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Sample Traps
Designing a Trap
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In searching the web for a good trap book and source, I found it somewhat lacking. There are many books of adventures and plots, but I was only able to find one trap book, and only after weeks of searching. It was good, but short. So I decided to make my own trap books, an ongoing project.

To me, traps are an integral part of an adventure. My players LOVE to find my traps, as I usually only place interesting and unusual traps (with an occasional normal one to catch them off-guard.) My players hate being killed by creatures, but usually don't mind being killed by a trap. Why? Because they have a lot of fun setting off my traps, just to see how they work. Most players seem to be like that. Traps are sometimes obvious (a chest sitting in the middle of an empty room, an unguarded treasure hall, etc.) and obvious traps are sometimes the best (especially if you have a hidden trap right next to it.) But everyone always has at least one player that HAS to know if it is a trap or not.

The main purpose of this book is to help Dungeon Masters come up with an inventive game quickly, including traps. Traps are usually the point where I spend a lot of my time developing my game, and where I have the most fun as Dungeon Master. The more sly and devious the trap, the more fun I have with it when it goes off. I just hate it when I have a good adventure put together and there are no traps, when I wanted to put them in. And my players feel let down, too, since one of the most fun points of my adventures are to discover and try to disarm the traps without being killed in the process.

My idea of a good trap includes lots of fun details, one that will peak the curiosity of the players, and even if they die, will have fun doing it (Gee! That was NEAT!) I like the traps that are sometimes so obvious that players (mine especially) just HAVE to set off the trap just to see what it does. One or two of them generally get killed, but at least they enjoyed the show, and the other players had fun watching their 'companions' be squished, cut, sliced and diced to tiny bits.

The Trap Collection's home page is at: and my e-mail address is Let me know how you like it. If you want to submit a trap to be in the Collection, send me e-mail.

The Rolling Hallway
From: Jason Seeley <>

This trap is a long corridor trap. As the PCs are walking down the hall, some of them may notice that there are grooves in the floor in the corridor in front of them. The ground is also somewhat rounded (you'll see why.) Actually, the grooves are fairly obvious to anyone paying attention, with about 1" of solid stone, upraised slightly, between each groove. Each groove is about 1' long, followed by another 1" of stone. The walls are smooth however, without any apparent cracks (it helps if this corridor was constructed by dwarfs.) The first few grooves don't have any kind of pressure plate, but about 5' in, each groove after that has a pressure plate, until the last 5' of the corridor (this trap works best in a corridor at least 30' long, preferably longer, but that might be WAY too obvious... but...)

When a character steps on a pressure plate, it causes every bit of that hallway, even the 5' without pressure plates, to open a hole in one side of each part (alternating each side -- one left, next right, etc.) Immediately upon opening outward, a HUGE stone wheel will come out, roll in the groove, roll up the inclined opposite wall, then roll back into the hole, shutting completely and undetectably. This can, of course, be quite messy and unpleasant for anyone caught BETWEEN the stone and the wall, or the floor, or halfway between stones (yuck.)

The Greedy Party
From: Jason Seeley <>

Now, what party is there out there, that doesn't want to increase their ability scores? Not very many, I'm sure. Well, here is a trap to make them all wary of easy outs.

In a room, they will find various potions, scrolls, etc. (whatever, really) -- maybe even an electric chair (hehe.) The first character to quaff a potion, read a scroll, sit in the chair, or whatever, has some kind of beneficial effect (temporary or permanent, DM's decision.) Anyone else doing the exact same thing will have a malignant effect happen (ie, eletrocuted in chair, poisoned badly, blinded by scroll, etc.) Of course, most players will want to try it for themselves to try to duplicate the effect on the first player. It is very fun to help the first player understand that there was a beneficial effect, so that he can brag about it so that the other players try it, too. Maybe even have a good effect at random after the first (like a 5% chance or something.)

The Golden Chamber
From: Berg <>

This trap is one I once used to take the collective egos of a group of players down a few notches. The players had stopped thinking about scenarios, merely using magic to batter their way through. Rather than pouring kobolds on the problem until it went away, I decided to let the PLAYERS divest their characters of magic items, more or less voluntarily. This trap only works properly with groups that use magic to solve EVERYTHING, from locked doors and monsters, to ordering food and paying for services (why pay when you can charm, for example).

The trap is a 40' long, 20' wide, and 20' tall chamber, at the end of a side-passage. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all made of pure, solid gold. This should certainly draw in most PC's, and for those who are less greedy than normal, there is a shelf on the far wall, opposite the entrance, with a glowing wand/sword/gem/statuette/whatever on it.

The trap functions fairly simply. When the object is lifted off of the shelf, there is a loud *CLICK* noise, but nothing else happens, as far as the PC's can see or hear. However, the floor is now a precisely balanced scale. ANY reduction in weight will trigger the trap. Calculate how much each PC weighs, including both body and equipment weight, and add 5 lbs. for the object removed from the shelf. Removing 5 or more pounds from the floor sets off the trap. Yes, replacing the object on the shelf WILL set off the trap. Adding more weight to the floor won't do any harm, and can actually disarm the trap, with enough weight. For example, putting 1000 lbs. of gold in the room after the trap was armed, while the PC's collectively (including equipment) only weight 900 lbs., means that they can now leave the room safely.

When it goes off, a multi-ton slab seals the only entrance, and the chamber is now airtight. At the same time, glowing runes appear on the walls, ceiling, and floor. Finally, all non-permanent spells and spell-like magical abilities within the room (and within 20' of the outside of the door) are permanently negated. Permanent spells simply cease to function while in the room, as do charged magic items. Permanent magic items function normally, but with a NASTY side effect, explained below.

Attacking any surface of the trap with a non-magical item will easily cause a hole. Attackers must strike AC 6 and do 10 points of damage to make a big enough hole to get air through. As soon as any part of the trap is breached, all magical effects of the trap (magic negation and that side effect listed below) are permanently and irrevocably dispelled. A human-sized hole requires inflicting 100 points of damage.

Now for the good part. Most magic-heavy PC's won't think of using a non-magical object to force the walls, some groups don't HAVE non-magical objects. Any person who strikes a surface of the trap with a magical object SUFFERS. The object must make a save vs. crushing blow, with NO bonuses at all, or be totally destroyed. Any object that is destroyed inflicts 1d4 damage on the wielder per level enchanted into the object (enchanted weapon, used to add pluses to a weapon is a 4th level spell, so a +2 dagger does 8d4 damage). The explosive destruction of magic items does no damage to the wall, nor does the weapon strike itself do any damage to the trap. The wielder gets a save for half damage vs breath weapon. If the wielder is resistant to magical fire (innate resistance only. Efreeti are protected, spell-protected PC's are NOT), the save is for no damage, half if failed.

A special case occurs with items such as girdles of giant strength. Only magic used to influence the wall is affected. So a warmth ring won't explode, but a girdle of giant strength or a mattock of the titans will. Treat each point of strength above the wearer's normal strength as a separate strength spell for damage purposes. So a 16 strength fighter takes less damage from an exploding girdle of hill giant strength than a 14 strength fighter would.

Each special power of the weapon is treated as a separate spell (FEAR striking the wall with a sword that has 3 wish spells in it. *OUCH*).

Spiked Stair Trap
From: Paul Middleton <>

on a set of stairs - somewhere near the middle is a false stair - when a character of a minimum certain weight treads on the stair, the stair cover breaks - the characters foot falls into a group of angled spikes - the spikes are angled 45% downwards - so no damage is taken when the character steps on the trap the weight of the character and the force of the fall will force the foot to the bottom of the trap - If the character does not try to remove his/her foot very carefully and take their time doing so - they will impale their foot on the spikes. (great one for catching thieves - they are unlikely to be wearing metal footing!! :-)

Sand Filled Room
From: (Neil Watson)

I like to use a variation of the water room. Once the door locks I begin to fill the room with sand, not water. Sand makes is harder for the PC's to move, which useful because there are usually creatures in the sand, scorpions, snakes, use your imagination. One last bonus about sand, you don't have to worry about inconveniences like water breathing magic!

Follow the Bouncing Boob
From: Berg <>

This trap is one of my sure-fire killers. In grimtooth's scale, while the golden room is 3 skulls, this one is 4 skulls, possibly 5 skulls.

Take a room, at least 100' long, 80' wide, and 80' tall. Use a variant reverse gravity to make gravity highly relative. Now fill the room with pillars stairways that don't go anywhere, archways, statues holding assorted sharp objects, etc. Each stairway, statue, pillar, or 10'x10' section of floor, ceiling, wall, or other large surface is considered to be a room 'feature', explained below.

Every time a PC takes a step in this room, there is a chance that the direction of gravity will shift (maybe just 1 degree, or maybe as much as 180). Roll two grenade scatters for every 10'x10' section traversed, or whenever the PC steps onto a new room feature (stepping from stairs to floor, pillar to statue, or walking 11' in a straight line, etc). The first scatter is vertical, the second is horizontal. The point halfway between the two results is the new direction of down. Or, for simplicity, roll 1d6. 1 = gravity stays normal, 2 = down is now straight ahead, 3 = down is behind you, 4 = down is to the left, 5 = down is to the right, 6 = down is straight above you.

