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Sample Traps
Designing a Trap
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V
Volume VI
Volume VII

Volume II

With the successful completion of The Trap Collection - Volume I, I started receiving many more traps per week than I had when I was actually working on finishing it. So, of course, here is The Trap Collection - Volume II.
J.McGuire (

In the center of an otherwise empty, totally ordinary, middle-sized room, a gem-encrusted crown floats in a sparkling column of golden light. Any detection reveals that the entire room radiates magic. But it's not the magic that's going to harm the hapless adventurers...more like the lack of it. Sooner or later, someone is probably going to try to dispel that glowing column to get the crown, since the golden light appears to be some sort of magical force field. (This works best in a system like AD&D where "Dispel Magic" is an area-affect spell) As soon as that spell goes off, the *floor* vanishes. So does the pillar of light, but nobody is going to be worried about the fact that the crown is fake; under the floor, of course, is a pit built to your specs. (I like about a 20' drop to a thicket of spikes, myself) The floor was a magical wall of stone, deliberately cast to be "magically brittle" and with no defense against any attempt at dispelling it. It's their own magic that does them in.

Variation of Chooser Ain't the Loser (Trap Collection v1)
Tomas Weijters (

If you would like to get your players really pissed off, make that walls stop if they are about a foot of each other, look out for raging players!!

How Do You Like Your PC: Sliced, or Fried?
James Spector (

First you have your typical trapdoor (or any variation). Once the party member(s) fall through the trapdoor the fun begins. My favorite thing to do after that is to have the victim(s) go sliding through a Blade Barrier, and end up landing in a vat of oil (that just happens to have a Red Dragon lounging next to it.)

Arno's Sleeping Paradise (NOT)
Tomas Weijters and Arno Janssen (

You should have a flask of wine standing on a table, with a bed behind it, and you should let the players get out of desert or some thirsty thing, without any water or wine. If any of the PC's drink some water, they'll have a great desire to sleep (on that bed). This bed is actually nasty trapped: if you lay on it, you'll sink 5 feet down, into 20 spikes (they can be poisoned or whatever) each of these nasties dealing 1d8 damage. If any pressure is released on these spikes, above him there are 10 spikes which will flip out, angled 45 degrees down, so you will only get hurt if coming up, not down. The one in there will notice that the walls are coming together very slowly. After 10 minutes of "sleeping" the walls will finally crash into each other and squish the victim.

Sinking floor
Jonathan Cox (

As you are walking through a dungeon you come to a door with a stalagmite which can be hopped over. When you open the door you see shelves on the walls which contain gold and platinum ingots and various large magical items. The shelves are on all sides of the room except for the door's side. When the greedy PC's step into the room it sinks 1 inch for every 4 pounds the players are carrying. The same occurs when the items are removed from the shelf. The walls are slippery to the touch and not climbable. A dispel magic disintegrates the floor, but the players will plummet to their death. Solution: Tie a rope to the stalagmite and pull yourself up, the magic items may be obtained by flight spells or other whatever.

Tinker Slammer
Azrael (

This trap is best used if designed by a Tinker Gnome, and built by a dwarf. The trap is constructed by removing a 2' thick 4' wide sheet of rock from the wall. Then excavate the interior. After placing the pressure plate in the floor (useful to have a mage cast phantasmal force over it) and a giant spring in to hole, place the original sheet of rock back over the opening (again concealed by a spell of illusionary wall) When triggered, this trap slams across the hall, and the person triggering it must make a dex check at -7 or take 3D10 points of damage, and must save verses paralyzation -4 or have a limb broken (1D4 1Rarm 2Larm 3Rleg 4Lleg)

Buy some shoes!
Tomas Weijters (

The players are walking through a forest, and step into a small pit, which traps their feet. The only way to get out is by taking off the shoes. The shoes are stuck, so they'll have to go one barefoot. Later on, they'll reach a open spot in the forest, and if they step on it, they crack through into spikes of about 1/2 foot long, into there feet. Everybody who still wears metal shoes will only get scared, but the rest are stuck in the spikes.

The Spiked Wall of Falling Death
Daniel Sloan of Scarlet Dragon (

The trap appears in a room with a ceiling of any height, but for this description I will use a roof twenty feet up. In the middle of the room is another wall of about fifteen feet so it is possible to climb over the top. The only way the PC's can exit the room is by going through the exit on the other side of this wall. The wall is flush against the side walls so the only way past it is over it. The wall has half foot long spikes sticking out of it on the PC's side.

The PC's climb the wall, but it is only after they reach the top that the wall falls. It can fall either way, so that the wall crushes them on the side they started on, or the wall falls the other way.....the wall stops when it hits the ground, but the PC doesn't, ending up with half foot long spikes in them again.

The only fault with this trap is that magic can help fly over it, or teleport around it. The PC's may be clever and know that the wall will fall on them when they climb it, so describe how there are supports preventing it from doing this.....of course just don't tell them that it can fall the other way.

Bones, Bones Everywhere!
martichi (

As the PC's walk down a hall, have walls spring up on all sides. Now have two panels in the ceiling open and bones drop out in massive numbers. Have some of the bones become skeletons, not all, though or it will simply be too much for the PC's to fight off. I find 20 in all works well to wear them down. If not, make a special regenerating skeleton appear from all the leftover bones. It is a normal skeleton except turning it is treated as "special" and it regenerates as follows: fire and acid have no effect; a solid blow (20) smashes it into a pile of bones but it reforms! The only way to dispose of it is blasting it into the next plane. The point is the PC's can't win. Once they fall over from damage, exhaustion, or whatever, the lich shows up and he reveals his evil plans (insert demonic plan here.)

At First Glance...
Vovoid: (

This trap is best used in goblin dungeons. The PCs walk down a section of passage with many small holes in the roof. They may well be suspicious and may think of using a magical shield above them, but the holes are not what they seem. In the middle of the section of passage is a pressure pad, when stepped on, the area of holes divides in two with previously hidden hinges in the middle. Spikes suddenly appear from the holes and the, now spiked, slabs swing inwards dealing 14d6 damage to anyone caught between them. However the trap is not yet done, the slabs are now revealed to have murder holes behind them, from which any number of things can be dropped upon those poor, unsuspecting PCs "lucky" enough to be outside the slabs!

Cool off Time
VampD (

The PCs enter a square room. The entrance and the exit both seal up. The ceiling is really a glass panel with a horde of water just sitting on top of it. There is an illusion to make the glass look like the ceiling. There are tubes in the walls about 1" in diameter and plugged with stone stoppers. This trap works good if you have done one where water has poured through similar holes. The PCs trigger a pressure plate that sends a lead ball from above the glass ceiling down into the water. Of course the ball drops through the water, breaks the glass, and water pours out onto the PCs. The walls have to be very clay like here. The PCs hopefully realize that getting the stoppers out will allow the water to drain out (the water leaves about 1' at the top for breathing, air will get lousy but there will be air because of any reason you want). It works, that is, if the PCs can get the stoppers out (make it easy). The water drains out to a point (at the level, what ever it may be) and a layer of clay is washed off the walls. The PCs can then see a seam around the exit door. They can pry (with swords that might bend! Or anything else they may have) the door off and then leave. *** Optional *** Be nasty and have some kind of monster in the water.

Vovoid: (

The PCs enter a passage about 20' long, ending in a dead end. As they enter, the door locks behind them and the end of the passage suddenly sprouts spikes and moves towards them at about 5' per round! The door has a magical lock on it and requires two save rolls to open, one against magic and one against lock picking.

Vovoid: (

This trap should only be pulled if the PCs have just carved their way through one of your finest adventures with barely a wound to show for it.

After last big baddie has been killed, the PCs advance into a room that is absolutely crammed with treasure and magical items. The players will probably be feeling smug after just decimating the GM's adventure and also be a little uncautious, thinking it is all over. When they go for the treasure, have all the weapons of the party suddenly animate and turn on their wielders, and several statuettes in the treasure pile grow and turn into powerful creatures and attack. And if this isn't enough, when (if?) they finally kill their opponents and leave (probably without touching the treasure) they find that the big baddie has been restored to life, fully powered up and healed! Oh yeah, and he's pissed off too.

Vovoid: (

The PCs come to a shallow lake outdoors with a small island in the middle. The water is very clear and it can be seen that there is nothing in the water that could possibly harm them... or so they think. But the white sand on the bottom is actually enchanted and when stirred up by the PCs wading through the water (assuming they try to get to the island) it will stick to them. At first this does nothing, but when the PCs exit the water it hardens within seconds into a plaster coating harder than stone and impervious to anything except magic (of course, any forceful spell used will hurt the PC inside as well) and this would be a good time for some nasty beastie to appear from the trees on the island. If he/she is feeling generous, and the PCs manage to get out of this, the GM may reward them with some treasure hidden in the creature's lair. (This nearly killed off my players, but luckily a mage was still in the water and he dealt with the Ogre I threw at him.)

Vovoid: (

If one of the PCs is a thief and he/she tries a little pick-pocketing, have them steal a silk purse off a wealthy-looking gentleman/lady fairly easily. When they go to open the purse it starts to shout, "Help, Help, Thief!" hopefully they manage to get away if they are still in a crowd, but if they are not it doesn't matter (except maybe for an angry innkeeper wanting to know what the noise is about) but still, the only thing in the purse is a scruffy piece of paper with the words:- 'The curse of [some vengeful god] on you, thief!' And this is no idle curse either, the reader of the note (not necessarily the thief) is suddenly stricken with a crippling curse which reduces ALL their scores and non-mental skills by a number previously set by the GM! Rich pickings, eh?

OPEN SESAME (sesame-seed hand)
Vovoid: (

The PCs come across an iron-bound door with no handle and a small, protruding face made of iron on it. The face has an iron ring in its mouth. If a PC tries to knock with the iron ring, the face spits it out and lodges some very long and very sharp teeth in their hand! This causes only 1d6 damage, but the teeth are coated with a nasty poison which paralyses the hand and slowly spreads throughout the body, shutting down vital organs as it goes. (Unless otherwise stated, assume that the hand used was the PC's weapon hand.) This trap should be used deep into the adventure, far from any herbalist, and so relying on the PCs' knowledge of medicine to avoid death.

No immune system can resist the poison, but the GM may have provided some antidote earlier in the adventure. (This is even better if the players don't know what the antidote is.)

If the PCs manage to get past the door (perhaps by blowing it off it's hinges with magic or firepowder) they find that all the door was guarding was an old chest which has already been looted by earlier adventurers!

On a Pedestal
Jason Cox (

first is the summoning trap. This one was originally in a priest-mage's castle. After making their way into the room they see the illusion of a treasure chamber, so most of them will rush in. As soon as they're all in, a trap springs and blocks the entrance. Since I have such a strong party physically, I used a prismatic wall to block the wall. In the room are three pedestals. On each one is a gem, a ruby, a sapphire and a diamond. Only by removing one can the party escape (I suggest adding a riddle somewhere in the castle for the answer.) The other two trip the trap, I used one to summon an ta' nari and the other started replacing the flagstones (floor tiles ) in the room with stones that have magic runes inscribed on them (death, destruction, blindness, etc)

Jason Cox (

In this illusion trap the party is trapped in a box corridor with only two ways out, down a trapdoor in the side of the wall, or back the way they came. The illusion is that there is a large party of trolls bearing down on the party, complete with sounds, smells, and sight. Outnumbered five to one by trolls, most people choose to try the trap door which puts them into the next trap:

Trapped in a room that is apparently sealed (but there is a hidden secret door) and in a zone of null magic, the party must first find the door, and decipher the riddle to find the switch in the far corner ceiling, then work together to reach the fifteen foot ceiling. Then after they've tripped the switch that unlocks the deadbolts, they need to then pick the lock and free the door, which leads to a room with a spiked pit that they need to work to get to the landing across the pit and to safety.

The ceiling must be high enough to force the party to work together and the pit room must not be too wide that the party couldn't string a tightrope across. Basically don't make them death traps, though I did add a sand trap in the room to make them hurry. A room filling up with sand makes people work faster.

Collapsing Ceiling

While the PC's are walking down a 10' x 50' hallway, they see a door at the end. (This is where the fun begins.) Once the PC's open the door they see a 100' x 100' x 100' room. The PC's notice that there is a ledge at the top of the room. In order to get to the ledge they will have to use unconventional means (ie, magic, ring of flying, ring of teleportation, etc.). Once the PC's enter the room, start counting. Once you get to 100 tell the PC's that they can feel the room shaking and can hear granite scraping against granite. Start counting again. Once you get to 25 each PC that has not made it to the ledge gets crushed to death by an invisible granite block. (Nasty!) 

Where The **** Is My Leg?
Tomas is een Luldebehanger (

There is a small hole covered up with leaves and branches. When a PC stands on the hole with both legs he falls through, though he manages to hold on to a branch or something like that. He is hanging just above a teleport but his legs are in the teleport and are teleported away... Now there is a rotating blade coming down on him and all he has to do is let go of the branch, but most likely he will try to escape but this doesn't work (he's too slow without legs).....

Spontaneous Kobold Kombustion
Credit duely goes to my friend, nemesis, and favorite DM: James Reaney
Gregg Schoonover (

So, we're a group of 5 PC's of levels 7 to 9, merrily traipsing through some tunnel in an underground cavern in pursuit of some holier-than-thou objective. We come to an opening that reveals a deep fissure in the cavern, with a wide-and-sturdy stone bridge leading across to the continuation of our passage.

There are many ( > 20 ) kobolds on the other side, taunting us!! The leader, we suppose, steps onto the bridge and beckons to our overgrown barbarian (who's at the head of our march), like he's gonna kick his ass. We scoff at this and begin to engage. After 1/2 a round, we've taken out a handful of over-anxious kobolds.

Suddenly, one of the kobolds on the other side pulls something off a chain around his neck, and throws it at the melee crowd. It seems that the evil dude we're chasing had given all 20+ kobolds a single bead from a necklace of missiles. They were instructed to defend their position; if things looked grim, throw a bead.

This had the obvious domino effect of setting off every bead around the head of every kobold in melee. A chain reaction of Spontaneously Kombusting Kobolds. We suffered much fire damage, one of us missed a dex-check and fell off, suffering falling damage, and those miserable KamiKazee Kobolds Kicked our Keysters.

Great story though, I just wish I weren't the victim...

Wet Death
Jon R. Johansen (

Enter a small chamber through a corridor (A). On the other side of the chamber is a door (C). When someone opens the door, they realize that it is really a mimic which holds them and attacks them. Behind them, a hidden portcullis (B) falls down preventing the retreat.

The builders made a tunnel to a subterranean river (D) on the other side of the mimic door. In time the river has grown and flooded the tunnel. When the mimic door is opened the water rushes in and fills the entire chamber and most of the corridor (A) which they came from.

To escape they will have to locate the hidden lever (E) at the other end of the tunnel and pull it without being swept away by the current of the river. The lever opens a door (F) in the tunnel by just by the mimic. The door leads to some stairs (G) which goes up above the water level.

The party DOES have a chance of getting out alive, but they will have to act very quickly.

To make things more interesting a sadistic DM may let a water elemental pass by just as they open the mimic door. It will believe that it is under attack and will defend itself with every means in what is it's natural habitat.

If the group manages to parlay with it, it might help them to survive...

The Mysterious footprints
Vovoid (

The PCs come to an iron-bound door which opens easily. Behind the door is an armory with many weapons hanging from racks all over the walls except for one spot directly opposite them. In the thick dust on the floor, a trail of footprints can be seen to lead to the bare patch on the wall... but not away from it. The players will obviously suspect a hidden door, but they couldn't be more wrong... If they step up to the wall, all the weapons in the room animate and attack them, but they are rusty and easy to break. However once several of the weapons are destroyed, a teleport spell is activated and all the animated weapons appear behind them! Then if a few more are destroyed the same thing happens again! This continues until the PCs try to escape... running out the door, straight into the arms of a party of orcs attracted by the noise! Luckily, the animated weapons fall to the ground once the PCs leave the room.

Running Water
Kelly Smith (

The PCs discover a valve (hidden). After turning the valve they can hear water running in the distance. Tracking the sound of the water they come to a door(has a clasp handle). The door appears to be water tight but is damp to the touch. This would lead the PCs to the conclusion that the room is filling up with water. In actuality the room is draining. If the PCs grasp the clasp handle a wall shifts from behind them to reveal a bed of spikes. The door then swings open and throws the helpless PCs against the bed of spikes. They can save for half damage.

You Again!

A magical networks of rooms, the intentions of which was to test the trust of the characters in their companions, as well as their general good intentions...

First separate the party members by a teleportation device (a narrow portal should do just fine, as they can enter it only one by one). Have each of them appear at the end of a corridor, with a nice huge stone eye with a hole for center engraved on the wall behind. It is not necessary, but it adds a nice touch, I'd say. The corridor runs a few meters before meeting with a side passage connecting (in an 'H' shape) with another parallel corridor (supposedly the appearing site for another PC). Have a clone of another character coming at the same time from this second corridor, and acting exactly as if it was the second PC. Then, they have to go on advancing along either corridor (they should not feel like splitting again after finding themselves together again). Then have your creature use the very first opportunity to attack the real PC.

Now it gets tricky for both the DM and the players: have the same thing happen to the real character impersonated above, and so on with every couple of PCs. Let's call X the real character and X' the mimicked one. As the attack goes on, the DM should spend his time running from one player to the other, as the attack of X on Y' is exactly the same as X' on Y (after the initial attack made by both X' and Y' -don't choose a character so disgustingly caring and good that s/he will let him/herself be beaten to death). The players should feel something is wrong as they are not allowed to talk to each other (the clones doesn't talk anymore once combat is engaged), but they will guess that it really is the other player's attacks that damages him, so... On the very moment one of the player should die (one of the clones too), have only the clone die, and then both clones be sucked up with their possessions by the stone eye (we wouldn't want some clever-minded party end up with double their items -magical included- would we?

Now the corridor goes on for a long time (say 100') before meeting a perpendicular passage, leading to a parallel got it right, the same situation, but this time, it really is the connection between the two corridors. The two REAL PCs should meet, one next to death and the other in a bad shape if you thought to balance the powers... Of course the DM should still talk to the players separately if they are to believe they face another clone. Good-natured players will talk first and discover what really happened (but can they really be sure the other is what he says he is ?), while aggressive players will either strike or run... I love this 'trap' for 2 reasons :

  • It is necessarily non-lethal (unless the players decide otherwise)
  • In every party there is an ongoing feeling between at least two characters having to do with which of them could beat the other in a duel-like fight.


