Recently I have been toying with a tavern brawler build for a 5e DDAL game, and was looking for a few creative ways to use the feat.

Provided an action was taken to set the trap in advance, would it be possible to use the loaded hunting trap as an improvised attack - more to the point, would you be able to spring the trap on a successful hit?

Obviously the trap isn't spiked down so it would not hamper movement. However I would imagine if this is possible it might be worth investing in a lock.

Will this work?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Provided an action was taken to set the trap in advance, would it be possible to use the loaded trap as an improvised attack - more to the point, would you be able to spring the trap on a successful hit?" This is what I am asking, and I apologize for forgetting to reference the gaming system I was referring too. Thank you for helping with clarification \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 2:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given that an unarmed attack and a hunting trap both deal 1d4 damage, what benefit would you get from using the trap? \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Read pg 152 of the PHB 5e, where the item's effect is described. Would this effect apply if a loaded trap were used as an improvised melee weapon? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume if you use the trap you also have a 3 foot chain attached to the target. Potential to lock or stake it to the ground and disengage or drag it around. also it takes additional damage if the trap is applied to it under certain circumstances. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 7:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ That starts not to sound like an improvised weapon but instead like a custom, yet-to-define regular one. \$\endgroup\$
    – mkl
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 11:18

1 Answer 1


A lot depends on what you're trying to do with it. If you're trying to sneak behind someone while they're engaged in combat and place it where they'll step on it, then I'd say you have to succeed on a stealth check and then maybe an attack roll to make them step on it.

If you're mano a mano with them and you're trying to swing it at them or throw it at them, I'd make an attack roll with an improvised weapon to see if it hits for bludgeoning damage. Then if it does hit, I'd give it some kind of percentage to see if it clamps on to the person, at the DM's discretion, but I'd rule it fairly low. If it does not clamp onto them but does hit, I'd give it a good chance of springing the trap harmlessly, because the little hook holding the springs would probably jiggle loose.

Happy gaming!

  • \$\begingroup\$ The description of the item says it is triggered by a pressure sensitive plate. Supposing the scope was limited to a Improvised Melee Attack, I would think that it would spring the trap far more reliably if you 'punch' them with that part of the trap, especially if the intent of the attack is to cause the trap to activate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The important thing in DM'ing is imagining someone trying to do something and figuring out the degree of difficulty in accomplishing it. Imagine tyring to "punch" someone with a preset 25 pound bear trap, and that person is trying everything in their power not to get clamped by a bear trap, including swinging their weapon at you and the bear trap. I'd be inclined to say that the odds of clamping them with it would be quite low. \$\endgroup\$
    – lunatamis
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, by that logic, as long as the target was not engaged or unaware of the attack, then it would automatically succeed on a successful hit? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I am more of the opinion that the improvised weapon attack would occur, and if successful the target gets a dex save (as per Hunting Trap item description) If the target fails the save then they suffer the limited effects of the trap - limited of course by the fact until it is staked down or otherwise secured it would not inhibit movement. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sure every DM will rule it slightly differently. Again, it all comes down to circumstances. If you successfully sneak up on your enemy and spring it on the back of his head, you probably get advantage on the attack (without proficiency bonus, of course). Maybe your strength is low and you're a gnome, so carrying a 25lb bear trap is unwieldy, so maybe you don't get advantage. There are a lot of ifs. In D&D, you should be allowed to do whatever you want, as long as it's physically possible for your character, but the situation will dictate the ability/attack rolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – lunatamis
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 0:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .