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Trap Master
"I know what's out there. It's why I've planted a mine field, shotguns, and explosives all the way on the road to my little boudoir here."

A character whose style of fighting isn't about hitting the opponent directly. This character far prefers arranging traps in such a way that, when the opponent arrives, he only has to let the victim act, or activate the traps with minimal effort, to utterly dominate said opponent. Difficult but Awesome is almost a requisite, as these characters are different from the basic Attack! Attack! Attack! mindset of many gamers, favoring taking their time to indirectly cause their own victory.

Has nothing to do with gender reveal tropes.

Examples:

Anime / Manga
  • In One Piece, the Straw Hat Pirates' mechanic Usopp fights via deception. A large part of this is to lure his enemies into becoming vulnerable for one of his attacks. Once he's caught someone in a trap, chances are that person will get caught in a number of subsequent traps until they lose consciousness. Even the protagonist of this series is not immune to such a spectacle.
    • On top of that, one-time character Foxy the Silver Fox's power is the ability to slow down time in specific regions, which wear off exactly 30 seconds later. He mainly uses this power to cause projectile weapons, such as arrows and bombs, to float in midair and suddenly and unpredictably hurl themselves at his foes.
    • Definitely Largo, captain of the Amigo Pirates. His Devil Fruit allows him to create a basic "sticky net" from his hands, and he can make other varieties out of any material he's eaten. Heck, he can turn his own body into one.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure most of the cast (heroic and villainous) dabble in this, since charging at an enemy before you understand how their powers work is likely to get you killed instantly.
  • Early on in Project AR Ms, Ryo deals with a couple of opponents this way.
  • In Pokémon, the Team Rocket tries (and fails) to be this.
  • Kankuro from Naruto often uses his puppets this way.
    • Shikamaru has elements of this.
    • Genno from the Trap Master Arc (filler) also counts.
  • Satoko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is an extreme example of this, to the point of taking out a large number of highly trained soldiers with traps that could only have been set up in a few days
  • Frenda of ITEM from To Aru Majutsu no Index is also one, although she specializes in setting up explosives.
  • Student Council Vice President Akira Himuro from Fujimura-kun Mates somehow was able to set up pitfall traps throughout the entire town without anyone's notice. She triggers them with the slightest provocation.
  • In Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Mook Lieutenant Keto favors complex plans that involve 1) spying on the heroes, 2) feeding them false leads, and 3) setting snares for them when they follow through.
  • Tsumugu from Kill la Kill is an example of this, as he arranges gauntlets of traps while others chase him. As shown in episodes 5 and 12, his spacial limit defying trap armory consists of remote tracking machine guns/rocket launchers, gas grenades, proximity mines, remote explosives, falling irons, frag grenades and more. As the main character remarks while chasing him, "when did he have time to set up a trap like that?"
  • Reisuke Houjou from Future Diary uses his future diary to set up deadly traps for Yuki and Yuno to fall into that range from electrocuting Yuno in the bath to releasing poison gas when Yuki tried to open the envelope that contained his future diary.
  • Geisse the Spirit Hunter in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX professes to be one, so much that he was renamed "Trapper" in the dub.

Comic Books
  • Supervillain The Trapster from Marvel Comics is a Trap Master, naturally enough, but in a pinch will still fall back on his old glue gun.
  • A lot of Batman's enemies love their Death Traps, especially The Riddler, who practically relies on them.

Film

Literature
  • Repairman Jack turns out to be one of these in Legacies, in which he'd revealed to keep an entire decoy house rigged with traps, ready to spring on anyone who comes after him for payback.
  • The serial-killer duo from Michael Slade's Ripper rig an isolated mansion with deathtraps, then invite a bunch of victims over for a murder-mystery dinner.

