I've heard a lot about how a Rogue's specialty is disarming traps, even going as far as online DMs suggesting Rogues always use the Investigation action to watch for those traps. And while I do not disagree that their expertise in Thieves' Tools would make them the most effective measure against them, I am wondering if a Barbarian's Danger Sense would not also be useful in this endeavour.

The Barbarian's Danger Sense feature description states, in part:

At 2nd level, you gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger.

The way I understand this sentence is something like a short-distance passive Investigation or Insight check, where "Something just doesn't feel right" and should prompt the Barbarian to naturally stop and do an Investigation check to find the abnormality... It might be something like subconsciously noticing the series of holes lining the doorway, or obscurely feeling the eyes of the assailants in the trees ready to pounce. Even without amplifying this with the Dungeon Delver feat's advantage to checks, it seems quite a complimentary feature to combine with the rogue's skills.

For example:

The party walks down the empty hallway, devoid of the few guards they came to expect. Brutus the Barbarian acts as vanguard while they press forward, stopping abruptly as they reach an open doorway on the other side. "Something's wrong," he says, prompting the rogue to investigate, discovering that neither shadow nor light enters the room. Though the floor near the statue on the right shows signs of being moved rather recently.

Am I correct in my interpretation?


1 Answer 1


Danger Sense just grants advantage on Dex saves

You're missing the second half of the description of the Danger Sense feature:

At 2nd level, you gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger.

You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Walking down a corridor is not dodging away from danger. It's just walking.

That line you quoted is just the build-up to the mechanical explanation of the feature.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB, if there is a Dexterity saving throw involved with walking through the door, then he would get advantage. Anything beyond that is up to the DM. Like stopping the next person from walking through the door. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Oct 27, 2022 at 1:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, so less like a primal sense of awareness, and more like quick reflexes when you actually spring the trap. So my example's trap of hiding a pitfall with an illusionary corridor (yes, it was a doorway opening to a cliff) would not actually trigger the Danger Sense until he passed through it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Oct 27, 2022 at 4:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB Not until he gets to the point of actually 'triggering' the trap (and making the dex save), yes. I think of it as basically just a very fast reaction time to threats - the Barbarian has a knack for picking up on the threat and acting immediately to save himself, unlike say a puny Wizard who might freeze up for a moment. It's not a supernatural sense of possible danger around you that hasn't occurred yet - you don't detect that a trap exists necessarily, but if it drops the floor out from under you you're quicker than most to catch yourself on the ledge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kayndarr
    Oct 27, 2022 at 6:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar Um, the floor opening up under you is something you can see. Unless it is in magical darkness. And darts are something you can see, again, unless magical darkness. "Can see" means it is possible to see it, not "is seen". \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Oct 27, 2022 at 15:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk, The origin of this feature is likely grounded in the Conan the Barbarian short stories, where Conan had this abiltiy to be instinctively aware of danger, and which were one of the major literary sources for D&D. Funnily enough, the story where this is most evident is one where he is in pitch darkness in a dungeon under a wizard's tower, and feels something is off, avoiding a pit -- which would not work with the way the feature is written now. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2022 at 16:41

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