Trap Master (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Trap Master[edit]

It's a trap!
—Admiral Ackbar

A trap master is a tactical adept who uses traps to defeat foes. With but a moment to prepare for battle, a trap master can outwit even the strongest of enemies. They learn to recognize and copy traps designed by others, quickly bypassing them and moving on.

Becoming a Trap Master[edit]

Characters pursue this class to develop their trapmaking and trapfinding abilities. Rogues tend to be the most common trap masters, though other classes are known to take it as well. A trap master's best ability is the capability to rapidly create traps, but the ability to copy them is important as well.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any, but many tend to be chaotic.
Skills: Craft (trapmaking) 10 ranks, Disable Device 10 ranks

Table: The Trap Master

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +1 +1 +1 Improved Trap, Instant Trap 2/day, Trapfinding, Trap Sense
2nd +1 +1 +2 +1 Improved Trap, Instant Trap 3/day, Learn Trap, Arcane Trap

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Craft (Int), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Disable Device (Int), Open Lock (Wis), Disguise (Cha), Move Silently (SRD:Dex), Hide (SRD:Dex), Concentration (Con), Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) (Int), Use Rope (Dex), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the trap master.

Trap Sense (Ex): Trap masters get +2 class bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. This bonus stacks with abilities granted by other sources.

Instant Trap (Su): Trap masters can take one full round action to prepare any trap they know how to create, using one (not necessarily consecutive) full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. They must make a Craft (Trapmaking) check using half the normal craft DC for that trap for each round, and must have the needed materials on hand. At first level, this ability is usable three times per day, increasing to five times per day at the second level.

Learn Trap: By studying a disabled trap closely for one round, a trap master can learn how it was constructed. The trap master gains the ability to create traps he has studied in addition to his other known traps. This ability requires a DC 18 Concentration check, and a Craft (trapmaking) check equal to the trap's Craft DC. Traps that cover more than two 5-foot squares require another check equal to the trap's Search DC. Failing either of these DCs will prevent the trap master from learning the trap, and a failure by 5 or more may also set off the trap.

Arcane Trap (Sp): A trap master can create traps with magical effects, provided they have the material components for the spell. This requires a spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + the level of the spell used.

Trapfinding (Ex): Trap masters can Search for traps with a DC over 20, as a rogue can.

Improved Trap: Trap masters gain a +4 class bonus on all skill checks involving traps, and traps they create have a +2 bonus to the disable device DC and the Search DC to find them. At second level, the skill check bonus and DCs each increase to +6.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Trap Master[edit]

Trap masters are difficult to play, in that they function best on their own ground. They excel at creating ambushes, diversions, and dangers for their enemy. They use their prepared traps to their advantage in combat to make up for their weaker fighting abilities.

Combat: Tactical.

Advancement: This class works well with rogue types, although other possibilities abound.

Resources: Trap masters may be part of a thieves' or even assassins' guild, or they may work by themselves.

Trap Masters in the World[edit]

My favorite trap? Please, come in; I'll show you.
—Wade "Firebrand" Auger, dwarven trap master

NPC trap masters can be found in cities, or sometimes in dungeons of their own devising. They are respected, but also regarded with a certain degree of fear. PC trap masters receive similar attention. They are treated similar to rogues.

NPC Reactions: Kobolds hold trap masters in high esteem, and will often offer to free a captured trap master if he agrees to teach them what he knows. (This does not, unfortunately, always spread to include his companions, however.) Other NPCs may have varying reactions depending on their personal beliefs relating to traps. Especially paladins, but they don't like anything.

Trap Master Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in knowledge (dungeoneering) or knowledge (local) can research trap masters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (dungeoneering), knowledge (local)
DC Result
11 Trap masters are adept in the creation of traps.
16 Trap masters can create traps at a moment's notice.
21 They can also study existing traps to learn how they work.
26 Information about a particular trap master, including general location.

Trap Masters in the Game[edit]

Most trap masters are likely to be NPCs, unless the campaign focuses on defense, in which case traps make very good sense. A PC could take this class, but it would be better for cohorts or followers.

The lack of combat progression makes playing it well somewhat difficult for PCs, even with the abilities the class provides. It is recommended that the trap master be used as a PC class by experienced players only.

Adaptation: The trap master could be adapted to focus on constructs or golems instead of traps. This would also help with some of the trap master's mobility difficulties, so adjustments to power would need to be made accordingly.

Sample Encounter:

EL 10, 12 to 14 with traps:


CR 10

Lawful Evil small humanoid (reptilian)
Init/Senses +8/Listen 13, Spot 14
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 14
hp 45 (10d6 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will 3/9/1
Speed 30
Base Atk/Grp 7/1/2
Abilities Str 6, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 12

Skills: Disable Device 13 ranks, Knowledge (architecture & engineeering) 10 ranks, Craft (trapmaking) 13 (+8) ranks, Hide 13 (+6) ranks, Move Silently 13 (+2) ranks, Search 11 ranks, Open Lock 5 ranks, Disguise 5 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Spot 13 ranks.

Feats: Improved Initiative, Stealthy, Alertness

Abilities: Sneak attack +4d6, Trap Sense +5, Instant Trap 2/day, Arcane Trap, Trapfinding, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge

Vulnerabilities: Light Sensitivity

Items: +3 studded leather armor, two +2 steel daggers

Rakthar will flee if attacked, depending on his traps to kill or incapacitate party members if they follow. Should he run out of prepared traps, he may hide somewhere until the PCs go away, or make a run for it if he thinks he can escape.

He spends his time between crafting intricate traps beyond the capability of any other trapmaker, and ruling a small band of kobolds (4 Level 8 kobolds: 2 fighters, a sorcerer, and a cleric). If approached, he will be nonagressive, but clearly mistrusting of anyone he doesn't know. If PCs are able make an agreement with him, he will still honor it, however. Two of the kobolds in his band have been stealing food from a local village, but the band is largely self-sufficient.

The main entrance to the kobold den is heavily laden with traps of numerous kinds, although there is a small, well-hidden secret entrance near a fallen tree (DC 20 to Search) which the kobolds use when possible. The den itself is a maze of tunnels about five feet tall and 3 feet wide, limiting combat options and slowing down medium creatures. There are traps everywhere, even in dead ends , and some tunnels loop around to intersect themselves. Some traps will destroy the floor, dropping intruders into a lower tunnel. If PCs enter but do not make a map, they will almost certainly get lost in these tunnels. (If they do, feel free to take satisfaction in every failed survival check made by the party - Rakthar certainly will.) A few of the traps incorporate low-level magical spells, but most are purely mechanical in nature.

Rakthar will flee to the main entrance if encountered outside, in order to lead the party through his gauntlet of traps (easily bypassing them himself), eventually escaping through a tunnel too small for medium creatures to enter, which leads to the secret entrance above.

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