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Supplement: Setting Traps / Hard to Handle

Designer: Dan Coleman

Publisher: Dan Coleman Productions

Setting Traps / Hard to Handle is part of the Pages from the Lost Grimoire series and is aimed at Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This was originally available as a Pay What You Want supplement (which it was when I picked it up) but now costs $0.99. This is a ten page PDF, with half of that being taken up by OGL, thanks, title page, credits etc. There are also three jpgs.

As with all in this series, the supplement is divided into two parts. The first part in every supplement is new rules, locations, whatever; in this case it is traps. Setting Traps has a sidebar on using traps; asking for a marching order, giving clues, providing information that would prompt a player to ask for a Perception check and knowing when to roll the dice.

It then continues with the traps, each of which has some customisation suggestions and different descriptions for different DC Perception rolls. Arachmutation polymorphs the victim into a spider, then teleports said victim into a jar already containing spiders - and there are 20 jars. If one jar is opened, all magically break and each contains a spider swarm. Deviously nasty.

Compressing Room. This moves the opposing walls together, crushing anything between them. Hardly original; variations of this trap abound.

False Door Handle. Using this handle normally causes it to a flask of poison, burnt uther fumes, to drop and break, filling the corridor. Not that complex, but nasty.

Topsy Turvey Gallery. This is a room full of statues that makes use of reverse gravity. This trips when characters enter, sending them into the ceiling. Various statues are attached to the floor by ropes, but not that strong ones. These ropes break shortly after the trap is triggered, dropping the statues on the characters. High-level, devious and potentially lethal.

The second part is Hard to Handle. These second parts are encounters or mini-adventures utilising material from the first part. The three accompanying jpgs go with this encounter. Each is of the encounter area; one is gridded, one gridless and one a GM's version. This simple encounter is built around the false door handle.

The PDF appeared to be free of errors and is full colour. The illustrations are a nice diagram of the door handle trap and maps of the encounter area. Presentation is pretty good.

Two of the traps, Arachmutation and Topsy Turvey Gallery, are decent (if "decent" means "nasty"), False Door Handle is a bit different but the Compressing Room feels like pure filler. This isn't a pricy supplement, but it was probably better value at Pay What You Want. The customisation options for the traps are nice - each trap is described in quite a lot of detail, with all the subsidiary information - but this isn't one of the better entries in the series. In fact, I think it may be the worst. For one thing, the encounter is a trap - and that's it.
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