Dungeons are rife with devious traps meant to protect the treasures within. These range from mechanical devices that shoot darts or drop heavy blocks to magic Runes that explode into bursts of flame. In addition to traps, adventurers may stumble into other types of hazards, including naturally occurring environmental hazards, mysterious hauntings, and more.
Detecting a Hazard
Every hazard has a trigger of some kind that sets its dangers in motion. For traps, this could be a mechanism like a trip wire or a pressure plate, while for an environmental hazard or haunt, the trigger may simply be proximity. When characters approach a hazard, they have a chance of finding the trigger area or mechanism before triggering the hazard. They automatically receive a check to detect hazards unless the hazards require a minimum proficiency rank to do so.
During exploration, determine whether the party detects a hazard when the PCs first enter the general area in which it appears. If the hazard doesn’t list a minimum proficiency rank, roll a secret Perception check against the hazard’s Stealth DC for each PC. For hazards with a minimum proficiency rank, roll only if someone is actively searching (using the Search activity while exploring or the Seek action in an encounter), and only if they have the listed proficiency rank or higher. Anyone who succeeds becomes aware of the hazard, and you can describe what they notice.
Magical hazards that don’t have a minimum proficiency rank can be found using detect magic, but this spell doesn’t provide enough information to understand or disable the hazard—it only reveals the hazard’s presence.
Determining a magical hazard’s properties thoroughly enough to disable it requires either the use of more powerful magic or a successful skill check, likely using Identify Magic or Recall Knowledge. Magical hazards with a minimum proficiency rank cannot be found with detect magic at all.
Triggering a Hazard
If the group fails to detect a hazard and the hazard’s trigger is a standard part of traveling (such as stepping on a floor plate or moving through a magical sensor while walking), the hazard’s reaction occurs. Hazards that would be triggered only when someone directly manipulates the environment—by opening a door, for example—use their reactions only if a PC explicitly takes that action.
Reaction or Free Action
Most hazards have reactions that occur when they’re triggered. For simple hazards, the reaction is the entirety of the hazard’s effect. For complex hazards, the reaction may also cause the hazard to roll initiative, either starting a combat encounter or joining one already in progress, and the hazard continues to pose a threat over multiple rounds. Some hazards have a triggered free action instead of a reaction; for instance, quicksand can suck down multiple creatures per round.
A complex hazard usually follows a set of preprogrammed actions called a routine. Once triggered, the hazard first performs its initial reaction; then, if the PCs are not yet in encounter mode, they should roll initiative. (If they’re already in encounter mode, their initiative remains the same.) The hazard might tell you to roll initiative for it—in this case, the hazard rolls initiative using its Stealth modifier.
After this happens, the hazard follows its routine each round on its initiative. The number of actions a hazard can take each round, as well as what they can be used for, depend on the hazard.
Resetting a Hazard
Some hazards can be reset, allowing them to be triggered again. This can occur automatically, as for quicksand, whose surface settles after 24 hours, or manually, like a hidden pit, whose trapdoor must be closed for the pit to become hidden again.
Disabling a Hazard
The most versatile method for deactivating traps is the Disable a Device action of the Thievery skill, though most mechanical traps can also simply be smashed, and magical traps can usually be counteracted. Environmental hazards often can be overcome with Nature or Survival, and haunts can often be overcome with Occultism or Religion. The specific skill and DC required to disable a hazard are listed in the hazard’s stat block. As with detecting a hazard, disabling a hazard might require a character to have a certain proficiency rank in the listed skill.
A character must first detect a hazard (or have it pointed out to them) to try to deactivate it. They can attempt to deactivate a hazard whether or not it has already been triggered, though some hazards no longer pose a danger once their reactions have occurred, especially if there is no way for them to be reset.
For most hazards, a successful check for the listed skill against the DC in the stat block disables the hazard without triggering it. Any other means of deactivating the hazard are included in the hazard’s stat block, as are any additional steps required to properly deactivate it.
A critical failure on any roll to disable a hazard triggers it, including a critical failure on a roll to counteract a magic hazard.
Some hazards require multiple successful checks to deactivate, typically because they have a particularly complicated component or have several discrete portions.
For hazards with a complex component, a critical success on a check to disable the hazard counts as two successes on a single component.
Damaging a Hazard
Rather than trying to carefully disable a hazard, a character might just smash it. Damaging a mechanical trap or another physical hazard works like damaging objects: the hazard reduces the damage it takes by its Hardness. In most cases, hitting the hazard also triggers it, as explained in Attacking a Hazard below. If a hazard’s Hit Points are reduced to its Broken Threshold (BT) or lower, the hazard becomes broken and can’t be activated, though it can still be repaired. If it’s reduced to 0 HP, it’s destroyed and can’t be repaired. (See page 272 in Chapter 6 for more information on damaging objects.)
