New Trap – Zoomorphic Cage (A to Z Challenge Z)

30 April, 2013

It was not something you expect to find in an abandoned tower, a set of zoo cages.  The first one held three skeletons of what the ranger said were bears.  It had some sort of trap in front of the cage, but our scout was unconcerned with it, until he stepped in front of the cage and in a flash of light was changed into a bear and then the floor raised up, the cage door opened and he was dumped inside.  We stood dumbfounded as the cage locked behind him.

Zoomorphic Cage CR see below

A corridor, one side lined with large cages each with a sliding cage door and marked with an arcane symbol.

A panel at the far end of the corridor (usually locked, DC 30 to open) contains both the switch to turn off the cage part of the trap as well as a set of compartments with matching symbol to the cages.  An image, painted, carved whatever, of an animal placed within sets template for the polymorph effect, with a default setting of a beaver is engraved on each one.

This trap consists of two parts, the Zoomorphic Transformation and the Cage:

Zoomorphic Transformation (CR 5) XP 1,600
When a person steps in front of one of the cages, a flash of bluish light emanates from the symbol.  The person is then transformed into some sort of animal.

Type magical; Perception DC 29; Disable Device DC 29
Those who know a 2nd level or high spell of the Transmutation school or have 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft gain a a +2 competence bonus on the Perception roll and +1 on the Disable Device check.

Trigger visual (clairvoyance, +15 perception), a predetermined area (in front of each cage); Reset automatic, once each day
Bypass wearing a protective sigil keyed to the trap

Effect polymorph into a large-sized or small animal (see below), Fortitude save (DC 19) to avoid, if failed Will save (DC 19) to resist mentally become the animal as well.  If Polymorphed, stunned for one round and unable to resist the Cage part of the trap.

Cage (CR 1) XP 400
The floor raises up to deposit the newly transformed victim into one of the cages, which promptly closes behind them.

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
Those who have 3 or more ranks in Craft (architecture or stonework) gain a +2 competence bonus on the Perception roll and +1 on the Disable Device check.

Trigger activated by the Zoomorphic Transformation (successful or not); Reset manual (obvious lever once it has been triggered, slopped floor makes the area difficult terrain until this is done)
Bypass see above
Effect Reflex save (DC 14) or be dumped in the cage (1d4 points of nonlethal damage) and the cage door closes and locks (DC 20 to open lock).

Notes: A rather nasty trap, I think the CR rating for the zoomorphic transformation may still be low, and I increased it over what the Pathfinder traps rules said it should be.

And ending as I began, with a trap, this completes my third foray into the A to Z Challenge, thank you for all of you who suggested, commented and read.


  1. A traveling circus could run a lucrative ransom ring with one of these,

    • They certainly could. I was thinking of it as a way for a wizard to make money by turning unwanted guests, prisoners or wandering peasants into exotic animals and then into cash (or spell components for the more evil wizard).

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