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101 Clever D&D Traps and Trap Ideas

Written by Expy - Published on August 11, 2010
D&D Fire Trap Idea

Raging Silver Fire Trap Idea

Looking for ideas for some Dungeons and Dragons traps your players will love? We’re compiling a list of 101 clever D&D trap ideas right here and we need your help! Give us your best creative, clever, evil and downright diabolical trap ideas and we’ll compile them all right here in this post as well as enter them all in our shared D&D traps tool (over 40 are available right now for members).

What Makes a Good D&D Trap?

Great traps build up tension just before the trap springs. They create action as the character tries to escape. They are difficult and require a creative solution to escape without bringing the game to a grinding halt. Instead, they make sense in moving the adventure forward.

How to Post Your Trap Idea

Simply post a comment at the bottom of this post. You can either simply post a description or use the format below:

Trap Name:
Quick Description:
Full Description:
Perceptions DC:
Perceptions Success:
Additional Skills:
Additional Skills DC:
Additional Skills Success:
Action Type:
Attack Type:
Attack Roll:

Lets Get It Started with the First Trap Idea Straight from the DM Tools

Trap Idea #1: Raging Silver Fire

  • Level 15 Lurker – XP 850
  • A glowing circle of runes on the ground tempts the victim. Unfortunately, when activated, only being INSIDE the circle protects one from the ensuing blast. A raging inferno of Silver Fire erupts in the room, damaging all occupants not inside the glowing cirlce of runes.
  • Perception
  • DC 10: Notice the glowing blue runes in a circle on the floor.
  • DC 25: Recognize the runes as a protective ward.
  • DC 30: Sense the perimeter of the room is beginning to flare up.
  • Acrobatics
  • DC 15: If attempting to vault into protective circle, chance on making it before ward activates.
  • Trigger: Within 15 seconds of entering the room.
  • Attack: standard•Area of effect + 15 vs. Endurance
  • Hit: 2d10+10 initial fire damage and has a (25% – Level of magic item) chance of detonating item, causing item level x 10 damage.
  • Aftereffect: 1d10 ongoing fire damage until save ends.
  • Miss: 1d10 fire damage.
  • Countermeasure: Stepping into protective circle of runes.

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77 Responses to “101 Clever D&D Traps and Trap Ideas”
  1. Admin says:

    Trap Idea #2 Courtesy of The Net Book of Traps

    Name: Double Vision
    Creator: Unknown
    Location type: Chest
    Trigger type: mechanical
    Trigger: failing to pick lock
    Effect type: mechanical/magical
    Effect: This trap isn’t immediately deadly, but it’s pretty sick. The trigger for this trap is failure to pick a lock. So if a PC fails their lockpicking or thievery roll, they’re greeted by a razor-sharp blade that pops out and slices off part of their finger. As soon as the fleshy bit is severed, it vanishes. This should cause some worry, and for good reason – the detached digit has actually been teleported to the tower of an evil wizard who dabbles in cloning. The finger is used to create a clone of the newly 9-fingered PC. And as we all know, clones turn up and try to destroy us at the most inopportune times. I like this one for the shock value and ensuing paranoia.

  2. Da' Vane says:

    Trap Idea: Teleporting Door

    Location: Door/Walls

    Trigger Type: Magical

    Trigger: Closing the Door

    Effect Type: Magical

    Effect: This door has been enchanted so that whenever it is closed, it teleports to a different location within the dungeon, leaving behind a solid wall. The door may be set to teleport randomly, or follow a preset sequence through the dungeon. Whatever wall the teleporting door travels to will become a normal closed doorway, but will have reset upon arrival, ready to be sprung once again. Any marks or damage to the door will remain on the door when it is teleported, allowing canny PCs to keep track of the door.

    Detect magic on the door will reveal transmutation (teleportation) magic of moderate power. If the door follows a preset sequence through the dungeon, the affected walls will also reveal faint transmutation (teleportation) magic while the door is not present.

    The trap can be thwarted by simply preventing the door from closing or destroying the door itself. Of course, if the door is required to enter specific areas of the dungeon, either bonus areas or as part of a puzzle, alternative methods will need to be found to access these areas. Of course, there may be more than one teleporting door in the dungeon.

  3. Christopher says:

    Trap Name: Teleportation Maze
    Level: 3
    Role: Obstacle
    Type: Trap
    XP: 150
    Quick Description: Invisible glyphs on the floor teleport others to other glyphs in the encounter’s area.
    Full Description: Six glyphs (each of them numbered one through six) are each places invisibly in a square throughout the encounter area. When a target enters one of the glyphed square, it teleports to another randomly determined glyph.
    Perceptions DC: The glyph is invisible and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
    Additional Skills: Arcana
    Additional Skills DC: 20
    Additional Skills Success: The character notices the magical glyph
    Trigger: A character enters into a glyphed space.
    Action Type: Teleportation
    Attack Type: Immediate Interrupt
    Target: Creature in glyphed space
    Effect: The target teleports to a randomly determined glyph by rolling 1d6. Roll again if you roll the glyphed square the target entered.
    Countermeasures: A character who makes a successful Athletics check (DC 6 or DC 11 without a running start) can jump over the glyphed square.
    An adjacent character can disable the glyph with a DC 25 Thievery or Arcana check.

  4. Kasa says:

    Trap Name: Grease slide

    Level: 1

    Role: Obstacle/harmless

    Type: Trap

    XP: 100

    Quick Description:
    A harmless trap that disposes the target player, using a rope grease and a mechanical hidden ramp.

    Full Description:
    A simple trap that trips the player sending them sliding down a grease covered ramp that opens up in front of them and out a window into the waters of the nearby swamp. The ramp is build into the ground and only opens when the wire is tripped.

    Perceptions DC: 15

    Reflex save : 20

    Trigger: walk across wire

    Disable the trap or step over the wire.

  5. dr.doodidoo says:

    name: the trap painting.
    if you look into the painting you see a green medow with roling hills and a couple of sheep grazing… BUT you need a will save to stop looking at the painting i you fail the save you are sucked in to the picture and the “grazing” sheep start attacking you with thair razorsharp teath the best part is the other pc dont know wat happend eacouse the picture didint change at all and thair fraind just dissapheard with a slyt wooshig sound YAY

    sorry aboute misspell

  6. Trap Idea: Deadly Corridor (naff name I know, I coudldn’t think of anything better).

    Setting: an entire corridor of any length. It should be straight, with one door at each end (false/locked doors could provide extra fun).

    Trigger: once the PCs enter the corridor, both doors lock tight.

    Effect: once the trap triggers, a pit in the centre of the corridor opens, filled with spikes/crushers/man-eating pudding, etc. The floor starts to move, conveyor-belt style, towards the centre from both sides. There is no part of the corridor, apart from the pit itself, which is not moving.

    The floor first moves at a swift walking pace. However, on the ceiling directly above the pit are three levers–two of them make the floor speed up, while the other (stuck/partly broken) slows it down. Pulling a lever multiple times compounds the effect, so you can pull the slow lever enough times to stop the floor.

    Prevention: the whole thing is mechanised, so there is no chance of magical detection. However, an observant player may notice before the door is shut that the floor is not entirely solid (either plates or a flexible mesh to allow for rotation), and a very good trap-finder could see the locking mechanism in the door.

  7. Zvel-Haj says:

    Trap Idea: Tipping Floor
    Level 10 Lurker – XP 500
    The party walks into a room with the other doorway on the opposite side and treasure in nooks on the walls to the left and right. What the players don’t know is that the floor is one big plate that hinges on the center walkway (from one door to the other), so that if anyone takes a step to either side, the floor will tip and they will fall into the pit below filled with whatever the DM chooses (spikes, Chulls, more dungeon, etc.).

    DC 15: Notice the scrapes in the floor toward the sides of the room
    DC 25: Notice that the floor does not quite reach all the way to the wall on either side

    DC 10: That treasure looks too easy to get to. There’s something fishy here

    DC 15: The floor is not as thick as it appears; there is an empty space just below the room, but not everywhere
    DC 25: The masonry on the floor is fake. Well, it’s real stone, but it’s too thin, probably a facade over whatever the real floor is.

    Trigger: When there is a 50 lb. or greater difference in weight between one side and the other (discounting the 5 foot wide walkway in the center)

    Attack: standard•Area of effect + 10 vs. Reflex

    Hit: All creatures in the room fall. Creatures on the walkway or on the side with less weight may make an Acrobatics check (DC 25) to scramble into either doorway or an Athletics check (DC20) to grab hold of and hang onto the edge of the floor. Creatures on the heavy side do not have the opportunity to make these checks.

    Miss: The creature has evaded the trap, finding its way to one of the entrances to the room quick enough not to fall

    Countermeasure: Avoiding the treasure entirely, evenly distributing the weight by having similarly heavy party members on each side of the room, or preventing the floor from tipping (something large enough to go from floor to ceiling, immovable rods, etc.)

  8. noisician says:

    Trap Name: Doppleganger Delusion

    Level: any

    Attack Type: You can make this an automatic effect on one PC, or you could roll an with an appropriate bonus vs Will for everyone in a blast 5 of the trigger, as desired.

    Make PC(s) think that one of the others has been swapped with a doppleganger which is about to attack and kill them. However, there is no doppleganger — the person suspecting this has been deluded.

    You can trigger this with the dying curse of a witch or a gypsy thief, or from a cursed magic item or scroll, or with magic runes which the party fails to disable, or whatever. You can make it unclear what the effect is going to be or you can give them something like “you will die at the hands of a friend”.

    One or more affected PCs are deluded into thinking that another PC is really a doppleganger. As DM you can build up some paranoia by passing notes to all the players. To the deluded PC, the note should mention that they notice something odd about one of the others — that his face or clothing looks slightly off or his voice sounds like it is changing for a moment. You can do this a few times throughout the day, increasing the warnings. At the same time, notes to other players could just say “continue role playing your character as usual… for now”. Obviously the players should not step out of character and reveal what you’ve written.

    The final part should happen at a time when the affected PC would naturally think that the others are especially vulnerable — perhaps most of the party is asleep or they’ve just finished a battle and some are injured.

    At this point, unless the deluded PC has already taken violent or other entertaining action against the “doppleganger”: roll a d20, consult your notes carefully, and tell him that he’s identified the threat as a doppleganger (and explain what that is if needed) — and that it has now dropped its disguise, drawn a weapon, and is about to attack an unsuspecting and defenseless comrad.

    Give the deluded PC priority in initiative and proximity to attack the suspected “doppleganger” if you can trick him into it! If a fight begins, you can further escalate it by having any nearby NPCs jump in on either side, depending where their loyalties lie.

