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Trapsmiths (Dungeonscape 53) have a peerless understanding of traps. They are capable of disarming even the most dangerous snares and rig nasty booby traps to protect their camp or to hinder their foes.
Trapsmiths have many useful abilities. Here are a few things to consider when building a trapsmith:
The trapsmith's advantages come at a price. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about such a character:
Playing a Trapsmith
Trapsmiths bring a wide range of skills to a group, but it is at combating traps and locks that they truly excel.
Character Build and Development
A trapsmith must have the trapfinding class feature, which means they must have levels in one of the following classes: rogue, ninja, scout, spellthief, factotum, or ranger with the trap expert alternative class feature. Levels of fighter can be useful when dealing with encounter traps (a new, dangerous kind of trap detailed in Dungeonscape). Although members of any race can become a trapsmith, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings are particularly suited to the class.
Levels of dungeon delver (Complete Adventurer 42) stack well with trapsmith.
Skills and Feats
A trapsmith has several key skills. Search and Disable Device enable them to discover and disable traps, while Open Lock lets them retrieve the treasure protected by the traps. Listen and Spot reduce the chance of them getting surprised.
Many feats are useful to a trapsmith. Improved Initiative gives them a better chance of acting before encountering traps, while Lightning Reflexes improves their already impressive chance to avoid the effects of many traps. Great Fortitude and Iron Will augment their poor Fortitude and Will saves, giving them greater protection against magical traps and traps that utilize poison to incapacitate or kill. Weapon Finesse makes them more effective in combat, while Dodge and Mobility make a trapsmith harder to hit. Nimble Fingers improves their Disable Device and Open Locks skills and is perhaps the best feat choice for a trapsmith.
In Battle and Against Traps
Although a trapsmith has many abilities that helps him detect and disarm traps, many magic items give additional advantages. A ring of feather falling, for example, renders them immune to falling damage, while goggles of minute seeing and elixirs of vision help them to detect traps before they activate. A chime of opening is a handy purchase in case the trapsmith encounters a door he cannot open (as is a wand of knock). Scrolls of dispel magic or greater dispel magic are also handy to negate magical traps.
Trapsmiths are not strong in combat (rangers with the trap expert alternative class feature excepted) and should avoid stand-up fights as much as possible. Their decent Dexterity scores, however, make them well suited to ranged combat. Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot coupled with their sneak attack, sudden strike, or skirmish ability enables them to inflict a decent amount of damage. They really excel, though, when they have time to prepare the battlefield. Given this advantage, they can set a number of booby traps to damage or hinder their opponents.
Sample Trapsmith: Ilde Loderr
Broad of shoulder and flat faced, this female dwarf has heavily scarred hands and an acne-ridden face. She wears good quality studded leather armor and carries a light crossbow. Her backpack and many pouches bulge at the seams.
Ilde Loderr, CR 6
Ilde had the following ability scores before racial adjustments, Hit Die ability score increases, and stat boosting items: Str 12, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8.
Had a chance to try out the trapsmith prestige class? Let us know your thoughts on how it played or what changes you would make to it.
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About the Author
Creighton Broadhurst is a member of Living Greyhawk's Circle of Six and a mad-keen World of Greyhawk fan. He has two young sons (whom he nicknames "Ghengis" and "Khan"). His house is an oasis of tranquility, tidiness, and order. In his spare time, he tries to survive the Savage Tide.
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