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The point of the skill monkey is that they are always pretty good at a lot of things. A caster can always be better, provided they prepared the right spells. In an unexpected, evolving situation [where violence is not the answer] the skill monkey should shine whereas the caster will be lamenting their spell choice.


glass wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
You sre absolutely right, there are better classes. But I would argue therr shouldn't be! Paizo messed up the rogue, tried to fix it with Unchained and ended up trampling all over it's space with new and superior classes as part of the inevitable power creep that comes with later published material.
The "better classes" are not the result of power creep. Several of them are in the CRB.

You, of course, mean the bard with their versimiltude shattering ability to play a two handed musical instrument perfectly whilst also wielding a weapon or their ability to sing loudly to improve the party's stealth.

As I said I banned bards, for the reasons above and then decided to reskin the class as an NPC noble class. Many of their abilities fit the role of someone born to privilege and leadership.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Returning to Horn of Pursuit, it is a thematic spell more than an adventurer spell.

<snip>

Plant growth is a 3rd level spell and a cleric gets it only if he has the right domain, while a wizard or witch never gets it.
It seems strange that no one has developed a low level "fertilize" or "turn waste to fertilizer" spell.
There are plenty of these kinds of holes in the spell lists if you want to play at world building.

That is an excellent observation, thank you Diego.


@exequiel759
Thank you for your clear explanation.

I often forget that I have banned the majority of the later classes from my campaign and hate the versimiltude shattering abilities of the bard so have banned that/reskinned it as a noble. Before everyone gets hot under the collar, it's mainly because I run a conversion of the ToEE and it is simpler to limit the classes to those available in 1e.

You sre absolutely right, there are better classes. But I would argue therr shouldn't be! Paizo messed up the rogue, tried to fix it with Unchained and ended up trampling all over it's space with new and superior classes as part of the inevitable power creep that comes with later published material.


Sorry for joining the conversation late. I just wanted to add that the Rogue class is fine if given the opportunity to be used properly.

The strength of the Rogue is in its flexibility outside of combat; particularly in gathering information or intelligence. Sure, with preparation, other classes can replicate a rogue ability and be superior. But the rogue can act on the spur of the moment to situations as they unfold. For example, the rogue can chat with the barman to uncover a shady contact, follow said contact to their rendezvous unobserved (possibly via rooftop) and scout out the perimeter of the rendezvous building, spotting guards as he does so.

Now with all that reconnaissance done the party is able to plan an assault that maximises their chances - in essence a huge set of buffs - thanks to the rogue.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:

In my view, the GM is wrong by the RAW. But, he has made a definitive ruling - a nat 20 always hits, regardless of circumstance. So for the sake of table harmony, move on and live with the houserule. It may come in your favour in future.

Just before moving on however, you may want to clarify that 'at this table we treat a nat 20 as a hit regardless of circumstance '. That will give your GM the chance to be definitive or to reconsider his position without directly challenging him.

His GM still allows Deflect Arrows, Mirror Images, and Displacement/Concealment to trump a nat 20. So the only definitive ruling he's made is that nat 20's are automatic hits vs OP&R as its own house rule. Everything else seems to work to negate a nat 20 as per normal though.

Thanks, I hadn't picked up the other inconsistencies. I think I would ask the GM to consider the consistency of his rulings and to ask him to reflect on their evenness and how he would feel if he was subjected to them as a player.

I suspect that the majority of the exceptions he has ruled on have, at least initially, been in the monster's favour - in not wanting a nat 20 to ruin 'a great encounter' he has found and applied an exception.


In my view, the GM is wrong by the RAW. But, he has made a definitive ruling - a nat 20 always hits, regardless of circumstance. So for the sake of table harmony, move on and live with the houserule. It may come in your favour in future.

Just before moving on however, you may want to clarify that 'at this table we treat a nat 20 as a hit regardless of circumstance '. That will give your GM the chance to be definitive or to reconsider his position without directly challenging him.


bbangerter wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
@Diego Rossi: Interesting take on effective v actual. If the character has an effective STR of 0 are they effectively Unconscious (one of the effects of having STR 0)? Do unconscious remain standing or do they fall prone...
I'll reverse the question on you. Can an unconscious character still take mental only actions?

