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Hazards

Dungeons are rife with ancient traps meant to protect the treasures within. These range from simple mechanical devices that shoot darts or drop heavy blocks to magic runes that explode into bursts of flame. In addition to traps, adventurers occasionally stumble into other types of hazards, including naturally occurring environmental hazards, mysterious hauntings, and more.

Detecting a Hazard

When characters approach a hazard, they have a chance to find the trigger area or mechanism before they trigger the hazard. Some hazards are impossible to detect unless a character has a minimum proficiency rank in Perception, as indicated in the hazard’s Stealth entry (see Hazard Format on page 12), and such hazards can’t be discovered unless a character is actively searching. When a character actively searches for hazards, roll a secret Perception check against the hazard’s Stealth DC. Actively looking for hazards during combat or another type of encounter requires a Seek action.

Magic hazards with no Stealth proficiency requirement or a Stealth proficiency requirement of trained can be detected with detect magic. Determining the properties of such a magic hazard thoroughly enough to disable it requires a successful skill check to detect the hazard or the use of more powerful magic—detect magic alone is insufficient and, if it works at all, reveals only the presence of the hazard. Magic hazards that require expert or better proficiency are always masked to protect them from detection with detect magic.

Triggering a Hazard

When the PCs come across a hazard in exploration mode while searching their surroundings, determine whether they detect the hazard when they first enter the general area in which it appears. If they succeed, they become aware of the hazard, and you might want to map out or describe the area as they look closer. If they fail to detect the hazard, the circumstance that triggers the hazard occurs so long as it’s a standard part of traveling, such as stepping on a floor plate trigger or moving through a magical sensor. Hazards that would trigger only when someone directly manipulates the environment—by opening a door or pulling a chain, for example—should trigger their reactions only if a PC explicitly uses that action.

Hazards that appear in encounters require you to pay attention to the specific manner in which they are triggered. If the PCs get to the end of an encounter without triggering a hazard that’s present, they should get full XP for the hazard. However, if they haven’t fully explored the area before or during the fight, they might still trigger the hazard if they sweep the area afterward (this does not result in additional XP awards).

When the PCs trigger a complex hazard, the hazard first performs its initial reaction; then have the PCs roll initiative. If the hazard has a routine—a set of preprogrammed actions it performs on its turn—add the hazard’s Stealth modifier to its initiative roll.

Disabling a Hazard

The most versatile method to deactivate traps is the Disable a Device use of the Thievery skill, though most mechanical traps can also be smashed (see Destroying a Hazard on page 12) and magical traps can usually be dispelled (see Dispelling a Magic Hazard on page 12). Environmental hazards are often overcome with Nature or Survival, and haunt hazards are often deactivated with Occultism or Religion. The specific skill and DC required to disable a hazard is listed in the Disable entry of the hazard’s stat block (see Hazard Format on page 12). As with detecting a hazard, disabling a hazard might require a certain proficiency rank in the listed skill, which appears after that skill and DC in the Disable entry.

A character must first detect a hazard in order to attempt to deactivate it, since details of the hazard dictate the proper countermeasures. A character can attempt to deactivate a hazard whether or not it’s already been triggered, though some hazards no longer pose a danger once they’ve been triggered.

Table 2: Hazard Statistics Level AC Good Save Bad Save Hardness (Dents)* Attack Bonus† Damage Simple Damage Complex Save DC 0 13 +4 +1 3 +8 8 6 13 1 15 +5 +3 6 +10 9 9 15 2 16 +7 +4 8 +11 13 12 16 3 18 +8 +5 11 +12 18 14 17 4 19 +10 +6 11 (2) +14 21 16 18 5 20 +12 +8 13 (2) +16 24 18 19 6 21 +13 +9 13 (3) +18 27 20 20 7 23 +14 +10 15 (3) +20 30 22 21 8 25 +15 +11 17 (3) +21 33 24 22 9 26 +16 +13 17 (4) +22 36 26 23 10 27 +18 +14 18 (4) +23 39 28 25 11 29 +20 +15 20 (4) +25 42 30 26 12 31 +22 +17 22 (4) +26 46 32 28 13 33 +24 +19 22 (5) +28 49 34 30 14 34 +25 +20 23 (5) +29 53 36 31 15 36 +26 +21 24 (5) +31 56 37 32 16 38 +28 +23 26 (5) +32 60 38 34 17 39 +29 +24 28 (5) +33 63 40 35 18 40 +30 +25 30 (5) +35 67 42 36 19 42 +32 +27 32 (5) +37 70 44 38 20 44 +34 +29 34 (5) +38 74 46 40 21 45 +36 +31 37 (5) +40 77 48 42 22 47 +38 +33 40 (5) +41 81 50 44 23 49 +40 +35 43 (5) +43 84 52 46

* The number in parentheses is the number of Dents a hazard can take before becoming broken.

