Trap

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Two traps have been detected in Irenicus's Dungeon; the player is disarming the one represented by the green polygon; the dresser highlighted in red also has a detected trap.

Description

A trap is either a mechanical device or a concealed trigger (such as on the floor or in a portal) that has some immediate adverse effect on the player when they trigger it. Most often that effect is to deal damage, but traps can have a variety of other effects as well.

Outside of combat, traps slow the tempo of a game as the player is forced to proceed cautiously in order to avoid setting them off. Oftentimes traps even reward cautious play by awarding experience or even extra loot when a character successfully disarms one. Traps also can create a risk vs. reward situation if they are too complicated to be disarmed at the level the player characters are at. The avid RPG player knows that “high-level” traps protect desirable things, and must decide whether it is worth it to trigger the trap if it cannot be disarmed.

In combat, traps punish the player for not taking time to survey the field of battle. Ranged enemies are often positioned on the far side of traps in combat, enticing the player to walk right through a trap if he or she isn't careful.

Traps sometimes trigger an ambush as soon as they are set off.

Variables

  • Bad effect: what happens if the trap is triggered, and how much damage it does if there is damage associated with the effect
  • Trap manifestation: what the trap is attached to or how it appears in the world
  • Trap visibility: whether the trap is immediately visible or if it is hidden
  • Detection threshold: ability required for player character to detect trap
  • Disarm threshold: ability required for player character to disable trap

Examples

  • Baldur's Gate II Shadows of Amn. Once discovered by a thief or cleric, traps appear as a bright red polygonal area which can then be disarmed by a thief with sufficient skill. The red area corresponds exactly to the trigger area for the trap.
  • Fallout 3. Traps are found as mechanical devices ranging from simple to elaborate. The more elaborate the device, the more damage it deals if triggered and the more difficult it is to disarm. Some traps are proximity-sensitive and must be disarmed quickly. Some traps, such as landmines or grenade bunches, provide loot upon disarming them.

In Worked Examples

Quest-Level Relationships

patterns/trap.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/12 17:10 by Gillian Smith
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