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    Default [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    My players came up with a idea that I find interesting, though it may lead to future abuses. Using the SRD rules for trap crafting, the wizard want to create magical traps for local lords and sell it. Nothing original yet but read and see...

    Official "Summon Monster VI Trap" :
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/traps.htm#...nMonsterVITrap

    Modified version :
    CR 4; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); lock to bypass (Open Lock DC 30 or key); automatic reset (10 rounds); spell effect (summon monster III, 5th-level wizard), Search DC 28; Disable Device DC 28.
    Cost: 7.500 gp, 600 XP

    The idea is that the trap summons 1d4+1 Medium Fiendish Monstrous Centipedes that fight for about 5 rounds before disapearing, with the possibility to stop the trigger by using a key.

    The trap would be installed in the middle of a large room, with the lock clearly visible on a wall. Whenever a victim trigger the trap, the battle against the monsters begin... except that the "victims" will actually be "soldiers in training" and that the monsters will be more like "unwilling sparing partners" for them.
    All the time, the instructor will be ready to lock/unlock the trigger. Soldiers would fight in small groups of five, maybe less, with the rest of their platoon ready to help, should any of their comrades be in real danger.

    I like the idea of kings using their wizards to create that kind of devices, then using them to train their armies against creatures from lower planes in a perfectly controlled environement.

    But at the same time, there's one big issues.

    The Big Question :
    Will anybody get XP for slaughtering summoned creatures ?
    Last edited by Johel; 2009-08-10 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    By the rules, you get no XP for any summoned creatures. They would only gain XP from whatever summoned the creatures, whether it be defeating the summoner or, in this case, disabling the trap.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Johel View Post
    Will anybody get XP for slaughtering summoned creatures ?
    No. The CR of the encounter is just that of the trap, not the creatures it summons. XP would be awarded based on surviving/disabling/bypassing the trap as normal.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    By the rules, you get no XP for any summoned creatures. They would only gain XP from whatever summoned the creatures, whether it be defeating the summoner or, in this case, disabling the trap.
    They can also get XP for SURVIVING the trap. That means that this CR 4 trap would be a CR 4 encounter for XP purposes.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Thank you everyone.

    So, rule-wise, it's useless and the PCs themselves won't commission high-level summoning traps for quick screwing the campaign.
    But RP-wise, it works, as soldiers will get some experience (not XP, mind you, I really mean battle experience here).

    I love it, now !!

    EDIT :
    @Fixer : ...yes, they *could*. But I won't tell them
    Last edited by Johel; 2009-08-10 at 03:52 PM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    I would rule that if they have someone standing by to turn off the trap if things go badly then there is no real danger at all, and therefor the trap should offer no experiance.

    However, when a monster is summoned and fought independently of it's summoner, I do believe in giving XP for the monster.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcand View Post
    However, when a monster is summoned and fought independently of it's summoner, I do believe in giving XP for the monster.
    Depends on what summoned it. I'd tend to agree if it was summoned by a wizard/cleric/whatever using a summon monster spell as they are adding allies to the combat. If it's something like a demon/devil using their natural abilities then I wouldn't add XP since the DC for those monsters already factors in their ally summoning powers.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    I agree with Holywhippet
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Johel View Post
    The Big Question :
    Will anybody get XP for slaughtering summoned creatures ?
    Diminished risks, diminished challenge ... so yes, they get XP, but less.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    To farm xp you send your soilders in training to ysgard. Then you split them into groups. Then you tell them that the get reward X for kills or avoid punishment Y if they kill enough people. Whatever. Then there is a) actual challenge, and b) actual fighting. XP for all.

    The trap thing would give xp for the trap.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcand View Post
    However, when a monster is summoned and fought independently of it's summoner, I do believe in giving XP for the monster.
    The RAW agrees with this only if the Monster was summoned outside of the battle. If effectively no actions were used up to summon the monster, they should count for full. There are examples of this in the MMV.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    The Trap's CR 4 nature would be what was used. A high level invests experience into the trap, and lower levels could use it to train and practice. Every time they defeat the trap, they gain whatever experience they'd get for a CR 4 encounter.

    So, they do it daily, and they get decently skilled. Up to level 5 or so, then it's harder to level.

    Perhaps use a CR 2 version, and a CR 4 version. Consider it Basic Training, and special forces training. Added bonus? If the keep is invaded? The trap is a trap!
    Last edited by Talic; 2009-08-11 at 02:51 AM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

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    Anyway. I think that it should totally be allowed to be used this way. If it worked for the X-Men, it can work for low level NPCs.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    I agree with giving experience in the experience (Like, make soldiers better warriors, but not actual XP) way. Because, soldiers gain rank on the battlefield, not the training grounds.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Loss View Post
    I agree with giving experience in the experience (Like, make soldiers better warriors, but not actual XP) way. Because, soldiers gain rank on the battlefield, not the training grounds.
    But training does make better soldiers. If there's a safety net, I'd probably assign a 50% xp penalty, but it's still a CR4 trap that they subject themselves to. Whether that's in a dungeon or in a training room, they still overcome a challenge.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    I am now wondering if I should make a trapsmith artificer who specializes in making summoning monster traps to train himself.