No, they can't. But as Diego correctly pointed out, a spell reducing the effective score to 0 does not cause unconsciousness. I was wrong on that aspect. I still maintain however, that paralysis which creates an effective STR of 0 must be the kind that causes a creature to fall as it cannot support it's own weight as opposed to to the locked rigid type [which would presumably require an opposed STR check to try and move].


The problem with the muscle lock model is that it doesn't represent a STR of 0. If one were to hold a sword at arms length (or even had an outstretched arm) holding that in position requires strength. A character with STR 0 would have their arm drop and the hand would not have the strength to keep hold of the sword. Similarly, they would not have the strength or balance to maintain a straight leg and remain standing. So they will fall prone.


@Diego Rossi: Interesting take on effective v actual. If the character has an effective STR of 0 are they effectively Unconscious (one of the effects of having STR 0)? Do unconscious remain standing or do they fall prone...


I rule that the character falls down. With STR and DEX being 0 they no longer have the strength and/or balance to remain standing. As per Mysterious Stranger's comments above all the muscles would relax so they would also drop anything they are holding.

Petrified, would be like the muscle locked paralysis. But it is still likely that the character would fall. A person petrified mid stride is inherently unstable, though they are unlikely to release anything they are holding.


Without knowing the character involved it is impossible to be definitive but it sounds as though the player is confident that their stats are high enough to avoid damage and is metagaming to use up the opponents AoO.

In game the character would try and avoid being hit and being so highly skilled would easily avoid damage. They wouldn't deliberately try and get hit.

Ask the player "okay, as you are deliberately trying to get hit the enemy gets a bonus AoO which will automatically crit and cause max damage, are you sure that you want to proceed". Then explain your rationale and let the player choose a different course of action.


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Temperans wrote:
Adamantine and Mithril are surprisingly not immune to rust despite being high tech aviation materials.

Oh dear. Temperans, they're not real. AFAIK (and I could be wrong) Mithril is an invention of Tolkien and Adamantine is Marvel's with Wolverine's exoskeleton.


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The purist in me agrees with Diego. The sword has been transmuted into a rusty sword. If it was subsequently snapped, make whole would return it to a single rusty sword.

However, the pragmatist in me says we do not need a Remove Rust spell when there is already the Mending, Make Whole and Greater Make Whole chain of spells that do similar things and have broader terms.

In my view the RAI is that the spell would repair the damage from a rust monster.


I've just realised, I mixed up the Trample feat and ability. What I should have said is that the PC can't avoid the overrun if the creature has the trample feat. The damage application mostly applies to the ability, but a creature with the feat could make their attack whilst overrunning.

Noting AwesomenessDog's comment on the Trample ability. I considered that the PC had to be on the ground (as a result of a collision) for the ability to have any bearing.

Ie an Overrun can occur in the air and risks a collision, the trample feat allows an attack during an overrun and the trample ability only works against creatures on the ground.


I think Overrun is the right mechanic. The Gargantuan creature attempts to move into the PC's square, provoking an AoO unless they have Improved Overrun. The player has the choice of letting the creature through or risking a collision. If the creature has trample then there is no choice and the collision is rolled. This leads to several potential outcomes depending on the success of the Overrun or Trample and Collision check:

Overrun success, Collision success - creature moves through square, character placed at closest legal square.
Trample success, collision success - treat as overrun, PC is not moved over
Overrun/Trample fail, collision success - creature stops before making overrun
Overrun success, collision fail - creature moves through square, PC suffers falling damage and is prone.
Trample success, collision fail - PC suffers falling and trample damage and is prone.
Overrun/trample fail, collision fail - creature stops, PC suffers falling damage and is prone.