† The attack bonus for a complex hazard is typically 2 lower since it makes more than one attack.

A success with the listed skill against the DC in the stat block disables the hazard without triggering it. Any other means of deactivating the hazard, such as counteracting a magic trap, 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 spell roll to disable it.

Some hazards require multiple checks to deactivate, either for a particularly complicated component or for different portions of a larger hazard. For such hazards, a critical success counts as two successes on a single component.

Destroying 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. An attack that deals at least as much damage as the hazard’s Hardness dents it, and an attack that deals twice as much damage as the Hardness dents it twice (usually breaking it). In most cases, breaking or destroying the hazard also triggers it.

Hazards’ AC, TAC, Hardness, Fortitude saves, and Reflex saves are listed in their stat blocks. Hazards are immune to anything an object is immune to unless noted otherwise, and can’t be targeted by anything that doesn’t target objects.

Dispelling a Magic Hazard

Some magic hazards can be dispelled using dispel magic.

Such a hazard lists its spell DC in the Disable entry of the stat block, followed by its spell level in parentheses.

Dispelling a hazard otherwise works like using a skill check to disable the hazard.

Hazard Format

Hazard stat blocks are formatted like those of monsters.

Name, Rarity, and Level

The first line of a hazard gives the hazard’s name, its rarity, and the level of party it challenges. Common hazards are black, uncommon ones are red, rare ones are orange, and unique ones are blue. If the hazard has a component toxin, curse, or other non-spell feature, that feature’s level is the hazard’s level.

Traits

Many hazards fall into a specific category that’s important for how other abilities and skills interact with them, the most notable categories being trap (for hazards specifically constructed to harm intruders), environmental (for natural hazards), and haunt (for 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 to indicate this.

Stealth DC

This is the hazard’s Stealth DC, which it uses to avoid being detected. A complex hazard instead lists its Stealth modifier for rolling initiative, followed by a DC if there’s a chance someone might detect it. If the hazard requires a minimum proficiency rank in Perception to find it, that rank appears in parentheses. Hazards that can be detected using detect magic (see Detecting a Hazard on page 11) indicate that quality in this entry.

Description

This entry details the parts of the hazard and how they work together.

Disable

The skills and DCs required to deactivate or bypass the hazard are described here. A hazard that requires the disabler to have a minimum proficiency rank in a skill lists that information in parentheses. For magic traps that can be dispelled, this entry includes the spell DC and the minimum level of dispel magic required (listed in parentheses).

AC

Attacks against a mechanical trap or other physical hazard target this AC. When designing a mechanical trap, it’s usually appropriate to set the TAC equal to or less than its AC – 4. An attack roll that critically fails triggers the hazard, as does breaking or destroying the hazard.

Saves

A mechanical trap or other physical hazard’s modifiers to Fortitude and Reflex saves are listed here. On rare occasions (usually for haunts), hazards have Will saves.

Hardness

A physical hazard’s Hardness indicates how difficult it is to break. If a hazard can take more than 1 Dent without becoming broken, this entry lists in parentheses the total number of Dents it can take before becoming broken. For example, “Hardness 11 (2 Dents)” means the hazard could take damage equal to or exceeding its Hardness twice (either taking damage twice or taking double its Hardness in damage at once) and still function. The next time it took that much damage, it would be broken. If the hazard has multiple components, the part of the trap with the listed Hardness is set in parentheses.

Immunities and Resistances

Physical hazards are immune to critical hits and precision damage, and have the immunities common to objects (see page 175 of the Playtest Rulebook). Other immunities a specific hazard has are listed in this entry, followed by any resistances or weaknesses it has.

Reaction

Most hazards have reactions that occur when they’re triggered. For most hazards, the reaction is the entirety of the hazard’s effect. For complex hazards, the reaction also causes the hazard to roll initiative, either starting a combat encounter or joining one already in progress.

Routine

This entry describes what a complex hazard does on its initiative. Unlike creatures, a hazard usually has a rote program it follows. The hazard’s number of actions per turn is noted in parentheses; if partially disabling the hazard reduces the number of actions it can take each round, this is noted in the Routine entry.

Speed

If a complex hazard can move during its routine, it has a Speed entry. A hazard without a routine describes any movement it can make in the Reaction entry instead.