This is the classical kind of trap, that you can set in front of a door, or in a corridor, or virtually anywhere you like... Jars of Universal Glue (for those who don't know it, imagine the ultimate glue... this is a hundred time worse). Try to prevent a jar from breaking ON a PC unless that's what you want... You can allow a Saving Throw, or DEX throw, or whatever you like if you feel in the mood... Now at least one character should find himself walking bare-footed, and there are plenty of ways to have fun in this situation (for those who don't remember the scene in Die Hard with the riffle-shattered glass panels, I am sure they can get an idea by themselves...) What! the character was already bare-footed ? My, that's just too bad, isn't it ? Variants:

  • What about a nice spray of fast-working, sleep inducing gas? Splash! Of course a powerful, non-lethal dissolver should be made available within a few days to rescue the fully glued floor-lover(s).
  • It would be a shame if something dangerous appeared just after (say a boulder rolling down on them (would it be stopped by the glue?), or a hungry beast just passing by?

Magic Amulet
Vovoid (

The PCs find a rune-carved amulet which on closer inspection (detect magic, scrying spells, etc.) is revealed to have magic powers. The power of the amulet is this: when the person wearing the amulet is in danger, the amulet heats up and glows. Unfortunately, when a PC puts the amulet on, it immediately starts to glow! But however much the PCs look around they can't find the danger. Then the amulet's second power is revealed; it blows up!

Ability scores R' us
Daniel Yurovsky

This trap is not necessarily deadly but can be. The PCs enter a room filled with potions. The first player to quaff a potion has one of their ability scores raised temporarily. (Which ever the DM chooses.) then after a time chosen by the DM it starts dropping at a much faster rate.

Karim (

1) This trap should be used to stop PC's greed.

It should take place in a room with difficult access. In the room, there will be nothing but a chest. The DM should lead the PCs to think that it is probably where all the treasure of the dungeon lie. The chest is locked but will be opened easily with an open doors check. When opened, it will create an energy capsule containing the character who opened the chest. Suddenly the capsule will start closing upon the character. It will completely close upon the PC in 5 rounds, obviously killing him. If the character touches the capsule, it will inflict 1d10 damage. The only way to cancel the trap is for another character of the party to close the chest. Inside the chest there will be a short sword +3 (but how will they get it out?)

2) This trap will challenge the PC's intellect.

While walking through a corridor, all the PCs with some kind of metal will stick to the wall. The wall contains some sort of magnet that will stick any piece of metal to it. If carrying some metal there is no way (even with super str.) to get free. The only way out is by leaving all metal items on the wall. If PC's are smart, they will slide the metals out of the corridor.

Jon larsen (

There's a large room about 20'x20' with two doors opposite each other. The ceiling to this room rises high into darkness and hanging out of the darkness to the floor are three ropes. As soon as the last PC enters the room, the door slams shut and magically locks behind them. Both door are very difficult to force, or pick open as there are no visible key holes.

The object here is to get the PCs to try to climb the ropes. Once a force greater than fifty pounds is applied, the rope pops free from the ceiling, dropping the contents of a small secret compartment to the floor below. One drops a delayed blast fireball, another a stinking cloud, and the third releases the key to get out of here. Placing the key near the door will allow it's magic to show the key hole that earlier was non-existent.

I hope other gamers out there find this one as fun to use as I did. I used it in a higher level campaign to prevent actually killing the PCs but to teach them not to yank things that they are clueless to where they lead!

Elmar Bihler (

Place: Dungeon, Deserted Castle, whatever,... Party: Low-Level, best with unexperienced players Aim: Catch/Delay Damage: Low or none The party is exploring some deserted castle and comes to a side-corridor. When the last PC has entered, a stone block is triggered and blocks the way behind them, so their only choice is to go forward. After a few steps they come into a room that is totally dark. The darkness is magical, so torches won't help. (If a low-level mage tries some 'kid-stuff'-magic-light, tell him, the spell produced some kind of short-circuit, so his light spells are burned out for that day...)

The party will then begin to explore the room on their hands and feet, and discover that the room ends at a sharp edge:

          _______ _________/       \ _[]_________     |   Stone     |    |   Block     |____* Lever

10 feet below there is a lever that lifts the stone block and the floor where the lever is, so the only thing the PCs have to do is to jump down and pull the lever. (Nice DM: Place treasure chest here !) The point is, that the party has no way to discover whether beneath the edge is a 10 feet or a 1000 feet drop, because there are other spells besides the darkness-spell to prevent them from going on: e.g. magical silence, so when they throw something down, they won't hear it when it hits the ground,...

When they finally let someone down on a rope, roll some dice (just for show), and tell them, the sharp edge just cut the rope, oops... (Be really nasty here !!!)

Shadow Wall
Brad Collins (

This one is a great trap for several reasons. You can put it in any room and no one can resist triggering it! The PCs walk into a well decorated room, you know, chairs, tables, bookshelves, fireplace. Any wizard with them can find magical aura in the room and even the most idiotic newbie at the game can see that one section of one of the walls is "illusionary". It's a cheap job of illusion, it wavers, shimmers and ripples, but in no way should the PCs be able to see beyond it. When the wall is in anyway pierced, touched or looked through, then a huge spiked slab of stone on the end of the hallway that the illusionary wall leads to detaches from its springs and holdings and flies out to pin the guy to the wall (I usually say it kills 'em instantly). The beauty of this trap is that no one can resist looking through it. It gets em every time if once in a blue moon you actually put something good behind it.

Trick o' the Eye
Brad Collins (

Your PCs walk into a fair sized room. The floor has to have some kind of pattern and an ambient light zone must exist in this room. About halfway through the room is a huge hole leading from Left wall to Right wall. Completely impassible unless by tightrope walking, magic etc. The thing is that the pattern on the floor goes halfway down the opposite side of the pit so it looks like there is no pit. The PCs merrily stride to their doom. It cannot be detected by a detect trap magic because it's just a Trick o' The Eye.

Vincent iseenvetteklootzak (

The PCs walk down a long corridor, with in the end a deep hole, that's completely visible. When they close in on the hole (about 50 feet), they hear crying. When they reach the edge, they'll see a little baby, crying in the hole. BUT when they touch the baby, the PCs hands are stuck on the baby; they simply won't get off. Its a paralytic poison to, they can't move a muscle anymore. The baby starts laughing and slowly begins to eat them. (By the way, the baby has got AC 10, (it doesn't wear a metal diaper or something) but when there are PCs on, it gains the combined AC of all of them. (100 xp)

Ankle Sickle
Richard Lemke (

The trap is small, about the size of one tile, that when weight is placed on it descends downward. Optimally this weight will be a foot, in which place the twin blades extract and slice. The twin blades are carved similar to a quarter moon, or sickle. The come together around the ankle and slice the tendons, and everything else to the bone. This will maim any character, not to mention the process of releasing the character from the trap. (The blades each take 20 Pts. of damage)

Damage can vary with the armor worn, but the maiming is always the best part, for any character, to move is their greatest treasure.

Allan Ramshaw (

The party arrive at a room with what seems like water on the floor. On touching it they will discover it is a powerful acid causing extreme damage to the appendage used to sample it. In alcoves in the wall of the corridor leading to the room there are several bottles containing various liquids. One of these is poison which will do (not too much to kill) quite a bit of damage to anyone drinking it. When thrown over the acid, however it will freeze creating an ice bridge to the door on the other side.

Allan Ramshaw (

As the party walk down a corridor they come to a place with several statues in glass cases in the wall. Shortly after this they come to a doorway leading to a room full of treasure. On entering this room the third person entering will be teleported to a glass case in the previous wall and turned to stone.

The Slide
Peter Joseph Bernacki (

The players enter a 20x15x10 (length-width-height), or a similar one, and two etched carvings of knights are a few feet from the walls.

Opposite the door is a spiraling staircase. The players can search the murals to their hearts content, yet, nothing is apparent.

The steps are touch activated, the first stair sinks ever so slightly (5% chance of noticing) and remains that way for awhile (see below). When the fifth step is hit, the murals explode (not too powerful, within five feet takes 1d6 from the stones), exposing two images of _____s).

The players will most likely sprint up the stairs, which spiral upward seemingly endlessly. When a certain stair is picked (make sure the players are now at least 100 feet up) have the stair fall, tripping the foremost player. The players will probably tumble over him.

The stairs flip over, exposing a oily, rounded surface, now the fun starts! The players slide at amazing speeds down the oiled stairs. Have the stairs fork at certain places. Have two players go one way, two another, one here, one there, be creative. If the players have a retainer or hired mercenary, have him be lost forever, all his goods gone.

This is an excellent way to test the players survival skills alone. Make it difficult. Put the fighters together, put the spellcasters together, put the players that have both magic and fighting alone (elves, paladins).

Where they land is totally up to you. Remember, they have been falling down a oiled half-pipe, so when they land, they land hard. If you want some egotistical bastard to die, land him on a bed of five foot spikes. I guarantee he'll die.

The Chest
Peter Joseph Bernacki (

The players will smack themselves when they figure this one out. Put a chest in the middle of a 10 by 10 by 10 room. Make it extremely suspicious looking. They can search to their hearts content, yet they find nothing (because nothing is there) on the chest. The walls are clean, too.

They probably won't open the chest, but if they do, the trap is ruined. You see, the door is charged with an electrical current as soon as its opened. When they open the chest, the door is undone.

This is best with a very cautious group.

Andy/Terry Zerger (

This trap will make a PC think twice about snatching any seemingly magical item they see. The PCs are adventuring, looking for treasure or something or are just passing through a sort of ruin, when they come to huge double doors. Upon passing they doors they are greeted by a tome standing on a pedestal in the middle of the room as well as seemingly-holy-light gleaming off the book. Way more then likely either a mage or cleric from the group will run up and grab it, desperately wanting its spell contents. However, just when the player has attained the prize, the beam of seemingly-holy-light diverts and blinds/wounds/whatever whoever it is that grabs the book. I used this to humble my caster and he always uses summoned creatures to get such things now.

The Wall
Steve Ingold (

It's a wall that throws back whatever you threw at it. In other words, it somehow provokes the PC's. Maybe a NPC told the PC's to attack it, or the wall speaks, maybe the wall throws at the characters something that had been thrown at it before. Whatever it is, when a PC's hits it physically the wall hit him back with the SAME DAMAGE, maybe by growing an arm or throwing a brick, if they cast a fireball at it, the wall throws it right back, DOUBLE DAMAGE (double with magic attacks only). It behaves like a creature with all the same bonuses as the attacker. The cool thing is that it can't be destroyed unless a clever idea is used, like attacking yourself. You see if you attack the wall it attacks back automatically, if you attack yourself, the wall will take damage. Get it (double if magic, regular if normal). Another cool thing is that if they heal themselves they actually heal the wall, double. If you heal the wall you heal yourself double, etc. Of course all this only works within a certain range of the wall... say 100ft.

Guy A. Jett (

The Party comes into a small room about 10ft tall and 10x10ft wide and long. The doors slam shut and lock behind them. There is a sound of grinding as the floor slowly moves down. It stops and the ceiling moves away. Bugs or some small crawly things fall into the room. There is a gate on the new exposed wall, but if the players move, they are attacked by the bugs...

The Party comes to a room, 50x50ft and 10ft tall. The floor is covered with white powder. The door slams and locks. There are two doors, one is the way out, but the other has a lever, if pulled, the lever disintegrates the floor and the party falls 40ft down into a pit of lava, the powder is TNT, BOOM.

As the party comes into the room, they see nothing but a door at the other side. If the party heads for the door, they pass a fulcrum and the room spins down a track, and spins, and spins, hitting the PC's. They fall into the pit trap desired

Temple of Doom
DS Wilson (

Have the PC's enter a temple in a jungle somewhere. on the way in they get shot at by wall mounted poison crossbows and nearly fall into collapsing floors, and nearly get skewered by wall spikes etc. Then, they will arrive in a chamber with a magnificent golden statue covered in jewels sitting on a pedestal. If the PCs detect magic, none will radiate (This is a mechanical trap.) Sooner or later one of them will pick it up. Suddenly the pedestal drops 18 inches and a loud rumbling is heard. Any PC's with brains will start running, because a large boulder is about to descend from the wall behind the pedestal and chase them through the passages, of course setting off al the other traps on the way out. Or, in English, The Boulder Scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. My DM pulled this one on us (at my suggestion) and all the party except me and one other died in the temple. You can disable other traps as you see fit, to insure PC survival.

Angus Murphy (

Have the characters open a door into a metal corridor with a paneled floor. There is a cold wind blowing from the end of it, and a bright light, not unlike sunlight, is emanating from the end. Preferably, the characters have been in a dungeon for a while and are looking for a way out. The trap in this room is a pit in the paneled floor. This pit has a permanent HEAT METAL spell cast on its bottom. This pit is about 8' deep and is filled with molten aluminum. When in its molten form, aluminum looks just about the same as it usually does with just a hint of silver. This makes it look no different from the rest of the floor panels. The wind they feel is actually a NORTH WIND spell (found in DRAGON MAGAZINE ANNUAL #1) with permanency cast on it. This gives the illusion of an exit and gets rid of the heat from the pit. The light is from a LIGHT spell cast on the wall at the end of the corridor. Falling into the trap usually means instant death, but you can apply whatever damage you want.

Trick Pit Trap
Philip Wrobel (

This trap is works great on thieves and mages. First have the party be chased by a monster(s) and make them arrive at a pit that cannot be crossed by a teleport spell (It is dark and they can`t see the opposite side.) Actually, the pit is an illusion. It is impossible to levitate because there is an anti-magic barrier. The only way to cross is to climb the walls. But in the ceiling there are many holes where crossbowmen can fire bolts at the PCs without being harmed.

Teeter-Totter Room
Ryan Greene (

The players enter a room that is 60'around, with a 40'high domed ceiling. On the right is a fountain, filled with water, and a few coins in the pool of water. On the left is a statue with a pile of gold at the base. Opposite the entry is another door to get out. The entire floor is a giant teeter-totter, with the center being the safest place to walk. If the players take any of the gold at either side, the following occurs simultaneously:

  1. Rods pop up on the floor at 4'intervals over all of the floor. If anyone is hit by a rod, they are stunned.
  2. The water begins to drain from the fountain, very rapidly.
  3. Oil begins to pour down on the floor from the ceiling, covering everything

Next, the floor begins to tilt to the side that the players are not on, sliding them through the rods that have appeared into one of four holes at the bottom of the pit. If anyone should manage to hold onto one of the rods, they will retract once the floor is perpendicular to the ground.

As the party walks down a corridor, one member falls down a VERY deep pit (200-300'). The pit is a cubic curve so that it comes out gently and the PC doesn't take any damage. But the 'chute' deposits the character in a room and a stone door closes off the pit. The character is in a 10' x 10' room with a door on one wall with a 3 position lever beside it. The current position is in the middle (off). One position opens the door to a very long ladder, and the other position opens a valve for water or sand to fill the room, and seals the door.

Well, isnt that cute.
Myrkul (

This trap consists of a room (the GM decides how big,) well lit by thousands of tiny multi-colored lights flitting about the room. The room is well decorated, as if it were a mage's sitting room. There are no books, scrolls etc. In one corner of the room, there sits a small pile of metal objects. If a piece of metal is tossed into the room, it is immediately swarmed and carried by the lights over to the pile (alternatively it could be dropped onto a teleport pad, disguised as a rug, in this case there would be no pile). If anyone enters the room with even a metal filling, the person is immediately swarmed and devoured (bone and all) by the lights, the metal being dropped onto the pile/pad. If a PC is brave enough to enter sans metal (especially after seeing his companion get eaten), he finds that the swarm does not devour him, but rather tickles. The remaining PCs can now pass through, metal and all, safely. The PC who entered sans metal will find that when he tries to leave, the swarm plasters itself against the air in the doorway where he/she exits. If the party was nice enough to bring the PC's equipment along with them, he/she can now retrieve it from them. The lights cannot exit the room, and if a spell is cast into the room, the lights flash, blinding the party for an amount of time equal to the spell's level in minutes.

A Slippery Path
Ben Laffin (

This is a take-off of the classic collapsing corridor trap. The party is walking down a slippery hall, when, after the party has passed the midway point in the hall, one PC trips, slips, whatever. To keep from falling, they grab a torch holder. This triggers the walls to fall away, leaving a void in either direction. Also, the void is gaining strength, making the floor ever slimmer. The PCs can see that the "e;real"e; world is still though the door at the end of the hallway. They have to tiptoe along the floor, which is still very slippery. If one of the PCs is unfortunate enough to fall into it, you can make up whatever you want to happen. Perhaps a teleport to another world?

For those GMs who are feeling especially malevolent, the PCs may be in a hopeless situation: the door can keep moving away at the same pace as the party moves towards it, thereby dooming the party.

Healer Man
Angus (

The PCs enter the room (Preferably from an area to which they can't retreat back to) and find a large room. The room has no exits other than a door on the far side of the room (Locked for now). In the room, the is a statue of a warrior and bard with a glowing ball of light in the between the two:

When a character touches the light (which they will do in frustration of being trapped) the light takes the shape of the PC that touched it. Basically, this causes great confusion. Everything on the two must be the same. If someone attacks the "e;Twin"e; then the wounds will appear on the real PC. If you attack the real PC, the wounds only appear on the real PC. The only way to kill the "e;twin"e; is to heal it. This can be by spell, chant, potion, herbs (you get the idea.) It can take as little as one of these to kill it or more. (The less needed, the more ticked your PCs will be) Took my PCs about 45 minutes.

The PCs are in a large abandoned castle, and stumble upon the treasure room. There isn't much treasure, but there is a small corridor in the back of the room. As the players walk down it, they see a light shining from a room on the left. There are two rooms, one further down. When they move into the doorway of the first room, an invisibility and mute spell is cast on the character in the back. There is a sudden panic in the group, and then an image of the "e;missing"e; character is portrayed in a cage on the other side of the room. As the characters move towards it, a trap door opens that drops them into a slowly narrowing pit. On all sides are rotating buzz-saws. The pit ends up only being 6 inches wide at the bottom, but before the players die, they "e;see"e; what was in the other room... a full arsenal of +15 weapons and armor! It is best to use this with a group of players with a good sense of humor.

Angus (

Have the PCs see a very likable artifact in a room. When they enter the room, have the door close. The artifact (which they find to be an illusion) disappears, and they find themselves trapped. The door doesn't budge. In the room is a skeleton, and in the skeleton's hand is a silver dagger. On the door is seen the markings below:

    T N E S S F F T T _

In order to open the door, they must figure out what goes into the blank (_). Also, they can only scrape it into the door using the silver dagger. No other weapon, chisel, or object can even mark the door. If they take the dagger and scratch in the correct letter with it, the door opens. The letter that they must scratch in is "O". The reason is this is that the letters stand for: Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, and One.

This took my PCs about half an hour...and that was only because one of them vaguely remembered it from a puzzle book he had read. So, I judge it to take a little longer than that for the average group.