I think I would be quite direct. Have the leader of the watch ask the PCs what have you found, any clues? The party can come clean or roll a bluff check. Things only turn sour on a failed bluff check. If they come clean then it's up to you/your world's convention as to what is the state's and what the characters can keep, say as part of their bounty.


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I still say a Quasit hiding near the ceiling whilst motionless and invisible for a total of +56 to Stealth is near impossible to spot. Given they have excellent senses, including at will spells, never need to sleep and are all to aware of the price of failure; they would make an excellent sentinel.


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I just started reading Mark's first post and immediately thought that scouting ahead isn't always a good idea. There are plenty of excellent creatures that can act as sentinels.

For example a Quasit, motionless and invisible sees/detects the rogue go past. He then operates a lever that brings down a pair of solid portcullis and releases a press ceiling. No more rogue. The Quasit then resets the trap, leaving a smear of rogue on the floor and ceiling.


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Maverick898 wrote:


<snip>

I love reading this kind of stuff. As much as I enjoy the "Gotta save the world" adventures, I actually prefer the sillier, more grounded type that have less world ending stakes, which is why I'm amused by the halfling concept.

And why can't a friendly, likeable and funny halfling be the high priest of Asmodeus?


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Sysryke wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
For me it's less about the cool class features and more about the concept. The GM could deliver truck loads of barn-door sized clues and the players will fail to associate the likeable scamp chatting to them in the bar with the BBEG they've been hunting down. Why, because of their preconceived notion that BBEG's aren't chatty halflings.
I think you hit the wrong thread. I'm reading the one where this response makes sense, but this thread was asking about rarely seen enemy races/monsters to use.

It's the right thread. The thread starts asking about unusual races for an enemy. Somebody suggests halfling, which I second and go on to describe a most unusual BBEG. Some others build on that with a breakdown of classes to use and I come back to it's the fact it's a seemingly normal halfling who is in plain view that the players will never cotton on to being the antagonist that makes it interesting - not class feature x and feat y.


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For me it's less about the cool class features and more about the concept. The GM could deliver truck loads of barn-door sized clues and the players will fail to associate the likeable scamp chatting to them in the bar with the BBEG they've been hunting down. Why, because of their preconceived notion that BBEG's aren't chatty halflings.


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I think I will have to second the halfling idea. The friendly chatty little scoundrel who wouldn't hurt a fly turns out to run a huge criminal network and is in to things so dark that he can only be described as evil incarnate.


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I'm suddenly reminded of Hitchcock's Birds movie.

I think where I'm ending up at, is the animals can be made scary by having them behave unnaturally. Rather than having them engage, they shadow and funnel the party as they move and disturb their rest when they stop.

Tension will build, not only because of the foreboding (which some players ignore- they just want the next encounter) but because of the mechanical resource drain; spells cannot be recovered and characters are fatigued and/or exhausted. The players will be worried about what's coming next whilst they are unprepared.


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Just musing on the wolves. Add werewolves and worgs to the pack as well as class levels. I think you could soon setup a terrifying series of encounters. A high level worg sorcerer BBEG running a super pack of wolves, dire wolves, worgs and lycanthropes should terrify any mid-level party


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Love it. I can easily see a Tucker's kobolds scenario with a large pack of wolves.


The right answer depends on your view of precedence: RAW, RAI, fun, versimiltude, common sense. Pick which takes priority and go from there.


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It sounds rather like the party aren't playing as a team if single use items are considered personal rather than party property. IRL platoons have one machine gunner but the entire platoon carry ammunition for it. The machine gun is used to suppress the enemy allowing other members of the platoon to move. The whole thing would unravel pretty quickly if the machine gunner only used the gun for self defence and the other platoon members refused to carry ammunition for it.