Attacks

If a hazard makes attacks, it has the appropriate melee or ranged attack entries.

Reset

If a hazard can activate multiple times, the reset entry explains how it is reset and how long it takes to do so.

Upgrades

Some hazards presented on the following can be made more powerful, as described in this entry.

Designing a Hazard

When designing your own hazards, use the numbers in Table 2: Hazard Statistics on page 12 for many of the hazard’s statistics. These values are meant to be used as baselines; a particular hazard’s statistics might be drastically different, typically so unusual strengths are balanced by weaknesses. For instance, a hidden pit deals more damage than most hazards of its level, but to compensate, it has lower defenses and is a little easier to find than normal.

Hazard DCs

Other than the save DC, which should be drawn from Table 3: Hazard Experience Level Simple Hazard XP Complex Hazard XP Party level – 4 2 10 Party level – 3 3 15 Party level – 2 4 20 Party level – 1 6 30 Party level 8 40 Party level + 1 12 60 Party level + 2 16 80 Party level + 3 24 120 Party level + 4 30 150 Table 2, hazards draw their DCs from the table of DCs on page 337 of the Playtest Rulebook. Choose the strongest aspect of the hazard to have an extreme-difficulty DC for its level, or one slightly lower. For example, a trap that should be hard to detect would use this DC for its Stealth. You might also use an extreme-difficulty DC if the characters will have multiple chances to succeed, such as for a hazard that doesn’t require training to detect, therefore granting more players rolls to detect it (and sometimes multiple rolls). No other DC should be extremely difficult; other DCs generally use the high-difficulty DC value, or occasionally the severe-difficulty DC value.

If some aspect of a hazard makes it abnormally dangerous for its level, you might use the low-difficulty DC for its level for some aspect of the hazard. For example, you might do so if the hazard deals damage without requiring an attack roll or allowing a saving throw (such as a magic trap that uses magic missile). Similarly, when you’re building a hazard that requires multiple checks to deactivate, you typically use a lower-difficulty DC, such as the low-difficulty DC for its level or the high-difficulty DC of a hazard 2 levels lower. The low-difficulty DC could also be used if disabling it requires a higher proficiency rank than normal. For instance, a level 3 sound-based hazard that can be disarmed only by an expert in Performance could require a DC 14 Performance check, and other means of disabling it that require less proficiency would probably have higher DCs.

Proficiency Requirements

When setting proficiency requirements, the trained restriction starts to appear as early as level 1, expert at level 4 or 5, master at level 8 or 9, and legendary at level 16 or 17. Hazards that don’t require special measures to detect don’t have a proficiency requirement, but they usually use extreme-difficulty Stealth DCs since each character gains a secret Perception check to detect them.

Hazard Experience

Characters gain Experience Points for overcoming a hazard, whether they disable it, avoid it, or simply endure its attacks. The XP for a complex hazard is equal to the XP for a monster of the same level. The XP for a simple hazard is equal to one-fifth of that. These numbers appear in Table 3: Hazard Experience on page 13. Hazards of a lower level than those shown on the table are trivial and award no XP.

Simple Hazards

The following are example hazards of various levels.

Hidden Pit Hazard 0

Description A trapdoor covers a 10-foot-square pit that is 20 feet deep.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 16

Disable Thievery DC 12 to remove the trapdoor, making the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0 to notice) Mechanical Trap

AC 10, TAC 7; Fort +1, Ref +1

Hardness 4 (trapdoor); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Pitfall; Trigger A creature walks onto the trapdoor; Effect The triggering creature falls in and takes falling damage (typically 10 b damage). That creature can use the Grab Edge reaction to avoid falling.

Reset The trap still causes falling damage if anyone falls in, but the trapdoor must be reset manually for the trap to become hidden again.

Poisoned Lock Hazard 1

Description A spring-loaded poisoned spine is hidden near the keyhole of a lock.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 15 (trained)

Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) on the spring mechanism

AC 15, TAC 12; Fort +4, Ref +3

Hardness 6; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Spring (attack); Trigger A creature attempts to unlock or Pick the Lock.; Effect A spine springs out and attacks the triggering creature.

