10 Triggered Traps

Doughty warriors, dwarves often find themselves outnumbered by their racial enemies. Thus, the dwarves craft numerous cunning traps to aid in defending their homes.


Adventurers searching a fallen dwarven hold will doubtless come across many triggered traps in the course of their explorations. Use the table below, to generate the details of such triggered traps. (Many of the entries include mention of “intruders”; modify such entries as appropriate for your campaign).

  1. An open pit pierces the floor. Within, impaled on slender stone spikes carved from the pit’s floor, lie the skeletal remains of three intruders. One-foot-deep brackish water fills the pit, and its sides are slick with lichen.
  2. A perfectly square stone block fallen from the ceiling partially blocks the corridor. A skeletal hand emerges from under the block—the rest of the unfortunate’s remains lie crushed to dust beneath the stone.
  3. Fallen rocks and debris choke a side passage, from floor to ceiling. Gritty dust lies thickly on the floor in front of the cave-in. Unexplored chambers could lie beyond, or the passageway could have been nothing more than a trap for the unwary.
  4. A rusting iron ballista bolt as thick as a dwarf’s forearm is buried deeply in one wall. Of what shot the bolt there is no sign, but cracks radiate out from the impact point for some considerable distance.
  5. An iron portcullis blocks further progress. Thousands of tiny spikes stud the portcullis’s bars in all directions making climbing a painful business.
  6. Rusting iron spikes jut up from the floor through clever hidden holes. A reddish stain covers several of the spikes and the surrounding stone, but there is no sign of whoever triggered the trap.
  7. A cracked stone door—surrounded by a dried blood stain—lies flat on the floor in front of a false doorway. Nothing but a small niche, empty but for the trap’s mechanism, lies beyond.
  8. A swath of melted floor—centred on a tiny niche cut into the ceiling—bears mute testimony to some savage acid-based trap. Fragile shards of bone and other detritus lie scattered about the area.
  9. A wickedly barbed spear protrudes from the floor. Transfixed by the spear, the skeletal remains of an intruder remain (mostly) standing upright. Pieces of bones and mouldering equipment lie scattered around the unfortunate. If touched, the skeletal remains collapse and clatter (loudly) to the floor.
  10. A portion of the floor—reaching from wall to wall—has fallen away to reveal a steep smooth stone chute leading downwards to some unthinkable depth. A light source dropped down the chute quickly slides away out of sight. (The chute leads to an isolated level from which there is no escape for those unable to climb back up).

Related Resource

Want More?

10 Triggered Traps appears in 20 Things #23: Fallen Dwarven Hold.

For more free content, check out our Free Resources page.

If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One thought on “10 Triggered Traps