Hazards’ AC, applicable saving throw modifiers, Hardness, HP, and BT are listed in their stat blocks. A hazard that doesn’t list one of these statistics can’t be affected by anything targeting that statistic. For example, a hazard that has HP but no BT can’t be broken, but can still be destroyed. Hazards are immune to anything an object is immune to unless specifically noted otherwise, and they can’t be targeted by anything that can’t target objects. Some hazards may have additional immunities, as well as resistances or weaknesses.
Attacking a Hazard
If someone hits a hazard—especially if it’s a mechanical trap—they usually trigger it, though you might determine otherwise in some cases. An attack that breaks the hazard might prevent it from triggering, depending on the circumstances. If the hazard has multiple parts, breaking one part might still trigger the trap. For example, if a trap has a trip wire in one location and launches an attack from another location, severing the trip wire could still trigger the attack. Destroying a trap in one blow almost never triggers it. These rules also apply to most damaging spells or other effects in addition to attacks.
Repairing a Hazard
You might allow a character to repair a damaged hazard to restore its functionality. You determine the specifics of this, since it can vary by trap. The Repair action might be insufficient if fixing the trap requires gathering scattered components or the like. If the item has a Reset entry, the character needs to do whatever is listed there, in addition to repairing the damage.
Counteracting a Magical Hazard
Some magical hazards can be counteracted using dispel magic and the counteracting rules.
These hazards’ spell levels and counteract DCs are listed in their stat block. Counteracting a hazard otherwise works like using a skill check to disable the hazard.
Characters gain Experience Points for overcoming a hazard, whether they disable it, avoid it, or simply endure its attacks. If they trigger the same hazard later on, they don’t gain XP for the hazard again. The XP for a complex hazard is equal to the XP for a monster of the same level, and the XP for a simple hazard is one-fifth of that. Hazards of a lower level than the party’s level – 4 are trivial and award no XP.
Table 10–14: Hazard XP
|Party level – 4
|Party level – 3
|Party level – 2
|Party level – 1
|Party level + 1
|Party level + 2
|Party level + 3
|Party level + 4
Hazards are presented in a stat block format similar to those used for monsters. A few notes regarding the format follow the sample stat block.
Stealth This entry lists the Stealth modifier for a complex hazard’s initiative or the Stealth DC to detect a simple hazard, followed by the minimum proficiency rank to detect the hazard (if any) in parentheses. If detect magic can be used to detect the hazard, this information is located here as well.
Description This explains what the hazard looks like and might include special rules.
Disable The DC of any skill checks required to disable the hazard are here; if the hazard can be counteracted, its spell level and counteract DC are listed in parentheses.
AC The hazard’s AC; Saving Throws the hazard’s saves. Usually only haunts are subject to Will saves.
Hardness The hazard’s Hardness; HP the hazard’s Hit Points, with its Broken Threshold in parentheses; Immunities the hazard’s immunities; Weaknesses the hazard’s weaknesses, if any; Resistances the hazard’s resistances, if any Action Type or This is the reaction or free action the hazard uses; Trigger The trigger that sets off the hazard appears here. Effect For a simple hazard, this effect is often all the hazard does. For a complex hazard, this might also cause the hazard to roll initiative.
Routine This section describes what a complex hazard does on each of its turns during an encounter; the number in parentheses after the word “Routine” indicates how many actions the hazard can use each turn. Simple hazards don’t have this entry.
Action Any action the hazard can use appears here. Typically, this is a melee or ranged attack.
Reset If the hazard can be reset, that information is here.
The hazard’s level indicates what level of party it’s a good challenge for. If the hazard involves a toxin, curse, or other non-spell feature, that feature’s level is the hazard’s level.
The most notable hazard traits are trap (constructed to harm intruders), environmental (natural hazards), and haunt (spectral phenomena). Traps have a trait to indicate whether they’re magical or mechanical. Hazards that have initiative and a routine have the complex trait.
Stealth or Stealth DC
Complex hazards list their Stealth modifier, which they use for initiative, instead of their Stealth DC. If you need the DC, it’s equal to this modifier + 10.
A simple hazard uses its reaction only once, after which its threat is over unless the hazard is reset.
Hidden Pit Hazard 0
Stealth DC 18 (or 0 if the trapdoor is disabled or broken)
Description A wooden trapdoor covers a pit that’s 10 feet square and 20 feet deep.
Disable Thievery DC 12 to remove the trapdoor AC 10; Fort +1, Ref +1
Trapdoor Hardness 3, Trapdoor HP 12 (BT 6); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Pitfall Trigger A creature walks onto the trapdoor.
