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Building Hazards

Building hazards designed for your game allows you to customize them to match your story, location, and needs, as well as to surprise the other players at every turn. There’s no wrong way to create a hazard, but this guide presents the information in the order you might see it in a hazard stat block.


The first thing you’ll need is a concept for your hazard.

What level is your hazard? Will it be simple or complex? Is it a trap, a haunt, an environmental hazard, or something else? If it’s a trap, is it mechanical, magical, or both? This is a good time to brainstorm the hazard’s name and description, as this will help you decide how the hazard can be disabled.

The following information builds on concepts from Building Creatures.

Hazard Types

The three main types of hazards are traps, environmental hazards, and haunts.

Traps are usually built or placed, though they can also form accidentally, such as if a magic portal, through millennia of disuse, malfunctions as its magic warps. Mechanical traps always have some physical component, whereas purely magical traps typically don’t. Magical traps can usually be counteracted by dispel magic, and those without a listed proficiency rank for Stealth can be found using detect magic. Thievery is the most common skill used to disable traps.

Environmental hazards are either living things, like dangerous spores and molds, or simply features of the terrain or environment, like avalanches or rockslides. While they are always physical, some environmental hazards can’t reasonably be attacked or damaged, such as a cloud of poisonous gas or a patch of quicksand. Survival is the most common skill used to disable environmental hazards.

Haunts are spiritual hazards, usually formed when the spiritual essence of a location is imprinted with the instincts and emotions from a living being’s demise. Because haunts lack matter, they rarely involve a physical component, and when they do, that component is generally incorporeal or might even be damaged only by positive energy. The skills and options used to disable haunts vary, though using Religion for an exorcism is common. However, even with a successful check to disable a haunt, it can reoccur until its unfinished business is resolved. Typically, successfully disabling or enduring a haunt provides clues to determine what it would take to lay it to rest permanently.

Understanding and Choosing Statistics

Much like for creatures, hazard statistics can be extreme, high, or low (hazards don’t need as much granularity, so they usually don’t have moderate or terrible values for their statistics). While they are defined in creature creation, when building a hazard, you’ll use the values slightly differently.

Extreme: While extreme values remain world-class statistics that are extremely difficult to meet or exceed, unlike with monsters, almost all hazards have one extreme statistic because hazards normally activate only if they have gone unnoticed or if someone critically failed to disable them. Does it have an extreme Stealth DC that makes it incredibly hard to find, an extreme Disable DC that makes it perilous to disable, or an extreme save DC that makes it deadly in the event it triggers? These are the most common choices, as each affects a different phase of encountering the hazard.

High: This is a capable level, and can generally serve as a baseline value; this value for hazards covers what would be the high and moderate ranges for creatures.

Low: If a hazard has a weakness, like a poor Reflex save for a bulky mechanical trap or an easy DC to disable for a hard-to-find trap, it usually has a low value. If you need something even lower, use a terrible value from Building Creatures, or just an incredibly low value like the Armageddon orb’s Stealth.

Stealth and Disable

When determining a hazard’s combat statistics, first decide how the hazard can be located and how hard it is to disable.

A hazard where the main challenge is how difficult it is to find, like a hidden pit, might have a very different effect for its level than a hazard out in plain sight, daring a PC to try to disable it, like the Armageddon orb.

Table 2–13: Stealth and Disable DCs
Level Extreme High Low
–1 18 15 12 to 11
0 19 16 13 to 12
1 20 17 14 to 13
2 21 18 15 to 14
3 23 20 17 to 15
4 25 22 18 to 17
5 26 23 20 to 18
6 28 25 21 to 19
7 30 27 23 to 21
8 31 28 24 to 22
9 33 30 26 to 23
10 35 32 27 to 25
11 36 33 29 to 26
12 38 35 30 to 27
13 40 37 32 to 29
14 41 38 33 to 30
15 43 40 35 to 31
16 45 42 36 to 33
17 46 43 38 to 34
18 48 45 39 to 35
19 50 47 41 to 37
20 51 48 42 to 38
21 53 50 44 to 39
22 55 52 45 to 41
23 56 53 46 to 42
24 58 55 48 to 43

When deciding how your hazard is disabled, come up with a narrative description of how it would happen, which will inform which methods and skills disable the hazard. You’ll need to decide the proficiency rank necessary to find the hazard as well as disable it with each method.

Remember, a hazard without a listed rank next to its Stealth DC is obvious enough that creatures can find it without Searching, and magical hazards without a listed rank are not normally protected against detect magic. Most hazards built by intelligent creatures are concealed have at least a trained rank. Table 2–14 indicates the high and moderate proficiency requirements by level; you can use lower proficiency ranks than the ones listed, and if you use the high rank, consider a secondary, perhaps less-efficient method to disable the hazard using a lower rank. For instance, the bloodthirsty urge haunt in the core rules can be disabled with master Religion, or by a higher DC with expert Diplomacy.

If you need a Stealth modifier for a complex hazard, just subtract 10 from the listed DC.

Table 2–14: Minimum Proficiency
Levels High Moderate
0 or lower Untrained Untrained
1–4 Trained (expert for Perception) Trained
5–8 Expert Trained
9–18 Master Expert
19 or higher Legendary Master


If there’s a physical component that a character could break, you’ll need to determine the hazard’s AC, Fortitude save, and Reflex save, using the extreme, high, and low values (preceded by E, H, or L on the table) as well as its Hardness, HP, and Broken Threshold (BT). When building a purely magical or formless hazard, you can skip this section.

Table 2–15: Defenses
Level EAC HAC LAC E Save H Save L Save Hardness HP*
–1 18 15 12 +9 +8 +2 2–4 11–13
0 19 16 13 +10 +9 +3 3–5 15–17
1 19 16 13 +11 +10 +4 5–7 23–25
2 21 18 15 +12 +11 +5 7–9 30–34
3 22 19 16 +14 +12 +6 10–12 42–46
4 24 21 18 +15 +14 +8 11–13 46–50
5 25 22 19 +17 +15 +9 12–14 50–54
6 27 24 21 +18 +17 +11 13–15 54–58
7 28 25 22 +20 +18 +12 14–16 58–62
8 30 27 24 +21 +19 +13 15–17 62–66
9 31 28 25 +23 +21 +15 16–18 66–70
10 33 30 27 +24 +22 +16 17–19 70–74
11 34 31 28 +26 +24 +18 19–21 78–82
12 36 33 30 +27 +25 +19 20–22 82–86
13 37 34 31 +29 +26 +20 21–23 86–90
14 39 36 33 +30 +28 +22 22–24 90–94
15 40 37 34 +32 +29 +23 23–25 94–98
16 42 39 36 +33 +30 +25 25–27 101–107
17 43 40 37 +35 +32 +26 27–29 109–115
18 45 42 39 +36 +33 +27 29–31 117–123
19 46 43 40 +38 +35 +29 31–33 125–131
20 48 45 42 +39 +36 +30 33–35 133–139
21 49 46 43 +41 +38 +32 36–38 144–152
22 51 48 45 +43 +39 +33 39–41 156–164
23 52 49 46 +44 +40 +34 44–46 168–176
24 54 51 48 +46 +42 +36 46–50 180–188

* The Broken Threshold is usually half the hazard’s HP.

Some hazards, even high-level ones, don’t make sense with a high Hardness value. In those cases, you can skip the Hardness and use the HP values from table 2–7: Hit Points. Especially for complex hazards, you might want to divide the durability over multiple sections, located in different positions, to encourage teamwork and mobility.


Almost all hazards need an attack bonus or a save DC, and hazards that deal damage need to list a damage value. Simple hazards deal about twice as much damage as complex hazards and have an attack bonus even higher than the extreme attack bonus for a creature (abbreviated as S. Atk in Table 2–16: Offense). Complex hazards usually have attack bonuses akin to a high attack bonus for a creature (abbreviated as C. Atk in Table 2–16).

You can adjust them further using Table 2–9: Attack Bonus if your hazard needs it. Simple hazard DCs aren’t as high for their level as their attack bonuses are, since effects with DCs usually have some effect even on a successful saving throw; use the EDC and HDC columns for extreme and hard DCs on Table 2–16: Offense below.

