101 Clever D&D Traps and Trap Ideas

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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:
Level:
Role:
Type:
XP:
Quick Description:
Full Description:
Perceptions DC:
Perceptions Success:
Additional Skills:
Additional Skills DC:
Additional Skills Success:
Trigger:
Action Type:
Attack Type:
Target:
Attack Roll:
Hit:
Aftereffect:
Miss:
Countermeasures:

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.

77 thoughts on “101 Clever D&D Traps and Trap Ideas”

  1. What about a trap like this:
    The mimic pit:
    So you take the Morons Leap trap detailed here, but you use a real spike pit and put a forcefield above it that breaks if 500 pounds or more is on it for more then 3 minutes and instead of a 2nd spike pit you put a 20 foot drop into a room with 4 treasure chests and a suit of armour, but 1 chest is a mimic, one contains a +1 shortsword, another contains a +1 longbow and the last one contains a shield of anti magic, a +1 shield that emits a 5 foot cone of anti magic in the direction your facing when you wield it, if someone tries to open a chest then roll a d4 to decide which one they open, also the suit of armour is not only animated but layered with so many wards that it does not take damage when it is not in a anti magic field, explain this to the PCs when they try to hurt it, and hint that a chest contains the key to killing it, for added difficulty you could give it a magic weapon or higher stats, also the armour is only vunerable for 3 turns, after 3 turns in anti magic it can roll constitution saving throws each turn to decide if it is incapacitated this turn or no, and the dc equals 12 the first time, use this formula to decide the DC on future try’s:
    (DC of last saving throw-2) if last throw for this was a success, DC of last saving throw +2 if last saving throw for this was a failure, if the DC falls below 7 then it becomes immune to anti magic for 1 minute and if the DC rises above 18 then the armour deactivates for 1 hour, if the armour deactivates or is destroyed then a spiral staircase to the top appears, and the hole is reduced to 5 feet in diameter if it is larger,
    PS: don’t activate the armour until 3d20 seconds have passed minimum 15 seconds, so that they have time to try and find the anti magic shield.

  2. Trap Name: The room of electric insults.
    Level:
    Role:
    Type:
    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    Perception

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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
    XP:

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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
    Saves
    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

  15. Pit cube death trap.
    Cr 7
    D/d 25
    Save
    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

  16. 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?

    Enjoy.

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