    If the “doppleganger” is not killed at this point, the deluded PC will see the error in his judgement and the curse is gone. If the deluded PC manages to kill the “doppleganger” his belief is vindicated and his delusion strengthened. By the next day he will have identified yet another “doppleganger” amongst his comrads.

  9. DnD Dad says:

    Trap Name – Magical Magnetic Floor
    Level – Any
    Role – None
    Type – Movement Trap
    Description – A ordinary room that the floor looks to be made of some sort of metal. A low humming can be heard emanating from the room.
    Trigger – Step into the room while wearing metal armor.
    Effect – Any PC’s that enter the room that are wearing any type of metal armor is immediately slowed while in the room and take a -2 to all attack rolls if their weapon is made of metal.
    Hit – None
    Countermeasures – None
    After effects – All players wearing metal armor loose one healing surge when leaving the room due to the amount of effort it took to move inside the room.

  10. Jimmy A says:

    Trap Name: Void Life Orb

    Level: 8

    Role: Lurker

    Type: Trap

    XP: 350

    Quick Description: An over-sized crystal orb similar to those used for scrying.

    Full Description: While dormant the orb appears to be a large crystal ball like those used for scrying. It is large enough to occupy one square, and rests on a short mount. Once activated it glows an ominous black/ dark gray color. The orb steals life force from nearby creatures on their turn or in response to healing effects.

    Perceptions DC: 20 to notice the ever so faint swirling of magic near it’s center.

    Perceptions Success: The character or an ally can perform an arcana check to discern any unusual traits about the orb.

    Additional Skills:Arcana

    Additional Skills DC:20 to know that the orb causes negative effects and DC 25 to know how it functions.

    Additional Skills Success: Knowing that the orb is bad or even what it does allows the PC’s to better avoid it

    Trigger: A creature within 3 squares of the orb spends a healing surge for any reason or regains hit points for any reason.

    Action Type: Immediate Interrupt: (Aura 3) Any creature that starts it’s turn within the aura or spends a healing surge in the aura loses one additional healing surge to the orb (this include the creature who activated it). If a creature has no surges left the orb instead drains hit points equal to the creatures surge value. The orb will return to dormancy one hour after it last stole any life force from a creature.

    Countermeasures: The orb can be destroyed. It has AC, Fortitude, and Reflex of 20, resist damage 5 (no resistance to thunder damage though), and 40 hit points. It is immune to attacks versus Will, necrotic damage, disease, and poison. If it is destroyed the PC’s receive one of two rewards: 1. If it never activated they get XP for “disarming” the trap. 2. However, if it did activate it then it cracks open and releases a burst of energy, bloodied creatures regain their surge value in hit points and non bloodied creatures lose their surge value in hit points.

  11. Trap Name: Mintal Coins
    Level: Any
    Role: Lurker (?)
    XP: 100XP per coin spent or uncursed
    Quick Description: Collective coins make a Will save harder and harder until finally a greedy character becomes possessed by their own greed.
    Full Description:

    The PCs find a gold coin with a brain emblem (or the emblem of a secret society the DM chooses). It could be stacked in with other gold coins, nothing seemingly special about it, unless Detect Magic is used, then slight Enchantment and possibly Necromancy is detected. The single coin by itself is no big deal, secretly roll a Will save with a DC of 5 each day. The bugger is this: each coin that is together (ie. on the same person) adds +2 to the save DC! Once a character has accrued enough of these to fail the save, they want to collect more until the collective consciousness of the Mintal Coins is complete, and they want to have others collect the coins so they can be overcome with the same enchantment. Only a spell capable of removing curses will allow a character to get rid of the coins (even if they have not succumbed to the effect), and the coins will ALWAYS be the remainder after purchasing equipment, or the ‘change’. You could make the character roll their Will save (-2 circumstantial to roll) whenever attempting to spend the coins to make it easier to get rid of them as long as the character is not yet enthralled.

    Perceptions DC: Hard unless looking for the emblem or Detect Magic is used
    Perceptions Success: Notice the coins are different
    Additional Skills: Knowledge Arcana
    Additional Skills DC: Hard unless the emblem is of a campaign specific group.
    Additional Skills Success: Notice the coins are different.
    Trigger: Each coin added to a characters stash, and each morning.
    Action Type: Will Save
    Attack Type:
    Target: Single Character
    Attack Roll:
    Aftereffect:Enthralled until Remove Curse or similar spell is used.
    Countermeasures: Spending the coins (see above), Dispell before the character is enthralled, Remove Curse on character effected will remove the curse, but the Will Saves begin again the next day unless the coins are removed from the person.

  12. Trap Name: Jacob’s Sword (or other prominent Evil Wizard side kick)
    Level: Any
    Role: Lurker
    XP: DC depends on character level
    Quick Description: A magical +2 sword with better benefits. For someone else.
    Full Description: Jacob’s Sword appears to be a standard +2 sword that also has a higher than normal crit. threshold. Whenever the character crits, they are given the choice of taking a -1 to AC for the next turn to add +1 to damage (up to -3/+3). Each bonus also gives the character a cumulative +1 to the Will Save that will take effect the next time they score a crit. If they don’t want to add damage, they must succeed at their WIll save. Once the Save DC is greater than 10, the character gains an even higher crit threshold, and the weapon ‘requires’ a kill each day, or the character gains a negative to their AC equal to the Save DC for the entire day. The character can go looking for a quick kill with random wildlife. Once the Save DC is greater than 20, the sword gains intelligence and requires the character to kill once per encounter (at least once a day) and bathe in the blood of the days kills once per day. If a day goes by with no encounters, random wildlife no longer counts, the encounter challenge level has to be at least -3 the character’s level. The sword deems it ok to bathe in the blood of one of the fellow adventurers.
    Perceptions DC: Umm, only the fellow players get to make a save DC.
    Perceptions Success: They notice the character is particularly bloodthristy.
    Additional Skills:
    Additional Skills DC:
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: Critical Hits
    Action Type: Will Save
    Attack Type:
    Target: Character wielding sword.
    Attack Roll:see text
    Hit:See text
    Aftereffect: See text
    Countermeasures: Remove Curse once the Sword’s DC is 5 or higher. Any lower and it does not count as a cursed item yet.

  13. waffledragon says:

    Trap Name:Living Wall
    Quick Description:A sentient wall that attacks all passersby that don’t say a password
    Full Description:A sentient wall that can recognize friend from foe by the use of a password. The wall will not attack anyone going out of the place, unless they touch the wall. If a PC or NPC goes inside the wall they must say the password before entering the area of the wall, otherwise the walls will slam together. the password is always on the side of the wall, just before the entry, on both ends of the wall. wall is 20′ long and as wide as the tunnel/hall.
    Perceptions DC:35
    Perceptions Success:player notices the wall is not built into the surrounding walls and is not attached
    Additional Skills:
    Additional Skills DC:
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger:stepping between the walls
    Action Type:normal action
    Attack Type:crushing, bludgeoning, slamming, force, whatever…
    Target:any object, pc, or nps within area.
    Attack Roll:automatic hit
    Hit:50,000 dmg
    Aftereffect:the wall retreats back to its position, awaiting new targets
    Miss:only if target is out of the bounds of the trap

  14. spam says:

    Trap Name: walls of death
    Level: –
    Role: thief challenge
    Type: lockpicking
    Quick Description:
    Theif solo lockpicking trap designed to create tension as a lockpicking success is needed in 3 turns or death.

    Full Description:
    sorry if this gets a bit confused its a habit of mine! gave it my best shot!

    Inside a chamber is a door you cannot open but on one side of this room is a small tunnel with a pit at the end. As you climb into the pit a metal grate slides across and prevents you exiting back into the chamber you came from. Inside the pit you can crawl down a straight tunnel and you notice a wall of spikes pointed towards you. Oh noes! but if you search around just as you entered the pit there is a small metal door with lock. As you start lockpicking the metal spiked wall moves slowly towards you. You have 3 attempts at lockpicking to open the door before you are crushed. Inside the metal door are 2 dials which can be used to open the aforementioned chamber door and metal grate to let the character out the pit.

    Perceptions DC: easily spotted…. unavoidable.
    Perceptions Success:
    Trigger: first attempt at lockpicking starts moving walls

  15. Lexy says:

    This was a trap that my brother did that i really enjoyed. I am sure a seasoned DM could fill in the blanks. We did this in 4e

    Trap Name: Mirrored room
    Level: 3
    Role: Once in, getting out
    Type: Once in, getting out
    XP: ??
    Quick Description: The door in lockpicked and you see a room full of mirrors.
    Full Description: What happened to us – We went into the room and instantly had ‘copies’ made of us. If you were evil the copy was good and vice versa. If you were neutral TWO copies were made one good, one evil. So you battled yourself. My husband was neutral and his original character was killed as well as the evil one leaving his alignment good. Everyone LOVED it.
    Perceptions DC: ??
    Perceptions Success: ??
    Additional Skills: ??
    Additional Skills DC:??
    Additional Skills Success: ??
    Trigger: walk into the room
    Action Type: combat
    Attack Type: ??
    Target: ??
    Attack Roll:
    Hit: ??
    Aftereffect: ??
    Miss: ??
    Countermeasures: ??

  16. Dustin R. says:

    Trap Name: Graves Revenge
    Level: 2
    Role: Acrobatic Challenge
    Type: Touch-Trap
    XP: 400
    Quick Description: You’re on cemetary grounds with a bunch of graves around the PCs
    Full Description: Skeletons jump up from the graves grabbing them and doing damage. They really aren’t alive but are enchanted for the trap to work.
    Perceptions DC:
    DC 15
    DC 20
    Perceptions Success:
    DC 15: PCs notice that the graves have been re-dug.
    DC 20: PCs notice that the graves have pressure plates on the graves that will release the skeletons
    Additional Skills:
    Additional Skills DC:
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: Stepping on the pressure plate
    Action Type: Immediate Reaction
    Attack Type: Necrotic, Touch, Grab
    Target: Target Triggering the Pressure plate
    Attack Roll: +5 vs.
    Hit: 1d8+2 Necrotic damage, Target is Grabbed and Immobilized(Acrobatics DC 15 Ends Grab and Immobilization)
    Aftereffect: once PC has successfully ended grab and has left the pressure plate the trap resets after 1 round.
    Miss: 2 Necrotic damage, Target is grabbed and Immobilized (Acrobatics DC 15 Ends grab and Immobilization)
    Athletics Check (DC 20 [DC 15 with a 2 space running start]): If successful PC jumps past a grave that has a pressure plate

  17. Dustin R. says:

    Sorry to submit this twice but i had to fix some minor issues i forgot about.

