New Traps

Update: A PDF of these traps- expanded and revised – is available exclusively on the DMs Guild site, here.

Here are a handful of assorted traps to challenge your players with.

Arrow Launcher

Mechanical Trap

When a creature steps on this trap’s hidden pressure plate, a barrage of arrows shoot from hidden launchers in the surrounding walls. A large area might include multiple pressure plates, each connected to its own set of arrows.
A successful DC 14 Intelligence (Investigation) check can deduce the presence of the pressure plate. The small holes in the walls are often concealed by vines or cobwebs, or obfuscated by carvings or gaps in the masonry. It is a DC 14 check to notice the holes. Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating. Plugging or sealing the arrow holes prevents the arrows from firing.
The trap activates when more than 30 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, releasing six arrows. Each arrow makes a ranged attack with a +5 bonus against a random target within 30 feet of the pressure plate. Being obscured or hidden offers no benefit against this attack.. If there are no targets within range, the arrows don’t hit anything. A target hit by an arrow takes 4 (1d8) piercing damage. The arrow launches typically hold enough arrows for four or five barrages, after which they run out of ammunition and the trap must be reloaded.

Blinding Burst

Magical Trap

When a creature steps on the hidden pressure plate the nearby walls suddenly flare with bright magical light.
The DC to spot the pressure plate is 15, noticing the lack of wear on the stone or absence of tracks. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from being triggered. A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of evocation magic on the walls by the pressure plate.
The trap activates when more than 10 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, causing the walls to emit a dazzling light for a moment. Each creature within 60 feet of the walls and who can see the walls must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute. A creature blinded by this trap makes another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, it is no longer blinded.
Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from triggering. A successful dispel magic (DC 13) cast in the area also destroys the trap.

Crushing Walls

Mechanical Trap

The walls of this chamber close in when he pressure plate is activated, crushing everything in between them into a messy paste.
With a successful DC 11 check a character can spot the pressure plate. A DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check can notice the scrape marks along the stationary walls and thin line of debris in the middle of the room. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from being triggered.
When activated, the walls roll for initiative with a +4 bonus, and both act on the same initiative. Creatures within 5 feet a wall when it moves are pushed up to 5 feet along with the wall. When the walls are within 5 feet of each, creatures between the walls are slowly crushed, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage at the start of every turn. All creatures caugh between the walls are also considered squeezing. After 1 minute the trap resets and the walls begin moving away from each other.
As an action, a creature within 5 feet of the wall can attempt to push on the wall to stop it moving with a DC 15 Strength check. On a success, the wall does not move until its next turn. If a creature succeeds on this check by 5 or more they manage to shove the wall back 5 feet. Some versions of this trap have a switch or other mechanics that resets the trap. Finding the switch requires a DC 14 check.

Chamber. The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, triggering the walls. Each round the walls each move 5 feet closer together. When the trap activates, the doors to the chamber automatically lock. A character can pick the lock with a successful DC 14 Dexterity check that requires thieves’ tools and proficiency in their use. The door can also be forced  open with a with a successful DC 14 Strength check.
Some variants of this trap are activated when the door to the chamber is opened.

Hallway. The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, triggering the walls. Every other round, on their turn the walls each move 5 feet closer together. Additionally, when this trap is triggered, metal portcullises fall from the ceiling, blocking off the corridor. Creatures underneath a portcullis must succeed a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or be struck by the falling grate, taking 9 (2d8) piercing damage. Creatures escaping from a falling portcullis end up on random side.
Some versions of this trap employ a tripwire instead of a pressure plate.

Spikes. This variant can be set in either a chamber or hallway, and adds rows of retractable spikes along the shifting walls. These spikes slide out of concealed holes when the trap is triggered, and these holes can be noticed with a DC 12 check. When pushed by a wall, creatures in the trap must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) piercing damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful save.

