That time hunting traps saved the party

DM gave the party a bunch of hunting traps. We used them to great effect against gnolls.


So, I have recently gotten into D&D. Honestly, my favorite part is building characters, and doing intricate backstories. I recently started DMing, and I love worldbuilding. The DM who got me into it offered to run a session for my wife and I so she could get a taste of the game and see if she liked it. Every character that gets introduced is Level 1 when they first come on the scene, just fyi.

It was a pretty basic dungeon crawl. My character was an Elven Cleric, with a background that I am forgetting the specific name of, but my unique incident was that I had robbed a wealthy merchant to give the money to the poor. I convinced the DM to let me roll a bunch of dice to get a huge sum of cash, with the explanation that I still had some coin from robbing the merchant. he told me "Okay, but when you get to civilization, there's gonna be a bounty on your head." I was excited.

My wifes character was a Drow Bard, who used to be an entertainer for children, but then had to go on the run when her husband robbed a merchant. She let me roll up most of her character, with one exception: she wanted to be very short. IRL I am relatively tall, and my wife is a bit on the shorter side. She thought it would be funny. I thought it would be funny. DM thought it would be funny. Her Drow Bard is around 2 feet tall.

During our standard dungeon crawl, my Cleric got blasted by a plant that exploded and one-shotted me with poison damage. DM expected my archer skills to kick in, and I would one shot it with a single arrow from the door.  Bummer (he told me later it literally had 1 hit point). Failed all my death saving throws. Bummer. Wife succeeded her death saving throws. YAY!

She proceeded to drag my body out of the dungeon, trying to find a healer. Best quote from the night after a horrendous nature check to attempt to find town "Moss points to civilization. You start walking."

We ended the session there, and the next session DM had a buddy come over. He brought a Goliath Barbarian. Awesome, more players! At this point, I was playing a Ghost Character, and we ran into some Gnolls. I got reduced to 0 hp again, and proceeded to roll two nat 1's for death saving throws. Bummer.

At this point, I pull out my first character ever: Dragonborn Paladin of Lathander. The backstory is a bit long for here, but Lathander, appearing as his recently dead lover gave him a greatsword and told him to go around dispatching the "monsters of the world" with particular ferocity. He fits right in with Goliath Barbarian.

We proceed to track the gnolls. We find a clearing with a bunch of them, and I forget exactly what happened, but they all took off. We examined the clearing and found 6 hunting traps. We prepped an ambush.

Pretty soon 10 gnolls come tearing into the clearing, and 5 get caught in traps, and are unable to move. I cut down 1, wife cuts down 1, barbarian cuts down 1, gnolls make a couple scratches in my Paladon, 1 dies from the damage the trap inflicts, I cut down another, wife gets another, barbarian gets another, another dies from trap damage, and because of movement, wife kills the ninth one, and the barbarian knocks the last one out.

We tie him up and question him. He is going on about the pillars of his Gnoll religion, repeating the same five phrases (don't remember them all, but one was about "the one rising") in infernal. Drow Bard speaks infernal. I put him out of his misery.

DM goes on to explain that he expected us to watch them, and pick them off slowly over time as they left in smaller groups. He put the traps in for flavor, and expected us to leave them there. He thought we were inviting a TPK by setting up the ambush for all 10, but let it happen because he figured we could handle character death. He honestly never thought we would survive all 10 gnolls.

Thank Lathander for hunting traps.

We all walked away at level 2.

Haven't played that campaign again yet because DM is gone to university, but I let my wife bring her Drow Bard "The Widow Starflower" into a campaign I have started running. In her starting equipment, is 2 hunting traps.


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