    Trap Name: Graves Revenge
    Level: 2
    Role: Acrobatic Challenge
    Type: Touch-Trap
    XP: 400
    Quick Description: You’re on cemetary grounds with a bunch of graves around the PCs
    Full Description: Skeletons jump up from the graves grabbing them and doing damage. They really aren’t alive but are enchanted for the trap to work.
    Perceptions DC:
    DC 15
    DC 20
    Perceptions Success:
    DC 15: PCs notice that the graves have been re-dug.
    DC 20: PCs notice that the graves have pressure plates on the graves that will release the skeletons
    Trigger: Stepping on the pressure plate
    Action Type: Immediate Reaction
    Attack Type: Necrotic, Touch, Grab
    Target: Target Triggering the Pressure plate
    Attack Roll: +5 vs. Reflex
    Hit: 1d8+2 Necrotic damage, Target is Grabbed and Immobilized(Acrobatics DC 15 Ends Grab and Immobilization)
    Aftereffect: once PC has successfully ended grab and has left the pressure plate the trap resets after 1 round.
    Miss: 2 Necrotic damage, Target is grabbed and Immobilized (Acrobatics DC 15 Ends grab and Immobilization)
    Athletics Check (DC 20 [DC 15 with a 2 space running start]): If successful PC jumps past a grave that has a pressure plate

  18. Spareknikov says:

    Trap Name: One Eyed Greed

    Full Description: Inset to one of the skulls eye sockets (behind an expensive looking/jewel encrusted eye patch) of the skeletons sitting before the adventurers is a small ballistic device designed to project a dart into the victim of the trap. In its initial testing, most adventurers would look into the eyes of the skull directly in front of them. This would often prove to cause blindness. I guess they didn’t see the trap coming…

    Perceptions DC:
    DC10 to notice that the skull has been tampered with
    DC15 to notice mechanism behind the skull that attaches the eyepatch to the mechanism inside.
    DC25 to notice that the skull is aimed to look up at a Medium sized creatures face.

    Taking off the eyepatch triggers the mechanism to shoot the dart directly ahead of the skulls facing direction.

    Action Type: Mechanical

    Attack Type: Ranged, 10ft

    Target: 10ft

    Attack Roll: +5

    Hit: 1d6+2

    Poison that causes temprorary blindness (Blind for 6 hours)

    Disable Trap, Don’t take the eyepatch off from in front of the skeleton/skull.

  19. Rory says:

    Trap Name: Belly Of The Beast

    Level: Scale as appropriate

    Role: Magic user challenge

    Type: Crushing damage

    XP: Scale as appropriate

    Quick Description: The room is actually the hollowed-out ribcage of a fossilised dragon. Stepping on a central rune or sacred circle causes it to awaken and attack the party; only standing on the rune and psychically possessing the dragon will allow a PC to lull it back to sleep.

    Full Description:

    Congratulations on your decision to awaken a ten-thousand-year-old Undead Dragon! By setting foot in an unholy sanctum of Orcus you have tapped directly into the essence of an enormous and terrifying creature of ages past. Let’s hope you know what you’re doing!

    If this is your first time at the necromancer-dragon rodeo, be warned that you are currently standing somewhere inside its ribcage. Each time you attempt to harness its colossal power, the dragon’s movement runs the risk of dislodging a cluster of stalactites from somewhere on the ceiling. So stay on your toes; they could land anywhere!

    Wresting control of this creature ain’t easy either. Possession is a standard action, and each time you choose to do so the effort consumes one (1) healing surge through sheer mental exhaustion.

    On the plus side a successful roll gives you the option of either soothing the dragon back to its eternal sleep, OR you can use the dragon’s massive talons to punch through the rock walls and into the chamber, smashing anything in a 3×4 area of your choice.

    Perceptions DC: 10

    Perceptions Success: PC notices the vast colonnade of ivory pillars tapering towards the ceiling, pillars are inscribed with thousands of unfamiliar hieroglyphs.

    Additional Skills: Arcana, Religion, Dungeoneering

    Additional Skills DC: 15

    Additional Skills Success: Arcana – PC senses a strong psychic force in the room; Religion – PC recognises sigil/runes as cult of Orcus; Dungeoneering – PC notices fissures in the rock as if prone to earthquakes.

    Trigger: PC touches the pillars or sets foot within the central circle.

    Action Type: ?

    Attack Type: Close burst crushing damage in a 3×4 area

    Target: PCs and NPCs alike, PC standing within circle are unharmed

    Attack Roll: +7 vs Fortitude

    Hit: 1d10+4 damage, target is knocked prone

    Aftereffect: N/A

    Miss: half damage, target is not knocked prone
    Countermeasures: PC standing on central circle/sigil who gets DC18 or better on a Wisdom/Will saving throw takes control of the dragon for one round; may choose either to attack or lull it to sleep. 3 consecutive ‘sleep’ commands are needed to disarm it completely. DM may choose to drop a Talisman of Orcus earlier in the campaign, which will give +2 to saving throws vs. Will

    Additional notes: I’ve tested this trap out as an endgame, in a shrine of Orcus where the party was already facing off against a necromancer and his hordes. If inserted into an existing encounter an NPC magic user may also psychically battle the party for possession, opening up a new front in the conflict. Enjoy!

  20. Rory says:

    Oh yeah, if you choose to use the stalactites in that trap keep them light – saving throw vs. athletics/acrobatics, 1d4 falling rock damage per round. If you feel like it just clutterst the gameplay feel free to just use it for flavour text.

  21. MrJames says:


    This works best with a dungeon or dwarven enclave lost to history – one that the heroes have to search for. The ancient map is fragile and hard to read – apply pertinent skill checks at your discretion. History, perhaps, to read the archaic script, or a Dexterity check to avoid tearing the fragile vellum. As the party gets deeper into the mountains… let the rain start.

    Foolish parties will lose the map simply by trying to read it in the rain.

    More clever adventurers will venture over the rocky landscape, and find the wooded valley that holds the entrance to the dungeon. Here’s where it gets fun:

    In the centuries that the place has been left abandoned, trees have grown on and over the entrance. The roots are thick and heavy and either block or wedge the stone gates shut. Worse yet, the rains continue, and the hillside appears muddy and only somewhat stable.

    A Nature check can reveal that too much damage to the trees and their root system may trigger a mudslide. A Dungeoneering check can reveal that the stone archway is badly eroded, and may collapse without the support of the trees.

    If there’s a Paladin or Druid in the party, feel free to have a wood nymph inhabiting one of the trees. Removing or damaging the tree will hurt this innocent nature spirit. Triggering a mudslide by attempts to tunnel around the entrance would destroy her, too. Now what?

    Use your imagination to fill in the particulars, but keep the rain falling the whole time. The longer they dither about it, the more likely a mudslide becomes. There may also be a danger that someone else (Kobolds, maybe – or a dragon who lives in the forest) may deliberately trigger it, hoping to bury the party alive.

    Then, of course… if they get inside… let the mud slide anyway. Hundreds of tons of mud, rock, and broken trees will follow the party into the entrance, chasing them down dark passages they haven’t had time to explore yet. Should they survive the mudflow, there’s still the fact that their only exit is gone.


  22. Dr Boon says:

    The neurotic dungeon.

    A dungeon or area of a dungeon that is sentient… and very highly strung.
    A plot point you can use is that it’s the combined consciousness of many tortured and murdered victims of the dungeons antagonist or it could be the affect of an eccentric wizards long forgotten experiments.

    Basically you have several rooms 9×9 configured with dormant traps and/or enemies (I’ll illustrate a scenario in a moment) but the contents of the room are ultimately the play things of the sentient dungeon. The central room houses the cause of the dungeons sentience, is circular and accessable from any of the 8 surrounding rooms.
    Each room the players move to sees the dungeon taking on a different mood. For example: The first room the players enter the dungeon could be largely indifferent and treat the players with an air of dismissive irritance. The second room could see the dungeon in a manic mood, it wants to be entertained and laugh. So it could insist the players tickle a kobold that’s strapped to the table in the center of the room. Another room the dungeon could be lustful and make one of the players get intimate with a troll (keeping in mind the dungeon controls the wills of everything except the players).

    As the players move from room to room the doors will lock behind them (DM’s choice on how sturdy the doors actually are)
    You can choose whether the dungeons personalities move from room to room or if they’re static. (For instance, the tied up kobold could be exposed to a sadistic personality and the players will have to lacerate his legs with rusty knives instead)

    The whims of the dungeon aren’t concrete however and can be manipulated through negotiation skills and charisma. The methods simply depend on the room the players are in.

    The dungeon will keep the room where its essence is stored locked and hidden away unless the players can seduce their way in or negotiate their way in according to the personality of the room they occupy.

    If the players get into the center room the payoff is part of the trap as well. Some potential causes and outcomes for access are:
    – Broke into: Dungeon angry. Will pour all monsters from all rooms into center room.
    – Seduced dungeon: Dungeon will be pleasant and amicable until the players try to leave. At which point it will lock the exit
    – Negotiated a deal: For instance the dungeon will imbue a piece of equipment with magical properties on the condition that it may travel with the players within the imbued item (great plot potential).

    If the players are forced to destroy the essence (or decide to because they’re mean) the fractured personalities of the dungeon will infuse itself into random pieces of the players equipment and as time goes on will assert more and more control over these pieces of equipment. Same goes for the negotiate a deal option on whichever piece the players nominate.

    Successful Arcana checks:
    DC25: Necomantic or enchanting magics are emenating from the center of the 9×9 cluster (so whichever wall leads to the center chamber).
    Spot check:
    DC30: Hidden doors in each room that lead to the center room
    DC25: Open a door to an adjacent room or the entry from which the players entered.
    DC30: Open the door to the exit
    DC35 + DM’s discretion: Open the center room.
    Roll a d8 (or however many personalities you had) to determine which personality is infused into a given piece of equipment

    Because the magic that defines the dungeon is so warped and chaotic it is impossible to remove the personality from the item it posses. Any attempts to dispel will disintegrate the item destroying both.

    I know. That was long and it’s probably more of a dungeon feature than a trap. But I liked writing it up :)

  23. Sergoetgrim says:

    Trap Name: Lightning Vines

    Type: Illusion


    The party walks into a room with a chest in the centre. And ivy in the 4 corners. Walking close to the chest causes the ivy to lash out and pull the PC to the roof. The ivy itself is an illusion, there is a strong magnet on the ceiling which pulls the character up, if another character gets close to the chest they are also pulled up by different ivy. Characters without any metal items are unaffected.

