Do you ever have a spellcaster in your group that cannot resist picking up and looking at every book? The kind of player that makes you come up with a million fictitious book titles and populate a fake library in your mind. For today’s Trap Tuesday we’ll help you get your sweet revenge and teach them a thing or two about picking up random books!
The Set Up
This trap’s core concept is that books, when disturbed, trigger a combat scenario. The combat scenario can be as few as 1 book but you can use as many as you need. To set up for this you only need to have the appropriate setting: a wizard’s tower, a haunted library, or a vampire’s estate.
Even if you’re not using an obvious option, you could put a well-kept shelf of books in a place they clearly don’t belong. This will set up the trap while making it a bit more obvious it’s a trap. Putting a bookshelf in a goblin cave is suspicious since goblins aren’t known for being enthusiastic readers.
The trap is sprung whenever a player touches a book in the trapped set. Immediately upon being touched the book springs to life opening to reveal a horrible mouth full of teeth. You could very easily do this with mimics, but making them tiny, enchanted creatures gives you a good excuse to allow them to magically fly around the the room.
The combat starts and the creatures get a surprise round. The scenario is surprising after all!
For the fight you can use the bat stat block, but increase the damage output appropriately for your party. We recommend keeping the book’s HP low. If you want more of a challenge, add more books with teeth rather than giving them more HP.
Consequences of The Trap
Tiny flying creatures are hard to deal with when there are a lot of them. The major consequences of this trap are not the damage they deal, but that you might burn player spell slots, alert other monsters, or eat up valuable time. As traps go, this one also has the advantage of targeting players that are potentially over-cautious in other situations due to their lower HP. A wizard isn’t often afraid of books like they are of spike pits or treasure chests out in the open.
This trap is a great way to keep your casters on their toes, but it has a drawback in that they might not ever try to pick up a book again. To keep the trap fun, make sure to give them a decent book as a reward for completing the combat so that you don’t scare them off too much. Be careful with what you give them though, since knowledge is power.
For more walkthroughs and trap examples, check out our Complete Guide to DnD Traps article.