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I think Cawn character is interesting but certainly not undefeatable. The trick isn't necessarily to counter them and there are a number of real-life tricks that politicians and the like use. Those types of rumour will grow and increasingly have chinese whisper style embellishments to make a better story. If the party are only being described as a group fitting a certain description then they could remain incognito and add to the rumour. Highlight the depraved leader's scar that resembles Orcus's skull - which of course doesn't fit the party. If the party are known and recognisable then this doesn't work. However, one could try fighting fire with fire and start their own rumours of an even more salacious variety and/or the party could go on a goodwill offensive and throw a good party and/or the party could own up to something trivial that is related and deflate the story, or all three. Rather than countering bluff with sense motive, they are countering bluff with bluff and diplomacy

If the party have succeeded in deflating the rumours, are buying goodwill by hosting a festival or the like and have started their own counter-rumours it will be very difficult for Cawn to create a new narrative.

The campaign wouldn't necessarily suck but would be very roleplay/interrelationship heavy and most people aren't into that and/or can't roleplay it well - especially bearing in mind it is the character's skills and not the player's skills that are meant to be on show.


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I've found that the only villain that the players really hate is one that defeats them repeatedly. Sure, the characters may hate the BBEG but the lieutenant who caused the party to flee. Then tracked them down to the village inn and burnt it down and then escaped from the players' next encounter is the one the players hate.


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Light cast on someone's eyes to blind them.
Light cast on a crossbow bolt that is subsequently fired to act as a distraction.
Transmute rock to mud on the top of a dungeon to bury the entire thing (pretty short adventure that)
Glyph of Warding (Sonic) at the entrance to the dungeon makes for a great doorbell. Gives the denizens plenty of time to prepare.


The whole hands of effort, twf, none handed weapons, more than two hands subject area.

Emanations


Generally, there should be someone on point to identify hazards in advance of the main party. This person should have a high perception and be reasonably stealthy. They should be ahead of the party but only by the closer of vision or one move action. If their stealth is high enough, there may be occasions when the opponent spots the main party before the one on point and gets caught off guard. At the back should be someone with a high AC and HP who can take a surprise hit from an ambush. The wizard should be in the middle.

Of course there are countless circumstances where something different should be done.


@Ryze Kuja: Now I am intrigued. What, if anything, do you consider to be the player's responsibility?


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Neriathale wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

PC death is a big deal, so if you forgot a rule that would've saved their life, then it's the GM's responsibility to set it right. Retcon. Anything less is going to result in PC distrust in the GM.

I disagree. If the character death happened, the players roleplayed their reaction to it and the other characters are now being played as people who have lost a friend (even if it’s temporary and they can sort out a Raise Dead) then that’s the way the story went. Retconning is likely to make players distrust the ref as someone who isn’t willing to stand by their ref calls, and saying ‘you get a free Res because I screwed up’ is a bad precedent to set.

Characters die. It’s sad, but it’s an opportunity for the group to roleplay and the chance for the player to play something new and interesting.

If you kill my character that I've been playing for year due to a bad call by the ref and make no attempt to fix it then I'm probably not going to play with you anymore.

A free Raise Dead is entirely fair to both the DM to keep the story in-tact but also to the PC and their personal investment into that character.

Neriathale wrote:

Retconning is likely to make players distrust the ref as someone who isn’t willing to stand by their ref calls, and saying ‘you get a free Res because I screwed up’ is a bad precedent to set.

No, that's an excellent precedent to set. If you're the GM and you make a bad call or forget to implement a rule that ought to have been in play and kill a character because of your action or lack of action, then it's your responsibility to make it right and the PC's should know that you have the humility and accountability to take ownership for your mistakes.

Surely it's the player's responsibility to make sure that all the factors [they are aware of] are taken into account. The GM has enough to do running the entire game world. If, as in this case, the player missed something and died as a result - and didn't notice afterwards. Then they can't reasonably expect things to be retconned in their favour if events have moved on. Rather, they should take it as a lesson and pay more attention in the future. If the player tries to blame the GM for their lack of attention and calling them untrustworthy then they may well find themselves looking for a new game.


My answer is it depends. If the death occurred at the end of the session and said funeral was narrative fluff whilst packing up then sure, retcon. However if other meaningful events had occurred and the plot progressed then sorry, the Bard died and events have progressed accordingly.


