Tinker Traps Essay, by Sinjin, Mother Theresa and Stitch.   Edited by Elowan of Wind.

ip does not do it. Sorry but a dart trap is more on the order of a mosquito bite — annoying but little else. Blech is better — especially if the trap is made with Deadly Poison, but Boom is definitely where it's at. This essay will concentrate on Boom but the general principles are the same for any trap.

Making the trap

First of all: to make a powerful explosion trap, you need 5 things.

  1. a lockable wooden chest or wooden (red) box
  2. a set of tinkering tools
  3. an ingot
  4. a purple potion (strength of potion is not important but see below)
  5. a high level tinker (most important)

To create the trap do the following:

  1. double click the tinkering tools,
  2. single click the ingot
      the program checks your tinkering skill to see if you were successful (if you were not, repeat the last steps)
  3. choose from the menu to create a explosion trap
  4. single click the chest to be trapped
      the program checks your tinkering skill again to determine the potency of the trap, creates the trap, then deletes the purple potion from your inventory

I have thoroughly tested the making of traps, and have come to the conclusion that the strength of a Tinker’s trap is mainly based on tinkering skill. I believe it is a misconception that the strength of a potion matters very much. Once a Tinker achieves Adept level of Tinker skill, it is possible for that Tinker to make a super strong trap. There appears to be an added bonus for being a GM Tinker versus 99.9 Master — which is in line with other professions.

Editors note: The same is true for poison traps. The strength of a Tinker’s trap is mainly based on tinkering skill.

I have done a bit of testing using various explosion potions. I have 94 tinkering, I made 20 trapped chests, five using lesser explosion, five using NPC bought purples, and 5 using greater explosion. I used my Sillyhood guildmate Jenna who has 99 hit points and she drank greater strength potions to get to 119 hit points for testing. All the traps were opened with no armor on. Additionally I made 5 more traps with random potions that we tested while wearing a full suit of plate armor to see if armor has any effect on the damage. The following are my testing results. In the cases where she died, I put >119 (greater than 119).

Trap Damage
Type of trap Results of the tests
Traps made with lesser potions 81 >119 81 74 67
Traps made with NPC potions 90 58 >119 67 108
Traps made with greater potions 112 >119 72 >119 54
Various traps while wearing platemail 117 98 99 >119 58

As can be seen, Jenna died under all four scenarios, so the ability to make the very high damage traps are not dependent on the strength of the potion used to make the trap. In fact one of my lowest damage traps was actually made with greater explosion. From this simple test, I could not see any difference if Jenna was wearing armor or not. Jenna did seem to be taking more damage on average as the test went on, but I would have to test a much greater sample size to recognize trends. The purpose of this test was to answer the questions:

Does the high damage traps depend on the potion used? No, all potions made traps that did over 119 damage.

Note: This conclusion is somewhat misleading. A simple calculation will show that Lesser Explosion potions produced a mean damage of 84 whereas NPC-made potions produced a mean damage of 88. Player-made Greater Explosion produced a mean damage of 95. In each case, the difference in damage between Lesser and Greater is statistically significant. I suspect that a larger sample size will not show much variation in this statistic.

Does armor matter: I think not based upon the results of this test, the damage levels were comparable to not wearing armor.

Note: In point of fact the mean damage wearing armour was 98! This testing was done with random potions so a more definitive conclusion cannot be reached. However, the results would seem to support the impression amongst GM Tinkers and others that wearing armour increases the damage from an explosion trap.

Tinker Trap Damage Formula:

Months after I did this testing described above, I was able to obtain a numerical model that is very good to determine the strength of an explosion trap. When a trap is created, it is assigned a trap level 1 through 10. The ability to make the different levels of traps pretty much follows your skill in Tinkering. (i.e.: someone with tinkering in the 60s would only be able to make a trap level 6., only a Grandmaster can make a level 10 trap). Now at my Tinkering level of 94, I can make level 9 traps. The damage of the trap is calculated by taking the trap level * random number between 5–15. (Level*(5-15)). So a level 9 trap could do 45–135 damage.