    Once they are on the ceiling they press a large pressure pad and an electrical field surrounds them, dealing xD6 lightning damage (depending on the trap level). Attempting to hack away at the ivy in the corners causes the electricity to spread down the walls, dealing damage to any adjacent characters.

    Once they have figured out how to get to the chest (possibly some inscription about enemies of nature not being allowed to access the chest) among the loot, one of the items acts as a focus for the illusion. Causing more electric vines to appear throughout the dungeon if used.

    Perception Checks:

    20: The PC notices the Ivy.

    25: The PC notices a ring on the ceiling and on the floor surrounding the chest.

    27: The PC feels his/her metal possessions shaking.

    Arcana Checks:

    20: The chest is rife with magic.

    25: The vines are an illusion.

    28: The magic emanating from the chest is illusion magic.

    30: The specific focus item is identified.


    25: The ring on the ceiling is depressable.


    25: The PC can walk out of the magnet ring and fall to the floor.

    Trigger: Standing on the ring around the chest.
    Target: Anyone within the ring.
    Attack Roll: X vs Fort (depending on the trap level)
    Effect: xD6 lightning damage and the target is grabbed/immobilised.
    Miss: Half damage and the target is grabbed/immobilised.
    Countermeasures: Don’t wear any metal objects.

  24. waffledragon says:

    Trap Name: Sword In The Clone
    Level: Epic Tier
    Role: lurker
    Type: Trap
    Quick Description: An ebil trick to play on unsuspecting players, especially in a horror or sadistic campaign.
    Full Description: It is a sword in a corpse, laying off in a shadowed corner somewhere, with only a faint outline against the background. The sword duplicates itself when touched, creating another corpse off to the side. Each time the players touch the swords, the amount of corpses with swords doubles. The corpses are all different, but are not real people, they are simply created at random, male or female, but the sword is always in the center of their chest, and they are all cold to the touch. If a player touches a zombie, they come alive as level 1 minions with 8 in every stat. They have no armor, but if they come alive they pull the sword out of their chests and use it as a weapon. The swords are 1D4 damage. When a player kills a zombie, it disappears, along with the sword. They get no reward, its a trap after all! If they kill all the zombies, the trap reappears somewhere else in the dungeon(If the DM wants). If a player tries to remove a sword from an inactive zombie, they must make a DC20 check and beat 10+the characters level, versus poison. Whether they succeed or fail, the sword turns to dust and three duplicates appear.
    Perception Check: Passive Perception
    Perceptions Success:15 or higher
    Additional Skills:
    Additional Skills DC:
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: A player touches the sword(Duplicates appear), or a player touches the corpse(turns into a zombie minion)
    Action Type:Duplication is a free action, coming alive is instantaneous, but getting up and pulling the sword out is a standard action.
    Attack Type:
    Target:closest PC or the player that touches it(DM’s choice)
    Attack Roll:

  25. Teksura says:

    Jörmungandr’s Offering

    * Level 2 Warder – XP 125

    * A large snake rising over your heads, and circling back down to bite its own tail has been carved into the wall. In a small recess under the snake ring, you see an emerald. Woe be the fool who grasps this emerald, a pressure plate under the emerald will trigger, causing the ring formed by the snake to snap down like a mousetrap on an unwitting rodent. That is when the kobolds come to see what the noise is about…

    * Perception

    * DC 13: Notice the ring that forms the snake does not seem to be attached to the rest of the wall.

    * DC 20: Notice the pressure plate under the treasure.

    * Trigger: Disturbing the treasure

    * Attack: Opportunity Action: Targets all creatures adjacent to the treasure. Attack +7 vs. Reflex

    * Hit: 1d8+3 damage and the target is restrained until a DC 15 Athletics check to pry the spring loaded snake-ring back is accomplished. This ends the restrained status on all characters who are affected.

    * Effect: This also rings a bell in the next room, alerting the Kobolds that their trap has sprung and they should prepare for battle. Combat starts immediately.

    * Countermeasure: Disturbing the treasure from afar (such as with Mage Hand) will prevent any characters from getting caught in the trap, but it will still alert the Kobolds.

  26. Lee Hill Jr says:

    A wooden chair trap. when the PC sits down in the chair , it quickly folds in half forcing 1d10 splinters into the legs , arms and torso, of the PC, doing 1d4 points of damage. This trap has a DC of 15, since it will be very unlikely the PC can detect the true nature of the traps as well as the splinters left behind after pulling out the initial splinters.

  27. Andrew Pierson says:

    Teeter Totter
    Level: 10 lurker, mechanical
    XP: 500

    The room is a polished copper hemisphere with a 50′ radius and with a door opposite where the characters entered.

    When the characters attempt to use the obvious door handle, the door they entered through slams shut and the floor unlocks.
    DC 40 passive to detect alternate handle
    DC 25 active
    The unlocked floor can freely tilt in any direction in the sphere the characters are in. Every round the floor will tilt proportionally to the amount of weight they are off-center. (You can track this per-character weight, or just count 1 for every PC). In one round it tips 30 degrees, making movement “up” difficult terrain. The next round it slips to 60 and everyone loses their footing and slides down to the bottom. (DC 25 Acrobatics to hold onto the floor.) (DC 15 Athletics to climb on this surface.) At 90 degrees they slide into a dark, slimy hole at the bottom. (DC 35 Athletics to climb this.) (DC 30 Athletics to stop in the tunnel, +10 to the DC for each person on top of you.) (DC 45 Athletics to climb out +10 for each person on top of you.) After 2 rounds the floor levels itself, assuming no one is hanging on. The people that fell 2 rounds slip through a portal and are teleported to the top of the sphere, where they fall to the center of the floor for 1d10 damage and gain a +5 DC to holding on, as they are now covered with slime. As the floor will tilt toward anyone hanging on, it is very likely the party will slide right into them, knocking them loose.

    The alternate handle easily opens the door, and there are some heavy objects located behind the door that can be used to balance the floor. The trap is reset when a door is opened using the exterior handle.

    Shifting Rate:
    Off by 4 to 1 or more, the floor will shift 2 positions
    Off by 2 to 1 or more, the floor will shift 1 position
    Balanced: 1 position toward center.

    Example: (One paragraph per round)
    (T) Elven Thief
    (P) Dwarven Paladin
    (M) Human Mage

    P opens the door with T just behind and M in the rear with arms raised. The floor drops 2 positions. M and P fall while T cartwheels out of their way and holds on. P starts to climb, but just holds on, M lands on P’s head. T climbs toward the center (but didn’t make it).

    Floor shifts 1 position to 90 degrees and P and M fall in. T just hangs on. P would have make the climb check, but M is still sitting on his head.

    T climbs to the center, M and P fall.

    Floor rights to 60 degrees. T is just about to stand up when P and M appear above, covered in black slime. They fall, taking 1d10 damage each. They slam in to T, knocking him loose and they all slide to the edge.

    The floor tilts to 90 degrees, and they all fall in.

    Floor tilts to 60 degrees and they fall.

    Floor tilts to 30 degrees and they all land in the center, BALANCED, but taking 1d10 damage each.

    They all stand up, T edges toward the exit, P away. M stays still.

    When P is halfway across the room, T is at the door (BALANCED). T finds the handle without assists (as noone is next to him!)

    He opens the door and steps out.

    The floor tips to 30 degrees. M and P run toward the door.

    The floor levels. M exists, P runs toward the door. Completely unbalanced, the floor tips to 90 degrees….

    The underside fills the space. Characters teleporting in at 90 degrees take no damage, but fall directly into the hole again.

    Sorry… kind of rough format, but I like it.

  28. TheWhite says:

    Ran this one on a few players who decided to try to be clever
    Trap Name: Swivel door
    Level: Depends on what the heck you put behind it
    Role: Anything between a minor annoyance and a deadly doom device
    Quick Description: Upon opening a door the players fall backwards
    Full Description: After promoting a bit of paranoia my group decided to be clever about avoiding traps and ambushes by opening a door in such a way that they were pressed against the wall it opened towards. In a fit of adlibing I decided that the door was attached to the wall such that opening the door also opened the wall behind them revealing a slide for them to fall down. This isn’t a trap to plan into a dungeon but rather a good one to keep on hold for when players get clever
    Trigger: Opening the door

  29. Elber of Torou says:

    Trap Name: Book of Souls

    Setup: the characters enter a room with a grand lectern in the centre. The rest of the room should probably look very shabby by comparison. An ancient but fancy tome rests open on the lectern.

    Trigger: when a character tries to read the book, he/she is instantly transformed into words, sucked inside the book, and the book closes behind him/her.

    Countermeasures: the other characters must look through the book to find the trapped character. It may either be a physical description, or an image of the character formed from words (possibly both). Either way, the entire description must be read out from start to finish before the character is released.

    Extra tension: throw in some monsters/villains that enter right after the trap is triggered, forcing the characters to grab the book and run for it. For added fun, put in descriptions of other trapped adventurers, or nasty monsters.

  30. Elber of Torou says:

    Gallery of Statues

    The characters enter a high room which is lined with tall, impressive statues. Each statue is reaching one arm out, palm up–the hands are about 10ft off the ground, and the ceiling 20ft. The statues’ heads are about 11-12ft. Some of the statues show signs of decay–they are missing heads or their arms. The plinth of each statue will reveal, on a detailed inspection, a ring of magical runes (of animation); the runes show the same state of degradation as the statue they enchant.

    One statue’s hand is closed around something in a fist. On closer inspection, this ‘something’ is a key, one that will be important to the characters’ quest–possibly the door into the next room or one somewhere else in the dungeon, or to a vault, chest or locked tome.

    When the characters attempt to remove the key, the statue holding the key, and all of the others which are not critically damaged will animate and attack the characters in defence of the key. They won’t/can’t follow the characters beyond the room itself.

    For a twist, have other statues holding items–some of value, some completely worthless–and only the statue holding the item will animate in defense of it. There could be a master statue in a prominent place holding the most precious (to the statues) item, which will wake all functioning statues in its defence.

  31. Elber of Torou says:

    False Map

    Somewhere at the start of the dungeon (where your characters will most likely get it before exploring further) place a map of the dungeon. In the hands of a dead explorer is a good place. The map should be incomplete, and mostly accurate.

    The twist is this–where an important/safe location is marked, there will instead be something incredibly dangerous, such as a mega death trap, a nest of giant rats or the base of the goblins overrunning the dungeon. Thus the characters will most likely walk in unprepared and possibly overconfident.

  32. Elber of Torou says:

    The characters find themselves on some sort of infinite walkway–a solid stone path extending forwards and back into infinity, floating in the middle of a black void. There is no apparent end. Things dropped off the edge vanish into the empty distance below.

