaction? Every blog seems to add a new one and i fear its becoming more and more awkward as well as harder to recall and teach new players. Yes i know the old system had a lot as well but wasnt this edition attempting to resolve this issue not simply relabel the complexity?

Got to agree with others the Stealth DC is awkward, why this choice as opposed to listing a perception check (or other skill check) required?

Under the disable could you not list a number of actions required, this then allows for a person to start disabling, get interrupted and continue later. Wouldnt this allow for more dramatic and interactive trap disarming? To awkward?

I like the new mechanism for handling hardness. Not sure i like the term dents but this system seems so much better.

Well, on a plus side, naming the specific reaction makes it easier to call out in the rules later. They could make a feat or racial ability that makes the grab edge reaction into a free action without it taking up too much text because it is specifically named. It also helps close loopholes with less text if they make abilities that call it out (for example, if grab edge is a defined action, then you don't end up with players trying to apply the aforementioned free action in dumb ways like saying "I get to grapple them for free because I grab them by the edge of their armour")

Also, I feel like how falling works and what you can do about it sometimes does need more definition in the rules. Having defined reactions for the main ways to recover from falling kind of helps the narrative (grab edge, throw/catch rope, roll on impact, etc).


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
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?

No. I'm pointing out that the given rules don't cover obvious cases, and the devs aren't going to be present at each table to hand out extra errata on a case by case basis.

As written, the trap door drops if a rat walks across it, but not if you heave a 50 pound rock on it. 'Disabling' it consists of opening the door, which still leaves a pit trap, and a big ? on how to interact with it. The steel blade trap is much the same way, with lots of questions about the trap and its setting. It can just wander off to wherever (to the point of leaving the dungeon or castle or wherever it is), or spend 60 rounds bouncing off the walls to no effect (what does happen if it can't move in a direction, either because of a wall or spell or whatever?).

Honestly, the issue is traps don't work well as simplified stat blocks. They need descriptive text in context that actually covers the environment they exist in and how they interact with it, not just making a single roll against an appropriate 'panel square.' Or indeed reducing the entire Poltergeist film to a single action (?) exorcism roll.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:

Grab edge reaction? Why? Why not simply say “grab the edge as a reaction”, why create yet anothr different action/reaction? Every blog seems to add a new one and i fear its becoming more and more awkward as well as harder to recall and teach new players. Yes i know the old system had a lot as well but wasnt this edition attempting to resolve this issue not simply relabel the complexity?

Do you really think players will have a hard time learning that a Grab Edge Reaction is what you use to react when you need to grab an edge?

I mean, some of the magic item activation actions seemed like they could get confusing because their names weren't as clear on what they did in comparison to each other. , but stuff like this? I can't imagine it ever causing a problem.


I like the spinning blade pillar in particular. My DM in the early 90’s used one in a roo that was in a keep. We eventually disabled it by rolling the largest cast iron cauldron we could roll through the door. Needless to say we wrecked it and a few of us had taken some damage from broken blades zipping out of the room as it broke. Not much damage, I don’t think anyone took more than 2-3 pts damage. So reading that entry brought back very fond memories.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Ryan 783 wrote:
I assume the sky fills with dark mystical red clouds that rain fire.

Probably shoots a pillar of light into the sky too. The classic Sky Beam. They're all the rage these days. Seems like most action movies have one these days.


It seems a tad cluttered, and lots of keywords:

"Quietus (emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult)"

I also wonder why the pit has a Fort and Ref save.

Grab Edge as a Reaction sounds cool, but I will echo getting a bit apprehensive about the amount to micro-actions.

I agree that Thievery is not the best term, makes me think of a Loony Toons character with a giant sack of money with a $ symbol on it slung over his shoulder.

Why does the Blade trap have +5 to damage, where does that come from, how is it derived?

Also, this whole blog has made me question the whole Expert, Master, Legendary thing, suddenly seems kind of arbitrary, also, they unlock cool things, but the number difference is tiny. Maybe it's because it is an entirely new thing for D&D/PF, no legacy or connection at all to anything previous.

I really look forward to getting a bigger picture of all of this.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Sideromancer wrote:
You know, there's nothing keeping the blade pillar contained. 10 rounds of random walk could put it out of where you could reasonably expect the thing to be constructed. What happens when a blade pillar goes off an edge, or into a wall, or onto the pristine neighbor's lawn (which you were not allowed to build tracks in for the pillar)?

