You Detect No Traps

Posted on January 09, 2018

Sometimes I think the best part about being a DM is that you have the opportunity to screw with your player's heads.

This is the tale of a fairly standard dungeon crawl—monsters, loot, the whole nine yards. But just to make things interesting, I put in a room near the end, 20 x 20 x 20. Completely empty, save for a pedestal dead center, on which sat... a single silver piece.

There were no monsters in the room, no decorations, no nothing. Just that pedestal and the silver piece.

The players spent the next half hour agonizing over it. They cast every spell to detect magic and traps and illusions they could think of. They detected no traps.

They cast spells to see if the silver piece was magical in any way, if it had any sort of special properties. It didn't.

The Rogue went over the room twice, doing search and spot checks every five feet. He found no traps.

They devised all sorts of plans to try to get the silver piece without setting off the traps (because just because they couldn't find the traps didn't mean they weren't there, just that they were VERY high level and VERY well hidden). Eventually, one of the players decided, screw it, and just walked up to the pedestal, picked up the silver piece, and put it in his pouch.

Nothing happened. They didn't find any traps because there WERE no traps. The room was just there to mess with their heads. And boy howdy, did it work like a charm.

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