    As the characters proceed along, things that the characters desire or love–phantoms of loved ones, lost childhood toys, etc–appear just beyond reach in the blackness. Most likely the characters will be savvy enough to resist the temptation to go for them, as any who do will fall into the endless abyss.

    However, it turns out that the whole thing is merely an illusion–a character who steps off the walkway will in fact drop 1ft to where the floor is supposed to be, with all dropped possessions and other characters with him. Characters still trapped in the illusion are hovering in midair, pretending to walk, and unable to hear or feel anything from outside the illusion.

  33. loki says:

    mirror, mirror
    Trigger: walk into room, door disappears
    Description: room of mirrors with one mirror for each adventurer each mirror shows only the reflection of one of the adventures. Anything that is done to the mirror effects the corresponding person ( aka attack mirror with image of player #1, then player #1 takes damage) and anything that is done to player effects mirror image ( aka player is healed mirror image is healed) .
    Checks: none
    Damage: varies
    Solve: inflict 1+ hp damage to a player the player is not hurt but the mirror shatters last mirror revels door

  34. Lammy says:

    False floor Trap –

    A room that in filled with some sort if dangerous substance (quicksand, tar, boiling mud, bacteria filled water,ect) with platforms / a path only just submerged in the substance (make sure the players can’t tell where they are), the players need to know where to put there feat or fall to there death, generally you will put the answer somewhere in a previous room. You should also combined this with a lowering roof to add pressure, so they hade to know the sequence to get a cross in time.

    A good idear is to have a room that you can separate into a grid 5 wide and 10 long (the size of the squares in the grid are up to you) you fill the room with quicksand and select the correct path, one safe block on every row. Combine this with a lowering roof so the can’t poke a stick around and use try each space befor they step and adds pressure on them and you have a great encounter for our players, it chalenges them, rather than just needing to role the dice, they have to solve the problem themselfs, once they find the answer they don’t nesseserily need to put there characters lifes at risk on some dice rolls.

    Of corse this is just the base idear, you can complicate it with other idear over the top to change it and make it more difficult, like adding 3 doors at the end, with 2 of them leading to another trap, one of them skipping the traps and goes strait to the next room, how the figure witch door is the right one is up to you, a riddle perhaps, then the lowering roof adds more pressure on them and could make the uncalm make a mistake and pick the wrong passage

    Just an idear, but i think it’s a good one

  35. Lammy says:

    Oh, sorry, fogot to mention; the trigger to the lowering roof is the first platform that they have to get to

  36. Harrisonic says:

    Trap Name: Sandroom

    This trap consists of a single large room. The entire room is filled with sand. On the other side of the room, the party will see a door. As soon as the party enters, the door locks behind them. They will then feel themselves sinking into the sand and the room begins to fill up with sand. To the party, it appears that the trap intends to sink them and suffocate them, and will likely try to use acrobatics traps to escape. When they try to use the door on the other side, it will open and spray them with some sort of knock out gas and the sand will bury them. The way to exit? Let the sand sink them. They will find themselves deposited into larger room, by opening the door, they deactivate the escape method.

  37. kelly stone says:

    I made a trap once that is simple in concept,but vile in it’s slow execution of it’s victims.I just call it the lodestone.At the end of a long hall way is a stout wooden door with thick leather hinges and a pull type handle of rope.Beyond the door is a small room with a 15ft. tall and 8ft. in diameter dull gray cylinder,that is mirror smooth,About the base of this cylinder are small bits of debris and what maybe the glint of gemstones.
    Anyone approaching the cylinder in metal armor may get a reflex save to avoid being stuck fast to it,as it is actually a very powerful magnet.Once stuck to the magnet a strength save must be made three times in a row to free ones self and a reflex save to avoid being sucked back to the magnet.The vile part comes in the form of a metal dissolving ooze that lives a top of the cylinder.once “food” is detected below the ooze will slowly flow down and dissolve any metal and the flesh encased within,leaving bits of cloth,wood,any stones the adventurer might be carrying.

  38. Daxx says:

    Trap Name: The Voided Treasure
    Level: 5 or higher
    Full Description: As the group enters an empty room they see a lone treasure chest in the center of the room ( smart players will instantly think trapped ) as the resident trap expert disables the very simple trap on the outside then picks the simple little lock, he then proceeds to open the chest. Now the real trap is sprung. There is literally nothing in the chest, it is a vacuum so powerful fast that the one who opened it must make a reflex save of 15 or higher depending on your level when activated in order to stop from being sucked into the void, whether they succeed or not the vacuum is still pulling the rest of the group towards the same fate so the must make the same reflex saves if they end up close enough and are nearly sucked in and then a strength check of 20 or higher ( level depending ) in order to close it back up. Once you fall in though you are gone forever.

    Trigger: Picking lock and opening chest

  39. Helios says:

    Boulder Run, Indiana Jones style

    Players are walking down a corridor and suddenly a large boulder that fills the corridor drops down behind them and starts rolling after them, the thing is when they turn a corner there is a pressure plate that forces the boulder to chase them.

    Later after travelling through some maze like corridors they come to a room which needs a really heavy object to activate the pressure plate that opens the door, like the boulder that was chasing them.

    Someone has to be chased by the boulder to the room but they will find out that some corners don’t have pressure plates to make the boulder follow them, near these corners there are rooms that have dead man switches that make the boulder able to follow the other player. In these rooms though the pressure plate also summons waves of monsters and holds the door shut.

    You can put in as many dead man switch rooms as you want, I recommend enough so everyone has a room to stand in except the player running for their life.

  40. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: sharks of sand
    Level: to every shark add a level, start at 1
    Role: lurkers
    Type: trap
    XP: 500
    Quick Description: a trap where the players are teleported to a Sandy place full of sharks that live in the sand!
    Full Description: a portal fills the hall with a sign in it says that you need 3 things (of your choice) in order to use this portal and have a short cut to the final boss when in truth it teleports them to a sandy dune that is infested with sand sharks! the sharks
    Perceptions DC:
    arcana 25- realize the ingredients are not magical
    arcana 35- destroy teleportation circle
    Perceptions Success: you pass through and go on your way
    Additional Skills: acrobats
    Additional Skills DC: acrobats 17- jump over
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: stepping into the circle
    Action Type: weaken for next fight
    Attack Type: physical
    Target: you
    Attack Roll: 1d6 per shark
    Hit: 1d6 damage
    Aftereffect: none
    Miss: dazed
    Countermeasures: dont do it

  41. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: sand carpet
    Level: 1
    Role: lurker
    Type: trap
    XP: 50
    Quick Description: a rug that sinks like quicksand when you step on it.
    Full Description: a persian rug among many other are in the room, some look fresk and new and all look pretty real, but when you step on a certain few/many you sink into quicksand!
    Perceptions DC: dungeoneering 20
    Perceptions Success: see it and go around
    Additional Skills: acrobat,arcana
    Additional Skills DC: arcana 25- float out
    acrobat 26- jump out
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: walking on it
    Action Type: hinder
    Attack Type: suffocate insta kill
    Target: person who steps on rug
    Attack Roll: instant
    Hit: death
    Aftereffect: death!
    Miss: you get out
    Countermeasures: go around

  42. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: wall of dragons
    Level: 15
    Role: lurker
    Type: trap
    Quick Description:a wall or two shoot crazy stuff at you; shurikens, fire, acid, and your own ideas
    Full Description: A room decorated from the ceiling to the floor with strange designs when you hear a click and the ceiling starts to lower, the doors lock shut and the walls start shooting stuff!
    Perceptions DC: dungeoneering 20
    Perceptions Success: you see this as the infamous wall of dragon
    Additional Skills: acrobatics, strength, arcane, thievery
    Additional Skills DC: acrobatics 15, strength 23, arcane 40, thievery 20
    Additional Skills Success:dodge missiles, force door open, freeze entire room, jam trap
    Trigger: stepping into the room
    Action Type: your choice
    Attack Type: your choice
    Target: random
    Attack Roll: 1d6 every hit
    Hit: choice of damages
    Aftereffect: burns make you lose 1 healing surge
    Miss: 1d4
    Countermeasures: dont go into the room

  43. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: pyrite coins
    Level: 5
    Role: confusion
    Type: lurker
    XP: 50
    Quick Description: a bag of coins that explode at the worst possible time
    Full Description: a bag of gold is given to you by a friend/other and while in battle later the coins explode! making it so that your leg burns to the crisp and giving your enemies a advantage
    Perceptions DC: thievery 15
    Perceptions Success:disarm coins
    Additional Skills:acrobatics 10
    Additional Skills DC:throw coins at enemies
    Additional Skills Success: they explode
    Trigger: time bomb
    Action Type: fire, explode
    Attack Type: action type
    Target: carrier of gold
    Attack Roll: 1d8
    Hit: 1d8 + fire damage
    Aftereffect: fire damage make you lose 1 healing surge
    Miss: 1d4
    Countermeasures: disarm

  44. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: ram of thunder
    Role: damager
    Type: mechanical
    XP: 70
    Quick Description: a long wooden log banded with iron and a iron head at the front in the shape of a animal
    Full Description:a invisible string stretches across the room
    Perceptions DC:dungeoneering 15
    Perceptions Success: detect the string
    Additional Skills: thievery
    Additional Skills DC:20
    Additional Skills Success:disarm trap
    Trigger: tripping the wire
    Action Type: attack
    Attack Type: crush
    Target: anyone
    Attack Roll: 1d10
    Hit: target is pushed sideways 5 spaces and is prone
    Aftereffect: need extended rest
    Miss: no damage
    Countermeasures: avoid tripwire

  45. cunningtub says:

    trap name: Achilles revenge
    level: 2
    Role: lurker
    Type:mechanical, magical
    XP: 100
    Quick Description: a wall with blades in it so that the blades whip out when someone triggers it.
    Full Description: a lever opens the door in front of you and walk into the middle of the room only to get your self sliced like ham from the bottom up!(delay for amount of time needed to get them into room)
    Perceptions DC:dungeoneering 25
    Perceptions Success: see that this is the Achilles revenge and use a strength check to open door instead
    Additional Skills:acrobatics
    Additional Skills DC:15
    Additional Skills Success: jump over blades(must repeat)
    Trigger: lever
    Action Type:instant
    Attack Type:blade
    Target:all in room
    Attack Roll: 1d6 every hit
    Hit: 1d6
    Aftereffect: need healing
    Miss: half damage
    Countermeasures: bash through door

  46. cunningtub says:

    46, so close to 101!!