The damage columns on the table give a damage expression you can use, followed by the average damage in parentheses. If you want to make your own damage expression, remember that average damage is 2.5 for a d4, 3.5 for a d6, 4.5 for a d8, 5.5 for a d10, and 6.5 for a d12.

Table 2–16: Offense
Level S. Atk C. Atk Simple Dmg Complex Dmg EDC HDC
–1 +10 +8 2d4+1 (6) 1d4+1 (3) 19 16
0 +11 +8 2d6+3 (10) 1d6+2 (5) 19 16
1 +13 +9 2d6+5 (12) 1d6+3 (6) 20 17
2 +14 +11 2d10+7 (18) 1d10+4 (9) 22 18
3 +16 +12 2d10+13 (24) 1d10+6 (12) 23 20
4 +17 +14 4d8+10 (28) 2d8+5 (14) 25 21
5 +19 +15 4d8+14 (32) 2d8+7 (16) 26 22
6 +20 +17 4d8+18 (36) 2d8+9 (18) 27 24
7 +22 +18 4d10+18 (40) 2d10+9 (20) 29 25
8 +23 +20 4d10+22 (44) 2d10+11 (22) 30 26
9 +25 +21 4d10+26 (48) 2d10+13 (24) 32 28
10 +26 +23 4d12+26 (52) 2d12+13 (26) 33 29
11 +28 +24 4d12+30 (56) 2d12+15 (28) 34 30
12 +29 +26 6d10+27 (60) 3d10+14 (30) 36 32
13 +31 +27 6d10+31 (64) 3d10+16 (32) 37 33
14 +32 +29 6d10+35 (68) 3d10+18 (34) 39 34
15 +34 +30 6d12+33 (72) 3d12+17 (36) 40 36
16 +35 +32 6d12+35 (74) 3d12+18 (37) 41 37
17 +37 +33 6d12+37 (76) 3d12+19 (38) 43 38
18 +38 +35 6d12+41 (80) 3d12+20 (40) 44 40
19 +40 +36 8d10+40 (84) 4d10+20 (42) 46 41
20 +41 +38 8d10+44 (88) 4d10+22 (44) 47 42
21 +43 +39 8d10+48 (92) 4d10+24 (46) 48 44
22 +44 +41 8d10+52 (96) 4d10+26 (48) 50 45
23 +46 +42 8d12+48 (100) 4d12+24 (50) 51 46
24 +47 +44 8d12+52 (104) 4d12+26 (52) 52 48

Example Simple Hazards

When designing a simple hazard, make sure to select an appropriate trigger and effect. Often, a simple hazard that merely damages its target is little more than a speed bump that slows down the game without much added value, so think about the purpose of your hazard carefully, both in the story and in the game world, especially when it’s a hazard that a creature intentionally built or placed in that location. A great simple hazard does something interesting, has a longer-lasting consequence, or integrates with the nearby inhabitants or even the encounters in some way (you can find more information on integrating hazards with encounters in Dynamic Encounters).

A simple hazard uses its reaction when triggered.

Air Bubbles (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

Occasionally, sea dwelling civilizations create pockets of breathable air for surface dwellers visiting their domain, and these large permanent air bubbles occasionally fill underwater caves or “breather” districts of cities. These magically-created air bubbles displace water but contain breathable air for surface dwellers, which is never exhausted.

More commonly, small magical geysers give rise to temporary bubbles of breathable air which balloon out from rocky lakebeds, ocean floors, and similar underwater features.

These bubbles take up a 5-foot square and provide enough air for a Large or smaller air-breathing creature to refill its lungs, allowing it to reset the clock on holding its breath.

Because air bubbles displace water, swimming into one makes continuing to swim somewhat difficult, imposing a –10 penalty on Athletics checks to Swim in the round in which a creature encounters an air bubble, and on the following round. These magical geysers typically produce air bubbles at a rate of about 1 bubble every 30 seconds, though some have been known to be produced more frequently or infrequently.

When created for the convenience of surface dwellers, these air bubbles are spaced frequently enough to allow comfortable sea travel.

Brown Mold Hazard 2

Source GMG

Environmental Fungus

Stealth DC 21 (trained)

This unassuming fungus leeches heat out of the air.

Disable DC 18 Survival (trained) to safely remove the mold

Emit Cold (aura, cold); 5 feet. Brown mold deals 2d6 cold damage to nearby creatures.

AC 18; Fort +11, Ref +5

HP 30 (BT 15); Immunities critical hits, fire, object immunities, precision damage; Weaknesses cold 10

Leech Warmth [reaction] Trigger Fire comes within 5 feet of the brown mold; Effect The brown mold expands into every square adjacent to its space. As it grows, it pulls more heat from its surroundings, dealing 2d6+6 cold damage (DC 18 basic Fortitude save) to creatures within 10 feet after it expands.

Reset After expanding, the brown mold can’t grow again for 1 day.

Dragonstorm Hazard 18

Source PAP150

Rare Environmental Magical

A massive storm stirs in the skies. As specific events begin during the three waves of the manifestation’s retribution, the dragonstorm wreaks localized havoc.

Stealth +40 (legendary)

Disable The dragonstorm can’t be disabled—only endured. See source material for information on ending this hazard’s effects.

Localized Dragonstorm [reaction] (air) Trigger A new wave begins; Effect Roll 1d10 to determine which effect manifests from the following possibilities. The placement of these effects is guided by Dahak’s will, and they should manifest in the most detrimental locations possible to the PCs.

d10 Result
1–2 Acid Rain (acid) A torrent of acid drenches creatures in a 20-foot burst. Creatures in the area take 6d10 acid damage (DC 42 basic Reflex save). Creatures that critically fail also take 5 persistent acid damage.
3–4 Freezing Wind (cold) A barrage of freezing wind and hail assaults all creatures in a 20-foot burst. Creatures in the area take 3d10 cold damage and 3d10 bludgeoning damage (DC 42 basic Reflex save). Creatures that critically fail are slowed 1 for 1 round.
5–6 Bolts of Lightning (electricity) Several bolts of lightning strike all creatures in a 20-foot burst. Creatures in the area take 6d10 electricity damage (DC 42 basic Reflex save). Creatures that critically fail their saves become blinded and deafened for 1 round.
7–8 Flaming Vortex (fire) Gouts of flame fall on all creatures in a 20-foot burst. Creatures in the area take 6d10 fire damage (DC 42 basic Reflex save). Creatures that critically fail their saves also take 5 persistent fire damage.
9–10 Poison Miasma (poison) Poisonous mist rolls forth, covering a 20-foot burst for 1 round. Creatures within the mist become concealed, and creatures outside it become concealed to creatures within it. Creatures within the mist take 6d10 poison damage (DC 42 basic Fortitude save). Creatures that critically fail their saves become enfeebled 2.

Filth Fever

Many creatures (like giant rats) have the ability to infect those they injure with this sickness.

Saving Throw DC (varies by source of this sickness) Fortitude; Stage 1 carrier with no ill effect (1d4 hours); Stage 2 sickened 1 (1 day); Stage 3 sickened 1 and slowed 1 as long as it remains sickened (1 day); Stage 4 unconscious (1 day); Stage 5 dead

The sickened and unconscious conditions from filth fever can’t end or be reduced until the disease is cured.

Flying Water (3pp)

A magical phenomenon sometimes resulting from the interference of wizards, and other times occurring as a result of ambient magic in the world, flying water is just as it sounds. A large torrent of water forms a long stream resembling a worm or snake, connecting one body of water with another, or, in the case of some large bodies of water, connecting one part of itself with another. Typically, flying water forms a 30-foot-diameter tube of water which can be swum in or sailed upon, with some difficulty. The DC of Athletics checks made to Swim in flying water are increased by 5. Additionally, a creature who sinks far enough can fall out of the bottom of a band of flying water, taking fall damage as appropriate for the distance of the fall. Flying water always has a current heading in one direction, but any creature in flying water is also subjected to the effects of any wind in the area. A flying creature must succeed on an Athletics check to Swim through the flying water if it encounters it or become entangled in its current. The DC of any skill checks made to sail a vessel on top of a band of flying water are increased by 10.