Effect The triggering creature falls in and takes falling damage (typically 10 bludgeoning damage). That creature can use the Grab an Edge reaction to avoid falling.
Reset Creatures can still fall into the trap, but the trapdoor must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again.
Poisoned Lock Hazard 1
Stealth DC 17 (trained)
Description A spring-loaded, poisoned spine is hidden near the keyhole of a lock. Disabling or breaking the trap does not disable or break the lock.
Disable Thievery DC 17 (trained) on the spring mechanism
AC 15; Fort +8, Ref +4; Hardness 6, HP 24 (BT 12); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Spring (attack); Trigger A creature tries to unlock or Pick the Lock. Effect A spine extends to attack the triggering creature.
Melee spine +13, Damage 1 piercing plus cladis poison
Cladis Poison (poison); Saving Throw DC 19 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 4 hours; Stage 1 1d6 poison damage and drained 1 (1 hour); Stage 2 2d6 poison damage and drained 2 (1 hour); Stage 3 3d6 poison damage and drained 2 (1 hour)
Slamming Door Hazard 1
Stealth DC 17 (trained)
Description Pressure-sensitive panels in the floor connect to a stone slab hidden in a hallway’s ceiling.
Disable Thievery DC 15 (trained) on the floor panels before the slab falls
AC 16; Fort +10, Ref +2; Hardness 5, HP 20 (BT 10); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Slam Shut Trigger Pressure is placed on any floor tile.
Effect The door falls, closing off the hallway. The stone slab deals 3d8 bludgeoning damage to anyone beneath or adjacent to the slab when it drops and pushes them out of its space in a random direction. A creature that succeeds at a DC 17 Reflex save takes no damage and rolls out of the way in a random direction. On a critical success, they can choose the direction.
Lifting the fallen slab requires a successful DC 25 Athletics check. Hitting the floor panels triggers the trap. The slab uses the same AC and saves as the trap, but it has Hardness 12, HP 48 (BT 24).
Spear Launcher Hazard 2
Stealth DC 20 (trained)
Description A wall socket loaded with a spear connects to a floor tile in one 5-foot square.
Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) on the floor tile or wall socket
AC 18; Fort +11, Ref +3; Hardness 8, HP 32 (BT 16); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Spear (attack); Trigger Pressure is applied to the floor tile. Effect The trap shoots a spear, making an attack against the creature or object on the floor tile.
Ranged spear +14, Damage 2d6+6 piercing
Electric Latch Rune Hazard 3
Electricity Evocation Magical Trap
Stealth DC 20 (trained)
Description An invisible Rune imprinted on a door latch releases a powerful electric discharge.
Disable Thievery DC 20 (expert) to scratch out the Rune without allowing electricity to flow, or dispel magic (2nd level; counteract DC 18) to counteract the Rune
Electrocution (arcane, electricity, evocation); Trigger A creature grasps the door latch directly or with a tool.
Effect The trap deals 3d12 electricity damage to the triggering creature (DC 22 basic Reflex save).
Scythe Blades Hazard 4
Stealth DC 23 (trained)
Description Two blades, each hidden in a 15-foot-long ceiling groove, are both connected to a trip wire.
Disable Thievery DC 21 (trained) to disable each blade
AC 21; Fort +12, Ref +8; Hardness 11, HP 44 (BT 22); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Falling Scythes (attack); Trigger The trip wire is pulled or severed. Effect Both blades swing down, each one attacking all creatures under the ceiling grooves.
Melee scythe +17 (deadly 1d12), Damage 2d12+4 slashing; no multiple attack penalty
Reset The trap resets after 15 minutes.
Fireball Rune Hazard 5
Evocation Fire Magical Trap
Stealth DC 24 (expert)
Description An invisible Rune creates an invisible, spherical magical sensor with a 20-foot radius.
Disable Thievery DC 22 (expert) to erase the Rune without triggering the sensor, or dispel magic (3rd level; counteract DC 20) to counteract the Rune
Fireball (arcane, evocation, fire); Trigger A living creature enters the sensor area. Effect The Rune detonates a fireball centered on the triggering creature’s square. This is a 3rdlevel fireball spell that deals 6d6 fire damage (DC 22 basic Reflex save).
Hallucination Powder Trap Hazard 6
Stealth DC 24 (expert)
Description A tube of hallucinogenic powder armed with a miniature explosive is connected to a doorknob or similar latch.
Disable Thievery DC 26 (expert) to disable the hammer that strikes the percussion cap
AC 24; Fort +0, Ref +0; Hardness 0, HP 1; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Powder Burst (mental, poison); Trigger The latch is opened or the tube is broken. Effect The tube explodes, spraying hallucinogenic powder in a 30-foot cone. Any creature in the cone must succeed at a DC 24 Will save or be confused for 1 round and take a –2 status penalty to Perception checks and saves against mental effects for 1d4 hours. On a critical failure, the penalty is instead –4.
