Friday, 20 September 2013

Elements for Generating Traps on the Fly.









So 13th Age is an improvisation heavy game, or at least thats how the authors suggest it be played and how the main text suggests you play. Which is fine, but I know a lot of players prefer running pre scripted encounters and scenes, or at the very least like to have some concrete information to draw upon. And whilst the suggested numbers work fine, they lack a mechanical uniqueness that some players and GM's will miss. Thats half the reason i'm making my NPC Kit, to give me a set of tools to generate stuff at the table without having to pause or trip over myself if i'm drawing a blank.

I wrote a couple of posts about tactical gameplay and creating traps and hazards, and thought I would expand on that by providing some options to help generate traps with solid mechanics. I've presented them below a series of steps to creating a trap/hazard with some random tables too.

Step 1

Assign a Level and Name, make a note of all the baseline stats (you might need them later)

Step 2 

Choose a Trigger 
  1. When a creature moves nearby the trap make an attack against it.
  2. When a creature moves so it is now behind the trap make an attack against it.
  3. When a creature moves through an area the trap makes an attack against it.
  4. When a creature spends an action (choose Quick/Standard) on a trigger, such as a switch or lever the trap makes attacks against creatures nearby it. 
  5. When a creature spends an action (choose Quick/Standard) on a trigger, such as a switch or lever the trap makes an attack against a creature of your choice
  6. The trap rolls initiative and makes an attack against creatures nearby it.

Step 3

Create an attack 

A. Choose a Defence for the traps attack to target, in the examples below AB represents the Attack Bonus from the baseline stats you copied down earlier.
  1. AB vs. PD 
  2. AB vs. AC  
  3. AB vs. MD
B. Choose a triggered effect for the attack, the percentages represent a percentage of the Strike Damage value from the baseline stats.
  1. 100% damage and 50% ongoing damage. Miss: 50% ongoing damage.
  2. 125% damage, Natural even hit or Miss: The creatures pops free from all engaged creatures and is knocked down.
  3. The creature is stuck (save ends); Every time the target fails a saving throw they take 50% damage.
  4. 75% damage and the creature is affected by a condition (save ends)
  5. 100% damage, Natural 16+: Target loses 1 recovery.
  6. 75% damage, Natural even hit or miss: Make an additional attack against a different creature.
  7. A nearby creature is affected by a condition until the end of its next turn.
  8. A nearby creature is affected by a condition (save ends) the first time they fail a save they are affected by an additional condition.
  9. Nearby creatures are affected by a condition until the end of their next turn.
  10. Nearby creatures are affected by a condition (save ends) the first time they fail a save they are affected by an additional condition.
C. If during Step 1 you selected an option where the attack is against creatures decide how many, either a fixed number (2, 3, 4 etc) or a randomly generated one (d4, d6, d8 etc)

D. If during step B the target(s) of an attack is affected by a condition, choose from the following:

  1. Confused
  2. Dazed
  3. Hampered
  4. Stuck
  5. Stunned
  6. Vulnerable
  7. Weakened
  8. Fear
  9. Helpless
  10. Must make Last Gasp saves as they turn to stone/goo/another equally gruesome fate.

E. You're done, but repeat A-C if you want more attacks.

Step 4

Determine the difficulty required for any skill checks made to disable and spot it, if you want specific methods to be harder or easier record those too. 

Step 5

Fill in the blanks, if you want the trap to be destroyable give it AC, HP and PD - reserve MD for things like sentient traps and hazards. If you don't want it to be destroyed or immune just leave that stat blank. Also establish its initiative as per guidelines in the book, if it doesn't have initiative decide on the time it takes to reset

Finished! You should have enough information to run a trap in a scene/combat encounter as long as you paste a cool and creative skin on the mechanics or vice versa, spend some time thinking you're own up or roll on the lists above for on the fly situations.

Remember these charts are only really giving you a mechanical framework for the trap, make sure you add on cool elements of flavour, and thematic elements to tie it into your adventure. Also as a word of warning I would urge caution when using various conditions, its quite possible to cripple an entire party and possible get a TPK with a badly timed effect. 

Given enough interest I might put this info onto a nicely designed .pdf for use at the table, so let me know if you want it.