Trap-Making Skill

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Trap-Making Skill



{{#pagetitle: Trap-Making}}

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=Overview=
<p style="font-size:14px">

Trap-making is as much a craft as it is a skill. One's skill in trap-making dictates not only how well their traps will work, but how well they may be placed, timed, and executed. From environmental warfare, to field-trapping of a hunter, to the dungeon traps of a maniacal dungeon keeper, there are a great number of applications and uses for trap-making, that are exponentially varied when one considers the number of different forms of triggers, forms, and execution methods of each trap, and the way those might be combined together.

=Mechanisms=

Mechanisms that make up a trap are many and varied in utility, intent, and sophistication. They are broken into three separate categorized methodologies here: Triggers, Form, and Execution.


==Triggers==

The function of a trigger is often dependent on the intention of the trap designer. Whether they wish for it to fire based on a specific set of circumstances, or to keep it dormant until manually triggered. The following are examples of types of triggers, and sub-types that exist, but that's not to say that other forms of triggers couldn't also be devised. Trap-making is as much a skill as it is a craft and science, rife with possibilities for invention and innovation.

===Manual===
Triggers which require an end-user to activate in order to fire correctly.

Levers/Buttons/Plates/Switches/portable traps (Caltrops and banana peels).

===Automatic====

A form of trigger which is designed to fire when certain conditions or sub-triggers are activated.

Prescriptive/Proscriptive: A conditional mechanism that is implemented in order to activate a trigger, depending on various factors/stimuli. Prescriptive being meant to exclude certain stimulation, and Proscriptive meant to include certain forms of stimulation. Such as with heat/cold triggers, or pressure/weight triggers that only fire once a weight has been removed, as opposed to when the weight has been applied.

Pressure/Weight Sensor: A conditional mechanism that typically fires its trigger after a certain amount of weight pushes down on a lever, pressure plate, or another surface activator.

Rhythmic Sensor: A conditional mechanism that fires a trigger when it detects a certain pattern of movement over its mechanism. Such as a pressure plate that needs to be stepped on at certain intervals before it will fire.

Heat Sensor: A mechanism that fires conditional upon exposure to a heat source. This can be inverted as well to read to cold. Bear in mind this involves medieval technology, barring any highly skilled engineering trappers. So a hot/cold sensor could involve a cube of ice that slowly melts and thus releases a mechanism once it's melted to a certain point. Or alternatively, a heat sensor could be a metal bowl of water that when it evaporates, releases its mechanism.

And much, much more that are just waiting for the innovative trap-maker to invent/discover.


==Form==

There are many form designs of traps, and not all of them are detailed here. Bear in mind, that designs can be combined one with the other. For instance, baited traps often have concealed elements, so that the danger of it isn't made obvious.

Baited: A trap design that is meant to lure it's victims with the promise of a meal, treasure, or anything else it might need or desire.

Concealed: A trap design that is typically set in a particular spot and hidden from view, in order to catch the unwary by surprise when it fires.

Threatening: A trap design that is meant to deter, distract, or else scare victims toward a general direction (usually away from the trap).

Sprung Traps: Traps that are activated by slight pressure applied to activate a spring-based execution. The execution styles for this form of trap include but are not limited to cages, snares, and mouse traps.

Alarms: Traps that are meant to cause alarm or alert allies to intrusion.

==Execution==

Snares: There are a few different kinds of snares in terms of mechanisms, triggers, bait styles, and each tends to be geared toward a specific type of victim. The result of these snares is that the victim ends up tied in place. Depending on the tension in the trigger, the size of the victim, and the type of snare, it may prove more or less deadly to its victim.

Cages: A trap that is designed to keep the victim alive and intact, in an enclosed space, at least until it can be retrieved by the trapper for whatever purpose.

Armed: A trap that is designed to cause direct injury it's victim, with the intent to kill or maim them. This runs the gamut from conventional blades, spears, and axes and clubs, to fire or poison spewing jets and dart guns.

