Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Going Gonzo With John: Its a Trap!

by John Belliston
and Frank Gori

Within the world of Poe there are many places where wondrous horror can be distilled onto the game table. Madness, monsters, terrible plots, and compelling villains.  But there is a shining jewel which I snapped up when given the opportunity.

The Pit and the Pendulum.

I mean what isn’t there to like? Inquisitors? Horrifying traps that test the limits of human sanity?

Yes. Let’s do that.


The Pit:


Type: Magical

Perception DC:26

Disable Device: 35

Trigger: Location


Effect: 40ft deep pit (4d6 falling damage, DC 30 Reflex save avoids). Black Tentacles trigger after the targets hit the ground (CMB +20 to grapple targets). At this point a Large Bladed Pendulum (Atk +20 4d6 Slashing) slowly descends from the ceiling. Each target makes a DC 30 Will save or be effected by a Slow spell (CL 13). Those effected suddenly perceive the amount of time spent in the pit as being hours not rounds. If they fail by more than five they perceive it as days. Even after escaping the scars of the time spent there linger. Each survivor of the trap is fatigued for 2d4 days. This is a curse effect.
This kind of Trap is most effective when you have villains to back it up. Want to make an often ridiculed weapon from previous editions terrifying? have a group of Inquisitors with  man-catchers use CMBs to push the PCs that save back into the Pit.
Add another level of terror by making the pit reset manual and when it closes it closes off light so all those without darkvision get is the audible sound of a sharp blade scything through the air seeming to creep closer and closer.
Perhaps later the Pcs discover the previous victims of the trap as flesh golems. The best parts of each scything victim reassembed into yet another horror for them to face.

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