Ghostly Choir Hazard 6

Source GMG


Stealth DC 20 (expert)

A choir of lost souls rises out of the floor, singing an eerie chant that terrifies its listeners and buffets their bodies with walls of sound.

Disable DC 28 Performance (trained) to disrupt the song’s resonance with another tune or DC 28 Religion (trained) to ritually silence the spirits

Profane Chant [reaction] (auditory, emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, occult) Trigger A creature moves within 10 feet of the section of floor from which the choir can arise; Effect The choir rises, and its song deals 4d8+18 mental damage to non-evil creatures within 30 feet of the souls’ spectral forms. Affected creatures must each attempt a DC 24 Will save.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Success The creature takes half damage and becomes frightened 1.

Failure The creature takes full damage and becomes frightened 2.

Critical Failure The creature takes double damage. It also becomes frightened 3 and fleeing for 1 round.

Golden Ice (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

In areas where the cold is particularly extreme, raw magical energy occasionally becomes frozen as a shimmering plane of ice. While the color of these odd ice formations varies, gold is the most prevalent, and thus “golden ice” was coined as the name for this phenomenon. Ice like this has a habit of forming in inconvenient places, such as in front of doors, at the mouths of caves, or over sources of fresh water; this is partially due to the fact that such ice normally forms as the result of long-standing protective spells, enchantments, or wards, and partially due to magic’s natural tendency to meddle with mortals. Whatever the case, golden ice is as hard as mithral of the same thickness and suffers only half damage from non-magical sources, regardless of composition.

Magical fire, however ignores the hardness of golden ice and deals 5 times its normal damage to golden ice, usually melting the formation. A spellcaster can spend 1d12 hours in an area where the natural temperature is –5 degrees or colder and expend a spell of 5th level or higher to create a 1 foot thick, 5-foot by 5-foot sheet of golden ice within 30 foot.

The spellcaster may expend additional spells slots to increase the dimensions of this sheet by an additional number of feet equal to the total combined level of the expanded spell slots, though the sheet remains 1 foot thick. Attempting to create a complex work of art in this way requires an appropriate skill check. Golden ice automatically melts if it spends more than 24 hours in an area warmer than –5 degrees.

Grasp of the Damned Hazard 17

Source GMG


Stealth DC 43 (master)

These desperate spirits are the echoes of people who committed great atrocities in the name of an evil god.

Now, they are left with only the knowledge that their souls have been damned, and the unwavering belief that they can better their fate by providing powerful sacrifices for their fiendish masters.

Disable DC 46 Religion (master) to inspire a deity to intervene and counteract the ritual

Mark for Damnation [reaction] (death, divine, necromancy) Trigger Three or more sentient living creatures of 13th level or higher enter the haunt’s area; Effect The haunt deals 6d12+35 negative damage to each creature in the haunt’s area, and each creature must attempt a DC 40 Will save.

Critical Success The creature takes no damage and is doomed 1.

Success The creature takes half damage and is doomed 1.

Failure The creature takes full damage, becomes doomed 2, and is marked for damnation.

Critical Failure The creature takes double damage, becomes doomed 3, and is marked for damnation.

If a creature that is marked for damnation dies within the next 24 hours, including from the haunt’s damage, its soul is immediately dragged away to the plane of the evil deity that the damned spirits served, where the creature’s soul is held captive by one of that deity’s powerful servitors.

Only wish and similarly potent effects are able to recover the lost soul directly; however, it is also possible to recover the soul by journeying to the evil plane and defeating the soul’s captor.

Reset 1 day

Green Slime Hazard 9

Source GMG


Stealth DC 30 (expert)

A caustic green film clings to the ceiling above, watching for prey to pass beneath it.

Disable DC 33 Survival (expert) to carefully peel the slime off the ceiling without touching it AC 20; Fort +25, Ref +15

HP 200 (BT 100); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage; Weaknesses cold 20, fire 20

Dissolving Ambush [reaction] Trigger A creature walks beneath the slime; Effect The green slime drops on top of the creature, attempting to dissolve it into a nutritious slurry. The target must attempt a DC 28 Reflex save.

Critical Success The target leaps out of the way, and it is unaffected.

Success A small amount of the slime splashes onto the target. The target is drained 1.

Failure The slime lands on its target. The target is drained 1, and this condition value increases by 1 at the end of its turn each round until the slime is removed. If the target reaches drained 4, the next time its drained value would increase, it dies and collapses into a slurry of nutrients. A slime covering a target can no longer be removed through Survival checks, and damage dealt to the slime is also dealt to the target (applying the target’s immunities, weaknesses, and resistances rather than those of the green slime).

Critical Failure The slime completely coats its target. This has the same effect as a failure, except the target is immediately drained 2, becomes drained 4 after 1 round, and dies after 2 rounds.

Reset 1 hour, as the slime feasts and then slowly creeps back up to the ceiling

Hampering Web Hazard 1

Source GMG


Stealth DC 18 (expert)

Semitransparent sheets of webbing span the entryway, ready to capture small insects or hamper larger creatures that pass through.

Disable DC 17 Survival (trained) to dislodge it AC 19; Fort +10, Ref +11

HP 26 (BT 13); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Ensnare [reaction] Trigger A creature that isn’t a spider walks into the web; Effect The web wraps around the triggering creature’s body, clinging to their limbs. The triggering creature must succeed at a DC 20 Reflex save or take a –10-foot circumstance penalty to all their Speeds until they Escape the web (DC 20). On a critical failure, the webbing also clings to the creature’s face, making them sickened 1, and they can’t attempt to reduce this condition until they Escape the web.

Heat Wall Hazard 10

Source NW:NEH

Environmental Fire Magical

Stealth DC 29 or detect magic

A shimmering curtain of superheated air rises up to 100 feet high and is up to 100 feet long.

Disable Dispel magic (4th level, counteract DC 29) to counteract the trap before it triggers AC 10; Fort +22, Ref +22 HP 100 per 5-foot section; Immunities fire, weapon damage, Weaknesses cold 20

Burning Wall [free-action] Trigger A creature or object passes through the wall. Effect The creature or object takes 6d6 fire damage.

Reset Unless the counteract check was a critical success, a disabled heat wall resets in 24 hours. Merely triggering a heat wall does not cause it to cease to function.

Icicles (3pp) Hazard 0

Source NW:NEH


Stealth DC 16 (or 20 if surrounded by stalactites)

A spike made from ice hangs from a tree, roof, or cave ceiling, typically shaking as though prepared to fall at any moment when something walks under it.

Disable Athletics DC 16 to throw a rock or similar at the icicle, or Thievery DC 13 to cause the icicle to fall when desired.

AC 10; Fort +0, Ref –1

Hardness 2, HP 2

Falling Icicle [reaction] Trigger A creature walks under the icicle, or touches the icicle or a surface it is attached to. Effect The icicle falls on a creature beneath it.

Ranged icicle +8, Damage 1d8 piercing

Iron Needles

Source NW:NEH

Iron needles (sometimes called razor leaves) are extraordinarily sharp foliage affected by magic, usually at the hand of the fey in an attempt to preserve the beauty of the forest from animals and humanoids. Trees, bushes, and even smaller undergrowth might have foliage of this kind, and it can often be difficult to discern with the naked eye.

Typically a Perception (expert) check is required to notice the augmentation on the foliage, though occasionally such magically altered leaves have an iron hue or gleam in the sun, making them readily noticeable. Creatures who come into contact with these leaves and needles become cut, suffering minor piercing and slashing damage. A creature climbing a plant augmented in this way suffers a penalty on their Athletics check to Climb equal to the amount of damage dealt by the iron needles. Iron needles affecting undergrowth deal minor piercing and slashing damage to creatures moving through the area, unless they take special care to avoid the undergrowth; if they do, they treat the undergrowth as greater difficult terrain (instead of normal difficult terrain).

A creature in heavy armor takes only half damage from iron needles. If used as an improvised weapon, a branch covered in iron needles deals an additional 1d4 points of piercing and slashing damage.

Jealous Abjurer Hazard 11

Source GMG


Stealth DC 33 (master)

A robe-clad spirit rises out of the floor, pointing an accusing finger.

Disable DC 36 Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion (master) to convince the spirit that the target’s magical knowledge is too great to be trifled with.