Nicki Vankoughnett (

This trap is very difficult to set up, but great for getting a lot more time out of a dungeon. When the players are finished with the final villain of the dungeon, have them find the treasure room. Once inside, of course they find a very large amount of gold, silver, gems, etc. The treasure is large enough that just preparing it for transport out of the dungeon will take about a day. The room is also somewhat elevated from the rest of the dungeon, say, about 15 - 20 feet above the lowest point. One of the chest's will be stuck to the floor. When it is opened, it will set off the trap. Once it is opened, elsewhere in the dungeon, a floodgate will open, and begin filling the dungeon with water. At the source, there is a silence spell, to keep the players from hearing this. What should happen, is that the players will be focused on the treasure, and have the door to the room closed. When they go to leave, they will find that a little way down the stairs or ladder, or whatever, that way down is filled with water. Getting out of the dungeon will be much more interesting now, especially if the players have to continually surface for air. Also make it clear that carrying any significant amount of the treasure will weigh them down. Also remember that torches do not burn underwater. If you wish to improve their chances of escaping, allow the treasure to contain one or two magical items that will allow survival under water. 

Scissors Trap
lorie Coleman (

In this trap, if a PC opens a door [It should open away from them and hit a wall on the other side.] it will trigger a button that will do two things:

  1. It will lower a long wooden block with a spike on the end of it.
  2. Two pairs of blades will come out of the wall on both sides of the door, at neck level and ankle level. The top blades are equivalent to vorpal swords, and the lower ones are equivalent to swords of sharpness. Roll to see if limbs are severed. [Neck twice and both feet. But only if the scissors hit.]

If a saving throw is failed, they take 4d8 points of damage. If they make it ask them if they jump through the doorway or backwards. Make sure you don't tell them about the spike behind them! If they jump back they impale themselves on the spike [1d10] and get hit by all four blades! If they jump forward, some GMs might want to be particularly mean and put a pit just right outside the door. Others might want to be nice and keep a safe way through it all. If you do put a pit, you should make a different path leading to that same room.

The Voodoo Trap
Maria Izabel Perini Muniz (

Imagine the players entering a room, when the old trap of the lances coming from the walls and the floor. When they think that they are dead meat, the lances only make a little wound, just the necessary to get some blood, then they retract. The doors open and they are free. One hour later, one of then begins to fill as if he has been wounded by a small lance. Then they find something that explains everything. The objective of the lances was to get blood to help a wizard to create voodoo dolls of them and now they have to do something for the wizard or else he will kill them using the dolls. This can be the beginning of a new Chapter, don't you think?

The Voodoo Trap, Part 2
Eduardo Perini Muniz (

When the group enters a small room they find a big golden jar over a pedestal, if they try to take the jar they fill something pushing their heads to the ceiling. If the characters take the jar out of the pedestal they will be decapitated.

The two voodoo dolls were placed with their heads through a hole in the bottom of the jar, and their necks firmly held by two ropes, one with the sides attached to the bottom of the trap and the other with the sides attached to the inside of the pedestal.

David (

A door is opened to a basement setting. It's dark and damp, but the players have to rush. So they go down the stairs. After a few minutes, the players should realize they're not getting anywhere. If they turn around, the door is gone. They are really trapped in a time-teleporter trap. They can only get out if they walk back up the stairs backwards. 

David (

Another trap is a good one for lonely thieves. Place them in a cell on a ship. Have a group of pirates on deck down the hallway and a bunch of other dark cages around, making no sounds and the occupants are unseen. The thief picks the simple lock, and gets out. Fellow prisoners to take over ship probably comes to mind, but they won't answer the thief. The thief may free all the cells, but when he opens the last cell, he turns to find a lot of minotaurs armed and mind controlled ready to attack him. For added fun, have a giant squid attack the boat.

Fireball (

This trap is intended for the greedy party, most likely the thief (of course). It is a circular room of whatever size you want, two exits (the one they entered and the exit, both easily opened and used), and a 5' wide groove around the outside of the room. The entire area has a very faint aura of magic, ala spell-casters. Whenever the party enters, the greedy is dragged to the center of the room, lifted off the ground about 5' and, quite literally, put the spin cycle. EVERY item on their person, except for the clothes on their back and a normal weapon, if they have one left, is flung from them towards the outside wall. This continues until the character is 'cleaned' completely of their stuff. The trap then drops the character (for falling damage where you see fit), opens the 5' wide along the wall into a collection pit, and dumps all the stuff into it. For nice DMs, you may allow the character to find some of their things later on. I can assure you, for those characters who figure themselves sneaky and greedy, having nothing for awhile will humble them to an extent.

Having a Ball

The party comes across an obstacle in a 10' wide hallway, with a roof a few feet higher- a 10' spherical object, grayish-brown in color, pocked with small bumps, leathery in texture. Slightly springy to the touch, it blocks the hallway! Fighter-types will probably want to slice it open, or at least stab it. Striking the object will let the players know what it is; a giant puffball! Anchored to a small plot of earth at its base, it will pop quite loudly (50% chance of attracting a wandering monster or guard) and fill an area 10-15 feet in front and behind it with spores. The safe way to get around it is climb carefully over top of it! Extremely heavy characters may pop it anyway, or it may be accidentally punctured. A small puncture may release only a jet of spores, which would affect only a single character. Throwing something like an axe at it from further than 15' away will avoid the spores, but still get the noise.

Possible spore effects:

  • Coated characters are itchy for 2-8 turns, -2 on attacks and AC.
  • Characters are blinded for 1-6 turns, and smell really bad.
  • Spores are similar to Russet Mold (see Monstrous Compendium).
  • Spores eat into organic material, unless killed by salt, alcohol or fire.
  • Spores have individual effects like Myconid spores (see M.C.).
  • Spores are poisonous, like Yellow Mold (see M.C.).

Polymorph gas
Ben Ramey (

A chest that is always chained shut (with the regular needle traps, so players don't get suspicious), will release a small puff of gas when opened. This gas will cause the player to be randomly polymorphed. How you determine the random effect is left up to the GM's discretion, but I like to use the summoning tables.

Ben Ramey (

Any thing that gives poison:

  • A poison that causes the person to change sex if they touch a magic item.
  • A poison that has a 20% chance of polymorphing the character every time they are in a stressful situation . Must hit the 20% chance to change back.
  • Every piece of gold the player touches turns to lead.
  • Every time the player thinks of a living creature he polymorphs into one. This will not confer class abilities Thinking of an elf fighter will just get you an elf.

Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.
Drew Wood (

Within a Labyrinth the PCs will come upon a dead end. On the wall in front of them they will see three statues of monkeys. One with his hands covering his ears, one with his hands covering his eyes, and one with his hands covering his mouth. Underneath each of the statues there is a lever. Player characters will have to pull these levers in order to find the way into the next part of the Labyrinth.

When the lever is pulled under the statue: Hear no evil, a creature that can not be heard will be released into the Labyrinth somewhere near the group. The group will have to fight this creature when it arrives, but they will not be expecting it because there will be no sign that anything has happened when the lever is pulled.

When the lever is pulled under the statue: See no evil, a gas that is highly flammable will be released through small holes in the ceiling above the statue. Any contact with flame of any sorts will instantly ignite the gas causing an explosion that will make the group wish they had been hit with a fireball instead. Note: Sparks from spurs or scraping of any metal on the stone walls to a torch that is lit to magical fire will ignite the gas. PC's will not be able to smell the gas, unless someone in the group has a very keen sense of smell.

When the lever is pulled under the statue: Speak no evil, a door will open up next to the statues. The character who pulled the lever will feel a slight numbness in his head and will become cursed. If he speaks anything even remotely evil, he will be teleported away from the party into the lower levels of the Labyrinth, even if he and the rest of the group has already made it out of the Labyrinth. The curse will stay with the PC until a Remove Curse spell is cast upon him, and only a Remove Curse spell will work on the PC.

Note: A Dispel Magic spell will have no effect upon the statues.

Corridor of Chains
Drew Wood (

Within the labyrinth is a corridor about 50' long. From the ceiling hangs chains of differing lengths and sizes. There is no floor, just a pit of spikes about 20' deep. What the PC's need to do is get across the pit without falling in. Sounds easy enough, except that a few chains are attached to triggers. Many different things could happen, use chart for easiness:

  • 01-20: Chain pulls out of ceiling, make dexterity check to grab another
  • 21-30: Triggers dart trap.
  • 31-40: Chain falls 10', make strength check, spikes raise 5'.
  • 41-50: Triggers fireball trap.
  • 51-60: Triggers dart trap.
  • 61-70: Chain falls 5', make strength check, spikes raise 10'.
  • 71-80: Chain is wet(slippery), make dexterity and strength check.
  • 81-90: Triggers fireball trap.
  • 91-100: Chain pulls out of ceiling, make dexterity check to grab another.

The space from the bottom of the pit to the ceiling is 40'. The chains can hang all the way down to the bottom, so the space from where a PC is to the top of a spike will have to be left to the DM. Also, when a chain falls a certain amount of feet, it raises the spikes up as fast as the PC's weight pulls the chain. So in effect, a PC can impale himself on a spike because his weight pushed it up as fast as he fell, and squuuiiishhhhh. OUCH!

Hall of Clones
Drew Wood (

This hallway is about 20' wide by 40' long. Now, when a party member steps into the hallway, everything seems fine. The further he goes he starts to notice that he is walking beside himself. An exact duplicate of the PC is made but with only half the hit points and without the ability to cast spells or use magical items. At the end of the hallway the clone will attack the PC. The PC is fine until he steps out of the hallway. Imagine the whole party entering the hallway at the same time.

Note: Clones can use any ability, skill, talent, etc., that the PC can. Magical items are not cloned. If a mage or spell user of any type is cloned, clone can not use spells or spell-like abilities.

Monster Summoning With A Twist
Sean Hickey (

The PCs are facing a high-level spellcaster, and when they finally get close to defeating him, he casts a spell unfamiliar to the PCs. Suddenly, half of them disappear and pop up in front of the mage, facing the remaining PCs. The bad part is that they act as summoned monsters. If any of the remaining players are good, they will probably want to save the others - unless, of course, this gives them a good excuse to pound on that evil/chaotic neutral character that has their character pissed off. After however many rounds you want, the summoned PCs flash back to where they were.

Sean Hickey (

The PCs reach the end of a large hallway with double doors at the end. They open them and walk through, and enter a large chamber with a window in front of it. Past the window is a room about 100' lower than the PC's room. Inside, they see a huge red dragon chained up, with a gigantic axe hanging above it. They will also see stairs leading down out of the room and a doorway leading into the room. Also in the room is a rope that runs out of the room, and leads up to the axe. They will, of course, chop the rope, killing the "red dragon". Notice the quotation marks. The red dragon is actually some sort of beast that will split up or release more monsters (in AD&D, a Grand Old Master Neogi). The new monsters run up the stairs and attack the PCs. When/if the PCs actually go down the stairs, they realize the monster room was off on a side passageway. This will certainly make them scout ahead next time.

On Ice
Matthew (mimac@ATCON.COM)

The players have entered a room the floor is slick glass or ice and the ceiling is low enough so a normal person has to bend a bit. There is also a null magic zone covering the whole room. The players have to get across but they can't walk, fly, or magic themselves across. The obvious solution (but nobody thinks of it at first) is to stand on the ice/glass and throw a heavy item in the opposite direction of where you wish to go, you slide right to the wall or door.

It's the PITS, again and again and again...
Stephen (

A pit in the floor of a dead end looks inviting, as a rope hangs down into it. Looking down in the pit, it seems to be pitch black (A darkness spell has been cast on a set of spikes on the floor some 110' below.) A slight smell of gas, pitch-tar or some other flammable substance should encourage players NOT to drop a torch into the pit. If a source of magical light is dropped it will pass through the darkness spell and become hidden by it.

Seeing the rope is knotted for climbing, an adventurous PC might wish to climb down to take a closer look. Now comes the part of the game where we find out just HOW much stuff the character is carrying. If a player has more then 200gp weight not including the player himself, the rope breaks and activates the trap. The player falls but doesn't hit the bottom. Instead 1 foot above the spikes is a teleporter that will send them to the top of the pit 10 feet below the opening where they fall to the bottom and teleport to the top again. This will continue to happen until the player can be saved. The sides of the pit can be either slick with an oily substance on the walls, or it can be very jagged so if someone tries to catch himself on the walls all they do is cut themselves up pretty bad.

Damage: Well consider they fall 100'. That's 1d10 per 10 feet. so the first time, they fall about 100' so its 10d10 damage. The second time they fall another 100' that's 20d10 then 30d10. Assume they reach terminal velocity after falling about 700 to 800 feet. Now damage doesn't matter. If dispel magic is used then the teleporters are disabled and the player falls at his current relative speed and distance of falling say 250 feet to the spiked floor below. That's 25d10 points + 1d6 for every spike hit in the floor. The problem of saving the player is apparent. If you try to catch him at some point the weight and speed could easily tear an arm off someone. Does not make for a very fun and friendly family game. Or it could knock another player into the hole as well. At present I have no solution to this puzzle unless you can teleport the player somewhere safe.

NOTE: The magical source of light passes through the teleporter because it has magic on it. Anything magical will pass to the ground so if they lose the player they might have a nice collection of magical items to pick from on the floor, even if they have to pick through their friend. (Extra note. After the 3rd time falling even a monk could not slow down.)


It is actually a ancient trap that was developed by a Chinese War Lord. You just need a crevice with an oak tree and over a thousand bowmen hiding on each side. Then, you carve the message: "Lord Badaud died under this tree." and wait until dark. By this time Lord Badaud and his guards walking down the crevice comes by the tree. Curious about what the message says, he orders a torch to be lit. This is the signal for the thousand bowmen to open fire on him. Surprise surprise!

Interesting enough, a descendant of this warlord had his own way of causing confusion in his enemy's ranks. At the start of the battle, the front row of his warriors would cut their own heads off. The opposing army would be so stunned that it took awhile for them to react to being killed. However, if you do this one I suggest you don't do it all the time as you will diminish the respect of your henchmen not to mention diminishing the number of your henchmen.

Kavanagh ( One trap I like using is a secret door, which is rather obvious. The party triggers the door, and the area is filled with magical darkness. If they move close to the wall, they will all fall into a slide. However, this slide is very tight, and they can only go in single order.

The slide actually twists and turns, and at one point, splits into two passages. Both of these passages join back up later (characters crash into each other?) The slide then ends in a large room with a swinging door entrance.

Once in the room, they can see a large monster, or if the DM is rather nasty, a trap may have been rigged in the slide, blowing it up if they try to get out. Or a large nasty monster comes sliding down the slide after them (Giant slug, Metalmaster, etc.)

The only way to get out is via the slide but it cannot be climbed. Magic will not work. The only way to escape is to dig handholds or something with a weapon or something.

Descending Ceiling
Yingzhi Zhang (

The players enter a room with a pedestal and probably very valuable item lying on the pedestal (some powerful monster should probably guard the item, just to keep them from getting suspicious). The moment the players touch the item, it activates a Contingency which activates a Dispel Magic on the 50-ton stone block that looks like the ceiling, which happens to have (or had, in this case) a Reverse Gravity cast on it.

A Round Table Trap
Colin Nimsz (

The PC enter a round room and there in the center of this room is a round table. On top of the table is a large round cup, or statue or what ever your PCs are greedy for. Now the wall is not smooth, each block has a hole in it. This room has a 17' radius and the table has a 7' radius (which keeps the item just out of the reach of the character.)

What happens is when the character leans on the table he trips the trap. The table falls about 2" and poisoned darts fly out of the wall - all flying towards the center of the room. That means that every person in the room will be hit by several darts. The table is one solid piece of stone that is 2" thick and weighs over 2000 lbs. After the trap has been set off, it resets itself and is ready to go again. The secret to disarming this trap is to turn the table 180 degrees.

The characters may find this out by looking at the markings on the table. The table is split up into sections, by lines. Each section is the same except for one. You can make this one section stand out by any means you wish. I had mine stand out by having a crown carved into the table and having a king's throne at the seat opposite of the door, while the section in the table was at the door you entered from.

A PC may try to wedge something into the bottom of the tabletop but with no avail because of the sheer weight of the table and also because of the way the table was designed. The table is held up by one center leg and the center piece comes straight down so there is no way you could wedge the table top to the center piece of the table.

Water Trap
Tom Holm (

This trap is found normally in a small room. When a character enters this magical room he doesn't notice any magical auras or anything. Though, if he steps on a certain spot on the ground, he will notice soon enough. When he steps on the spot, he will be magically sent into the wall. His back is on the wall and he is unable to move even with magical assistance. Then an invisible hose attaches to his nostrils and his mouth. Next, water is heavily pumped into him and there is no way for him to take his mouth away from the hose. The only way to stop this horrible death is to cut the hose. (The man in the trap can't cut the hose because he can't move.)

Marcos Monteiro da Cruz (

In a straight long stairway (long enough that the PCs can not see the end), somewhere in the middle one player will trigger the trap. Once triggered, the trap will launch an Ice Storm Spell (the PCs take the damage from the spell if the GM desires) so that the floor will be slippery and they will have only 50% of chance to stay where they are. At the end of the stairway are 6 very long iron spears pointing in the stairway's direction. Anyone that falls will be hit by 3d2 spears. If anyone falls on top of the first person, the first victim will take double damage and the second normal damage. If a third member of the party falls, the first takes triple damage, the second double damage and the third normal damage. If all the PCs fall this procedure must be done up to five times. (Quintuple damage for the first, quadruple damage to the second, triple to the third, and so on. Very nasty if you are the first to fall). Another aspect of this trap is if the first member of the group stands his feet, the second character can fall taking his balance away. There are only 15% of chance that an off-balanced PC will not fall.

Sex Appeal
Steven the IMPALER (

The hero(s) walk into, a short hall that is covered in gold. The hallway is 20' long, 7' high, and 5' across. At the end of the hall is a cage with a beautiful woman dancing in it. After a minute of watching, the hero(s) have charm cast upon them, unless they're undead, female or gay. The hero(s) will try to walk into the cage but will instead take damage from a pitfall, covered by a carpet with levitation cast upon it. The hero(s) do not have saving throws on the charm.

Rushin' Roulette
Steven the IMPALER (

The hero(s) come to an immensely tall free standing tower of about 500'. There is a door at the bottom and about 5 windows every 100'. The tower is 20' in diameter and circular. When the hero(s) enter the door, it automatically closes behind them, trapping them inside. They suddenly hear the sound of rushing water, in five turns a 100x100x100 block of water falls on them. The lock on the door is able to be picked and the door can be forced open, and if they do get out, put them up against a Water Elemental when the water comes rushin' out at them. And when the water comes out the whole tower falls down on the hero(s) doing 4d20 damage, if they survive make em' find a cursed amulet of water breathing or something that will really piss them off next time they're in the water.

