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Need Deathtrap Help


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Okay, so I'm trying to plan/engineer/dream up some death traps that would be suitable for superheroes. I would imagine that they'd need to be stuff that the hero can't just rip right out of like a wet paper bag. A challenge to the mental faculties might be good: solve the puzzle before the death ray comes on and fries you from the inside out. I dunno, since I never tried to come up with a deathtrap before. I'm kinda drawing a blank.

 

Can any of you point me to a resource somewhere? Has some kind soul put up a website detailing several deathtrap designs that I might crib from? Would you please relate deathtraps you yourself have built and used successfully?

 

Thanks for all the help that I know is coming. Youse guys are AWEsome!

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Ive always been partial to mirror mazes, and to stop the heroes from blasting through them have the destroyed mirrors release either hydrochloric acid or a deadly gas perhaps. Although, if the room is slowly filling with water and you proceed to break alot of mirrors, that should be quite unpleasant for the teammates with low pd, wading around unable to see the glass. Especially if the water is moving and the glass could be anywhere.

 

If you prefer puzzles there are several shown on old SG-1 episodes for Daniel to figure out.

 

While it might be difficult to do, what if your maze was actually a (3-D?) chess board (or checkers if your players arent into Chess), the floorpanels marking off the squares and (opaque?) force walls dividing people so that they can only move as the game piece does. Each person is assigned to a different piece. There are enemy targets on squares to be defeated. Combat Chess if you will. You could just tape a picture of each character to a chess piece or checker and roll out a chess board for this. Alternately, you can use chinese checkers or a Chutes and Ladders or even Monopoly board even. Just change the cards you draw to an opponent to be defeated.

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OK, assuming you don't want to buy that fine product, or can't afford it, why should a hero not simply tear through a deathtrap?

 

1. Something more dangerous will happen, as previously suggested. This could be a release of gas, lava, or setting off a bomb.

 

2. The trap is simply too tough to damage.

 

3. The villain has leverage over the hero. For example, play the word game, or the hostage dies.

 

If heroes have any weaknesses, and the villain knows about them (important detail, that), use them in a deathtrap. They could be physical or psychological weaknesses, or even known DNPCs.

 

Do your players like puzzles? If not, going down the games route might not be too successful.

 

Do you have a villain in mind? If so, what sort is he? What motive does he have? Does he want to kill the heroes, humiliate them, delay them, or maybe just toy with them?

 

It's much easier to work out a deathtrap if you know what the villain wants to do.

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Although not actually statted out, there are some good suggestions on these threads:

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8991&highlight=deathtrap

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4950&highlight=deathtrap

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=620&highlight=deathtrap

 

BTW I heartily recommend the "Search" function (green button near the top of the page). There are numerous gems on these boards waiting to be unearthed. :)

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For an acrobatic character: he's on a small "island" in a sea of something unpleasant, like acid. There are other islands. When the trap starts, the island begins to sink, forcing him to leap to another island. As soon as he leaves an island, it rises again, as soon as he lands on an island, it begins to sink. He must remain in motion or die. The out is this: one of the islands is different in that it sinks inside a sleeve (the outer shell stops at the level of the liquid, but the center keeps going); forming a sort of elevator shaft that will protect him from the hazard. At the bottom is a door. How he figures out which island is the right one is left as an exercise for the interested student.

 

Check out any newstand for books of puzzles. Give smart characters logic puzzles to solve; in order to open the door, they must solve the puzzle. Photocopy the puzzle and use the answer key to give them a headstart to whatever degree you wish. Something nasty happens if a timer runs out.

 

For speedsters: a springloaded seesaw with two hostages. Remove one, and the other falls into the fire (or other hazard). The planned out is that the speedster must race back and forth (making approrpriate rolls) untying the hostages, *and* persuading them to stay put. Then race back and force inching them closer to the middle until he can grab them both and escape.

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A truly good deathtrap is aimed at the powers/skills of a specific character, so what works for one person won't necessarily work for another.

 

That said, I've been in games with the following:

 

1) Went down in an elevator quite a way; I think the elevator was a hydraulic lift, not a cable-suspended box. After it passed a certain point, hardened armor blast doors sealed off the elevator shaft.

 

At the bottom was a room that looked like a meeting room of some sort. Of course, as soon as all the heroes entered the room, armored doors slammed shut and heaters hidden a ways back in the walls turned on to slowly but steadily bring the room temperature up to a deadly level.

 

Smashing back into the elevator shaft only buys some time, since the blast doors sealing the elevator shaft are too hard to break through -- and then the elevator shaft starts getting the heat too. The heat vents were too small to get through, but as I recall one character could teleport and took somebody else in to help smash the heaters. With the immediate threat taken care of, we could work on the blast doors until we could escape.