Note:Taking this all together we must conclude that best results are obtained with traps made by GM Tinkers utilizing player-made Greater Explosion potions.

Creating the trap safely

Trapping a moveable (player made, highlights yellow) chest that is located in either a building or boat that you own is not a crime of any sort(keeping the key in your pack while creating the box helps ensure this). This is a defensive measure for players to protect their possessions. Taking the chest outside of the building makes no difference on criminal behavior. In fact, any chest created inside a building or boat that you own has no 'ownership' at all, and can be used without fear of criminal consequence.

Note: the chest must be on the floor when you trap it in order to avoid responsibility for the trap.

Note: currently, "the boat that you own" means that you are carrying a key to the boat in your backpack, in the upper level. Do not bury the key several packs down.

Trapping a non-moveable (dungeon, town, monster camp etc.) chest or a player made chest that is not in a building or boat that you own will set the trapper as the controller of the chest. If the trap damages an Innocent the trapper will be flagged as a Criminal and Aggressor (to the victim). If the Innocent dies, he/she can report the trapper as a Murderer.

Using traps safely and effectively

If I trap a chest, it will explode and kill most anybody who opens it. It will remain this way until the key is used on it.

Editors note: Therefore, if you intend to place these items upon your vendor, take the key out of the box before you trap it. Then lock/unlock the box. The key may then be placed safely back into the box and the box placed into the vendor's pack. I learned this the hard way! It is also a good idea to include a book within the box containing instructions on safely arming/disarming the box and the key ring warning (see below). Blowing up your customers is considered bad for business.

Trapped chests are an excellent means of protecting yourself against thieves. For more info read the thief protection essays.

For tinkers trying to sell trapped chests directly to other players: Trapped chests cannot be placed in a trade window. However, if you place another object in the trade window first, for example the key to said trapped chest, you can place a trapped chest in the trade window. Let this be a warning to buyers as well. If someone offers you something for sale and places a chest or box not as the first item in the trade window, do not try to open the chest or box, it may be trapped.

Once I use the key, the characteristics of the trapped chest change.

  • The key will unlock/disable the trap or lock/re-enable the trap.
  • If the chest is locked and the trap is enabled, a person clicking on it will not die, they get the, "This appears to be locked" message.
  • If the chest is unlocked and the trap is disabled, a person clicking on it will not die, the chest will simply open.

So you see, using the key makes the trapped chest not blow up on opening anymore.

ANY Rogue can pick the lock (with the Lockpicking Skill) and in turn be successful, but if they open the chest, no matter what their Lockpicking Skill, the chest will explode just the same.

With all this said, there is a way to turn the chest back into its lethal explode-on-opening configuration: You need a key ring (buy this from a tinkerer shop). Lock the chest (thus re-enabling the trap), then place the key on a key ring and unlock the chest using the key ring.

Important! When you unlock the trapped chest using the key ring as opposed to the key itself, it will unlock the chest, but it DOES NOT DISARM IT.

To get stuff back out of an instant-open-exploding chest, you simply have to take the key off of the key ring and lock the chest again, and unlock/disarm the chest again.

In my house I have 5 trapped chests which I store stuff in, and I leave in the instant-exploding configuration. I already had a house thief blow himself up in my house :).

I have a bag where I keep the 5 chest keys lined up in order (separate), and in this same bag, I have 5 copies of those keys on a key ring, along with my house key. This way I don't have to keep putting keys on the key ring, and then take them off again. This is the most efficient way to use keys by themselves, and keys on the key ring.

If you stumble upon a chest and want to know if it is trapped or not you can use the detect hidden skill to determine that. If you pass the skill check and the chest is trapped the text "[trapped]" will appear above the chest. This will not disarm the trap, only the key can disarm it.

