The Bard's Tale Wiki

Chests are not free-standing in the environment for you to find during exploration and just walk up and loot - you'll have to beat monsters to get them. At the end of every successful dungeon fight, the party will find a chest, containing gold and possibly random items. But not so fast - it could be trapped!

The guaranteed safe method of opening a chest is to have a Conjurer cast Trap Zap (TRZP) at a cost of 2 spell points - there's a shortcut option, so you won't have to type the code. Just pick the character and it'll cast it, and you'll go on to the loot and experience screen. This is probably the fastest method, and preferred for grinding.

If you'd like to save your spell points, try having each character E(xamine) the chest for traps. Each character can try only once, however, one need not be a Rogue to examine a trapped chest - any character can safely try and may well succeed. If a trap is identified, it will say, "Looks like a POISON NEEDLE" etc. After that, a Rogue or Bard can attempt to disarm it - be careful to spell the trap name correctly, and it will be disarmed.

If no traps are detected by anyone, it could be that the chest is not trapped, and one can safely O(pen) it... but maybe not! If no traps are detected, the safest course is to use the Trap Zap option if you have the spell points. Otherwise, you can L(eave) the chest and forgo any Gold or random items, but still get the experience from the fight. You might want to do that if the monster group was very weak, and you don't expect them to have much in the way of Gold and items anyway.

Finally, you can try guessing what kind of trap it is - this can be very dangerous when there are multiple kinds of traps in use! If you guess right, or there was no trap, you'll move on to the Loot screen... if you set off the trap, you'll still receive the loot... right along with the consequences!

Even if you have plenty of spell points to blow on Trap Zaps, it can be worthwhile to examine chests and disarm traps manually. Since a Bard can do the job of disarming traps, and any character can identify them with a little luck, you may be able to save the spell points, which can be really useful when crawling a tough dungeon. Besides which, it's fun!

Types of Traps[]

There are seven (technically eight) kinds of traps that can be found on chests. Interestingly, the game lists "No Trap" as a possible trap type, though only chests in the first level of the Wine Cellar under the Scarlet Bard have chests that sometimes don't have traps! Trap types include:

  • No Trap
  • Poison Needle (1d4 damage, Poison)
  • Blades (2d4 damage)
  • Darts (4d4 damage)
  • Gas Cloud (3d4 damage, Poison)
  • Shocker (7d4 damage)
  • Crazycloud (1d4 damage, Insanity)
  • Mindtrap (1d4 damage, Possession)

Traps by Dungeon[]

It's worth noting that each dungeon level has its own traps based on the difficulty of the dungeon. Traps of the same type do more damage in dungeons of higher difficulty levels, so a Shocker trap in Mangar's Tower will be much nastier than one found in The Catacombs if you set it off! To determine the potential damage caused, multiply the damage multiplier by the damage for that trap type (listed above):

Dungeon Difficulty Level Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Damage Multiplier
1 - Wine Cellar No Trap No Trap Poison Needle Poison Needle 2
2 - Sewers 1 & 2 Poison Needle Poison Needle Blades Darts 3
3 - Sewers 3, Catacombs 1 Darts Gas Cloud Gas Cloud Shocker 4
4 - Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1 Darts Gas Cloud Shocker Shocker 5
5 - Harkyn's Castle 2, 3 Shocker Crazycloud Crazycloud Mindtrap 6
6 - Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Tower 1 Shocker Crazycloud Mindtrap Mindtrap 7
7 - Mangar's Tower 2, 3 Crazycloud Shocker Mindtrap Mindtrap 8
8 - Mangar's Tower 4, 5 Shocker Crazycloud Mindtrap Mindtrap 9

Gold/Item Drops[]

Once the chest has been successfully opened, the party receives Gold and possibly an Item or two. The amount of gold earned is random: 1-256 gold for each monster killed. This does not increase in more difficult dungeons - thus, to grind for gold, simply grind where the monsters are most plentiful!

Items, on the other hand, have a 1-in-8 chance of dropping for each monster you kill. In lower level dungeons, the amount of items that can drop from a fight is capped at 1 - in higher level dungeons (4+), the amount is capped at 2. Just make sure you have open inventory slots on your characters, or you won't get any!