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Traps are generally part of the terrain. Abilities, such as the Scourge [Legendary] ability, that seriously alter the terrain can affect traps at EL 10 and below. At EL 11 and above, traps are typically protected by wards or other precautions.

Traps come in two major types: Concealed Traps, the standard for a dungeon delve, and Open Hazards, which include everything from lava pits to ancient and deadly gear works. Concealed Traps follow all the normal rules for traps. Open Hazards follow these rules, with some changes, noted below.

Open Hazards

Many dungeons are dominated by enormous lava pits, sprawling spike traps, or just poor construction standards. We call these Open Hazards. Open Hazards occupy twice as many squares as other traps, are automatically detected, and cannot be disarmed, destroyed or otherwise deactivated, except where noted otherwise. Open Hazards have no recharge time. Creatures who remain in the area suffer the effect again at the beginning of their turns.

Generally, players should be able to overcome open hazards with enough preparation and knowledge. Such knowledge can usually be obtained with knowledge checks. Open Hazards can range from window dressing to brutally assured total party kills. Open Hazards that cover chokepoints or the majority of an encounter's battlefield increase the EL of the trap by at least 50% and should not be used regularly.

Triggering Traps

Traps, fundamentally, are all about going off. This can range from a hail of deadly arrows to a seeping poison cloud. Regardless, traps at the end of the day are defined by what happens when you trigger them. For the purposes of determining if a creature is going to trigger a given trap, traps occupy a number of contiguous squares called the trap's area. Any creature that enters a trap's area triggers the trap, suffering that trap's effect. The square of the trap's area the creature enters is called the triggered square. Some traps also require saves. Once a trap has triggered, it cannot trigger again for until a number of [Rounds] have passed, given as the trap's Recharge, unless otherwise specified.

With some time and effort, creatures may be able to circumvent a trap that they've seen operate even if they can't disarm or destroy it.

Detecting Traps

If a creature comes within [Close] range of a trap and its Awareness exceeds a trap’s DC, that creature automatically detects the trap. Otherwise, a party may make a number of rolls given on the Trap Properties table to detect a trap. These rolls can be Perception, Engineering, or Larceny rolls, and are compared against the DCs of any traps within [Close] range. The first roll requires no action, and each creature may make the roll. A party uses the highest result.

After the first roll, even if there are no opponents present or known to the creatures, the creatures roll initiative and play proceeds in [Rounds], with turns in order of initiative. creatures may continue to make rolls, but only one roll can be made per [Round] by a given creature, and each roll must be made as part of a move action or as a swift action. A creature may also spend a standard action to gain a +2 bonus to all checks and to Awareness to detect traps until the end of his or her turn. If the creature knows the general vicinity or nature of a trap in advance, it gains an additional +3 bonus to all checks and to Awareness to detect the trap.

Disarming Traps

Players can attempt to disarm any trap they have detected. A party may make a number of rolls given the Trap Properties table to disarm a trap. Only one roll can be made per [Round] by a given player, and each roll must be made as a standard action or two consecutive move actions, which may be spent over multiple [Rounds]. You can use Engineering, Athletics, or Larceny. Other skills may be used at GM discretion. If a party fails all the rolls to disarm a trap, the trap becomes jammed, unable to be disarmed. Attempts to disarm a trap can be made against any of a trap’s squares.

Destroying Traps

Creatures can attempt to destroy any trap that has been triggered. Otherwise, a creature can only attempt to destroy a trap if their Awareness exceeds the trap’s DC or if an ally’s Awareness has exceeded the DC and informed them of its presence. A trap is destroyed when its hit points are reduced to 0. Attacks against traps can target any of a trap’s squares, automatically hit, and traps automatically fail saving throws.

