Friday, August 20, 2010

What Trap Charts?

The title of this post references a classic Alarums & Excursions zine that ran in the very early issues. Certainly in my heart I hope it was an evasive denial of real trap charts.

I love charts in RPGs. One of my favorite gaming aids is the Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets, and I've always loved the heaps of charts in the Dungeon Masters Guide. Some of the best products of the old school renaissance are the Dungeon Alphabet and the Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Roleplaying Games and Their Modern Simulacra.

I also love traps. I think Jim Raggi's Green Devil Face is fun, and I contributed to it. My first OD&D game included what I affectionately refer to as the "bear trap" (a room with a bear in it, which provoked a ton of discussion that I cut off by pointing out that there was a bear coming at the PCs). Even the cheesy fun of Grimtooth's Traps appealed deeply to me.

So I've decided on a project: trap charts. These are going to be detailed charts to give a wide variety of options for traps. Mainly because I want to use them myself, and I've been thinking of ways to spice up traps beyond arrow, pit, arrow, pit, teleporter, etc. These essentially boil down to a simple set of options; roll or pick from the charts, and now you've got a trap with 4 knives that fire from behind a tapestry when someone makes a noise in the room.

These charts are probably going to come down somewhere from 16-20 pages without artwork, and I will want to publish them. They're pretty system neutral and I'm not worried about what system you use or branding. So three questions:

- Would you be interested in buying these (almost certainly as a Lulu publication)?
- Would you be more interested in a "Trap Charts" product, or as a chapter in a broader product called "Old School Miscellany"?
- What should I do for the art (if anything)? I can't draw but my wife can, although she isn't exactly a D&D enthusiast, but I don't exactly have an art budget.


  1. - yes
    - either
    - don't care

  2. I pretty much agree with ol' Anon, but I think it would be entirely groovy if you could get a least a cover sketch out of your wife. Maybe just ask her to do something Rube Goldbergian and see what she comes up with.

  3. I love charts and traps. I'd buy such a booklet! What else would be in Old School Miscellany?


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