Dungeons and Dragons: 10 Devious Traps

Are you looking for innovative ways to challenge your players? If so, keep reading. We have ten devious traps and puzzles along with the statistics needed to bring them to life. Each trap or puzzle is easily inserted into an adventure or quest, and can be combined with other traps to create more complex challenges. You can also use these traps and puzzles to build encounters for a new campaign you might be running, or to spice up the encounters your players are having. Each of the traps below can be modified to fit your needs.

10 Traps for D&D

Here’s my list of ten devious traps for your D&D campaign.

1) Lava Waterfall

This trap is designed to be placed in a dungeon area that has a stream or river that the characters must cross. The waterfall that comprises this trap is at least 20 feet tall. The water flowing down the waterfall looks like lava, Any creature who comes within 5’ of the water takes 1d6 fire damage and must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature’s clothing and gear bursts into flames.

When players first approach the waterfall, you should be careful to describe it accurately. On a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Nature) check, the players will identify the water as lava. If the players cross the water, they suffer the effects of the trap.

2) Furnace

This trap is designed to be placed in an area where the characters need to cross a bridge. A bridge is suspended over a 30-foot deep chasm. The bridge is made of wood and stretches 60 feet. The bridge is enchanted with magical fire. Any creature crossing the bridge must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 1d6 fire damage. Creatures that fail their saves by 5 or more are also knocked off the bridge, falling into the chasm. A creature crossing the bridge can put out the fire by making a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

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3) Boiling Oil

This trap will be located in the ceiling of a dungeon room or hallway. When players approach the damaged part of the ceiling, you should be careful to describe it accurately. A DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check will allow the players to identify and avoid the trap. The trap is made of a barrel full of oil. After the oil is dumped on the players, a magical fire will set them ablaze, causing them to take 1d6 fire damage. A DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check will provide insight into how the trap is activated.

4) Falling Ceiling

This trap appears like a normal ceiling. However, when players enter the thirty-foot high room, the ceiling begins to fall. The mechanism to activate the trap is located on the far side of the room. When activated, the trap is set to fall for 3 rounds. The ceiling is made of stone blocks, is 10 feet thick, and weighs at least 3 tons. When the trap is activated, the ceiling begins to fall. The ceiling falls at a rate of 10 feet per round. Creatures that are standing under the ceiling when it falls take 8d10 bludgeoning damage, or half damage with a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw.

5) Pit of Doom

This pit trap is far from standard. It will be found in a dungeon room with a 10-foot deep pit in the center. The pit will be concealed. Players need to pass a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to identify the pit. A DC 15 Wisdom (Investigation) check will reveal that the pit is filled with spears. The trap is designed to be activated by a pressure plate found at the far end of the pit. The pressure plate weighs 50 pounds. When stepped on, the trap is activated. The effects are determined by the DM, but it’s suggested that a teleport portal at the bottom of the pit transports players far away from their current location.

6) Knives Outta the Walls

When players enter this room, they are surprised by the flying knives that emerge from the walls. The trap is activated by a pressure plate just inside the doorway. A total of 1d8+2 knives will shoot out of the walls during each of the three rounds the trap is active. The knives do 1d6 damage each. A DC 15 Dexterity saving throw will reduce damage from an attack by half. The knives are magical and will return to their holes after an attack. Players can retrieve the knives if they’re careful.

7) Pit Trap

It’s not uncommon to have a pit trap in a dungeon. With this trap, you should be careful to describe the floor accurately. The floor appears normal, but is actually made of thin wood that covers the pit. When the floor is stepped on, it collapses. The pit is 10 feet deep and filled with spikes. A DC 15 Dexterity saving throw will reduce the damage by half. If the saving throw is failed, the creature takes 4d6 bludgeoning damage and 4d6 piercing damage.

8) Exploding Glass

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This room is constructed entirely of glass. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all transparent glass. If players attempt to walk on the glass or touch the walls, they will be target of the trap. A total of 2d4 magical bombs are placed on the glass. If the trap is triggered, the glass explodes, doing 1d6 fire damage, and 1d6 force damage for each explosion. A DC 15 Dexterity saving throw will reduce the damage by half. Anyone who takes damage from the trap must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned and unable to act normally for 30 minutes.

9) Poisoned Needles

This trap takes advantage of your players’ curiosity. As soon as players enter the room, they are drawn to the wall covered in strange runes. A DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check reveals that the runes form an arcane circle. Players will want to measure the distance between the runes, and will require a DC 10 Intelligence check to do so. When players are within 5 feet of the runes, the trap is triggered.

1d4+1 needles are fired from the runes, inflicting 1d6 piercing damage each. A DC 15 Constitution saving throw will reduce the damage by half. Each needle is coated with poison. If the saving throw is failed, the damage is doubled, and the creature must make another saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is poisoned for 1d4 hours, losing one health point per hour.

10) Books are Deadly

This trap is perfect for a library or a wizard’s tower. When players disturb any of the books in the library, a magical trap is activated. The book that is disturbed triggers a magical poison that is released into the air around the book. The poison spreads through the air and infects any creature within 10 feet of the book. The poison does 1d10 poison damage, and the creature must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1d10 hours by the deadly toxin.

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Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.