Last month, I wrote about how you might design and run deathtrap dungeons using the Dungeon World roleplaying game. To aid GMs further, I’ve created several custom moves based on some of the most iconic and infamous traps lurking in the Tomb of Horrors. Use them as they appear in your own adventures, or modify them to create custom moves for traps of your own devising.
False Entrance Sliding Wall Trap
When this trap is triggered, a sliding block of stone grinds away from the wall, threatening to trap slow victims in the far end of the hallway. Each character in the hallway should roll+DEX, one at a time. *On a 10+, they pick 3. *On a 7-9, they pick 1.
- You don’t get wedged between the sliding stone for 2d10 damage.
- You don’t accidentally drop something useful in the sealed hallway.
- You don’t inadvertently hinder another character’s escape.
Mouth of the Great Green Devil (Sphere of Annihilation)
When you investigate the mouth of the great green devil face in the wall, roll+DEX or roll+WIS. *On a 10+, pick 3. *On a 7-9, pick 1.
- You don’t lose a limb to the sphere of annihilation.
- You don’t drop something you’re holding into the sphere.
- You aren’t put in a compromising position while extracting yourself from the jaws of the mouth.
- You don’t draw the ire of the talisman-holder elsewhere in the dungeon.
*On a 12+, pick all 4, and you happen upon an additional secret hidden in the face. *On a 6-, you’re reduced to dust by the sphere of annihilation.
The Tomb of Horrors is filled with several misty archways inlaid with a trio of fist-sized glowing gems. When you fiddle with the gems and step through the mist, roll+INT. *On a 10+, pick 3. *On a 7-9, pick 1.
- You are teleported somewhere you can return from easily.
- You are teleported somewhere safe.
- You are teleported somewhere useful.
- Your gear isn’t teleported to the dungeon lord’s lair.
- Your race and sex aren’t changed by the teleportation.
*On a 12+, pick 4. *On a 6-, there is a teleportation mishap.
When you touch the magic altar in the Chapel of Good, roll+WIS or roll+CHA. *On a 10+, pick 3. *On a 7-9, pick 1.
- You and all nearby the altar aren’t incinerated for 6d6 damage by a fireball.
- A far away ally isn’t blasted by a lightning bolt for 4d8 damage.
- You receive a revelation that aids you in a challenge later in the dungeon.
- A curse or disease is lifted from you or one ally.
- The hidden ring slot is revealed in a nearby wall.
*On a 12+, pick 4.
When you investigate this cluster of large clay vats filled with strange fluids, roll+INT or roll+WIS. *On a 10+, pick 3. *On a 7-9, pick 1.
- You find the first half of a golden key.
- You find the second half of a golden key.
- You don’t get scalded by acid for 6d4 damage.
- You don’t awaken a gray ooze lurking in one of the vats.
- You don’t agitate an ochre jelly hiding in another of the vats.
*On a 12+, pick 4.
Gem of Cursed Wishing
When you make a wish using the gem, roll+CHA. *On a 10+, pick 3. *On a 7-9, pick 1.
- The gem doesn’t explode, dealing 8d6 damage to all nearby.
- The gem doesn’t pervert your wish.
- The gem doesn’t raise nearby skeleton warriors to attack you.
- The wish doesn’t raise the ire of a powerful demon.
- The wish doesn’t call the attention of a powerful undead.
*On a 12+, pick 4, and the wish is partially granted.