Whenever the down direction changes, unless a PC can grab something, they will fall, taking normal damage. Check every 10' of fall to see if they hit something. If they hit something, they stop falling, and take damage. To make the check, roll under their dexterity, just like an ability check. Success means they grabbed onto something before they fell, failure means they fall. Another check is made, same way, for every 10' fallen, success means they grabbed something, hit something, or otherwise stopped their fall.

Unfortunately, hitting something else is moving to a new feature, so roll another d6 to see which direction is now down (with all associated dex checks to avoid falling)...

All fall down. And down, and down, and down...
From: Berg <>

This one is one of my more humorous traps, but still, it is almost 100% guaranteed to kill one PC (but the others won't be harmed at all, except for their pride).

This is another variant reverse gravity trap, only this one is actually fairly pleasant. At first, anyway. The trap is a spherical room, polished to glassy smoothness, with a pair of doors on the equator. The entrance door, and the exit door opposite it. Both doors are made of solid oak, iron-banded, and cannot be forced open in the normal ways (even knock or Bigby's clenched fist spells won't touch it, it's too strong). The entrance door opens easily, but the exit door is securely locked and barred, from the other side.

The trap has several fundamental laws of physics disabled. First, there is no terminal velocity, or friction. Second, objects moving in a straight line do not necessarily keep moving in a straight line. Finally, you don't lose any momentum from hitting things, and gravity is towards the wall you fall towards.

Basically, you walk in, plummet, bounce off the floor, which is now the ceiling as far as you are concerned, and fall towards the floor, which is a spot opposite the one you just bounced off of. And with no terminal velocity, you just keep accelerating. In all cases, down is the direction opposite the wall you just hit (and bounced off of). When you hit, you can make a dex check to change your angle, so you bounce off at a totally new (and random) angle. Make a dex check, success means roll 1d4, 1 = right, 2 = left, 3 = back, 4 = ahead, and that is the direction of down.

There is one exception here. The exit door. If someone hits that, they do not bounce, and if they have more than 20d6 of falling damage accumulated, they smash through it (destroying the door, and probably dying instantly in the process). Anyone who lands in the exit doorway (after the door has been smashed), or in the entrance doorway lands unharmed on the floor (painful, but no damage). Anyone who hits the closed exit door and takes less than 20d6 damage will weaken the door, and take full damage themselves (for example, hitting the door and taking 15d6 damage means that the next impact only takes 5d6 to shatter the door). Final note, anyone with the Spelljammer skills of Zero-G combat or space fighting will be able to control their bounces, so as to bounce where they want to go (on a successful dex check), eliminating the 1d4 roll for new direction.

Special option: Eliminate the exit door, and make the entrance door a one-way teleporter (or a one-way secret door). Then, wait for falling PC's to hit lightspeed (remember, velocity will effectively double each time they fall across the room), then teleport them somewhere else. Great way to get them to another world, for some special adventuring (Athas, anybody?).

What Goes Up, Must Come Down
From: (Andrew Spring (FCTS-97))

The PC's see a shaft, like those in mines, with no ladder. looking up it, they see sharp spikes sticking out of a dead end. Looking down, they see a floor, with the shaft ending into a room maybe 20 feet down.

he shaft has a reverse gravity spell on it, and the rope also does, so it appears that the rope falls down as it should. it is tied to the spikes. if a PC attempts to climb down on the rope, or to jump, they land on the spikes, and take damage depending on the DM. Another variant is that if the PCs try to climb down the rope, there is no reverse gravity, but the spikes fall on them instead. They hate these!

The Painful Foot Dart
From: Viola Krings <>

This trap is triggered by weight on a part of the floor. The walls are plated with wood. When someone steps on the trigger, a click is heard, and a dart shoots out from the wall on each side, leaving the wooden panels ripped off. The darts shoot out at the height of one's hips.

A few yards after that, again a pressure plate will cause the click, but this time, the dart pairs come at foot level, and one of the pair in front of the passing character, one a bit behind, so he will go unharmed unless he tries to jump away.

Chooser Ain't the Loser
From: (Neil Watson)

The party falls down a chute which was originally a set of stairs. Just as they begin collecting their wits they hear the sound of stone grinding on stone. They look up just in time to see a huge stone block sliding down the chute to crush the players. Here's the twist, where the players are standing there is an alcove to hide and be safe from the block. It's only large enough for one person!!!! Will they die together or fight for survival (every man/women for themselves)?

Deadly Pit of Doom
From: Berg <>

This trap is for when the PCS venture into a truly lethal dungeon (drow shrines and illithid strongholds for example). It is gonna kill the guy who trips it, and probably anyone nearby as well.

The trap is a 30' deep, 10' wide square pit trap. The bottom 10' of the shaft is filled with green slime. At the 11' mark, there is a side passage off of the main shaft, at a right angle. Also at that point is an angled mirror. The effect is of an empty-looking 30' deep pit. From the mirror, up to within 4' of the top, is pure, clear water. For purposes of this trap, it doesn't matter if it is open or closed, open is far more dramatic, closed is more lethal. Place a skeleton in the side passage of the pit for aesthetics.

Further, the water is invisible, and has an illusion of a water filled pit over it.

What does this mean? It means that the pit looks like a 30' deep pit filled with water, with a skeleton at the bottom, as seen from the top. It's a killer in 3 ways. First, you could drown, second the slime could eat you, and third, you could die in the fall.

A clever party will try to disbelieve the pit trap, and if they succeed, will see a dry 30' deep pit with or without a skeleton at the bottom. Anyone who goes in in heavy armor is gonna have trouble when they hit the water. But that isn't the worst part. The mirror is capable of supporting the weight of the water on it, but NOTHING else. Entering the pit causes the mirror to break. This drops a volume of water, 15'x10'x10' into a 10'x10'x10' volume of green slime. The water drops, and the wet slime fountains up and onto the party around the top of the pit. Anyone in the pit dies. Anyone within 10' makes a half dex check to avoid the slime, anyone within 20' makes a normal dex check (30' total).

To make matters worse, waterlogged green slime does NOT burn.

To disarm the trap, cast dispel illusion, dispel magic, transmute water to dust, shatter, and fireball. This will make it just a 30' deep pit. Possibly with some sort of door at the bottom.

If someone falls in, make the next 2 or 3 pits water filled, dry and empty, and/or illusionary, but otherwise fairly safe. It's far better to scare the players with the possibility of character death than it is to actually kill them all off.

Cold Feet
From: (Brian Martin)

A room of various dimensions can be used. A chandelier with various amounts of oil burn above a pit trap. The walls of the pit trap a covered with brown mold. The chandelier is rigged to fall in when the pit trap is sprung.

Most characters that fall in the pit will die, as by the time they are able to work on getting out, they are frozen. The people left out of the pit or the trigger'er can also be caught as the brown mold can grow to epic proportions Also, do not forget the flame damage of those in the pit from the fire.

Chess Is the Best
From: jon_b@oldham.gpsemi.COM (Jonathon Buckel)

You need a chessboard, and a chess set to run the trap. Do not show the PC's the chessboard and pieces until the first player steps on a square, else you might give the trap away.

Essentially you find a room with a chess board for a floor with a space at each end. Some force prevents you from flying across or climbing the walls. Or teleporting across, etc. A force also stops you from being able to stand across or between squares.

Once you step on a square, you essentially become the chess piece for the relevent square you stood on. You are white and thus move first. You can only move as that piece can move. A rook up/down/sideways, a bishop diagonally only, etc. Only the 8 back row pieces are available, no pawns.

Also a corresponding piece appears at the other end of the chess board. The DM controlled piece.

Thus if you step on square a1, you become a rook and a rook appears at square h1. At a2, you are a Knight and a Knight appears at h2. At a3 a Bishop and a Bishop appears at h6. If you step on a4 you are a Queen and a Queen will appear at h5. King similarly.

If a player reaches the DM's back row and is safe at that position, then the player may leave the chess board. (Obviously if the PC takes the DM's piece he can safely stand at the DM's side of the chessboard) The DM's opposing piece also disapears.

The fastest way across is to become a rook, you get to move first, thus you can immediatly move 8 spaces forwards and take your opponent. This of course is how the owner of this little trap uses this room. The player characters of course don't even know it is a chess game and will thus most likely not do this. Usually you end up having 3 or more PC's on the board.

The PC's cannot afford to swap pieces to gain an advantage whereas the DM can, thus giving the DM an advantage. 1 on 1, crossing isn't difficult. Multiple pieces makes it more interesting. heh heh heh!

If a PC steps onto the same square as a PC's piece that is already in the game, you can either allow 2 (or more) of the same piece, in which case another DM piece arrives. swap the second PC for the first and the first exits back to the PC side of the board, or not allow this.

What happens when one side loses the King is also variable, from all pieces of that side then die, (ouch for the PC's :-)) to just the King can die.

What happens if a PC loses his piece is up to the individual DM, I usually described a pretty horrific scene of the PC being suitably killed by the chess piece, (see the PC game battlechess for ideas) but was actually transported to some prison cell less his equipment/clothes/etc. Whatever equipment/clothes the DM was nice enough to return to the PC could be found elsewhere, perhaps another cell in the same room. The cells could be found by the other PC's at a later time in the dungeon.

The DM should play his chess game at the level of the PC's if possible. ;-)

After 2 tries at this, I always had more than 2 or 3 PC's on the board. Both teams lost pieces before the others crossed safely. One team were in dire trouble when they had a really good idea of getting another PC to join the game as King so the King of the DM side appeared, their move then was to immediately take the DM's King. Fortunately they had a piece positioned appropriately. I removed all the DM pieces from play at that point. I was feeling lenient and it was a good idea. And if they hadn't come up with something quick, none of them may have successfully got across.

