Monday, June 15, 2009

A question regarding traps

I'm going to make this brief. If a key for a locked and trapped item is utilized, is the trap rendered inoperable?

I would say that yes, it would negate the trap's springing. I mean, imagine the original owner trying to quickly open the lock...and "BANG!", the trap goes off at the most inopportune time. It doesn't make sense.

Maybe there's some kind of button, slide, lever, method of turning the key, that would neutralize the trap? Traps are dangerous and fickle, even if you know about them, but the proper key ought to be able to bypass that danger. So if that's the case, can a decent thief who exceeds the lock pick by a certain margin also disable the trap at the same time?

I don't think that I've ever really thought about this. Strange... I've always treated traps and locks as completely separate entities, i.e. if you've got the key, you still need to disable the trap.


Amityville Mike said...

For the most part, I've played that the correct key will open a trapped lock without triggering the trap. I have been know to be sinister, however, and place trapped locks that not only require the proper key to bypass, but some other stipulation as well (turn the key to the left to open and bypass; turn to the right to unlocked it but the trap remains armed).

Nine times out of 10, however, the right key means no KABOOM!! when dealing with a trapped lock.

Gamer Dude said...

You know what...that approach just feels right. So, do you allow the thief to pick the lock and therefore also disarm the trap?

Amityville Mike said...

No. I rationalize it as traps are put there to keep thieves out, so picking the lock successfully doesn't negate the trap. Also, the way I play, a failed open locks check will trigger the trap if it's appropriate. A failed open locks check would trigger a poison needle or a gas trap, but probably not a scything blade or spear trap, which I usually picture being rigged to activate once the chest's lid is lifted.

I'm not certain if I picked this up by reading game books or it's something that evolved over the years of playing, but it has served me well and I don't remember ever hearing any complaints about it.

Chris said...

Are traps and locks separate, or are they connected? depends...

I suppose it comes down to what the trap is designed to prevent: unauthorised tampering with the lock (in which instance the lock might be part of the trap); or unauthorised entry into the vicinity of the lock. S

ometimes trap and lock are part of a greater whole and can be disabled with a single key; other times they're two discrete entities.

Great post btw.

Gamer Dude said...

Yeah Chris...I can see your point.

I think that what I'd like to do is allow the thief to succeed at disabling the trap (as long as it's been detected, AND it's part and parcel of the lock itself) with a sufficiently high lock pick check.

e.g. If they succeed by a factor of +20 then the trap has been rendered inert.