Excerpts 02/09/2007


Dungeonscape Excerpts
By Jason Bulmahn and Rich Burlew



Build a dungeon or two, or adapt your character for upcoming dungeon challenges, with the help of the material you'll find within Dungeonscape. To see what's in store for your next door-bashing, trap-filled dungeon adventure, read a few excerpts below, which include paladin options, door descriptions, an adventuring kit, a prestige class, a swarm, and a new trap.

Antimagic Trap

This magic trap can be placed by itself, but more often it is included as part of another trap, obstacle, or monster encounter. When triggered, it blankets a 10-foot radius area with an antimagic field (PH 200), which persists for 110 minutes (after which the trap automatically resets).Antimagic traps are often paired with deadly mechanical traps, creating combinations that deny intruders their magical defenses before striking them hard with mundane blades. Dungeon builders like antimagic traps because they breathe new life into mechanical traps that would otherwise be circumvented easily by magic-laden PCs. Even a simple pit trap can be a serious obstacle to adventurers who stopped carrying mundane climbing equipment when they gained the ability to fly. An encounter that consists of an antimagic trap and a mechanical trap has an Encounter Level as if the two were a mixed pair (DMG 49). Cleverness is the key to using an antimagic trap well; the trap does not injure intruders, so it is necessary to be creative when pairing it with other effects.

Antimagic traps can also be used in situations where the sudden absence of magic dramatically alters an obstacle. For example, a wizard uses polymorph any object to permanently turn a magma paraelemental into a large stone bridge over a dangerous 30-foot-wide lava pit. He then installs an antimagic trap on the wall, set to activate if any creature reaches the center of the pit, whether by walking or flying. Anyone on the bridge when the trap goes off will fall into the lava as the polymorph any object spell is suppressed and the bridge turns back into an elemental (which also falls into the lava). Anyone using magic to fly overhead will drop down into the lava as well. The victims would have to escape from the lava without magical protection from the molten rock, while fighting off the angry magma paraelemental that fell into the pit with them.

Dungeon builders also add antimagic traps to monster rooms, forcing intruders to battle deadly creatures without the use of spells or magic items. Greater antimagic traps that cover a 40-foot-radius area are more commonly used in conjunction with larger monsters that require bigger rooms. Wizards can save the cost of constructing a mechanical trap to release the monster by penning it in using permanent wall of force spells, which are suppressed when the antimagic trap takes effect.

Some wizards have experimented with chains of interrelated traps to cover large swaths of a dungeon with an antimagic field. A dancing lights spell is added to each trap in the sequence, activating a moment before the antimagic field spell. Because the antimagic field suppresses the dancing lights, only a momentary flash of light is seen. One trap is set with the visual trigger to activate when it sees a creature, or when it sees the dancing lights of another trap on either side of it. Thus, when one trap is sprung, it starts a chain reaction, activating each trap in turn. In this way, an entire corridor of mechanical traps or a massive room filled with dungeon monsters can be covered in an antimagic field in moments.

Antimagic Trap: CR 7; magic; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset; spell effect (antimagic field, 11th-level wizard, 10-ft-radius antimagic emanation for 110 minutes); Search DC 31; Disable Device DC 31. Cost: 66,000 gp, 2,640 XP.

Antimagic Trap, Greater: CR 10; magic; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset; spell effect (widened antimagic field, 17th-level wizard, 20-ft-radius antimagic emanation for 170 minutes); Search DC 34; Disable Device DC 34.Cost: 127,500 gp, 5,100 XP.

Antimagic Trap, Chain: CR 7; magic; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset; spell effect (antimagic field, 11th-level wizard, 10-ft-radius antimagic emanation for 110 minutes), spell effect (dancing lights, 11th-level wizard); Search DC 31; Disable Device DC 31.Cost: 68,500 gp, 2,740 XP.

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