It is a very 'open' trap, it can be modified as the trap progresses. You could also do this with draughts, rather than chess pieces.

Ogre Fist
From: Leif Roar Moldskred <>

The Ogre Fist trap is a pretty basic, low-tech trap for a dead room (i.e. a room that has no other function than being a trap.)

A large timber log is hung in the middle of the room. A rope goes from the back of the log, through a couple of well-greased rings and to the door - opening inwards.

Normally the log is pulled back a meter, the rope tied to the door and the door closed (using considerable force) pulling the log even further back. Then the door is locked, keeping the log in place.

When the door is unlocked it will spring open and the heavy log will come swining through it. To prevent the log from stopping half-way, the doors are made to be break at the sudden jolt at wide-open.

In addition to the considerable damage from the log itself, it contains more than enough energy to throw anybody struck by it several meters back.

Normally, an Ogre Fist is made to throw anybody opening the door into a new trap - a spiked pit, the trigger stone for a rockslide etc. Goblins are especially found of revolving walls that locks after being used. The already battered adventurer may find himself in a dark room, separated from his companions and surrounded by dark-seeing and armed goblins.

There are also variations of this trap replacing the log with all manners of heavy objects. Lead-cauldrons filled with acid, crates filled with quicksilver, barrels of poision - sometimes even large monsters.

And since we are talking about a decoy-door here, and because of the simplicity of the trap, it is almost impossible to disarm. The only safe way to deal with it, is not to stand right in front of the door when it is opened.

From: (Andries Thijssen)

Just When Ya Thought it Was Safe
Build two pitfalls directly after each other. The PCs will discover the first pit (sometimes the hard way, more often by being very careful). Since there is no way around the pit, they will attempt to jump over it. That is when they jump right into the second pit, which has been decorated with stakes and other nasty stuff.

The Good Get Away
For your smart villians only. Have their escape route go through a (looking for the right word here) chimney or other vertical hole. There are handholds in the wall, which one uses to climb up. One of these handholds has some poison needles in it, or a trigger for a dart trap or whatever. The villian (sp?) knows which handhold is trapped and avoids it. Give each pursuing PC a 50% chance to set of the trap.

If PCs slow down to check each handhold before putting their hands in it, have the villian drop a heavy boulder or flaming oil down the tube. However, give the villain enough of a head-start that he cannot be capturted by the PCs in the tunnel, or shot down.

Treasure Ain't Always Treasure
Mix in a some poison with the other treasure. You might even want to label it as potion of healing. (In that case, label the other potions too.)

Another idea:
Place fake traps in your dungeon. For example a floor tile which is not 100% stable. (There are a few pieces of gravel beneath it.) When a PC steps onto the tile announce 'You feel the floor moving beneath you'. Ask for saving throws and stuff. Jumping away makes a lot of noise when wearing armour and might also leave you prone. A perfect situation to have a monster attack. Works especially well in combination with the first idea: i.e. place a fake trap in front and a real one behind it.

On a roleplaying note:
Only intelligent and crafty creatures make traps. The defenses of a dwarven stronghold are probably riddled with traps. Orcs rely on crude traps such as pits. Remeber that each trap requires an engineering effort by their builders and also maintainance (esp. for poison or dart traps.) There is a difference between traps and defenses. Traps work always, but are mostly one-shot and can be avoided. Do not underestimate the value of murder- holes in the ceiling (esp. for tiny corridors where the PCs have to crawl through). A door with murder holes in it and a pit in front makes an impressive obstacle. The same with a set of steel bars blocking a corridor. While the PCs are trying to open it, the monsters lurk just otuside the infravision range of the PCs and open fire with crossbows. Of course, the monsters are behind special defences, providing 75% or even 90% cover.

The (In)Complete Teleporting Pit --
(NOTE: This was sent to me in many variations, but this was the first one I got, so that is why this one is here, and the others aren't.)
From: (Andrew Boulton)

Okay, here's a good one. Have a deep pit, concealed somehow. The victim falls down, then, just before he hits the bottom, a teleport device/spell sends him back up to the top, with the same velocity. You could keep him in this loop forever, but an alternative is, after a while, (say, when he reaches *terminal* velocity :-), to change the destination of the teleport...say, the same place, but the opposite direction (ie up into the air - see if you can reach escape velocity!)

Another one is to put the teleporter at the end of a corridor, with the destination point at the other end, facing it. You then project the image of a monster in front of the 'porter, and wait for the party to shoot it (and so shoot themselves in the back).

The Gassy Pyramid
From: (SL Nyveen)

It takes place inside an Aztec temple, but it could be anywhere underground, so long as the surrounding soil, rock, and walls are porous to some degree (mine had seams between the fitted stones).

The location is a 10'-wide passageway. It slopes up for a total rise of about 20', runs along for any distance (I used 120'), then slopes back down to the original level. The ceiling and upper walls of the elevated portion are plastered over so as to make them airproof.

The trap is that the elevated, airtight passageway collects natural methane percolating up through the bedrock and sediments. The methane passes harmlessly through the seams of the hallway, but where the plaster prevents it, it collects in deadly and flammable concentrations.

I had others pass this way hundreds of years before the PCs, and had this temple undisturbed since.

My DM's notes follow. I had "buffer rooms" at each end of the hallway, hung with many thick, loose curtains, to contain explosions and protect the rest of the rest of the complex.

Light will reveal a thin, uniform layer of soot along all surfaces. Close examination of the gassy area will reveal that ceiling and walls are lined with smooth plaster made to look like the rest of the masonry blocks.

In the gas-filled region, any flame will set off an explosion causing 6d6 damage. Everyone in the hallway will suffer this damage; those in the buffer rooms save vs. paralyzation for half-damage.

Anyone walking in the gas must save vs. Con every 10 feet after the first 20, regardless of speed, to avoid passing out. If a PC flies through, or is carried, they must save only every 30 feet. If a PC is encumbered, they must save every five feet. If a PC specifies he is holding his breath, the first (5 x Con) feet do not require Con checks.

Three rounds after passing out, PCs must save each round vs. death or die of suffocation.

Note that methane is colorless and odorless. My PCs found a good way around this trap, the second time they tried it. They took large bags of water and water-breathed their way through. They never use torches either. Oh well.

The Altar Riddle Trap

Send the players to a point in the game where they have to face a GUARDIAN.... a big creature with whom they should not have too much trouble defeating. After its destruction, the players will encounter an altar with three bowls on it. To proceed further into the adventure, they would need to place one item in each bowl. The wrong items will cause damage to the players in the form of a lightning bolt or some other nasty spell. The correct items are:

  • One particular item, determined before-hand, collected in the adventure up to the taste of the individual DMs... so things like a ring, mushroom, and dirt are all possible.
  • The Silver Dagger of the Guardian. Nasty DM's could have the Guardian carry more than one dagger...
  • One Gold Piece or any type of currency used in the particular world.

From: MadHatter <>

Whirlpool Entrance
A bowl shaped pond about 50' across and 50' deep is the entrance to an underground crypt. At the bottom of the pond is a circle of 13 stone pillars each 13' tall and their circle is 13' across. Written on each pillar are 2 letters : A - M on the top row, and N - Z on the bottom row of letters. A stone 'dome' covers the pillars and enough air is trapped there that the characters could breathe it as they investigate the pillars. Each letter is depressable like a button. On the bottom of the pond in the center of the pillars is a large iron 'cork', however, with so much water pressure no amount of strength could actually pull this plug. The characters are in possession of a scroll with a riddle on it. By depressing the letters to spell this word suddenly the 'cork' becomes ethereal for 5 rounds, during which time the characters and all the water are washed into the crypt/lair below.

It Isn't Always Nice When Demons Leave
A corridor goes east and then south to a dead end. On the north end where the corridor branches there is a large 6' tall red face of a demon who looks like it is yawning. Its mouth is wet. Half-way down the corridor to the south on the eastern side there is a 1' lever angling 'up'. Pulling this lever down causes three areas to go ethereal : the demon face's mouth, the 5' square section of the wall next to the lever and the 10' square section of the floor at the southern end of the dead end. A powerful stream of water will spew from the demon's mouth down the center of the corridor, hitting the southern wall and falling into the pit that has been uncovered by the ethereal floor. Any characters standing in the middle of the corridor will be washed into the wall and then down the pit. The person pulling the lever has a chance to jump through the ethereal hole in the wall. Any characters standing next to the walls will be fine as long as they keep flat against the wall or floor. There is an opposing lever on the other side of the wall that can be lowered (which raises the lever on the corridor side) and turning the trap 'off' thus returning the three sections back to material state.

Are Magic Items Always Nice?
The party finds a magical diadem. If this diadem comes within 20' of any statue in the crypt, the statue immediately animates and attacks the possessor unless the deactivation word is spoken...

