LARP Trap Ideas


Traps are one way to separate people from their treasure!

I haven’t used some of these trap ideas myself, yet, but over the course of years of perusing various different LARP rulebooks and reading articles on their mechanics I’ve managed to gather together a variety of different trap ideas.  Of course most traps involve some combination of wire and noise-maker (or mousetrap) and if you trip the wire than you take a certain amount of damage.

Acid Reservoir: This is placed within a lock box and will destroy all items within the chest if it is opened.  The Trap Card for an Acid Reservoir will instruct any would-be thieves to rip it in half to show that someone has tampered with it and that you have no goodies left.  Some lock boxes will make the acid reservoir clearly marked so that people don’t attempt to break it open.  An Acid Reservoir can also be indicated by a water balloon though be mindful not to use these in any areas that have water-soluble items.

Contact Poison: You can use petroleum jelly on an object to create a contact poison that will affect anyone who touches it.  The poison tag must be kept nearby and within sight so that the players knows how to roleplay the poison.

Cursed Lock: Those who attempt to pick or break this lock are afflicted with dust that floats out from the lock represented by corn flour.  Those who also touch the corn flour are similarly afflicted.  This causes them to either become Lame in one leg or arm for an hour, unable to talk in more than a whisper, deafens them so they can barely hear people, forced to speak in nonsensical babble or regress and act in a childlike manner.  Unfortunately you don’t get to pick exactly which occurs to them.  You can provide three options.  They select one for themselves.  If the powder is green they are radioactive and if they are blue than they are disease spores.  Check the card for more information.

Mantrap: These must have some noisemaker element (i.e. whoopee cushion) and deal 2 damage and entrap the foot *or* they can be a string of bells on a cord (not wire) at waist height that when rung deals 2 damage and knocks the target down.  The sound of the traps going off can be heard and reacted to in-game.

Mist Trap: A ping-pong ball representing the drop site plus a tape measure to help figure out who is affected.  They utilise a small spraying mechanism to affect everyone within five feet of the trap trigger (or one small room if it’s less than 10 feet by 10 feet.  They can be used with indelible dye (requiring black makeup to represent the dye that must be supplied with the trap), contact poison or even glue (which would glue down boxes and doors).  It can’t be reused.

Needle Trap:  Requires poison.  It can be combined into a ready lock and requires no additional phys-rep as it fits snugly within the confines of a lock.  It must be disarmed by someone with the appropriate skill who interacts with the lock for an additional 10 seconds.  It will not trigger until the lock-picking process has been completed.  Once triggered, it can be easily re-armed by the user simply by re-coating the needle with a new poison.  The needle bypasses armour and gloves but don’t reduce their value.  You can avoid the needle by using the key.  The poison is expended whenever the trap goes off.  You need to place the sticker where the needle trap will come from on the inside of the box and if there hand is near there than they get got.

Noise Traps: You simply need the physical and audible triggers to serve as the phys-rep for this trap.  If attached to a tent or door, however, you can simply include a Trap Card that states anyone approaching must yell “Alarm.”  You can use hanging bells on a doorknob (using a white ribbon to indicate it is an OOC indicator).

Party Popper Trap: These must be directed away from both flammable objects and away from anyone who might be interacting with the trap (ideally downward) and it acts as an explosive and deals a certain amount of damage.

Pit Trap: Place black tarp or other fabric on the ground and have combat occur nearby.  Anyone who steps foot on the tarp or fabric falls into the pit trap and take relevant damage or are simply imprisoned.

Snare Trap: A metal chain that claims around one foot (or arm if on all fours) that puts them in the trap.  You use the chain itself as the phys-rep for this trap.  Unless one has the Escape Artist skill it takes them five minutes to disentangle the chain and free themselves.  Nothing stops you from yelling for help, naturally.  The trap has a range of three feet.  It’s re-usable and easily set.  An expanded version works for 5 feet rather than the usual 3 feet.

Weapon Trap: The only time crossbows can be utilised is when they are built into traps.  You place these on a chair behind a door and when it opens the players should take the damage normally granted by a crossbow.  You could have the same set-up with a NERF gun.

Zapper Trap: This is represented by bubble wrap and reflects an electrified grille on the ground.  If you step on it, you must either fall prone for several seconds or stand rigid for twenty seconds.

Do you have any trap ideas?  Have you seen any traps that worked really well or really poorly?  Comment below!


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