    Artificer makes trap. (Aside: How much are summon monster traps? Could you afford to make one at level 3?)
    Arfificer sets off trap.
    Artificer fights summoned monster (with the risk of death/serious injury or it isn't really an encounter) and survives.
    Artificer gains XP for the TRAP CR (not the monster CR).
    Artificer uses XP to make more stuff and level up.


    I see no real flaws here, by RAW or RAI.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    I am now wondering if I should make a trapsmith artificer who specializes in making summoning monster traps to train himself.

    Artificer makes trap. (Aside: How much are summon monster traps? Could you afford to make one at level 3?)
    Arfificer sets off trap.
    Artificer fights summoned monster (with the risk of death/serious injury or it isn't really an encounter) and survives.
    Artificer gains XP for the TRAP CR (not the monster CR).
    Artificer uses XP to make more stuff and level up.


    I see no real flaws here, by RAW or RAI.
    Disadvantage: Your WBL will lag behind. Far behind, when you calculate cost of the traps. Summoned monsters don't leave treasure.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post
    Disadvantage: Your WBL will lag behind. Far behind, when you calculate cost of the traps. Summoned monsters don't leave treasure.
    Not if you sell the magic items you are making to adventurers (at full price, of course). Once the traps are made they are XP machines, which is usually the more difficult one of the three parts you need for magic item creation (the other two being gold and time) to obtain.

    I am thinking this would also be good for Artificer NPCs, to explain where they get their XP for item crafting.

    EDIT - Or, rent out the 'traps' to the local militia for training purposes to get a revenue stream. Sell old 'traps' to local merchants for security purposes.
    Last edited by Fixer; 2009-08-11 at 07:13 AM.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    The 3E system for traps (absurd prices, XP cost, CR, etc.) makes no sense. Disregard it, and the whole magic assault course/healing-and-feeding traps non-think that goes along with it.

    Beating / setting-off / disarming / avoiding a trap should not earn you XP. Getting through a trap-infested area alive and in one piece should. Treat the trapped area as a single encounter, the individual traps as attacks or spells...

    Book of Gears speaks sense on this subject:

    Well, just as one does not stop and record a victory every time you bypass a summoned monster or overcome an opponent's thrown javelin, we shouldn't be worrying about the CR of individual traps. No, we should be concerned only with the CR of areas that have traps in them. For one thing, this means that we don't have to have endless arguments over whether people should get the XP for bypassing the symbol of pain on the door if they came in through the floor. For another, the act of avoiding that stupid argument really helps to encourage characters to play things a bit smarter and not simply run through the "Hallway of Levelling" where they go up a level every thirteen traps and get to 20th level in less than 150 doors.
    Facing the Architect: The CR of Locations

    When you adventure in a dangerous or exotic location you are essentially encountering the architect of that location. Each trap, obstacle, and danger of the region can be looked at as the contingent spells and attacks of the force that put that together. Sometimes a devious maze is engineered by a mad architect or fabricated by an elusive wizard and this is in fact literally true. Other times the Forest of Dread is just really dangerous on its own lookout and the only "architect" involved is just the DM.

    The importance here is that an individual firetrap isn't really an encounter. It's a single attack, and a pretty ineffective one at that. When the wizard tries to soften you up with his explosive runes, that's a lot like the same wizard softening you up by conjuring some celestial badgers and sending them around the corner to engage your forces.

    So while we definitely do not suggest doing something dumb like giving out XP for each trap bypassed, we do encourage you to consider the traps in an area to collectively be an opponent. An opponent that spends a lot of time hiding and taking opportunistic attacks. The Kobold Warrens, for example, have a number of trip wires set to launch crossbow bolts at anyone tall enough to pass through them. In an ideal world, the trip wires would be fairly visible, but in the heat of battle characters may feel compelled to chase after kobolds through the strings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lamech View Post
    To farm xp you send your soilders in training to ysgard. Then you split them into groups. Then you tell them that the get reward X for kills or avoid punishment Y if they kill enough people. Whatever. Then there is a) actual challenge, and b) actual fighting. XP for all.
    NPCs are people too.

    "You want to send me through a planar portal to the realm of the gods, and have me repeatedly fight - and probably die - against the greatest warriors in history. Yes, I'll be resurrected at the end of each day. But that doesn't make the trauma and agony of bleeding out from a slow gut wound any less. I quit!"

    As "The Hammer and The Cross" trilogy once noted: only a psychopath considers elevation to the Einheriar in any way a reward.
    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2009-08-11 at 07:42 AM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    No, I like the way things are done RAW, thanks.

