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View Full Version : Brainstorming: Pick-One-Survivor Trap



Elfie
05-02-2014, 06:34 PM
Alright, the villain has kidnapped two beloved NPCs. I want a deathtrap where without the villain's help, there really is NO way to save both of them. They'll have to pick one survivor. But with the proper persuasion (not brute force), the villain and only the villain could set them both free.

Probably irrelevant details:
The villain is a PC's totally freaking insane estranged wife. Both are elves.
The prisoners are the same PC's two baby mamas (one elf, one human).
Also taken are their two infant sons, but I don't plan to put them in danger. They'll be safe and easy to take away from the scene without consequence.

shonuff
05-02-2014, 06:42 PM
Something like the Gwen Stacy choice from Spider-Man? If not falling, then some big, bad mob could be released on both at the same time.

Or a scale of some sort?

pukunui
05-02-2014, 09:45 PM
You could do a Dark Knight on them and have the villain put the two NPCs in separate locations with timed death traps, then give the PCs the locations of the two NPCs with the twist that the villain has lied about which NPC is in which location (like how Batman thinks he's going to rescue what's-her-face but ends up rescuing Harvey Dent instead).

Elfie
05-03-2014, 05:30 AM
There's 5 PCs, so I don't think the Dark Knight plan will really work unless there's some reason that all five of them are needed for either rescue.

The scale idea isn't bad. What do you see as the specifics of that?

shonuff
05-03-2014, 06:03 AM
Like a balance of some sort... If you remove weight from one side, the other tips. Or if the weight from one side is removed, flame blasts the other side. Each platform could be in a cage, so each would have to be picked to successfully open. And there could be mobs and a timer mechanism of some sort, so they have to act quickly. If the mechanism is obscured, there's less chance that the PCs will notice the scale, as well.

The DK scenario could work, as well, if the PCs knew that either encounter would be a tough fight first.

Elfie
05-03-2014, 12:12 PM
I think my wife and I came up with something good over phở this afternoon. We're going a bit of the TDK route.

Both women will be suspended over lava and there will be a lever that the PCs will be told "pull it this way to save A and drop B in the laval, pull it this way to save B and drop A in the lava, and if you try to attack me or refuse to make a choice, this lever behind me drops them both in." But, in the interest of cruelty, the A/B will actually be reversed from what they're told. Meaning that the survivor will know that the PC intended her to die.

Also, the villain will be present, but will be on a high ledge where she believes she can't be reached before she can simply pull her lever and then escape. While she can certainly pull the level, she doesn't know one of the PCs can fly, so they can definitely catch her, just not in time.

And her lever WILL be able to save them both, but unless the PCs get tremendously creative or persuasive, she's not using it.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! >:-D

silverthorne
05-03-2014, 11:11 PM
If your going with a party of 5, then your going to have to make the choice a big one. The villain sends each woman in a caravan going two different directions. Leaving the choice as to which one will be saved to the PC. The thing will be that both caravans will be heavily armed groups and not likely to be able to be taken by less than the entire group.

sloblock
05-04-2014, 02:35 AM
I think my wife and I came up with something good over phở this afternoon. We're going a bit of the TDK route.

Both women will be suspended over lava and there will be a lever that the PCs will be told "pull it this way to save A and drop B in the laval, pull it this way to save B and drop A in the lava, and if you try to attack me or refuse to make a choice, this lever behind me drops them both in." But, in the interest of cruelty, the A/B will actually be reversed from what they're told. Meaning that the survivor will know that the PC intended her to die.

Also, the villain will be present, but will be on a high ledge where she believes she can't be reached before she can simply pull her lever and then escape. While she can certainly pull the level, she doesn't know one of the PCs can fly, so they can definitely catch her, just not in time.

And her lever WILL be able to save them both, but unless the PCs get tremendously creative or persuasive, she's not using it.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! >:-D

that is pretty evil reminds me of a trap I did where there was two rooms and a Capstan ( nautical rope thing for those unaware ), they could turn either left or right. The Capstan requires 4 PCs to turn it, meaning only one PC is able to react. I also had it had this was a one way deal, as the other room was filled as the door opened.

Elfie
05-04-2014, 06:16 PM
The PC whose choice it was... convinced the villain to let him sacrifice himself to save them both... Holy crap... That's only the second PC death we've had in three and a half years and the first one was planned in advance. That was awesome.

Maosn25
05-04-2014, 09:12 PM
That is awesome.

sloblock
05-05-2014, 01:24 AM
The PC whose choice it was... convinced the villain to let him sacrifice himself to save them both... Holy crap... That's only the second PC death we've had in three and a half years and the first one was planned in advance. That was awesome.

wow and impressive self sacrifice

shonuff
05-05-2014, 04:08 AM
Yeah. I doubt any of my players would do that.

Elfie
05-05-2014, 06:13 AM
Yeah, I definitely didn't expect it. When she said it, I was like, "Okay, pause, let's go in the other room and talk for a minute." And I was like, "Okay, you're sure about this? We're talking actual for real dying in the lava?" And she was like, "If Reza can be absolutely certain that they will go free, then yes." And I said I could make that happen. I offered to take a 20 minute break so she could think about it, but she said no, she was sure. So we went back to the table, and it did.

shonuff
05-05-2014, 06:52 AM
Villain should have killed em anyway, then you could stick out your tongue with a FWANG! :)

pwbrian
05-05-2014, 07:44 AM
I loves me some player sacrifice. Deathwatch (the Warhammer 40K Space Marines RPG) has a mechanic in it where a player gets an experience bonus to their next character if they make an Heroic Sacrifice. It's one of the cooler things about the system, I thought.

Vosoros
05-05-2014, 11:23 PM
I like the old poisoned whilst in a tavern trick and when you finally find the villain, they offer you a choice between saving you or your PC friend, but only if they let the villain live...as they dangly the cure vial over a precarious cliff edge.

:mad:

I'm an evil GM...fear me!

:p

Maosn25
05-06-2014, 11:51 AM
Villain should have killed em anyway, then you could stick out your tongue with a FWANG! :)

I realize you aren't entirely serious here. Still....Man this would be an evil twist. I don't think I could do it. If there was no PC sacrifice, then I probably could. But not with this scenario.

shonuff
05-06-2014, 05:25 PM
Yeah, I don't think you can actually kill them both because of the PC sacrifice... Unless it was worked out beforehand.

Maosn25
05-06-2014, 05:36 PM
It would make for a very crazy and cool moment at the table if the GM could work it out with the player secretly before hand. Could you imagine the looks at the table when it happened.

shonuff
05-06-2014, 05:45 PM
I had a long-running D&D campaign where everyone had secrets, and made back room DM deals. It was fun... Too bad we are all in the real world now. :(

Maosn25
05-06-2014, 07:30 PM
That can be fun. We've had some minor stuff like that in my current games, but nothing to extensive.