Tactics that DO NOT work to open trapped chests:

  • Using Magic Untrap on the chest. This will accomplish nothing.
  • Using Magic Reflect on the chest. This will accomplish nothing.
  • Using an axe on the chest while the chest is in its lethal exploding configuration (trapped and unlocked), or its unlocked and disarmed configuration. This will make the chest explode and you take full damage. However if an axe is used on a trap that is locked and armed, the axe will destroy the chest without damage to the player. As you can see, the most useful configuration of the trap is its lethal exploding configuration. You can store things in it, but players cannot take the stuff. They blow up if trying to open it or hit it with an axe. A locked trapped chest is basically worthless as someone can just smash it with an axe to empty the contents.
  • Using Magic Unlock on the chest. This may unlock the chest, but the trap will remain active.

Tactics that DO work to open trapped chests:

  • Opening the chest from a few squares away. If you have enough hitpoints you may survive the blast.
  • Using Telekinesis on the chest. If you are standing away far enough it is possible to receive no damage at all.
  • Successfully using the Remove Trap skill. The higher the Level the trap (higher level traps are made by higher level tinkers) the harder it will be to remove the trap.



Commentary by Mother Theresa (GM Tinker):

Traps seem to do the most damage to players wearing armor for some reason. Maximum damage I have seen is on a player with 97 STR and 43 AR magic plate but I don't know how armor modifiers come into play. I have seen a few instances of players with leather or no armor opening chests and having 0 HP but still standing. It seems this is some glitch with them auto-healing from 0-1 HP automatically, but this anomaly only happens with characters wearing leather or nothing and it doesn't happen a lot. This is reminiscent of the earlier armor bug wherein a combination of leather and an apron made the player immune to Energy Bolt and Lightning spells and may be a hold-over.

Chest Opening 101 for all you greedy people out there: (I know I am stabbing myself in the foot by giving out this info, but OSI has ruined the Malicious Tinker cum Mad Bomber and is in the process of completely destroying him or her.)

Secret 1: These chests are tinker chests not magic chests. So stop using Magic Untrap and you will live longer. (see also: The Way of the Warrior - A Tale of Two Thieves)

Secret 2: Telekinesis works great, but there is one hitch. By reading what's in the chests you also read the explosion which then is conveniently transmitted to the 'psychic' individual. Can you say: Boom!

Note: Since the 1.25.35i patch a "Your skin blisters from the heat" message is given to the victim of an explosion trap. Trap damage decreases if the victim is farther away from the trapped chest. The range for traps on chests will be three paces. Traps will only damage those who opened the chest. Hence Telekinesis can be used to open unlocked but trapped boxes relatively safely.

Secret 3: Again these are tinker traps so the Magic Reflect spell does nothing but waste the reagents that I get when you die! (Same with thrown purple potions)

Secret 4: If this is a player made chest (one that highlights yellow) and you think it is trapped, don't use an axe on it because I will get all your stuff.

Secret 5: Characters with a decent Detect Hidden skill are the only people who can safely figure out if the chest is trapped. When using the skill on a trapped chest, the text "[trapped]" will appear above the chest.

The extent of my trapping is in dungeons only, which I may add are supposed to be dangerous and scary places -- PKs included. People are supposed to know that by entering they have the strong possibility of biting the dust. The way I view chest trapping is with a sort of Robin Hoodish approach. Chests are gifts, people do not earn the goods contained therein. Greed provokes one to open them. Greedy people are my stock in trade and source of all that is good.

Editors note: I completely agree with the appellation: greedy. If thou canst not resist opening a box/chest that is clearly not thine own -- thou deserves thy fate. Think of it as a lesson in life and remember that private tutelage is always expensive. If thou insists on such activities wear something useless and carry around nothing of value.

Bottom line: if I trapped it, you will die and your wares will be distributed among the less fortunate -- me chief amongst them.

Hopefully this will help all of you live longer even if that means less loot for me!


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