 

2) The hero team came to a room with switches (number equalled the number of heroes). Only one entrance, across the room from the switches. The heroes were informed that, if they did not throw the switches, a nuke was going to destroy the city. If they did throw the switches, the door would lock (too tough to break through easily) and nerve gas would fill the room.

 

We quickly rigged something up to the switches so one person could throw them all at once, and one hero (the speedster) volunteered to throw the switch then make a run for the door, while the rest of us were outside and trying to keep the door open. I don't remember why, but for some reason the door still closed, too fast for the speedster to get through. (I think it was a second, hidden door that dropped from above.) He didn't make it.

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By the way, Lord Liaden, I followed the links. Loved 'em, especially the Foxbat Deathtrap stuff.

 

As to my own suggestions, if the heroes are frontal assault types and they're supposed to wake up in the trap, have it be a cell with one armored door. (They were actually lowered in from a concealed hatch above.) The door is a fake, very flimsy and concealing a very short corridor with spikes facing the doorway. (Something like 3d6 AP KA should do the trick.) The brick's high-speed move-through merely means that he impales himself, upping the KA by an appropriate amount.

 

Saw one in Iron Man where he came to a room with a TV monitor showing a friend of his wired into an electric chair, and a voice informed him that, if he moved, a sensor would detect it and electrocute his friend. He scanned the room to find the electrical wiring for the sensor and used his chest unibeam to deactivate it so he could move and save the day.

 

A truly insidious way is to use a cumulative mental illusion. No matter how they defeat one "trap," another kicks in automatically (the hero's brain is doing all the work). So the hero defeats the spinning blades of death atop the narrow walkway, only to slip and fall onto huge glass spikes. He uses acrobatics to avoid landing on the spikes, but they're hollow and his foot breaks one, releasing a deadly gas. He jumps back up to the walkway, and sections of the ceiling begin to fall on him. Ad infinitum until either the illusion does enough STUN and BODY, or the player finally wises up that it isn't really happening.

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Bolo, Iron Man was the victim of my favorite comic-book deathtrap. :D IM had been blasted in the back and knocked unconscious by the Living Laser. When he came to he was suspended by his arms from steel cables in front of the muzzle of a huge laser cannon, pointed right at the spot where LL's blast had weakened his armor. If he exerted himself to break the cables, the laser cannon would fire. Iron Man's gauntleted hands were bound closed by wrappings of aluminum aircraft tape (the kind used to attach aircraft wings to their fusilage) - if he tried to use his repulsors he'd blow his own fingers off.

 

Iron Man's solution? Heat the surface of his gauntlets until the tape melted and freed his hands; sever the two cables holding his arms simultaneously with twin repulsor blasts; then tuck and roll to drop below the cannon's firing line before it went off.

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Originally posted by lemming

One of the best death trap sessions was after I had accidently caught all the heroes. (I really had thought, they'd beat the villians...)

 

Anyway, since I was fresh out of ideas, I had the players think up the death traps for each other. :D

 

Aw, man, that's just plain evil... Bad lemming! Evil, twisted

lemming!

 

I'll have to remember to do that myself sometime (:D).

 

Space Cadet :cool:

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I've thought of another reason why a hero might not tear through a deathtrap.

 

4. He's too busy to escape. The Marvel villain Arcade had a couple of traps that did this. One was his hall of mirrors where distorted android copies of the hero were generated by the mirrors. The hero could destroy them easily enough, but each successive copy got faster, while of course the hero was getting more and more tired. There was an exit, but the androids stopped the hero from reaching it.

 

The other was an elaborate set of Images (in HERO terms). Typically, it looked like a battlefield (WWII) and the hero would be dodging bullets and bombs. If he stopped dodging, he might be hit by a real hazard, so he never had time to break out.

 

Hostages could be used to provide this kind of threat. Imagine a room with a circular pipe running just under the ceiling. There are half a dozen openings in the underside and under each is a hostage.

 

A glass ball, only slightly smaller than the pipe, is released into it. If the ball falls down an opening (the openings are ringed with spikes and are smaller than the ball), the ball will shatter, releasing acid onto the person below. The hero must chase the ball round the pipe, nudging it back/covering the opening each time it threatens to drop down. The pipe can be tilted, so the hero must watch to see whether the ball is going to move clockwise or anti-clockwise. This will keep him too busy to rescue the hostages or to escape.

 

One way out would be for the hero to use part of his costume to pad one of the openings, or block the pipe. Once the ball is stopped, or at least the hero is in more control, he can release a hostage, who can help free the others.

 

Unless some of the hostages are really androids...

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