Dragon Encounters

Making dnd combat fun, finding monsters that fit together, monster tactics and strategies, and other ways of using the monsters of dungeons and dragons

RUG OF SMOTHERING: Setting the Trap


Combat rating 3


1 Rug of smothering (CR 2)

3-5 Drow (CR 1/4)


Combat rating 3


1 Rug of smothering (CR 2)

1 Specter (CR 1)

2 Shadows (CR 1/2)


Combat rating 4


1 Rug of smothering (CR 2)

2 Mimics (CR 2)


Combat rating 4


1 Rug of smothering (CR 2)

2 Mummies (CR 4)


Also use with Hobgoblin, Hobgoblin chief.

How to Use – Instructions

Put one or two spellcasters or archers on the far side of the rug.

Leaving the area free of enemies and obstacles will give a hint about the trap being there. I personally think that isn’t such a bad idea, but if you don’t want the players to realize putting at least a small number of obstacles and/or melee fighters guarding the casters or archers is probably worth it.

In the spirit of hints and fairness, you should probably not allow any of your combatants to walk on the rug.

When describing the room, remember to give a slightly elaborate description to at least one or two other furnishings as well (I.E., “Two strong, solid chairs made out of a dark wood that match the table. They are simple, unadorned, but look fancy nonetheless.” Not “Two chairs.”) Don’t have the rug be the last thing you describe, as players’ attention tends to fixate the most on the last thing they hear. Even first is preferable to last.

The rug of smothering is a onetime trick. If you want to use it a second time:

  • You could hide it under a layer of dirt. I would not take this approach, as your players will cry unfair, and I would agree with them.
  • You could place multiple rugs in the room, and the players will have to figure out which one is the rug of smothering (answer: It’s the one no one else is stepping on.)
  • You could use them as normal, non-hidden opponents.  Use at least two, as they are very vulnerable, and place them at the sides of the room, as attacks-of-opportunity are their greatest weakness. When calculating the encounter, be aware that their CR is closer to 1/2 than 2 when used this way. (Although you might as well reward the players with the full XP gain. It’s stupid to pick a fight with your players over something this small.)

Combat Encounter (Difficulty 2)

The rug of smothering is actually interesting without my suggesting anything else. However, if you want to increase the challenge, let a fallen lantern or some such set a section of the floor on fire. The fire is spreading toward where one of them is imprisoned in the carpet, and they have to keep back the fire long enough to get him free (or I suppose they can pick up the carpet and carry it off with him still in it. No movement penalties, as the rug won’t look for another victim while it already has one, and it won’t mind being carried. The question is how long their companion can survive without breathing.)

If they were sneaking in, the challenge is to free their companion without making too much noise. Or, someone is walking their way, and they have to deal with the situation fast. (Whether they knife the visitor, or block the door, this can easily lead to complications. Have fun.)

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About Me

I have been a DM for several years, and I was designing home RPG games since my young childhood. I have been a fan of many different types of games (computer, board, RPG, and more) and have designed several for my own entertainment. This is my first attempt to produce game content for a wider audience.