Pits: A trap that can be deadly depending on the depth of the fall and the fragility of the victim that falls into it. It is useful to trappers that wish to keep their victim in one piece, but not necessarily to spare their life.

Sticky: A relatively simplistic trap that is available with the use of various grades of adhesive. More often used to trap rodents and other pests, it often consists of a strip or flat surface that is covered with both bait and adhesive material.

Crushing: From simple woodland rocks propped up by a small stick and a trigger, to pressure plate-activated blocks that fall to crush hapless adventurers, this form of execution is varied in its applications.

==Trap-Making and Metaphysics==

Sintra's Domain (The Greatest Trap Ever) - The Immortal of Entrapment and Arachnids herself, SIntra, devised the Eight-Fold Labyrinth. Her Immortal Realm is no less than the greatest trap known to Mortals or Immortals. A multilayered domain of constructs all intended to ensnare and lure the unwary wanderer of Emea, or else intentional interlopers, in order that their bodies might feed the honored fallen among Sintra's ascended marked.

There are other examples of metaphysical and magical traps that could be devised, and the way magic supplements trapping is really open to the mage's creative use of either skill or ability.


==Trap Defense and Disassembly/Disarmament==

While Trap-making isn't necessarily required for the disarming of traps, it can certainly help one to identify them. As such, greater skill in trap-making is a highly sought after skill for those who expect to roam dangerous areas, where traps are plentiful. Whether it be in an eccentric survivalist's territory in the wilderness or a dungeon master's lair.

=Related Skills=

Construction - Setting up traps in a way that doesn't compromise the function of various structures and environments.
Design - Improved forms and details, as well as vastly improved lures/bait.
Engineering - Useful for all manner of mechanical traps. Almost vital to enhancing the effectiveness and sensitivity of triggers and the interplay between triggers and execution methods.
Tactics - Setting up traps in a place where they'll be the most useful.
Crafting skills - Skills that allow the trapper to work with the materials and components that go into the creation of a trap. Anything from Smithing, to Basketweaving, to Woodworking, Poisons, Alchemy, and even Jewelcrafting (for the purposes of bait/lures).
Hunting - Knowing an animal's behavior patterns in the wild, so as to make the trapping of beasts easier, and also what kind of traps might be useful in dispatching it.
Fishing - The know-how to build crab traps, lobster traps, and other forms of aquatic hazards for the purposes of catching fish and other marine animals.

=Defensive Skills=

Detection - Knowing the signs of nearby traps for purposes of disarmament, disassembly, repair, or removal.
Acrobatics - Having the reflexes and agility to evade an activated trap.
Tactics - Knowing the signs of traps, and where they're most likely to be placed.
Stealth - Having light feet and being silent can help one to evade certain forms of triggers, and evade a trapper that is using manual activators.
Strength - Being strong enough to break the more flimsy traps.
Endurance - Surviving a trap meant to hold a victim for lengths of time, such as cage/pits/etc..
Navigation - A more obscure defense against traps and the detections as such, but familiarizing oneself with landmarks, and other permanent features can help one to suss out differences in their surroundings.

</p style>

=Skill Ranks=

==Novice (0-25)==
<p style="font-size:14px">

The Novice of trap-making is just beginning to grow their success and knowledge of simple traps with a singular trigger and execution method. Often they will begin learning trap-making by practicing on animals in the wild, and less wiley prey. From these experiences, they can begin to design more complex traps meant to trick more wiley victims. Tripwires, pit traps, and simple concealment methods are well within the capabilities of the novice and only become more effective as they grow in experience. However, traps with more complex mechanisms, chained triggers, and more sophisticated sensors are often beyond their skill. When attempted, they are met with mixed success at the more complex traps.</p style>

==Competent (26-75)==
<p style="font-size:14px">

One who has grown to competence in trap-making will have begun to specialize in the specific methodology of triggers and execution. Animal trappers will have all the necessary skills to reliably trap animals in the wild, with their more primitive snares rarely failing against medium-sized animals and other primitive creatures.

