Dungeon Trap

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Throughout history both dungeons and towers have been host to a number of deadly and insidious traps, designed to hinder or slay adventurers who may encounter them. Unlike the snares found in chests, these traps are activated by the mere presence of an individual in a dungeon corridor, and can often trigger without warning. A wide variety of these devices have been encountered, and are listed below.

Bomb Traps[edit]

Bomb traps lie hidden in the floor, detonating the moment someone draws too close. Generally, (as in Ultima V) the entire party is effected by such explosions, although in later years some members of the company might escape the brunt of the conflagration depending on where they were positioned.

Energy Fields[edit]

A force field (Ultima V)

Main Article: Energy Field

Energy fields are a group of magical barriers which cause a number of effects to those who make contact with them, including poisoning, magically induced sleep and various injuries. In earlier games, such as Ultima IV and V, such barriers would often block passages within a dungeon and would need to be Dispelled. In later games, however, trapped floors could cause these fields to activate without warning, causing harm to those who found themselves unexpectedly caught within them.

Falling Rocks[edit]

Only encountered in Ultima IV, this trap caused a torrent of heavy rocks to fall from the ceiling as intruders passed, bring considerable injury (a loss of 10-20 hit points) to all passing under it. As travelers had no way to disarm such snares, adventuring parties often had no choice but to endure these showers of rumble should they lie between the party and their intended goal.

Pit Traps[edit]

A pit trap (Ultima V)
A pit trap is a shaft that lies concealed - disguised as a part of the dungeon floor, until an unwary delvers step onto it and tumbles in, sustaining damage. In Ultima IV, such snares would cause portions of a party encountering them to stumble and injure themselves (a loss of 10-20 hit points).

Later in, Ultima V such pitfalls would effect the entire party, causing the group to fall to a lower level of the dungeon. Well prepared adventurers, however, could seek out and discover pits through careful examination of the floor, allowing them to descend without injury. A well-prepared group could even employ a grappling hook, that they might climb up to higher floors through such traps.

Poison Traps[edit]

Similar to the devices which protect many a locked chest, poison traps launch small metal needles coated with venom into the bodies of unsuspecting travelers, leaving them to suffer the ill effects of a given toxin until they succumb to death or find a means of curing themselves. Such devices were featured in Ultima Underworld I and in both parts of Ultima VII.

Projectile Traps[edit]

An arrow shooter in Ultima VII

By the time of Ultima VII projectile traps became increasingly common. Such devices would launch arrows or bolts of energy or fire at those who triggered them, causing injury and even death to those who were not able to quickly evade the hail of projectiles. Some even hurled missiles which would terminate in explosions, causing similar injuries as might be cause by bomb traps.

Spikes, Bear Traps and Caltrops[edit]

See also: Caltrops, Bear Traps

During Ultima VI, traps designed to maim or injure unlucky adventurers became a common feature in many dungeons. Such snares were often concealed until an unwary traveler stumbled upon them, at which point the trap would spring, causing considerable damage as the metal spikes and jaws characteristic of such traps penetrated the victims lower body. Such traps would often reset after an individual ecaped them and could only be permanently removed by means of the Vanish spell.

Caltrops, unlike earlier foothold traps, were free standing devices employed in later ages that could be picked up and scattered wherever one desired. While caltrops (particularly those treated with invisibility dust) were common in dungeons during Ultima VII, the were not exclusive to them.

Strange Winds[edit]

These magical winds, encountered in Ultima III and IV, caused no direct harm to adventurers encountering them - but rather extinguished all sources of light a party might have with them, dousing torch and bring an abrupt end to any active light spells. Should the company not be able to restore their means of illumination, they would face a blind advance into the dungeon, putting them at risk of getting lost or falling prey to additional traps.