Melee spine +10, Damage 1 piercing plus cladis poison

Cladis Poison (poison) Fortitude DC 15; 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

Description Pressure-sensitive panels in the floor connect to a stone slab hidden in a hallway’s ceiling.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 16 (trained)

Disable Thievery DC 15 (trained) on the floor panels before the slab falls

AC 15, TAC 10; Fort +5, Ref +1

Hardness 5; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Slam Shut; Trigger Pressure is placed on any floor tile.; Effect The door falls, closing off the hallway. The stone slab deals 4d8 b damage to anyone beneath or adjacent to the stone slab when it drops and pushes them out in a random direction. A creature that succeeds at a DC 15 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 26 Athletics check. Destroying the floor panels triggers the trap. The slab itself uses the same AC and saves as the trap, but it has Hardness 12 and can take 4 Dents before breaking.

Spear Launcher Hazard 2

Description A wall socket loaded with a spear connects to a floor tile in one 5-foot square.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 19 (trained)

Disable Thievery DC 15 (trained) on the floor tile or wall socket

AC 16, TAC 11; Fort +7, Ref +4

Hardness 8; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Spear (attack); Trigger Pressure is applied to the floor tile.; Effect The trap makes an attack against the creature or object on that tile.

1A Ranged spear +11, Damage 2d6+6 piercing

Electric Latch Rune Hazard 3

Description An invisible rune imprinted on a door latch releases a powerful electric discharge.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 19 (trained) or detect magic

Disable Thievery DC 19 (expert) to scratch out the rune without allowing electricity to flow, or spell DC 17 (2nd level) to dispel the rune

Actions

Reaction 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 (Reflex DC 16 half, or no damage on a critical success).

Scythe Blades Hazard 4

Description Two blades, each hidden in a 15-footlong ceiling groove, are both connected to a trip wire.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 23 (trained)

Disable Thievery DC 19 (trained) to disable each groove

AC 19, TAC 15; Fort +10, Ref +6

Hardness 11 (2 Dents); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Falling Scythes (attack); Trigger The trip wire is pulled or severed.; Effect Both blades swing down, attacking all creatures under the ceiling grooves.

Melee scythe +14 (deadly, trip), Damage 3d12 slashing plus an extra 1d12 slashing on a critical hit; no multiple attack penalty

Reset The trap resets after 15 minutes.

Fireball Rune Hazard 5

Description An invisible rune creates an invisible, spherical magical sensor with a 20-foot radius.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 25 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 22 (expert) to erase the rune without triggering the sensor, or spell DC 21 (3rd level) to dispel the rune

Actions

Reaction Fireball (arcane, evocation, fire); Trigger A living creature enters the sensor area.; Effect The rune shoots a fireball that explodes, centered on the triggering creature’s square. This has the effects of a 3rd-level fireball spell with a save DC of 19.

Hallucination Powder Trap Hazard 6

Description A tube of hallucinogenic powder armed with a miniature explosive has been connected to a doorknob or similar latch.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 23 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 26 (expert) to disable the hammer that strikes the percussion cap

AC 21, TAC 20; Fort +0, Ref +0

Hardness 1; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction 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 22 Will save or be confused for 1 round and take a –3 conditional penalty on Perception checks and saves against mental effects for 1d4 hours. On a critical failure, the penalty is instead –4.

Pharaoh’s Ward Hazard 7

Description A magical curse is imbued in a lintel above an entryway.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 24 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 23 (master) to painstakingly remove the lintel without triggering the magic, or spell DC 22 (4th level) to dispel the rune

Actions

Reaction 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 21 Will save or be subjected to the pharaoh’s curse. A cursed creature takes a –2 conditional 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

Description Poisonous mold assaults nearby creatures with spores.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 29 (trained)

Disable Survival DC 24 (expert) to remove the mold without triggering the spores

AC 22, TAC 17; Fort +15, Ref +11

Hardness 11; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Spore Explosion; Trigger A creature moves into the mold’s space or damages the mold. The mold doesn’t use this reaction if it’s in direct sunlight or if it takes fire damage.; Effect The triggering creature and all creatures within 10 feet are automatically exposed to yellow mold spores.

Yellow Mold Spores (poison) Fortitude DC 22; 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

Description A trapdoor covers an infinitely deep 10-foot-square pit.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 30 or detect magic

Disable Thievery DC 23 (trained) to remove the trapdoor, making the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0 to notice)

AC 26, TAC 22; Fort +13, Ref +13

Hardness 17 (4 Dents) for the trapdoor; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction 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 (see page 144 of the Playtest Rulebook) and can subsequently attempt to Climb out if it succeeds. The DC to Climb the walls or Grab an Edge is 24. The pit contains many handholds, so the falling creature can try to Grab an Edge again every 6 seconds, and if successful, 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 dropped items fall at a different speed and are generally 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

Description An object imbued with echoes of a vicious mind tries to kill someone who comes near.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 29 (trained)

Disable Religion DC 27 (master) to exorcise the spirit or Diplomacy DC 29 (expert) to talk it down

Actions

Reaction Quietus (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 is affected by phantasmal killer (DC 25), except that instead of mental damage, the damage type is based on a weapon the creature has drawn, an object it holds, or its unarmed attack damage if it’s holding nothing.