Drow Death
Steven the IMPALER (

When the heroes enter a Drow colonies "home", they see a tall 100' high castle. It emanates a nice steady glowing green color. The castle is 200' away and as they progress the ceiling gets higher, it has quite a few jagged edges on it and stalactites hanging down. The walls also spread apart for about 100' each. The cave they emerged from is only 5' across and about 10' high. Just before the entrance they will encounter many bones and small bits of silver lying on the ground. There will also be quite a deep pit that is totally visible. At the bottom is a small little door, with a skeleton and some pretty nice items, weapons, etc. If someone goes down the pit they are instantly transported into the castle, where they will fight some Drow, not too hard though, maybe only 60-80 Drow, more than enough to kill them.

Korbett Cockrell (

The party is walking down a 10' x 10' corridor and comes to a very deep, open pit about 20' The passage continues beyond the pit for about 30' and ends in an impressive looking door. The bottom of the pit is 60' down and studded with spikes, and the walls appear greased. In reality the continuance of the passageway and the impressive door are merely illusions designed to waste the party's time trying to get beyond the pit. I had expected an extended climb down and harrowing climb up the far side to find disappointment only.

What happened was the thief-acrobat in the party suggested to the barbarian that he could be easily tossed across the pit by someone with high strength. He would tumble into the passageway beyond and secure a rope for the rest of the party.

He was tossed into the opposite wall and then plunged to his death in the pit below.

Falling Block
User (

In have a long corridor of about 50 feet or so, the roof has holes spaced apart about every 15'. Then place in one a huge square block or granite so when one player steps on the pressure plate the block drops on them. The only thing you don't tell the players is that the center is hollowed out and there is enough room for the PC not to get squished.

On the underside of the bolder have sheep bladders filled with blood. That way it appears that the PC which sprung the trap got squished. Also you say that some wizard cast a spell that muted all sound from exiting the block so the PC stuck inside can yell and scream all he wants. This is especially nasty if you want to hurt the party.

Fake Pit
Guy A. Jett (

The PC's have just entered a corridor through a stone door. The door slams and locks behind them. They see a pit spanning the width and most of the length of the corridor. There is a door at the end of the hall. The PC's are unable to jump, or do anything else to get over it, besides magic. The wall behind the PC's starts to move towards them, pushing them into the pit. But the pit is covered with thick glass, and the PCs are able to walk over one at a time. This is a good waste of spells, or the PC's might be pushed over onto the glass all together and break it.

Floor of Rats or Dwarf Slayer
David Ives Mitchell (

In one room a player trips a magical trap. With an intelligence check, the mage of the group may identify it as a very strong summon spell. The next room is a long, curved, dark corridor ten feet wide. The walls are featureless and may not be climbed, and the ceiling is only six feet high, making flight purposeless. Ten feet into the romm, the floor appears to become rats (1d6 hp). In reality, it is a pit that is ten feet wide, twenty deep, and 120 long that is full of rat (about 200,000 ranging from 5"to 2-3'. Concealed under the rats, the pit contains about 5 feet of water as well as bamboo pungee spikes. The edges of the pit overhang, so nonmagical climbing is impossible.

Upon entry into the room, the party doesn't suspect that the rats are actually filling a deep, long pit. They also cannot see the other side of the pit because the corridor curves. One choice is to burn the rats. If this happens, an intelligence check tells the group that it will burn for at least 24 hours. If the party sleeps nearby, they are attacked by hundreds of flaming rats that last 1d4+1 rounds. When they come back to the room, the ashes and rat corpses still conceal the water and spikes. It is still almost impossible to climb out.

No character should be allowed to levitate or fly over, and it is impossible for a character to see to the other side.

The correct way to defeat the trap is to run over the tops of the rats. If the player declares that they will run over the rats, they must make a dexterity check, heavy characters with a -1 penalty. If they pass, they harmlessly run over the rats. If they fail, they sink through the rats and onto the spikes for 3d6 points of damage. They also will take 1d12+2 points of damage from rat bites. They DM may also choose to give them a disease of choice with a con check. Dwarves also find themselves in water to their dismay! It should be very difficult to get out. One possible solution is to tie a very heavy weight to a rope, and hope that the victim can grab on. Players that declare non-running actions such as standing on the rats must make the dex check with a -5 or -6 penalty, or even higher if desired. Heavy characters should have very high penalties. Dwarves should sink like stones.

This trap may be easily overcome if all characters decide to run. It does, however, offer humorous responses from dismayed players!

Gust of Death
Steve Callison (

The trap is several Gust of Wind spells cast through needle-holes in the wall. Permanency has been cast to keep the Gust of Wind continuous. The trap essentially creates an air laser with the ability to cut in half anyone that steps through it. Only a character with keen hearing or other senses can detect it without actively looking for it.

The Kobald-Pults
Ben Thomas-Moore (

This trap is best either when you have just started an adventure or with a higher level party. The party enters a LONG corridor (perhaps 300 yards) with an extremely high ceiling (10 yards high). The corridor is only 10 yards wide, though. At the other end of the corridor (firing range) are three gnolls manning catapults. When the party enters the firing range, the door they entered through disappears and the entire wall glows. Then the gnolls begin firing kobolds from the catapults at the party. I suggest having 30 kobolds at the far end to begin with. If the kobold misses whomever it was fired at, it hits the wall and is teleported back to the gnolls. However, if the kobold hits the person, he/she takes minor damage (2d4 damage) and the kobold stops where he is. The kobold will rise and fight normally on the next round. Use the gnoll's normal chance to hit someone (they fire once every three rounds). If at any time there are no kobolds down by the gnolls, then they charge to attack. The kobolds will always wait down by the gnolls, never charging on their own. When using this trap, watch your players reactions ("They're firing WHAT?!? at us?").

Notes: A smart party will charge the back wall when they see the first kobolds teleported back. This will let them stop the gnolls from firing on them and make the fight more even. Also, a nice DM will make the catapults collapsable so that the party can carry them with them. If you do this, place a large room up ahead where they can use it. (Maybe firing large rocks at some tough monster, or launching a party member over a high wall.)

A Messy Way To Go
Wolf (

This trap can be used anywhere but it works best in a courtyard of a castle. Once the PCs get past the main entrance way of the castle the ground begins to slope. Make it seem normal for this to happen.... say the castle was built on a hill for better defense. The door that leads inside the castle is at the bottom of the slope and is slightly battered. Tell the PCs that this castle had been attacked once and the occupants had never repaired the door. When they get close to the door and turn the knob to open it they will hear a rumbling for a few seconds. Tell them that it is PROBABLY (see if they can guess it is a trap) just the door opening up. Then the rumbling stops. Little do they know.. a huge rock was pushed out of a secret chamber in the wall and came rolling towards them. Because the slope suddenly gets steeper near the door they had no idea that the rock becomes airborne when it reaches the steeper part of the slope. So as the PCs start to force open the door (which is stuck) SPLAT! Try it, very messy though.... BTW the castle needs to be repainted after this trap is sprung!

The Torch of Incineration

As the PCs enter the room magical stone doors seal the room making it air tight, and there is an alcove 1' by 1' and 2' deep in a wall with flames burning in it and a switch in the back. (now would be a good time to remind your PCs that fire uses oxygen and people kind of die without it) Any item weapon, stick, rock, etc. that enters the flame must save vs. Magical Fire or explode causing 1D8 points of fire damage to anyone within 2 feet. If a person puts a hand in the flame it will be slightly warm but not hot enough to hurt them and they can easily flip the switch and raise the doors. The amount of time it takes to run out of air depends on the size of the room.

James and Denise Murray (

I created a unique race called gumbies who are an inch tall and are immune to magic. Everything else varies. A trap you can use is while walking in a forest, have the players walk into red (Fire! Smart but primitive) gumby territory and step on their leader! Too bad the gumbies have grappling hooks and can pull players to the ground and stab them with their claws! As a reward for thinking a way out of this one you may give them a friendly gumby of another color to help the Purple (Sonic sometimes ninjas) for example!

Elton Robb (

This trap involves a pressure plate which is hard to perceive When a PC steps on the pressure plate, a mechanism under the plate sets a few gears and stops them from rolling. The minute the PC lifts his foot off of the plate, the walls begin to move. If he doesn't move his foot, then trap doors in a few select places will open and skeletons will spring out.

The Pressure Plate can hold a maximum of 200 lbs. and is very hard to disarm. This is because the disarmer must find a way down without fighting the skeletons. The skeletons will voraciously attack the party.

Ding dong. You're Dead!
Graham Lauderdale (

A long hallway leads into a small room. As soon as all the party enters, a large iron wall cuts them off. On the other side of the room is another iron wall. Next to the wall is a door bell. Some witty PC presses it and the floor falls out from under them (DM chooses what happens next).

Elton Robb (

This Trap is designed to use the character's personality weaknesses against them. Inspired by a trap that was shown on the D&D TV show, this trap breaks up the party into individuals who are ultimately whimpering and hitting themselves.

The trap is actually a whole building and uses illusions to mislead the characters into thinking that they are alone, in trouble, or impotent. here are some suggestions:

  • If one of your characters is afraid to be alone, then a trap door will make the character drop into a room that has the illusion of a strange place and he/she is all alone.
  • Afraid of being to old/to young: This works with a hall of mirrors, where the affected sees his/her reflection in the mirror and she is either too old, or a baby.
  • Is doubtful that one is a Good Priest: The character can be shown his worst nightmare. The PC is trying to sway a huge crowd of people to his religion, but they laugh at him and throw things at him. Of course, an alternative is that one of his healing spells does not work!
This is also a trap that is subject to the GM's creativity and Knowledge of his characters. It's wonderful!
Richard Wiseman (

There is an inclined corridor about 30' long with a treasure in the back wall. Also there is a row of spikes on the floor at the last 4' of the corridor. Some force causes an object 5' from the spikes to trip the PC entering the corridor. If the PC is careful and doesn't trip, the same force knows and causes a giant boulder to come out of the beginning 5' of the wall. Because the corridor is inclined the boulder rolls, crushing the person. The whole time the treasure chest is an illusion.

You can put a teleporter where the illusion of the chest is as an escape route(If the PC can jump that far).

Flaming Ball
J. R. Koches (

The trap is rather simple in concept; the characters enter a round tunnel, slightly curved and running in excess of 240'. The tunnel is usually 8' in diameter. Along the sides of the wall, spaced every 20' are steel slats, sticking slightly out of the wall. In addition, a series of ten small holes are spaced every 10' along the ceiling. At the end of the corridor is a door with a massive iron ring. When the party opens the door, a combined strength of 23 is necessary, behind it they find a large ball set on a high ramp. The ball stop is mechanically inter-linked to the door opening mechanism, so once a certain point is reached, the door opens automatically and the ball begins rolling down the corridor. The characters promptly begin running away. What is happening along the remainder of the corridor is very interesting. Oil is dropping out of the ten small holes, while the ball is striking sparks from the steel inlays.... For added fun, iron bars can drop out and seal the end of the corridor.

J. R. Koches (

In the center of the room is a small marble pedestal containing a sealed crystal cube. In the center of the cube is a magic item of your choice. The cube opens easily to the touch and is not trapped. Upon the item is cast a spell of avoidance. As the party tries to get close to this item, which either skitters away or repels them, the real trap clicks in. I usually use a series of magic mouths or alarm spells to alert a platoon of guards or nasty major monster to come and clean up. This one really captures the greedy ones.

The Spiked Door
Scott Vallance (

This trap is a simple one but quite amusing. It will be particularly effective against gung-ho adventures and moronic fighters. Placed in a wall or at the end of a corridor is a door. It can be tailored to look like the rest in your scenario but it has one main difference; all handles/locks/etc are fake. Upon inspection the door looks quite solid although if tapped in the right place sounds fairly thin. The reason for this is simple; when the players go to kick or bash down the door, behind it is a wall of spikes upon which they will impale themselves. Here is a diagram:

-> |    handle -> |  / -> |-0 -> | -> |\    |   door spikes
Make the spikes poisoned if you want. It may also be a good idea to make sections of the door solid and others thin, so if they tap test the door it may sound solid.
Smashed Statues
Michael Kenner (

The players walk into a room and they found lots of statues in the room. Most of the statues seem normal but around a pile of rubble is a group of statues that looks like a group of adventurers standing around a pile of rubble with expressions of surprise and agony on their faces. The statues of adventurers still have all their equipment. If any statue is smashed it will release a gas that turns animate matter to stone. The group of adventurer statues made that mistake by shattering one. If the players try to take anything from a statue they will find out that the statues are very poorly balanced. They have to make a DX check to avoid knocking it over. If they knock it over, it will shatter.

If the players make it to the other end there's a lever on the far wall. If they pull the level Boulders will fall from the ceiling shattering the statues.

Hall of statues
Michael Kenner (

There's a long wide corridor that the PCs have to cross. Every ten feet in an alcove is a statue of a warrior (about first level). This is fine but it ends at a locked door. Should they bash it down or pick the lock that's also fine but if they cast any spells in this room a statue comes to life. A mage heavy party (like mine) should just cast more spells at them bringing more statues to life. Any magic causes this affect, however the spells/whatever do not have any effect except bringing statues to life.

Fill the Room With Water
Michael Kenner (

The PCs come into a room that has two levers in it. One starts filling the room with water the other drains it of water. The doors lock behind the players. The only way out is to fill the room with water (the pressure on the doors almost breaks them open. They can then smash the door down and all the water comes flooding out. I gave the party a suitable reward for this trap. The levers were knocked out of the wall by the retreating water. They were made out of silver (aren't I a nice DM .....hehehe)

The Four Elements
Michael Kenner (

Some of you might recognize this from a MacGyver episode but hey it was full of traps (they were in some ancient temple or some such). They find four rings each one supporting a bowl. The bottom bowl is empty, the next is full of oil, the next is full of water and the top one is also empty. There is a bowl of dirt sitting beside it. They are locked in the room with a limited supply of air. They must complete the four elements (if your nice there's a plaque saying that). If they put dirt in the bottom one, then they have two of the elements (Earth and water. I know the top one is full of air anyway but that is no fun.)) If they set the oil on fire they have the third (fire.) The oil will evaporate the water which will rise up to the top creating the element of air (well water vapor but it is sort of air) the door will open and they're out.

Waiting For Weight
Michael Kenner (

This is from the same episode.. They are also locked in a room again with not much air. Sitting around is a statue with two hands. On one is a weight and lying around the room are other weights. They must find another equal weight and put it in the other hand. If they do the door will open.

Michael Kenner (

This trap can only be used in very strange circumstances. Mine was that aliens were trying to take over the world (These aliens used combination magic/technology). At the end of the adventure they find the aliens power source which was a 12' ball of bright light. The players each need to have something to escape gravity at this point. The sphere is actually a smaller version of a star. They can destroy it by either casting any spell at it or by throwing in a magic object. The door to this room is automatic but since they destroyed the star it has no power to open. The star starts expanding and contracting. Anyone caught in these takes a lot of damage. The star collapses in on itself and turns into a black hole. It starts sucking the PCs in (it's stronger than the antigravity they used to get there). When they reach the black hole well... See sphere of annihilation in the DMG for details... (hehehe)

Zach Toups (

The players walk into a room, it (the room) can be of any size. It has a continual light spell in effect. The walls are speckled with lots of holes (about the size of a quarter). The trigger for the trap is a several infra-red beams that cannot be avoided or seen (infravision is useless in the light). If darkness is cast, the light will be negated and the room will return to normal darkness, anyone with infravision can see the beams. If anything blocks a beam, it causes multiple darts to fire from the walls, hopefully hitting the PC.


The PC's fall down a chute into a large "checker board" room. You can have as many tiles as you like. Each "square" is a pressure plate which has four holes it. At the other end of the room, there is a lever which opens a door. The problem is, every pressure plate stepped on causes 4 spikes to shoot from the ground on another tile! For example, stepping on tile 5 causes spikes to shoot from tile 12. No pattern is required, just make sure the PC's aren't allowed to stand on the same tiles. This trap caused the demise of 3 out of 4 PC's in my last campaign.

Erik Wood (

There is a small hatch in the floor, big enough for one person to fit through. The hatch opens to an 8 foot diameter shaft with a metal ladder on one side which runs from top to bottom (100ft). Once the player climbs 20 feet down they activate a Glyph of Warding that inflicts 14d4 points of electrical damage. Any character sustaining more than 15 points of damage must make a Strength check at -6 or fall -- sustaining another 8d6 points of damage. Anyone touching the floor of the pit is affected by a Power Word: Kill spell, which automatically slays any character with 60 hp or fewer (current, not maximum). That person is then animated and levitated back out of the shaft as a zombie which then begins attacking the party.

Blue Box

You see a goblin about 20 feet down a corridor. The goblin keeps screaming "Don't take my treasure! Don't take my treasure!" When the characters get close enough the goblin runs off. When the treasure box is opened a blue force field goes around the opener of the box. There is a blue knife inside of the box (Which has nothing to do with the trap.) The blue force keeps getting smaller and smaller. It keeps closing in on the person until they get crushed. The only way out of the trap is to close the box. Kind of obvious but in a situation like that it is hard to think of.

Tim Mott (

Give the players some sort of strange and cryptic clue (on an old scroll, whatever) and have it pretty hard to figure out. The "answer" will be a magical saying to open up a treasure room in some dungeon or whatever (supposedly). However, when they go to the dungeon and say the magic words, the room doesn't appear, but instead some monster / trap / other nasty thing comes and kills / maims / laughs at them.

Pit Guardian

Dragonhawk (

A trap lies hidden in the floor, and it's a relatively small hole, which lands the PC right on a spot which triggers a Contingency spell which activates the nearby stone golem (or any other sort of animated monster(s)), which now perceives the hapless PC as its mortal enemy. It quickly attacks, but many a party is quick enough to let down a rope or other way of climbing up. The stone golem simply waits beneath the hole. This isn't the good part. After going down to the next level, the PC finds him(or her)self right in front of the golem. You see, the pit leads down to the next level, so there's the stone golem (or whatever) after his blood. It will not attack any other players, unless they stand on the trigger spot, in which case it refocuses its attacks on that PC. The worst part is that if the monster is destroyed, the trigger spot grows (DM/GM's discretion towards the speed of growth and size of the room) until it fills the room. Stepping on the trigger spot again at ANY time will cause the stone golem to reform again...and attack.

