The Thieves Guild
A Collection of D&D 5e Resources
Creating Traps, Saves, Attack Bonuses, Severity by Level and Examples.
D&D Core Info

Creating Traps

Damage Severity by Level | Trap Damage Examples

Damage Severity by Level

With DC and Attack Bonuses

When creating traps, it is important to keep the trap balanced with the party's level, otherwise a single trap may be able to wipe out an entire group, ending the adventure fairly quickly. Below is a chart that should be used as a guideline for creating traps. It also has appropriate DC and Attack Bonuses.

Character Level Setback Dangerous Deadly
1st-4th DMG: Setback:  1d10 Dangerous:  2d10 Deadly:  4d10
DC: Setback:  10-11 Dangerous:  12-15 Deadly:  16-20
BONUS: Setback:  +3 to +5 Dangerous:  +6 to +8 Deadly:  +9 to +12
5th-10th DMG: Setback:  2d10 Dangerous:  4d10 Deadly:  10d10
DC: Setback:  10-11 Dangerous:  12-15 Deadly:  16-20
BONUS: Setback:  +3 to +5 Dangerous:  +6 to +8 Deadly:  +9 to +12
11th-16th DMG: Setback:  4d10 Dangerous:  10d10 Deadly:  18d10
DC: Setback:  10-11 Dangerous:  12-15 Deadly:  16-20
BONUS: Setback:  +3 to +5 Dangerous:  +6 to +8 Deadly:  +9 to +12
17th-20th DMG: Setback:  10d10 Dangerous:  18d10 Deadly:  24d10
DC: Setback:  10-11 Dangerous:  12-15 Deadly:  16-20
BONUS: Setback:  +3 to +5 Dangerous:  +6 to +8 Deadly:  +9 to +12

Trap Damage Examples

Below are some examples of trap effects, and some low level spells that can be integrated into a traps (i.e. a sprung trap that sprays poisoness gas may be the equivalent of a Cloudkill spell). Other traps may not cause damage, but may cause other problems (a darkness spell may be activated, consequently blinding everyone). A DM can be very creative and adapt many other spells that are not listed below.

Trap Damage Notes
Stinking Cloud Spell Damage:  Notes:  Con save or spends turns retching and reeling. Last 1 min unless dispersed.
Darkness Spell Damage:  Notes:  Blinds the party in the affected area.
Silence Spell Damage:  Notes:  Causes an area of silence, where spells can't be cast.
Globe of Invulnerability Spell Damage:  Notes:  Traps a creature for 1 minute (possibly while enemies are alerted, or while the floor slowly moves to show a pit below them)
Character Falls Damage:  1d6 / 10 ft. Notes:  Possible Dex (Acrobatics) check for short distances. Max damage of 20d6. Creature falls prone.
Frostbite Spell Damage:  1d6 Notes:  Con save or suffer cold damage.
Earth Tremor Spell Damage:  1d6 Notes:  Dex save or suffer bludeoning damage.
Ray of Frost Spell Damage:  1d8 Notes:  More damage if cast at higher levels: 5th (2d10), 11th (3d10), 17th (4d10)
Crushed by a falling Bookcase Damage:  1d10
Firebolt Spell Damage:  1d10 Notes:  More damage if cast at higher levels: 5th (2d10), 11th (3d10), 17th (4d10)
Eldritch Blast Spell Damage:  1d10 Notes:  More damage if cast at higher levels: 5th (2d10), 11th (3d10), 17th (4d10)
Hit by a Lightning Bolt Damage:  2d10 Notes:  Lightning damage
Fall into a Fire Pit Damage:  2d10
Collapsing Tunnel Damage:  4d10
Fall into a Vat of Acid Damage:  4d10
Cloudkill Spell Damage:  5d8 Notes:  Poison damage, Con save for half.
Whirling Steel Blades Damage:  10d10
Strong Lava Spray Damage:  10d10
Pit of Lava (submerged) Damage:  18d10
Vortex of Fire (submerged) Damage:  24d10


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