Rend Magic [reaction] (abjuration, arcane) Trigger A creature that is currently affected by a beneficial spell approaches within 30 feet of the abjurer; Effect Envying the fame and magical prowess of others, the jealous abjurer attempts to engineer a catastrophic failure in the highest-level beneficial spell currently affecting its target. It attempts a counteract check with a +26 modifier.

If the counteract check succeeds, the spell is dispelled, and the creature it had been affecting takes 4d12+30 force damage as the spell violently implodes (DC 32 basic Reflex save).

Reset 1 hour

Mystical Mirages (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

Hot desert sand, dehydration, and shimmering sunshine occasionally combine to produce mirages in the minds of intelligent creatures. When powerful magicians experience mirages, their natural magical abilities can give these illusions some semblance of reality. A mystical mirage takes on one of the following forms and can be interacted with once before disappearing. While mystical mirages are illusory, the traces of magic they possess can produce very real and useful (or dangerous) effects. The types of mystical mirages are as follows.

Oasis (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

A shimmering pool of sky-blue water surrounded by gentle palm trees can be seen in the distance. This illusion provides the sensation of cool air in a 30-foot area. If you drink from the water provided by the illusion, your thirst is alleviated as if you had consumed enough water to sustain you for 1 day. The mystical mirage is visible to you until you drink from the water, at which point it vanishes from your mind (though not necessarily from the minds of your companions).

Peddler (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

A humanoid dressed in a brown cloak approaches from the distance, sometimes accompanied by a horse or dromedary. While the exact appearance of this peddler varies, its right hand is always an unmistakable crimson shade. The peddler offers intelligent creatures the chance to purchase rare and mystical items with a value of up to 100,000 gp at a 10% discount. The peddler remains for up to 1 hour before vanishing. Items purchased from the peddler last until a creature leaves the desert, at which time there is a 50% chance magical items purchased from the peddler turn to sand, leaving behind only a ruby the same shade as the peddler’s right hand, worth 50% of the item’s purchase price (including the peddler’s discount).

Pink Snow (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

The creation of good-aligned winter-loving fey, pink snow is an idealized version of regular snow and occupies pristine places not commonly visited by mortals. Pink snow is good to eat, with a sweet sugary taste, and provides the same sustenance as an equivalent weight of berries. Pink snow always makes perfectly round snowballs, and the DC of any Craft check to make structures, sculptures, or other items out of pink snow is reduced by 20, allowing even unskilled children to create wild snow palaces and exotic snowmen.

Evil-aligned creatures hit by a snowball made out of pink snow suffer 1 good damage. This damage is increased to 1d6 if the snowball was thrown by a child or a fey.

Plummeting Doom Hazard 15

Source GMG


Stealth DC 40 (master) to hear the echoes of a faraway object crashing into the ground

Four vengeful spirits grab interlopers and toss them off the edge of a nearby 120-foot-tall cliff.

Disable DC 40 Athletics (trained) to push back so forcefully that the spirits fear being thrown off the cliff, or DC 40 Religion (expert) to temporarily seal the spirits away

Call of the Ground [reaction] (divine, abjuration) Trigger A creature approaches within 15 feet of the edge of the cliff; Effect Each spirit attempts to throw a creature within 60 feet of the cliff’s edge off the cliff by attempting a check with a +26 modifier against the target’s Fortitude DC. If the haunt succeeds, the target is thrown over the edge of the cliff, where it then falls 120 feet to the ground.

Until the haunt is defeated, each creature within 60 feet of the cliff’s edge must attempt a DC 40 Will save each time they would spend an action or reaction to Arrest a Fall, Fly, Grab an Edge, or otherwise avoid falling; if they fail the save, the action is disrupted. The haunt automatically attempts to counteract spells that would slow a fall or mitigate the effects of falling, such as feather fall, with a counteract modifier of +32.

Reset 1 hour

Poison Ivy Hazard 3

Source NW:NEH

Environmental Poison

Stealth DC 20

A 20-foot square filled with leafy plants contains an irritating secretion which causes itching and discomfort. Occasionally, magical poison ivy replicates the effects of a different contact poison, in which case the level of this hazard is increased by an amount equal to 1/2 the level of the contact poison and it gains a bonus to the Stealth DC equal to the level of the contact poison.

Disable Survival DC 20 to neutralize the toxin, or Thievery DC 20 to clip the venomous leaves before any harm is done.

AC 10; Fort +4, Ref +2

Harness 0, HP 30; Weaknesses fire 5, slashing 5

Poisonous Touch [Free Action] Trigger A creature touches the poison ivy, either by moving through it or by attacking it with a natural attack or a melee weapon without reach. Effect The target’s skin is irritated for 2d6 days. A successful Fortitude (DC 20) halves this time, while a critical success negates the effect entirely.

A creature whose skin is irritated in this way suffers a –4 penalty on Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks and starts every combat with the clumsy 3 condition, as it struggles to control its painful rash. Occasionally, magical poison ivy has the additional effects of a contact poison, and any creatures subjected to poisonous touch are also exposed to that poison, which has its usual effect.

Reset Poison ivy which has been clipped or neutralized regrows in 1d8 months. Poison ivy which is destroyed with damage does not regrow and never resets. Triggering poison ivy does not disable the hazard and it does not need to be reset after being triggered.

Shrieker Hazard –1

Source GMG

Environmental Fungus

Stealth DC 12

This human-sized purple mushroom emits a piercing shriek when disturbed.

Disable DC 18 Survival to carefully approach and cut the mushroom’s air sac without triggering the shrieker

AC 12; Fort +8, Ref +2

HP 9; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Shriek [reaction] Trigger A creature or light source approaches within 10 feet of the shrieker or the shrieker takes damage; Effect The shrieker emits a deafening screech that deals 1d6 sonic damage to creatures within 30 feet (DC 16 basic Fortitude save; creatures that critically fail this saving throw are deafened for 1 minute).

Reset 1 minute

Snowfall Hazard 0

Source GMG


Stealth DC 16 (trained)

Loose snow and ice have built up on a high surface, such as a tree branch or a rooftop. Its grip on the surface is tenuous, and it is likely to fall if the surface moves.

Disable DC 19 Survival (trained) to safely dislodge the snow, or deal any amount of fire damage to destroy the hazard without triggering it AC 16; Fort +10, Ref +8

HP 8; Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Snowdrop [reaction] Trigger A creature moves beneath where the snowfall is resting; Effect Ice and snow fall on the triggering creature, dealing 2d6+3 bludgeoning damage (DC 18 basic Reflex save) and soaking their clothing. Until they change into fresh clothing or spend at least an hour in an area of normal or higher temperature, they treat cold environments as one step colder (for example, mild cold as severe cold).

Spectral Reflection Hazard 5

Source GMG


Stealth DC 26 (expert)

The reflection in the mirror subtly twists and distorts, its expression taking on an unnerving sneer of malice.

Disable DC 23 Religion (trained) to exorcise the spirit, or DC 23 Thievery (trained) to quickly cover the mirror AC 19; Fort +15, Ref +10

Hardness 13, HP 50 (BT 25); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Spectral Impale [reaction] Trigger A living creature approaches within 15 feet of the mirror, and the mirror is lit with dim or brighter light; Effect Shadowy barbs impale the body of the reflected creature as the haunt makes a shadow barbs Strike.

Melee [one-action] shadow barbs +19, Damage 4d8+9 negative plus sap vitality

Sap Vitality A creature hit by the reflection’s shadow barbs must attempt a DC 22 Fortitude save as the haunt tries to draw a portion of its vital essence into the mirror. The target is drained 1 on a failed saving throw, or drained 2 on a critical failure.

Reset The haunt re-forms after 1 minute, manifesting in any mirror within its infused area (see Special below).

Special Spectral reflections often infuse entire buildings, manifesting in any sufficiently large mirror. The example Hit Points and Hardness given represent a typical mirror reinforced by the haunt; at your discretion, the haunt might appear in reflective surfaces that are harder to destroy. Defeating a manifestation through damage destroys the surface, preventing the haunt from using it again. If this haunt appears in an area with many mirrors, consider giving PCs double or even triple the XP for a typical simple hazard.

