[MUD-Dev] Animals, Animal Handling, and Unexpected Side Effects

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Sat Jun 29 08:58:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "Travis Casey" <efindel at earthlink.net>
> Thursday, June 20, 2002, 10:40:38 AM, Michelle Elbert wrote:
>> From: "shren" <shren at io.com>

> Triggering more reminiscing here...

> There's a lot of tactics along these lines that people use in
> paper games:

>  - turning fallen foes into zombies and using them to look for
>  traps

Ugh.  I regularly DMed for a group of friends, and this kind of
stuff happened regularly.  On the way to one dungeon, their party
encountered a random patrol in the mountains, who warned them of
some goblin activity in the area.  My friend Todd levitated up from
his horse and cast cloudkill on the patrol.... then spend the next
few days animating them all as zombies.  Needless to say, when they
got to the dungeon he had plenty of cannon fodder.  This is a very
effective trick and one that I applaud.  It can be pleasantly
challenging as a DM to try to come up with ways to defeat these
tactics while maintaining the continuity of the game.

> Robert Plamondon's book _Through Dungeons Deep_ describes some
> tactics for real paranoids -- e.g., his recommended handling of
> chests in dungeons:

Great advice, though as a DM I would punish a player for being so
paranoid.  I appreciate (and reward) intelligence and creativity,
but taken this far the game slows to a crawl.  My favorite trick
towards over-powered characters was to have them find a cubic gate
or amulet of the planes and trick them into using it.  There's
nothing quite so fun as a panicked flight across hades.

> For the reasons *why* gamers sometimes got this paranoid, see
> Flying Buffalo's wonderful "Grimtooth's Traps" series of books.

Clever traps are so much fun.  I remember reading about one
particularly nasty one that was a standard pit trap that had thin
layers of slate every few feet with a glyph of warding inscribed on
each.  Needless to say, it's unlikely anything would make it to the


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