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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ranger Traps

I have a character in my current Pathfinder game who is a ranger with the trapper archetype. The concept is rather neat: by giving up spellcasting at lvl 5, the ranger gains the rogue trapfinding ability at level 1, the ability to set stationary "ranger traps" at level 5, and the ability to place magical traps on her arrows.

The problem is in execution. While the traps themselves are workable, they are treated like spells for somedamnfoolreason in that the ranger can only learn one trap every other level, can only use those traps a fixed number of times per day, and (humorously enough) can create a trap as a full-round action... which means a trapper can quite literally dig a 5' pit in six seconds.

Because I didn't like this implementation, I did was I always do and take a chainsaw to the rules to make them fit my vision of how the game should work. I took the base ideas from Ultimate Wilderness and Heroes of the Wild, but I changed them a bit to make the creation time and difficulty make more sense, and the CR of the traps to actually follow the rules for trap creation in Pathfinder.

These rules have not yet been tested; my players are, of course, my guinea pigs in this experiment.

Trapper (Ranger Archetype)
  • Remove Trap ability. 
  • Give bonus of Ranger level to all Craft (Traps) rolls used to create wilderness traps.

Wilderness Traps
Skilled hunters and trappers are adept at fashioning effective, if simple, traps from humble materials.
  • Each wilderness trap has an associated terrain wherein the raw materials for the trap are commonplace. Within these associated terrains, the base cost of each trap is calculated in silver pieces rather than gold pieces. 
  • When in a trap’s associated terrain, instead of paying one-third the item’s price in raw materials, the trap maker can attempt a Survival check against the normal Craft DC of the trap + (2 × the trap’s CR). 
  • If successful, the trap maker finds the necessary materials in the wild after 1d4 hours of foraging + 1 hour per CR of the trap; each 5 over the DC reduces the roll by 1 hour, to a minimum of 1 hour. 
  • She can then attempt a Craft (traps) check, also at the normal Craft DC + (2 × the trap’s CR), to build the trap, which takes another 1d4 hours + 1 hour per CR of the trap; each 5 over the DC reduces the roll by 1 hour, to a minimum of 1 hour. 
  • However, traps built with such crude materials don’t last long without maintenance; they have a cumulative 20% chance to break for every day they go without being tightened and reset (which requires 10 minutes of effort).
  • Foraging may be eliminated through the possession of proper equipment (example: a shovel to dig a pit, ropes to build a breakaway vine, etc).
The base DC for these traps is 20, which increase based on the following:

Perception DC
  • 15 or lower: -1
  • 16–20: 0
  • 21–25: +1
  • 26–29: +2
  • 30 or higher:  +3
Disable Device DC
  • 15 or lower: -1
  • 16–20: 0
  • 21–25: +1
  • 26–29: +2
  • 30 or higher: +3
Reflex Save DC (Pit or Other Save-Dependent Trap)
  • 15 or lower: -1
  • 16–20: 0
  • 21–25: +1
  • 26–29: +2
  • 30 or higher: +3
Attack Bonus (Melee or Ranged Attack Trap)
  • +0 or lower: -2
  • +1 to +5: -1
  • +6 to +10: 0
  • +11 to +15: +1
  • +16 to +20: +2
  • Touch attack: +1
Damage/Effect
  • Average damage: +1 per 10 points of average damage
  • If designed to hit more than one target, multiply this value by 2.
Miscellaneous Features:
  • Automatic reset: +1
  • Multiple targets (non-damage): +1
  • Attacks an area: +2
  • Proximity or visual trigger: +1
Note: Unless specified otherwise, traps are assumed to be at the highest level of their category (for example, if a trap has a Perception category of "16-20" then it is assumed to be crafted at DC 20 unless you otherwise specified).

Example Traps

Breakaway Log CR 1

  • Forage DC 22
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location (20' long line)
  • Reset: repair
  • Associated Terrain: any forests, jungles, or swamps
Fallen trees often form excellent natural bridges over rivers or chasms, or they afford routes to climb more safely over a wall or other barrier. Breakaway logs have been sabotaged so that they collapse once they are used. At the end of a round when a Medium or larger (or two Small) creatures use the log, it collapses. All creatures on the log then fall, taking appropriate damage from the plunge. The typical breakaway log fills an area that is 5 feet wide and 20 feet long, and it results in a 20-foot fall which deals 2d6 points of falling damage. A creature that succeeds at a DC 15 Reflex save can cling to the log or leap to safety and avoid the damage entirely.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per add'l 2d6 Damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Breakaway Vine CR 1
  • Forage DC 22
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: touch (timed)
  • Reset: repair
  • Associated Terrain any forests, jungles, or swamps
A breakaway vine has been sabotaged so that it snaps not long after someone begins using it to climb. A breakaway vine trap can be crafted from a length of rope as well, but this ruins the rope for other uses. When a Small or larger creature climbs a breakaway vine, the vine snaps just before the creature reaches the top of the climb. A creature can grab a handhold and avoid the resulting fall with a successful DC 20 Reflex save. This breakaway vine assumes a 20-foot fall for 2d6 points of damage; longer falls increase the CR of the breakaway vine by 1 per additional 20 feet.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per add'l 2d6 Damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Spring Snare CR 1
  • Forage DC 22
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 15
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: any forests, jungles, or swamps
A spring snare consists of a strong sapling that’s been bent down with a noose affixed to the end. When a creature enters a square trapped by a spring snare, the noose attempts to snare the triggering creature with a +15 on its combat maneuver check to grapple. If it succeeds, the tree snaps upright and flings the target into the air for 1d6 damage. The creature then remains suspended 10 feet off the ground until it breaks the grapple.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +5 grapple bonus; +1 CR per +1d6 damage; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Swinging Log Trap CR 1
  • Forage DC 22
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: forests or jungles
A large, heavy log is suspended in the canopy of a forest or jungle and attached to a trip line. When a creature passes through a 5-foot-square that’s been trapped by this trip line, the log swings down and makes a melee attack with a +5 bonus (1d6+5 points of bludgeoning damage). A creature damaged by this log must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid being knocked prone. Affixing a number of sharpened sticks to the log adds an additional 1d6 points of piercing damage and increases its CR by 1.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per add'l +5 Attack bonus; +1 CR per 2d6 Damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Musk Shower CR 2
  • Forage DC 24
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: none
  • Associated Terrain: any
This trap hides a jury-rigged container of absorbent debris that has been soaked in the musk of prey animals. When a creature enters a square trapped with a musk shower, the trap makes a +10 melee touch attack against the creature. On a hit, the musk shower deals no damage but douses the target in its strong scent. Creatures with scent double the range at which they can smell a doused creature for 1 week or until the musk is washed off with alcohol or another solvent. Creatures tracking the doused creature by smell gain a +10 bonus on Perception and Survival checks to track that target.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm; +1 to attack 10' square or 20' line.