A Trick of the Light
A corridor runs west and then turns south 20' before entering a 30' wide, 60' long and 10' tall chamber. The entire northern wall of this chamber, and the northern section of the corridor where it turns south to enter this chamber, are covered with rusted spikes. In the middle of the chamber, running from east to west is a row of 1" thick iron poles which run from ceiling to floor. Touching a pole sets off a wall of lightning along the entire wall (anyone touching the pole saves vs magic at -4). The wall of lightning does 12d6 damage. In the southern half of the chamber there is a ruby red light shining in a narrow beam from the ceiling to the floor. This beam is 10' in front of the large face which is in the middle of the southern wall. There is no apparent source for the light, and any metal surface can reflect it. The face in the southern wall is 6' diameter and made completely of obsidian and it appears to be a distorted human face in the act of laughing. Both eyes are bulging and can be depressed. If both eyes are depressed and the ruby light is not being shined onto the face a complicated illusion will occur. The room appears to tilt very quickly to the north, with that end dropping quickly to a 60 degree angle. Unless characters state that they disbelieve they will stagger and slide to the north as anyone would if a room tilted so suddenly on them! Anyone staggering into the poles will set off the lightning. Anyone falling into the rusted spikes (which of course still seem to line the entire northern wall) will impale themselves on 3-6 spikes doing 1-6 damage each with a 25% chance for each spike (not cumulative) of contracting a disease. If the two eyes of the face are depressed when the ruby light is being shined upon it the face can be easily moved south and then it slides east revealing the passageway continuing to the south.

Out For A Swim
A 30' square room has a door on the western wall, southern most section, and a door on the southern wall, eastern most section, and a door in the middle of the northern wall. A 1' wide passage leads from the northern door to the southern door. From the 1' wide passage the floor drops to a depth of 30' below the level of the doors. This is all filled with water, including up to 1' above the level of the passage, making the water even with the bottom of the doors. The trip is easy between the northern and southern doors, though the trip to the western door might be more difficult. You can place water elementals, water weirds, crystal oozes or any other kind of nasty creature in there. The water below the 5' deep mark might be very murky just to add to the drama. Maybe the characters would want to investiate it to see if there was another passage or anything hidden down there... or perhaps the floor has a slime coating?

Don't Touch Me!
A sarcophagus will Wither anyone touching it without speaking the proper phrase...

From: Dan Hopping <dahoppin@eos>

The Lowering Ceiling (and if that weren't enough, Water, too!)
PCs enter a circular room, 30' diameter, with a 10' diameter pit (30' deep) in the center. Directly over the pit is a hole in the ceiling covered with a rusty grate (it can support 25 lbs. of weight before falling.) Opposite the door from the pit is a 6' tall rod, fixed into the floor (hole in the ceiling above.) Once the PCs enter, the door locks behind them, and the 15' high ceiling begins to descend. PCs must tie a rope to the rod, and climb down the pit to escape the ceiling. Once the ceiling touches the floor, a stream of water starts to pour down from above, filling the hole at 5' per turn. There is a watertight trapdoor in the bottom of the pit if the PCs are fast enough. If the grate is still there, PCs may drown. If it was removed (as is likely), they may float up unless armored heavily. Where either exit goes is up to the DM.

The Cleaners
On either side of the stairs there is a groove at waist height, with gear-like notches. at the top of the stairs, a rod fits the grooves, and will roll when the PCs see it. The rod spins because of the gear notches, and yes, it has protruding blades:). watch those pcs run for their lives! How many think to put something in the groove to stop it?

The One Way Easy, Round Trip Painful
The corridor leads to a 45-degree downward slope to a pit of water (5' wide), and there is another slope on the opposite side. The slopes are covered with downward pointing blades, so you can go down, but not up. A venus fly trap, possibly with something in the water.

The Obvious Trap
A chest of gold in the middle of a long corridor. The floor is actualy a nasty pit trap. The swinging floor drops the pc, & keeps him in- possibly with something nasty.

          _____$_____       |    |    |       |    |    |       \    |    /        \   |   /         -------

The Volcano (Convection) Trap
From: Alan Greenberg <>

Best trap I ever saw was built into the side of an active volcano. The room had a natural corridor leading into it (no door!). There was a door at the far end. Depending on how good a mood you're in the room can have nothing in it, fixed furnishings, or mobile furnishings.

The trick is that the door leads into the volcano shaft ABOVE the lava pool. Since heat rises, the air in the volcano is constantly moving upward. Opening the door, creates a very high vacuum towards the door sweeping a character into the lava pool unless they can react quickly with an appropriate spell or potion or grab onto a handhold.

The best part of this trap is it is based on natural phenomena and therefore really isn't a trap - so it doesn't show up with detect trap magic.

Between a Troll and a Sharp Place

As the delvers (good old Tunnels and Trolls term) walk down a long corridor, they step on a flagstone that sinks a bit. Behind them a large panel in one wall opens up and caltrops fall out. Suddenly, a large troll (or something too tough for the characters to fight, anyway) rushes from around the corner ahead. Run! p.s. this one was my revenge on players who liked to scatter caltrops around liberally. 

Vines and Boulders

The delvers are walking along a hallway whose walls and ceilings are covered with vines. A few vines trail down from the ceiling 20' above, including a few stout ones in the middle of the hallway. Suddenly, hidden panels open up on each end of the hall and 10' diameter boulders begin rolling at the party. Actually, these are illusions, and those who remain below will not be harmed. Those who try to climb the vines, however, will find their hands stuck, and will be drawn up though the hidden, vine-covered holes in the ceiling where a carniverous plant waits to make their aquaintance. 

Water Filled Hot Spot
From: (Dan Gilboa)

This is a variation of the water-filled room. Any small room with one door will do. Add a nice fountain (a marble kid pissing into a pool maybe) and some burnt-down and wet bones.
After the party enters the room will be locked and water level will rise as usual. Nothing will open the door! Let the water reach about throat-high. Then the water stops and a fine quantity of oil will be spilled from above followed by a jet of flame (ever seen burning oil at sea?). Any sensible player will take a deep breath and dive. Very clever! On the third step many small holes will be opened on floor level and water level will begin to go down slowly (and make it real slow, there's plenty of oil up there...) -- they have a choice between drowning, burning by oil, or being boiled alive, not a very easy choice to make. 

From: Chris Roberts (

A pool of water is located at the intersection of two hallways:

   |   | ___|   |___      0 <------------  pool ___    ____    |   |    |   |
Laying on the bottom of the pool are various pieces of treasure.

If anyone takes any item from the pool four walls of force seal off the exits instaneously. The fountain starts to overflow the pool immediately, filling the space in three rounds. Putting the item back will cause plates in the floor to slide back and the water to drain through the holes. It takes 1 turn for all the water to drain. After all the water is gone the walls of force disappear. Placing a new item in the pool will cause some beneficial effect (bless, regain 1d4 hit pts, etc.)

To make this nastier you could disallow teleporting, etc. out of the area or make any items actually removed become cursed. 

The All-Is-Not-What-It-Seems Trap
From: Caleb Buchert (

The PCs are walking down a hallway and see an open pit (10' wide, 20' across) in the floor. It is filled with any liquid the DM wants (ie. green slime, sulphuric acid, or just plain H2O). Dangling above the pit is a chain that a PC must jump to in order to grab. The chain is made of a non-corrosive metal. It is connected to a rope that goes around a pulley and is connected to a weight that is 20 pounds heavier than the chain. When the PC grabs the chain, he sinks into the trap. The only way out besides swimming (if he/she doesn't die) is pulling hand over hand out of the liquid. Then he/she can swing back and forth to land on either side of the trap. If the PC lets go of the chain, the weight pulls it up.

The trap is then reset. Smart PC's will find a way to get the chain and pull it until it's at it's end. They will then be able to swing across to the other side.

They're in for Quite a Shock!
Nate Flory (

The party is wandering a corridor that slopes upwards and comes across a room containing a round pool of water.

Observant characters will note a 'funny' smell in the air and a small object of value lying in the pool. (The object should most likely be made of metal.. sword, rod, amulet, etc)

If they investigate closer, they notice the object is covered in very small bubbles as if it were immersed in soda water. The trick to this trap is that the object has been charged with a _Shocking Grasp_ spell or otherwise permanently electrified. We all know that when you put an electrical charge in water, it splits the H2O into oxygen and Hydrogen. (this explains the fizzing and funny smell!)

Assuming the party is carrying torches, they will most likely never make it to the point where they investigate this room! The hydrogen will ignite at the slightest flame source.

Really nasty DMs are encouraged to consider sending a bunch of torch-wielding kobolds up the tunnel if the party has figured out this trap and are using magical light sources. This forces the party to stop them from entering the room and preventing the big *BOOM*. 

The Stupid Door Trap
Darren George (Darren.George@UAlberta.CA)

The party comes to a door, above which is written, "The Word Is Cthulhu". Trying to open the door will reveal that the door is sentient, and it will solemnly inform the party that it will not open until the word has been said. Saying "Cthulhu" will have no effect. The thing is, to open the door, the party must trick the door into saying "Cthulhu". (Asking the door what the password is will not work- the door will reply that if they don't know the word, they don't deserve to be let in.)

I have come up with three ways to trick the door (assuming, of course, the door isn't very bright).

1) Tell it a knock-knock joke: "Knock-knock" "Who's there?" "Cthul" "Cthul who? Damn!"

2) Start cheering: "Who's the eater of the world that's made of you and me? C-T-H! U-L-U! Cthulhu! Cthulhu! Yeahhhhh, Cthulhu!!" The door will join in on the third "Cthulhu."

3) Blatantly mispronounce the word until the door, in exasperation, corrects their pronounciation.