  47. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name:le internet trap
    Level: scale as appropriate
    Role: to scare the s*** out of you
    Type: lurker
    XP: scale as appropriate
    Quick Description: if you get really pissed off at the players at your tabel (like me) then this is a way to make them never touch a d&d related object again
    Full Description: a dark hallway (lasts a long time) stretches out before you and the door locks behind you, as your group walks forward a trap door opens and pedobear lands behind you so he can chase you down the dark hallway
    Perceptions DC:nono
    Perceptions Success:nono
    Additional Skills:acrobatics
    Additional Skills DC:15
    Additional Skills Success: speed up
    Trigger: entering the room
    Action Type: scary
    Attack Type: …
    Target: all children(and party in general)
    Attack Roll: over 9000
    Hit: over 9000
    Aftereffect: none
    Miss: cant miss
    Countermeasures: nono

  48. cunningtub says:

    Trap Name: darkness
    Level: 5
    Role: suspense
    Type: cold, lurker
    XP: 100
    Quick Description: balls of darkness float around the room and cause frost wherever they touch
    Full Description: a room full of ink balls float in the air (if anyone try to touch one they receive the damage below) and at the end of the room is (choose item that fits in with story line) and other treasure (can make a trap that explodes and scatters the orbs all over the place)
    Perceptions DC:arcana 25
    Perceptions Success: use a force field to walk to the treasure
    Additional Skills: acrobatics
    Additional Skills DC:24
    Additional Skills Success: jump over all orbs and get treasure (have to do it again to get back)
    Trigger: none
    Action Type:one
    Attack Type: cold, necrotic
    Target: anyone
    Attack Roll: 1d10
    Hit:necrotic/cold damage
    Aftereffect: might corrupt player, and ongoing 1 damage
    Miss: 1d6
    Countermeasures: use skills to avoid orbs

  49. yanomry says:

    Trap name: Ilusionary Floor
    Description: A false floor made instead of illusionary magic that makes it appear to be real and also fools anyone with a INT of less than 15 into thinking it can support weight the mechanics work via 2 types of illusion magic. the first is the visual “trick” fooling the would be dungeons explorers completely by mimicking the floor exactly. and the second part is a alter mind magic that makes the player see anything on the floor instead of falling through as well as fell the sturdiness of the floor while walking across it even though they are actually falling.
    Escaping the Floor: having an INT above 15 allows you to see through the second illusion but not the first. rolling a rock across the floor with an INT of 15 will allow you to see the rock vanish through the floor, but if you don’t have 15 INT then you will still see the rock skipping across the floor.
    casting detect magic will also reveal the floor as an enormous pit. No saving throws can be made against gravity so unless you have someone who has 15 INT or Detect Magic in your group you’re a goner.
    Trigger: constant illusion

  50. Blackshank says:

    The Flooding Room
    Description: The PCs enter a 12 by 12 ft room with a steel dish in the center and small piles of gold/silver coins scattered about the room (these act as a lure). In the top corners of the room, the PCs spot with a DC 20 Perception check holes about 1ft in diameter. What the PCs don’t know is that behind these holes are huge stores of water. A pressure plate somewhere in the room triggers these stores of water to break their their barriers and flood the room to the ceiling within one turn. As the room is full, the steel dish acts as a draining mechanism and sucks PCs down into some sort of waterway; the DM may choose where the water leads to. This gives the PCs a chance to resist the drain power and stay in the room, be swept away, or possibly drown with enough saving throw failures. The door seals behind the PCs as the pressure plate is triggered, and opens again once all the water is drained from the room.

  51. Michael E says:

    I’ve always found it works well to think like the villain and plan my traps accordingly. Does he have a warped sense of humor? Is he a sadist? Does he think he’s morally just? Is he a religious fanatic? The traps he uses should be driven by his personality. If he’s insane, a false sarcophagus or other heavy object that begins sliding around the room rapidly in random directions, possibly pinning/crushing characters when they are between it and a wall is a good one. When it collides with a wall, roll a d4 to determine it’s next trajectory. Insane laughter from a magic mouth is a nice addition. Someone inevitably tries to jump on and ride the thing, so a Jump check is called for if it’s moving when they jump on, and regular Agility checks are needed to stay on as it slams around. The only way to stop it is to get the lid off and pull the lever inside the false sarcophagus.

    Spell traps are great. What evil wizard wouldn’t want a Redirect Teleport spell? With this spell, any teleport-type spells used in the dungeon redirect the transported person(s) to a prison cell or trapped room. Give it a failure chance based on the relative levels of the casters just to be fair.

    Another tip is to do the unexpected. Perhaps the trapped chest causes pit traps to open…in every square EXCEPT the one the chest is on, leaving the opener the only one not taking damage. Good for cases when the trapper thinks he might be forced at crossbow point to open the chest. Also recognizes that the thief probably isn’t alone.

    Traps with timelines are great for creating tension. The room is slowly filling with water and they have to figure out the puzzle on the wall to stop it. Or the floor is slowly rolling back, revealing a deep pit (no, lava under the floor isn’t very believable, sorry).

    Don’t let all traps be the domain of just the Rogue rolling his Feats/Skills. Trap resolution/avoidance that involves more of the party is great fun. An example would be a hall of armored statues. Once triggered, the first statue turns and fires an xbow to hit the shield of the next statue, which repeats the shot with the next statue, and so on. At the end of the room is a target mounted on the wall. It should be pretty clear that the last statue is going to fire at the target and what happens then can’t be good, right? Instead of the Rogue picking locks or searching for traps, the wizard could blast one of the statues before it can fire, or the paladin could bravely interpose himself and take the shot to stop the process, possibly turning him to stone. The best solutions are the ones the DM didn’t anticipate and, if particularly clever, are definite cause for an XP bonus.

    Like I said before, think like the trapper. Misdirection is awesome. For example, put the secret door to the next section of the dungeon in the wall at the bottom of a pit trap. Players will probably not think of looking for a secret door there until they run out of choices (this one comes from Gary Gygax and the most awesome trap-based dungeon, Tomb of Horrors). I used this once and, to misdirect the party away from the secret door in the pit, I put a huge carved face on a false stone door at the other end of the dungeon. There was a combination-lock style puzzle involving placing orbes in the eye indentations. Everything they tried caused green smoke to spew out of the carving’s mouth and insane laughter to ring out. They would flee the smoke, assuming it was poisonous, then, once it had disspipated, they’d try again. The door wasn’t a door, and nothing they did could result in anything but the laughter and smoke, but it served to sap their spells and resources. They spent three days on this false puzzle and, because they didn’t think to check on their horses they’d left above the dungeon (don’t all players treat their mounts like golf carts they can park and forget?), goblins came and took them. When they finally managed to blast their way through the thick stone ‘door’ and found only more stone behind it, they were po’d, but had to admit that the misdirection was brilliant. They also learned not to assume the obvious. And, it was exactly what the dungeon-making villain would have done, clever bastard.

    Think mood. Is this place supposed to be spooky? Then creepy traps are in order. A corpse child that approaches with arms out for a hug, whispering something endearing, then jumps on its victim, clawing and biting is uber-creepy. Is it the tomb of a knight who died of a broken heart when his true love died? Perhaps a magical trap that makes characters experience the most heart-breaking loss they could imagine. It’s not real, but it could leave a lasting effect, like temporary loss of Will Save or Constitution. A puzzle that requires the assembling of the pieces of a broken heart would be good here, too.

    Far too many people, including DMs, claim to have no creativity. It’s not hard, really. Just get a piece that inspires you and think up connections. For example, think of a sarcophagus? Who or what lies within? Is it empty, or a trap? Does it conceal a door? Is there a clue carved inside? Would someone have hidden something inside it? What would they have done to protect it? And, as always, keep your trapper’s personality in mind and let it drive what you build.

  52. Hellfirejesus says:

    Trap Name:Gender Change Trap

    Level: 1

    Role: poinless but fun

    Description: a glass phial with purple liquid inside held on each side by a small piece of wood, a lenght of string inside breaks the phial when the door/chest is opened and the liquid turns to mist and changes a single, on a succesful disarm the character can take the liquid with them, its made for quite a lot of funny roleplay situation

  53. Ryan of Damascus says:

    Hey, here is a a cool one I thought of while watching a Futurama movie. A giant slide leads you to a dungeon and you can’t get back up or the chute closes up behind you. As you see the map is designed like that really old puzzle game, Labyrinth. You know, with the ball. the dungeon angles horizontally and vertically so that the ball chases after you and even if it falls into one of the pits, it reappears where it came from from on the ceiling chute and continues until you find the switch to turn it off. And the longer you take to find it, the more balls come every 1D8+2 rounds. The ball does 2D4+2 damage crushing, slows the target, save ends, and knocks it off it’s feet so that the PC is lying flat and has to use a move action to get up. The pits do 1D6+2 damage and the character re-prepares where the ball would come out.

  54. Ruthless says:

    Trap Name: “Meat grinder”

    Level: variable

    Role: Kill/burn resources

    Type: Physical/Magical

    XP: variable

    Quick Description: Spike pit + Blade barrier + reverse gravity

    Full Description: Illusion cast on the floor and ceiling hide a 40 foot pit trap. Halfway through the trap is a blade barrier. Once hitting the bottom of the pit the reverse gravity trap accelerates the soon to be corpse towards the spiked ceiling taking an addition damage before falling back down the pit towards the blade barrier and reverse gravity spell.

    Perceptions DC: These are variable depending on the level of the spells deployed and the methods you use.

    Perceptions Success: A spot or search will reveal the pit, but not the nature of the magic bellow

    Additional Skills: Detect magic or true sight will reveal the trap

    Additional Skills DC:

    Additional Skills Success:

    Trigger: the player need only step on the sqaure.

    Action Type:

    Attack Type: Physical

    Target: Player

    Attack Roll:

    Hit: Variable at max 39d6 damage for one pass, it is possible for players to get stuck in an infinite loop. I have used this trap to kill players.

    Aftereffect: Empty heal battery

    Miss: doesnt.

    Countermeasures: Detect Magic, A good rogue, true sight,

  55. Schrader Baiter the Manipulator says:

    Trap Name: “Mind Feast”
    Level: 9+
    Role: Mind Game
    Type: Physical/Magical
    XP: Low to High, depending on player competence.

    Quick Description:
    This trap is especially effective amongst a chatty group. ;-)

    Trap is set in the middle of a twisted forest outside the lair of an evil magic user in the area. The forest itself is said to be cursed causing those who enter to be consumed by their own minds. The forest taunts the adventurers to pursue salvation through stupidity.

    It is impossible to see this trap before being triggered. The only way to deactivate it is by knowing how it is triggered or by having your Intelligence dropped to 3 or below, which subsequently stops it from being triggered any further.