Pharaoh’s Ward Hazard 7
Stealth DC 25 (expert)
Description A curse is imbued on an entryway’s threshold.
Disable Thievery DC 27 (master) to painstakingly remove the lintel without triggering the magic, or dispel magic (4th level; counteract DC 25) to counteract the Rune
Curse the Intruders (curse, divine, necromancy); Trigger The seal on the tomb is broken from the outside. Effect Each living creature within 60 feet must succeed at a DC 23 Will save or be subjected to the pharaoh’s curse. A cursed creature takes a –2 status penalty to Fortitude saves, and any natural or magical Healing it receives is halved. The curse remains until removed by remove curse or similar magic.
Reset The trap resets when the door is shut.
Yellow Mold Hazard 8
Stealth DC 28 (trained)
Description Poisonous mold spores assault nearby creatures.
Disable Survival DC 26 (expert) to remove the mold without triggering the spores
AC 27; Fort +17, Ref +13
HP 70; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Spore Explosion Trigger A creature moves into the mold’s space or damages the mold. The mold can’t use this reaction if it’s in direct sunlight or if the damage was fire damage.; Effect The triggering creature and all creatures within 10 feet are exposed to yellow mold spores.
Yellow Mold Spores (inhaled, poison) Any drained condition from the spores persists after the poison’s duration ends; Saving Throw DC 26 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 1d8 poison damage and drained 1 (1 round); Stage 2 2d8 poison damage and drained 2 (1 round); Stage 3 3d8 poison damage and drained 3 (1 round)
Bottomless Pit Hazard 9
Magical Mechanical Trap
Stealth DC 30 (or 0 if the trapdoor is disabled or broken) or detect magic
Description An iron trapdoor covers an infinitely deep10-foot-square pit.
Disable Thievery DC 28 (trained) to remove the trapdoor AC 28; Fort +12, Ref +12
Trapdoor Hardness 9, Trapdoor HP 36 (BT 18); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Infinite Pitfall Trigger A creature walks onto the trapdoor.; Effect The triggering creature falls in and continues to fall, potentially forever. That creature can try to Grab an Edge to avoid falling. The DC to Climb the walls or Grab an Edge is 26.
The pit contains many handholds, so the falling creature can try to Grab an Edge again every 6 seconds. If the creature succeeds, it can start to Climb out from that point (though it might be a very long climb, depending on how far the creature fell). Since the creature falls endlessly, it can rest and even prepare spells while falling, though items dropped while falling are usually lost forever.
Reset The trap still causes creatures to fall forever if they fall in, but the trapdoor must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again.
Bloodthirsty Urge Hazard 10
Stealth DC 31 (trained)
Description An object haunted by the echoes of a vicious mind attempts to kill someone who comes near.
Disable Religion DC 29 (master) to exorcise the spirit or Diplomacy DC 31 (expert) to talk it down
Quietus (death, emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult); Trigger A creature moves within 10 feet of the haunted object. Effect The haunt takes control of the triggering creature, forcing it to attack itself. The creature must attempt a DC 29 Will save.
Critical Success The target is unaffected.
Success The target makes a Strike against itself and automatically hits; the target also becomes frightened 1.
Failure The target makes a Strike against itself and automatically scores a critical hit; the target also becomes frightened 2.
Critical Failure The target attempts a Fortitude save. If the target succeeds, it is subject to the effects of a failure instead.
If the target fails, it is reduced to 0 Hit Points and dies.
Hammer of Forbiddance Hazard 11
Magical Mechanical Trap
Stealth DC 30 (expert)
Description An enormous hammer at an edifice’s entrance swings down in an attempt to damage a creature entering an area, push it back, and prevent it from going any further.
Disable Thievery DC 28 (expert) once on the hammer itself and once on its joint to prevent the hammer from swinging AC 32; Fort +24, Ref +15
Hammer Hardness 22, Hammer HP 88 (BT 44); Joint Hardness 16, Joint HP 64 (BT 32); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Forbid Entry (abjuration, attack, divine); Trigger A creature attempts to enter through the entrance. Effect The hammer swings down, making an attack against the triggering creature.
Melee hammer +28, Damage 6d8+20 bludgeoning plus the target is knocked back 10 feet and must succeed at a DC 30 Will save or be unable to enter the edifice through any entrance for 24 hours (on a critical hit, the target automatically fails the Will save); no multiple attack penalty
Reset The trap resets over the course of the round, and is ready to swing again 1 round later.
Polymorph Trap Hazard 12
Stealth DC 34 (trained)
Description A Druidic glyph tries to transforms a trespasser into an animal.