Hammer of Forbiddance Hazard 11

Description An enormous hammer at an edifice’s entrance swings down to damage creatures, push them back, and prevent them from entering the area.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 30 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 27 (expert) twice on the hammer itself and once on its joint to prevent the hammer from swinging

AC 29, TAC 23; Fort +20, Ref +15

Hardness 22 (4 Dents) for the hammer, 16 (2 Dents) for the joint; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Forbid Entry (abjuration, attack, divine); Trigger A creature attempts to enter the edifice through the entrance.; Effect The hammer swings down, slamming into the creature and knocking it back. On a hit, the target is knocked back 10 feet and must succeed at a Will save (DC 30) or be unable to enter the edifice through any entrance for 24 hours. On a critical hit, the target automatically fails its Will save.

Melee hammer +25, Damage 6d8+15; no multiple attack penalty

Reset The trap resets over the course of the round, ready to swing again 1 round later.

Polymorph Trap Hazard 12

Description A Druidic glyph transforms a trespasser into an animal.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 32 (trained) or detect magic

Disable Thievery DC 30 (master) to drain out the glyph’s power harmlessly, or spell DC 27 (6th level) to dispel the glyph before it triggers

Actions

Reaction Baleful Polymorph (primal, transmutation); Trigger A creature moves within 30 feet of the glyph without speaking the pass phrase in Druidic.; Effect The creature is affected by baleful polymorph (DC 28).

Planar Rift Hazard 13

Description A rift sucks creatures into another plane (the GM chooses the specific plane).

TRAITS

Stealth DC 35 (trained) or detect magic

Disable Thievery DC 33 (master) to assemble a rift seal using objects strongly grounded to your plane, or spell DC 30 (7th level) to dispel the rift before it triggers

Actions

Reaction 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 sucked into another plane (Reflex DC 30 negates).

Antimagic Prison Rare Hazard 15

Description A 30-foot-radius dome made of a noqual alloy falls, trapping spellcasters without their magic.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 37 (master)

Disable Thievery DC 35 (master) to carefully jam the dome in place before it falls without bringing any magic into the area

AC 36, TAC 32; Fort +26, Ref +21

Hardness 26 (5 Dents); Immunities critical hits, magic, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Antimagic Imprisonment (abjuration, arcane); Trigger A creature walks underneath the dome or any magic enters the area underneath the dome.; Effect The dome drops, trapping creatures inside while negating and preventing spells, magic items, and magical effects from originating inside the dome. This also prevents magic outside the dome from affecting the area inside or the dome itself. Creatures on the outside who attack the dome don’t apply their magic weapons’ item bonuses to attack rolls or extra damage, and creatures using Athletics to lift the dome don’t get conditional bonuses or item bonuses from magic items. A creature that succeeds at a DC 34 Reflex save when the dome falls rolls out of the way in a random direction. On a critical success, they can choose the direction.

Lifting the dome requires a successful DC 40 Athletics check. Destroying the mechanism triggers the trap. The dome itself uses the same AC and saves as the trap, but it is incredibly difficult for most captives to Dent due to their inability to gain bonuses from magic weapons.

Reset The trap can be reset manually from the outside, lifting the dome back to its original position.

Frozen Moment Hazard 17

Description Warding magic traps intruders in a disrupted time flow.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 40 (master)

Disable Thievery DC 38 (legendary) to rapidly disassemble the spell’s myriad components in a single blink of an eye, or spell DC 35 (9th level) to dispel the trap before it triggers or dispel the effect on one victim

Actions

Reaction 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 (Fortitude DC 35 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 act except to Recall Knowledge. An affected creature must attempt a DC 33 saving throw against a warp mind spell immediately and again for every minute of normal time flow that passes while it is trapped in the frozen moment.

Vorpal Executioner Hazard 19

Description A wickedly sharp saw blade descends and travels along grooves in a complex path throughout the room, decapitating everyone within.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 44 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 39 (expert) at four different junctions to jam all the saw blade’s possible paths, preventing it from traveling through the room.