I am Rubber, You are Glue...
Dragonhawk (

The PCs enter a room which has a gargoyle on a pedestal. It continually looks at the heroes, jeers at them, and occasionally swipes (but never hits) one if he or she gets too close. Eventually, one of the PCs gets fed up with this, and attacks. Now this is the best part: For every point of damage the hero does, subtract one from his own total. Neither he nor his compatriots notice the wounds (in fact, they aren't there... yet!) The gargoyle seems to miss on all its attacks on the PC. After the hero has done enough damage to bring his own life total to 0, the statue becomes inanimate, and maybe even crumbles. After the person leaves the room, however, he or she takes all the damage immediately, dies, and the gargoyle recompiles and taunts them even more. There's a particularly nasty variant I've created on this one: a special taunting spell, that requires a wisdom check every round (-1 cumulative per round times the number of allies fallen to this trap) or else the person(s) failing engage in combat, only to fall to the same trap.

A Reward You Don't Want
Danny Siegmann (

A spell is cast on a magical item, most likely a tomb of some sort or a spellbook with a couple of good spells. When the book is opened enough to read, everyone in the immediate area is instantly transported somewhere nasty. They are not harmed by the transport itself, but being transported to, say, the abyss, possible with lots of Tannari around, could be very dangerous. The trap only activates once, though it may be coupled with other traps.

The effect is instantaneous, and impossible to prevent. After the transport, if any other traps are defeated, the book (or other item) can be used normally. The players will need all the help they can get. Note that the players must find their own way out of where they've been transported to, and can use normal methods (i.e.-astral spell, teleport, etc.) The location is the DM's choice, and can be varied for the situation, but should be a very bad place (i.e.-the aforementioned abyss, a large drow city, in the path of a raging tarrasque, etc.)

Corridor of Sand
Danny Siegmann (

This trap is set up in a strange looking room. Directly across the room from where the PC's enter is a door just like the one they came through. It is a square room, and the floor is covered in sand, except for one part. On either side of the two doors are two parallel strips of stone, about 6 inches wide, which stretch from one end to the other. (They are actually walls which extend to the real floor.) Note that the ceiling is made of normal stone, the same type as the floor strips. Imbedded in the floor strips are wooden rods 2 inches in diameter, which extend up to (and are also imbedded in) the ceiling. This forms a narrow corridor running from door to door. If the PC's test the depth of the sand in the corridor, they find it is only about a half foot deep. The sand outside the corridor can be of any depth, but should be more the 10 ft. deep. The floor at the bottom of the sand in the corridor is seemingly solid.

Here's how the trap works. If the PC's test the floor it seems to be solid under the sand. However, when enough weight is put on it (a couple of PC's) the whole floor in the corridor shatters, and the PC's (and sand and broken bits of floor) fall into a pit (which runs along the whole corridor. The floor is solid stone. The pit should be deep (15-20 ft.) but not deep enough to kill the PC's. The stone strips extend down to form the walls. A moment after the PC's hit the floor, many holes (about 4 inches in diameter) open up in the wall, and sand from the rest of the room starts falling into the pit. The DM can determine the rate the corridor fills up. The room outside the corridor is automatically refilled. The sand will eventually fill up the entire pit, hopefully with the PC's trapped inside. Removing the sand from the corridor doesn't reduce the weight enough to prevent the floor from collapsing. The bars on the sides of the corridor can be broken, but there should be nasty creatures living in the sand on either side. In addition, having a low ceiling with spikes can discourage flying.

Big Boom!
Chris Webster (

This takes place in a very pawerful wizards lair. When the party is pretty strong and think they are just the best, have them face three weak creatures like goblins. But they are really Gas Spores polymorphed. When they hit one of the fake creatures, the Gas Spore will explode and not only hurt the party but cause the other two Gas Spores to explode doing a lot of damage to the party. Or you could have a Stirge hit the Gas Spores and do the same thing.

Musical Key
Chris Webster (

When the players come to a locked door it can only be opened by a key. There are three keys by the door. There is an A, C, and D key. Now to make this musical just make the only key to open the door the C key. The other keys will let out spinning blades to hit the party. The A key in music would have two sharps so it would let out two spinning blades while the D key would let out three since it is three sharps. The C music key has no sharps so that is why it opens the door. I would say good damage would be 3d6 if they miss a DX check.

Excuse Me Sir, which way is out?
Barrett Day (

This is is a good trap to pull on your players because they can't complain about all the XP they're getting. At the end of a corridor, there is a door. The door is not a part of the trap, but it's a good idea to tell that there's a door to your players. Anyway, when they go through the door they are in a spherical room that has 6 doors and a mouse hole. Hard DMs could have their players roll a Wisdom Check to see the mouse hole. The first door has a picture of an eye on it and, when opened, has a beholder in it (or an argos). If defeated, the door will explode for 1d2 damage. The second door has a picture of a dagger on it, and, when opened, will release a horde of gibberlings. It explodes for 1d4. The third door is blue, and, when opened, releases 1d6 ogre mages. It explodes for 1d6. The fourth door has a picture of a cube of ice, and, when opened, releases a Remorhaz. The door does 1d8. The fifth door has a picture of a drop of blood and, when opened, releases an eastern vampire. The door does 1d10. The last door has a picture of flame. It releases a red dragon. The door does 1d20. The mouse hole is locked and cannot be opened unless the other creatures are defeated in order. If they are not, they must be defeated all over again. If opened, it releases 1d10 shrunken wererats who immediately form normal size and attack. Once defeated, the mouse hole releases a cheese of shrinking with just enough for everyone. They can enter the mouse hole and once on the other side, they get a cheese of growing which returns them to normal. 

Big Headed Adventurer Killer
Chris "Crispy" Caton

Have the adventurers encounter a group of very easy monsters (i.e. skeletons). One of them has a medallion on. The characters automatically see this and, thinking it's a bonus, decide to kill the monsters to get it. When (or if) they kill the monster with the medallion, the killer and all within 10' get a blast of force which knocks them off their feet and causes 3d12 points of damage, no save. If a character tries to rip away the medallion, s/he gets 3d20 points of damage, no save. In either case, the medallion is destroyed, and probably the wearer as well. It should only be used against mid-leveled characters. Low-leveled characters will die (good or bad?), and high level ones will find a way to remove it without touching it or ignore the effects, destroying the point of the trap, which is to lower big-headedness.

Daniel Olson (

Have an area that is trapped to the max with a chest visible at the end. Have the majority of the traps ones that cannot be disarmed. Include ones that nail only flying objects and include a dimension loop that blasts teleporters to another dimension. You also have to make the area LOOK deadly and just above impossible. In the chest have a note + nothing-2 copper. The note says something to the extent of: "Stupid idiot! Don't know when to quit!"

Aggressive Angel Of Death

In front of a door is an angel made of light with a HUGE two-handed sword. When the characters approach, without a word the angel will swing at them. It won't talk, won't move (except for the swing!) and isn't affected by most spells. It is a blade barrier with an illusion cast on it.

Adventurer Split
Jeff Jones (

This trap can be used as a way to split up any party containing people who value their lives. The PC's find a trap door in a room. Upon opening the door, they find a chute which obviously leads down to the second level. The first person to jump in the chute comes down at the end of the chute unharmed in a room with no obvious threats. The second person makes it through with no problem as well. The third person gets to the other end as well. Make sure the chute is short enough so that the characters can shout to each other and hear each other well. The first three characters just trigger a wheel mechanism which turns one click each time. The third time the wheel turns, it sets a blade in the middle of the chute. The fourth person to go down the chute comes out in two halves. Cut from crotch to head. Immediately, the three characters on the next level will scream to alert the others at the top. I'd be willing to bet you won't get any of the others at the top to go next. If people keep coming, every fourth person will come down split in two. There are all sorts of other things you can add like monsters at the bottom to add urgency or someone for them to chase that knows the trap and uses the chute to get away from them. If this is just too devious and you want to give the characters a hint. Have sacks of sand at the top and split open sacks at the bottom.

Gas Spores

Any PC who has never encountered one of these is likely to attack it as a beholder. While these are great traps in themselves, a yet more lethal variant is to teleport them into a room full of them. (Or, better yet, have them land on one). This causes a chain reaction of exploding gas spores that does (ohmigod)D(obscene) damage. If the damage doesn't kill them, the spores will.


While searching someone's dungeon/castle/whatever, have the PCs stumble across a deep hole in the ground. that they cannot see to the bottom of. Give them something to grapple onto on the surface, so they can go down. The well is about 150' deep, and the sides are smooth. At the bottom, they will find several levers that do the following:

  1. : Opens/closes a door in the ceiling above the well that goes up quite some way.
  2. : Starts the hole above the well spinning (has countless blades running across it, players going up will be minced.)
  3. : Reverses gravity in well and sends player hurtling upward through the spinning blades and spits him out onto the cieling in another room. This is always fatal.
There are many variants to this, play with them.
Flint & Steel

The players enter a long corridor that smells fairly odd, and there is a liquid coating the floor. It is mostly clear with some rainbow colors swirling through it. This is gasoline, and the floor is made of flint. Have a magic mouth command them to drop their weapons, "or else". If they do not comply, each player is struck by a magic missile for 1D4+1 and commanded to do the same again. Smart PCs will gently put their weapons on the floor, others simply dropping them set off the gas fumes for a whole lot of damage.


In a long corridor, the players find large spikes about half their height, and spaced evenly. They are far enough apart that the players can walk right through them without hindrance. At some point, have them notice the holes in the ceiling that are parallel with the spikes. Last, have the floor move upward very quickly (or very slowly), crushing the players.


Version one: Harmless and Irritating
In this trap, a person steps on a teleport trap that brings him to another that brings him back to the first (and so on) until he goes nuts.

Version two: Pain and Agony
same as above, but both destinations are 10 feet above the teleporters, doing 1D6 falling damage each time.

The Separator Trap
Hugh O'Hara (

I use this trap to add to a particularly dangerous setting. (I used it in the tower of a 50th level Magic User) The leader (the person in front) hits a trip wire, which makes a hidden wall slam right behind him. This trap doesn't hurt anyone, but leaves a member stranded. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the wall is 10' thick and repels magic?

A New Kind Of Burning
Hugh O'Hara (

The party encounters a sword, preferably long, or a suit of full plate mail (preferred). The item glows a faint green color. Detect Magic will detect only that it is enchanted but not what it is enchanted by or with (Glassteel). The fact is, the weapon/armor is made out of uranium. This means that if the weapon is used, it will inflict an additional 5d10 damage, but the user must save vs. death every round or die of radiation burns. The armor is AC1, makes weapons do an additional 3d10 damage and forces the wearer to save vs. death at -10 every round or die, again of radiation burns. DO NOT tell the PC anything other than that he feels like he is on fire. This begins one turn after acquiring the item, preferably the PC will find a new item (I used a ring of Fire Protection, it doesn't do a thing to save the PC against radiation) and keeps on going until it is discarded. (I wiped out 3 PC's with this one, they just kept on picking up the sword from the dead guy) This should not be used unless you are ether a VERY, VERY mean GM, or you are very mad at them for beating your best adventure without a scratch.

Poison Dart Chair
Gary Reinhart (

What if there's a powerful man coming over for dinner? What do you do? Rig the chair.

From the naked eye, there seems to be no trap right? Even a search is wrong. But there is a tiny pin laced with the poison or drug of your choice imbedded into the cushion of the chair at the neck area. Some pressure from the bottom of the chair releases the pin and sticks in the guys neck. It feels like a mosquito bite and he will scratch. But not to worry, the pin falls out the second it breaks the skin.

Andrew Fisher (

If your group of adventurers is dungeon-crawling, don't give them any traps for a while. They might be cautious at first, but will start to loosen up (trust me). When you sense they don't have the patience to keep checking for traps, put this one on an ordinary door. The party is going down the passage or whatever, when they come upon an metal door. A latch is in the door near waist-level on the side. When the party just assumes that this isn't trapped, either, they'll pull the latch. The latch does nothing, it doesn't even open the door, but does set off the trap. The trap starts off slow, so the party may even try to figure out the latch while it starts! Anyway, a rock slab slides slowly down (extremely quietly, so the party may not even notice it) and seals the passage. It settles, blowing up a bit of dust which a party member is sure to notice. Now the party is sealed in the passage. A quick-thinking mage could get out, but the rest of the party is trapped. After the slab drops, the floor under them starts to rumble. The floor rises, and just when the party is about to be squashed, it stops. Leave 'em hanging for a while, and then crush them with the suitable descriptions of mangled armor, crushed bones, and blood.

First, the group enters what they find to be an abandoned town. Have the group split up. In one house a character finds a treasure chest in the corner of the living room. It is unlocked but in it is a fairly large hole (Large enough to fit the character ). If he decides to reach in the hole he falls in. Now here is where the fun begins. When the other members try to find him by searching the house he went in, they see him falling from the ceiling where a portal is, into the hole and from the portal again. If they measure the depth of the hole, make it about four to five feet. Afterthought #1: If the player tries to drop something in to decide the depth and safety, have the item hit the player in the head and fall in. Afterthought #2: Make it so the it is a town holiday and they went to a shrine and be back within minutes. Then watch how quickly the player falls in.

Various Traps
Thor Kell (

A PC falls into a pit. As the sucker falls, blades come out of the top of the pit and begin to spin. The blades do not hit the victim but prevent rescue. The victim is caught in clamps with barbs on them. The PC then starts to spin. After about 5 rounds of this, a blade of VERY sharp, VERY hard metal comes out of the floor. This hits the PC and he is indisposed for a long time. *This trap is a killer and requires a lot of magic to work. DMs should probably tune it down.*

Try the same as above with a drill.

A room with Flaming Spheres and Prismatic Spheres bouncing around in it.

A chest made out of every bone in the human body. It cannot be forced open. If a person breaks a bone then that bone is broken in them. I.E. a thief attempts to pick the lock (the mouth) he could end up with a broken jaw bone. Hide the treasure under the chest.

Play off previous traps. If you use pit traps a lot, have an easy to find pit trap with a slippery floor on the other side and a tripwire beyond it. The PCs jump, slip and hit the trip wire, which makes a boulder fall on them. This only works really well with improvised dungeons.

Make traps that have to be triggered. Like a falling wall trap that opens a secret door.

Use Walls of Reflecting. These make missile weapons and small magical effects bounce off them. I caught my group in a loop with a flaming arrow following them.

Put a Delayed Blast Fireball in a treasure hoard.

Place a lich's philactery in a magical item owned by a PC.

A room with a floor covered in flames(or green slime or whatever), the PCs can't fly or teleport over. They have to walk over on invisible platforms. Nasty DMs could make the platforms move or have things attack the PCs.

Use Walls of Bouncing. These act as trampolines that lift the PC as high as he fellx2. After 1d10 bounces a person can control his bounce. People with acrobatics may make a proficiency check to aviod this. One application of this is to have a room with a false floor and have a floor of bouncing under it. Place spikes on the ceiling.

Have a pit trap with a floor of bouncing. The top of the pit rotates. On the bottom of the top of the pit there are 4 blades and a pressure switch between them. A PC falls, the roof of the pit rotates, and as the PC bounces he will hit the switch which slam the curved blades in to his neck.

A wall or door that can be broken down. Behind it is a ballista. The person who knocks the door down gets impaled on the ballista bolt, and then the extra weight causes it to fire, nailing who ever happens to be behind them.

Literal artifacts/magic Items
Chris Peckham (

One of the funniest tricks I have played on my PCs is to include items that do what they are called. For example, a Bag of Holding that doesn't let go; a Ring of Invisibility that you can't find; Intelligent swords that are afraid of open places (ie. Agrophobia) and even swords that are afraid of enclosed places (Claustrophobia).

This trap consists of a room about 40' long by 20' wide by 30 or so feet high. The ceiling is lined with spikes about 3' long and they are close enough together to prevent any PCs from winding themselves between them.. along the walls are four or more small alcoves large enough for one person. The idea is that the characters will jump into these alcoves in hope of saving their skins, and it will.. However, there is an eensy weensy drawback, the spiked ceiling doesn't go away.. It simply hits the ground and stays there, imprisoning the PCs.. After this a sleeping gas fills the chamber, knocking the PC's out.. when they awake, they find themselves in a prison cell, bound and gagged in front of the head baddie..etc.

Mendossa's Very Cruel & Sadictic Trap (

The PCs are walking on their hands and knees in a tunnel which is about 4 feet wide. The tunnel leads in a chamber about 60' X 120' , 30' high, and there's another tunnel entrance on the other side of the room. The tunnel does not lead on level floor but at the ceiling's level. That means that the PCs have to jump down, walk and climb to the next tunnel entrance.

As soon as a PC touches the floor, the ceiling starts to go down, and in 1 round the tunnel entrances on both sides are inaccessible. There is a hole in the ceiling, just large enough for a human to stand in it (like 6' high, 2' diameter). So the PCs have to fight to determine who's gonna stand up and fit in the hole while the others are gonna be crunched by the ceiling. However, the ceiling is made of a large block of stone, in which a tunnel is built. When the ceiling touches down the floor, the tunnel fits right into the 2 tunnel entrances. So if your PCs where smart enough to wait, they have a regular tunnel in front of em.

Meanwhile, the PC who's standing in the ceiling hole is now stuck in this hole. You can let him die there or have a trap open under his feet, trap that could lead to some secret chamber or another part of the dungeon. The results of this trap: some dead PCs, some stuck PCs, some PCs goin' on.

Thrash (

This trap is best used on the house of a secluded crazy-man, but it will work great anywhere you can fit it.

The house is made of brick, covered in plaster, so as to make it look like one solid lump. The door is a plain, wooden door with a single knocker on it. The knocker has a very small string of fishing line (or some other transparent string) attached to it. Around the doorframe are about 20 small holes, each containing one dart (poison is optional). These holes have had a very thin layer of plaster put over them, to make them nearly invisible.

When the knocker is pulled, the string sets off the trap. The darts come flying through the plaster directly at the arm and wrist of the player doing the knocking. Each dart does approximately 1d4 damage. To make this trap easier for low-level players, you can decrease the amount of darts, or the damage they do. Of course, if that arm is the player's sword arm, their attack rolls will be reduced by 3 until the damage is sufficiently healed (at the DM's discretion).

If you want, you can also have another set of darts pointed at the doorknob.

Chris McNorgan (

Sitting on a small stone pedestal is an object of worth (or maybe THE object of worth). While it isn't clearly protected by a physical barrier, glowing streaks of light seem to shimmer in a field around the object. Touching the field results in some bad effect (damage, reduction to 1hp, level loss, etc.). Engraved into the stone is the command word that dispels the field. The words are written in some ancient language requiring either A) someone able to read ancient languages, or B) a skilled thief (in the AD&D world). The catch to the command word is this: the letters of the word are written in the circle so that depending on the time of day, one must start at a different point on the circle to read off the command word (e.g., depending on where the sundial points to, or where a ray of sunlight points to). The word in the circle should be something that could be read in a circle, such as CAMERA, which might be read CAMERA, MERACA, ERACAM, AMERAC, ACAMER or RACAME. In fact, using CAMERA would be especially devious because players would likely think, "Oh, it says camera." without considering different readings. Reading off the incorrect word causes the object to sink into the pedestal. This would be bad enough were it not for the triggering of some other nasty effect...