Sportlebore Hazard 7

Source B2

Environmental Animal

Stealth DC 26 (expert)

A sportlebore hides amid the victuals on a plate of food or within a pack of + trail rations.

Disable A creature that notices the sportlebore can remove it from the food it is hidden within automatically as an Interact action.

Mimic Food [reaction] Trigger A creature eats food the sportlebore is hidden within; Effect The sportlebore rapidly multiplies in the host’s stomach, exposing the host to sportlebore infestation.

Sportlebore Infestation (disease) Saving Throw DC 22 Fortitude; Stage 1 carrier with no ill effect (1 day); Stage 2 enfeebled 1 (1 hour); Stage 3 enfeebled 2 (1 hour); Stage 4 4d6 bludgeoning damage (DC 25 basic Fortitude save) as the host painfully vomits out a sportlebore swarm and returns to stage 1


The bane of hungry adventurers the world over, sportlebores are nefarious vermin that resemble delicious snacks. When positioned near trail rations such as fruit or jerky, a sportlebore can flawlessly imitate these foodstuffs by flexing, contorting, and color-shifting its abdomen, then folding its thorax, head, and legs into hiding under its delicious-looking body. Once consumed, the sportlebore reproduces into a hungry swarm that is regurgitated by the now ailing eater, ravenously attacking any creatures it thinks it can consume.

While the creature presented here is the most common of its type, the sportlebore is in fact an entire family of insects that specialize in mimicking everyday objects. Other varieties of sportlebore include the spindly, wood-devouring wartlebore; the corpse-eating sportlegore; and the sportleglug, which is so small it can burrow into leather wineskins and drink their contents without the bag spilling a drop. Like the sportlebore, most of these vermin aren’t too dangerous as individuals but can turn into a real problem if their numbers are left unchecked.

On its own, a single sportlebore functions as a hazard rather than a creature.

Stampede (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

A stampede of wild beasts appears as if from the horizon, charging directly in the path of any intelligent creatures. The stampede is so large as to be unavoidable, and depending on the composition of creatures, deals minor, moderate, or major bludgeoning damage to those in its path. A successful Reflex save with a DC of 20 for minor damage, DC 26 for moderate damage, or DC 34 for major damage reduces this damage by half, while a critical success avoids damage entirely.

While the stampede is always damaging, it moves in the direction of the nearest source of fresh water, spinning and twisting creatures damaged by the stampede in that direction. After dealing damage, the stampede vanishes, becoming a cloud of sand and dust that quickly settles.

Titanic Flytrap Hazard 4

Source GMG


Stealth DC 25 (trained)

On the surface, a titanic flytrap appears to be a patch of the more common flytrap plant, but beneath murky waters it hides a far larger set of jaws, reaching 10 feet across and reinforced with woody branches and lined with paralytic hairs.

Disable DC 22 Survival (trained) to mislead the flytrap’s sense of weight and pressure

AC 21; Fort +15, Ref +8

HP 56 (BT 28); Immunities mental; Resistances acid 20, fire 10

Snap Shut [reaction] Trigger A Small or Medium creature moves into a square that is within reach of the flytrap’s hidden jaws; Effect The flytrap’s jaws snap shut, making a jaws Strike against the triggering creature.

Melee [one-action] jaws +17, Effect devour Devour The target is trapped by the flytrap’s jaws, gaining the grabbed condition until it Escapes (DC 21). Additionally, it is exposed to the titanic flytrap toxin from the hundreds of tiny hairs that line the inside of its leaves. If the flytrap’s jaws Strike was a critical success, the target takes a –2 circumstance penalty to its saving throws against this poison. At the end of each of target’s turns that it remains grabbed, the target takes 3d6 acid damage.

Titanic Flytrap Toxin (contact, poison) Saving Throw DC 21 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 4 rounds; Stage 1 2d6 poison damage and stunned 1 (1 round); Stage 2 3d6 poison damage and stunned 2 (1 round); Stage 3 4d6 poison damage and paralyzed (1 round)

Reset 1 hour (or longer, after a large meal)

Treacherous Scree Hazard 3

Source GMG


Stealth DC 23 (trained)

The footing on this sloped ground appears to be stable at first glance, but the tiny rocks that cover it are loosely packed and prone to slipping.

Disable DC 20 Survival (trained) to navigate a safe path

Rockslide [reaction] Trigger A creature steps on the unstable ground; Effect Rocks tumble and slip beneath its feet. The triggering creature must attempt a DC 21 Reflex save as they tumble against the rocks, which deal 2d10+13 bludgeoning damage.

Critical Success The creature takes no damage.

Success The creature takes half damage and falls prone in its space.

Failure The creature takes full damage, falls prone in its space, and tumbles down to the bottom of the slope.

Critical Failure As failure, but double damage.


Source NW:NEH

Vines dangling from the canopy or hanging from trees can be used to swing from one location to another. These vines can vary in length: most are between 20 and 60 feet long, but some can be hundreds or even thousands of feet long. A creature swinging on a vine can move up to twice its speed (limited by the length of the vine) as an action by succeeding on an Acrobatics check. The DC for this check is typically equal to 1/2 the number of feet traveled by vine this round (and thus becomes more difficult the more actions used to swing), but may be more or less difficult depending on how secure the vine is, the vine’s sturdiness, whether the vine is slippery, and so forth. Jumping off a vine allows you to make an Acrobatics check to Jump with a +5 bonus, and you are considered to have a running start for the purposes of the jump. If you move adjacent to another vine as part of your jump, you may end your jump early in order to catch that vine. Failing an Acrobatics check to swing on a vine means you fall off the vine. If you hold onto a vine after beginning to swing, but do not use an action to swing, you are still carried 20 feet forward from the momentum of the vine and must succeed on an Acrobatics check as though you had traveled 20 feet to hold onto the vine. You can let go of the vine as a free action, choosing to fall from its height. When the vine has swung as far as it can (based on length, momentum, etc.) you must jump off, let go, or move in the opposite direction you started from. If you grab hold of a vine during combat, you can attempt the following action.

Vine Smash [one-action]


You swing on a vine, moving up to your speed (if the vine allows you to do so) and slamming into another creature.

When you do, you can make an unarmed strike against the target as part of this action and add your proficiency bonus with Acrobatics to damage. The vine stops moving after you make this attack.

Warp Sand (3pp)

Source NW:NEH

Warp sand is created when a spellcaster escapes a desert hazard via teleportation magic, and occurring in two of the desert’s most dangerous aspects: quicksand and sandstorms.

If a creature encounters and becomes fully submerged in quicksand which is warp sand, it is magically transported in a burst of bright orange light, being violently expelled from a patch of quicksand elsewhere in the desert. Creatures who remain in a sandstorm made from warp sand for more than a minute are similarly transported just outside of a building within the desert where the sandstorm occurred. Because of the magical nature of warp sand, creatures transported by it often arrive in areas rich in magic, such as ancient tombs, or large cities on the borders of deserts.

Example Snares & Traps

Catacomb Cave-In Hazard 4

Source PAP151

Environmental Trap

Stealth DC 23 (trained)

The ceiling is unstable, and any Medium or larger creature that approaches within 5 feet of the collapsed tunnel triggers a cave-in.

Disable Thievery DC 21 (trained) to prop up the ceiling in key locations prior to the cave-in.

AC 21; Fort +12, Ref +8

Hardness 11, HP 44 (BT 22); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage; Weaknesses sonic 10

Falling Stones [reaction] Trigger A Medium or larger creature approaches within 5 feet of the collapsed tunnel; Effect Massive stones in the ceiling fall, dealing 4d6 bludgeoning damage to the triggering creature and all creatures within 10 feet (DC 18 basic Reflex save). Creatures that fail the saving throw are also buried and begin to suffocate. A buried creature can attempt a DC 20 Athletics check every round, breaking free on a success. Other characters who are not buried can Aid on this check.

Caustic Vapor Hazard 17

Source PAP149

Mechanical Trap

The door slams shut, and poison gas fills the room.

Stealth DC 40 (master)

Disable Occultism DC 36 (master) or Religion DC 36 (master) to exorcise the spirits

Breath Snatcher [reaction] (conjuration, occult) Trigger A living creature other than an ooze spends at least 3 rounds in the room; Effect The trap activates and fills the area with caustic nightmare vapor, exposing all creatures within.