Breaking and Building Traps

Traps can occupy the same squares as other traps, though it can typically throw off EL expectations. GMs may always use fewer squares for a trap than is stated. Traps do not last forever. They require maintenance, reloading, or even convection heating (to keep lava from solidifying). Legend does not cover this maintenance, but GMs may wish to make changes based on these considerations. Building traps is hard, and takes a lot of time. Most traps aren’t portable, and those that are become available through other means such as the Professional Soldier track. GMs can decide if more traditional emplaced traps, as described here, are at the players’ disposal.

The majority of traps cause [HP reduction], instead of damage, which lasts until the end of the [Encounter] unless otherwise specified. At the GM’s discretion, they may specify this [HP reduction] lasts until the end of the [Scene]. This is an optional rule for GMs who wish to use traps to wear down their players over time. It is advised that the GM carefully consider the increased difficulty of any subsequent [Encounters] as EL may be raised drastically depending on how much [HP reduction] the players suffer.


Traps use a "Universal Ability Modifier," or UAM, for determining some aspects of their effects. A trap's UAM for a given EL is given in the table.

Trap Abilities

Trap Properties
Squares Skill DC Save DC Rolls HP UAM Maximum
Ability Tier
1/2 4 10 13 3 10 3 1 3
1 4 12 13 3 15 3 1 3
2 6 14 14 3 20 3 1 3
3 6 15 15 3 25 4 1 3
4 8 16 16 3 35 4 2 3
5 8 18 16 2 40 4 2 3
6 10 19 18 2 45 5 2 2
7 10 20 18 2 50 5 2 2
8 12 21 19 2 60 5 2 2
9 12 22 20 2 65 6 3 2
10 13 24 21 1 70 6 3 2
11 13 25 21 1 75 6 3 2
12 14 26 23 1 90 7 3 1
13 14 27 23 1 90 7 3 1
14 15 28 24 1 100 7 4 1
15 15 30 25 1 100 8 4 1
16 16 31 26 1 100 8 4 1
17 16 32 26 1 100 8 4 1
18 16 33 28 1 100 9 4 1
19 16 34 28 1 120 9 4 0
20 16 36 30 1 140 10 4 0

1st Tier


Triggering this trap generates an effect like noises or lights, alerting other creatures or activating other traps. The exact effects of this depend on the scenario but should generally cause other threats to materialize.


Triggering this trap causes any of a variety of effects, such as shooting arrows from the walls, sending mammoth skulls cascading from the ceiling, creating spikes on the floor, or creating some other imminent violent threat, inflicting [HP reduction] equal to twice the sum of the trap's EL and UAM.


Triggering this trap creates a disorienting explosion of bright lights and loud noises, inflicting [Blinded] for one [Round]. A successful Fortitude save negates this effect. This trap may also draw the attention of any nearby guards.

Sticky Goop

Triggering this trap covers its victims in an unpleasant, immobilizing sludge, inflicting [Entangled] for two [Rounds]. A successful Reflex save negates this effect.

Obscuring Mist

Triggering this trap releases a thick fog, creating an obscuring mist, as the spell, centered on the triggered square, with a duration of UAM [Rounds].

2nd Tier


This trap cannot be triggered. This trap protects other traps from tampering by intruders, granting all other traps in the current encounter a +2 bonus to their DCs until it is disarmed or destroyed. This bonus does not stack with bonuses from other Shielding traps.

Weakening Poison

Triggering this trap fires envenomed darts, fills the air with poison gas, or otherwise afflicts creatures, inflicting [HP reduction] equal to the sum of the trap's EL and UAM the next time the triggering creature takes damage or triggers a trap other than a Weakening Poison trap before the end of the [Encounter]. This trap cannot be triggered more than three times per [Encounter]. Triggering this trap does not reveal it if it has not been detected.

Delta Generator

Triggering this trap siphons stamina as a crimson cord of energy, dealing 10 damage to the triggering creature if it is an opponent, or healing 10 hit points if it is an ally. Delta Generators are always Open Hazards.

