Let me share a story of what happened (it was an epic moment) in one game, which prompted this question.

Our party consisted of a Shardmind Psion (myself), a Halfling Rogue, and a Dragonborn Paladin. We were tasked to check out a dungeon that was known to house goblins.

Upon entering the room, we paused for a minute at the doorway to listen for monsters. As we stood there a lone Goblin wandered in and out of the room, obviously on patrol. The Halfling and myself did a fair job of moving down the stairs quietly and hiding in the shadows. The Dragonborn in his plate mail however, was not quite so graceful. Fortunately, he was able to conceal himself behind a pillar before the Goblin re-entered the room. After glancing around for a minute, the Goblin left again.

The Halfling sneaked over to a bear rug in the center of the room and examined it closely. After he found nothing suspicious, I moved in to check it out as well. The Dragonborn began to move again, and again made plenty of noise in his plate mail. We all returned to hiding spots as the Goblin came back to check things out.

This time though, the Dragonborn was fed up with sneaking around. As the goblin entered, the Dragonborn jumped from behind his cover and roared to intimidate the creature. The Goblin of course wet his pants, and immediately turned to retreat. I quickly chastised the Dragonborn for such a move, which was sure to result in more goblins coming to the room. Then, I turned and did a Kinetic Trawl (Augment 2) to pull the goblin back into the room before he could escape.

The Kinetic Trawl did its job, and then some. The goblin was pulled back into the room, far enough that he landed right onto the bear rug - which turned out to be a pit trap! In addition to that, there was a rat swarm at the bottom of the pit that turned aggro against anything falling in. Kinetic Trawl (Augment 2) + Falling Damage + Rat Swarm Attack = Dead Goblin!

The story now having been told, should the Goblin have had a save before falling into the pit? Would that have resulted from "forced movement into hindering terrain" or "save to avoid a trap"?


2 Answers 2



Traps are not hindering terrain. Here is how it plays out:

  1. A creature is forced into an unrevealed trap.
  2. The trap is triggered and attacks
  3. Follow the traps hit/miss/effect lines as appropriate
  4. Continue the forced movement if applicable (Line of Effect might be broken)

Using a Level 1 False-Floor PitDDI as an example:

  1. The Goblin is pulled onto the pit
  2. The pit is triggered and attacks
    • It hits
      1. the goblin falls
      2. takes damage
      3. and is prone.
      4. The pull continues (if LoE is maintained)
      5. reminder, the pull cannot pull the goblin out of the pit
    • It misses,
      1. the goblin is returned to its last square
      2. The pull continues
      3. The trap has already been triggered and is no longer hidden. Now it is just a pit
      4. Therefore the goblin gets a save

In the case of TeleportationDDI, there are a few things to consider

  • Teleportation on another creature is not considered forced movement by the rules (however it acts like it most of the time)
  • The trap attacks as an immediate reactionDDI (not interrupt), therefore it won't attack until the target creature has completed it's teleport. There should be no chance that the teleport fails to transport the creature.
  • The sequence above would be accurate if the trap hits.
  • On a miss, I do not believe the rules cover the situation adequately and the DM will have to make a judgement call. My suggestions are:
    • Returning to the square the creature teleported from isn't logical
    • If the creature is one square from the edge of the pit trap, moving them there is probably the best call IMHO
    • If the pit is very large and the creature is in the middle, perhaps a miss indicates that the false floor did not drop away? Or the creature was able to catch onto the floor as it dropped away and ends safely somewhere.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah. Yeah, if it's a trap rather than a pit, trap rules take precedence... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just about to call out a potential loophole in this analysis, but then noticed the "DM's discretion" included in this verbiage - from "Forced Movement and Terrain" in the Compendium: "A DM can allow a power that pushes a target more than 1 square to carry the target completely over hindering terrain." It's interesting that the rule here prefers DM's choice over written declaration in this case. For that matter, it's further odd (perhaps an error) that this verbiage seems to specify a push - thereby excluding pulls and slides. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iszi
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 13:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Iszi - as we discussed, teleportation is less clearly defined, but I added my thoughts on the matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 18:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure the trap should count as hidden in this circumstance. THe goblin was on regular patrol duty in the room, so presumably he knew about the existence of the trap, and the trap's location was clearly signposted by the presence of the rug - which the GOblin was presumably capable of seeing. In other words, the goblin could see something he would recognise as a trap just as surely as if it was a smoking pile of acidic lava - so why wouldn't he get a save? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 4:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user867 - There is no saving throw from a pit attack. You get saving throws when forced into hindering terrain. Pits are not hindering terrain until they have been sprung \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 5:25


Any creature undergoing forced movement into an unsafe square (whatever type, push, pull, slide, teleport into the air) gets a save, and it's not dependent on their perception.

From compendium on hindering terrain:

Hindering Terrain: Forced movement can force targets into hindering terrain. Targets forced into hindering terrain receive a saving throw immediately before entering the unsafe square they are forced into. Success leaves the target prone at the edge of the square before entering the unsafe square.

From rules updates on teleportation:

Teleportation Page 286: Replace the text for the Destination entry and the Immobilized entry. This change addresses what happens when a creature is forced to teleport, and it clarifies that the Immobilized entry includes restrained as well.

Teleportation ✦ Destination: Your destination must be a space you can occupy without squeezing. If arriving in the destination space would cause the target to fall or if that space is hindering terrain, the target can make a saving throw. On a save, the teleportation is negated.


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