[IF] OD&D Trap Searching Advice

This subforum is for discussion of the Iron Falcon Rules for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing. Maybe someday they'll have their own forum, but for now I'm keeping the discussion here.
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starmonkey
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[IF] OD&D Trap Searching Advice

Post Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am

Hi All,

More questions from someone used to 5E, preparing to run an OD&D module with Iron Falcon [IF]. Now, I know that a lot of this ambiguity comes from the source material used to create [IF], but I'm trying to use [IF] as my rules reference for playing a module, hence the questions. Thank you for your patience!

First - my understanding is that in (pre-thief) OD&D you describe your way through your environment, and the GM adjudicates trap finding. Prodding the floor with 10' poles, getting your eye level down to the floor to spot raised stones, checking the walls for little holes, etc. Maybe they make up an 1-in-x chance on a d6 and roll. Hopefully my understanding of this is correct.

[IF] has the Thief class, and [IF] has some rules around stuff like traps and secret doors, so my uncertainty begins.

Some relevant notes for my questions below:

[IF, p7] has "Remove Traps" as a skill for Thieves, with no description on what it is (Note: I understand this is because of the source material used for IF).

[IF, p8] states for Dwarves: "They notice slanting passages, traps hidden in stonework or other construction, shifting walls, and new construction in underground or "dungeon" settings.". I believe this comes from the source material.

[IF, p122] has rules for "Secret Doors", and introduces a mechanic to find them on a d6 roll. That page also has some mechanics for triggering traps, but doesn't say anything about searching for traps. AFAIK, there are no explicit rules stated in IF for searching for traps.

[IF] does not distinguish between "room traps" and "treasure traps".

---
Questions:

1) If you enter a dungeon corridor with a pit trap ahead in the cobbled stone floor, and you're a Dwarf Fighter, what happens? Auto detection without having to describe your actions? I assume not, and thus our "house-ruling" begins.

2) If you search a 10' area for secret doors, and that area also has a trap on it that you didn't actively look for, are you risking triggering it? Or do people always conflate searching for both doors AND traps?

2a) If you CAN roll to search for traps as well as doors, can you do that BEFORE moving onto the area which contains the pit trap (for example)? Or do you have to bust out the 10' pole describe-method to achieve this?

2b) Does the Thief's "Remove Traps" (+racial bonus) skill apply to searching for traps? Or just removing a found trap? If you allow "Remove Traps" to be "Find/Remove Traps", then what do non-Thieves roll? And how does that relate to Secret Doors? Secret Doors sound like a Thiefy thing, so why not?

3) Let's say you describe-prod the floor in front of you and discover a pit trap there. If you want to disable the trap, I'm assuming that if the Dwarf Fighter gets creative, the GM will allow the trap to be disabled (I dunno, by tying something off, or jamming a skull in a mechanism, or whatever? Otherwise, the Thief can roll their "Remove Traps" skill I assume, and do this mechanically.

4) For Secret Door searching, I'm assuming you make ONE roll for a 10' area, even if there are multiple things to be found? For example, what if there's a pit-trap on the floor and a secret door in the wall? Or two secret doors in one 10' area?

---
Conclusions:

Based on my questions and thinking above, and by referencing OSE and BFRPG's rules, here's my current "house-rules" approach for playing with [IF]:
  • Describing your actions creatively overrides any mechanics - i.e. poking the floor with a long pole will reveal a pit trap, sticking your dagger through some plaster reveals the door behind, etc.
  • You can "search your way" INTO a 10' area for both secret doors AND traps (meaning if you do this, you can potentially detect the trap before stepping on it). If you do this and fail, the GM will roll to see if you trigger the trap while doing so. If you pass, then you've detected it safely, before risking stepping on it.
  • The search chance is 1-2 base, 1-4 for Elves+Doors, 1-4 for Dwarves if the door/trap is in stonework. I'm undecided about the "glance" rule for Elves. Thieves don't get any bonus here.
  • The search is a single roll for that 10' area, with the single result being compared for all doors/trap checks.
  • The thief skill is for disarming/removing traps only. Non-thieves can potentially disarm stuff if they are creative, otherwise it's a mechanical job for light-fingered specialists. I'm assuming this applies mostly for "treasure traps" where you need to get to the loot, otherwise just walk around the pit trap, etc.
Any feedback welcome - this post is mainly around me getting this right in my head before TPK'ing my party in the first room of the dungeon!
Last edited by starmonkey on Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [IF] OD&D Trap Searching Advice

Post Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:55 am

starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am Questions:

1) If you enter a dungeon corridor with a pit trap ahead in the cobbled stone floor, and you're a Dwarf Fighter, what happens? Auto detection without having to describe your actions? I assume not, and thus our "house-ruling" begins.
The text says they "notice" these kinds of things. I'd probably roll a die as if searching for a secret door, even though the player hasn't announced intent to do that, and if the roll comes up in the dwarf's favor, I'd tell the player.
starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am 2) If you search a 10' area for secret doors, and that area also has a trap on it that you didn't actively look for, are you risking triggering it? Or do people always conflate searching for both doors AND traps?
Yes, in general I'd say you're risking triggering the trap. If you don't trigger it, and the secret door search roll is a success, I'd tell the player about the trap... though possibly vaguely enough that they can't tell it's a trap, depending entirely on the circumstances. "You see a section of wall maybe a foot square that seems separate, like it might open or move," and there's a crossbow trap behind it, or maybe it's the hatch the kobolds use to reload a gas trap.
starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am 2a) If you CAN roll to search for traps as well as doors, can you do that BEFORE moving onto the area which contains the pit trap (for example)? Or do you have to bust out the 10' pole describe-method to achieve this?
Depends on the trap, and the GM's opinion of your approach to the area.
starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am 2b) Does the Thief's "Remove Traps" (+racial bonus) skill apply to searching for traps? Or just removing a found trap? If you allow "Remove Traps" to be "Find/Remove Traps", then what do non-Thieves roll? And how does that relate to Secret Doors? Secret Doors sound like a Thiefy thing, so why not?
Yes, it applies to a search, but success on the roll does not immediately remove the trap, only finds it; a second roll is needed to remove it. But there is no particular "thiefy" thing for secret doors.
starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am 3) Let's say you describe-prod the floor in front of you and discover a pit trap there. If you want to disable the trap, I'm assuming that if the Dwarf Fighter gets creative, the GM will allow the trap to be disabled (I dunno, by tying something off, or jamming a skull in a mechanism, or whatever? Otherwise, the Thief can roll their "Remove Traps" skill I assume, and do this mechanically.
This is more or less correct.
starmonkey wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:26 am 4) For Secret Door searching, I'm assuming you make ONE roll for a 10' area, even if there are multiple things to be found? For example, what if there's a pit-trap on the floor and a secret door in the wall? Or two secret doors in one 10' area?
One roll per "thing" is what I'd do, given that I'm rolling for the players they don't have to know why I'm rolling repeatedly (and it builds tension).
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Re: [IF] OD&D Trap Searching Advice

Post Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:27 pm

Pardon me but what does "IF" stand for?
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Re: [IF] OD&D Trap Searching Advice

Post Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:45 pm

Iron Falcon, the other game Solo wrote and the game this part of the forum is dedicated to.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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