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The 14 Steps of Paranoia

the number is a red herring. In reality, the number of steps would be a closely guarded secret.
 
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A staircase with a random number of steps, each step constructed of varying tread depth and riser height. The goal being to slow down (and hopefully bring down) an intruder in the night. The hand rail also has randomly spaced gaps in it. If you used fancy technology and weren't concerned with cost, the steps and rails could randomize at random periods throughout the day.
21 Quest, May 29 2013

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       Done.
21 Quest, May 29 2013
  

       Pleasantly surprised at how much I like this. +
blissmiss, May 30 2013
  

       [+]
  

       I have a less creative intruder deterrent that nonetheless resembles this idea in function if not form; a pair of littermate pit bulls sleeping at the top of the stairs. They're not particularly vicious or even ill-tempered, but they're easily excitable and they go down a staircase like a herd of buffalo caught in an avalanche.
Alterother, May 30 2013
  

       Nice. Boba's like that.
21 Quest, May 30 2013
  

       And don't forget to include an interlocking set of stairs above that fall down like a trap, mashing the intruder as if inside giant teeth, and extracting the juices.
rcarty, May 30 2013
  

       somehow I remember ideas like this violating the rule against ideas intended to harm intruders.
WcW, May 30 2013
  

       No harm is intended, though some incidental risk to the end-user may be imposed by activation of the device.
Alterother, May 30 2013
  

       If these are the 14 steps of paranoia, the 13th should be the last.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 30 2013
  

       Many mediaeval castles had a "trip step" that was designed to catch out an unwary intruder who might be hurtling up the steps of a keep's stone stairs.
xenzag, May 30 2013
  

       Falling down a flight of stairs in full medieval battle-rattle... what I wouldn't give to be there to see it happen.
21 Quest, May 30 2013
  

       Yeah I would definitely have the first section being normally spaced stairs, just to lul them into a false sense of security - then BAM - a higher step with protruding lip followed by three short steps. A dry ice-in-water smokescreen waterfalling down the staircase would suitably hide the hazard.
Custardguts, May 30 2013
  
      
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