In terms of imagining the fiction in-game, how does a character survive being impaled by spikes in a spiked pit trap?
Spiked Pit Traps are a classic dungeon trap in fantasy. Like most traps in D&D, they simply do a set amount of damage that can be survived. It is assumed that if the character does survive the damage, they can simply climb back out (perhaps with the help of their allies and some rope) and continue on their way, making it a one-and-done kind of situation.
However, I find it difficult to imagine how someone would actually survive such an impaling regardless of damage rolls. The realism and believably fails for me. I see it as following a similar principle to The Chunky Salsa Rule - the character would be perforated so completely that there is no way to envision their survival.
In a spike trap with sufficiently dense amounts of spikes:
- The character could not avoid being pierced in every major body part, including through the head. There'd be no way to "dodge" damage to certain body parts, as there's always more spikes.
- Even if the character survived the initial impaling, they would be unable to pull themselves off the spikes afterward due to gravity (unless they could magically fly straight up the way they fell).
- Even if the character someone dislodged themselves from the spikes, there would be no place to stand in order to prepare to get out of the pit, nor place for an ally to climb down to help them.
In real life, such a trap would almost certainly have a 100% fatality rate. It is simply not possible to survive beyond some quantum-mechanical miracle. Even then, actual miracles in D&D might still not save you - you couldn't plausibly be healed while you're still full of spikes.
How do I deal with characters surviving such spike traps in terms of the narrative? How do I describe such an event in the story? Is it even possible to make believable? Should the Chunky Salsa Rule be applied such that such traps simply insta-kill instead?