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Dungeon Elements – Floors

LightningVolt_Wood_FloorWhat is more ubiquitous in a dungeon than a floor? Whether it be made of wood, stone or dirt, almost all dungeons have floors, and other than the occasional pit, what adventurer ever pays much attention to the floor? Floors provide ample opportunities to spice up your dungeon, and it doesn’t even have to be complex or convoluted, yet it can still be fresh and unexpected.

Just Waxed Floor

The wooden floor in this room is highly polished and clean.

Type: mechanical; Perception DC 16; Disable Device 22

Trigger touch; Reset None


The floor has been polished and waxed. Normal movement is not affected, however, any other actions, including spell casting with somatic components, combat actions or running are affected. Waxed Floor (DC 15 Acrobatics check or fall prone)

There is nothing tricky, fancy or even inherently deadly about this trap. However, whether or not the characters take precautions, such a simple little trap can add some flavor and take the difficulty up a notch. That charge that the fighter does is far less effective when he slips and falls, as is the mage when he falls down casting a fireball. If your dungeon denizens are immune to the effect, either through preparation of some other mechanism, this becomes even more devious. However, if they aren’t ready, nothing spells fun and memories like 10 kobolds running into a room and all slipping and sliding like a 3 Stooges movie.

Finally, your players will know you care. How many GM’s make sure that their dungeon floors are clean for their guests?

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Using everyday objects to inflict harm – Bent Nails

Gartlmühle,_Gresten_04_-_rusty_nailAs we saw last week, not every trap is deliberate. On the flip side, deliberate traps can be hidden in plain sight as ordinary objects.


Bent Nails

The corridors here are tight and irregularly shaped.

Type: mechanical; Perception DC 22; Disable Device 19

Trigger location; Reset Auto


The walls of the corridors have several bent and rusted nails sticking out of the walls. If noticed, a character can make a DC 15 Acrobatics check for each move action to avoid being cut by the nails. Otherwise, they must make Reflex Saves. Bent Nails(DC 16 Reflex Save each move action or take 1 point of damage, and make a DC 12 Fortitude Save or take 1 Dex Damage); multiple targets (all targets walking down corridor)

This one has nails sticking out of the wall that can cause ability loss. If the characters initially do not notice these nails, and then get, for lack of a better word, nailed by this trap, they will spend a little more time noticing the fine details of your dungeon that you spent so much time preparing.

It can also make for some great deterrents. That old bridge that crosses a stream no longer becomes a simple DC 5 Acrobatics check for the characters. It could become a full-fledged production as the characters go out of their way to devise a plan to cross the bridge without actually touching anything.

Like many of these traps, using one or two of these can focus players on details. You can later use these details to your advantage as you can hide clues or other story elements in your setting, confident that the players will find them.