Disable Thievery DC 32 (master) to drain the glyph’s power harmlessly, or dispel magic (6th level; counteract DC 30) to counteract the glyph
Baleful Polymorph (primal, transmutation); Trigger A creature moves within 30 feet of the glyph without speaking the passphrase in Druidic. Effect The creature is targeted by baleful polymorph (DC 32 Will save).
Planar Rift Hazard 13
Stealth DC 35 (trained)
Description A rift attempts to draw creatures into another plane (the GM chooses the specific plane).
Disable Thievery DC 33 (master) to assemble a rift seal using objects strongly grounded to your plane, or dispel magic (7th level; counteract DC 31) to counteract the rift
Into the Great Beyond (conjuration, occult, teleportation); Trigger A creature moves within 10 feet of the rift. Effect The triggering creature and all creatures within 30 feet of the rift are drawn into another plane. Each creature can attempt a DC 33 Reflex save to avoid this fate.
Frozen Moment Hazard 17
Stealth DC 40 (master)
Description Warding magic attempts to trap intruders or would-be thieves in a disrupted time flow.
Disable Thievery DC 38 (legendary) to rapidly disassemble the spell’s myriad components in a single blink of an eye; or dispel magic (9th level; counteract DC 36) to counteract the trap before it triggers or to counteract the effect on one creature after the trap is triggered Adrift in Time (occult, transmutation); Trigger A creature touches the warded object or area. Effect The triggering creature and all creatures within 30 feet are trapped in a disrupted time flow (DC 38 Fortitude negates). The creatures’ minds move so quickly that each round seems to last a century, but their bodies and magical energies move so slowly that they can’t use any actions except Recall Knowledge. An affected creature must attempt a DC 36 Will saving throw against a warp mind spell immediately and again for every minute of real time that passes while the creature is trapped in the frozen moment. This effect has an unlimited duration but can be counteracted.
Vorpal Executioner Hazard 19
Stealth DC 43 (expert)
Description A wickedly sharp saw blade descends and travels along grooves in a complex path throughout the room, attempting to decapitate everyone within.
Disable Thievery DC 41 (expert) at four different junctions to jam all the saw blade’s possible paths, preventing it from traveling through the room
AC 43; Fort +32, Ref +32; Hardness 30; HP 120 (BT 60) per junction; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Total Decapitation (attack, death); Trigger A creature attempts to exit the room. Effect The saw blade travels along its path, making one Strike against each creature in the room, twisting and varying its height for a maximum chance of beheading its targets.
Melee saw blade +40 (deadly d12), Damage 6d12+25 slashing plus decapitation; no multiple attack penalty
Decapitation On a critical hit, a target must succeed at a DC 39 Fortitude save or be decapitated, dying instantly unless it can survive without a head.
Reset The trap resets over the course of the round and can be triggered again 1 round later.
Second Chance Hazard 21
Stealth DC 44 (legendary)
Description Powerful warding magic tied to an object or location tries to regress the ages of a creature and its allies.
Disable Thievery DC 46 (legendary) to take apart the spell one tiny piece at a time, with eyes closed, while recalling every vivid life memory in order, starting from the earliest memory
In the Beginning (divine, transmutation); Trigger A creature tries to steal the object or intrude upon the location. If someone uses a proxy or dupe for the theft or intrusion, the trap unerringly targets the true perpetrator or perpetrators at any distance—even across planes. Effect The triggering creature and up to five coconspirators instantly revert to infants, losing all memories, class abilities, and other skills acquired during their lives (DC 44 Fortitude negates).
Reversing this effect is nearly impossible, requiring powerful magic such as wish.
Armageddon Orb Hazard 23
Rare Magical Trap
Stealth DC 10 or detect magic
Description A roiling red orb, forged from a drop of the god The Great Destroyer’s blood, rains fire from the sky when a specified condition is met.
Disable Thievery DC 48 (legendary) to imbue thieves’ tools with aspects representing Lord of Hell and The Healing Flame and use them to drain away the orb’s power over 10 minutes; the character attempting this check takes 5 fire damage each round until the orb is depleted Burn It All (death, divine, evocation, fire); Trigger A special condition set by the trap’s creator occurs; this is typically the event of their death. Effect Fire rains from the sky in a 100-mile radius, dealing 10d6 fire damage to creatures and objects in the area. Each creature or object can attempt a DC 46 basic Reflex save. Any creature reduced to 0 Hit Points by this damage dies instantly. This is not enough damage to completely burn away a forest or level an entire mountain or city, but it typically kills most creatures in the area.
Complex hazards function similarly to monsters during encounters, as they roll initiative and have actions of their own, though these are usually automated in a routine.
