Darkness and Lightness

Presence of the Lightbearer

Kurt squatted down on his haunches, watching his young partner fidget. The tunnel went deep, his shoulders ached from repelling down it for the last half hour. The halfling, by contrast, only seemed to grow more excited and spry with every new drop.

The hole continued down, not perfectly vertical of course–more of a steep decline–but farther wasn’t wise. Pellingrasstonwireson (Pell, for short, as he liked to be called in the hume fashion) wanted to continue. Kurt, valuing his own safety above most things, refused to budge.  And it’d been fifteen minutes of whining and pleading from the young buck ever since.

“Even if there is some danger, Mister Krowder” the tiny man appealed in his nasaly scurve, “I reckon we are more that it’s match, eh? Bit of darkness and rock is no great beast, say wot?” Kurt just stared into the still and opaque black below them and shrugged. These new sneaks, all swords and ropes, they are. Not a one bothering to read up on the least bit of the history they wanted to steal.

Kurt just rolled his eyes and nodded, extending a hand down and inviting the small master thief to continue down.  With a brief hop and a grin, the halfling leapt down into the darkness and the screams that followed shook the cavern.

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A Sticky Situation, Cleaning Up the Place, and There Just Aren’t Enough Traps for Mounts…

This post continues our series of Traps to Worry Your  Players With–a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. Our traps are intended to be fluffy (with lots of nice backstory you may choose to use or get inspired by) and mechanically interesting (with special disable requirements and side-ways solutions).


The bastard was fast, but Kallie was faster. With his fellows either dead or dying at the hands of the rest of the troupe, she raced ahead to stop Marcus from getting away. His hideout had been full of surprises and she wouldn’t put it past him to have a series of escape plans ready to go at a moment’s notice. They’d tracked him for weeks, he was not going to get away this time.

She finally caught sight of him, unlocking the west door. Her heart was racing before, and now it almost flew. In the tunnels and catacombs down here, he was dangerous, but in the open and outside? He couldn’t run fast enough to outpace her shortbow. Taking the fight outside was the best chance they had.

He unlocked the door as she closed the distance, slipped through, and shut it hard. If he thought she’d be slowed down by a door he was sadly mistaken. She put a hand on the latch, swung it open, saw him racing for the trees, and barely broke stride as she went out into the sun…

The world went sideways as she hit the sandy dirt face-first and saw Marcus, senior agent of The Creed of Greyghast and most dangerous spy in four kingdoms, turn effortlessly with a vicious knife in hand–watching his prey struggle on the ground.

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Blame It On the Rain (Yeah, Yeah); and, Because I Like Stephen King…

This begins a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. We’ll dial in on a running format in the coming weeks.

Baleful Rains

The Atrium—at least, that’s what Kassie thought of it as—was broad and tall and long and rich with foliage. Down here, in the murk and mire of the undercaverns of the city, it was like finding a rose amongst the ashes of a campfire—out of place, wonderous. The others felt comforted by it, the ground was a dark and rich soil, the sounds they made were swallowed by the green; it was a nice change from the miles of hard stone tunnels they’d come through.

But, something wasn’t right. Kassie couldn’t put her finger on it. There was a light misting rain trickling down and tripping from leaves and palms, a musty and moist smell from the fallen plants and trees, even the hint of a breeze here… all of it seemed right, but something made the young rogue unsettled.

It wasn’t until Kavor Kain raised his waterskin to his lips, having caught some run off from a garnled oak’s leaves in it, and the disgusted look on his face that she put it together. She remembered screaming. She remembered hell itself coming for them.

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Chris Hanson’s Move and Why “Initiative” is Just a Word…

This begins a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. We’ll dial in on a running format in the coming weeks.

Weddlestaer Fauteuil

They came in, one by one. Unused to the grandeur, no doubt. The brutish fellow looked for all the world like a cross-between a well beaten leather scarecrow and some Tomsuan engraving that should be entitled “The Noble Savage”. And he smelled.

The others were cleaner, having obviously taken opportunity of the hot baths down the hill in his town. Despite Inglestadt never having spent so much as an hour in any of those taverns nor ever having drawn a bath himself, he took a pride that at least some of the travellers had enjoyed what he thought of as “his” accommodations in the town at the base of his manse.

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See You Next Fall, and Taking the Plunge…

This begins a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. We’ll dial in on a running format in the coming weeks.

The Clutch

The end of the canyon was all hard-packed dirt, bleached almost white by the sun. If Kurt had a team of ditch-diggers he might have been able to form a defense–but they were coming too fast. Seven, eight… it was hard to get a count, with them bobbing and weaving between the rocks. Their whoops and growls carried through the hard stone valley, an echo of coming and certain brutality.

They were herding him. That was certain. He’d been around too long and escaped too many ambushes to miss that, but knowing didn’t do a thing except worry him more. They wanted him in this dead-end. They wanted to nudge him to do something that would end up being phenomenally unwise.

His eyes darted around, hard dirt… sand… a sheer rocky face and hell of a climb up it… no trees… no doors… he was halfway up the cliff before he realized just how screwed he really was.

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I Warned You, But You Didn’t Listen; and, When Its Time To Kill the Party…

This begins a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. We’ll dial in on a running format in the coming weeks.

Weaker Mark

Squick was very, very tired of this place. Whatever mad bastard this Conqueror fellow was, the old delver was about one more violently exploding door away from giving up and going the hell home. Even if it mean a week in the cold going down the mountain. Even if it meant having to sneak past that great beast in the valley. Even if it meant foregoing his share of–

Squick sighed. All those lonely coins. No, he couldn’t abandoned them. Not after all the hard work he’d put into imagining how he’d spend them. As the rest of his cadre, with their proper armor and fine ideals, stood about clutching wooden hafts and fidgeting nervously waiting for another horror, Squick studied the plain wooden door ahead of them.

A solid half-hour of cautious tradecraft and he’d found the latch above the jam intended to drop the roof on the unwary and disabled it. This would be the fourth door he’d found like this in a row. Picking the lock, effortlessly, he opened it up to take a little peak and after regaining consciousness, Sqiuck quietly stole everyone’s purse and went the hell home.

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We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, and Like Star Trek But Worse…

This begins a new series at Many-Sided Dice about traps and making interesting ones. We’ll dial in on a running format in the coming weeks.


Baldwin carried Kallie over his shoulder, like a sack of barley, pumping his legs and wildly scrabbling to keep his footing and handhold on this and that piece of wall. The creature was mad–really, really mad. It howled and screamed behind them, the whooping noise growing more distinct and close.

Over a low pile of boulders and up the passage he went, banging her shoulder or his knee every dozen feet or so. It was nearly pitch black down here, and he started feeling the weight of earth above and around him closing in—he was lost, or near enough. Shit. And still, the thing was coming on behind them.

A luminescent cavern opened up before him, a stream of some kind half flooding the center. The other side had a number of passages and he felt like he might be able to give the creature the slip. Kallie groaned something, barely rousing to a self of awareness while he carried her. As he splashed his way across the shallow stream, he felt his legs go cold.

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