AC 42, TAC 36; Fort +29, Ref +30

Hardness 32 (2 Dents) at each of the four junctions; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Total Decapitation (attack); Trigger A creature attempts to exit the room.; Effect The saw blade travels along its path, attacking all creatures in the room, twisting and varying its height for a maximum chance of beheading its targets.

Melee saw blade +37 (deadly 1d12), Damage 6d12+25 slashing plus decapitation; no multiple attack penalty

Decapitation On a critical hit, a target must succeed at a DC 38 Fortitude save or be decapitated, dying instantly unless they can survive without a head.

Reset The trap resets over the course of the round, and is ready to strike again 1 round later.

Second Chance Hazard 21

Description Powerful warding magic tied to a particular object or location regresses a creature’s age.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 47 (legendary)

Disable Thievery DC 47 (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

Actions

Reaction 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 and 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 (Fortitude DC 42 negates). Reversing this effect is nearly impossible, requiring powerful magic such as miracle or wish.

Armageddon Orb Rare Hazard 23

Description A roiling red orb, forged from a drop of Rovagug’s blood, rains fire from the sky when a specified condition is met.

TRAITS

Stealth DC 10 or detect magic

Disable Thievery DC 51 (legendary) to imbue thieves’ tools with aspects representing Asmodeus and Sarenrae and use them to drain away the orb’s power over 10 minutes, taking 5 fire damage each round during that time

Actions

Reaction Burn It All (divine, evocation, fire); Trigger A special condition set by the trap’s creator, typically on the event of her death.; Effect Fire rains from the sky in a 100-mile radius, dealing 10d6 fire damage to creatures and objects in the area (Reflex DC 46 for half damage, or no damage on a critical success). Any creature reduced to 0 Hit Points in this way dies instantly. This is not enough damage to completely burn away a forest or level a mountain or city, but it typically kills most creatures in the area.

Complex Hazards

Complex hazards are involved enough to be their own encounters, or to take the place of monsters in multiplemonster encounters. They roll initiative and have actions of their own, though these are usually automated through specific routines. Here are a number of complex hazards of various levels.

Summoning Rune Hazard 1

Description An invisible cloud of magical sensors in a 10-foot radius surrounds an invisible wall or floor rune the size of the creature to be summoned.

TRAITS

Stealth +5 (trained) or detect magic

Disable Acrobatics DC 15 to approach without triggering the trap followed by Thievery DC 15 (trained) to carefully erase the rune, or spell DC 15 (1st level) to dispel the rune

Actions

Reaction Summon Monster (arcane, conjuration, summon); Trigger A creature enters the cloud of magical sensors.; Effect This trap summons a specific type of level 1 creature.

The creature uses the trap’s 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.

Upgrades Stronger summoning traps can summon creatures of a level equal to the trap’s level. Higher-level summoning traps have a spell DC equal to the save DC of a trap of the same level (see Table 2 on page 12), and their Stealth modifiers and other disable DCs are equal to a severe-difficulty skill DC of that level. Stronger summoning traps usually require an expert or higher proficiency rank in Perception to find and might require a higher proficiency rank in Thievery to disable.

Drowning Pit Hazard 3

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.

TRAITS

Stealth +8 (trained) or DC 21 (expert) to notice the water spouts once the pit opens

Disable Thievery DC 16 (trained) to seal each water spout, Thievery DC 21 (untrained) to open the trapdoor, or Athletics DC 21 (untrained) to force open the trapdoor

AC 18, TAC 14; Fort +8, Ref +5

Hardness 15 for the trapdoor, 8 for each spout; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction 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 b damage). A creature can use the Grab an Edge reaction to avoid falling (see page 144 of the Playtest Rulebook). The trapdoor then slams shut.

Routine (4A) 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 taking actions, but creatures in the pit begin drowning (see page 315 of the Playtest Rulebook).

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

Description A patch of water and sand 15 feet across submerges creatures who step onto it.

TRAITS

Stealth +11 (trained)

Disable Survival DC 17 (trained) to disturb the surface and make the trap no longer hidden (Perception DC 0)

Actions

Free Action Submerge; Trigger A Huge or smaller creature walks onto the quicksand.; Effect The triggering creature is pulled down into the quicksand up to its waist. The quicksand rolls initiative if it hasn’t already.

Routine (1A) 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. On its turn, a creature in the quicksand can attempt a DC 18 Athletics check to Swim to raise itself by one step, 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 patch escapes the hazard and is prone in a space adjacent to the quicksand.

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

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.

TRAITS

Speed 10 ft.