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. I figure it should probably have a set area that it works in, and any roll that takes it out of the area is rolled again (or if it can travel part of the distance it just goes as far as the edge). Also how far does this thing move on it's action? Shouldn't it attack everyone in the way while it's moving? As it's written it seems to only attack when it's stopped. Instead of an attack it might be best to have this thing require reflex saves for anyone in a square adjacent to it's path. I like the idea of this trap, but this implementation seems a bit lacking in a few regards.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Grab edge reaction? Why? Why not simply say “grab the edge as a reaction”, why create yet anothr different action/reaction? Every blog seems to add a new one and i fear its becoming more and more awkward as well as harder to recall and teach new players. Yes i know the old system had a lot as well but wasnt this edition attempting to resolve this issue not simply relabel the complexity?

Your question made me think of Zombicide, where the characters would have listed abilities like "Bloodlust", and if you don't know that was, it was as easy as going to the ability page on the book and read what Bloodlust does.

You will use the Grab Edge reaction in varied occasions (when a pit gets magically created under your feet, when someone pushes you out of a cliff...) and all these events listing "You can use the Grab Edge reaction" will probably be for the better, as you can just go read the "Grab Edge" in the reaction list (that will most likely be in alphabetical order and really easy to scan) and hopefully will have listed DC examples based on terrain, grease spell and the likes.

As for it being a Reaction (and not something automatic/free), I think it's cool. If the falling happens mid-combat, and you were using your reaction to block stuff with your shield (or whatever), its like implying you were so focused in the combat that you couldn't react to the fall.
Also discourages using Reactions that may buff your edge grabbing and start getting over complicated and in Rules Lawyers territory and start discussions with your DM if you can use your "+2 to Saves Reaction" while attemtping to grab the edge and stuff like that... Is a Reaction. Got one still? Use it. I'm liking it personally.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
I also wonder why the pit has a Fort and Ref save.

It's an object, so that's its resistance to spells that affect objects and allow a save, like shatter or fireball in PF1.


Aratrok wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
I also wonder why the pit has a Fort and Ref save.
It's an object, so that's its resistance to spells that affect objects and allow a save, like shatter or fireball in PF1.

Of course, right on, though I was hoping they would handle objects a bit differently. I do not think objects should have Ref saves, as that is something reactive (dodging out of the way).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SnowFever wrote:

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

Based on the awaken spell of PF1, a tree has the same hp of an animated object, so a huge (15' tall) tree has 7d10+40 (75) hp. The average of 10d6 is 35. A medium sized tree would have 3d10+20, i.e. 35 hp. Even with all the penalties for being immoble, the tree still has a chance for a succesfol, normal, save with a natura 20, so even a medium tree has a small chance to survive.

Edit: and I forgot to include the hardness of the object: 5 in PF1 for wood.


Nice!
I love that natural hazards and traps are in a unified framework. That makes them and all skill-challenges easier to handle.

Reading the trap entries I'm only unsure about the haunt. Does it use Phantasmal Killer every round? Does it only use it once? If only once , there is no reason to talk to it after it set of. But if it attacks multiple times it would be a complex trap, or?

I'm also curious to test-play with the changed object durability. If I read that correctly, you only have to cause 2 (or 3) hits of 11 or more damage to the spinning pillar to break it. No more hit points.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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.

That is mostly the "disarm with occultism" part, if I get it right.

Interact with the haunt, see what trouble it, resolve the problem and it will not reform.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.

Dwarvish is clearly German!

English is common.
Elvish can be French or Venetian.

;-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Magus Black wrote:
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).

Trigger: Attempt to disarm Armageddon Orb. is part of the reason why the DC of the skill check to disarm it is so high.

As long as the check is successful you don't activate the trigger.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
willuwontu wrote:
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.

Well, before 3rd edition D&D Rogues were Thieves. Maybe there was a reason for the change of name?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Voss wrote:
Honestly, the issue is traps don't work well as simplified stat blocks. They need descriptive text in context that actually covers the environment they exist in and how they interact with it, not just making a single roll against an appropriate 'panel square.' Or indeed reducing the entire Poltergeist film to a single action (?) exorcism roll.