Three rooms are set up to look like giant bells. It turns out that they are just that. The first of these bells, when rung, makes magic armor appear. The second bell, when rung, makes magic weapons appear. The third bell, when rung, makes money appear. However, here is the catch. If one player rings the same bell more than once things go wildly wrong! All of the players are knocked unconscious, when they awake, they find themselves surrounded by hungry monsters of the DM's choice. (It is optional as to whether they have their weapons and armor still on.) This same thing will happen If the singular player rings all three of the bells as well. In some ways this trap may very well bring a grisly end to the game.

The Ice cream Cone
Curt Arrowsmith (

A conical room, any size. The floor is made up of three stone pressure plates, joined at the middle of the room. When there are 300 lbs. on any one pressure plate, or 600 lbs on the three pressure plates combined, the trap takes effect. The PCs all fall into a semi-spherical room beneath the trapped room. The room is filled with Neopolitan Ice Cream, magically kept cool (and solid, the PCs will give the DM a satisfying **SQUOOSH!**).

Column of Lightning
Curt Arrowsmith (

Any room, with a 20' metal pole in the center and an open skylight above that. Resting on the pole is any minor magical item. Whenever anyone enters the room, a lightning storm appears in the sky within 1 turn +1d4 rounds. When someone tries to climb up the pole, it begins rising into the air, about 20', through levitation (so there is nothing holding it up to be grabbed). Of course, by this time, there is a violent lightning storm happening. Lightning storm, metal pole. . . . I would say maybe 6-10d8 points of damage, but it's up to you.

Elastic Sword I Curt Arrowsmith (

There is a magical looking type sword sticking out (blade first) of a stone wall. When the PC tries to pull the sword out of the wall, the sword just stretches. He/she can't get it out even with the mightiest power!

Elastic Sword II Curt Arrowsmith (

Same thing as elastic sword I, only the sword is on the long wall of a long and narrow room. The PC pulling the sword is so intently concentrating on getting this infuriating weapon out of this wall, he neglects to look behind him. And when he steps on the pressure plate, MANY spikes come out of the wall opposite the sword (which should be no more than 10'-15' away) and the PC backs into them. Roll 5d4 for the number of spikes backed into, and 1d4 points of damage per spike. If the PC survives, his fellow players should get a good laugh over this. HA!

Drain Blades
Tas Vince Burrfoot (

This trap consists of a ten-foot deep and a 30 foot wide room filled with water up to eight feet. The room above has a tilting floor that leads down a chute which has 1d10 wooden stakes that do 1d4 damage per stake. A successful dexterity check must be made to avoid all damage.

Then the adventuring party falls into the room with the water. At the very bottom of this water is a drain. The party does not suffer any falling damage (I guess you can if you want to--my party gets upset because of damage like that) The vibrations of the parties falling bodies hitting the top of the water can be felt by a mechanism in the drain. The drain opens and starts to pull the water in with it.

The party can all make successful strength and dexterity checks to stay afloat until all the water has filtered out. If they fail, then they get sucked into a ten foot long tunnel with the rest of water. They very suddenly feel a breeze in the tunnel that soon grows to a roar and two whirling baldes become visible within the tunnel. The adventurer(s) must make a successful dexterity check to grab a handhold in the drain and climb out. If failed, randomly determine which part of the body is cut off beyond repair. The adventurer then falls another ten feet into a plain room (or whatever,) suffering falling damage.

Bone Thug
Daniel Olson (

The PCs walk into a room of any medium size with a small pillar in the center and bones piled along the outside on the floor and shelves. If the players search the piles they will find no skulls. On top of the pillar is a skull. The skull is wearing a leather circlet with a crystal hanging from the center. If a player puts the circlet on, a quantity of bones fuse themselves with the character's armor. This bone armor has a cumulative AC of -4 (subtract 4 from character's current AC) and gives +3 Str. This armor is really a type of doppleganger that possesses the character after 1D4 turns. After 5D4 turns (after possession) the doppleganger attacks the other players.

Variant: the armor causes mind rot as per the spell.

WOLF TRAP Daniel Olson (

This was originally a wolf trap in colonial America but has been enlarged to fit humans. There is a 20' deep pit covering a square area of floor. The walls are slanted so the pit is larger at the bottom than at the top. the trap has a cover over it. This cover is a board or thin piece of stone supported by one axis which is stuck loosely in the wall so it can rotate. Any weight placed on the cover causes it to rotate 45 degrees dropping the PC(s) into the pit, causing appropriate damage, unless they save vs. death ray. On either side of the axis is a counterbalanced weight which resets the trap. The measurements for this trap are 10' deep(min) for every 5X5 area of the cover. The top of the pit is 3" wider on all sides of the cover. The walls of the pit should be decorated and slanted according to the DM's tastes of death and decay.

Daniel Olson (

The PCs encounter a normal door styled to the dungeon. The door is not locked but if the knob or whatever means of opening is used the door swings rapidly open until it hits something then closes just as fast. If it hits a PC's head or body it causes 1D4 damage and immobilizes them for one turn. a variant is that the real hinges to the door are on the same side as the knob. The result: the PC is sandwiched between the door and wall.

Dimension Cube
Daniel Ettinger (

The dimension cube is a curiosity trap. All a player has to do is touch it. They are pulled into a square room with four doors. They must choose a door. DM rolls d100. If 00 comes up, they're free, if anything else comes up, they must try again. DM's discretion as to how often. Time passes normally and creatures can be encountered, as they are also trapped. Players may even encounter deceased adventurers who were killed or starved. Even if a party enters, each player receives a percentile roll as they go through a door, even if its the same one.

Teleporting Door

This trap is nearly guaranteed to kill PCs who depend on brute strength to fight. This trap works well at the end of a hallway. When the PCs reach the end a door opens in the ceiling and an illusionary monster drops out of it. The PCs should attack it and when they do it fades out and their weapons hit the door behind it. When the weapons hit the door they are teleported behind the PCs and they continue moving but at double the speed and causing double damage each time they are teleported. If they hit a PC, they cause their damage but start moving again at their original speed. The PCs can't stop their weapons unless they teleport them to another area or dispel the teleporter. Then the PCs must travel through the ceiling panel.

Eagle1 (

Both of these are cute little traps designed to keep PCs from advancing in a dungeon. The first one was _very_ frustrating for the PC's in the game I introduced it in. You need two rooms, EXACTLY IDENTICAL, right next to each other. The first room is an empty room with a door leading to the second room. The second room is identical to the first, except for the trap, a hidden teleporter. It can be positioned anywhere in the room, but for maximum effect, place it in front of the door out. When stepped on, it teleports the PC's to the same spot in the first room w/o their knowledge. Thus PC's that never figure it out would be stuck in an endless loop and keep going forever! (unless they go back the way they came or disarm the trap, or open the door without stepping on the trap, then jump over the trap, into or through the door way. Nasty DMs might have a rock wall just behind the door, making the hassle a waste of time, or put another trap in the doorway.)

The second trap involves a fairly large room, and illusion, a set of colored floor tiles, and a magic barrier. First, the room. It's an empty room, with the barrier going from wall to wall across the middle of the room like so:

|------------| |            | |************| |            | |------------|

Then, the tiles (which should be colored so that they stand out [i.e., green tiles on a tan floor or something similar]) go through the barrier in a footprint-like arrangement, but wide enough that the PC's would have to hop from one tiles to the next. Now, the illusion. The illusion is of something humanoid (a little girl, a little boy, a goblin etc. DM's choice) hopping from tile to tile, on one foot, singing an odd little rhyming tune. The tune drops hints that the PC's have to hop on the tiles too. If the PC's just hop on the tiles they run smack into the barrier (or if the DM chooses, get zapped for whatever amount of damage the DM sees fit) that prevents them from going through. However, if they hop from tile to tile singing the song (which the illusion stops singing when the PC's start), they can hop through the barrier.

Nicole Bélanger (

The trap consists of a spherical room. The players must be compelled to enter (magical objects, weapons or the like is perfect for that purpose). As soon as the players enter, a stone door slide down and open the trap. A huge ball starts rolling in the PC's direction. The room is large enough to let the PCs escape the first attack. However because of the room's shape, the ball will continuously roll around. Here's the trick: the spherical room is actually a false room. The sphere lies on four blocks in a larger cubic room. Any blow made with enough strength will make the sphere fall off the blocks and shatter on the floor freeing those inside.

A short corridor leads to a mirror positioned at 45 degrees, pointed at a hole in the ceiling. It thus appears that the passage leads out of the dungeon. When a PC walks into the mirror attempting to leave the dungeon, the mirror collapses, causing the PC to fall a DM-decided number of feet into a chamber of sinister bats, ice toads, or whatever is the most suitable for the occasion. There's generally no way out except by climbing, or the PC's adventuring companions to drop him down a rope.


The mirror drops the PC directly into one of the "All fall down. And down... and down..." traps.

The WOOPS! Trap
Sam (

This trap works especially good on Barbarians because they have a tendency to smash things. This works in any room, any size, any shape. The characters walk into a room that looks crudely carved out of stone. Across the room, a massive, unmovable, weak-looking stone slab is blocking off a door (the characters will only see the door if they look at the side of the slab and see the door through the space left between the wall and the slab). Absolutely no spells or enchantments work in this room (it's good to leave anything living but the characters stay out of this). No matter how many characters try, the slab is unmovable. A very observant character would notice that an illusion portion in the wall (this is the only spell that works in the room) that gives you a passage around the slab to the door (which is VERY easy to open, no roll required). If anyone attempts to smash the slab (it is very weak), sharp, little rock shards that have a THAC0 of 11, and 1d12 will hit each character within 10' of the slab, 1d10 to each character in the 10' after that, and so on down to 1d2. Each shard that hits will do 1d4 points of damage. After the slab is smashed, the illusion will disappear, and reveal the illusionary passageway.

The illusion is a level 3 illusion that you can just plain walk through. Anyone that teleports into the room will automatically teleport into the stone around the room. What can be done, is give the characters a Wand of Dispel Illusion which can be used in the room.

Really Steamed
Conway Brew (

I use this for characters who like to wear a lot of steel armor or other bulky garments. The trap, though seemingly harmless at first, becomes more difficult. It begins at a wooden door, when the players open they are greeted by a small gush of steamy air, not too much (by the way, this has to be the only way to a particular destination, the only door, etc.). Players must enter to continue. At first, it's not so bad. A little hot, very humid. After the first right or left hand turn of the corridor (it doesn't really matter which way it goes) the door becomes invisible (no one will notice yet because they are paying attention to moving forward). After ten or fifteen minutes the steam becomes thicker, making it difficult to see. In addition, the metal armor is now heated enough to cause damage every turn to the players continuing to wear it (usually 1-3 points per turn, depending upon player level). Everyone's constitution score is affected as they become dehydrated, weak and tired from the humid and Variations include, maze like passages that confuse and bewilder, and thus prolong exposure to the steam. Or, some small creatures adept at hiding in or using steam for cover who pester and attack the characters.

Raging Waters

In this trap, death is an unimportant concept. A chamber, with illusions of rings, trinkets, etc., is the bait. When attempted to snatch, it disappears, causing all doors to lock. White panels raise to show holes in the wall. Vibrations bring the victim to his/her knees, just as water rushes into the room. Small snakes flow in, as well as weak poison. (The snakes aren't poisonous, either.) As the water rises to their neck, the room shatters, leaving the person swimming down dangerous rapids. The person falls down a 20 ft. high water fall, and floats to shore, unconscious, but not dead. When they wake, random items may be missing, and the poison causes severe sickness, but fades quickly.

Fast Freddy (

I have a trap that nearly killed my low level PCs. First, you need a square room roughly 30 x 30. along one of the walls place a magical object against the wall. Anyone taking that weapon must replace it with something more valuable or equal to the value, or else the floor starts to drop in a spiral pattern (doors automatically close) which kill any PC in that area. Placing the object back will do absolutely nothing. I allow 30 seconds before anything happens.

A glowing green cube appears around a victim or group, it can be as big or small as the DM needs. The cube is like a cell or cage. The more force exerted on the walls, floor, and ceiling the stronger the cage gets. It starts with a mere 10 hps but it increases with the number of damage done to it. There are only two ways out of this trap, for someone on the outside to reach in and pull someone out or to attack and destroy the square from the outside. For added fun you can have the walls shrinking to get them to attack the walls.

Ghost Busters
Mephistopheles (

This traps is actually fairly simple. Throughout the dungeon, place various programmed illusions of a ghost. Do this several times until the players are confident that the next one isn't a ghost. Of course, they don't need to know that this time it really is...

Every which way but up
Mephistopheles (

A room with various metal spikes on the ceiling, and any exit/entrance to the room has trip wire that activates a reverse gravity spell.

Every which way but up 2
Mephistopheles (

Same as before, except there's no trip wire for reverse gravity. The ceiling is highly magnetized and has enough force to draw up the PC's Extremely encumbered PC's not carrying loads of metal items may be exempt. Good way to relieve PC warriors of equipment and most weapons.

What does it say?
Mephistopheles (

Just give them a faulty fireball scroll that centers on the caster. 

Mephistopheles (

The PC's find a telescope. At the other end of the telescope is a reduced medusa's head. You can figure out the results. 

Invisible Bridge
Mephistopheles (

The PC's come to a large chasm. There is a single bridge connecting the two sides, and somewhere nearby (on a wall or something) there are 2 levers. The first lever makes the bridge disappear, making it invisible. The other lever makes an illusionary bridge appear nearby. The result is the PC's assuming the second illusionary bridge is the real one. For added realism you might want to have an illusion of a creature or something appear to fall through the real bridge and another illusion of another creature walking across the illusionary bridge.

The Greek Fire Greed Trap
Brendan (

This is a sure fire way to kill greedy PCs. Have the PCs stumble into a small dwelling during a storm. The House is located near two lakes (hehe). In the house there is a door on one wall marked *Do not open* and through a window the PCs can see a small room with several magic artifacts. When one of them gets greedy enough and opens the door one of the small rooms walls collapse due to the pressure change; a jet of water hits the PCs knocking them out a second door into the water. You may say a lit candle is knocked over and the house begins to burn, to add effect. Next a Flaming Cloud of Sodium and Oil begins to rise form the bottom of the lake. It rises at 10' a round (The lake is 50' deep). Any characters hit by this cloud suffer 8d6 points of damage a round for as long as they are in the cloud and 4d6 for every round out of following that. The Cloud burns for at least 1 turn after reaching the surface. Diving under water only doubles the damage.

Jon Palmer (

Use this trap in a place where the PCs will use the room a lot. The PCs come to a room 100' x 100', with some furniture about (the furniture has a permanent levitate spell cast so that it is just above the floor). There are also some grooves where the walls meet the floor, but are barely discernable. Either the floating furniture or the grooves can be seen with a Wis check at -2 because there is so little to spot. What they will notice is that the floor of the room is about 1' lower than the rest of the hall(s). Once all the PCs have entered the room, all doors slam shut, magically locked and can't be opened until the trap is complete. A Magic Mouth starts laughing at the party and says stuff along the lines of "Welcome to your doom!!!", etc. This is because the floor has divided 50' ahead of them and the floors have begun receding into the walls. Below is a pit, about 70' deep, with the floor there covered in spikes (doing more than enough damage to kill any PC that might fall). The PCs will try the doors to find that the will not budge at all, not even a knock spell will work. The floor keeps receding into the wall until there is no more floor left and they start to drop.......until they hit an invisible wall! Once all the PCs leave, the floor returns to its original place. But here is why the room should be used more and more often. Each time the party leaves and floor moves back to place, a dispel magic spell is cast (or some other spell to remove the wall) then the wall is replaced, except 10' squared less so that it is only 90' x 90' with the outer ring missing. The PCs won't even notice, until someone starts to fall. Every time they leave, the invisible wall gets smaller by 10' squared each time until there is nothing left and then it goes back to 100' x 100'. The trap is triggered by weight so if the party flies through, the doors will slam shut and lock but the floor won't move. So sooner or later, you'll end up with a party full of pincushions. If you want to be extra nice, you could put a switch or something in the dungeon to keep the doors from closing.

The Piston
Chris McNorgan (

Quite often I see traps that are contrived inventions involving magic and fire and spikes. Who designs castles where hallways are littered with spike traps? More realistic is the trap which isn't really a trap, but rather an accident waiting to happen.

Imagine a pyramid with a crypt accessible through a trap door in the floor at the end of a long and narrow vertical shaft. The worshippers laid their pharoah to rest in the room, and sealed it with a huge block of stone at the end of the shaft. The stone, however, would have to be wedged into place, perhaps with small wooden wedges.

A character climbing the shaft reaches the dead end. He tries to jostle the stone. Perhaps he has a girdle of giant strength, or gauntlets, or a KNOCK spell. In any case, if he is able to move the stone at all, the wedges would fall loose. They fall down the shaft. The character can't support the heavy stone, and HE falls down the shaft. And so does the stone... I'd hate to be standing under that hole in the ceiling!

Invisible Pit
Scott A.W Lewin (

This trap is used along with water. At some point there must be a shore that gradually descends into the water, just like a shoreline. This shore may be rocky, sandy, or anything you desire. As the players walk into the water, the water will become deeper until it is up to their thighs. At this point the character falls into an underwater pit with very smooth sides. The pit can be of any size, but I use a 50ft in deepness. Anyone with armor will sink to the bottom, even if they can swim. This trap has claimed many lives.

Steve Tocco (

In a typical hallway section off 10' with magic barriers that prevent gases from entering or leaving the area. (Solids, liquids, and players can move through just fine.) Inside this section is an absolute vacuum, along with two magic gates in the floor and ceiling. The gate in the floor leads to the gate in the ceiling, with no loss in momentum. The way it works is that anything that is dropped in this hallway starts falling faster and faster, with no air resistance to slow it down. Eventually any objects in this section would move so fast as to be invisible to human eyes. Now have your party walk through this hallway. (Daggers, gold coins, or even small rocks can make a sizeable dent in your skull when moving at half the speed of light.) Any "detect invisible" or "detect illusion" spells won't work, since it's a natural effect. If you're feeling really nasty (and it fits your game world), have the players take damage from just the hard vacuum as well.