Summoning Rune Hazard 1
Complex Magical Trap
Stealth +7 (trained)
Description A cloud of invisible magical sensors in a 10-foot radius surrounds an invisible wall or floor Rune the size of the creature to be summoned.
Disable Acrobatics DC 15 to approach without triggering the trap followed by Thievery DC 17 (trained) to erase the Rune, or dispel magic (1st level; counteract DC 15) to counteract the Rune
Summon Monster (arcane, conjuration, summon; Trigger A creature enters the cloud of magical sensors.
Effect This trap summons a specific level 1 creature, determined when the trap is created. The creature rolls initiative and remains for 2d6 rounds, after which the spell ends and the creature disappears. The creature also disappears if someone disables the trap before the duration expires. The summoned creature can use 3 actions each round and can use reactions, unlike most summoned creatures.
Reset The trap resets each day at dawn.
Drowning Pit Hazard 3
Complex Mechanical Trap
Stealth +10 (trained); DC 22 (expert) to notice the water spouts once the pit opens
Description A trapdoor covers a 10-foot-square pit that’s 30 feet deep and has 5 feet of water at the bottom. Four water spouts in the walls connect to hidden water tanks. Each water spout extends out of a different wall, 6 inches from the top of the pit.
Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) to seal each water spout, Thievery DC 22 (trained) to open the trapdoor, or Athletics DC 22 to Force Open the trapdoor AC 19; Fort +8, Ref +5
Trapdoor Hardness 15, Trapdoor HP 60 (BT 30); Spout
Hardness 8, Spout HP 32 (BT 16); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Pitfall Trigger A creature walks onto the trapdoor.
Effect The triggering creature falls in and takes damage from the fall, reduced by 5 feet for falling into the water (typically 12 bludgeoning damage). A creature can Grab an Edge to avoid falling. The trapdoor then slams shut, and the hazard rolls initiative.
Routine (4 actions) The trap loses 1 action each turn for each disabled water spout. On each of the trap’s actions, a spout pours water, increasing the depth of the water by 5 feet.
Once the pit is full of water, the pit stops using actions, but creatures in the pit begin drowning.
Reset The trap can be reset if the door is manually reengaged and the water tanks refilled; it can be reset without draining the pit, but doing so renders it less effective.
Quicksand Hazard 3
Stealth +12 (trained) (or –10 and no minimum proficiency if the surface is disturbed)
Description A 15-foot-wide patch of water and sand attempts to submerge creatures that step onto it.
Disable Survival DC 18 (trained) to disturb the surface
Submerge Trigger A Huge or smaller creature walks onto the quicksand. Effect The triggering creature sinks into the quicksand up to its waist. The quicksand rolls initiative if it hasn’t already.
Routine (1 action) On its initiative, the quicksand pulls down each creature within it. A creature that was submerged up to its waist becomes submerged up to its neck, and a creature that was submerged up to its neck is pulled under and has to hold its breath to avoid suffocation. A creature in the quicksand can attempt a DC 20 Athletics check to Swim to either raise itself by one step if it’s submerged to its neck or worse, or to move 5 feet if it’s submerged only up to its waist. On a critical failure, the creature is pulled down one step. A creature that Swims out of the quicksand escapes the hazard and is prone in a space adjacent to the quicksand patch. Other creatures can Aid the creature, typically by using a rope or similar aid, or attempt to pull the creature out with their own DC 20 Athletics check, with the same results as if the creature attempted the check.
Reset The hazard still submerges anyone who walks in, but the surface doesn’t become hidden again until it settles over the course of 24 hours.
Spinning Blade Pillar Hazard 4
Complex Mechanical Trap
Stealth +11 (trained) or DC 26 (expert) to notice the control panel
Description A metal pole with three razor-sharp spinning blades is hidden in the floor, connected to trigger plates in up to eight floor tiles and a hidden control panel within 30 feet.
Disable Thievery DC 21 (trained) twice on the pillar, or Thievery DC 19 (expert) once on the control panel deactivates the whole trap. Breaking the control panel prevents anyone from disabling the trap using the control panel and prevents the trap from deactivating automatically (see Reset below).
AC 21; Fort +10, Ref +12
Pillar Hardness 12, Pillar HP 48 (BT 24); Panel Hardness 5, Panel HP 20 (BT 10); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Rising Pillar (attack); Trigger A creature steps on one of the trapped floor tiles. Effect The trap pops up in a grid intersection and makes a spinning blade attack against one adjacent creature (if any), then rolls initiative.
Routine (3 actions) The trap uses its first action to make a spinning blade Strike against each adjacent creature, its second action to move straight in a random direction (roll 1d4 to determine the direction), and its third action to make a spinning blade Strike against each adjacent creature. This trap doesn’t take a multiple attack penalty.