It's around this level that the trap-maker more or less figures out what kind of traps they wish to specialize in. Whether it be field-trapping, improvised traps, structural/dungeon traps, or various lures and such. Competent trappers will be able to start setting up trigger chains, where a trap may have more than one condition set before it will activate. More advanced forms of 'programming' a trap will still elude them, yet they'll have begun to delve into traps that may have delayed or expedited triggers.
</p style>

==Expert (76-150)==
<p style="font-size:14px">

The expert trapper will have such a grasp over one area of trapping, that they can apply their expertise to all other forms of trapping with almost certain success. They'll be able to make do with less ideal materials, and their traps will hold even the most dangerous of victims. They will have methods of trapping all manner of mundane beasts, with a reliable success rate. At this point, they may have set themselves apart from lesser trappers by inventing new trigger types, sensors, and other mechanisms. They'll benefit greatly from ancillary skills that enhance their traps, whether it be weapon-crafting, construction, fieldcraft, or even forms of alchemy and arcana.

An expert can chain more than several triggers into one trap, and even binding multiple execution methods into the same trigger. They'll still struggle when it comes to traps of greater and greater complexity, yet as they move towards mastery, their limitations begin to melt away, before they can truly unlock their potential.
</p style>

==Master (151-250)==
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It is rare for a trap to not go as expected for a master trapper. At this level, the trapper is capable of containing and springing a trap on almost any unsuspecting quarry whatsoever, with a reliable degree of success. There is no number of chained triggers or execution methods that are beyond his ability to wind into a singular trap. They'll be able to execute traps with impeccable timing and they always go off as intended by the master trap designer. Their cages will prove inescapable, their pits bottomless or deadly, and their execution methods will prove difficult to avoid. When it comes to traps made by a master trapper, sometimes the only thing that can save a potential victim or quarry is the avoidance of their territory entirely, or else defensive skills approaching their level of skill.</p style>

Credit: Woe

[[Category:Skills]]
Last edited by Woe on Sat May 16, 2020 3:13 pm, edited 14 times in total. word count: 2008
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

Hey Woe, I've got a few comments:

1) Could the skills be separated into 2 categories: Related Skills & Defensive Skills? That way it's a lot more obvious that Detection can help as a defensive skill, since it's more applicable for preventing getting caught in a trap rather than designing/placing traps.

2) There's not much mention about using traps for catching animals. Although it's mentioned a little bit (like baited traps), I would imagine that trapmaking would play a huge role in hunting/fishing, and that sort of survival. Similarly for protective measures against animals/beasts (like bear traps). I can tell you're excited about building a dungeon laden with traps, but realistically there would be a lot of other purposes that are more pressing/important than some crazy dungeon master wanting to watch people attempt to get through his dungeon. It might be mentioning in the skill breakdown that novice trappers are much better at trapping animals (for example) than humans or other sentient creatures.

3) Small comment here. I noticed that "Pressure Plates" is mentioned under the Manual category, and "Pressure/Weight Sensor" is under the Automatic category. At first glance, these seem very similar to me. Could you clarify what makes them fall under different categories?

4) Consider adding 'Hunting' or 'Fishing' to the list of related skills?

5) Consider adding a "sprung" trap as a category. Stuff like mouse traps, for example.

6) Spelling: "but that's not to say that other forms of triggers coudln't also be devised!" --> "couldn't". You might also consider removing the exclamation mark (I know you're excited, but it reads less formal with the exclamation mark).

7) It might be worth having a brief mention of how magical traps could work. Not required, but it made me curious even though I'm not sure how it would work.

8) Master trapmaking seems very strong. I know that master skills are supposed to be top notch, but I'm imagining an NPC with master trapmaking being super overpowering and obliterating a group of PCs. Or even a PC master trapmaker. Just checking for game balance. At the moment it seems like an all or nothing but maybe there are some places to add some grey or wiggle room so someone doesn't automatically get annihilated.

