A Necromancer's Grimoire: The Art of Traps (PFRPG) PDF

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Dozens of Devious Devices!

What dungeon would be complete without traps? You’re not really an adventurer until you’ve fallen into a few pit traps, been hit with at least one poisoned dart, and, of course, been on the wrong side of a hail of arrows launched out of a wall.

Trapmakers with only core rulebooks to work with will quickly find themselves running out of new and creative ways to deal with pesky freelance adventurers however, and everyone knows that a trapmaker who can’t find new and creative ways to casually murder adventurers is a trapmaker who’s lost his way.

This 44-page book presents a total of 80 new traps at every CR from 1 to 20, designed to get a little more fun and flavor into each and every lethal contraption. In addition, it features four elaborate traps, which serve as stand-alone encounters with extensive and detailed information, and a much greater complexity than the average trap.

A great toolbox for GMs of all sorts, if you’ve ever found yourself wishing your traps had a little more spring in their step, A Necromancer’s Grimoire: The Art of Traps is the book for you!

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5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

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Excellent and very cheap resource of traps


This book is 43 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 39 pages for the traps, so let's examine them!

Arts per se are an interesting love/hate concept - after all, they can put a grinding halt to the action and result in the rogue searching every square and rolling the one disable device check that determines whether the trap goes off or not. On the other hand, they make for a fun diversion and, when handled correctly, can provide fun for the whole party. Traps can be very creative, but if you're carried away, you get the more ridiculous examples of the now classic (and mostly awesome) Grimtooth-series. One approach that worked very well was 4th Dimension games' "Skill Challenges: Traps"-book, which will serve a s a kind of benchmark for me in this review.

The first thing you'll notice is that the fellows over at Necromancers of the Northwest finally included printer-friendly versions of their books, making printing out the full-color book easier. While the printer-friendly version is not b/w, it still makes for a nice b/w-print-out. The pdf is also extensively bookmarked, making navigation to the respective traps easy.

The book kicks off with a nice 2-page short story and 1 page of introduction to the matters at hand before jumping right into the traps, though not literally. The traps range from humble CR to devastating CR 20. Better, though, is that each trap gets a nice, quite extensive description to read to your rogue if he/she spots it as well as some advice on implementing the respective traps in your campaign - that's the additional kind of oomph I like in a book.

The traps themselves range from classics like boulders, moving floors etc. up to more devious ones like an exploding pendulum. Mechanically, there is nothing wrong with them and they often take e.g. tending the fire of a furnace and similar maintenance costs into account, which is nice. Even better, some ideas to combine and place the traps are included to make the creative juices flow.

The true stars of this book, though, are the 4 elaborate traps at the end of this book: Each serves as a complete encounter. The first of these traps, the endless hall, is a nice minor puzzle to escape a teleportation loop, complete with extensive details on the surroundings and a schematic map. Oh yeah, schematic maps are provided for all the elaborate maps. The next puzzle is plain awesome: a ring-maze of rotating hexagons set with traps and various configurations - that one is plain awesome! Speaking of plain awesome, the next one is the bone bridge, a complex and potentially deadly bridge that should make for a great necromancer's lair - if you're going for master necromancer, this trap should find a cherished and deadly place in his/her lair. The final trap is rather straight-forward, a room full of fire walls, deadly heat etc. - while not as awesome as the other 3 traps/puzzles, this one is just deadly and fills an iconic niche that may yet offer some things to do for all the players.

The pdf closes with 6 new poisons featured in the traps.

Editing is top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches on the 43 pages, quite a feat. Formatting could be a bit better: Some of the trap-texts feature 2 words of its final sentence on the next page, making reading sometimes slightly harder than it could be, though not enough to truly impede your enjoyment of the pdf. The maps of the elaborate traps are cgi-style and while I don't particularly care for the artwork, I love the content. The poisons are a nice bonus and while their green headers don't make for the most beautiful layout decision, they are a nice bonus.
Which gets me to the content: While I did like the regular traps, they did not kindle my imagination - there is nothing wrong with them and they go quite a way, but all in all, for this section I'd settle for 3.5 to 4 stars. However, the 4 elaborate traps ROCK hard and surpass even 4th Dimensions deadly traps. They are fun, easy to insert, intelligent - I don't have any gripes with them and would settle for a final verdict of 5 stars on this section, resulting in an overall verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 due to the VERY low price for the quality we get. If you need or like traps, check this out!

Endzeitgeist out.

Reviewed here, on RPGaggression and sent to GMS magazine - it should also soon pop up on DTRPG via GMS. Cheers!

Dark Archive

Nice review end.

And again: Thank you very much, D_M!

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