If, however, Cthulhu hears his name, and sends someone to investigate, the door will (successfully) pretend to be non-sentient, and allow the delvers to take the blame for the blasphemy and loose tongues.

Wizards are _not_ nice trap builders
Jeff Naujok (

Author's Note: I ran this in the dungeon of a wizard's castle. It is not especially nice, but it is cool to watch. A section of a long corridor changes over to having a tiled floor. Half of the hexagonal tiles are white, the other half are black. Every other black tile is actually a glass plate over a deep shaft, at the bottom of each shaft is an iron spike. As the PCs walk onto the area, they feel the floor shift slightly. Roll some dice and wince, like something has gone wrong. Tell the PCs that they hear a squeal of metal on metal, but then nothing else. What has actually happened is the pit beneath the glass is being filled with some explosively flamable liquid from a large storage tank. This takes about 10 seconds.

Towards the middle of the corridor is a second pressure plate, ten feet wide. Stepping on this strikes steel on flint in the pit below. *Boom* The ignited gas drives the spikes up through the glass plates. Each PC will be hit by 1-6 spikes, each doing 2d6 damage. The spikes embed themselves in the ceiling.

Now here's why it's a wizard's castle. The trap triggers a variant of the Mend spell, causing all of the glass plates to reassemble. Then a teleport is triggered, popping all of the spikes back into the bottom of the shafts. This sudden removal of the spikes one round after the detonation causes the ceiling to collapse. PCs still on the trap suffer an additional 6d6 of damage. After three turns, a panel in the side wall will slide open, and a charmed gelatinous cube will slink up and down the hallway removing the rubble from the floor. It will then return to its cubicle, and the panel will slide shut. When it does, it triggers a Wall of Stone across the ceiling, restoring the trap to pristine condition, ready to use again.

Originally, this trap did more damage, but that was for 18th level players. This version is a little less deadly, as it doesn't do fire damage and damage from the breaking glass. To avoid the trap, all the players need to do, and what the wizard does, is jump over the first pressure plate, thus not releasing the flammable liquid.

The wizard was especially mean, because he put a set of double doors at the end of this corridor. They opened onto blank rock. Of course there was a secret door there that led on, but the PCs thought that the whole thing was just a trap, and gave up on it.

Kill Yerself Trap
Qubrak Shata

A long corridor, at the end of which are illusionary bars, with an illusionary (fill in creature that is too tough for the players to handle) behind the bars. Right in front of the bars is a teleporter that teleports only size T or smaller items to behind the PCs. In between the two teleporters is a numbing zone, where pain cannot be felt. If the PCs are smart (and standard players), they will shoot arrows at the monster. Given enough time, they will kill themselves.

Andy Wolff (

The party enters a series of interconnected rooms arranged in an ascending spiral with 15-25' corridors connecting the rooms. Each door opens towards the party and all rooms and the corridors have a gentle but noticeable slant to them (towards the party which is in fact climbing the spiral). The rooms have the usual assortment of monsters. The corridors have a 1' deep by about 1' wide channel cut into them, and the corridors themselves are 5' wide. As the party proceeds, fighting and winning, they eventually cone to the last room. They open the door and find a room packed with iron cannonballs! The balls exit the room; the party may or may not survive, although with 5' walls it is certainly possible to brace against the walls and let the balls roll by underneath. Beyond the balls is the principle bad guy and the majority of the treasure. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the party, the iron balls have assembled in the bottom room into -- An Iron Golem!

miki (

Give the players a set of miscellaneous arranged numbers: 1-5 right side up then 5-1 upside down (written on a wall in magical writing or something.) It is a combination. The players eventually walk out to a rock overhang and a door appears on the other side of another overhang. On the left side is an object the players are to retrieve and on the right side are 3 stone golems. Everything except the players overhang is surrounded in lighting. There are 10 ropes hanging from the players' cliff each numbered. Also, in front of each rope is a symbol of one of the elements. The player needs to step on an element to get a rope. In the center of the room are 10 pillars, each also numbered, with 10 ropes. To make things more complicated in between each of the pillars are more ropes barley within reach of the pillars or outcropping. The players need to grab onto the right rope to swing to a rope not numbered, from that rope to a pillar of the right number, and from that pillar swing from the right numbered rope and so on until the combination is complete. If a player choses the wrong rope, the rope will detach itself from the wall dropping the player to the ground. If the player lands on the wrong pillar it will start to lower to the ground. On the ground is an elemental corresponding to one of the symbols on the cliff. There is always the same number of elemental as pc's. They will not bother any one unless they are actually on the ground. Then they will attack. If a player falls to the floor he has to run to the nearest "neutral" rope and make it back to the original cliff. When swinging on the ropes, players have to make several checks for dex, for the swing, and attack on an AC of 4 to grab the other rope, (if that rope is missed, missed a str. and dex to hold on to the rope swinging from) then a strength to hold on. IF you choose the wrong rope and it fell (or if the pillars lower) then it would reattach itself and the pc's would have to start all over again. Once the combination is complete the floor raises, elementals disappear and the lighting around the golems also. The players now fight to defeat the golems and when they are defeated then the lighting around the door and the object disappears and they can grab the object (which will be needed to solve another puzzle.)

Ben Martin (bmartin@ATCON.COM)

The trap is very simple (but lethal) trap to set up and you can place it almost anywhere. The trap starts off as a pressure plate. When the PCs step on it will release another trap that is usually dormant. The second trap is a pit with a revolving door that locks into place. As one or more PCs step on the floor panel it drops, so that they fall into the pit, then it spins on and locks into place, keeping the PC's into the pit. In the bottom of the pit could be a green slime or if you wanted it to be non lethal, water (then at least the poor PC at least has a chance to survive, for a little while.)

Michael J. Champlin (

Room is a perfect cube (10'+ cubed) with one or two doors (not locked!) The trap is magical: inside the room is a sphere of pure magical energy (see Note 1) held in place by 6 RINGS of Spell Turning (see Note 2) place in the exact center of each wall, floor and ceiling, the door(s) just happen to be in the center of the wall(s). When the door is opened the Ring no longer contains the sphere's perfect integrity. The magical energy shoots out of the room like soda pop from a shaken bottle.

Effects: ALL rods, wands, & Staffs become fully charged then overload as in a retributive strike (see DMG on damage) other Items gain power then overload as above. the each PC will take damage in the form of 1d12 / charge in room save vs magic for half damage (except for the person who opens door [no save])

Note 1. charge in room is size of room cubed (eg 10' room =1000 charges [10*10*10] a 5'room = 125 charges [5*5*5]. The DM could be "Nice" and subtract charges from the total used in "CHARGING ITEMS" to reduce damage.

Note 2. When Door is Opened all The RINGS of SPELL TURNING become non-magical, but if removed without destroying the can be re-enchanted GP value of rings : 1000 gp each

Red light, Green light
Matthew T Sanchez (

When the party enters the room, a big flash of red occurs. They will probably wonder what is going on. (If you have ever played the game Red light, Green light, you should know that the party must stop or something will happen.) Well for starters send out an enemy to show what happens when you move when the red light is flashing. Then the green light will start flashing. This is the time to move. Any other time they move when the red light is flashing, have something really bad happen like the floor turning into spikes.

The Anti-Pit Trap
B.Murphy (

This trap consists of a large chimney with either an opening to the outside or something really nasty at the end of it. Directly under the trap there is a "reverse gravity field." When a person steps into this field they will immediately fall upwards and suffer the consequences. After the first person in a adventuring party falls into the trap, I would hope that the other adventurers would find a creative way around it as well as a creative way to get their friend out of the trap. Note: This is not a trap used specifically to kill everyone playing!!

Robert W. Murrhee (

The characters enter a hallway 5'wide, 10'high, 50'long, with a door at the far end. The walls are encrusted with huge gemstones, any one of which would be valued at least 10,000gp. If any character tries in any way to remove one of the gems (they can easily be pried loose with a dagger), the walls will slam together, as each has a POWERFUL spring device which will be triggered by the removal of any one of the gems thus slamming the walls together like two giant hands clapping! Any character caught between the walls when they slam shut will take 3d20 points of damage, and ALL breakable items must save vs. crushing blow. The walls will automatically reset themselves after a single such strike. If the characters pass through the hall without touching any of the gems, nothing will happen to them, and they can go through the door, which is unlocked, and untrapped, if the DM is feeling generous.

Robert W. Murrhee (

When characters enter this room, they will be unable to see using ANY means, as there is a magical darkness in the room which can not be dispelled. The floor is held steady by clamps in the walls. When a character nears the center of the room, a pressure plate activates the release of the holding clamps, which withdraw into the walls. At this point, the door to this room will disappear, and if any characters are in the doorway when this happens, they will be either caught inside or outside the room, or trapped in the wall where the door used to be (determined by how far through the door they were),being killed instantly if caught within the wall. The floor is now a disc upon a pivot. ANY! movements by characters within the room result in the character losing his/her balance, unless a dex check is made successfully. Any attempt to cast spells will not only result in the requirement of a dex check to maintain balance, but will result in automatic spell failure. The characters will notice a bubbling sound below them as of liquid boiling. In actuality, this boiling liquid is water with a device which agitates it causing the bubbling. The water is actually about room temperature. Also hidden within the walls below are small furnaces which create a heat & burning smell, which wafts up through small vents from below, creating the illusion of a boiling death waiting below. In the room, above the floor, several small blind flying creatures will make swooping attacks upon the characters doing 1d4 damage per attack. The only way out of this room is to dive into the water, where they will find a grate at the bottom, which leads out to a small tunnel. The tunnel will take them to another room and from there they can get to the rest of the dungeon and more of the DM's nasty toys and devices. The grate can be removed with a successful strength check.

