In my last post, I complained a bit how the Tower of the Stargazer's traps punished inquisitiveness. It stands to reason that I should present an alternative rather than just grumble bitterly and shake my fist.
For "normal" trapped areas, I like to leave clues that something out of the ordinary is going on, so players are on their guard. Then, their inquisitiveness will lead to figuring out the trap, or triggering it in such a way that they think it was their fault, not mine, that the trap went off. I showed one of these in this post: First Trap of the First Level
My favorite trap, however, is when it is combined with a treasure. When that happens, I almost invariably use the treasure as bait, or as an integral part of the trap. I make it absolutely obvious that something is up - it's not a bunch of gold carefully hidden, and, haha! it's coated with poison! Rather, it's right out in the open, exactly where it shouldn't be, daring the adventurers to figure out what the catch is. Because there's always a catch. And thus, I present...
126. Bejeweled Bung
In the center of this room is an elongated dome, 4’ high, resembling a beehive. Plunged into the top of the dome is a golden spike, with a ruby attached.
The beehive is hollow, and filled with poison gas. If the spike is removed, the gas will be released into the room. The person who released the gas must save vs. poison or die. Others in the room have 1 round to immediately leave, or they too must save vs. poison or die. If someone successfully saves, but remains in the gas, they will have to make another save every round they remain in the poison.
If the door is not shut after the gas is released, it will spread into room 125 as well. It will take 1d6 days for the gas to dissipate, due to the lack of ventilation. Leaving both the door between 125 and 126, and the door between 125 and 130, open will cause the gas to dissipate much more rapidly, in only 2d6 turns.
The ruby may be safely pried off the spike without causing the gas to be released, should the players try that.
The golden spike is worth 200 gp, and the ruby an additional 400 gp.