Foot Snare CR 2
  • Forage DC 24
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: automatic
  • Associated Terrain: any
A foot snare consists of a shallow pit filled with tar, sticky mud, quicksand, or even downward-pointing stakes that allow the foot to entire but not exit, that is then covered with a layer of debris to disguise its presence. When a creature steps into a square trapped with a tar snare, the trap makes an attempt to grapple it with a +10 bonus on the combat maneuver check. Sharp sticks can be added to the pit as well, increasing the CR of the trap by 1 and affecting a creature grappled by the trap as if it had walked on caltrops.
  • Improvements: +1 CR to add caltrop effect; +1 CR per +5 grapple bonus; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Lifting Net Trap CR 3
  • Forage DC 26
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location (10' square)
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: forests, jungles or swamps
A net is concealed on the ground and attached to a spring snare. When stepped on, the trap makes a touch attack with a +10 bonus; if successful, the targets are hit by a net as per the exotic ranged weapon and lifting them 10 feet off the ground and controlling them with a +5 Strength bonus. This trap targets all opponents in a 10 ft square areas.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per add'l +5 Attack bonus; +1 CR per 5 Strength of control; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Pit Trap CR 3
  • Forage DC 26
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location (10' sq)
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: all except aquatic
A covered 10' deep pit that triggers when stepped upon. A DC 20 Reflex saves negates damage; failure results in 1d6 damage from falling.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +1d6 damage (not 2d6 due to the difficulty of digging deeper); +1 CR for every add'l 10' sq; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Razor Grass CR 3
  • Forage DC 26
  • Perception DC 25
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location (10' sq. or 20' line)
  • Reset: automatic
  • Associated Terrain: any with undergrowth
By hiding lengths of sharpened sticks or bones amid undergrowth (traditionally tall grass; when used in coastal or underwater areas, this trap is instead called a razor kelp trap), the trapper can lay a simple but effective trap. Whenever a creature moves into a square that contains razor grass, it takes 2d6 points of damage and must succeed at a DC 20 Reflex save or its speed is halved for 24 hours unless it receives magical healing or benefits from a successful DC 15 Heal check.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +2d6 damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR for every add'l 10' sq; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Spring-Arm Spike CR 3
  • Forage DC 26
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: any forests, jungles, or swamps
A spring-arm spike is similar to a spring snare trap in that it incorporates a strong sapling bent into a taut arc. When a creature enters a square that contains the spring-arm spike’s trigger, the sapling snaps forward, driving a pointed spear into the target. The spring-arm spike makes a melee attack +15 (4d6 damage) against the target, which is also knocked prone unless it succeeds at a DC 20 Reflex save.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +2d6 damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR per +5 to hit; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Infected Punji Pit Trap CR 4
  • Forage DC 28
  • Perception DC 20
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location (10' sq)
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain all except aquatic
As pit trap above, but there are sharpened spikes covered in feces or other infectious matter at the bottom of the pit which attack with a +10 bonus and deal (1d4 spikes per target @ 1d4+2 damage each) plus disease (usually filth fever) or poison.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +1d6 damage; +1 CR for every add'l 10' sq; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Avalanche Trap CR 5
  • Forage DC 30
  • Perception DC 15
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: none
  • Associated Terrain: hills, mountains or underground
When triggered, this trap causes a landslide, tunnel collapse, or other "heavy things fall" effect which affects a 10' square area. All targets in the area must make a DC 20 Reflex save; those who fail suffer 4d6 damage and are knocked prone. Once triggered, the affected area becomes difficult terrain.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +2d6 damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR for every add'l 10' sq; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

Deadfall CR 5
  • Forage DC 30
  • Perception DC 15
  • Disable Device DC 20
  • Trigger: location
  • Reset: manual
  • Associated Terrain: any forests, jungles, mountains, or underground
Similar to an avalanche trap, but using a log or other long, heavy object. When a creature enters the deadfall’s trigger square, the weight drops in a 20-foot line. All targets in the area must make a DC 20 Reflex save; those who fail suffer 4d6 damage and are knocked prone. Once triggered, the affected area becomes difficult terrain.
  • Improvements: +1 CR per +2d6 damage; +1 CR per +5 DC Reflex save; +1 CR for every add'l 10' sq; +1 CR per +5 DC to Perceive or Disarm.

I'm curious to see how this plays out. It looks balanced to me, but I could be mistaken. 

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