Knight (
The Scheel

The PCs are running after a nemesis, and into a tiny room (back rooms work well). They just catch a glimpse of their foe running into one of 5 shimmering colored portals. [There should be 1 portal for the foe and 1 for each PC.] As soon as the foe runs through, it disappears. Hopefully, the PCs will want to follow. As each PC goes through a portal, it closes. Eventually all the PCs will enter the portals.

The PC's find themselves in a cavern or room. There is a deep pit with acid, lava, etc. at the bottom. The sides of the pit are slick and no holds are available to lasso, etc. Slowly lowering into the pit by ropes is a structure made of 2 small platforms 15 feet apart, connected by a HEAVY 3 inch diameter rod. Two of the PCs end up on the platforms (1 on each). The others are in a small room with a glass window watching. They can talk to the PCs on the platforms, but their oxygen will run out about 10 seconds before the platform hits the acid, lava, etc. The nemesis is watching from an elevated look out room behind glass.

The task at hand is straight forward and the solution is quite simple, although it'll take some thinking by the players. The rod is attached to the platforms with a simple catch mechanism (make this fairly apparent). If one side is unhooked, it will rise, while the side attached to the rod will fall. If both are unhooked, the whole thing will still fall, just a little slower. So all the players have to do is figure out how to get both platform PCs on to 1 platform and then release the rod. They will rise, the nemesis will be pissed and take off, and they can free their friends from the glass room however the DM sees fit.

castor (

This is a fairly simple trap. I usually use it as a second layer. Place a torch or lantern near a trapped door. Usually, the PCs forget the light and concentrate on the door. When they successfully open the lock it triggers the real trap in the wall. Oil runs out of a trough through the flame of the torch and onto the party. It isn't usually deadly, but it is a good nuisance trap.

Shamus Peveril (
Fake Treasures

When entering the area (generally a series of rooms and halls) the players see valuable treasures scattered along the halls. These range from silver and platinum figurines to gold brooches (very, very valuable). The players will follow along, picking up the treasure (don't let them stop because of encumbrance). When reaching the end, they will enter a room through a door. When all the players bearing the treasure they picked up get through, a stone wall will drop over the door, sealing them in. Then a powerful monster(s) will be teleported into the room, and the treasures will turn to tin and lead. When the monster is defeated, and only then, the stone wall covering the door they entered through will disappear, thus letting them out.

Eli the Unnamed (

A really simple trap: an illusionary pit. When the PCs try to jump or swing over it, they hit a tripwire , suspended a few feet off the ground. This will trigger poison darts or whatever other type of trap you want.

Rodney "Atlas" Dunn (
TITLE: It's Weird

Explanation: The PC's open a door and are immediately teleported to the center of a room right next to a well filled with water. The room is circular and has eight doors all around. The well is in the center. There is also a hole in the ceiling (2 inch radius) that is shining light onto the well(also the reflection of a gold key). Whenever a PC touches any part of the door, they are teleported back to the center of the room.

The well has 3d10 water weirds in it that will attack whenever anything gets close enough. In the well, the PC's see a gold key (which is really a reflection from above) in the bottom of the well. The gold key will let the one holding it get out, but then it disappears and appears back where it was.

Jason Kahler (
Title: Those Pesky Shriekers

This is a very simple trap. Cast an invisibility spell on a shrieker mushroom and put it in a narrow hallway (so the PCs will have to come near it but won't touch it). Then have the hall lead into any room, where any large and hard to beat sleeping monster or NPC awaits.

Shea Leonard --- "StormShield"

Right now I don't have a place for the magic items and NPCs, so I'll just include them with Shea's trap submission.


  • DAGGERED FLOOR: The party finds a treasure chest with many thin slits in the floor before it. Natch, the chest is opened and many daggers fly upward into the feet of the person opening the chest (5d4 damage, possible Poison).
  • DOOM DAZZLER: A special pattern of hypnotic lights flies from a mirror the PCs carry --- save vs Death at -4 or die. In this case, Raise Dead will not work --- the mind is completely destroyed.
  • SPIKE SPINE: This is hidden in the ceiling above a pool of black liquid and falls to impale for 1d12 + a save vs Poison or fall in the black liquid (actually black pudding mixed with acid) for a further 2d12 damage + paralysis until magically cured.
  • WIND BEAM: This is a "Trick" trap, anyone hit by it gets hit by an Improved Invisibility spell (which doesn't make this trap too bad).
  • BEAM LASER: This fires from a magical lock on a chest to do 5d12 damage (talk about powerful traps) Save vs. Spell and avoid all damage.
  • ELECTRIC FIREWATER: One of my favorites, it hits a PC first with a 3d6 fireball, then cools off the PC with a 3d8 Icebolt, then as the Ice finishes melting, a Lightning Bolt hits the PC for 3d10 damage, and we ALL know what happens when electricity touches water!
  • FISTCRUNCH: Another favorite of mine, this causes a stone fist to pop up out of a chest, hitting a character on the jaw. Save vs Death to live, otherwise your skull is shattered.


  • DIALSLADE: This is a Dwarf with a "Captain Picard" personality. He offers to buy gems off of the characters for 35% of what they're worth. If the PCs do not wish to sell, he leaves while if Dialslade is attacked, he is a F8 with an AC of -4. He is worth 2500 Xp and has 100 Hp.
  • DWERF: This dwarf delights in killing the enemy. Who his enemy is, he doesn't really know. He'll join the party on his own and is a F5 with 37 Hp (ac 3, 450 xp). If he is attacked, he will use his magical Ring of Teleportation (5 uses) to zap himself away.
  • ALAHANDRA: This bare-chested beauty carries a battle axe and will take offense at wisecracks directed at her. She has a permanent strength of a Stone Giant, is Ac 6, and is worth 6000 Xp. She has 146 Hp, and there is a 50% she will strike before the PCs will be able to say or do anything.
  • KITANDRA: This female Elven Mage is a M9 and wishes to be left alone to explore wherever the PCs are on her own. If attacked, she will use her Wand of Fire (44 charges) in one hand and her Wand of Lightning (16 charges) in the other in order to obliterate her opposition. She has 72 Hp and is worth 4000 xp (Ac 2 due to her Bracers of Prot AC2).
  • RIKO: This little Psuedodragon is locked in a cage when the PCs first find him. A keyboard magically locks the cage, and a riddle is inscribed on the underside of the keyboard. The riddle: "What keeps a couple together, yet can drive a couple apart if what keeps them together is voiced to the public?" --- TRUTH. If this word is spelled out on the keyboard, Riko will be free and will be a PCs Familiar for life (choose a mage over another character).

  • STAFF OF DIAMONDS: The Staff has 50 charges and any number of them can be used in a round. Each charge protects against 12 points of any type of damage, be it weapons, magic, Breath weapons, etc. It creates a purple force field around a character which provides the protection. It cannot be recharged.
  • GEM CRYSTAL: When held in the hand, it energizes. The longer it is held before it is dropped and its magic is used, the more damage it will do. It will cause sharp crystal spikes to appear and impale a monster for 1d8 per round it was held before using (up to 8 rounds). Note that if a character holds it he can't do anything else until he decides to drop it to release the magic.
  • GLASSES OF ANALYZATION: One of my favorites, when a PC puts on these glasses, he can stare at an unknown magical item and magically learn its name AND function. When this item is used there is a 50% chance +2% for every use that it will break and become useless.

  • Robert St. James (
    Title: Flipping Door

    There are two doors one going up and one going down. When someone tries to open the door it flips forward and makes the top door the bottom door but it also pulls the character with it unless they make a saving throw (any one will do). If they don't make it the fall 20' and land on a hard stone floor and are trapped unless someone pulls away some of the bricks in the floor and pulls the trapped character out.

    Magnetic Passage

    I used a magnetic passage (like an open door) which can only passed through without any metal. If a player tries to pass with any metal in his hand or on his body, he feels a resistance and can not walk through. Any non-metal substance passes through without resistance (but there is a magnetic field which will repulse the whole hand if there is a ring on, etc.)

    Examining the door the PCs can see a little piece of metal (e.g. a nail), which is hanging at the wall near the border. Every PC can try to take or move this piece in vain. Even a tool or weapon can not move it but a metal weapon will be captured by the wall and cannot be removed, too. The only way to get through is to lay down all metal things. I know that only some metals are magnetic but this passage is a magical passage so that every metal is banned. 