Speed 10 feet
Melee spinning blade +12, Damage 2d10+5 slashing
Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 minute.
Wheel of Misery Hazard 6
Complex Magical Mechanical Trap
Stealth +16 (expert) to detect the magical sensor; noticing the wheel has a DC of 0
Description An ornate wheel set into a wall—divided into six segments with colored Runes on each—is controlled by a magical sensor that detects any creature within 100 feet in front of it.
Disable Thievery DC 26 (expert) on the wheel to stop it from spinning, Thievery DC 22 (master) to erase each Rune, or dispel magic (4th level; counteract DC 22) to counteract each Rune
AC 24; Fort +15, Ref +13; Hardness 14, HP 56 (BT 28); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Wheel Spin Trigger A creature enters the sensor’s detection area. Effect The wheel begins to spin and rolls initiative.
Routine (2 actions) On its initiative, the trap uses its first action to spin, then stops. Roll 1d6 to determine which segment is topmost when the wheel stops spinning. The wheel uses its second action to replicate the spell listed for that segment (3rd level, DC 24, spell attack roll +14). This spell’s target is centered on or otherwise includes the nearest creature in the area. This increases the spell’s range to 100 feet if necessary. Any spell cast by this trap is arcane.
- Lightning bolt (100-foot line)
- acid arrow
- ray of enfeeblement
Reset The trap deactivates and resets if 1 minute passes without any creature moving within range of its sensor.
Poisoned Dart Gallery Hazard 8
Complex Mechanical Trap
Stealth +16 (expert) or DC 31 (master) to notice the control panel
Description Countless holes to launch poison darts from line a long hallway with a hidden control panel on the far end.
Disable Thievery DC 21 (expert) on the control panel deactivates the trap.
AC 27; Fort +13, Ref +17; Hardness 14; HP 56 (BT 28) to destroy the control panel and disable the trap; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Dart Volley (attack); Trigger A creature enters the hallway or ends its turn in the hallway. Effect The trap makes a poisoned dart Strike against the triggering creature, then rolls initiative.
Routine (1 action) The trap launches one dart against every creature in the gallery as 1 action. Because it launches darts continuously, the trap can also use the Continuous Barrage free action (see below) to launch darts at each creature during that creature’s turn.
Ranged poisoned dart +21, Damage 3d4 piercing plus flesset poison; no multiple attack penalty
Continuous Barrage Trigger A creature within the active gallery finishes an action. Effect The trap makes a poisoned dart Strike against the triggering creature.
Flesset Poison (poison); Saving Throw DC 22 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 1d6 poison damage and clumsy 1 (1 round); Stage 2 2d6 poison damage and clumsy 2 (1 round); Stage 3 3d6 poison damage and clumsy 3 (1 round)
Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 minute.
Lava Flume Tube Hazard 10
Complex Mechanical Trap
Stealth +19 (trained)
Description Four gated channels carved into stone allow lava to flow into a 15-foot-tall room; the floor can withdraw to allow the hardened lava to fall into a chamber beneath.
Disable Thievery DC 29 (expert) to block a channel, or Thievery DC 31 (master) to release the floor latch and escape to the chamber below
AC 30; Fort +20, Ref +16
Channel Hardness 12, Channel HP 48 (BT 24) to destroy a channel gate (this prevents that channel from being disabled and stops the trap from resetting); Floor Hardness 18; Floor HP 72 (BT 36); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage
Flume Activation Trigger A creature tries to leave the room.; Effect The exits seal instantly and the trap rolls initiative.
Routine (4 actions) The trap loses 1 action per disabled channel each turn. On each action, a different channel spews lava, dealing 4d6 fire damage to each creature within 10 feet of the channel (DC 27 basic Reflex save), and increasing the depth of the lava in the room by 1 foot (4 feet per round if all the channels are active).
A creature that starts its turn in lava takes 8d6 fire damage and is immobilized until it Escapes the hardening lava (DC 27).
The creature might suffocate if covered in lava. Lava from the previous round hardens fully at the start of the trap’s turn, effectively raising the floor of the room. Once the room is full of lava, the trap stops taking actions, but creatures in the room remain stuck until the floor opens and the trap resets.
Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 hour by withdrawing the floor, cracking and dumping the hardened lava (and any creatures trapped inside) into the chamber. Creatures fall 40 feet, taking falling damage (typically 17 bludgeoning damage).
Telekinetic Swarm Trap Hazard 12
Complex Magical Mechanical Trap
Stealth +24 (expert)
Description Three innocuous decorations instilled with telekinetic magic pull objects and pieces of the room itself into spinning clouds of debris that attack all creatures in the room.