Stealth +10 (trained) or DC 24 (expert) to notice the control panel

Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) twice on the pillar, or Thievery DC 16 (expert) once on the control panel deactivates the whole trap

AC 19, TAC 15; Fort +6, Ref +10

Hardness 11 (2 Dents) on the pillar, denting the panel causes the trap to stay constantly active and prevents disabling the panel; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction 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 (3A) On its initiative, the trap spends its first action making a spinning blade attack against each adjacent creature, its second action moving straight in a random direction (roll 1d4 to determine the direction), and its third action attacking each adjacent creature. This trap doesn’t take a multiple attack penalty.

Melee spinning blade +12, Damage 2d10+5 slashing Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 minute.

Iron Maiden Trap Hazard 5

Description A mechanized iron maiden on clockwork wheels and fitted with vibration-sensing mechanisms is hidden behind a false wall.

TRAITS

Stealth +12 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 21 (expert) to jam the false wall closed or to unlock the iron maiden once a creature is within, or Thievery DC 25 (expert) to disable the trap’s wheels or vibration sensors

AC 20, TAC 16; Fort +12, Ref +10

Hardness 13 (3 Dents); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Maiden’s Arrival (attack); Trigger A creature moves into a square within a straight line of the false wall. A creature that wouldn’t be detected by tremorsense can’t be detected by the iron maiden.; Effect The false wall opens and the iron maiden rushes forward, targeting the first Medium or smaller creature in its path. Unless the creature succeeds at a DC 19 Reflex save, it’s restrained in the iron maiden, which immediately locks. The trap then rolls initiative.

Routine (3A) On its initiative, if the iron maiden has a creature inside, it spends 1 action to make a stab attack against the trapped creature, 1 action to rotate until there’s no obstacle directly in front of it, and 1 action to move as far as it can in a straight line.

Complex

If there’s no creature inside, it instead spends 1 action to rotate to face the nearest creature it can detect (if necessary) and spends 1 action to move directly toward the nearest creature (if necessary). It then spends its remaining actions attempting to capture an adjacent creature (Reflex DC 19 avoids).

The iron maiden doesn’t stop acting until it’s broken or its wheels are disabled.
Speed 30 ft.

Melee stab +16, Damage 2d8+5 plus 1d6 persistent bleed

Reset When the iron maiden’s sensors detect no vibrations within 60 feet for 1 minute, it returns to its hiding place and resets over the course of 30 minutes. This includes replacing the false wall and dumping out any remains.

Wheel of Misery Hazard 6

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.

TRAITS

Stealth +13 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 26 (expert) on the wheel to stop it from spinning, Thievery DC 19 (master) to erase each rune, or spell DC 20 (4th level) to dispel each rune

AC 21, TAC 17; Fort +12, Ref +11

Hardness 13 (3 Dents); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Wheel Spin; Trigger A creature enters the sensor’s detection area.; Effect The wheel begins to spin and rolls initiative.

Routine (2A) On its initiative, the trap spends its first action spinning.

Roll 1d6 to determine which segment is topmost when it stops spinning. It spends its second action replicating the spell listed for that segment (3rd level, DC 20, attack bonus +16), targeting, centered on, or otherwise including 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.

1: sleep 2: paralyze 3: lightning bolt (100-foot line) 4: blindness 5: acid arrow 6: ray of enfeeblement

Reset The trap deactivates and resets if 1 minute passes without any creatures in range of its sensor.

Poisoned Dart Gallery Hazard 8

Description Countless holes to launch poison darts line a long hallway with a hidden control panel on the far end.

TRAITS

Stealth +16 (expert) or DC 29 (master) to notice the control panel

Disable Thievery DC 21 (expert) on the control panel deactivates it.

AC 25, TAC 22; Fort +11, Ref +15

Hardness 17 (2 Dents) to destroy the control panel and disable the trap; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Dart Volley (attack); Trigger A creature enters the hallway.; Effect The trap attacks the triggering creature and then rolls initiative.

Routine (1A) The trap launches one dart against every creature in the gallery as 1 action. Because it launches darts continuously, the trap also has a free action to launch a dart at each creature during that creature’s turns.

1A Ranged poisoned dart +18, Damage 3d4 piercing plus flesset poison; no multiple attack penalty

Actions

Free Action Continuous Barrage; Trigger A creature within the active gallery finishes an action.; Effect The trap makes a poisoned dart Strike against the triggering creature.

Reset The trap deactivates and resets after 1 minute.