Real Life

Video Games
  • Mega Man 2 has Crash Man, whose only way to fight is to run around planting timed explosives on the floor and walls. It can be troublesome even when knowing about his gimmick because he puts so many up at once.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Trish fights mainly by planting portals on the ground and in midair. An opponent who gets too close to one will get hurt by things coming out of these portals.
    • Ultimate adds Rocket Raccoon who utilizes 4 different landmine traps (boulder, shrapnel, net and spring), ignitable oil slick bombs, over-sized bear traps, a log pendulum trap, and ditch traps which trap the opponent in the ground while Rocket calls in a napalm strike.
  • Tripwire mines in the original Half-Life could be used this way. If one was willing to cheat to replenish the supply (as opposed to only having 5 at any one time), entire levels could be rigged into hilariously complex chain-reaction traps.
  • Clockwork Gennai from Oboru-maru's Live A Live chapter is one of these, he is the one who placed all the traps on the castle.
  • The Deception series of video games (including the most recent entry, titled Trapt in the United States) - the player character in each game is anywhere between 'mostly harmless' and 'completely helpless' in direct combat, but possesses the ability to create powerful magical traps. Gameplay mostly consists of setting up a lethal series of traps, and then standing around looking vulnerable in the right spot to lure enemies into the line of fire.
  • The Demoman class in Team Fortress 2 and its predecessors is based around planting sticky bombs to ambush opponents (when its not being played as a melee class).
    • The Engineer may count as well, particularly after it became possible to move fully upgraded sentries around or use an alternative weapon which granted him a smaller, but much cheaper and quicker to put up "mini-sentry".
  • Rachel Alucard in BlazBlue fights with either slow moving projectiles (which she can use her special ability to blow into opponents) and by planting umbrellas in the ground to serve as a target for her Sword Ivis moves.
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, this is The Emperor's' modus operandi. It's even the title of his fighting style. He conjures energy crests that can paralyze opponents or shoot projectiles at them, or releases magical mines from his staff that draw the opponent in and explode. His Flare attack is a slow but large homing projectile that keeps the opponent dodging, and his trademark Starfall would be all but impossible to use if it weren't for his traps pressuring the opponent and buying him time.
    • Kefka partially counts as well. Waggle-Wobble Firaga similarly pressures the opponent with its constant tracking and threat of paralyzing the opponent, and Trine ensnares opponents that can't get away in time, which is great for punishing campers and those too greedy with EX cores.
  • Then there are rangers in Final Fantasy Tactics A2, who are capable of laying (and disarming) traps.
  • Dragon Age features "trap making" as a skill and an engine that doesn't transition between screens when a battle begins, allowing players to use doorways, blind corners, stairways, and the like on the map as choke points, making it very possible to play as this kind of character if you know when fights are coming. You can even get a certificate of achievement for being an insidious user of traps.
  • The Vanquisher class in Torchlight is one of these. Her abilities involve dropping static traps that damage nearby enemies, compared to the Alchemist class' minions and the straighforward combat used by the Warrior class.
  • Some people play Dwarf Fortress exactly like this, but with added lava.
  • Mine Craft sees a fair few automatic enemy-harvesting machines, too.
    • Not to mention TNT rooms... some players are themselves trap masters.
  • Dirty Duck from Metal Gear fights using traps and Human Shields.
  • Urien from Street Fighter III uses a shield which reflect projectiles and harms anyone who touches it. Typical mastery of his moveset involves pushing enemies to the corner and keeping them there with said shields.
  • Pokémon has the metal bagworm Forretress, capable of learning all the entry hazard moves (Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Stealth Rock). Gen V Expy Ferrothorn is also able to learn Spikes and Stealth Rock but not Toxic Spikes.
  • In the Fallout series, players can specialize in explosives and rely on mines and grenades to fight. Fallout 3 and New Vegas include the ability to craft customized mines and grenades for various utilities.
    • Certain NPC's, like Dr. Pinkerton in Fallout 3, have their domains littered with traps, including rigged shotguns and grenade bouquet tripwires.
    • Point Lookout has Kenny, a runaway kid residing in Herzog Mine who is surprisingly skillful at trap-setting for his age.
    • In the New Vegas add-on Honest Hearts, most of the late Randall Clark's stashes are well-guarded by various booby traps. The Dead Horses have also set numerous traps along the path to their camp to keep the White Legs at bay.
    • In the Dead Money add-on, Dean Domino became an Action Survivor being trapped in the Villa for 200 years with zombie-like monsters roaming about. He's littered the area with mines, bear traps, and shotguns and grenade bouquets tied to tripwires and pressure plates.
  • Testament of Guilty Gear, whose fighting style involves littering the battlefield with invisible webs in the air and planting demon trees on the ground that act like mines.
    • Bridget is a minor example as well. Opponents who don't keep track of where his yo-yo is set at any given moment are in for a world of hurt.
  • Chrono plays like this in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable games, releasing invisible Delayed Binds that would trigger and catch his opponent if they flew too close to them. He could either plant them in place or have them slowly follow his opponent.
  • Lock from Lock's Quest has traps amongst his arsenal, along with walls, turrets, and minions, to fend off the enemy, making him this trope, The Minion Master, AND The Turret Master. But not a Wallmaster. That's something else entirely.
  • Guild Wars allows rangers to plant a wide assortment of proximity traps, and its sequel is giving necromancers some remote-mine magical traps and exploding zombies.
  • Little BIG Planet's extensive level editor gives players the ability to become this.
  • From Sengoku Basara: Most of Motonari's movesets are about setting traps in some way or form. This includes a decoy that can be detonated or energy barriers that can bounce mooks between them for massive combos.
  • Aht from Radiant Historia is a powerful attack mage, but unlike other spellcasters instead of directly targeting her enemies, she lays "traps" of magical energy onto unoccupied spaces on the battlefield, relying on other characters (or herself) to push her enemies into them afterwards.
  • The obviously named Trap Master from Threads of Fate (also known as Dewprism in Japan). Boss fights against him becomes a chore of dodging his trapped platforms in a 3-by-3 grid boss fight space. Unsurprisingly, it's not his real name. His real name is Narcius, and he's one of Valen's living dolls, much like our protagonist Rue.
  • In Senko no Ronde, Sakurako Sanjo's attack patterns revolve around her placing strategically placed mines within the battle area. Her B.O.S.S. Form even has an attack that litters the entire arena with mines. On top of that, her mines can also function as impromptu shields as well.
  • In Orcs Must Die, the Apprentice (and the Sorceress in the sequel) is a outstanding example. His direct combat skills, while impressive on their own right, are NOT enough to fight against the relentless orc's hordes that you'll be facing. Indeed, the gameplay's true core (and the hero's real strength) resides in the clever use and placement of a plethora of traps in order to create intricate Death Courses capable of taking down massive quantities of enemies.
  • League of Legends has a few characters with trap-based abilities like Shaco and Caitlyn, but the only true trap master is Teemo. Teemo can place invisible mushrooms that explode on contact with an enemy, slowing their movement and doing damage over time. Teemo, similarly to Usopp mentioned above, is generally not very good in a straight-up fight, but can beat much stronger opponents by controlling the battlefield with his deadly traps as their opponent desperately tries to chase the aggravatingly adorable rodent

