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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Traps Reaction Roll

There was a discussion about thieves on the OD&D forums recently, during which someone brought up the topic of using the 2d6 Reaction Results Table for resolving thief skills. I don’t think that’s a great idea when you are only looking for a binary, yes-no result. But a couple of the thief skills could benefit from having 3-5 possible outcomes, instead of just yes-no. And I whipped up some quick tables, which I will preserve here.

First up: a Remove Traps table with four (and a half) possible results.

2d6 Result Description
2 Very Bad trap triggered
3-5 Bad trap not removed, not triggered
6-8 Average low-level trap removed
9+ Good trap removed
(12) Very Good (non-thief removes trap)

So, about a third of the time, any trap can be removed. If the trap is low-level, it can be removed more than half the time. Low-level is defined however you want. For me, a trap’s level is equal to the dungeon level, unless otherwise specified. You could also use trap damage as a guide (4d6 damage = 4th level trap.) If the thief’s level is higher than the trap level, the trap is considered low-level and easier to disarm.

If the trap is not disarmed, most of the time it is still primed. On a Very Bad result, the trap is triggered and the thief takes damage. It’s up to you whether the thief gets a saving throw or not. I think I’d skip a saving throw unless the thief has prepared or otherwise takes action to reduce or prevent damage. Example: Thief suspects a fire trap and pours water over head and clothing before trying to disarm the trap.

Thieves get a bonus to the roll equal to half their level, but a natural result of 2 always triggers the trap. Optionally, non-thieves can try to disable traps as well. Shift all results one step worse, and treat the non-thief’s character level as zero if they have no training. So, no traps are considered “low-level” for untrained characters. Furthermore, rolls are capped by Dexterity.

Every year of mundane training in traps is treated as the character’s effective level when compared to the level of the trap. A character with five years of experience in mundane trap removal can remove 4th level traps or below as if they were low-level traps (9+ on 2d6, for non-thieves.) Mundane training does not give a bonus to the roll, as a thief gets.


  • Fighter, untrained, Dex 11: Can’t remove any traps.
  • Fighter, untrained, Dex 12+: Can remove traps on a roll of 12.
  • Fighter, trained, 2 years experience, Dex 11: Can remove 1st level traps only (on roll of 9+).
  • Fighter, trained, 2 years experience, Dex 12+: Can remove 1st level traps on roll of 9+, other traps on roll of 12.
  • Fighter, trained, 5 years experience, Dex 12+: Can remove 1st to 4th level traps on roll of 9+, 5th level and higher traps on roll of 12.

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