Flesset Poison (poison) Fortitude DC 20; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 1d6 poison damage and sluggish 1 (1 round); Stage 2 2d6 poison damage and sluggish 2 (1 round); Stage 3 3d6 poison damage and sluggish 3 (1 round)

Lava Flume Tube Hazard 10

Description Four gated channels carved into the stone allow lava to flow into the 20-foot-tall room; the floor can withdraw to allow the hardened lava to fall into a dump beneath.

TRAITS

Stealth +18 (trained)

Disable Thievery DC 27 (expert) twice to block a channel, or

Thievery DC 30 (master) to force the floor open and escape to the dump

AC 27, TAC 22; Fort +18, Ref +14

Hardness 18 to destroy a channel gate, causing it to release lava at all times (this prevents that channel from being disabled and stops the trap from resetting), or 18 (4 Dents) to destroy the floor; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Actions

Reaction Flume Activation; Trigger A creature attempts to leave the room.; Effect The exits seal off instantly and the trap rolls initiative.

Routine (4A) The trap loses 1 action per disabled channel each turn. On each of its actions, a different channel spews lava, dealing 4d6 fire damage to each creature within 10 feet of the channel (Reflex DC 25 half) and increasing the depth of the lava in the room by 5 feet.

A creature that starts its turn in lava takes 8d6 fire damage and is immobile until it succeeds at a DC 25 Athletics check as an Interact action to break free of the hardening lava.

Creatures less than 5 feet tall also risk suffocation. Lava from the previous round hardens fully at the start of the trap’s turn, effectively raising the floor of the room by 5 feet.

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 still trapped inside) into the dump area.

Telekinetic Swarm Trap Hazard 12

Description Three nondescript decorations instilled with telekinetic magic pull objects and pieces of the room itself into spinning clouds of objects that attack all creatures within the room.

TRAITS

Stealth +22 (expert)

Disable Thievery DC 27 (expert) to take apart each telekinetic cloud, Thievery DC 30 (master) to disable each telekinetic decoration, or spell DC 28 (6th level) to dispel each telekinetic decoration

AC 31, TAC 28; Fort +22, Ref +17

Hardness 22 to destroy one telekinetic cloud

Actions

Reaction 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 rolls initiative. The creatures in the room become the trap’s targets, regardless of whether they leave the room or other creatures later enter the room. A target creature that moves at least 1 mile from the trap ceases being a target.

Routine (9A) Each decoration uses three of the trap’s actions each turn, and the trap loses 3 actions each turn for every decoration that is disabled. A decoration spends its first action to move its cloud of objects up to 200 feet, its second action to have that cloud attack, and then its third action to add more objects to the cloud, increasing its damage by 2d6 (to a maximum of 10d6). 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 cloud slam +21, Damage 6d6 b Reset The trap deactivates and resets 10 minutes after it has no target creatures (because they moved too far away or died).

Darkside Mirror Hazard 14

Description A magic mirror replaces characters with evil mirror duplicates from another dimension.

TRAITS

Stealth +26 (master) to notice it isn’t a regular mirror

Disable Thievery DC 36 (legendary) to retrieve a creature from the other dimension within 10 minutes of the switch (possible only if the corresponding mirror duplicate is dead), Thievery DC 39 (master) to permanently disable the mirror once all mirror duplicates are dead, or spell DC 31 (7th level) to dispel the mirror for 1 minute and prevent additional replacements during that time

AC 32, TAC 30; Fort +25, Ref +20

Hardness 1, but can’t be harmed while any mirror duplicate is alive

Actions

Reaction 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, replaces it with an evil mirror duplicate (Reflex DC 31 to avoid being absorbed into the mirror), and rolls initiative.

Routine (1A) 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 10 minutes 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 it 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

Description A magically contagious wail of the banshee spell is trapped in the larynx of an invisible mummified elf.

TRAITS

Stealth +31 (legendary)

Disable Thievery DC 39 (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 apart the spell, or spell DC 36 (9th level) to dispel the wail of the banshee before the trap activates

Actions

Reaction Scream; Trigger At least three living creatures spend at least 6 seconds within 100 feet of the trap together.; Effect The trap releases an arcane wail of the banshee (DC 36) with a 100-foot-radius area instead of 40 feet (counting all living creatures as enemies) and rolls initiative.

Routine (1A) On the trap’s initiative, it uses its action to force one random creature that failed its save against wail of the banshee last turn to emit a 100-foot-radius wail of the banshee. The creature wails even if it is dead or unable to speak, no matter how far away from the trap it is. Unlike normal, the drain from these multiple wail of the banshee effects increases the targets’ drained values. A creature that critically succeeds at its save can still be affected by the trap on future rounds but can’t be forced to wail again.

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.