    Perceptions DC:
    10 – two types of potions are identified in the middle of a clearing: blue potions which are labelled “Knowledge” and red potions which are labelled “Stupidity.”
    15 – (in addition to 10) the forest is dark and unnatural; something is amiss here.
    25 – (in addition to 10) you can see the faint detail of a magical aura in the immediate vicinity and you have penetrated it.

    Perceptions Success: You can tell that you and your party have activated some kind of magical ward.

    Knowledge Arcana DC:
    10 – identify the potions in the middle as follows: “Knowledge” potions increase Intelligence by 2 (lasts 6 hours), “Stupidity” potions decrease Intelligence by 3 (lasts 12 hours). The potions exist so long as the ward exists.
    20 – (in addition to 10) recognize the “Mind Feast” trap as one where you take damage based on the amount of Intelligence you have.
    30 – (in addition to 20) recognize how to disarm the trap via explaining to the GM it triggers when someone says “think” or “thought.”

    Trigger: Anyone says “think” or “thought,” whether it is roleplaying or outside of roleplay. (It still applies outside of roleplaying because it is a representation of their in-game character thinking about what to do next.)

    Attack Type: Magical

    Target: Players with more than 3 Intelligence

    Attack Roll:

    Hit: Xd4, where X equals half of the player’s Intelligence (rounded down).

    Miss: Cannot miss.

    Countermeasures: Identifying what triggers the ward removes it entirely but at the expense of the disarmer’s Intelligence, which drops to 1 (lasts 12 hours).

    It is hilarious to see players drink away their Intelligence to protect themselves, especially when paired with specific ambushes immediately following. It can prove to be incredibly nasty or fantastically hilarious.

  56. Schrader Baiter the Manipulator says:

    Trap Name: “Feller’s Fall”
    Level: 3+
    Role: Movement Enabler
    Type: Physical
    XP: Low
    Quick Description:
    A simple method of making movement more difficult. This trap is best paired with other traps which can make for humorous or deadly combinations. It makes fantastic complex traps.

    Perceptions DC:
    less than 10 – The floor is coated in goop.
    10 – The floor is coated in a slick-looking goop that looks as though it would prevent one from stopping after having come in contact with it.

    Knowledge Arcana DC:
    10 – the goop is known as “Feller’s Fall,” a substance with the sole purpose of slipping an adventurer up. The speed at which one moves onto “Feller’s Fall” is retained almost fully, making it difficult to slow yourself before it’s too late. Fire can burn it away.

    Acrobatics DC:
    10 – avoid falling prone when sliding on goop.

    Trigger: Player moves onto goop with haste (running, jogging, walking). Carefully moving players (stepping, tip-toeing) are not affected.

    Attack Type: Physical

    Target: Player entering goop

    Attack Roll: X vs Reflex (it really depends on your party’s level)

    Hit: Player falls prone while continuing to move in the same direction at the same speed until leaving the goop or hitting something.

    Miss: Player slides in the same direction at the same speed until leaving the goop or hitting something.

    Countermeasures: Burn it.

  57. DeviloftheRealms says:

    Well now here is one I created a few years back: it drove my group nuts for a minute.
    Elements and a Drink

    Could be any level, I designed it for level 8

    Designed to be an annoying side trip trap party for a bit with a puzzle trap.

    Puzzle Trap

    XP is dependent upon CR, or a goo 350-750 depending on liquids

    Players are sucked (via a magic mirror) into a room with four element filled hallways and a table set with 50 vials of liquid.

    Place this trap at the end of a medium to long hallway, I always cover the mirror with a tapestry. Once characters look at mirror it activates. Tendrils of magic energy wisp out and surround each player pulling them into the mirror.

    Once the magic ends the character find themselves in a square/ diamond shaped room. At each corner is a set of double doors. They are closed. In he center under an immense and elaborate chandelier is a ornate table with several racks containing vials of liquid. On the walls between the doorways are four panels about for feet wide and seven feet high of some sort of black, non reflective glass (these are the deactivated mirrors).

    Opening any of the doors unleashes its respective element. One door is fire, one acid, once blizzard and one water or wind (force or magic could also be used if you like).

    At the end of each hallway is a shelf with a pressure witch in it.

    Returning to the enter of the room, populate this with a list of drinks. I chose fifty for mine. Had fifteen on two sides and ten on the other two.
    Examples could be:
    Common dinks like lemonade, milk and water
    Potions (this is key, at least four of these need to be potions granting temporary immunity to one the four hallway elements)
    Weird substances like pickle juice or snot
    Whatever your little heart desires.

    Once the correct potion is drunk and the right hallway is entered the character can reach the alcoves and presses the buttons the element in that hallway ends. Once this has been completed for all three of the remaining halls, the room fills with magic energy that bounces from black panel to black panel. It takes about 2 minutes to do it but each time a bolt of energy hits a panel it lightens until the become reflective mirrors. These mirrors can be used to take the party wherever you need them to go. All to one place or to separate ones, whatever fits your design best.

    That’s it. The fun side effect is those players that fear mirrors after this.

    No Dc on perception, looking at mirror activates teleport

    You could allow a reflex save to resist teleport, saves for some vials

    DC 25 reflex to avoid initial teleport (warning may separate party), depends on content of vials

    Looking at mirror triggers trap start, more triggers within room.

    Once all four elements are deactivated, mirrors in room trigger.

    There is elemental damage, possible damage from vials.

    Anyone entering hallways, anyone drinking from vials will take damage.

    No attack roll needed, automatic though saves apply

    Automatic hit, save lessens damage

    After effects depend on elements and vial contents

    If party has elemental immunity they can deactivate the hallways without the use of the vials.

    Hope you enjoy!

    – DotR

  58. jamwise23 says:

    Trial by Fire

    A long, narrow hallway lined with metallic gargoyle heads about 10′ off the ground. There is an unlit torch under every other gargoyle. There is a door at the end of the hall.

    Several seconds after being entered, (to trap as many players as possible), the doors at each end lock and there is a gurgling watery sound. Next round, oil begins to pour from the gargoyle’s open mouths at a very fast rate. Next round, the torches light, catching the oil. One round later there is enough fire oil so that the floor is now a lake of fire.

    Not only do they take 4d6 fire dmg every round standing in the oil, but they must also make a save (gen. dex check) to put out the oily fire on them or take an extra d6 dmg. The oil doesn’t stop pouring and neither does the magical fire. Balance checks (dc 12) are required to move without falling (extra 2d6 dmg). The doors are thick iron and hard to break down.

  59. jamwise23 says:

    Treacherous Tiles

    Floor tile trap

    The floor of a small/medium room is covered in identical stone tiles. Select about 1/3 of then to be trapped- making it in a pattern helps the players out a little bit and makes them feel like they can mentally overcome the obstacle, but random placement insures chaos. I opted for the latter.

    Trapped tiles are balanced on a swivel gear- it takes about 5 lbs of pressure to activate. Once triggered, the tile flips over, trapping and crushing the victim’s foot/leg, dealing 1d4 dmg. Ref DC 20 to avoid getting caught, Str DC 22 to break out once trapped.

    While this isn’t a heavy damage trap, it really gets players caught up. I had an evil wizard blasting them with spells from a safe platform, which added a ton of pressure- it takes Str and Dex to overcome this trap, so magic user players are especially at risk for being useless. Once the partie’s barbarian reached yhe platform, the wizard turned him into a body guard with a command spell. I fondly remember the barby hacking the ranger to bits and the sorcerer have 3 limbs caught in the tiles. And I seem to recall breaking an ankle or two…

    For added malevolence, change the ground underneath the tiles. Tiles several inches off the ground can break ankles and cut off feet, but ehat if there was no ground? What if it was acid? What if there were bladed tiles for added damage/amputation?


  60. Rob says:

    Pit cube death trap.
    Cr 7
    D/d 25
    R 20

    Deceptively simple trap for killing a bad and foolish PC
    It is a 30 ft deep spike trap diamater is 10×10 with 10 feet of water at the bottom
    Spikes do 1d6 dmg. How ever upon falling on the spikes that are under water a door in the ceiling above the trap that drops a gelatinous cube on the unfortunate pc(s) at the bottom of the trap.
    Last time I used this i almost tpkd my party. They gave up on the fool at the bottom and it was a grizzly grizzly death

  61. Rob says:

    Nasty foot trap
    I was obsessed with kobolds for a wile and this one was fun for torment
    A whole lot of tiles in a dungeon floor that are simply tiles that fall when more than 50lbs are placed on them the spikes are at random tiles and they should only do maybe 1d6 max dmg I used 1d4. Caltrop effect on players who step on the tile. Use in combo with kobolds lair nasty nasty trap
    D/d 20
    R 20

    Spot/dt 25
    (The spike holes are covered with a thin layer of plaster that is painted to look like the other tiles around them)

    Conversely this can be upped by making the spikes coated in a poison and put the tiles under 6″ of water

    Enjoy lol

  62. Rob says:

    Shifting rubble trap
    This is a good trap that can be as lethal as you want

    A room or corridor that would be 10ft tall but 6 of the feet is filled with rubble
    Loose rocks, chunks and various other objects.
    The shifting rubble can be by weight or by pressure that might either trap or crush deal as much damage as you want

    One I did was the rubble shifted and the ceiling crushed the unfortunate pc
    The dd/dt also should be upped by 10 because it can look completely normal for a room covered in rubble

    Lol enjoy

  63. SirElectricWalrus says:

    Trap Name: trapThatHasNoName
    Level: any
    Role: any
    Type: kill off people
    Quick Description: 30ft by 30ft room filled with water/blood (DM choice) and a treasure chest on a small area of land in the middle
    Full Description: there is a room filled with blood or water. Water is less suspicious, but blood is creepier, so it depends the affect you want. If you use blood, DO NOT have dead bodies floating in it. I tried that and players clung to th bodies, ruining the trap. Once the player swim across the pool of blood or water, they reach the chest. Once they open it, there is a sparked on the hinge, igniting a small amount of gunpowder, mocking the players back into the pool. At the bottom of the pool, have something with a form of tentacles or tendrils (I usually use devourerers or evil spirits) pull them down as the blood begins to clot up, or the water freeze at an extreme rate, trapping them underneath where they either drown, get stuck in ice or clotted blood, or have their souls devoured!
    Perceptions DC:
    DC 15
    DC 20
    Perceptions Success:

    DC 15: PC’s notice that there are shapes lurking at the bottom of the pool
    DC 20: PC’s notice the chest has a sparked at the hinge, along with the shapes at the bottom of the pool
    Additional Skills:
    Additional Skills DC:
    Additional Skills Success:
    Trigger: magic, explosion of chest
    Action Type:
    Attack Type:
    Target: all PC’s
    Countermeasures: once when I did this, the PC’s left a NPC behind, so he was able to smash the ice. Another time a fire wizard coderized the blood in a certain area to cut off the clotting, and once they just pushed the chest into the pool after noticing the sparked and stood on the land. Once the pool solidified, they simply walked on

  64. Michael E says:

    Sometimes the best traps aren’t traps at all. In fact, sometimes they seem like a great treasure. Once my players were forced to work with a bad wizard they ended up killing. He had a clever advantage they never figured out while he was alive – a small stone magicked to create a 10′ diameter anti-magic sphere. When the sphere was with him, he was immune to magical attacks and scrying. Here’s the clever bit – the stone was surgically implanted under the neck skin of his familiar, a ferret. When he needed to use his own magic, he would put the familiar down and it would immediately run away as it was trained to do. In this way he could protect himself as needed, but still access his own magic when necessary. They only discovered the stone after killing the guy and, at first, thought they’d found something that would be of great benefit, but, unlike the bad guy, they had no easy mechanism for negating its effect. They tried trailing it behind them on a ‘leash’ like a pet rock, but it always seemed to bite them in the ass: “Your Cure spell fails.” “What? Why?? Oh, crap. Where’s the damn rock?” eventually they got rid of the stone and good riddance to it, but it was a lot of fun playing with them before they figured out it was more of a problem than a prize.