9) Also regarding skills. May the last one could be called "crafting skills" and list examples of them? Just to tidy it up a little, since I think that's the intention of the last one.
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

And just as a follow up, I was reading the manual vs. automatic section again and some of them could be a little clearer on how they actually work. Magical traps might be a little unique, but I'm trying to picture a heat sensor or rhythmic sensor in the context of medieval fantasy. Similarly, the prescriptive one is somewhat vague as to how it actually works. I know it's meant to encompass many creative ideas, but maybe a couple of examples might help. Like maybe the heat sensor has an ice cube that if it melts, something inside the ice cube gets released or triggered.

Oh, regarding the master trapping, maybe someone with a medium level of trapping skill can figure out how to deactivate parts of a trap (maybe not the whole thing). But they would need detection & trapmaking to dismantle/deactivate or get around a trap.
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

Whew, I think I went through and fixed/added most of the issues clarifications you identified/requested. Thanks for the feedback!
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

1. This is great.

2. I appreciate that it includes dungeons and the like, in addition to hunting-version traps.

3. Maybe there should be a small section included around the magic descriptions about Emea? Emean traps such as within Sintra's domain in the Untold, getting stuck in dreamscapes, etc. Seems like Emea and Dreamwalking could potentially be mentioned, if something like Necromancy is also getting mentioned. Not sure which direction you'd like to include it with, but something to consider.

4. ...I only just thought of this because I mentioned Sintra there, but "Entrapment" and Social Traps - lol... but I think that wouldn't be under Trap-Making but rather under Deception! So maybe I'll add it to the Deception write-up since that's also in development at the moment.

5. So let's apply this to something I've used in the past in a thread (via NPC); A tripwire that swings an axe - versus a tripwire that rings bells to alert;

The first one (Tripwire with Swinging Axe) would be a Competent with Concealed Form as... Proscriptive (? the prescriptive/proscriptive terms are a little confusing; I thought proscriptive was exclusion?) Automatic(?) Trigger with Armed execution.

The second one (Tripwire with Alert Bells) would be a Novice with Conceal Form as a Proscriptive Automatic Trigger with ......Alert (there isn't a category that fits it)... execution?

I'd say maybe Tactics also comes into play in choosing which combination of the three elements is wanted for the purpose of the trap.

6. Returning to the Emea discussion; for the sake of THEORY, let's say that Llyr decided he wanted to trap unwary dreamwalkers/emeyans in his own dreamscape. Triggers could be anything already listed; I'd say maybe a form could also be... what would something like a Fairy trap be - you know, where fey try to get unsuspecting visitors to stay forever by either having them eat food, or not even realize that they are in a trap - kind of like... an enchantment or hypnosis... or for instance, setting someone in a labyrinth maze and while that maze can have lots of smaller traps within it, that the maze itself is also a trap by dimension (via layout). Logistics could potentially come into play along with construction/tactics, here; and the defense could be Navigation and the like.

Though not to get too much into puzzle-based "traps"... which maybe is where a lot of that stuff would fall under; but I can't think of another ST skill that would encompass those types of environments/set-ups either; other than maybe logistics?

7. Ghosts - Spirits - etc. ...Trapping the supernatural, trapping the arcane, trapping those with magic already in them - wards and artifacts and the like; interactions of these, maybe expand in the magic section? I know that "trapping" ghosts is a thing (Caging Execution?)... I just don't personally know that much about it.

Anyway, just some suggestions to think about - dunno if it fits the direction of this write-up or not. I enjoy what is developed so far a lot and it gives me a reason to put points into Trap-Making for my PCs versus seeing it as just an expanded "Hunting" type of skill (since I don't really play hunters/wilderness PCs). Thanks for tackling it!
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

Just as a comment regarding Llyr's #6 in reference to "Logistics", I don't think Logistics is an appropriate term unless I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to get at. A quick definition check:

Logistics
"the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies."
"the organization of moving, housing, and supplying troops and equipment."
"the commercial activity of transporting goods to customers."

I think it's more about supply chain and organizing large groups of people.