Explosive Gas

Mechanical Trap

A dangerously but invisible gas fills this sloping tunnel. The gas is heavier-than-air, and the tunnel is designed to concentrate the gas, which violently explodes if exposed to an open flame.
The tunnel slopes downward then levels out for 30 feet before rising again. The subtle presence of the gas can be detected with a DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice the shifting of the air or faint odour of the gas.
If a torch, lantern, or other source of fire is brought into the tunnel the gas ignites filling the tunnel with flames that fills the entire 30-foot-long tunnel and also extends out an additional 10 feet. All creatures in the area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) fire damage on a failure, or half as much on a successful save.

Triggered. A variant of this trap doesn’t reply on explorers bringing their own flame, and has a tripwire that creates a spark when triggered . The tripwire is 3 inches off the ground and stretches between the walls. The DC to spot the thin tripwire is 14. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools disables the tripwire harmlessly. A character without thieves’ tools can attempt this check with disadvantage using an edged weapon or tool. On a failed check, the trap triggers.

Falling Cage

Mechanical Trap

Triggering the hidden pressure plate releases a concealed cage. The cage might be a heavy freestanding cage that falls from the ceiling, or the cage might be four separate walls that swing down and lock in place.
With a successful DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check a character can spot the pressure plate. A DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check notices the concealed cage overhead, and a similar check will also reveal the existence of the pressure plate. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from being triggered.
When 20 or more pounds of pressure is placed on this pressure plate the trap is activated, and creatures in the 10-foot-square underneath the cage must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or become trapped by the falling cage.  Cage typically have AC 18 and 40 hit points. Some cages have doors that can be opened with a DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools. Freestanding cages can be lifted or knocked over with a DC 20 Strength check. The bars can be bent with a DC 18 Strength check, allowing a Small creature to squeeze through, or a Medium creature to wriggle through with a DC 13 Dexterity check.
Variants of this trap that are favoured in vaults replace the pressure plate on the floor with one on a pedestal, and the cage might be triggered when an object is lifted off the pressure plate.

False Door

Mechanical Trap

When the latch for this heavy iron door is turned, the spring-loaded door swings down, slamming into the floor with crushing force.
Damage to the floor beneath the door can be detected with a DC 11 Wisdom (Perception) check but the cause is not readily apparent. Spotting signs of damage to the door, the false nature of the door’s hinges, or lack of airflow through the false doorway is a DC 14 check. An Intelligence (Investigation) check at the same DC will deduce the existence of the mechanism behind the door.
When attempts are made to open the door the trap is triggered and the metal door pivots down. Each creature within 10 feet of the door must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 19 (3d12) bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone, or half as much damage on a success.

Flooding Chamber

Mechanical Trap

This trap is activated by a pressure plate, which opens a valve that floods the chamber.
A successful DC 16 check allows a character to notice the pressure plate through the undisturbed dust overtop. The shifting stonework that moves to open the floodgates in the ceiling and the drains in the floor  can be located with a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate or into the floodgates prevents the trap from being triggered.
The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, opening the floodgates and releasing the contents of the connected tanks into the chamber. The chamber fills in 3 rounds and remains flooded for 5 minutes before beginning to empty through drains in the floor, which takes another 3 rounds. The drains can be manually opened with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Sand. The chamber rapidly fills with loose sand. One rounds after the chamber begins to fill, each creature in the trapped area must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or become restrained while in the sand. As an action, the creature can repeat the saving throw, ending the restrained effect on a success. If this saving throw fails by 5 or more the creature takes 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage. After two rounds all creatures in the trap are blinded while in the sand.

Water. Stagnant water pours into chamber. During the three rounds that the chamber fills, creatures in the trapped area can make a  DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check to tread water, allowing a few last breaths. Creatures that ingest the fetid water might be required to make a saving throw against disease.

Gas. Acrid green gas flows into the room, quickly sinking to the ground. Each time a living creature starts its turn in the gas, it must make DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) poison damage on a failure, or half as much on a success.

