The only time I found traps effective and fun, was in old Nork, against Wardens using the EarthCrush traps. Using them in normal dungeon hunting was too time consuming to make them practical. It was much more effective and fun to use a weapon or discipline. I would like to change that.
General Idea: Introduce assistive traps to IR (sold by the Merchants). Forget the idea of traps as bombs. Make them into utilities, no longer offensive weapons. Terrorists find another game.<g> This does not impact your IR map traps (which I really like), since those tier traps are not for sale. So, here are some assistance type traps that come to mind...
- Quicksand: A single hex based tier, which reduces move rates for those NPCs who are on or wander onto the quicksand hex. Reduces movement rate to 0, for up to 25 rounds. Reduces your movement rate too, while on the quicksand hex.
- I am not sure about also having more powerful area based versions of this trap/tier. But here it is for consideration. NPC proximity to the trap could be scaled (divide by 2 for each hex away): On hex is 24 rounds, one hex away is 12 rounds, two hexes away is 6 rounds, and 3 hexes away is 3 rounds. Any NPC that enters a hex with quicksand on it becomes suck until the tier for that hex counts down to 0. Your current swamp map icon could work as a visual clue of the active tier. The thief could also have a countdown icon on his heads up display, which could use the same swamp icon.
- Webs of Steel: An area tier that expands out from the trapped hex and gets cast upon all NPCs in view. Proximity from the trap increases the NPC saving throw: 0 saves when on hex, 10% 1 hex away, ..., 30% 3 hexes away. It casts a sticky web that is very hard to break (lasts 100 rounds). It reduces the NPC's weapon blocks to 0. If NPCs should end up trapping (or casting) it upon players then the only way to reduce the timer is to apply an anti-web based brew that dissolves the bonds. Call the brew, Spider's Bane? You could display the same map icons as in the Spider Queen area of Nork3.5, while the tier is active for that hex.
- Quantum Spikes: An area tier that lays down a concentric circle of quantum spikes, for when the thief wishes to be seen or is playing with others who are seen (healers, etc.). These quantum spikes are grown from the quantum soup of space-time itself, so there is no protection from them (no saving throw, no armor protects, no tier protects). The NPCs step on the spikes as they move toward your hex. There are no spikes on your central trap hex, so no effects once they reach you. Do not let them! As the NPCs travel on each spiked hex they lose three rounds, have their movement rates cut in half, if their movement rate ends up 0 then they are stuck until the tier expires, eventually losing the ability to do ranged attacks (weapon and tier)(their skill is cut in half each step they make), reduces the effectiveness of their armor (creates microscopic wormholes in their armor and bodies), and reduces their hit points by half each step they take (because of the same wormholes). That is until they reach you. Then speed is normal again, attacks are normal, armor blocks/defense is normal, and their hit point maximums exist again (even though the damage remains, but they can regen or be healed up to their old maximums again by IHs or NPC healer). Technically the tier did not damage them, it just reduced their max hit points at each step they took. The duration of the tier is 50 rounds. You could display the map icons using your current black map icons as indicators of the quantum spikes being active. The thief can have the same icon for his HUD countdown too.
Note that the above traps could be made reusable, where their effects and timers are ended - when the thief picks the trap back up. This would allow the thief the ability to recharge their traps! Looking at the trap informs thieves of the energy stored in it. Something like, "It is effective for 50 rounds". To boost or recharge the duration of the trap: Hold it in right hand, hold an energy brew in your left hand, double click on the trap, and a message informs the thief with something like "You pour the brew upon the trap and the liquid quickly disappear and the trap glows. It is effective for 26 rounds". Depending on the power level of the brew it will recharge the trap X number of rounds. If a thief leaves a trap on the ground with 0 charges left in it, then it will decay like corpses.
I am hoping this will make traps useful, fun, and easy to use. However, maybe it is not worth the time for such a small target audience.