Is it different from "I use channel and disrupt it." of PF1?

Or from using enough positive energy?

Probably neither a single roll of Religion or occult is enough to put the haunt to rest, but it is enough to disrupt it temporarily and have a chance to discover how to put it to rest.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As for "Grab Edge" as a reaction: I like it and hope it doesn't need a rool against a DC (except when the edge is very slippery maybe). It already has an opportunity cost.

With it as a reaction, imagine fights on rooftops or tightropes or on a narrow path winding up a cliff. Those play different. You might not want to use reactions for opportunity attacks or cool class options. Your enemy might goad you into doing that.
And then, when you take an opportunity attack, they'll try to shove you off the edge. 8)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
masda_gib wrote:

As for "Grab Edge" as a reaction: I like it and hope it doesn't need a rool against a DC (except when the edge is very slippery maybe). It already has an opportunity cost.

With it as a reaction, imagine fights on rooftops or tightropes or on a narrow path winding up a cliff. Those play different. You might not want to use reactions for opportunity attacks or cool class options. Your enemy might goad you into doing that.
And then, when you take an opportunity attack, they'll try to shove you off the edge. 8)

I also quite like it, but I hope it's a roll unless trivial. I'd rather not render pitfall traps harmless outside of combat, and I quite like the idea of a tense moment as a PC attempts to grab hold of a pipe or something when they fall off a roof.

I'm also curious if monsters can do it, as we already know that they can choose to take flatfooted or knockback against one shield fighter power (I forget which one) and (as someone said when that was mentioned) this does open room for rules that are far, far more happy to let PCs punch people off of ledges. While I don't get to be a player very often, throwing monsters off of ledges is something I would like to see more of.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Armageddon Orb & Spinning Blade Pillar are really cool - I like the rules presented here.
Once again, I think the presentation could use work.

I wish they would de-emphasise the keywords attached to actions & emphasise the base action.

Instead of saying:

"That creature can use the Grab Edge reaction to avoid falling."

I wish it was more like:

"That creature can use a Reaction (grab edge) to avoid falling."

Or something like that.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

13th Age SRD, traps:
http://www.13thagesrd.com/running-the-game/#Traps_Obstacles

Pathfinder SRD, pit trap:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/traps-hazards-and-special-terrains/t raps/pit-trap-cr-1/

Verdict:
New version has very complicated, very _gamist_ description.
What is the advantage of putting so many tags for such a simple effect?

Comment:
It looks like there is a Java developer working on a Hello World program. Also, as any engineer is would tell, there are no systems that cover all corner/niche cases, so trying to describe everything is not a step in right direction.
The instructions should be simple and general.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The Armageddon Orb is essentially a MAD device and I think more entities employing it will use it as such. You likely don't want it to actually go off, it is there for insurance purposes.

If you make the trigger "someone attempts to disarm it" you've not done anything useful with it really, and made it really hard for you to deal with if you want to turn it off.

Most of the times it will be things like "If you cut me down my Orb will rain fire upon this land" type stuff.


ruemere wrote:

What is the advantage of putting so many tags for such a simple effect?

The tags are doing my head in a bit, and for monsters (this string of alphabetised words).

I can do without:

"Quietus (emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult)"


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm totally stoked about the idea of running encounters that involve both monsters and traps (or hazards). Imagine fighting a bunch of goblins with bows, only you can't close to melee because of a spinning blade trap. Now we have rules to run disarms alongside the combat. Or something as simple as a combat on frozen ice.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Chest Rockwell wrote:
ruemere wrote:

What is the advantage of putting so many tags for such a simple effect?

The tags are doing my head in a bit, and for monsters (this string of alphabetised words).

I can do without:

"Quietus (emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult)"

That's one more tag than Phantasmal Killer has in PF1 (where it's got illusion - phantasm, mind-affecting, and fear), and in PF1 it has another (whether it's Arcane or Divine) assumed but not stated.

In short, that's not meaningfully more tags than PF1.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The keyword tags here look practical and clear at least for protects against X effects or detects Y effects.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay, I will draw the ire of the whole community by bringing in the direct competitor, but ruemere with their 13th Age & PF1 examples inspired me, sort of.

