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Traps are obstacles in the dungeons and wilderness areas, either directly placed by the quest designer, or generated in a random location that can damage or kill an unwary adventurer unless disabled or carefully bypassed.

Types of traps[edit]

A trap can be either mechanical or magic in nature.

  • Mechanical traps include pits, arrow traps, falling blocks, water-filled rooms, whirling blades, and anything else that depends on a mechanism to operate.
  • Magic traps are further divided into spell traps and magic device traps. Magic device traps initiate spell effects when activated, just as wands, rods, rings, and other magic items do. Spell traps are simply spells that themselves function as traps.

Here are some standard types of trap found in DDO, and how to recognise them:

  • Standard Mechanical Traps
    • Spike traps are marked by grids of square holes. They may fire once, or in a regular pattern. They deal piercing damage.
    • Swinging Blade traps are typically marked by long rectangular grooves in walls, although some may instead be mounted to the ceiling. They deal slashing damage. Most Swinging Blade traps trigger in a regular pattern.
    • Fan blade traps are similar to Spinning Blade traps. They rotate around a central axis, and are most commonly found underwater. All fan blade traps fire in a regular pattern – some may even be active constantly.
    • Bear traps are usually clearly visible. If triggered, they deal a small quantity of Piercing damage and may also immobilise characters that fail a Reflex Save for a few seconds. Bear traps disappear after being triggered. See the Bear trap section for more.
  • Standard Magic Device Traps
    • Jet traps fire a jet of elemental damage (typically Cold, Acid, Fire or Electric, although Force, Poison and Sonic may also be used) in a straight line. Most fire in a regular pattern, although some rare traps trigger once. These traps are often indicated by a round opening in the wall, which may be concealed by a gargoyle face or wall-mounted mine.
    • Mine traps look like a small octagonal stone with a gem mounted on the top. When triggered, they fire once, dealing elemental damage to nearby characters and possibly causing a Knockdown effect.
      • Players with Trapmaking can place their own mines onto the battlefield – these only affect enemies, but try to avoid using them in areas with harmful mines to avoid confusing your party members. Some enemies can place special mine traps – see the Boobytraps section for more.
    • Pressure Plate traps are octagonal pads on the ground. These act a bit like Mine traps, except they only trigger when a character actually steps onto them. Some Pressure Plates may reset after being triggered.
    • Spell Ward traps are special types of traps that trigger regularly, causing damage and applying an effect to nearby characters. They can be disarmed via Dispel Magic, which reduces their CR or they can be disabled like regular traps. See their section below for more.

Finding traps[edit]

Different class abilities and different skill levels may trigger different warnings when a character is approaching a trap.

General warning:

  • Any character (or even some hirelings) with high Spot skill can detect the presence of a simple trap (i.e one with a DC of 20 or less) in the general area.
  • This triggers an in-game notification, but does not pinpoint the location of the trap.
(† See Trap DC's for specific values)

Pinpointing the location:

  • Any character (or Rogue hirelings) can activate Search skill to pinpoint a simple trap and/or the control/disarming box (if they are not adjacent within the same Search area), if their Search is high enough.
  • If the Spot DC is greater than 20, only characters with the Trapfinding ability (i.e. only Rogues, Artificers and Dark Hunters, currently) can successfully Spot or Search for them.
  • Magical traps start with a low DC of 25 + the level of the spell used, so are not normally detectable without Trapfinding.
  • Characters without the Trapfinding class feature may use the Divine spell Find Traps, either innately or cast from a scroll (sold in the Marketplace). Characters with Trapfinding can still benefit from the Insight bonus granted by the Find Traps spell.

Note that Secret doors do not have any similar DC limitation and anyone with high enough Spot or Search can detect these as usual.

Disabling traps[edit]

Only characters with the Trapfinding class feature (or Rogue hirelings) can disable traps. First they have to successfully find the control panel, then they can disable it. Some traps cannot be disabled. Some traps have more than one control panel. Some types of traps don't have a control panel – they can be disabled by targeting the trap directly.

Mitigating trap damage[edit]

With quest foreknowledge, characters can run/tumble through many traps before they fire or jump around them. Many traps can be also timed, i.e. they trigger in a pattern and with careful timing you can bypass them.

Characters who find themselves in a trap are often allowed a saving throw to avoid or mitigate the damage.

  • High Reflex Save helps against most mechanical traps and many damaging magical traps.
  • Characters with Evasion can avoid the damage completely.
  • Armor class can help versus some mechanical traps.
  • Magic / spell traps may require a different saving throw.
  • Some traps offer no saving throw.
  • PRR and MRR often reduce the damage of a trap.
  • Wearing a heavy or tower shield doubles your MRR and PRR against traps that allow a Reflex save.

Spell Ward[edit]

Spell wards can be disarmed from large distances

Spell Ward is a magic trap added with Update 14. Originally they could only be found in Forgotten Realms quests and wilderness areas; since, they have appeared in a couple of other quests. Just like normal traps, spell wards can be detected via Spot, located via Search, and disabled via Disable Device. Unlike normal traps:

  • No control panels. Searching reveals the trap. Select the trap directly to disable it.
  • Some spells can disable or reduce the power of spell wards.
  • If you can survive and heal through the spell ward damage, you can simply run into the trap to find it; the search skill is not necessary.
  • Can be disabled from much larger distance than conventional traps.
  • Spell wards slow you down dramatically. This slow effect is not prevented by Freedom of Movement spell and cannot be dispelled by Haste or any other means. They can also cast Hold Person. Finally, three of the four types of spell ward has an extra effect: red wards deal Evil damage, green wards deal Poison damage, orange wards deal Fire damage, and blue wards turn nearby barrels and crates into Animated Objects.
    • Spell Absorption effects will prevent the slow part of a spell ward (as a level 1 spell), but not the damage.


Spell Wards shown: Fire, Poison, Evil and Telekinetic

Different basic types of wards can be identified by their color:

  • Evil (deep red with a dark evil symbol in the centre)
  • Poison (green with fine web-like patterning)
  • Telekinetic (stylised blue barrels, crates and furniture)
  • Fire (fiery amber-like colour, with a dark stylised image of consuming flames; see image at top of this page)


Poison boobytrap waiting to be stepped on

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

Currently, the types of boobytraps in game are Poison Boobytraps (found in Wheloon Prison and dropped by Daask Trappers in Sharn and Bandit Trappers in the Temple of Elemental Evil) which deal Poison damage, and Sticky Boobytraps (dropped by Vaunt Trapsmiths) which cause a slow effect. (Sir Molasses Gumdrop, in the Feywild, drops modified Sticky Boobytraps in the form of cakes.)

Bear trap[edit]

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

Since Update 55, most bear traps trigger only once.

Mechanical trap[edit]

Mechanical traps are non-magic traps, and there is no energy resistance available for mechanical type traps. Mechanical traps refer to any trap not classified as an energy, poison, unholy, or force trap. These include: Air jets, Arrow, Bear trap, Blade, Camouflaged pit, Collapsible floor, Dart, Falling rock, Guillotine blades, Scything blade, Slicing blade, Spiked pit, Spikes, Spinning blades, Swinging log, Toppling door, Trapdoor, Trip wire, Wall blade, Wall scythe and Whirling blades.

Traps by player characters[edit]

  • Some classes have a class special ability that allows the placement of traps to use against NPC's. See Trapmaking for more info.
  • Some spells, such as Symbol of Persuasion can be cast before combat and act as a trap, i.e. spell's effect triggers when an enemy enters the warded area.

See also[edit]

  • Avoiding and mitigating trap damage – DDO Forums