Caustic Nightmare Vapor (acid, poison) Oozes are immune to this poison; Saving Throw DC 38 Fortitude; Onset 1 round; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 4d6 acid damage and confused (1 round); Stage 2 6d6 acid damage, confused, and flat-footed (1 round); Stage 3 8d6 acid damage, confused, flat-footed, and stupefied 2 (1 round)

Reset The trap resets after 1 day.

Dust Pods Snare 1

Source PAP151

Uncommon Consumable Mechanical Snare Trap

Price 3 gp

You hide fragile pods of pollen or other clinging powder that get in the eyes of the first creature that enters the snare’s square. The creature must attempt a DC 17 Reflex saving throw. A creature dazzled by the pollen can use an Interact action to attempt a DC 5 flat check to remove the condition.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Success The creature is dazzled for 1 round.

Failure The creature is dazzled for 10 minutes.

Critical Failure The creature is blinded for 1 round and dazzled for 10 minutes after.

Envenomed Thorns Trap Hazard 2

Source PAP151

Mechanical Trap

Stealth DC 20 (trained)

A trip wire strung 4 feet above the ground releases a branch studded with envenomed thorns.

Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) to remove the trip wire.

AC 18; Fort +10, Ref +4

Hardness 5, HP 28 (BT 14); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Thorny Branch [reaction] (poison); Trigger The trip wire is touched; Effect The trap’s poisoned thorns attack the creature or object touching the trip wire.

Melee poisoned thorns +14, Damage 1d6+4 piercing plus 1d8 poison

Fang Snare Snare 4

Source PAP151

Uncommon Consumable Mechanical Snare Trap

Price 15 gp

You set snake fangs, poison stingers, or other venomous animal parts in the ground where they can be touched or stepped on by a creature that enters the snare’s square.

The first creature to enter the square must attempt a DC 20 Reflex saving throw.

Success The target is unaffected.

Failure The target takes 1 piercing damage and 2d8 poison damage.

Critical Failure The target takes 2 piercing damage and 4d8 poison damage.

Grasping Tree Snare 3

Source PAP151

Uncommon Consumable Mechanical Snare Trap

Price 9 gp

You rig tree branches, thin strands of bark, or other plant matter to close in on a creature that enters the snare’s square. The first creature to enter the square must attempt a DC 19 Reflex saving throw.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

Success The target takes 1d4 slashing damage.

Failure As success, plus the target is flat-footed.

Critical Failure The target takes 2d4 slashing damage and is immobilized until it destroys the snare (AC 16, HP 25) or Escapes (DC 19).

Luminous Ward Hazard 18

Source PAP149

Magical Trap

A burst of radiance explodes from the door.

Stealth DC 40 (master)

Disable Thievery DC 40 (master) to disable the wards or dispel magic (9th level; counteract DC 38) to counteract the ward

Radiant Explosion [reaction] (fire, light) Trigger A creature touches the door Effect All creatures within 20 feet of the door are scorched with brilliant light, taking 20d6 fire damage (DC 40 basic Reflex save). A creature that fails this save is blinded for 1 hour (or permanently on a critical failure).

Reset The trap resets after 1 hour.

Mental Scream Trap Hazard 19

Source PAP149

Magical Trap

A magical ward strikes intruders who enter the square indicated on the map with devastating psychic noise. The keening alerts the creatures in areas C10 and C11, who move to investigate.

Stealth DC 43 (master)

A psychic scream disorients creatures in the area.

Disable Arcana (DC 41) to suppress the magic or Thievery (DC 41) to scratch out the ward

Psychic Screech [reaction] (arcane, enchantment, incapacitation, mental) Trigger A creature enters the marked area Effect A psychic wail affects all creatures within 10 feet of the marked area, requiring them to attempt a DC 41 Will save.

  • Critical Success The target is unaffected.
  • Success The target is stunned 2.
  • Failure The target is paralyzed for 1 round, then stunned 2 when the paralysis ends.
  • Critical Failure The target is paralyzed for 4 rounds. At the end of each of its turns, it can attempt a new Will save to reduce the remaining duration by 1 round, or end it entirely on a critical success.

Seismic Spears Trap Hazard 19

Source PAP149

Magical Trap

Lines of searing lava lance through the area, causing targets to shake as if caught in an earthquake and potentially become petrified.

Stealth DC 43 (master)

Disable Thievery DC 43 (master) to disable the wards or dispel magic (9th level; counteract DC 38) to counteract the ward.

Cataclysmic Rain [reaction] (arcane, earth, fire) Trigger A creature enters the marked area; Effect Fiery spears make one Strike against each living creature within 5 feet of the marked area.

Ranged [one-action] seismic spear +40, Damage 3d10+10 fire damage and 3d10+10 piercing damage plus personal quake; no multiple attack penalty

Personal Quake A creature struck by a seismic spear is clumsy 3 for 1 round as their body shakes uncontrollably. On a critical hit, a target must succeed at a DC 39 Fortitude save or be petrified for 1 minute, or permanently on a critical failure.

Reset The trap resets after 1 minute.

Thunder Snare Snare 2

Source PAP151

Auditory Consumable Mechanical Snare Trap

Price 6 gp

The snare makes a thunderous noise when a creature enters the snare’s square, which can be heard up to 1,000 feet away. The creature must attempt a DC 18 Fortitude saving throw.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

Success The target is deafened until the end of its next turn.

Failure As success, and the target also takes 1 sonic damage.

Critical Failure As success, and the target also takes 1d4 sonic damage.

Craft Requirements 1 lesser thunderstone

Torrent Snare Snare 3

Source PAP151

Uncommon Consumable Mechanical Snare Trap

Price 9 gp

You pile waterlogged plants or access a nearby source of water to rain down on a Medium or smaller creature that enters the snare’s square. When a creature enters the square, the snare’s square and all adjacent squares become slippery difficult terrain, and the triggering creature must attempt a DC 19 Reflex saving throw, with the following effects.

Success The target is unaffected.

Failure The target falls prone.

Critical Failure The target falls prone and is forced into one of the other squares soaked by the snare.

Complex Hazards

Unlike a simple hazard, a complex hazard can play the part of a creature in a battle, or can be an encounter all its own. Many of the concerns with damaging effects when designing a simple hazard don’t apply when designing a complex hazard. A complex hazard can apply its damage over and over again, eventually killing its hapless victim, and isn’t intended to be a quick-to-overcome obstacle.

Complex hazards have a lot more in common with creatures than simple hazards do, and you’ll see that a complex hazard’s statistics are similar to those of a creature.

A good complex hazard often requires disabling multiple components or otherwise interacting with the encounter in some way. For instance, while the core rules’s poisoned dart gallery requires only one Thievery check to disable, the control panel is on the far end of the gallery, so a PC would need to make their way across first.

Complex hazards roll initiative and act on their turn.

Building Routines

A complex hazard has a routine each round, whether it stems from preprogrammed instructions built into a trap, instincts and residual emotions swirling around a complex haunt, or a force of nature like sinking in quicksand. Make sure to build a routine that makes sense for the hazard; an environmental lava chute that ejects lava into the area each round shouldn’t be able to seek out and precisely target only the PCs, but it might spatter random areas within range or everything within range, depending on how you describe the hazard. However, a complex haunt might be able to recognize life force and target living creatures.

If you create a hazard that can’t consistently attack the PCs (like the core rules’s blade pillar, which moves in a random direction), you can make it deadlier than normal in other ways.

The hazard should have as many actions as you feel it needs to perform its routine. If you split the routine out into several actions, you can also remove some of the hazard’s actions once partial progress is made in disabling or destroying it; this can give the PCs a feeling of progress, and it can encourage them to handle the hazard if it appears in a encounter alongside creatures.

Example Complex Hazards

Acidic Needle Launcher Hazard 16

Source PAP149

Complex Mechanical Trap

A ceiling-mounted launcher rains resinous needles onto intruders, after which the needles melt into acid.

Stealth DC 38 (master)

Disable Thievery (DC 36) to disable some firing mechanisms, making three adjacent squares in the trapped area safe to enter.