Freezing Jets

Magical Trap

Elemental energy is unleashed when this pressure plate is stepped upon, entombing unfortunate creatures in a block of solid ice.
It is a DC 13 check to spot the pressure plate, identified by the magical runes etched across its surface. A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of evocation magic throughout the chamber. Wedging an iron spike or similar object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from triggering. A successful dispel magic (DC 14) cast on the floor destroys the trap.
The trap activates when more than 30 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, causing a torrent of prenatural cold to fill the area. Each creature within 15 feet of the pressure plate must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 21 (6d6) cold damage, or half as much damage on a successful save. All creatures within 5 feet of the pressure plate must also succeed a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be encased in a block of solid ice. While inside the ice, the creature is restrained. The ice can be shattered with a DC 17 Strength check, or the ice can broken off the creature: the ice has 20 hit points, an AC of 13 and is immune to cold damage but vulnerable to fire.

Gravity Reversal

Magical Trap

This trap is activated with a hidden pressure plate. When 20 or more pounds are placed on the pressure plate, the magic of the trap is triggered.
A DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check is required to spot the enchanted pressure plate. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from being triggered. A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of transmutation magic in the area. A successful dispel magic (DC 16) cast in the area destroys the trap.
The trap targets a 40-foot radius, 50-foot high cylinder centered either in the middle of the chamber or on the pressure plate. This trap is typically built ino a room designed to accommodate the effec, with a high ceiling and smooth walls. Each creature in the area falls upward, taking falling damage normally. Creatures at the edge of the effect can make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, moving out of the area on as success. The effect lasts for 1 minute before ending.

Spikes. The ceilings in areas of a gravity reversal trap are sometimes covered in sharp spikes or jagged ridges. Creatures take an additional 9 (2d8) piercing damage from the spikes in addition to any falling damage.

Hidden Blades

Mechanical Trap

Walking atop this trap’s pressure plate causes deadly spinning or swinging blades to spring from the walls.
A DC 14 Wisdom (Perception check) will notice the large gaps in the wall for the blades or the  the pressure plate in the floor. Examining the floor and succeeding on a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check will also reveal the pressure plate through the absence of footprints or wear. Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating.
When 20 pounds or more is placed on the pressure plate, the blades are released from the wall, swinging through the trapped area. Each blade targets two random creatures that are within 20 feet of the pressure plate but no more than 10 feet apart. The blades make an attack roll with a +6 bonus, dealing  16 (3d10) slashing damage on a hit. Being obscured or hidden offers no benefit against this attack. Once the trap has been triggered, it takes one round to reset.

Pits

Mechanical Trap

Four additional pit traps are presented here.

Acid. This pit trap is a simple, hidden, or locking pit trap partially filled with acid. A creature falling into the pit takes half damage from the fall. At the start of each of its turns, the creature takes  9 (2d8) acid damage while it remains in the acid. The flesh of creatures reduced to 0 hit points by the acid dissolves into a thick sludge leaving rubbery bones behind.

Water Filled. This trap is a locking pit trap filled with water. Creatures that fall into the pit do not take falling damage. However, when a living creature falls into the pit, they must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw to catch their breath before they hit the water. On a failure, the creature was unable to inhale before being submerged and begins suffocating as if it had run out of breath.

Vermin. This pit trap can be a simple, hidden, or locking pit trap. The pit is filled with an assortment of different vermin including spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and assorted insects. Creatures that fall into the pit treat the fall as if it were 10 feet shallower. The vermin roll for initiative with a +2 bonus. On its turn, the swarm deals 9 (2d8) piercing damage to all creatures sharing its space. The swarm uses the statistics of a swarm of insects but does not move from the pit or pursue prey.
Some pits are filled with poisonous vermin. Creatures injured by the swarm must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 5 (1d10) poison damage.

Tar. This pit trap is a simple, hidden, or locking pit trap half filled with viscous tar. A creature that falls into the pit takes half damage for the distance they fell but must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be restrained. At the start of each of its turns, a creature in the tar must make a DC 8 Strength (Athletics) check to avoid sinking. On a failure, the creature sinks 5 feet down into the tar. While fully submerged in the tar, the creature is blinded. While on the surface of the tar, as an action the restrained creature can repeat the saving throw, pull himself free on a success. Another creature can pull a trapped creature free with a DC 12 Strength check. Once a creature has sunk into the tar, they must be pulled free. After being removed from the tar, the creature has vulnerability to fire damage until they complete a short or long rest or otherwise clean themselves of the tar.