Claymore Mine

This trap cannot be triggered except as an immediate action by its owner, a creature in the encounter designated at the start of the [Encounter]. Its owner must be within [Close] range to trigger this trap. Triggering this trap detonates the mine, dealing damage equal to the sum of four times the trap's EL and twice its UAM. Claymore mines cannot be triggered more than once per [Encounter]. Claymore mines are most suitable for those of a traditional mindset regarding how many pieces they want their foes in. Many use their unique triggering method to attempt to get as many opponents inside affected squares as possible.


Triggering this trap results in something like a burst of flames or spinning blades that race down a hallway, dealing damage equal to twice this trap's EL.

Smash Trap

Triggering this trap causes blunt-force trauma by such devices as swinging hammers, rolling boulders, or shooting stones, inflicting {{Bracket|Prone} and [HP reduction] equal to this trap's EL.


Triggering this trap releases a caustic spray that sears and distracts its victims, inflicting [Flat-footed] for one [Round] and [HP reduction] equal to EL + UAM.

Sticky Gel

Triggering this trap coats the unfortunate victim in a rapidly-hardening, constrictive gelatin, inflicting [Slowed] for two [Rounds] and [HP reduction] equal to this trap's EL. A successful Reflex save negates the [Slowed] condition.

3rd Tier

Reverse Gravity

Triggering this trap lifts up those within just enough to keep them from going where they want to with their own feet. Creatures within the trap's area are [Checked] in all directions if they do not have the Fly movement mode for UAM [Rounds] A triggering creature with the Fly movement mode is [Checked] in the direction they were moving when they first entered the trap's square for one [Round].

Drifting Minefield

Triggering this trap detonates one of the many component mines, inflicting 5 [HP reduction] and destroying the triggered square, reducing the trap's size by 1. This trap recharges immediately. At the start of each [Round], each square of this trap may move up to 10 ft. This trap is always an Open Hazard.

Rocks Fall

Rumors of its lethality have been greatly exaggerated. Triggering this trap makes rocks fall on pesky adventures, inflicting [Battered] for three [Rounds], and [HP reduction] equal to the trap's EL.

Thrust Grid

Triggering this trap releases a powerful shockwave, inflicting [Blown away] in a single fixed direction chosen when the trap is placed and [HP reduction] equal to the trap's EL.

Deadly Neurotoxin

Triggering this trap afflicts a creature with painful, debilitating spasms, inflicting [HP reduction] equal to the sum of the trap's EL and UAM and inflicting a penalty equal to half the triggering creature's movement speed to the triggering creature's movement speed for one [Round] (as with most untyped modifiers from the same source, this penalty does not stack with itself). Deadly Neurotoxin cannot be detected until it has been triggered, and recharges immediately. Deadly Neurotoxin is always a Concealed Trap.


Triggering this trap releases a flurry of rockets, bolts, bullets, or even magical projectiles, inflicting [HP reduction] equal to the trap's EL to all opponents in any of its squares. Gunners are always Open Hazards, but they occupy quadruple the number of squares as a normal trap instead of double for being an Open Hazard.

Force Wall

Triggering this trap summons a barricade of pure magical energy, creating a wall of force, as the spell, with a duration of three [Rounds], and up to half the trap's unoccupied squares as the trap's area.

4th Tier


Triggering this trap mashes adventurers between suddenly mobile walls, floors, or ceilings, inflicting [Stunned] for two [Rounds], and [HP reduction] equal to the sum of the trap's EL and UAM. A successful Fortitude save negates the [Stunned] condition.


Triggering this trap exposes a creature to an array of blades like so many gnashing teeth dripping with poisons or arcane energies, inflicting [HP reduction] equal to three times the trap's UAM, which does not expire until the end of the [Scene] (instead of the end of the [Encounter]).


Triggering this trap unleashes a bloody whirlwind of telekinetic magics, inflicting [Battered] for one [Round] and [HP reduction] equal to the sum of the trap's EL and UAM. Any square the triggering creature moves through within [Close] range of this trap while [Battered] becomes part of this trap.