AC 39; Fort +30, Ref +22

Hardness 26, HP 104 (BT 52); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Needle Rain [reaction] (attack) Trigger A creature moves into the area indicated on the map Effect The trap shoots an acidic needle at a random target in the area indicated on the map, then rolls initiative.

Ranged acidic needle +35, Damage 2d6 piercing plus 8d6 acid

Routine (3 actions) The acidic needle launcher fires a needle at a random target in the area indicated on the map.

Dragonstorm, Lesser Hazard 20

Source PAP150

Rare Complex Environmental Magical

Stealth +38 (legendary)

This is a small-scale version of a dragonstorm—a churning vortex of wind infused with fire, acid, lightning, poison, and ice.

Disable Religion DC 40 (legendary) to call out to a non-evil deity for direct intervention to disperse the lesser dragonstorm (prayers allow characters who are masters in Religion to attempt the check as if they were legendary instead), Thievery DC 42 (legendary) to deactivate Vengegate while the manifestation is forcing it open, or a successful dispel magic (10th level; DC 40) to counteract the lesser dragonstorm.

Manifest Lesser Dragonstorm [reaction] Trigger A creature attempts to activate Vengegate; Effect The chamber fills with a dragonstorm. Creatures within this area take 10d8 damage, equally split between acid, cold, electricity, fire, and poison.

Routine (1 action) On its initiative, the lesser dragonstorm reaches out and blasts all creatures within Alseta’s Ring.

Affected creatures take 10d8 damage (DC 46 basic Reflex save), evenly split between acid, cold, fire, electricity, and poison. Creatures that fail their save are pulled 20 feet toward the center of Alseta’s Ring (or are knocked prone and pulled 30 feet on a critical failure). After 10 rounds, the lesser dragonstorm is destroyed, but a much greater dragonstorm manifests in the surrounding region.

Dream Pollen Pods Hazard 3

Source PAP151

Complex Environmental Trap

Stealth +12 (trained)

Four magical plants inside the wagon release hallucinogenic pollen when disturbed.

Disable Thievery DC 18 (trained) to carefully remove a pollen pod or Nature DC 18 (trained) to prevent a pod from bursting.

AC 18; Fort +9, Ref +3

Hardness 1, HP 32 (BT 16); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Pollen Burst [reaction] Trigger The wagon door is opened or the pods are disturbed; Effect A pod makes a pollen spray Strike against an adjacent creature or the creature that opened the door, the door falls off the wagon, and the trap rolls initiative.

Routine (4 actions) The trap loses 1 action each turn for each removed or disabled pollen pod. The trap doesn’t take a multiple attack penalty.

Ranged [one-action] pollen spray +12 (range 20 feet), Damage 1d8 poison and hallucinogenic pollen

Hallucinogenic Pollen A creature hit by the trap’s pollen spray must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or it is confused for 1 round and takes a –2 status penalty to Perception checks and saves against mental effects for 1d4 hours. On a critical failure, the penalty is instead –4.

Reset The trap resets after 1 hour, when the pods have regrown additional pollen. If all the pods are removed or disabled, the trap doesn’t reset.

Elven Vengeance Hazard 19

Source PAP150

Complex Haunt

Stealth +37 (legendary) or DC 47 to notice the dagger left in the pool start to move on its own.

An elven woman wearing a robe stands in the water. She beckons anyone who enters the room to join her in the pool.

Disable Deception 45 (legendary) to pretend to ask for forgiveness, Diplomacy 45 (legendary) to convince the haunt to stand down (elves who are masters in Diplomacy can attempt the check as if they were legendary instead), or Religion 40 (legendary) to call upon the spirit.

AC 43; Fort 26; Reflex 26; Will 35

HP 128 (BT 64) dagger

Surprise Strike [reaction] (attack) Trigger A creature approaches within 5 feet of the pool’s edge; Effect The ghostly elf causes a dagger to rise out of the waters and then fling toward the triggering creature. If the attack is a hit, it is a critical hit instead. The haunt then rolls initiative.

Routine (3 actions) The haunt attempts to Strike with the dagger.

Ranged [one-action] (agile, thrown 10 feet, versatile S) dagger +40, Damage 4d4+10 piercing plus 20 negative

Reset The haunt’s spirit subsides once she is destroyed or if she manages to reduce a creature to 0 Hit Points. She returns after 1 minute.

Endless Elven Aging Hazard 17

Source PAP149

Complex Haunt Magical

Stealth +33 (master)

A haunted mural fascinates characters and swiftly drains their vitality.

Disable Occultism DC 38 (master) or Religion DC 38 (master) to calm the restless energies and suppress the haunt for 1 hour; a critical success deactivates the haunt permanently.

Painting AC 20; Fort +13, Ref +5

Painting Hardness 15; Painting HP 30 per square (6 squares must be destroyed to disable the haunt); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage

Lifelike Scintillation [reaction] (divination, occult) Trigger A living creature examines the mural or enters the room Effect The haunt activates and rolls initiative.

Routine (2 actions) The haunt lures creatures into the area using Captivate. Any actions it hasn’t used to Captivate are used to drain a living creature in the room with Live a Thousand Lives.

Captivate [one-action] (charm, enchantment, incapacitation, mental, occult) The faintly moving images compel one creature within 30 feet of the room to move into the room. The creature attempts a DC 38 Will save.

  • Success The target is unaffected.
  • Failure The target must spend all its actions on its next turn moving into the room, and is then paralyzed until the end of its next turn.
  • Critical Failure As failure, and the target is also stupefied 2 for 1 minute.

Live a Thousand Lives [one-action] (mental, occult) The haunt causes a living creature in the room to experience a full elven life, weathering every wound, misfortune, loss, and consequence of aging centuries in a matter of seconds. The target must attempt a DC 38 Fortitude save.

  • Critical Success The target is unaffected.
  • Success The target becomes fatigued.
  • Failure The target becomes drained 1 (or its drained value increases by 1, to a maximum of drained 3), and it is paralyzed until the end of its next turn.
  • Critical Failure As failure, but the target also becomes doomed 1 (or its doomed value increases by 1).

Reset The haunt continues its routine until there are no targets within 30 feet of the room. It then resets over the course of 1 minute and is able to activate again.

Eternal Flame Hazard 7

Source GMG

Complex Haunt

Stealth +18 (expert)

A raging spectral inferno arises out of thin air, strengthening all undead creatures within its area. This haunt most often arises from the charred remains of a group of three people who burned to death, whether in a terrible accident or a deliberate execution, and their unavenged souls burn with rage.

Disable DC 27 Diplomacy (expert) to temporarily calm the rage of one of the three spirits, or DC 30 Religion (trained) to exorcise one of the spirits; three total successes are required to disable the haunt

Searing Agony [reaction] (divination, mental) Trigger A living creature approaches within 10 feet of the remains of a victim of the original fire; Effect Memories of the pain suffered by the fire’s past victims assault the triggering creature’s mind. The creature must attempt a DC 25 Will save, and the haunt then rolls initiative.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Success The creature is sickened 1.

Failure The creature is sickened 2.

Critical Failure The creature is sickened 3, and it is flat-footed for as long as it remains within the haunt’s area and for 3 rounds thereafter.

Routine (1 action) Phantom flames rage across the haunted area, dealing 4d6 fire damage to each living creature within the area (DC 23 basic Will save). Undead creatures in the area are infused with flames for the following round.

They gain the fire trait and immunity to fire, and all their attacks deal an additional 1d6 fire damage. Objects in the area are unaffected.

Reset The flames cease 1 minute after all living creatures leave the area, but after 1 hour, the anger and pain simmer up and the haunt is ready to trigger again.

Confounding Betrayal Hazard 8

Source GMG

Complex Haunt

Stealth +21 (expert)

Allies appear to shed their disguises and reveal themselves to be malevolent monsters.

Disable DC 28 Deception (expert) twice to confound the haunt with your own deceptions, or DC 28 Occultism (trained) twice to create a ward against the haunt’s mental influence

Unmask [reaction] (illusion, occult) Trigger Two or more creatures enter the haunt’s area; Effect Each creature sees the forms of nearby creatures shift and change, appearing to transform into fiendish or aberrant beings with a thirst for blood. Each creature in the area must attempt a DC 30 Will save.