Disable Thievery DC 27 (expert) to take apart a telekinetic cloud, Thievery DC 32 (master) to disable each telekinetic decoration, or dispel magic (6th level; counteract DC 30) to counteract each telekinetic decoration
AC 33; Fort +24, Ref +19; Hardness 22, HP 88 (BT 44) per telekinetic cloud
Agitate (arcane, evocation); Trigger A creature stays in the room for at least 6 seconds. Effect Each telekinetic decoration constructs a cloud of objects in the room (three clouds total) and the trap rolls initiative. The creatures in the room when the trap is triggered become the trap’s targets, regardless of whether they leave the room or other creatures later enter the room. Each decoration targets a different creature if possible. A target creature that moves at least 1 mile from the trap ceases being a target, at which point the decoration designates a new target.
Routine (9 actions) Each decoration uses 3 of the trap’s actions each turn, and the trap loses 3 actions each turn for every decoration that is disabled. A decoration uses its first action to move its cloud of objects up to 200 feet, its second action to make the objects Strike, and its third action to add more objects to the cloud, increasing its damage by 1d12 (to a maximum of 4d12+10). If a decoration’s cloud is already at maximum damage, it does nothing with its third action.
If a decoration’s cloud has been destroyed, the decoration instead spends its first action to create a new cloud of objects inside the room (using the starting damage value) and then its second and third actions to have the cloud move and attack.
Melee objects +24, Damage 2d12+10 bludgeoning Reset The trap deactivates and resets 10 minutes after it has no target creatures (because the creatures either moved too far away or died).
Darkside Mirror Hazard 14
Complex Magical Mechanical Trap
Stealth +24 (master) to notice it isn’t a regular mirror Description A magic mirror replaces characters with evil mirror duplicates from another dimension.
Disable Thievery DC 34 (legendary) to retrieve a creature from the other dimension within 10 minutes of the switch (possible only if their mirror duplicate is dead), Thievery DC 39 (master) to permanently disable the mirror once all mirror duplicates are dead, or dispel magic (7th level; counteract DC 32) to counteract the mirror for 1 minute and prevent additional replacements during that time
AC 34; Fort +25, Ref +20; Hardness 1, HP 4 (BT 2), the mirror can’t be damaged while any mirror duplicate is alive.
Reflection of Evil (arcane, conjuration, teleportation); Trigger A non-evil creature is reflected in the mirror.
Effect The mirror absorbs the creature into the mirror, replacing it with an evil mirror duplicate (DC 34 Reflex to avoid being absorbed into the mirror), and rolls initiative.
Routine (1 action) The mirror absorbs another reflected creature into the mirror and replaces it with a mirror duplicate. Mirror duplicates attack on their own initiative, using the same statistics as the original creature, but with an evil alignment (changing only abilities that shift with the alignment change). A mirror duplicate can spend 3 actions in contact with the mirror to return to its original dimension and release the creature it duplicated, but most mirror duplicates prefer not to.
Reset The mirror is always ready to absorb creatures into the other dimension. Ten minutes after a creature is sucked into the mirror, if an ally doesn’t rescue the creature with Thievery, it reaches the other dimension, where it might be captured or killed. In the mirror dimension, it counts as a mirror duplicate, so the denizens of the other dimension can’t destroy the mirror on their side while the absorbed creature is there.
These dimensions are alternate realities, not planes, so even rituals like plane shift can’t reach them.
Banshee’s Symphony Hazard 18
Complex Magical Trap
Stealth +30 (legendary)
Description A magically contagious wail of the banshee spell is trapped in the larynx of an invisible, mummified elf.
Disable Thievery DC 42 (master) to pierce the invisible larynx so precisely that the magic releases in a trickle before the trap activates, Thievery DC 44 (legendary) three times to deconstruct the larynx while the trap is active in such a way that it tears the spell apart, or spell DC 38 (9th level) to counteract the wail of the banshee before the trap activates
Scream Trigger Three or more living creatures remain within 100 feet of the trap for 6 seconds or longer.
Effect The trap releases an arcane wail of the banshee (DC 40) with a 100-foot-radius emanation instead of 40 feet, targeting all living creatures in the area, and rolls initiative.
Routine (1 action) The trap uses its action to force one random creature that failed its save against wail of the banshee last turn to emit a wail of the banshee with the same statistics as the initial one. The creature wails even if it is dead or unable to speak, no matter how far away from the trap it is. Unlike a casting of the spell, the drained condition from this trap’s wail of the banshee spells increases the targets’ drained condition values. A creature that critically succeeds at any of its saves can still be affected by the trap on future rounds, but can’t be forced to wail by the trap.
Reset The trap ends when the trap is unable to make a creature scream (usually because no creature failed its save on the previous turn or because all creatures have critically succeeded in the past). It then resets over 24 hours, as a new scream builds up in the mummified larynx.