Retracting Spikes

Mechanical Trap

A hidden pressure plate activates a series of spring-loaded spikes hidden inside the floor or walls.
The subtle signs of the pressure plate can been spotted with a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check. The the spike holes are hidden in the gaps between bricks and often obscured with dust or loose sediment, but can be found with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Wedging an object like an iron spike under the pressure plate prevents the trap from being triggered. Plugging the holes is ineffective at stopping the spikes from releasing, but a heavy object or shield placed over the holes can block the spikes.
When 30 or more pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, the hidden spikes violently extend from the walls and then retract back into their hidden crevices. Each creature within 5 feet of the trapped surface must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 21 (6d6) piercing damage, or half as much damage on a success. Once the trap has been triggered, it takes a full round to reset.

Spears. A variation of the trap replaced the short spikes with longer spears hidden in the walls that are able to strike more distant targets. When the trap is triggered each creature within 10 feet of the trapped surface must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 17 (5d6) piercing damage, or half as much damage on a success. Once the trap has been triggered, it takes a full round to reset.

Shocking Floor

Magical Trap

When this trap is triggered the floor of the chamber arcs with lightning. It is typically triggered by a pressure plate, sometimes hidden and sometimes part of a pattern in the floor.
The DC is 12 to spot the pressure plate. It is also possible to detect the odour left by the lightning with a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check. A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of evocation magic throughout the chamber. Wedging an iron spike or similar object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from triggering. A successful dispel magic (DC 12) cast on the floor destroys the trap.
The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, causing bolts of lighting to cracking across the floor. The trap typically targets the entire chamber or a sizeable section of a large chamber, typically a 20-foot radius centered on the pressure plate. However, some variants only target specific sections of the floor, leaving safe areas where creatures can stand unharmed. Each creature in affected spaces must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Springboard

Mechanical Trap

A powerful spring is hidden underneath this pressure plate, and strong enough to launch a creature into the air or slam them into a wall.
A DC 13 Wisdom (Perception check) will notice the pressure plate. Examining the floor and succeeding on a DC 12 Intelligence (Investigation) check will reveal the pressure plate through the absence of footprints or wear along with signs of mobile stonework. Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating.
When 20 pounds or more is placed on the pressure plate, a 10-foot by 10-foot section of the floor bounds upward, powered by heavy springs. All creatures of Large size or smaller in the trapped space must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be thrown into the air.  Creatures that fail their saving throw are sent flying 15 feet away from the springboard, taking 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage from the fall and landing prone. If the springboard is aimed at a wall or the ceiling, creatures that fail the saving throw are slammed into that surface, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage.

Swinging Log

Mechanical Trap

This trap uses a tripwire to remove the supports holding a large log in place causing it to swing in a crushing arc.
The tripwire is 3 inches off the ground and stretches between two trees or walls. The log is hidden by light foliage or a false wall. The DC to spot the tripwire is 12, while locating the massive log is only DC 10, although its nature as a trap might not be immediately apparent. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools harmlessly breaks the tripwire. A character without thieves’ tools can attempt this check with disadvantage using an edged weapon or tool. On a failed check, the trap triggers releasing the log.
When the trap is triggered, the supported holding back the log are pulled loose, releasing the log. The log swings in a 5-foot-wide line towards the tripwire reaching 10 feet beyond the tripwire. The log makes an attack roll with a +10 bonus against each creature in the area. Being obscured or hidden offers no benefit against this attack. On a hit, a target takes 26 (4d12) bludgeoning damage.
Spiked. In open spaces, the swinging log can be turned horizontally to strike a wider area. Because the log strikes with less force it is often covered in spikes and short spears. The log swings in a 15-foot wide line towards the tripwire and 10 feet beyond, and makes an attack roll with a +8 bonus against each creature in the area. Being obscured or hidden offers no benefit against this attack. On a hit, a target takes 18 (4d8) piercing damage.

 

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