This page is everything about traps in 5e.

What I'm getting at is... there is a natural, straightforward way of describing traps - and haunts, and environmental hazards. You give guidelines on what's adequate for triggers, detection, disabling and effects, and possible saves and damage for what you want to achieve with this trap, appropriately to the narrative and the owner's needs. You list examples, with solid measurements and concrete, plain language descriptions, and derived mechanics. The presentation flows better and you can cover a lot of possible approaches if you want - but you don't need to, as any GM will come up with their own rulings anyway for unforeseen actions ("I use my Channel Positive Energy against the haunt!").

Now, the trap stat blocks are a different thing. I feel they constrain the imagination instead of letting it flow. They are sets of extra rules, extra complexity, to strictly follow. They don't mention some traits that might be *very* interesting to know (how big is the Orb, how high in the air, how do you effectively use it, when is it triggered on an attempt to disable, what zone is encompassed by the spinning blades... why don't they damage everything they meet on their path...).

You're trying to cover all bases, but that's pretty much impossible. Just give us some data, in clear English, and some mechanics, and we'll understand how it's supposed to work.

I know we're trying to stay distinct and different from other games from the same legacy. But if one of the goals is simplicity I'm not sure this treatment of hazards moves us towards it, really. As ruemere said, this approach is very gamist... a little too much perhaps.

Full disclosure, I come from 5e. I *love* that system, but I really hope PF2 will have more customizable characters and more in-depth, tactical combat (while not necessarily requiring a grid and minis). I'm also attracted to Adventure Paths, to the great production values of Paizo's products, the beautiful art, the constant flow of new and interesting products, the game's setting... there's a lot to like in my opinion.

But... what are we actually gaining with trap stat blocks? You don't really need precise instructions to work an hazard into a fight. I once played a combat against yuan-ti on a natural bridge over a chasm perfectly well without even the remotest need for a stat block telling me what a pc needs to do to avoid falling. Just clear, simple description and mechanics. And that's 1 example.

I want more detailed rules for characters (npcs included!) and combat, but... up to a point. I don't wanna play GURPS Martial Arts. And I sure don't wanna play "GURPS Traps".

I do see a lot of people appreciate this format, so... I guess we'll see how it works in practice. But as much as I usually like these blog posts very much and am eager to playtest this baby, this... doesn't bode well, let's say.

There you have it. Just my opinion.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't believe all hazards will have a stat block like that. The fight on a bridge over the chasm doesn't need a stat block. Its rules are covered by falling and the Grab Edge reaction. Thats it. Now as a GM I'm likely to have those things written to hand, but it isn't needed.

The Hazards shown lead my to believe the stat blocks are there for things not covered by standard rules. At which point I'm happy to have a nice self contained block of information. Any questions that arise from any lack of information there are questions that would arise without the block as well. The stat blocks aren't meant to cover every possible scenario, they are meant to cover the typical use case and be consistent so that when needed, GMs have at least the chassis of information to play fairly with.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Voss wrote:
Honestly, the issue is traps don't work well as simplified stat blocks. They need descriptive text in context that actually covers the environment they exist in and how they interact with it, not just making a single roll against an appropriate 'panel square.' Or indeed reducing the entire Poltergeist film to a single action (?) exorcism roll.

Is it different from "I use channel and disrupt it." of PF1?

Or from using enough positive energy?

Never really dealt with haunts in PF1, so don't know, don't really care. But 'it was bad then, so its OK if its bad now' doesn't really resonate with me.

Quote:

Probably neither a single roll of Religion or occult is enough to put the haunt to rest, but it is enough to disrupt it temporarily and have a chance to discover how to put it to rest.

Nothing indicates that. Both the stat block and the commentary suggest a done deal once the check is made.

Considering "not requiring the GM to make up details on the spot" was one of the design goals for disabling hazards, it seems that 'one and done' is intended (unless the check explicitly calls for multiple successes).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well first credit when credit is due. This blog was written in the best fashion so far out of all of them. While there was still little of that hype speak that I despise, the vast majority was relevant to the actual matter telling us how things work.

Now to the actual content, I will write these in the order they appear in the blog.