Without seeing a map it is impossible to adjudicate but this is probably a technically correct decision by strict RAW that is nevertheless incorrect because of rule 0.

The character could see the stairs and their direction and the players would have had a lot more fun had the spell succeeded. As it is, guessing by the fact this message was posted; the GM's decision created a lot of discord, argument and bad feeling around the table.


Magus Black's inclusion of the feats is a good point.

Azothath's comments about other long term factors is true. Perhaps every 10 times the character gets drunk in a month they gain a temporary +1 modifier to their effective CON bonus, which is lost 2 months after they fail to gain another temporary modifier.


One could adapt some rules of thumb for staying under the legal limit to drive and use those instead.

1 unit = 1/2 pint beer, a single spirit or small glass of wine.
3 units = legal limit
1 unit is lost per hour.

So an average person can consume 2 pints over an hour and drive (according to the rule of thumb).

So assuming no CON modifiers
4 units = Tispy (as over the legal limit)
8 units = Drunk
12 units = Soused

It's seems reasonable to add or subtract the CON modifier to the number of units required to be drunk; which by extension would then be 1/2 the CON modifier for tipsy and 1 1/2 the modifier for soused.

It would also be reasonable to adjust for size using the same multipliers as for carrying capacity (T=0.5, S=0.75, M=1, L=2 etc)


For a one-off building, you might be better using the room rules to determine the cost.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:


This would be something you'd be interested in?

Personally, I wouldn't be interested in either a codex, a toolkit or a mini-adventure compendium. I've GMed the same campaign at least 4 times for 30+ years and have quite a compendium of encounters.

But what I imagine a codex to be is a series of ready-made wandering monster encounters. The party is travelling through the [insert terrain type] and the GM needs to throw a [pick a CR] encounter at them. The GM picks up the codex, opens it at the appropriate terrain and reads the entry for the closest CR. Makes a couple of adjustments, as recommended in the codex, to match the intended CR and then selects a map. The GM lays out the encounter as described, with the indicated starting pieces on the map.

I imagine an Encounter Toolkit to talk through the intended encounter difficulties, the action economy and the XP Budget method of selecting creatures in one chapter. To have a section about different types of monster and how they are likely to engage a party and typical tactics. A section on the different terrain types and how the different types of monster are likely to operate in the terrain. E.g in a swamp, where movement is difficult, predators will tend to sit and wait in hiding. they will only attack a target that moves into range. If they encounter difficulties they will retreat to water for cover.


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
A book that combines both would be gargantuan.

Any encounter codex will be pretty big. Just take A variation on what Ryze Kuja asked for above. CR 1/4-25 would cover 27 lists (28 if CR 1/3) for one terrain type. As a d20 roll would be 570 encounters that all need described. Combine some up (tactics for 1 giant spider and 1 young giant spider is going to be similar to 1 giant spider and 2 young giant spiders, etc) will reduce this some. But I'd have to reduce this to 10/page to make it a 64-ish page book. Doable but this also means that the level of detail people are asking for isn't very likely.

I'm not complaining just puzzling through the logistics.

The Book of Lairs (I think that was the name) was an encounter codex at 64 pages length so it is doable, but not comprehensive.

If you did 10 maps, 1/2 a page each for a low, medium and high level encounter. 1/2 a page to scale each up or down a bit and a page to describe the encounter gives you 40 pages and plenty of room to overflow. You could even do two maps per encounter write-up so the GM has two similar but not identical encounters in the codex and still have 14 pages to spare.


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I think there's some muddying of the waters between an encounter codex and an encounter toolkit in some of the replies to date.

To me it seems that a codex would be a series of encounters that can be dropped into any setting without much/any preparation required on the part of the GM. Whilst the toolkit would explain to the GM the features of the different types of terrain, how monsters adapted to the terrain might exploit those features and perhaps a few worked examples.

A book that combines both would be gargantuan.


For what it's worth, IMC you would have to be a member of the Church's organisation, a congregant (lowest level) at the least to qualify for a feat like that.


