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How to install booby traps

****It Takes a ThiefPowerful as one's strong right arm may be, it is a sad truth that one cannot be everywhere at once, and even gangs of mooks have their limits when it comes to threats posed by lone infiltrators to one's compound. Thus it is a key principle of sound lair design that autonomous entrapment devices must be set up to provide a backstop to whatever defense in depth one's forces are able to mount.

*Evil plotpoints

  1. Photographs. Take some pictures of the place you propose to set up your booby trap illuminated the way that your quarry will see it. If there are natural features you wish to exploit (for instance stalactites or sheer cliffs), study the most likely ways a naive visitor might approach these. Observe whether the time of day or the height of the tide might subtly alter the layout of your location.
  2. Geometry. Your booby trap may rely upon a single point (for instance the tip of a poisoned needle), a line or arc (a fixed cutting laser or a swinging axe), a plane (an electrified floor), or a volume of space (a roof filled with noxious gas, or a spherical blast shell). It may even take on a chaotic shape, such as a swarm of robotic wasps. Each of these geometries has its advantages and disadvantages which you must heed in order to get the most out of your deathtrap.
  3. Misdirection. Concealment is sufficient only to catch very stupid intruders. More intelligent ones will be on their guard, looking for the nearly invisible tell-tales you will have left and will be more likely to frustrate your efforts to trap them. To combat this, try giving them what they want. For instance, you could install an obvious tripwire for them to evade, meanwhile concealing the invisible laser beam they won't be expecting.
  4. Amp up their emotions. The kind of intruder you least want is one who can maintain a calm demeanor conducive to rational thought. At minimal cost you may introduce irritants such as loud noises and bright lights that will dazzle them, or savage predators which will activate the fight or flight response. While their minds are operating on a primitive level, they will be less likely to make fine bits of analytic thought needed to defeat the technologically advanced apparatus you have concealed.
  5. Details matter. You can have the most cunning mechanism rigged up with exquisite sensitivity in a completely inaccessible location, but if you neglect to tuck a wire or two here, or plaster over a spot of blaster damage, your guest's alarm bells will be set off and an opportunity will be lost. The finest booby trap makers have an element of the obsessive artist who continually reaches for a crystalline perfection in every respect.
  6. Test it out. During your R&D effort, you will be exercising the trigger mechanism until you have convinced yourself that you have it working perfectly. Yet you won't really know whether it is truly flawless until you conduct field trials in situ, with the whole thing assembled.


! Strokes of genius

  • Reset. Nothing turns off a potential victim than traces of the last couple of adventurers still on display. Besides that, you need to reload your blunderbuss or apply fresh poison to the spikes or it will most likely be ineffective for a second go-around. Task a minion to check and empty your traps periodically and to gather the relevant information to update the booby trap statistics database you should also be keeping.
  • Fake them out. Some evildoers report a good deal of success when they put up phony warning signs in locations surrounding the genuine article so that their target wastes time and effort trying to disarm a trap that's not there. It is important to avoid making the ruse too broad, however, which will only invite ridicule on the part of all viewers.
  • Post the video. Successful booby trap footage is a perennial favorite on video sharing sites, and is especially appropriate for one-off snares which do not rely on secrecy after the fact to be effective. If enough buzz is generated around your deadly surprise it can boost your reputation among your peers in a way that a simple heist or a commonplace invasion can fail to do.
  • Unexpected catches. Now and then a villain has focussed all his or her efforts on defeating one interloper only to find that the trap has been sprung by a completely different one — a dishonest henchman, a smooth-talking rival, or even an ornery poltergeist. You may even be lucky enough to have clipped the wings of a hero or superhero aiming to make mischief in your compound. When such windfalls come your way, you know that your basic strategy is a sound one, and you should take this as a sign that you should consider a few more installations in ambush to back up the productive one.

!! Traps for mere fools

  • Getting too close. There's nothing worse than the site of a lair owner caught up in their own booby trap.
  • Rusty triggers. Damp dungeons are murder on delicate mechanisms.
  • False alarms.

Banana Peel

+ Precious and needful

  • Boxing gloves.
  • Double-sided tape.
  • Radio-controlled munitions.
  • A satchel filled with asps.
  • Sharpened sticks.
  • IR motion detector.
  • Five hundred ball bearings.

Further plotting

Created by: MACERATOR. Last Modification: Monday 17 of September, 2012 21:26:06 EDT by MACERATOR.

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