Mark Morrison (

This trap is basically a bowling alley. Have your party enter a room or cave with a long, polished wooden floor, a set of wooden "clubs" at the far end of the short, describe it well but don't actually say "bowling alley". The players will, of course, know what it is, and will hopefully be delighted to test their bowling skill. A number of balls will be available for their use, but one of them is cursed: When the player sticks his thumb in the thumb hole, it instantly shrinks on him so that he can't get it out. Strength and grease won't help, and of course the ball itself is impervious to physical damage; you need to somehow remove the curse to get the ball off. (Chances are the PC will use his/her weapon hand to bowl with. Can you say "serious combat disadvantage?")

Whether or not the trolls arrive at this point is up to you.

Dean R. Daniels (danielsd2@TIGER.UOFS.EDU)

The players find themselves in a large room with an altar. On the altar is a big glowing gem. If any or all players touch it, they instantly drop into a deep coma. Any players not affected can't cure this by any means. This is the complicated part. The player affected by the gem notices that all his friends have disappeared! Suddenly, an exact duplicate of the player appears with one exception: Opposite Alignments! Example: Lawful-Good--Chaotic-Evil, Lawful-Evil--Chaotic-Good, etc. The player must then fight their opposite, which is controlled by the DM. If the player wins, nothing changes, if the DM wins, the player is now of opposite alignment, permanently. No one else knows of this change of course, except for the DM and the affected player. Characters come out of their coma instantly and unharmed despite wounds suffered in battle.

As DM you should stop the game for a short while to run the trap for each affected player. This is to prevent unaffected players from knowing the truth. Any Neutrals are treated as Good characters.

Steely thing...
Timo Ikonen (

PCs see a room with steel floor and walls. When they all are inside the room, the floor and the walls will become magnetic. Everyone wearing steel armor will be stuck. Then the room begins to fill with water. Yeah, just try to get out of your suits before you drown! For this the room should be lower than the corridor (or whatever) leading to it. IF the PCs survive, they will carry on (they always do). Then they will see another room with steel floor and walls. Well, I suppose they will NOT enter the room wearing metal armor (or if they do, treat this room just as first one :). And, when they enter the room: CLICK! "Whatta? OUCH! Where did that arrow come from?"

The Ring of Fiery Protection

This ring raises the body temperature slowly, about 1 degree per 6 hours after it has been used to fend off fire no hotter than an elemental. They soon find out though, when the character wearing the ring collapses in a fever. The way to get rid of the curse is by putting ice on the ring.

Gold anyone?
James Perkins (

Basically the trap is simple... adventurer steps on hidden switch, switch activates trapdoor over adventurer's head, and the contents of a 10x10ft. room buries puny mortal. The catch is this: the 10x10 room is filled with gold coins and gold dust. If the weight of that much gold doesn't kill them, then the smothering effect of the gold dust will. Don't forget, the character probably won't be able to move... woe to the mage. This might cure greedy players, even if it doesn't kill their character.

London Bridge is Falling Down

Here is a nasty one. First, the party enters an open chamber (100' circle.) They see a stone figure in the room holding an artifact and six levers around the room. Upon the moving of the artifact, the floor falls out from below them. After a 30' fall, they land in a toxic gas filled room. The gas slowly fills the upper part of the room. To top it all off, poisoned tipped spears fall from the top of the room. REASON: the part they were first walking on was glass. It has silence and permanence cast on it, then covered with dirt. Their weight allowed them to fall through. Plus, having a wire under the glass to trip the spears. Eventually, the characters will find out that the stone figure and the artifact are false.

Swinging Axes
Jeremy Slater (

This trap starts out with the characters walking into a long passage maybe 100+ feet by about 10 feet. The PCs see four holes in the ceiling of the (Keep) with beams of light coming down through the holes. The first thing that they think is that breaking the beams sets off the trap. My adventurers threw a rock down the hall w/ a rope attached and dragged it back on the floor to break the light and press any unnoticed pressure plates, However this does nothing. (Note the holes are about 5' wide). So when the characters cannot think of any ideas so they cross the first beam of light, just walk on through. Whoever steps in the beam hears a crashing and a huge axe blade swings through a thin section on the side wall right into the character. Dex check to take half damage. I choose 1d10 but anything is fine. So the characters think they get smart and decide to use a very shiny shield to reflect the light. The next guy walks through the light and -- BAM! -- is hit just as the first axe. Now my adventurers were upset, so 2 of 4 bolted the rest of the room, luckily nothing happened. The other 2 did not want to risk it and levitated as to not touch the floor. As they levitated past the third light beam the axe swung through and hit the floating person. Now this is when they got pissed. The monk pulls out a short sword and throws it up through one of the holes in the ceiling just for the hell of it. There is a scream and in drops a Goblin with the sword in his chest from the hole in the ceiling. It seemed that there were Goblins manning switches on the roof of the keep and were looking through the holes to see the characters. Boy did they feel stupid. But they loved it!

Room of Dancing Colors
Timo Ikonen (

This room has walls painted full of different colored and different sized balls (basic color of the walls is white). When at least two PCs enter the room, the door clangs shut and the colors begin to change... slowly at first, then faster and faster. All those who don't cover their eyes must resist or become hypnotized. Those who fail are under your control for a while. How long depends on the amount the roll was failed by. A few rounds should be enough. Note: those who covered their eyes will be surprised if those under your control attack them.

Cheese Grater

A simple pit trap in the hall drops the character twenty feet onto an angled plate, which is forty feet long, constructed along the same principles as a cheese grater. It can be constructed of simple sharpened steel (for those leather clad thieves), or possibly some sort of enchanted tougher-than-steel design (for the plate-mail clad fighter). Since the "grater" is angled, the hapless victim tends to build up some horizontal momentum as they are sliced up. I usually put spikes on the opposite wall of a vertical shaft into which the character is launched into. Lastly, at the bottom of the vertical shaft ... salt water. Acid works too, but I think the salt adds an especially mean twist.

The Addams Family-Da da da dum, klik, klik!
Brian Fallstrom (

Have the PCs enter a large room, about 50' in diameter. Hanging from the ceiling are about 100 or so chains/ropes. One of them must be pulled to open a door, the others teleport you far, far away. The catch is, the chains/ropes all look EXACTLY THE SAME, meaning that which one you pull is totally random. Make it so that they have to roll an 18 on 3d6, or something to that effect, to pull the correct chain. Wondering about the title? Watch the Addams Family movie; the scene where Gomez takes Fester down to the vault...

Did I Mention...
Brian Fallstrom (

As the characters enter a room, mention that they see a baby sitting in the middle of the room. After they have been there for a while, have the baby attack them. It has LOTS of strength and can breathe fire. After they have been fighting for a while and are getting their butts kicked, mention offhandedly that the baby they are fighting is a baby DRAGON. Note: Only try this with a VERY good-natured party. Otherwise you may get lynched!

Dead End Statue
Ember (

A small, devious trap used to trick PC. They should be in a long corridor and enter a small room containing a statue (of whatever you like) with the corridor continuing on past the statue. Both statue arms appear to be pointing towards the stone wall. Careful observation of the statue reveals a hairline seam at the base. There is, of course, a secret door in the wall (that the statue looks at) but PC will also head further down the corridor to see what's there - a dead end. At this stage, the statue turns towards the dead end, and releases a blast of lightning - 3d6 damage or save vs. breath for half. Curiosity gets the better of them!

Dehydrated Undead
Tony Summers (

This trap is always fun, whether there is a cleric in the group or not. As the characters step into the room they should not be surprised to find a chest in the middle of the room. It has been my experience that many players tend to not care where the chest is, so long as it's there. Upon opening the chest, the ceiling drops away so that enough water can cover the floor. Around later, the room is full of any undead creature you desire (I personally prefer skeletons). The undead appear in numbers of 30-300 (3d10*10) or as desired by the DM.

Hollow Bricks
Michael Anson (

This is a simple trap. This trap is composed of a section of floor, which contains hollow bricks. When the party reaches the center (a maximum load of 1000 lbs.), the trap triggers, having the floor disintegrate under the party. The best part is that the trap is completely undetectable by any means, as it looks like ordinary floor and is not magical! The same thing can be applied to the ceiling and walls, concealing a passage or unleashing a large load of stone when the party moves around too much or probes the walls or ceiling. This is useful in sealing off the party so they can't escape. Note that once one trap is sprung, all others in a 50 foot radius are also sprung.

Sean Campbell (

The PCs come down stone stairs to hallway that continues on for 15 ft and ends with a lever next to the end on right hand side of wall. My PCs know me and realized that this was a trap (but they did not know what type or how to disarm it). But one of them thought, "Perhaps it opens up a secret door..."

One brave soul (the mind mage) decided to stay down stairs and pull the lever. After checking all three walls and around the ceiling and floor he moved away from the lever. Standing next to the stairs he used his mental powers to lift the lever and sprung the trap.

Lever cuts rope, rope releases pin, pin frees spring board (like a diving board,) slapping 20 arrows and sending them out in a rush. They shot out of the small circular holes in the stairs hitting the mind mage square in the back d20 hit at random for d6 damage apiece.

Since When Do Pits Go Squish?
John Jackson (

Most players are used to having a pit trap end in spikes, molten lava, a kobold den, etc. But they get pretty confused when their fearless leader falls into a pit and onto a Gelatinous Cube. I applied the falling damage to the cube, but had the player take 1d8 for landing on a sword of a previous victim. This trap is most deadly if they fail their save vs. paralyzation, because someone has to climb down to get them out and they can fall, so someone has to get them out, and that person falls... well you get the idea. If you're feeling nice you can give your players some treasure. Maybe a Sword -2 or other cursed weapon? (insert evil laugh here)

Incan Light Trap
Daemeon the Devious (

This trap is for those dungeons/ruins based on Incan or other ancient type cultures. The players see a room with the usual type of dust/rubble/heaps of gold but are unaware (with one exception) of the danger that will befall them. The room is crisscrossed with refracted light of the infrared variety and the only way to detect it in a medieval/fantasy campaign would be infravision. The beams come from gems that are imbued with magical energy or a natural stone that absorbs light at night. The end of the beam stops inside a hole in the wall and strikes a flask. In the flask is a culture of very virulent germs that when deprived of infrared, get very contagious. There is no warning and so in a couple of days/hours the party that entered the room gets VERY ill, possibly even die. This is also how the ruins/dungeon got the rumor of being cursed. There was one very bright (no pun intended) fellow in the campaign that I used this in who used a light spell (which I assumed used all wavelengths of light) to keep the bombardment up until they left the room.

Lich With A Sense Of Humor
David M. Johnston (davejohn@st-louis-emh2.ARMY.MIL)

A lich who spent a good deal of his spare time hassling the PCs had a particular taste for using cursed and unusual magic items. Some examples:

  1. A pitfall, 20 feet deep. Center a Prismatic Sphere on the bottom. Cast a Permanency on the Sphere.
  2. One PC found an item which made him immune to metal; anything made of metal would be insubtantial to him. The lich filled a 15-foot cube with solid steel set into the floor of a hallway. Every one else walked right over it with no problem. He fell in. No air, no spellcasting, no way to get a rope to him.
  3. A wand is left on a table in a room with an earthen floor. When the party gets within 10', a Magic Mouth activates a Rock-to-Mud spell. (It is a Wand of Earth Alteration.) The party drops down into instant quicksand. If they do not remove the wand from the table in the same round, in the next, another Magic Mouth will activate the reverse-spell, Mud-to-Rock.
  4. Stepping on the wrong spot in a hallway causes a brick to fall down from the ceiling. Attached to the brick by a wire designed to tear it open is a packet of Dust of Sneezing and Choking.
  5. The group finds a Ring of Haste. The second time it is used, it will speed up time for the wearer at a 3600-1 ratio; he will experience an hour for every real second. It will also refuse to come off. The others will see him vanish. Everything around him seems as solid as steel, including friends, foes, and food. Doors are impossible to open. Unless he can cast a Remove Curse on himself, or arrange for someone else to cast one on him, he will die of thirst and starvation within 5 minutes (=300 hours).
  6. The group finds an artifact, which renders one of them Anti-Magical. No magic works within 5' of him. Please NO MAGIC! It seems great (imagine bouncing Beholders like basketballs, etc.) until the PC is in need of Curing, magical Flight, or tries to go through a magic Portal. The funniest thing is, this Curse cannot be removed by normal means, since Remove Curse won't work either. If he's a front-line fighter, spell-casters are going to hate being behind him, since ALL magic spells and effects cease to function near him.
  7. A Rope of Entanglement. The second time it is used, it ties up the user and his group.
You can see the trend here. This lich booby-traps items so that they seem useful, but boomerang on the PCs after a short while.
Barrel o' Fun

After reading a funny article on the net, I decided to make a fun trap based on it; it is probably not gonna kill anyone unless you are DM'ing a low-level group. Anyway...

0 | | * - barrel | * 0 - pulley | | - rope | @ - rusty iron rung | | ___@_________

A barrel is suspended about 80 feet in the air by a "web" strand (see spell) which runs over a pulley (affected with "grease") and is tied to a rusty iron rung in the ground. There is a lot of excess strand coiled on the ground by the rung.

A clever player will try to lower the barrel to get at whatever's in it by untying the web strand and letting the barrel down slowly, but the minute he touches the strand, his hand sticks. As soon as he tries to pull back, the rung rips out of the ground.

Here's the thing... the barrel has about 5000 gp weight of poison, boiling oil, caltrops or whatever in it. The poor PC is jerked upward and the barrel starts falling downward. At the halfway point, there is a 75% chance he hits the barrel for 8d6 damage. When the barrel hits the ground, the PC is now 80 feet in the air. However, the barrel has a 90% chance to break upon hitting the ground, spewing poison, oil, caltrops or whatever all over the place. The now-empty barrel flies back up and the PC back down - there is another 75% chance to hit the barrel again for 4d6 damage (since it's empty now) and then 8d6 falling damage and also damage from landing on whatever was in the barrel, and item saving throws for the impact :)

Note that if the PC simply cuts the web strand, the barrel will possibly land on them

Solus/Jasmine Silverleaf (

A small one-way door into a small 3m by 1m room with a treasure chest by the other side. Once the party (or whoever) is inside, they would (most probably) open the chest. A powerful lightning bolt flies out, frying the players once, hits the wall in this very small room and reflects back towards the wall with the chest. If trapped by a powerful wizard... bounce bounce bounce... toasty...

Death's Gate
Stephen Sandford (

Ok, this is a trap for catching thieves who are breaking into a powerful wizard's house/laboratory. Lying on the desk right in front of the door are three gems, they give off a strange blue/red glow. There are two slots on the wall behind the desk, these are a sort of key hole. Each stone is inscribed with a rune. The way to disarm this trap is to put the right two stones in the right two slots. If the wrong two gems are put in the holes then the thief's soul is pulled through the gems to a random plane. If the right gems are placed in the holes the wall parts, allowing passage. If the thief just tries to leave with the gems when he passes the doorway on the way out all three gems explode and he is trapped inside one of them.

Salt Pit
Aaron Walker (

The salt pit is sort of like the sand trap but the sand is replaced by salt. There is a pit with steps going into it and a chest or item at the bottom to attract attention. If the PCs go to get the item they will set off the trap when they pick it up. The false ceiling and wall tiles will burst pouring salt onto everyone inside the pit, then the roof starts to lower to the floor. The pain of the salt in the parties wounds will hamper their abilities to move making it vary hard to get out. The ceiling takes 1d4 rounds to lower if the party doesn't get out in time suffocate inside with a very painful death.

Sand Bubble From Hell
Kevin Miller (

The trap is a normal 30'X30' pit trap fill with what appears to be quicksand for the first 10' from the top of the pit. If PCs are caught in the trap they sink through the sand and fall twenty feet into a chamber at the bottom with 2d20 animated skeletons of people who have fallen in. If they kill all the skeletons they are teleported to the top of the pit to move on.

Emergency Exit
Matt Penniman (

As the characters are rushing to escape the dungeon, they go through a door and come out on a landing at the middle of a stairway. They go up, of course, hoping to reach the surface. At the top of the stairway is a pair of large wooden doors which radiate faint magic around the edges and read "Emergency Exit." The doors have simple brass handles. When the first character touches the handle, the magic holding the doors shut is dispelled.

The doors open into the bottom of a well. Unfortunately, the well is still quite full of water. The water blasts out, knocking the characters down the stairs all the way to the spikes at the bottom. Their equipment may becrushed, their spell books ruined, etc.

However, once the water has drained away, they will be able to exit the dungeon by climbing up the well shaft.

Jhonglar The Unseen One (

There is a somewhat long hallway about 5' wide. The floor is covered with pressure plates. These pressure plates release multiple darts when triggered. If a PC is running, the darts are delayed just enough not to hit them. After running down the hall a short way the PC triggers a pressure plate which makes a small array of black-painted wooden, poison-tipped spears come out of the ground at a 45 degree angle. If a PC runs into these spears he triggers a pressure plate under the floor attached to the end of the spears. Triggering this pressure plate causes a 5'x5'x3' block of rock to fall on the PC's head. This is funny since a failed roll to dodge the spears means almost certain death after the character thinks they're home free!

Not Quite a Trap, Buuuuuut...

It is simply a good way to assassinate someone in AD&D. Simply whip up a whole batch of delayed blast fireballs (in case you didn't know, this is a spell that creates a time-bomb-like item.) Wait until they have about a minute on them left, then cast gate into their home, chuck all the delayed blast fireballs in, and close the gate. This is almost undefeatable and untraceable- the fantasy equivalent of a bombing.

Copper Corridor
yoshi (

The corridor for this trap should be long -- the longer the better. The entire corridor is plated 6" thick (or so x-ray vision won't see the stone behind) with copper this, so that spells that effect stone or rock won't work. Anyone travelling the corridor will trigger a pressure plate that will drop a copper plated stone block at each end of the corridor, sealing it. Then the corridor will begin filling with acid (or some other deadly substance.)

Mary Ann Stringer (

1. A trap door is found on the floor. Upon opening it the party sees a set of stairs leading down. They have to descend single file. Near the bottom is a pressure plate. On one of the steps that opens a trap door in the ceiling above the one on the floor. A stream of some sort of corrosive liquid pours down the opening and the stairs and whoever happens to be standing on them.

2. The party finds a door to room that they know they must go through. The door is not locked and when someone turns the knob or handle, a clearly audible 'click' in heard in the walls. Nothing appears to happen. When the door is opened, only a small part of the room can be seen. A large metal cage stands open. The door of the cage is attached to a rope that runs into the ceiling. The click was the sound of the mechanism pulling the rope and opening the cage. Whatever was in the cage is up to the DM, but there is something in that room they have to have, so they have to deal with the monster.

3. The front gates of a keep or castle or dungeon block the way of the party. There are two large switches, one on each side of the gate. One opens the gate and the other closes it. The one that opens the gate also opens up a double trap door in the ground directly in front of the gates. Anyone standing there will fall down a large hole into... whatever the DM chooses. The trap doors close after being set and will not open again for at least 1 hour (some sort of timing mechanism will not allow it). Whoever pulled the switch would not have fallen down the trap door, effectively separating the party. The party at the bottom will have to find a way out of their new surroundings and to reunite with the others.

