From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
( Beartrap.png
Name beartrap
Appearance beartrap
Base price 60 zm
Weight 200
Material iron
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A beartrap is a tool object that can be used to create a bear trap (^ Bear trap.png) on the ground. This is a trap that will clamp onto any monster or adventurer unfortunate enough to stumble onto it, dealing 2d4 damage.[1]

The beartrap item is usually obtained by untrapping a live bear trap. These can be applied on the ground to create a trap to clamp onto monsters unlucky enough to not avoid the trap, rendering them immobile until they escape. Monsters that are too small, amorphous, whirly, unsolid or flying won't be trapped, and metallivores can eat the trap. Be careful, as you can still get caught in your own bear trap if you step on it or fail to disarm it.

Becoming trapped

You will escape a bear trap under the following circumstances:

  • If you are levitating or flying, you will avoid the trap. If the trap is hidden, it will not be revealed.
  • If you are polymorphed into a form that is amorphous, whirly or unsolid, you will avoid the trap.
  • If you are polymorphed into a form that is tiny or small, and you are not riding a steed, you will avoid the trap.

If none of these apply, you have a 45 chance of avoiding the bear trap if you are already aware of it and are not fumbling. Otherwise, you are caught.

Being caught in a bear trap renders you unable to move, in addition to the damage it deals. When caught in a bear trap, you are unable to kick. During this time, you still can attack and be attacked.

If you trigger the trap when riding, it affects your steed instead of you. Monsters can be trapped too.[2]


The ordinary way to escape a bear trap is to try to move out of it. For some reason, trying to move diagonally is most effective, allowing you to escape in 4–7 moves;[3] this will move you diagonally out of the trap even if a wall is in the way. Attempting to move orthogonally requires about five times as many moves to escape.

Another way to escape from a bear trap is to use teleport, level teleport, or branchport to move yourself away from it. You can also polymorph yourself into a form that cannot be held by a bear trap, due to size or body composition.

Zapping a wand of opening or casting knock downward will instantly release you.[4]

Finally, it is possible to jump out of a bear trap. This carries a penalty, however: you will take d10 damage and suffer wounded legs for 500–1499 turns.

Oddly, beartraps reset themselves after someone escapes from them.


Once you know the location of a bear trap, you can attempt to #untrap it. You cannot disarm a bear trap that is holding you, so you must escape the trap first. When you attempt to disarm the trap, there is a chance that you will be accidentally caught in it instead. If you successfully disarm the trap, it will be replaced by a beartrap item on the ground.

It is also possible to remove a bear trap by eating it, if you are polymorphed into a metallivore. Unlike untrapping, you can eat a bear trap that is holding you, and there is no chance of accidentally triggering the trap. However, eating the trap will obviously not produce a beartrap item.

Alignment issue

If you are lawful, you suffer a −1 alignment penalty if you set a bear trap.


A beartrap can be applied in a narrow corridor to slow down pursuers. They can be used when stealing from shops to prevent the shopkeeper from blocking the door. A stuck monster is also an easy target for ranged attacks.

It takes some time to set a beartrap—if a hostile monster comes near, you will stop setting the trap (in much the same way an approaching monster can interrupt a meal). It may help to retreat around a corner or down a long passage to give yourself time to apply the trap. Because of the time delay in setting the trap, it does not make a very useful tool for emergency getaways. The time needed to set the trap is doubled if you are blind.

Trying to set a beartrap while fumbling, or setting a cursed beartrap has a chance of getting you stuck in the beartrap. The chance is modified by Luck; if your Luck is maxed, the chances are very slim. Setting a beartrap while riding a steed with Unskilled in Riding has the same chance of failure, and an even worse chance if also fumbling or using a cursed beartrap; however, failing on a steed simply results in the beartrap item falling to the floor harmlessly.

A beartrap (the item) can be polymorphed as normal; the 'bear trap' (the trap) is not affected by polymorph.


The bear trap object first appeared in NetHack 3.2.0.


A bear trap closes on your <foot>!
You triggered a bear trap.
You are released from the bear trap.
The bear trap is no longer holding you.
<monster> is caught in a bear trap!
A monster triggered a bear trap.
You hear the roaring of an angry bear!
An unseen owlbear or bugbear just triggered a bear trap.
You howl in anger!
You triggered a bear trap while polymorphed into an owlbear or bugbear.
<monster> eats a bear trap!
A metallivore ate a bear trap.[5]