Cartoon Network's new Thundercats series is not only one of the best animated series in recent history, it's also a great inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons. Take the episode "Journey to the Tower of Omens." In this episode, the party sets off to find the Book of Omens, but must first traverse a trap filled temple. This episode, to me, really felt like a well-structured, exciting DnD adventure. The traps the characters must overcome were highly inspirational, and I plan to incorporate them into some of my future adventures.
1) In the first trap, the characters find themselves on a bridge stretched across a very large pit trap. There's a locked door on the other side of the bridge and hundreds, if not thousands, of keys hanging from the ceiling on strings.
Cheetara knocks several keys off of the ceiling in a effort to find one that works, but when she tries the first key, the bridge begins to retract!
The solution ended up having to do with lock picks...which I thought was a bit "boring," but it was an interesting trap nonetheless.
2) The party then found themselves in a long hallway with a locked door at the other end. Now, any DnD veteran would instinctively know that something was wrong with this situation, but, apparently, the Thundercats aren't as knowledgeable about traps...because Panthro starts heading towards the door only to step on a pressure plate not two steps out! As soon as he steps on the plate, spinning blades erupt from the walls, ceiling, and floor!
The solution to this problem was lackluster as well with Cheetara using her super speed to dodge the blades and make it to the end of the hallway.
3) The third trap, and probably most creative, involved a small pool filled with coins. Of course, the two "rogues" of the bunch, Wily-Kit and Wily-Kat run to the pool to gather all the coins they can! As soon as they do, the light reflecting off the water changes and sets off a sensor in a statue on the wall which then begins to spew water into the room!
The solution to this problem wasn't as boring, but was kind of lame, in my opinion. Panthro, who can't swim, finds a way out at the bottom of the room.
As can be seen, the new Thundercats series can offer some excellent ideas for DMs! I know I will try at least one of these traps in the near future...although I will change the solution to it.