4. If the party above ground decides to continue into the castle, keep, etc. Just inside the front door is a pressure plate that will create the sound of running water at a long distance when activated. The party below ground will begin to notice that water is seeping into the room. The above ground party has set off a trap that is filling up the room the below ground party is in, making it imperative they find a way out.

By the PHANTOM (

The characters step into a room,(40x40 feet)and a trip wire is triggered and the door shuts and locks. The door is by NO MEANS OPENABLE, except by solving the puzzle. The only thing in the room is a big grandfather looking clock, a skeleton with a sword in his hands (the sword may be magical, or it could be a normal sword, or any thing the DM chooses it to be. The players can use the sword.) There are also 10 stone slab doors around the room (which, by no means, can be opened.) Every hour on the hour something bad happens. The entrance to the room opens when the clock strikes twelve, the characters know this because on the entrance door reads, "At 12:00 thou shall be free." When the PC's enter the room the clock starts on 1:05. Every 5 minutes normal time equals an hour PC time in the room.

There is a very small knob on the back end of the clock. And turning it will set the clock to whatever hour the PC chooses. (The PC can turn the clock to 12:00 and get the hell out of there.)


  1. One of the stone slab doors opens and 1D4 monsters come out of DM's choice.
  2. Spikes shoot out of the floor and any one within a 5 foot area of the clock suffers 2D6.
  3. One of the stone slab doors opens and acid pours out. Anyone within a 5 feet area suffers 1D6+3 wounds.
  4. Two stone slabs open and a boulder comes out one and rolls across to the opposite door, if a PC happens to be standing in the way save vs. crushing.
  5. One of the stone slabs open and 5 darts each doing 1D4 shot out.
  6. Fall in pit(5x5) doing 1D6+2.
  7. A koo-koo bird comes out of the clock and attacks. (Raven, or any type of bird.)
  8. Skeleton animates (Treated as normal skeleton, as in monsters manual.)
  9. Uneventful.
  10. Stone slab opens and a vacuum sucks the PC(s) closest into spikes doing 2D6+3.
  11. A stone tile from the ceiling falls on a PC of DM's choice for 1D4.
  12. Stone slab opens and inside is a sword, treasure, or staff, or whatever DM chooses. If a PC removes this item from its place, the slab shuts and the PC is in there until the puzzle is solved.
  13. Uneventful.
  14. Stone slab opens and 1D6 monsters of DM's choice come out.
  15. Uneventful.
  16. Stone slab opens if the character searches the tiny 5x5 room, oil and a torch will drop on his head.
  17. A cage falls out of the ceiling on a PC for 1D6 turns.
  18. Stone slab opens and 1D12 monsters of the DM's choice will come out.
  19. PC steps on a floor tile and it gives away, and PC steps in acid.
  20. Uneventful.

NOTES: The stone slabs, clock, and other traps may be arranged in any order in the 40x40 foot room. A teleport spell won't work in this room and the clock cannot be broken by anything.

The Heebie Jeebie Trap
Biozome (

If a character has a phobia or squeamishness with insects, spiders, etc., you can introduce the character into an extremely unpleasant situation. Walk the character into a dark corridor and start dropping whatever he has problems with on his head.

Ant Trap
Don Wise (

The trap is a regular trap door that leads to a steel shaft (that nobody can climb out of without magic). As soon as the PC hits rock bottom, it opens 2 doors above him. One pours out honey, and the other pours out ants.

Glue Trap
Don Wise (

The PC steps on a pressure plate and it triggers a geyser that shoots out a super adhesive. The PC will then try to get himself unstuck, but the adhesive is so strong, he will eventually rip his own skin off (Owww!).

Tough Kobold Trap

A kobold was scouring a dungeon one day, and came across a dead dwarf, who still had his armor and potions. This kobold was large for his race, and can barely fit into the armor. He takes all of the dwarf's equipment, which includes a potion of super-heroism and other such items.

When the PCs find him, he runs off and ducks into around a corner and quaffs all of the potions. Now he fits in the armor perfectly and does a lot of damage and has a lot of hp and an excellent AC.

Alluring Ooze
Mike Wrenn (

In a cubby hole on the side of a wall resides a powerful weapon (DM's choice but make it so the PCs will want it.) As the greedy adventurer reaches out to grab the weapon, his hand gets stuck in a gelatinous ooze. He cannot remove his hand unless he successfully makes a bend bars/lift gate check. After the check the ceiling lowers and crushes the PC.

The Purple People Eater

Guy Jett ( The party sees an all-powerful artifact that they were told to find. It is on a small pedestal or table with a faint purplish force field around it. When this force field is crossed the person, or thing, touching it is surrounded by a purplish force field bubble. The force field commences to shrink until gone, which takes 5 minutes. The force field around the object vanishes for another minute after that.

The solution is simple, just throw a object of little value at the force field. They probably won't think about it until they have lost someone valuable. Also, for the really mean DM, the room they are in has no rocks or anything else in it.

Endless Drop
Ivica Folnovic (

The PCs walk into a room with an unusually high ceiling. The room is totally barren, save one door on the other side of the room. The room is large enough that the entire party can fit into it. The floor, however, is actually a switch. When enough weight is put onto the floor, (such as the combined weight of the PCs) the gravity will reverse, causing the adventurers to 'drop' to the ceiling. However, the ceiling has a switch similar to the floor's, so when the PCs hit the ceiling, the gravity again reverses, and they fall to the floor, which causes the switch on the floor to reactivate, and the fall up again, etc. Damage can be based on the distance between the floor and ceiling, and the PCs should be allowed to attempt to flip so that they land on their feet (which is also determined by the height of the ceiling).

Cyclone of Pain
Ivica Folnovic (

The PCs enter a circular room, with a strong wind constantly blowing around the edge of the room. The only door here is the one the PCs enter. Some item or treasure is in the center of the room, (no wind in the center). When one of the PCs takes or moves the item, darts fly out of the wall. The darts then get caught by the wind, and swirl around the edge of the room. The adventurers are safe as long as they don't get into the path of the darts. But of course, the darts are blocking the only exit.

Anti-Grav Stone Room
by Nickolaus Wing (

The PCs must cross a room, any shape, with 6 stones per 1000 cubic feet (10x10x10) bouncing around at terminal velocity, with totally elastic collisions on the walls. The PCs must make a dexterity and intelligence check for every ten feet crossed, (for speed and dodging) to avoid being hit. For extra long corridors or large rooms, constitution checks for running do apply. If they are struck, they take 2d6 damage regardless of armor. The stone slows considerably, but speeds up quickly. The PC must then make a Strength check and a determination (Charisma) check or they will not be able to continue for 1d4 rounds because of the lasting sting. To add a little surprise, or if you're a nasty DM, the stones could have illusionary invisibility, and only those who disbelieve the room is empty are allowed a save. After the first PC is hit, they would all get a save though. Without attempting to dodge the stones, there should be a 60% chance per 10 ft to be hit (6 stones, ten foot cube, you get the idea). 

Infinite Corridor
Adam (

This has to be done in a LONG corridor (at least 500 yds), with a teleporter 200 yds from the entrance (end teleporter). This teleporter links to another teleporter that is 20 yds from the entrance (entrance teleporter). Now, the end teleporter only triggers going down the corridor (coming back won't trigger it) and the entrance teleporter works the exact opposite. So the PCs hit the end teleporter, get warped to just past the entrance teleporter, keep going, and so on. To escape the trap, simply turn around and go through the entrance teleporter. This warps you to just past the end teleporter. The players can then continue. Note that this also makes the corridor entirely one-way. Dispel Magic can be cast on the entrance teleporter, but will prevent the PCs from going down the corridor. The end teleporter is completely permanent. PCs discover the trap by turning around and walking backwards. They will see the door move farther away and then suddenly get close. They should be able to figure it out from there.

Ghost Dice
Erica Strife (

The party walks into a room and finds two goblins playing with dice. These dice are actually hp dice that raise the goblin's HPs. The longer the party sits and watches the goblins the higher their HPs become. So you can have each goblin have 20,30 + HPs. I find this great at higher levels when the party has really big egos. They come in and think that the monster is a real pushover, surprise. If the party defeats the goblins and tries to retrieve the dice, which is most likely, use your imagination on what you can do to make these dice a living nightmare for them.

Playing with the Golems
Il Secco (

In a 30' wide by 30' long room, entering south, a rope protrudes 20' from a hole at ground level in the northern wall, laying in the center of the room. When the rope is touched, the In door will close. The wall is instead an illusionary wall running from side to side in the middle of a 30' by 60' room. By touching the rope, the wall loses its consistency, though remaining non-transparent. On the other side of it, some wooden golems (in a number such that the total force ability (or half the HPs) is comparable with the party's) are waiting for someone to pull the rope, and to engage a tug-of-war game. Around the golems, rests of earlier losing players are laying on the ground. The characters actually don't see what's on the other side of the wall. If the party engages the game, the DM should roll 1d10 every round (-2 if the characters are particularly concerned in winning the game, or +2 if they're careful): 1-5 means the rope is pulled 10' by the characters, 6-10 means the opposite. In any case, any of the contenders will eventually be pulled through the illusionary wall when defeated in the game. Whenever this happens, or if the characters spontaneously walk through the wall, the golems will attack.

Variant: If the party wins the game, the golems could be automatically smashed to the ground.

The Futuristic Mage
Il Secco (

In a 90' wide by 150' long dark room, entering south, a collection of 15 magically charmed monsters are standing still 10' from the northern wall, in a 3x5 matrix. Two exits open on the side walls at their backs. The first row of monsters is composed of Goblins, the second of Orcs, the third of Stirges with a Thoul in the middle. Every monster has an bow and a sword. If your party is very tough, you may change this composition, add normal/magical shields, different missile weapons, explosive arrows, etc. Three pillars 20' from the southern wall offer partial covering to the characters.

Upon entering the room, the In door will close and a Continuous Light will be cast on the room. Another Space Invaders clone! The characters can fire at the monsters, which will fire back to them. The monsters will walk from left to right until the side walls are touched, then inverting direction while coming a step toward south. The monster's speed will increase as the rounds pass, beginning from 10' per round and adding 5' per round every step downward; adjustments to hit rolls for the speed may be devised).

At times (20% chance every round) a monster from the first row will begin to run towards the party, blade in hand, and to attack one of the characters. At times (10% chance every round) an orc will come out of one of the northern exits (wich are connected by a corridor on the north), running towards the other exit (remember the 1000 points mother starship? The orc may be carrying a valuable item). Exit is from the north.

How A Trap Should Really Be Put Into An Adventure
by Lloyd Majeau

Traps are supposed to be deadly and incredibly mean. Traps weren't designed to be playthings, they were designed to kill. Just because a trap is supposed to be deadly, does not mean that it will have unlimited resources dumped into it. Cheap traps can be as effective as expensive traps. Here are some tips to consider when making new traps. Following the tips are some cheap, deadly traps.

The first thing to consider when designing a trap is, "Why does it exist?" Why would someone want to design this trap? The 'Gold Null Magic' room for example. This is the one with the glowing 5 lb. thing, the thick stone slab, the magical runes and the thin gold walls that the characters can beat through. Now ask yourself one question, Why was this room created? It is entirely made of gold so it must have cost a pretty penny, it is a one time event (considering the characters beat their way through the wall), and you can escape so simply! If any intelligent person spent so much money on a gold room, I think they would have made sure it did the job in killing the fools who walked into it.

Another thing you need to think of is, "How was the trap made?" Now there are multiple traps in there that would have taken years of work and toil to make. Like digging a 1/2 mile through earth (Chutes and Wedgies), or keeping any number of creatures alive while they are involved in the trap (any number of the traps had something with a monster chained to the wall. Doesn't it need to eat?). Even that one trap with the rings of spell turning on the walls (don't those rings have charges?). Most of these things would have had to have been built by gods in order to work, and if they were made by gods, then why are they so easy to escape? When designing a trap, one must think like the person that would be building the trap. First, the person would probably try to make the trap fatal or inescapable. Why would someone want to build a trap that can even POSSIBLY be escaped from the inside? It is pointless (now at this point, you're probably saying so that it will save the PC's lives. But now think to yourself on the intelligence of PCs: they usually head right into danger without a thought. Well, if they do that, then kill or imprison them). So, I worked up the following list of things that the trap builder would have to consider...

  • Is it easily escapable? If it is, what's the point?
  • Is it fatal? If it isn't, what's the point?
  • Is it publicly accessible? If it is open to the public, any local Joe can trigger it, maybe even a loved one of the uilder. Traps only belong in an area where it is culturally taboo, publicly known (and therefore a trap to outsiders), or strictly private (in one's private study would be nice because he would know about it, but no one else and no one else is allowed in there).
  • Are the materials required cheap or expensive? Available or not? Again, the gold room. How much did that thing cost? And availability, how much water is there in a desert? Very little, and what is, is greatly valued, so having some water weird trap in the only water hole for miles is stupid.
  • Is it easily visible? An open pit. Hmm, I'll walk onto it (although visibility is perfect for reverse psychology, and even reverse-reverse psychology).
  • Is it believable? Try to follow the laws of physics, or at least the most basic principles since magic warps the laws of physics. Shooting an arrow into a teleporter that teleports the arrow behind the archer won't work because the arrow will still fall while it is in motion.
  • If an animal is involved, is it maintained? The many 'chained to the wall' monsters for example. Who feeds the beast? Why is it still alive if no one is in the dungeon to feed it?
The point? Think something through before using it. Now, my examples of traps to make adventures fun or educational.

Don't Touch. (Lloyd Majeau)
This trap is best placed before a treasure room or behind some altar or something. The thing is simple. An alcove about 1 foot deep is in the wall. Set in the alcove is a sword held up on supports (which are actually pressure plates). When the sword is raised off the pressure plates, blades swing down and chop off the hand (using a simple system of counterweights, the blades could travel really fast). This is a trap that is so obvious, that when it goes off you ask the player if he drools when he ties his shoes. It is best if the sword is worthless. Careful examination would show the slits in the walls where the blades would come from.

Let Them Rot. (Kevin Majeau)
This trap is best used in Egyptian pyramids or other places made with big stone blocks. Basically, there is a long corridor that has a visible corner or turn. This will grab player's attention as they wonder what lies past that corner. So, they journey down the hall and probably step on one of the many pressure plates dotted along the hall. When they hit one of the pressure plates, a huge stone slab falls down closing off their entrance (and air supply). When the players check the corner, they find a dead end. I'm sure that this will probably kill off the entire party, so it is best used as GM muscle when the characters start acting irrational (raiding taboo temples for fun).

Don't Look. (Kevin Majeau)
This trap is best used in some astrologer's study or something. In one room a telescope is sitting pointing to the wall (perhaps as an even greater clue, you could have no windows in the room). Anyway, when a force is pressed against the eye of the telescope, a spike shoots out into the eye. Mean as hell, but hey, it's an effective trap.

Traps set by stupid people. (Kevin Majeau)
This is actually something that could be thrown into an adventure involving a really stupid race for fun. The inhabitants of the dungeon love to set traps, but they're not too bright. So, the result is a bunch of nonfunctional traps (a starved to death scorpion in a locked treasure room, a rope and log trap with the ropes too long or too weak, a trap that jams, a pit trap that has a bunch of dead, previously poisonous snakes, etc. etc. Good for a laugh I'm sure.)

Reverse Psychology. (Lloyd Majeau)
I mentioned this trap before. Along a narrow hallway, a visible pit can be seen. It is actually an illusion of a pit that is not really there. Since the characters probably don't know that, they'll jump over it onto the illusionary floor hiding the real pit (right after the fake one). To make it effective, put big spikes at the bottom of the real pit.

------------------------- | Z | N | | | | | W---E | | | | Y | S ------------------------- --- |X| | | | | | |

Okay, positions X, Y and Z are all one way mystical portals. Consider all portals to be against the wall except for Y which is a little in front of the wall. X can only be entered from the direction South to North and deposits the characters through Y (or a portal just behind Y). Y can only be entered from the direction of North to South and deposits the characters through Z. Z can only be entered from the directions of South to North and deposits the characters through Y. Now, to figure out this trap you would have to work out some mystical physics. Light would travel constantly from Y to Z and Z to Y, this would result in a duplicate image of the same room and character (basically, anyone looking through one of the portals would have to make an intelligence check to understand that they are looking at their back). Sound would be muffled going from the room back to X because most of the sound waves would travel through Y back to Z, only a fraction of the sound waves could get back because they would have to fit through the distance from Y to the wall. Another result of that would be that when someone speaks, they here it mimicked from the other rooms, a strange echo. The only escape from this place would be to leave the room before fully entering. I figure that this would work because there would have to be a distortion effect when one is going through the portal. If this effect didn't happen, then the person would die from a heart attack or seizure when they went through the portal (the blood couldn't flow back to half of the body while the body was in the portal, same deal with nerve impulses and such). So, the only way to escape is to use the distortion effect by tying a rope around someone, having him enter the room and grab the other guy, and then go back through the original portal.

Something to add into the room would probably be some sort of viewing mirror that the villain could use to monitor the room. The guy could also teleport down there to clean up whenever someone dies in there. It would also work nicely if the room was very far away, if the room were connected to the hallway, then that would do without one pair of portals, but would result in a pitch black doorway (light, air and sound would not be able to escape the room). In this case, an illusion in front of the blackness would mask the trap nicely. When someone enters a certain area a contingency spell is cast releasing a dispel magic on a permanenced Pass Wall spell (I think pass wall is the spell which clears away 10 cubic feet of stone until the spell expires). So, when a character enters this area, they are suddenly encased in stone 10 cubic feet of stone. instant death would result because stone would form inside the human body and mix with the skin. 

To conclude the Trap Collection II, I would just like to say that while I agree with many of Lloyd Majeau's ideas, I am fairly open minded. In my opinion, traps should be realistic, but not everyone shares that opinion. In order to cater to as wide an audience as possible, I have included most traps that I receive. If a trap is legible (so that I don't have to spend hours going over it to understand what the author is trying to say) and if the trap is not a repeat (I receive so many Reverse Gravity and Infinite Pit teleport traps that I just don't really read them anymore unless they look unique in some way) then I will most likely add it to the Trap Collection.

I have a good reason that I will add most traps. I consider this page to be a source of ideas. Okay, so maybe you don't see one that fits your adventure - but you may find one that sparks an idea in your own mind that does fit in just nicely. I hope that the Trap Collections will be a great help to you in your planning of adventures. 

If you'd like to submit a trap for future collections, visit The Trap Page.

Open Gaming Lisence


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