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Algarik wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:

I would allow Aid Another to be used. Should help the less socially inclined to feel included/useful.

I would also use it for their opposition... fair is fair.

Aid Another, in a social duel, could be a whisper in the ear, or a nod yes/no, even a laugh or clapping or pumping up the crowd.

Yup that sounds good. the person aiding Could also act as a hypeman or something.

I might limit the number of time someone can help another during an exchange or add a penalty for failing by more than 5. Sometimes people try to help and they just end up distracting you.

I houserule that aid another can be +/- 2 in social situations. The person being influenced etc might take exception to a misplaced comment, interjection, boorish snort or simply being crowded by the person's accomplices.


From memory (I originally looked it up when answering another post) an average human can output about 120 watts over an extended period and about 4 times that amount for short periods (cyclists top out at around 500W).

Converting 1 point of STR to 10W of long term power a STR20 character can output 800W in a burst.
Let's assume that the thrown character weighs 50Kg, is lifted 1m of the ground and gravity is 10 m/s2.

It's been a long, long time. Since I did applied maths - so please correct my mistakes. I believe the 800W power can be converted to 800N and with F=MA. The thrown character would be thrown at a velocity of 16m/s and would travel for 0.1 seconds before hitting the ground. So could be thrown about 1.6m or 5 feet.

On a more empirical note, my eldest used to love being thrown into the foam pit when he was about 2-3 at the local trampoline park. He weighed about 15Kg at the time and I (average strength) could throw him about 10 feet at best.


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Azothath wrote:
Clearly dragons use magic to fly ♬♪~ヾ(^∇ ^)

Perhaps, they're full of hydrogen and are 'natural' airships. The breath weapon evolved from expelling excess hydrogen.


Slightly OT but possibly relevant. In NZ it is illegal to sell Marlin or Swordfish. The meat can be given away but not sold and the carcass must be disposed of properly. The intent being that if they are caught, they are returned alive.

Now if it was illegal to sell Dragon meat, several tons of the stuff would not likely have much value. In fact, thinking whilst typing. If a Dragon was treated in the same way as a shark in NZ fisheries, where the fins have value but the whole shark must be sold - leading to piles of finless sharks being sold as 'lemonfish'. Then you might get a premium for the blood but spend most of it getting rid of the meat.


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Sort of. I referenced it to create the different Elf types (High, Wood, Grey etc) in Greyhawk.


As WombattheDaniel said above, it's quite difficult to be prescriptive without understanding more of the context, such as who the owner is, what is the building's purpose etc. What is known from the OPs post is that the place isn't abandoned and that the OP considers constructs, automatons, and similar animated items to be reasonable.

In general terms a mansion, manor house, palace etc. would have:
Formal and informal gardens, possibly including any of a maze; menagerie; family graveyard; lake etc.
A party area for large events, such as a grand dining hall, a ballroom, possibly a small arena or theatre room
A public area for more intimate gatherings, including a dining room, lounge, games room as well as accommodation suites for guests.
A private area including master and family bedroom suites, private dining and lounge areas. This area may include a chapel or shrine
Offices and a boardroom, where the senior staff and the owner work
Servants area, kitchens, prep areas, dining areas sleeping quarters, lounge, as well as dedicated servants corridors between the prep areas and the party and public areas
Stabling and garaging for horses and coaches
Storage areas and waste disposal areas
An inner sanctum where the owner conducts their private activity.

The party, public and servant areas are unlikely to have anything particularly nasty built into the design except for some anti-theft measures in a gallery, museum or trophy room. After all maiming the people you are trying to impress, or killing your staff, is hardly in your best interests. Similarly the family and office areas are more likely to be guarded than trapped. The inner sanctum however, should be trapped and guarded.

As others have mentioned there is scope for more outlandish features, such as rearranging rooms etc, but the suitability of that is really dependent on the owner of house. What might suit a wizard, would be different to vampire, which would be different to a merchant prince and different again to a cult.

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