    Robert W. Murrhee (friend's e-mail:

    When the characters enter this hallway, they'll be in for a rude surprise. The hallway floor is actually balanced on a pivot, with the side they enter on supported underneath. The other side, however, is unsupported, as there is a chute underneath. When enough weight is put on the unsupported side of the floor (such as characters walking on it) the floor pivots like a teeter totter, tilting to about a 45 degree angle. As this happens, the edge of the floor (that the characters are not on) strikes the ceiling, causing the release of several gallons of oil, which will pour down the chute, covering and dislodging any characters in the hallway. Characters will be unable to climb back up, as the chute is now much too slippery. As the characters slide helplessly down the chute, they will notice two torches pop out from the wall as they pass. About 20 seconds later, they will hear the torches ignite, and if they look back, they will see the flames gaining on them...thus realizing (if it had not occurred to them before now) that they were covered in "flammable" oil! If the characters do nothing to slow their descent, they can stay barely ahead of the searing flames. Wondering about the "Wedgie" part? Well here it is.... At the end of the chute (a 1/2 mile joyride) is a wall with a roughly triangular wedge cut into it, just big enough for one person. When the first character hits the wedge, it rotates, locking the first character in and simultaneously opening another wedge for the next character in line. It is a large stone wheel with wedges cut into its edge, which turns like a gear, locking into place as a wedge is filled then clicking to the next empty wedge. The characters can barely hear each other, but this is to no avail since breaking through the walls that separate each section will release the green slime that is inside the walls. As the wheel rotates (provided there are enough characters entrapped), one wedge at a time will open on the opposite side of where they entered it, freeing that character onto a ledge just wide enough to inch sideways across. Below is what appears to be a vast pit containing 1-20 (DM's call) Kobolds skeletons or other such nasties. At the bottom of this pit is a narrow trail that goes up the side of the pit to connect to the ledge on which the character is standing, at the opposite side. On the ledge above this trail is the only door out. If the character is still standing on the ledge when another character comes out of the wheel, said character will be flung off the ledge into the embrace of those waiting below. 

    James R. Fricton (
    Don't let the dog out!

    The PCs come across a 10' long hallway. At the end there is an angry looking monster or impossible-to-beat beast securely tied to a strong yet thin rope that goes into a hole in the wall behind the monster. About 5' down, the hallway turns right.

    As the PCs walk down the hall to the exit there is a weak tile that has a razor under it with the rope running under the razor, so as the PC in the front steps on the tile it will cut the rope letting the monster free to tear the PCs apart. Depending on the DM's mood you could have the tile also trigger a trap that makes two doors close (and maybe lock) off both exits! 

    Mark Hill (
    Pit and a Spike

    This trap should be positioned in a thin hallway. When a player steps on a pressure sensitive block, the block falls 20 feet, setting off another mechanism which drops a 7 foot spike from the ceiling. 

    Marc Menier (
    The Trapped Telescope

    The PCs come across a telescope which radiates a strong magical aura. If a PC looks through the telescope, it views through to the lair of a medusa. Perhaps the telescope has command words to change where it is looking? 

    Janice Fitzgerald (
    The Un-Openable Door

    There is a rope attached next to a door. The player must pull the rope to the side of the door. If the player yanks it, then the door will spin and spikes on the other side will get them. It also helps to limit their time by having them be chased by a minotaur or something.

    Collapsing Columns
    This works best on first level guys. You bait the ground with gold. They rush towards it (when your at the beginning of the game you want gold to buy stuff.) When they pick it up you can do anything you want. You can have the room collapse in and crush them, but have an easy way out so they don't die. also archers could be alarmed and shoot them.

    On the Lookout for Magic Weapons
    Once a guy has gotten farther they can use special weapon. You can put this on a giant minotaur head only the top is flat like a table. If the guy grabs something off of it, the horns come in and prick their arm. This can be poisoned if you want. Anyway they pull there arm away without the weapon. they must first put something else there. The pressure plate will go down and the horns come in and retract back to their old position. Then they may grab the weapon, but lose what they left.

    Indiana Jones Rock Chase
    If a person enters a preferably small tunnel and hasn't searched the other floors of a dungeon then a wizard could make a giant rock fall and chase the people through a giant maze.

    It Ain't Nice to Kill Everybody
    If there is a person that kills anybody he can, and there is no mage in the party, you can have a magician in a bar talk jibberish. Most likely the player will try to kill it. Then the magician turns into a giant creature and wails on the guy.

    Ramon Dailey (

    Watch Your Back!
    The first is this. The characters walk into a room, which seals up behind them. There's a large chasm, lava pit or some other type of stumbling block between the characters and the far wall. The far wall is blank except for a very visible target, complete with bullseye. The idea is that the players think that if they shoot an arrow into the bull's eye, the door will open back up. So, their best archer lines up to take his best shot. He hits the bullseye... BUT... the bullseye is actually a transporter pad, and its mate is directly opposite it... in other words, directly behind the archer. So, the arrow hits the bull's eye, and is transported to shoot the archer in the back! Or, anyone who is in the way. The DM can use whatever means he wishes to finally let the players out of the room. I would make it that the arrow has to hit any part of the wall EXCEPT the target to set them free, so a really bad shot would be best to start with. Which would be embarrassing.

    Use the Handrail!
    The characters come to a staircase, which has a sign reminding the characters to use the hand rail. I realize that this is pretty obvious, but I'm willing to bet a lot of players will ignore it. Well, when they get so far down, if all characters aren't touching the hand rail, it turns into a slide and ends in whatever nasty that the DM feels necessary. Or, for an even more evil version, this could be a bridge across a great chasm. When someone takes their hand off the rail, it becomes ethereal for that character, and (s)he falls through. This would be a good time to send some winged nasties at the characters! It's hard to get off any arrows with only one hand...

    VampD (
    And we all fall DOWN!

    The PCs come to a circular room, with two doors, one the PCs are at and the exit. Along the edge the room is a red border about 1/2 foot to 1 foot wide. In the center of the room is a pit. Have a delayed pit fall (i.e. wait 1 rd., wait for the 3rd person out, etc.). The pit falls out. There are now in another circular chamber. Where the two doors were there are two long ladders. As the PCs climb the ladders one of the rungs will slip free. This sets off a cave in from above (ceiling). The rocks knock the PCs off the ladder (even into the ladder). All the rungs after that still do the same (or any other traps (all the rungs fall off, etc.)). The PCs have to fly, jump, or climb out of the pit. The edge is really slick so make dexterity checks and remember how close the character is to the wall with nothing to hold on to.
    The Rolling Hallway

    There is a slanted hallway, angled at 45 degrees, and no less than 12' long, (for 4 adventurers, and adding 3' for each over 4.) The point of the trap, is to pretty much kill the last person in the hallway, so.. it's angled, and at the end of the hallway, is a pressure plate, that when stepped on, seals off the lower portion that has 6" spikes in it. If they try to run, the top gets sealed off. Then, every three feet, a hand hold opens on each side of the wall, but have spikes on them. And, if grabbed, cause 1d6 points of damage. The floor then slides away to reveal rollers under the floor, which force the players to either grab the hand holds and pull their way to the top, (taking the damage) and the person to fall on the spikes automatically loses half their life, and if someone falls on them, they die.. and the person who falls on them also loses half their life.

    P.S. the dimensions of this hallway is 6" over the tallest persons head and 3" to either side of the widest person (within reason).
    A Stitch in Time

    The first part of the trap is a standard orc/ogre type door smash trap, with the log behind the door so that when it is opened, all persons in front of the door get slammed, usually into something. Now.. when someone touches the door, Time Stasis is cast on them. And if the door is opened, the log, or whatever the DM decides on, comes down and smashes the PC (or PCs) and they then take 2d6 damage for it, then the PC(s) are flung into yonder wall, which is enchanted with a Reverse Time spell. When hit, the Reverse Time spell is cast, and the Enchanted PC's are flung back to the time a millisecond before they got hit, so, there stuck in an endless loop until they die... and if anyone is enchanted and not hit, they are forced to watch as there friends die right before their eyes and they can't stop it anyway. Of course, all those NOT enchanted wonder what happened, because even that simple type of trap shouldn't kill their ally, right?

    Dan Ackerman (
    The Dart Room

    The PC's come to a door at the end of a corridor. They will likely search it for traps. There are none. If the PCs open the door, they cannot see anything beyond the doorway. It is dark, and the players get a feeling of vastness. There is, in fact, something there: a very, very thin thread is suspended from wall to wall about 3 feet beyond the doorway, and one foot above the floor. A PC within 2 feet of the thread has a chance see it (1/3 Wisdom score). When it is broken, the PC may not even feel it, depending on clothes worn on the shins. However, ten seconds after it is broken, the front few players feel a slight puff of air on exposed skin. Half a round later, all PC's are struck by a shower of whizzing darts, taking 2d20 hits. Each dart causes 1d2 points of damage. The darts can be retrieved by surviving PC's. They are about an inch long and the fletching is skewed, causing a very irregular flight path, which makes them useless for any weapon, but ensures that all PCs within the room are struck. It the PC's collect the darts, there are 1000 darts found lying about the room. This trap doesn't sound like much, but for some masochistic reason, my players got a real kick out of it.

    Gerald Dupuy (
    Thieves' Revenge

    A party comes upon a clearing. In the middle of the clearing is a small hut or building of some sort. The ground around the hut is barren and covered with stones and gravel. Any player who steps into the clearing wearing metal armor is struck by 1-5 stones with no visible creatures to have thrown them. This can be quite perplexing to the players because no magic is involved or detected. Though players struck must make intelligence rolls to see if they notice that the stones are still adhering to their armor. The stones in the clearing are LODESTONES, natural occurring magnetic rocks. Thieves don't usually wear metal armor so are able to walk freely into the clearing without too much trouble (maybe a dagger could cause minor problems). Hence the name Thieves Revenge.

    Andy Warner (
    The Troll Trap

    The entrance to a dungeon is near a waterfall, hence area is always wet and misty. The dungeon is ancient and sealed. DM describes the old, ancient, dusty and dry corridor, and the dust clouds caused as the door finally gives way. The players complete the dungeon but on return, the dust has gotten wet, revitalized and reformed the HUGE troll it once was. Just love regeneration, don't you?

