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Types of Traps[edit]

A trap can be either mechanical or magic in nature. Mechanical traps include pits, arrow traps, falling blocks, water-filled rooms, whirling blades, and anything else that depends on a mechanism to operate. Magic traps are further divided into spell traps and magic device traps. Magic device traps initiate spell effects when activated, just as wands, rods, rings, and other magic items do. Spell traps are simply spells that themselves function as traps. Creating a spell trap requires the services of a character who can cast the needed spell or spells, who is usually either the character creating the trap or an NPC spellcaster hired for the purpose.

Finding Traps (before you trigger them)[edit]

A character with the Trapfinding class feature who succeeds on a DC 21 (or higher) Search check detects a concealed trap before it is triggered.

Character's without the Trapfinding class feature may use the Divine spell Find Traps, either innately or cast from a scroll (sold in the Marketplace). Character's who do have the Trapfinding feature will still benefit from the Insight bonus granted by the Find Traps spell.

Mechanical Traps[edit]

Dungeons are frequently equipped with deadly mechanical (nonmagical) traps. A trap typically is defined by its location and triggering conditions, how hard it is to spot before it goes off, how much damage it deals, and whether or not the heroes receive a saving throw to mitigate its effects. Traps that attack with arrows, sweeping blades, and other types of weaponry make normal attack rolls, with a specific attack bonus dictated by the trap’s design. Complex traps are denoted by their triggering mechanisms and involve pressure plates, mechanisms linked to doors, changes in weight, disturbances in the air, vibrations, and other sorts of unusual triggers.

Rogues and Artificers above third level can also employ Trapmaking to craft traps and grenades.

Magic Traps[edit]

Many spells can be used to create dangerous traps. Unless the spell or item description states otherwise, assume the following to be true.

  • A successful Search check (DC 25 + spell level) made by a Rogue or Artificer detects a magic trap before it goes off. Other characters have no chance to find a magic trap with a Search check.
  • Magic traps permit a saving throw in order to avoid the effect (DC 10 + spell level x 1.5).
  • Magic traps may be disarmed by a Rogue or Artificer with a successful Disable Device check (DC 25 + spell level).

Spell Ward[edit]

Spell wards can be disarmed from large distances

Spell Ward is another kind of magic traps added with Update 14. They can be found in Forgotten Realms quests and wilderness areas. Just like normal traps, spell wards can be detected via Spot, located via Search, and disabled via Disable Device. Unlike normal traps:

  • No control boxes. Searching reveals the trap. Select the trap directly to disable it.
  • Some spells can disable or reduce the power of spell wards.
  • If you can survive and heal through the spell ward damage, you can simply run into the trap to find it; the search skill is not necessary.
  • Can be disabled from much larger distance than conventional traps.
  • Many (all?) spell wards slow you down dramatically. This slow effect is not prevented by Freedom of Movement spell and cannot be dispelled by Haste or any other means.
    • Spell Absorption effects will prevent the slow part of a spell ward (as a level 1 spell), but not the damage.


Poison boobytrap waiting to be stepped on

Booby traps are favored by NPC rogues, for example in Wheloon area. Enemy rogues like to set them up at their feet, so that when you approach them, the trap explodes into your face. If you don't trigger them, booby traps can be disabled and may (small %) add to your number of disabled traps.

Bear trap[edit]

Bear traps are non-magic traps found in Forgotten Realms. Characters caught into a bear trap are hurt and held in spot (Reflex and/or Strength check negates). Just like Spell Ward traps, Bear traps have no control boxes and you must select the traps directly to disable them. Rolling a 'Critical Failure' when trying to disarm them; sets off the trap's jaws. If you stand far enough back when disarming; it's unlikely to trap you, even on a failed disable attempt. Unlike with "Critically Failed"; blown control boxes; 'Critical Failure' rolls for Bear traps doesn't prevent further disarm attempts (the trap functions until disabled).

Traps by Player Characters[edit]

Some classes have a class special ability that allows the placement of traps to use against NPC's. See Trapmaking for more info.

See also[edit]