    A Summon Monster I trap (1st level caster) is a CR 2, according to the trapmaking rules I can see and has a cost of 500gp and 40XP. That is a pretty decent training device.

    A Summon Monster II trap (3rd level caster) is a CR 3 and should cost 3000gp and 240XP. A bit more expensive but certain feats should help bring that down.

    Math check! Did I do my math right?

    If so, the SM-I trap is actually a pretty good training device up through level 3, at least. It only lasts 1 round (well, two, as it can act immediately and through the next round), so survivability shouldn't be too hard for beginning characters.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    @bosssmiley : I laugh at the "NPC are people, too". You resume my thought perfectly.

    And by the way, I agree with you : Autoreset magical traps are one of the biggest abuse possible with the SRD, especially when done without a offensive purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    No, I like the way things are done RAW, thanks.
    ....
    If so, the SM-I trap is actually a pretty good training device up through level 3, at least. It only lasts 1 round (well, two, as it can act immediately and through the next round), so survivability shouldn't be too hard for beginning characters.
    Attention, Fixer.
    One of the reasons my players chose the Summon Monster III was exactly because "the I and II, that's just enough for a flank". Though one can argue that, since the creator of the trap must be 5th level anyway, all SM trap will last 5 rounds...

    I defeated my own argument here, didn't I ?
    The cost is exactly the same. The properties aren't, though.
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    1 "Summon Monster III" trap at CL 5 :
    1 x 500 gp x CL 5 x Spell 3 = 7.500 gp
    1 x 40 XP x CL 5 x Spell 3 = 600 XP
    • 1 creature with 3HD
    • 1d3 creatures with 2HD
    • 1d4+1 creatures with 1HD

    OR
    3 "Summon Monster I" trap at CL 5 :
    3 x 500 gp x CL 5 x Spell 1 = 7.500 gp
    3 x 40 XP x CL 5 x Spell 1 = 600 XP
    • 3 creatures with 1HD

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Technically you didn't beat the trap and the summons are included in the trap CR, so you get no xp for beating them; only xp if you beat the trap and only according to the trap CR. Or if you kill the summons to get past the trap, then you get xp for "defeating" the trap, but only once. But even if you get around that, IMO you should only get xp for overcoming challenges, not killing stuff. So if you kill the first wave in some endless stream of baddies, ok, not your fault, xp for you. But the second time I'd say no, you should know better than to go in there by now, no xp for you.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    So if you kill the first wave in some endless stream of baddies, ok, not your fault, xp for you. But the second time I'd say no, you should know better than to go in there by now, no xp for you.
    Sounds logical.
    I can imagine it :
    "-Hey, let's hit that dungeon one more time !! You know : the one which is now empty of any wealth but still full of traps. We had so much fun last time when little Timmy the Rogue got crushed !!"
    "-...Or we could find another dungeon. With new traps, new monsters and...mmh, new treasures ?"
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Johel View Post
    One of the reasons my players chose the Summon Monster III was exactly because "the I and II, that's just enough for a flank". Though one can argue that, since the creator of the trap must be 5th level anyway, all SM trap will last 5 rounds...
    All magic items (traps or otherwise) can have a caster level LOWER than its creator. For cost-effectiveness, it would make sense to have them at the lowest caster level.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Technically you didn't beat the trap and the summons are included in the trap CR, so you get no xp for beating them; only xp if you beat the trap and only according to the trap CR. Or if you kill the summons to get past the trap, then you get xp for "defeating" the trap, but only once. But even if you get around that, IMO you should only get xp for overcoming challenges, not killing stuff. So if you kill the first wave in some endless stream of baddies, ok, not your fault, xp for you. But the second time I'd say no, you should know better than to go in there by now, no xp for you.
    If you only believe that 'beating' a trap means disabling it then by that definition you wouldn't beat it. Of course, that is against RAW as it does say in the books that SURVIVING a trap counts towards defeating it, as it does take away resources from the party (usually).

    Also, the trap would be part of a challenge if done for training purposes.
    Example:

    You are training yourself. To complete this training session you need to get a particular item from the opposite side of a room and return with it. Between you and the item is a trap. You know the trap is there and there is no way to bypass it or go around it. You just have to set it off, fight whatever it summons, and then get to the item in question and back before it resets.

    Of course, your second session would be putting the item back...
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Traps and XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    Also, the trap would be part of a challenge if done for training purposes.
    Example:

    You are training yourself. To complete this training session you need to get a particular item from the opposite side of a room and return with it. Between you and the item is a trap. You know the trap is there and there is no way to bypass it or go around it. You just have to set it off, fight whatever it summons, and then get to the item in question and back before it resets.

    Of course, your second session would be putting the item back...
    Not bad. And they'll work out their endurance too, that way.
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