Critical Success The creature sees through the illusions entirely and is temporarily immune to the haunt’s routine for 1 minute.

Success The creature is unaffected by the strange images.

Failure The creature believes the illusions to be true; if they become confused by the haunt’s routine, they can’t attempt flat checks to end the confused condition when they take damage.

Critical Failure As failure, but the creature is left with a lingering suspicion of others and can’t benefit from Aid reactions for 24 hours.

Routine (1 action; illusion, incapacitation, occult) The haunt continues to confound victims’ senses and inspire them to commit violence against each other. Each creature in the haunt’s area must attempt a DC 26 Will save.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected and temporarily immune for 1 minute.

Success The creature is unaffected.

Failure The creature is confused for 1 round.

Critical Failure The creature is confused for 1 minute.

Reset The haunt deactivates 1 minute after all creatures leave the area but resets immediately thereafter.

Perilous Flash Flood Hazard 10

Source GMG

Complex Environmental

Stealth +22 (expert)

Whether made up of water rushing through the streets that sweeps up dangerous debris along the way or a less natural substance bursting free of its container, this relentless flood batters everything in its path.

Disable three DC 35 Athletics, Crafting, or Survival checks to move or construct barricades b> enough to create a shelter from the flood. While this creates a safe place to stand, creatures outside of the barricaded area may still be in danger depending on the nature and the source of the flood.

Burst Free [reaction] Trigger A creature or effect breaks the flood’s containment; Effect The hazard rolls initiative as the flood surges forth.

Routine (1 action) The flood advances forward 60 feet, crashing into all creatures within its area. Each creature must attempt a DC 30 Fortitude save as the floodwaters pummel them and pull them downstream. The amount and type of damage dealt are based on the nature of the flood, and certain types of floods impose additional effects. The turbulent waters mean creatures within the area of the flood must attempt a DC 20 Athletics check to Swim in order to move, and those who do not succeed at a check to Swim each round may drown.

Critical Success The creature takes no damage.

Success The creature takes half damage.

Failure The creature takes full damage and is moved 10 feet along with the water.

Critical Failure The creature takes double damage and is moved 20 feet along with the water.

  • Acidic Runoff This caustic flood dissolves flesh as it moves, dealing 1d12 bludgeoning damage and 1d12+8 acid damage. Additionally, it deals 2d6 persistent acid damage to creatures who critically fail their Fortitude saves.
  • Battering Waves This flood of rushing water deals 2d12+10 bludgeoning damage.
  • Repulsive Refuse This flood has picked up tainted or disease-ridden objects like sewer runoff or rotting food. It deals 2d12+8 bludgeoning damage. Each creature exposed to the flood must attempt a DC 29 Fortitude save, becoming sickened 1 on a failure or sickened 2 on a critical failure. Additionally, creatures who come into contact with the flood waters are exposed to filth fever (DC 20 Fortitude).
  • Sharp Debris The waters have picked up various objects, some of which are particularly sharp. The flood deals 1d12 bludgeoning damage and 1d12+12 piercing damage.
  • Sticky Goo The substance is particularly sticky. It deals 2d12+6 bludgeoning damage. Additionally, each creature in the flood must attempt a DC 29 Reflex save at the beginning of their turn each round. On a failed saving throw, they take a –10-foot circumstance penalty to all their Speeds for 1 round. On a critical failure, they are instead immobilized for 1 round.

Flensing Blades Hazard 12

Source GMG

Complex Haunt

Stealth +25 (expert)

A whirling tornado of spectrally propelled glass and steel slices whatever it touches to ribbons.

Disable DC 35 Thievery (master) to precisely adjust the blades so that they destroy each other, or DC 38 Religion (expert) to weaken the haunt; four successes are required to disable it AC 33; Fort +27, Ref +25, Will +22

Hardness 20; HP 100 (BT 50); Immunities critical hits, object immunities, precision damage; Weaknesses positive 15

Whirling Blades [reaction] Trigger Three or more creatures enter the area of the haunt; Effect sharp fragments lift up from the ground and begin to spin in rapid circles taking up one 5-foot square. The haunt rolls initiative.

Routine (3 actions) The tornado of blades uses 3 actions to move, traveling up to 30 feet with each action and dealing 2d10+10 slashing damage. Each creature in its path must attempt a DC 33 Reflex save.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Success The creature takes half damage.

Failure The creature takes full damage plus 1d10 persistent bleed damage.

Critical Failure The creature takes double damage and 1d10 persistent bleed damage. It also becomes wounded 1 (or increases its wounded value by 1, if it is already wounded).

Each successful check to disable this hazard reduces the haunt’s movement by 30 feet, and the fourth success disables it completely.

Reset The haunt draws jagged shards back into its area over the course of an hour, after which it can trigger again.

Dance of Death Hazard 16

Source GMG

Complex Haunt

Stealth +32 (master)

An eerie orchestra compels all who hear it to dance until they collapse from exhaustion.

Disable DC 42 Intimidation (expert) three times to frighten dancers and spectral musicians alike away from participating in the deadly performance, DC 40 Performance (master) twice to produce a tune discordant enough to disrupt the compulsion, or DC 42 Religion (master) three times to banish the spirits with prayers

Prelude [reaction] (auditory, enchantment, incapacitation, occult) Trigger A creature approaches within 30 feet of the orchestra; Effect The orchestra compels all creatures that can hear it to begin dancing. Each creature must attempt a DC 41 Will save, with the following effects.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Success The creature is flat-footed and cannot use reactions. Additionally, it must spend 1 of its actions each round dancing. Dancing is a move action that allows the creature to Stride up to half its Speed.

Failure As success, except the creature must spend 2 of its actions each round dancing.

Critical Failure As failure, except the creature must spend 3 of its actions each round dancing.

Routine (1 action; auditory, enchantment, incapacitation, occult) The orchestra performs a raucous tune, compelling all creatures that can hear it to spend actions dancing. Each round, creature must attempt a DC 37 Will save; the results of this save modify the number of actions that the creature must spend dancing each round. If this would cause the creature to spend more actions dancing than it can use on its turn, the creature takes 10d6 damage (or double that on a critical failure) from moving faster than its body can manage.

Critical Success The creature decreases the number of actions it must spend dancing by 1.

Success No effect.

Failure The creature increases the actions it must spend dancing by 1.

Critical Failure The creature increases the actions it must spend dancing by 2.

Reset The eerie orchestra spends an hour retuning its phantasmal instruments, after which it is ready to begin its routine again.

Vortex (3pp) Hazard 5

Source NW:NEH

Complex Environmental

Stealth +13 (trained) (or -10 and no minimum proficiency if viewed from the surface of otherwise calm water)

A whirlpool or vortex of water caused by shifts in pressure, a sinkhole, unusual rock formation, or magic drags creatures and objects into it, and buffeting them with rapidly moving water. A vortex is a cone up to 60 feet long which originates underwater and terminates on the surface of the water.

Disable Survival DC 22 to disturb the drag of the current using a large rock or similar. A creature that succeeds on a DC 22 Athletics check to Swim can escape the vortex.

Drag Down [reaction] Trigger A Small or larger creature or object moves within 5 feet of the vortex. Effect The triggering creature or object is dragged into the vortex and 5 feet down.

Routine [one-action] All creatures and objects within the vortex must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 22) or be dragged into the vortex and 5 feet down. Each creature or object then suffers an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + 1d6 for every 10 feet below the surface of the water. As the creature or object is dragged down, it moves diagonally toward the center of the cone. If multiple creatures occupy the same space in the vortex, each suffers an additional 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage as they collide over and over again; this damage is applied for each other creature sharing the same space.

Reset A vortex typically destroys obstructions which disrupt it within 10 minutes. A vortex which is permanently disrupted, for instance as the result of an earthquake, cannot be reset.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #149: Against the Scarlet Triad © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: John Compton, with Tim Nightengale and James L. Sutter.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #150: Broken Promises © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Luis Loza, with James Jacobs, Alex Riggs, and Owen K.C. Stephens.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition), First Printing, Update 1.0 © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Logan Bonner, Lyz Liddell, and Mark Seifter.