Tactics is probably a good 'catch all' in this case rather than introducing logistics. Unless you're trying to trap an entire army in a maze. And feed them... I mean, if you really want to get all mental about it, you can do deception/psychology/intelligence/etc. but I don't think that's needed.
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

I'm referencing ST's Skill Logistics directly.

Logistics also pertains to matters of organization and complexity. Some traps, especially Master-level traps, are likely going to require complex organization to construct and maintain. The Logistics Skill handles things like: Complexity, Detailed Planning and Organization, and Implementation.

For instance, here are a couple quotes from the write-up: Logistics is not, and will never be, synonymous with "winging it". It is the art of organising and planning things down to each meticulous detail and considering as many contingencies as possible.

Fundamentally, logistics allows the character to perform more effectively and efficiently.

The contingencies makes me think of the necessary complexity of an advanced trap, very closely related to Tactics but not exactly the same either (combining tactics and logistics when putting together an advanced-trap dungeon for instance).

The process of creating a complex trap - from the planning stage, the acquiring supplies to put it together, and then the implementation of how it is actually constructed (whether outside help is hired or if it is all done by the trap-maker themselves) - could all involve logistics, rather than tactics.

For this, I am thinking of Expert and Higher type of trap-making though, where it would potentially overlap with things like the need for outside assistance, resources and supplies, planning for longer-term construction, and implementation of complex organization of multiple traps. Maybe, though, that direction would be more in the realm of a Tier 2 type of Trap-Making.
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

I really like the style this is laid out in - it shows all the basic forms and what they can include and it's got a wide array of related skills both in creating and countering.

I must admit that I'm slightly on-the-fence about including Logistics, since the very limited circumstances in which Logistics would be applied to Trapmaking would be incredibly specific, in my mind - and personally I really don't think master-level traps would need so much upkeep and maintenance that Logistics would be required to maintain them. More so, Logistics would be important when utilising a very large number of traps at once - say, in a dungeon, or defending a city. I can see why it'd be somewhat relevant, but I personally don't think that it's relevant enough to warrant specific mention on the write-up.

Also, while I do very much appreciate that Umbral Hone is very relevant to Trap-Making, and Attunement is incredibly useful for thwarting traps - again, I'm not sure I see the specific relevance behind including necromancy specifically, since it lacks any innate trap-building or trap-related abilities... thralls can be used many, many ways and practically any skill can be utilised by them - I don't think there's a need to really point it out in the page.

And following from Llyr's point, I also don't think Emea and especially not Dreamwalking should be mentioned. Again, Dreamwalking has no direct connotations with Traps of any kind or really why they'd be utilised... it's all just far too circumstantial to warrant sections in the skill write-up and needlessly complicating what is currently a very clear and streamlined outline.
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

Thanks all for your suggestions, I did include some information of dreamwalking, and how it might be used to trap people.

I'm going to strike Necromancy from the write-up as it seems needless, really. I don't want to get too far into the weeds with this write-up, or it could end up far too long for anyone's liking. The skill list alone includes over a dozen different skills if we include Logistics. For the same reason, while I love knowing how skills can interract, I'd prefer to keep it more focused on Trap-making.

So have another look, and we'll see what we can remove?
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Re: Trap-Making Skill

Personally, I don't think having a longer list of potential overlap skills is too much of an issue WHEN a description of that overlap is included with it like currently exists. It just adds to the dynamic potential of inspiration for different kinds of players, like that.

It would only be bogged down if it was just a list with no corresponding explanation for how the supplementary skill related to the main one.

That aside, IF I had to cut some from that list, I would cut: Fieldcraft, Poison/Alchemy, Stealth (feel this has more to do with Design than the actual skill of Stealth), Crafting Skills (Shoemaking...c'mon), Politics, Deception.

And from Defensive skills: Tactics, Strength, Politics (as much as I love politics, lol, I feel this aspect would be better to include in the Deception write-up since I guess this write-up is focused more on physical traps).
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