It's All in Your Head | 5e Traps

It's All in Your Head | 5e Traps

By Dean Rigdon

Looking for some cool 5e traps you can drag and drop into your game to give your players a fun little surprise? Or perhaps your BBEG has a treasure hoard to protect? These 5e traps can help!

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It’s All in Your Head

These traps deal with the mental fortitude of a character rather than physical attributes. They give a game master the ability to throw something new and unexpected at characters that may be unexpected and challenging for the characters who have to deal with the traps.

Contemptuous Bust

Magical trap (Simple trap, level 5-10, setback)

Description. The busts of two angry-looking women are raised on pedestals opposite each other. When a creature walks between the statues, they start hurling insults and indignities.

Trigger. A creature that walks between the two statues triggers this trap.

Effect. The triggering creature makes a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 11 (2d10) psychic damage and is deafened for 1 minute. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and is not deafened.

Countermeasures. If a creature uses something to cover their ears but does not fully deafen themselves, they gain advantage on the saving throw. If a creature can’t hear, this trap has no effect.

Stunning Beauty

Magical trap (Simple trap, level 1-4, setback)

Description. A painting with a winding golden frame that causes any creature who looks at it to see a vision of beauty laced with magic.

Trigger. A creature that looks at the painting triggers the trap. Creatures may attempt to put this into an enemy’s line of sight using an action.

Effect. The triggering creature must make a DC 13 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is forced to use all its movement speed to approach the painting and is stunned for 1 round after moving toward the painting.

Countermeasures. A creature that averts its eyes from the painting is unaffected. If the painting is destroyed by any means, all effects caused by the painting end.

Mental Block

Mechanical trap (Complex trap, level 11-16, dangerous)

Description. A stone-walled room lined with odd holes and a voice from above whispering inaudibly. When a creature steps on a pressure plate, sheets of flame pour from the holes in the walls, and the voice starts loudly proclaiming factoids.

Trigger. A creature that steps on a pressure plate placed in the center of the room triggers this trap.

Initiative. This trap acts on initiative count 20 and initiative count 10.

Active Elements

Droning Voice (Initiative 20). A droning, monotone voice grows in volume, reciting facts with a dull cadence. Each creature that can hear it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or fall unconscious. At the end of each of the creature’s subsequent turns or if the creature takes damage from any source, it can repeat the save, ending the effect on a success.

Flame Sheet (Initiative 10). The holes in the wall flare up, and lines of flame sheet across the room. Each creature in the room must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 33 (6d10) fire damage. A creature takes half as much damage on a success.

Dynamic Elements

White Hot Flame. The flames burn hotter as time goes on. The Flame Sheet effect deals an extra 11 (2d10) fire damage each time the Flame Sheet acts.

Constant Elements

Relentless Noise. Each time a creature that can hear ends its turn within 300 feet of the room, it takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage.


Flame Sheet. A successful DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check to identify the location the flames are coming from gives a creature advantage on Dexterity saving throws to avoid the Flame Sheet effect. Once identified, a creature may use an action to plug the holes to prevent the flames from emerging. Each action spent doing so reduces the damage from the holes by 1/3, with three actions deactivating the flame sheet.

Droning Voice. A successful DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check determines that a glass orb placed in the ceiling is the source of the voice. If the orb is destroyed in any manner (AC 13 and 1 hp), the Droning Voice effect ends. If the Droning Voice effect caused a creature to fall unconscious, that effect ends at the start of the creature's turn.

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