I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark again yesterday and as usual it inspired the evil game master lurking inside of me; all these years later the traps in the opening scenes are still fresh and cool. The one that always bothered me was the first one, Indy says “stop, stay out of the light”.
After Indy moves around a diffused beam of light shining into a passageway; he then springs the spear trap built into the wall, by waving his hand in the light.
Only to find a dead researcher pierced by the trap mechanism, now long dead.
What a classic! But how does it work? I can explain it as a game master of fantasy role playing games with one word, magic. All the other traps seemed reasonable, pressure plates activating darts, large stone rolling balls and pit traps. It is that one light activated trap that befuddles me the most; wave your hand in the light and spears spring out, come on…
Yeah, I used the light activated trap from Raiders of the Lost Ark in my home game, I used all the traps from the Indiana Jones movies at one time or another they are classics and fun for the games I run. I just think that one trap is silly, kinda like breaking the rules in Pathfinder or 3.5e; like putting a horizontal prismatic wall in a pit trap; the rules say it is vertical, so to place it horizontal breaks the physics of the spell. Putting a light activated trap in some old jungle ruins discovered in the 1930s breaks the rules unless you believe in magic.
Ah heck, I’m gonna put a horizontal prismatic wall in a pit; the party will probably find it and disable it. Darn thieves…
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