Sunday, 16 January 2011

Lexicon of Traps (Ennead Games)

Lexicon of Traps
Years ago I read a copy of GrimTooth's Traps. It was a difficult experience, because although funny, it seemed to mainly provide the DM with ways in which to extinguish characters which then had to be explained at length because of the mechanical complexity of death dealing gears. Instant kills can be bad enough without being further marred by an argument amongst players about logical engineering.

The traps listed in this book are more forgiving (depending upon the levels of punishment the DM feels the PCs deserve) and suited to a skills checks and some puzzle solving – nearly all the traps are “scalable”. Many of the traps are based on simple concepts and themes which means that they can be adapted to many situations. Some traps may resemble those already found in rulebooks but that doesn't detract from the numerous original traps. The categorisation of different traps works well for ease of reference.

On a first read some of my favourites are the Midas Door (sorry, no spoilers), Room of Silence ("Trigger: any noise above a whisper") and Washing Machine. The latter is wonderfully silly and illustrates that every once in any list of traps there's cruel humour and mockery of the mundane.

Even trap-jaded DMs will appreciate the later sections in this publication which include trap finding feats, skills, spells and equipment along with the Prestige Class of Trap Master.

Much of this publication is tailored towards d20 mechanics, and is therefore very applicable to many rulesets. As the author points out it can be used more generically. It's just if you don't play d20 games you might need to know that "DC of 25" means "difficult" - but it's pretty easy to get the gist when you see a scale of numbers.

I would preferred some illustrations to have been included, even just the odd picture of wounded PCs -but at 1.99 this well above value for money.

I’m looking forward to seeing more Lexicons from this publisher.

Recommended purchase (for sadist DMs). :)

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