Day 25 of #RPGaDAY 2020. Today’s prompt is ‘Lever’.
One of the tropes about dungeons is that there are all kinds of clever mechanisms and traps that are hidden in de walls of the dungeon, ready to ruin the day of any careless passer-by. I remember going through the MERP module for Moria, and there were all kinds of mechanical traps in there — most of them very, very lethal. And I remember thinking: “Huh, but didn’t the Dwarves live in Khazad-dûm!?” Imagine filling every corner of your house with deadly traps — how would any child survive once they start crawling around? Ok, so maybe the traps would only be armed when the Dwarves would come under attack — but who would have time to arm those traps in the event of a surprise attack?
And even if the traps were armed in some manner, would they still be armed hundreds of years later, when the adventurers arrive? Would chains not have rusted through, ropes have rotten and frayed, covers of pit traps fallen down?
Which is to say that I’m not a fan of traps in unattended dungeons, and traps in areas where people live or pass frequently should be easy to avoid once you know the trick, otherwise the residents would slowly be whittled down by their own traps — and that makes no sense.