Watery Traps | 3 Free RPG Traps

Watery Traps | 3 Free RPG Traps

By Dean Rigdon

Water Weight

Mechanical trap (Complex trap, level 5-10, dangerous)

Description. A stream of water flows from the ceiling and into the palm of a statue raised on a pedestal in a basin. The sides of the basin slope down to 10 feet deep, and the statue’s pedestal is 5 feet tall, as is the statue. The room is a 30-foot wide square, with a small alcove containing a chest on the opposite side of the door.

Trigger. Walking more than 15 feet away from the room entrance triggers this trap. It remains active until all creatures have left the room.

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

Active Elements

Flowing Water (Initiative 20). The water starts 20 feet away from the statue and flows to the pedestal’s base, 10 feet below; unless the water stops flowing, this area is difficult terrain. Any creature within this area must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone and slide to the bottom.

Spinning Club (Initiative 10). A long wooden club slides out of a concealed hole; it attacks all creatures within 5 feet of the pedestal and has a +8 attack bonus, dealing 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage on a hit.

Dynamic Elements

Quickening Flow. Each round, the hand of the statue moves down 1 foot, causing the save DC of the Flowing Water effect to increase by 1 for each foot the hand has moved.

Extra Clobbering. Beginning on round 2, another club slides out of the pedestal, and the Spinning Club damage increases to 14 (4d6) bludgeoning damage. Beginning on round 3, all creatures hit by the attack must also succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Constant Elements

Brick by Brick. The bricks extend and attack creatures within 5 feet of the walls. They have a +8 attack bonus, deal 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage, and push a creature 5 feet toward the statue on a hit.

Spinning Club. Any creature that ends its turn within 5 feet of the pedestal is hit by an attack: +5 attack bonus, 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage on a hit.


Brick by Brick. The bricks only function for the lowest 5 feet of the 20-foot-high wall. A creature that uses fly or a similar method to remain 5 feet up is unaffected by the bricks. Any creature in front of the doors or the alcove is also out of the affected area.

Flowing Water. As an action, clothing, rope, and other similar materials can be used to slow the water down. This action slows down the water from the source to the pedestal in a 5-foot wide line, causing that line not to benefit from the Quickening Flow effect.

Spinning Club. As an action, a standing creature can make an attack against a club. Each club has AC 15 and 25 hit points. When a club is reduced to 0 hit points, it is destroyed.

Whisked Away

Magical trap (Simple trap, level 17-20, moderate)

Description. An exquisitely circular pool of water sits peacefully still. Under the surface, however, there is a hidden danger, a whirlpool ready to spin into action. A creature investigating the pool can see a locked wooden chest 15 feet down to the bottom, filled with loot of the game master’s choice.

Trigger. A creature that touches the wooden chest triggers this trap.

Effect. The water swirls into a whirlpool and pushes all creatures to the bottom. Each creature inside of the area makes a DC 15 Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 44 (8d10) bludgeoning damage and is restrained by the pool (escape DC 15). On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and isn’t restrained. Each round a creature remains in the pool, it takes 11 (2d10) bludgeoning damage.

Countermeasures. A successful DC 17 Intelligence (Investigation) check to observe the pool will reveal that the chest below has magical runes carved into it. To swim up while the trap is active, a character must succeed on a DC 14 Strength (Athletics) check.

Under Pressure

Mechanical trap (Simple trap, level 11-16, deadly)

Description. Water 5 feet deep fills a 30-foot-long hallway, cloudy with algae and age; the two drains seem to have been clogged long ago. A tripwire hidden underneath the water will cause solid iron gates to slam shut on either end and the water level to rise.

Trigger. A tripwire in the middle of the hallway triggers this trap.

Effect. Solid iron gates slam down on both ends of the hallway. Water rushes into the hallway instantly filling it, forcing any creature inside the hallway to make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 99 (18d10) bludgeoning damage and automatically runs out of breath, causing it to suffocate. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and doesn’t begin suffocating immediately.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals the tripwire, which can be disarmed by a DC 20 Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools) check. A character that succeeds on a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check can pull off one of two grates in front of each door. If both grates are pulled off, the water drains completely.

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