1) Envioremental hazards and traps sharing formating is probably a good decision.
2) Good to see that detect magic has been taken into consideration from the get go.
3) Yeah I am not a fan of this idea of "need to be this tall to ride" when it comes to profiency. It just seems completely arbitary, without any real benefit. Like it can make sense in some cases, but perception certainly is not one of them. Personally if it makes into the final product and I actually decide to go with PF2 that stuff is getting thrown out.
4) Multiple skills are good. Though I would add in that some traps might require multiple skills to disable not just more than one option. Also it should be possible at least with some traps to say use Knowledge engineering skill to give a bonus/aid another for the one using disable device.(example uses pf1 terms.)
5) So the pit trap. I have surprisingly many issues with this one. First there should be a weight limit to what triggers the trap, or just a mention that the creator has to set one when making it. Then why does it have AC in the first place? Not like you can crit it so that isn't why it is needed. Also 10? Really a character has non neglibele change of missing essentially what would be a big door on the ground. Even just touching it is equal to dex 4-5 creature, you know something that actually moves. I have issue with the damage too, not that 10 damage isn't suitable for CR 1 trap, but that 20ft is 10 damage. I know that falling damage in PF1 wasn't the greatest, but that is ridicilous amount. For 30ft maybe that is suitable. Oh and the same argument that was made for AC can be said about reflex save, it should just automaticly fail them.
6) Well first, yeah this sort of fluff is excatly the type of fluff that is pointless and waste of word count. Hell in this case it is actually harmfull. First Golarion, ugh get that out. And how excatly does thievery skill allow someone to channel gods? On the mechanical concerns I am not really sure this is CR 23. There really isn't something to over come here. You may be stopping collater damage but there isn't anything to challenge the party. And for such a plot device thing, it's damn boring. Either the resident trap monkey makes their roll or not, and they have fire resistance or not. Only thing I like about this thing is the 100 mile radious. The basic premise has potential but the execution is a total failure as far as I am concerned.
7) First let's note that this is not going to get a fair shake most likely. I loathe haunts and I think they are a stupid idea. Either it is a spirit and as such a creature and follows the rules for a creatures or it is a trap which means it isn't a creature and as such it isn't a spirit. And considering I do not see the option of showing a pointy pieace of steel that can affect such creatures it seems to have failed again. Not a big issue to me personally, easily thrown out with rest of the houseruled garbage. With that done let's look it as purely trap. Otherwise this seems good, but to me it seems dumb to base the damage on weapon wielded, you can't really strike yourself with the same success as you can an enemy, since not surprisingly they were designed to hurt other people, with some weapons it is almost impossible. And game desing wise it seems to add in a random element that totally changes how dangerous it is.
8) Mostly good, but this really needs some additional info and limitations. What makes it move? Why can it move anywhere instead of being limited to certain area? Also why is this immune to critical hits? Such a contraption most certainly would have weak spots.

So all in all not that bad, good amount of polishing needed but this is pre playtest material so that is to be expected to a degree. Only exception is haunts but I was never going to be a convert on that issue.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malk_Content wrote:

The Armageddon Orb is essentially a MAD device and I think more entities employing it will use it as such. You likely don't want it to actually go off, it is there for insurance purposes.

If you make the trigger "someone attempts to disarm it" you've not done anything useful with it really, and made it really hard for you to deal with if you want to turn it off.

Most of the times it will be things like "If you cut me down my Orb will rain fire upon this land" type stuff.

MAD device?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

The Armageddon Orb is essentially a MAD device and I think more entities employing it will use it as such. You likely don't want it to actually go off, it is there for insurance purposes.

If you make the trigger "someone attempts to disarm it" you've not done anything useful with it really, and made it really hard for you to deal with if you want to turn it off.

Most of the times it will be things like "If you cut me down my Orb will rain fire upon this land" type stuff.

MAD device?

Mutually Assured Destruction. I.E, you mess me up, my auto country destroying bomb goes off, so you better not mess me up.


Malk_Content wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

The Armageddon Orb is essentially a MAD device and I think more entities employing it will use it as such. You likely don't want it to actually go off, it is there for insurance purposes.

If you make the trigger "someone attempts to disarm it" you've not done anything useful with it really, and made it really hard for you to deal with if you want to turn it off.

Most of the times it will be things like "If you cut me down my Orb will rain fire upon this land" type stuff.