    Joseph BlackBear (
    Hot n' Cold

    This trap involves 2 rooms in a dungeon (or castle or whatever) that are joined to each other by a single doorway (no door, unless you want to make it REALLY hard on your players)

    The first room of the trap is enchanted to make it very cold (I run Palladium FRPG so I use hundreds of wards on the walls that are permanent) and the doorway (or door) to the other side is a good 100 feet away. The party must pass through this room in order to get to their goal.

    The 2nd room is enchanted in the same way, except that it is to the HEAT extreme. Most players that I throw this trap up against make themselves resistant to cold to get through the 1st room, but once they do that, then they can't make themselves resist fire for the 2nd one (there is a time period to prepare, and since they are in the extreme cold room, they would freeze to death before the time period expired)

    Therefore, they have to REALLY think (or get really lucky on their saving throw, that is at -10 if they go through the heat room while resisting cold) in order to get past the Heat room. Once a player gets trough the trap, the rest can follow easy enough provided there is a mage in the group that can Teleport each member to the one that got past it all.

    BTW, failure to make the saving through when passing from the Cold to Heat room (if the player is resisting cold) means death. Ashes, to tell the truth. No hope of reincarnation.

    Shawn Marion (
    The Mirror Room

    The PCs enter a room made entirely of mirrors. at the far side of the room is a group of pedestals with spiked armor, stone armor, and black armor. When a character takes one, the others disappear. (All armors are equivalent to plate mail) (The door open and closes)

    Spiked Armor: Suddenly the characters hear something moving. A pillar covered with spiked smashes down at random locations, and the number of pillars keep growing. Any character that is smashed by the pillar get his or her HP halved, and next time the character is killed. The characters must escape the room before they die.

    Stone Armor: The PCs cannot get out of this one unless they use some kind of spell. A stone pillar breaks through a random mirror and smashes another mirror. Then a pillar breaks out of that mirror and smashes diagonally. Then it smashes straight, etc. After that, the door opens again and they can exit.

    Black Armor: The room goes dark for a while and when the light comes back, it is from a glowing sphere held by a dark magic user. The rest of the monsters in the room should be equal or less (For larger amounts of monsters) to the PCs. When all the monsters are dead, you may leave the room. All the stuff on the monsters can be taken if your game allows it. All the stuff is non magical, and usually the weapons are maces, axes, and stuff the PCs find weak.

    Shawn Marion (
    Objects of Envy/Pity

    The characters enter a room made out of red metal, and it has a small mirror at the far side. The room is filled with every from potions with awesome labels, magical weapons, legendary armor etc. The characters will probably take the stuff. If one looks in the mirror, the swords will be glowing with an evil aura, the potions will be labeled 'HEAVY POISON' etc. when the characters leave the room, the objects will be cursed and instead of girdles of giant strength etc. they will be girdles of giant brain, girdles of unfed person strength, broad sword of missing, mace of crumbling, scrolls of destroy brain, helmet of amnesia etc. stuff that may kill the characters before they even get a chance to uncurse it.

    VampD (

    The PCs reach a room with metals bars going across the room. The First Bar is 2' from the ground. The second is 5' from the ground. The Third is doubled up, one 2' from the ground, and one 5' from the ceiling. Then the fourth is 4' from the floor and 4' from the ceiling (10 ft. Tall ceiling, ground refers to hall level). The floor drops 20ft from the hall level and then there is a pool of acid. The acid is any contact acid you chose. You might not want it to do much damage cause it would really be hard to rescue the PC in the first place (acid on there hands when they grab the rope to pull them selves out, and there would be acid all over them in the first place. The acid is only like 1 1/2' deep.

    Vince Tasslehoff Tomasso (
    Drain Blades

    This trap consists of a room that is twenty feet across and ten feet deep. A tilting floor leads to the trap room, dumping the players on the floor, taking falling damage from 1d4 spikes in the chute. The spikes cause 1d6 damage each. After the players hit the water in the room (which is eight feet high), they fell a sucking sensation below their feet. There is the sound of a mechanism moving, then water is sucked out of the room at the rate of a 1/2 foot per round. The players have to make a successful strength check to stay afloat in the water every round the water is sucked out. If they fail the check, they get sucked down with the rest of the water into a long, narrow tube. In about a round, they feel a soft breeze that turns into a roar. A blade is below the players. It spans the entire tunnel and the players cannot escape it. Roll a 1d10 to see what part of the body is cut off:

      1-3 left arm
      4-5 right arm
      6-7 left leg
      8-9 right leg
      10 decapitation (death)
    After getting part of the body cut off, the player falls into a plain room, two levels lower than they were originally.
    Vince Tas Tomasso (
    Dark Mirror

    This trap consists of a large, tunneling room and a tilting floor in the room above. As soon as the players are dumped into the tunneling room, they land about twenty feet down, suffering falling damage. They then see a mirror that seems misty and cloud-like. All of sudden, out comes a duplicate of the player looking into the mirror! It has all the same abilities of the player it is duplicating! Even weapons, knowledge and abilities like Strength. And if the player is a wizard, the duplicate has all the same spells as the wizard. All successful attack go right through the duplicate, but all the successful duplicate attacks have real damage! The only way the duplicate can be destroyed is by destroying the mirror. Then the duplicate will scream and dissipate into the air. Then the DM can use any means of exiting the room he wishes.

    Jeremy Smith (
    Its So Simple You're Sure To Die

    The PC are walking down a hallway, room, passageway, etc. They discover without much observation that there is a tripwire near the bottom of the floor. It is much thicker than most trip wires, so it can be seen very easily. Once it is seen the PC will most likely avoid the trip wire. The PC go a few more steps, and then the entire floor will crumble to dust. The PC will then end up in a torture chamber, dungeon, pit, watery grave, etc. However, if they had hit the trip wire a secret passageway would have opened up in the right side of the wall. If they go down it they will have avoided the collapsing floor.

    The Strangeling (
    Unseen Spikes by Kevin Burke

    Start with a large room (at least that's what it looks like) . Its best to use this trap with intelligent monsters using DETECT INVISIBILITY scrolls . The room is actually a maze with caltrops/spikes lining its walls . What makes it really dangerous is that the maze is enchanted with invisibility so that no one except the monsters can see the spiked walls . Characters will probably head straight for the monsters (or you could pile gold around a little) and run right into the spikes . However , the monsters can't see the party because of the walls that only they can see . The only ways that I've figured out to get through are to poke the air all through the area, which isn't very convenient when you get to the monsters , use any number of spells (the easy way) , or attempt to bribe the monsters . Note that the monsters will most likely either be employed by a high level mage or have many additional scrolls nearby . The spikes do 3d4+the character's AC when walking or 3d6 +AC when running .

    Adrian Gudas (
    The Poison Arrows

    An oldie but a goodie. A pile of gold sits in one corner of the room. As the players cautiously step into the room, nothing will happen. They will then cautiously walk further into the room. Still, nothing will happen. But as soon as someone reaches for the gold.. Tzing! Poison arrows shoot out of the wall. The damage they inflict is up to you, but in my AD&D adventures, there are 2d4, each THAC0 14. The poison is type K (contact, 5 points of damage without save, 0 w/ save).

    Adrian Gudas (
    The Spider

    As the players enter a room, a huge spider is waiting for them. It does not move; it is simply clinging to a huge web. There is a torch in the wall, and the players will notice that the web is quite flammable. The spider is, in fact, a bomb. Lighting the webs not only sets everything aflame, it also detonates the bomb. Ouch.

    Paul Henrichsen (
    Sword in the Falls

    This is an item trap. It consists of a room behind a waterfall. The bigger the waterfall the better. The doorway to this room has a magical field to keep water out. (Note this will do no harm to typical adventurers, but it will exclude water elementals and the like.) The room is lit by a glowing sword set in a large white (marble) stone in the center of the room. (Think of Arthur's test.) A crystal dome covers the hilt and the portion of the blade which extends from the sword. The stone and the crystal are enchanted with a spell to destroy water. (Again this will not harm the typical adventurer.) The crystal dome is fairly easy to break and any warrior worth the name should be able to pull the sword from the stone without difficulty. There is no sheath for the sword and it is silver of very high workmanship and obviously enchanted. If the adventurers leave the sword and the crystal dome alone, nothing happens. The room would even make a good place to camp since everything but the adventurers ignores the place entirely. If the crystal or stone is broken or the sword somehow removed from the stone, all the spells against water in the room vanish. If they look the party will notice that spray from the falls now enters through the doorway, but it did not earlier.

    Upon further examination it will be noted that the sword is actually made of two very soft silvery metals--sodium and potassium. (The sword is soft enough that you could cut it with a butter knife.) If the party has the sword in the air in the room for more than 2 hours they will notice that it has tarnished. If they carry the sword from the room, without taking extreme precautions, it will spontaneously ignite and do lots (6d6 GURPS or 6d10 AD&D) of damage to whomever is carrying it. If the sword is left exposed in the room, for more than one hour after the protective spells fall, there is a 10% chance per ten minutes that it will ignite.

    Editor's Note: ooooh! I can't resist making comment! This one is such a nasty and devious trap!! The possibilities with this one...

    This is the end of the Trap Collection.

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