  65. Michael E says:

    Continuing with the ‘trap that’s not a trap’ theme, I like to think in terms of effects beyond simple physical damage, and saves beyond Reflex. One I used involved an ancient stone artifact in a broad grassland. It was an Elven device created for communicating telepathically over great distances, but it was broken and was instead broadcasting the will of whatever touched it over an area of several miles’ diameter. A crow landed on it one day and never left it as it found it could now command other creatures to bring it food and do its will. When it touched the mind of a young Orc boy fleeing conflict with his family, it inspired him to announce their salvation came in the form of worshiping Lord Crow, their new god. But I digress. The trap-like affect on the party was that they had to make a Will save or be influenced by the bird’s mind. The effect only manifested when the character who failed the save was high off the ground (like on a rooftop or near a ravine). At these times another successful Will Save was required or the character would feel the irresistible urge to fly from the high place. He couldn’t actually fly, of course, so there were lots of moments when he either took severe falling damage, or was grabbed by his companions at the last second. The effect faded over time, but was a lot of fun – the player whose character was affected had fun with it, too, even reminding me that a save might be required when I missed the opportunity.

  66. Nexus says:

    Trap Name: Fake Spike Trap
    Level: Any – Set DCs/Monsters to appropriate character level
    Role: Trick adventurers, punish those cocky.
    Type: Spikes and Pit with monster

    Quick Description: A room with illusory spikes tricks adventurers into walking down the trapped walkway

    Full Description: A room 6 squares wide by 20 squares long (30ft x 100ft). Spears shoot out everyone second or 2 from the walls on either side to a distance of 10 feet, leaving a 20 feet wide walkway down the middle. The spears start 10 feet in and end 10 feet before the other side of the room.
    3/4 of the way down the walkway there’s a trigger (I used a pressure plate) that drops the entire walkway into a pit with a monster (I used a charnel lord, was appropriate for the encounter).

    The trick is the characters can realise the spears are illusory and just ignore the trap, whereas the reckless will just march down the middle into the trap.

    Perceptions DC:
    30 (Hard) spot illusory spears
    30 (Hard) spot pressure plate
    25 (Medium) Detect Magic (arcana)

    Trigger: Character steps on pressure plate.

    Action Type:Floor drops to the sides and characters land in pit with monster

  67. Johnathan says:

    name: rune of unending battle
    location: anywhere you could draw a rune
    trigger type: magical
    trigger: coming within 5 feet of the rune
    effect type: magical
    effect: the person is knocked back 10 feet and knocked out for 3 turns, but that’s not all, inside the persons mind they are in a raging battle, if in the three turns they are unconscious they get killed in the dream state, they stay knocked out and inside the raging battle until they roll a natural 20. This one is really evil.

  68. Name: Listen to the Text
    Trigger: Magic Sensor
    Quick Description: A way to tell if your party members are good listeners.

    The party will walk to a part of a small cave or cavern, where a bridge once stood over a pit. In order to get across they must shimmey across a small natural looking outing on the walls. If they look up or down before they start the shimmey, they will see nothing but pitch darkness (Darkness ward). Once they actually begin the shimmey, the darkness ward deactivates. When shimmying across they will come across an inscription on the wall saying not to look up or down. If they do either if these before reaching the other side, they will see a magic orb, and the walls will push in, pushing everyone off the outing, and into the hole. Where this hole leads is for you to decide.

  69. JR Cameron says:

    Trap Name: The Coward’s Way Out

    Level: 1 Lurker, 250xp

    Quick Description: A dual-layered trap, meant to trip up conceptions.
    Full Description: So you’ve got a hallway, the party enters and there’s a spiral staircase leading up to the right of the door that they enter into. However, leading left there’s an entire hallway, wide as you’d like but taller than it otherwise would be in a dungeon. Perhaps double the height a normal hall would be in this dungeon.

    Now, there are three points of interest in this hallway trap. The first is that there is a ranged unit (spell caster, archer, anything really) up on the second floor that can see down, but is effectively hidden before they attack. The second is the tripwire just inside the ranged unit’s range, which snaps audibly when broken but otherwise has no effect on the hallway beyond it that is immediate. The ranged unit would at this signal begin firing. However, the immediate pathway up is behind the person who just tripped the wire.

    This brings the party immediately to the third point of interest: the large section of floor between the tripwire and the stairs that has just lost its support structures. When the party turns to try and head up the stairs, they are in for a pit trap that simply wasn’t there a moment ago.


    DC 20: Notice the tripwire
    DC 20: Notice the pit after the wire has been tripped
    DC 25: Notice the ranged unit before they attack
    DC 35: Notice the pit before the wire has been tripped

    Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering

    DC 25: Notice the irregular stone-work in the pit after the tripwire
    DC 35: Notice the irregular stone-work in the pit before the tripwire

    Trigger: Tripwire

    Attack Type: Reflex Save vs. Falling

    Target: Person or Party on Trapdoor

    Hit: 2d6 Falling (20′ hole)

    Aftereffect: They’re in the hole now and have to climb up while being peppered with ranged attacks from above

    Miss: No damage, but there’s now a hole between the party and either the exit or one of the ways forward into the dungeon (down the hall)

    Countermeasures: Detecting and not tripping the tripwire, disarming the tripwire, taking the stairs before heading forward to (eventually) take out the ranged unit on the second story

    Make it more devious/scale it up: Add spikes to the bottom of the pit, the gelatinous cube trap from above could happen as well, the secret door at the bottom of the trap, trap the stairs. Grease the stairs as they try to climb, then throw down the burning barrel to make it slippery and burning and knock them back off again! Or be really mean and add a sphere of annihilation or a temporal stasis spell to the bottom of the pit.

  70. memeswaggon says:

    Trap Name: Quantum Hopscotch
    Level: 3
    Role: Annoyance, Nuisance
    Type: Magic (Transportation/Translocation)
    XP: 500
    Quick Description: A series of floor tiles with blatantly visible pressure plates. A secret mechanism randomly teleports partymembers back to the start of the room.
    Full Description: There are a series of plates on the floor each appearing to be some kind of trap. Avoiding them is virtually impossible. Stepping on the plates doesn’t seem to do anything, but what’s actually happening is whenever a plate is stepped on it adds a d6 to an internal counter. When the counter reaches 25, it teleports a random person or object pushing a plate down back to the start. The catch is that if a plate is pressed down, it cannot be counted as being pressed down again until it comes back up. As in – placing rocks onto the trap will weigh it down and keep the plate weighed down. What results is the ability to throw rocks into the room, gauge where they land and play hopscotch across the room making balance checks to not accidentally fall onto the trap itself.
    Counter: Flying above it works well. So does using a crowbar and prying the plates off, clearing the trap out of the room. The trap can be used to lure enemies into it and then shoot them with arrows or whatnot, making them have a bad day.

  71. the dwarven barman says:

    A good idea could be to make the party out drink a dwarf so he will show them through a cave passage our other underground navigational problem.

  72. Vanover says:

    A Simple but great trap that proves effective over and over again.

    Trap Name: Morons Leap
    Level: Depends on Modifiers.

    In front of the party is a spike trap of appropriate length to be a relatively easy jump across. The pit is over 12 foot deep, the floor of which is covered in spikes. Should the jumper not make it across he would be impaled suffering massive damage.

    Upon a close inspection, players may be able to notice that the spike pit is an illusion. If they do, you may attempt to convince them that a force field is over the pit that may give out at any moment meerly giving it the appearance of an illusion.

    Once a Player jumps the pit they fall into the real spike trap, which was illusioned to look like the floor on the other side.

    Break down: Illusionry spike trap in from of illusionry spike trap. Get them to jump over the fake spike trap into the real spike trap.

    For added fun place an additional illusions. Sound dampening sphere so they dont hear the demise of there friend, or an illusion which makes them see their friend succeed and await them on the other side.

  73. Harlequin says:

    Trap Name: The room of electric insults.
    XP: 500
    Quick description: If you’re like me, you like to punish the PCs from time to time. This trap will show them who’s boss. If a PC complains about the difficulty of my traps they are struck by mysterious lightning.
    Full Description: The PCs enter a room with mirrors covering the walls. In the centre of the room is a small circular mirror on a pedestal. Whenever a PC speaks out loud the mirror turns to face them. There is a hole above the mirror, allowing the natural light to reflect off the mirrors and illuminate the room. When the PCs enter the room, the door locks tight, and the room is plunged into magical darkness. This darkness obscures dark vision and prevents the lighting of flames. In the darkness, creatures of the DM’s choice appear inside the room and sneak up on the PCs. To escape, the PC’s must insult the DM or complain of the difficulty of the trap. This will incurr the DM’s lightning, re-opening the hole in the ceiling and illuminating the room. When the creatures have been defeated the door will be unlocked automatically.
    Arcana Skill DC: DC 19
    Arcana Skill Success: Notice a powerful magical trap enchants the mirror and door.
    Trigger: All PC’s enter the room
    Countermeasures: Avoid the room entirely

  74. Can anyone help me with trap song ideas


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  1. […] layout as they are a little bit more story oriented and not encounter oriented.) Check out my posts Mintal Coins and Jacob’s Sword, as well as the other posts and tell me what you think! Possibly related […]

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