MAD device?
Mutually Assured Destruction. I.E, you mess me up, my auto country destroying bomb goes off, so you better not mess me up.

It can also be quite mad, if reflavoured to a crackling orb of lightning in a mad science themed campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Roswynn wrote:

Okay, I will draw the ire of the whole community by bringing in the direct competitor, but ruemere with their 13th Age & PF1 examples inspired me, sort of.

This page is everything about traps in 5e.

What I'm getting at is... there is a natural, straightforward way of describing traps - and haunts, and environmental hazards. You give guidelines on what's adequate for triggers, detection, disabling and effects, and possible saves and damage for what you want to achieve with this trap, appropriately to the narrative and the owner's needs. You list examples, with solid measurements and concrete, plain language descriptions, and derived mechanics. The presentation flows better and you can cover a lot of possible approaches if you want - but you don't need to, as any GM will come up with their own rulings anyway for unforeseen actions ("I use my Channel Positive Energy against the haunt!").

Now, the trap stat blocks are a different thing. I feel they constrain the imagination instead of letting it flow. They are sets of extra rules, extra complexity, to strictly follow. They don't mention some traits that might be *very* interesting to know (how big is the Orb, how high in the air, how do you effectively use it, when is it triggered on an attempt to disable, what zone is encompassed by the spinning blades... why don't they damage everything they meet on their path...).

You're trying to cover all bases, but that's pretty much impossible. Just give us some data, in clear English, and some mechanics, and we'll understand how it's supposed to work.

I know we're trying to stay distinct and different from other games from the same legacy. But if one of the goals is simplicity I'm not sure this treatment of hazards moves us towards it, really. As ruemere said, this approach is very gamist... a little too much perhaps.

Full disclosure, I come from 5e. I *love* that system, but I really hope PF2 will have more customizable characters and more in-depth,...

We don't know if those traps examples ae an example of how all the traps will be described in the final book, in how they will be described in the playtest book or if how they will be described in the adventure book.

I suspect that, in the final book, there will be a generic section describing how to create a trap statblock and some example statblock, not a long and non-exhaustive list of trap statatblocks.

During the playtesting probably we will get only a few traps statbloks to test how they work, and hopefully the generic building rules to try to break the system, so that we will find the bugs.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

The Armageddon Orb is essentially a MAD device and I think more entities employing it will use it as such. You likely don't want it to actually go off, it is there for insurance purposes.

If you make the trigger "someone attempts to disarm it" you've not done anything useful with it really, and made it really hard for you to deal with if you want to turn it off.

Most of the times it will be things like "If you cut me down my Orb will rain fire upon this land" type stuff.

MAD device?
Mutually Assured Destruction. I.E, you mess me up, my auto country destroying bomb goes off, so you better not mess me up.

In the Paizo forums MAD generally is Multiple Abilities Dependancy. You Americans love your acronyms so much a single abbreviation can mean twenty different things. Something the contest clarify what you are saying, something it doesn't.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm becoming skeptical of largely divorcing training from skill check odds, and requiring both for success. There's some interesting nuance there, but it seems little gain a a lot more work: setting difficulty is now picking a point on a two-dimensional scale.

If picking this lock seems like it should be somewhat harder than breaking it, does that mean I want a higher DC? Or the same DC, but more proficiency? Or more proficiency, but a lower DC, since only a seasoned locksmith would even know what to do, but it's then it's fairly easy for them to actually do it?

Setting difficulty, ad hoc, fairly, quickly, consistently, is something a DM has to do all the time. It seems this approach makes it a lot more demanding, of only a small increase in texture.

Maybe it's just because it's new. Anyone who actually played a bit: have you found this to be an issue?


jasin wrote:

I'm becoming skeptical of largely divorcing training from skill check odds, and requiring both for success. There's some interesting nuance there, but it seems little gain a a lot more work: setting difficulty is now picking a point on a two-dimensional scale.

If picking this lock seems like it should be somewhat harder than breaking it, does that mean I want a higher DC? Or the same DC, but more proficiency? Or more proficiency, but a lower DC, since only a seasoned locksmith would even know what to do, but it's then it's fairly easy for them to actually do it?

Setting difficulty, ad hoc, fairly, quickly, consistently, is something a DM has to do all the time. It seems this approach makes it a lot more demanding, of only a small increase in texture.