Tabletop Games
  • There was a whole series of Dungeons & Dragons supplements full of ever more fiendish traps, all hosted by a Troll named Grimtooth.
    • Some of D&D's most legendary classic adventures, including I6: Ravenloft and Tomb of Horrors, largely or entirely consist of a dungeon-crawl through the lair of a Trap Master.
    • In Pathfinder, there's a archtype(class variation) of the Ranger class called the Trapper, which gives up spellcasting in favor of learning how to quickly set up snares and other simple traps in combat. There's also a Rogue subclass called the Trapsmith, which specializes in disarming traps and building her own.
    • Tucker's Kobolds. What are they? Just a tribe of ordinary kobolds who leveraged their advantages ruthlessly to make invading their warren a nightmare. The adventuring party they were sprung on preferred to carve their way through demons than face them.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • As much as the name suggests, the Trap Master is not this trope.
    • The Traptrix archetype is built around this, as they let you add Trap Holesnote  to your hand to your deck, as well as playing them directly from your hand or reusing the ones in your graveyard. The monsters themselves are not extraordinarily strong, so you need to use their synergy with traps to win.

Web Comics

Web Original
  • Worm has the Endbringer Bohu who has the power to warp her surroundings into deadly traps.

Western Animation
  • This is what Fred from the Scooby-Doo franchise wants to be. Usually, however, his traps never work as intended. In Mystery Incorporated, the series' most recent incarnation, Fred's affinity for traps is exaggerated into a borderline fetishistic obsession. However, in this series, he actually is this trope and most of his traps actually do work fantastically, so the obsession may have its good points..
    • One episode of Mystery Incorporated showcases the gang going up against a villainous Trap Master, with Fred treating him as a friendly nemesis.
      • The series actually provides a sad Freudian Excuse for his trap obsession. Fred never knew his mom, having been told that she left before he was born. Fred is drawn to traps out of a subconcious desire to keep people from going away.
  • King Sombra in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Real Life
  • Combat Engineers. Though they're trained in regular armed combat, they tend to gravitate towards Booby Traping everything and anything before the enemy arrives.
    • Quite a bit of fortification is focused around forcing the enemy to enter a pre-determined "kill zone" to get through the defenses. Earthworks, barbed wire, mines, etc. can all be used to funnel an enemy into a crossfire or other nasty surprise.


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