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Traps


TRAPS

Traps are a common danger in dungeon environments.

All traps have the following elements: CR (and XP value), type, Perception DC, Disable Device DC, trigger, reset, and effect. Some traps might also include optional elements, such as poison or a bypass. These characteristics are described below.

TYPE

A trap can be either mechanical or magic. 

MECHANICAL

A mechanical trap doesn’t use magic to detect its targets or create its effect, such as spring-loaded spears, sweeping blades, and spiked pits.

MAGICAL

Some traps are just spells waiting to be triggered by intruders. These work exactly like a cleric or wizard casting a spell, and have a caster level and saving throw DC.

PERCEPTION

A character must actively search to find a trap. Every trap has a Perception DC to detect it before it’s triggered. For a mechanical trap, making this DC means the character notices the mechanism that activates it, such as a pressure plate or gears attached to a door handle. Beating this check by 5 or more also gives some indication of what the trap is designed to do. For a magical trap, making the Perception check DC means the character gets an odd sensation, such as goosebumps. 

DISABLE DEVICE

Every trap has a Disable Device DC to disarm the trap. Anyone with at least 1 rank in the skill can try to disarm a mechanical trap, but only rogues can disarm magical traps.

TRIGGER

A trap’s trigger determines how it is sprung. 

LOCATION

A location trigger springs a trap when someone moves onto a particular square.

PROXIMITY

This magical trigger works like the wizard alarm spell and activates when a creature enters the protected area (even if it doesn’t touch the ground). Some magic traps have special proximity triggers that activate only when certain kinds of creatures approach. For example, a dwarf’s tomb may have traps that activate only if a non-dwarf approaches.

TOUCH

A touch trigger springs the trap when something touches the object or location.

RESET

This explains how easy it is to reset the trap once it’s triggered. “None” means the trap only works once. “Automatic” means the trap resets itself, either immediately or after a short period of time. “Manual” means someone who knows how the trap works has to spend 1 minute resetting it. 

EFFECTS

This is what the trap does to the creature that springs it. This is usually damage or a spell effect. A trap usually makes an attack roll against a creature, or the creature must make a saving throw to avoid the trap.

SAMPLE TRAPS

The following traps are samples of what PCs may face.

ARROW TRAP CR 1 (XP 400)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger touch; Reset none

EFFECTS

Attack +15 ranged (1d8+1/×3)

 

PIT TRAP CR 1 (XP 400)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

EFFECTS

20-ft.-deep pit (2d6 falling damage); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple

targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area)

 

POISONED DART TRAP CR 1 (XP 400)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger touch; Reset none

EFFECTS

Attack +10 ranged (1d3 plus Fort DC 13 or 10 poison damage)

 

SWINGING AXE TRAP CR 1 (XP 400)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

EFFECTS

Attack +10 melee (1d8+1/×3); multiple targets (all targets in a

10-ft. line)

 

BURNING HANDS TRAP CR 2 (XP 600)

Type magic; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26

Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none

EFFECTS

Spell effect (burning hands, 2d4 fire

damage, DC 11 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets

(all targets in a 15-ft. cone)

 

JAVELIN TRAP CR 2 (XP 600)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset none

EFFECTS

Attack +15 ranged (1d6+6)

SPIKED PIT TRAP CR 2 (XP 600)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

EFFECTS

10-ft.-deep pit (1d6 falling damage); pit spikes (Attack +10 melee,

1d4 spikes per target for 1d4+2 damage each spike); DC 20 Reflex

avoids; multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area)

 

ACID ARROW TRAP CR 3 (XP 800)

Type magic; Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27

Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none

EFFECTS

Spell effect (acid arrow, Attack +2

ranged touch, 2d4 acid damage for 4 rounds)


CAMOUFLAGED PIT TRAP CR 3 (XP 800)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

EFFECTS

30-ft.-deep pit (3d6 falling damage); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple

targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area)

 

ELECTRICITY ARC TRAP CR 4 (XP 1,200)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger touch; Reset none

EFFECTS

Electricity arc (4d6 electricity damage, DC 20 Reflex save for half

damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 30-ft. line)

 

WALL SCYTHE TRAP CR 4 (XP 1,200)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset automatic

EFFECTS

Attack +20 melee (2d4+6/×4)

 

FALLING BLOCK TRAP CR 5 (XP 1,600)

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

EFFECTS

Attack +15 melee (6d6); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.

square)

 

FIREBALL TRAP CR 5 (XP 1,600)

Type magic; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28

Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none

EFFECTS

Spell effect (fireball, 6d6 fire damage,

DC 14 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets

in a 20-ft.-radius burst)