Maybe it's just because it's new. Anyone who actually played a bit: have you found this to be an issue?

I sure hope there'll be guidelines in the books telling us what kind of actions to expect from untrained, trained, expert, master and legendary. Some good examples, something that makes sense and isn't too hard to remember. I'm not against these prerequisite skill levels, but I *am* against arbitrary rules-enforcement.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Voss wrote:
Considering "not requiring the GM to make up details on the spot" was one of the design goals for disabling hazards, it seems that 'one and done' is intended (unless the check explicitly calls for multiple successes).

Now that I re-read this part, it's interesting.

Not "requiring" the GM to make up details on the spot.

So I presume the GM will be required, instead, to constantly check charts of difficulty numbers.

Because let's face it, either you give a DC to *everything* or I'll always have to make up details on the spot. Skill & ability DCs, appropriate status effects, Hardness... it's just in the job description.

I'd *very much* rather use my common sense and handle a situation with a few good suggestions and no hard rules than having to constantly worry about following the right rule at the right time and having to check, again and again, the right DC, the right modifier...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Magus Black wrote:
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?

Why assume that only the "good guys" are your enemies?

This is Evil Overlord 101, here: there are always rivals and underlings looking to take your place.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wultram wrote:
Then why does it have AC in the first place? Not like you can crit it so that isn't why it is needed. Also 10? Really a character has non neglibele change of missing essentially what would be a big door on the ground.

AC is an abstraction that includes not only a creature trying to dodge your attacks, but also you sometimes missing (ever missed hitting a nail with a hammer while you weren't even in combat?) and also hitting places where the damage gets absorved/neutralized (this is why armors give AC in the first place).

The 10 AC reflects that sometimes you hit a little wrong or get unlucky and hit it somewhere without damaging it because of bad "luck". And even if its negible on most cases (and doesn't even matter if you miss it 10 times out of combat), sometimes you may want to break it during combat for a particular reason, and using your third attack (at -10) against it, your chances of missing start getting real.

Wultram wrote:
I have issue with the damage too, not that 10 damage isn't suitable for CR 1 trap, but that 20ft is 10 damage. I know that falling damage in PF1 wasn't the greatest, but that is ridicilous amount. For 30ft maybe that is suitable. Oh and the same argument that was made for AC can be said about reflex save, it should just automaticly fail them.

The Fall Damage has been adjusted for PF2. I don't remember the exact numbers: I thought it was 1 Feet = 1 Damage after the first 10 feet, but the poster bellows says it was 2 Feet = 1 Damage. In either case, the 20 Feet fall turns into 10 Damage, and Fall damage ends being more deadly in PF2, with imo is a good call, and is not even unrealistic. A real human can kill himself on a 5 feet fall (their own height) if they fall in the wrong way.

Nothing wrong with having easier maths and with Fall Damage being deadlier (it should, it was too often too little in PF1).

And for the Reflex save, same as the AC. In my opinion it reflects it getting "lucky" (or the guy that throw the fireball "unlucky" if he wanted to destroy the trapdoor).
You know when in a book or movie an explosion happens and somehow it didn't affect the door/whatever? Something like that. Is not that the Trapdoor "uses" reflexes to get out of the way or anything, it just reflects that sometimes, for many reasons, things go a way or another.

Sometimes you shoot a bullet clean through a piece of wood, and sometimes, the same bullet, from the same pistol, at the same distance, against the same piece of wood, doesn't get throught and gets stucked midway. That is kinda what AC and Reflex attempt to convey, on a trapdoor.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kaemy wrote:
The Fall Damage has been adjusted for PF2. The first 10 feet do no damage (like in PF1), and afterthat, 1 Feet = 1 Damage. So that fall of 20 Feet turns into 10 Damage because you substract the first 10.

This is actually not true. They were doing some parts of this at various points (and there remains a Skill Feat to ignore the first 10 feet fallen), but the current version is a simple 1 point of damage per 2 feet fallen. They mention this change in the PaizoCon segment of the Glass Cannon podcast.

Which I agree is fine since you can avoid some of it with a check (or take extra on a critically failed check).

151 to 200 of 276 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: It’s a Trap! All Messageboards