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Any weapon in Fortress Mode can be placed into a weapon trap. However, there are five trap components, or trap weapons, that are specifically for weapons traps (and two also have additional uses). As with any weapon, a total of up to 10 of these can be put in a single weapon trap, creating a true "Indiana Jones" type of threat to any beast of any size, and potentially simply making a fine mince (or paste, depending on the weapons) of lesser creatures. In the order they appear on the various menus, they are the menacing spike, the serrated disc, the spiked ball, the enormous corkscrew, and the giant axe blade.
In Adventure Mode, these trap components can actually be wielded in combat; in Fortress Mode, their only meaningful use is in your mechanics' contraptions (including screw pumps in the case of enormous corkscrews).
All trap component weapons can be made out of 1 bar of weapons-grade metals (by a weaponsmith) or glass (by a glassmaker), with appropriate material modifiers for damage. Three can also be made out of wood (by a carpenter), as noted below, which can be useful in getting some heavy weapons traps set up before you have a steady smelting operation going, or if you are short on metal. The material multiplier for glass is the same as wood items, 50%.
Trap weapons also provide the highest return of any weapon for melting, 50%, compared to 30-40% for conventional weapons, which is good to know for training weaponsmiths on maps with little metal. Trap components are a separate sub-section of a forge menu, but are at the bottom of the general glass furnace or carpenter's workshop menus.
Although some trap components cannot be made from wood, it is still possible to purchase them on embark.
The 5 trap weapons
The menacing spike deals less damage than other trap components when mounted in weapon traps, but can also be mounted in upright spike traps, which act quite differently than do weapon traps. Its high critical boost makes it a decent choice against enemies with impale-able internal organs, although the spiked ball's triple attack tends to have a higher chance to impale, despite the lower critical boost.
(Because of this, a single menacing spike, often of glass or wood, is often the weapon of choice when intentionally trying to cripple a dwarf without killing them.)
Menacing spikes can also be made from 1 wood.
Large, serrated disc
A large, serrated disc deals large amounts of slashing damage, and have a tendency to sever their victims' limbs. While amusing, this can create several hauling tasks for dwarves as they have to move each severed body part to a butcher's shop or refuse pile. While large serrated discs do less damage than trap components like the giant axe blade, they attack three times, giving this trap weapon the highest potential damage of any weapon that can be mounted in a trap.
While the spiked ball deals the least damage per strike of any trap weapon, it strikes three times, giving it the second highest potential damage of any trap component, almost as much as the legendary large, serrated disc. Despite the slightly lower damage threshold, the critical boost possessed by the spiked ball may make it more effective than the disc against enemies with internal organs.
Spiked balls can also be made from 1 wood.
Enormous corkscrews can be used as components in Traps as well as for screw pumps.
While the enormous corkscrew does the least total damage of any trap component, it has the highest critical boost, giving it a very high chance of instantly destroying its targets' vital organs (~if~ they have any), resulting in an instant kill. Since the enormous corkscrew is needed to create screw pumps, many players recycle the corkscrews from unneeded screw pumps into serviceable weapon traps. Those interested in more lethal weapon traps should invest in some spiked balls or large, serrated discs.
Enormous corkscrews can also be made from 1 wood.
Giant axe blade
Like the large, serrated disc, the giant axe blade deals slashing damage - a lot. Giant axe blades deal more damage per hit than do large, serrated discs, but only strike once, compared to the disc's three attacks. Thus the large, serrated disc generally does more damage than the giant axe blade.
Data & comparison
|Name||Damage||Damage type||Number of hits||Critical boost||Wood?|
|Giant axe blade||220||Slash||1||None||No|
|Large, serrated disc||120||Slash||3||None||No|
|† This trap component is a screw and can also be used in screw pumps. |
‡ This trap component is a spike and can also be used in upright spike traps.
- (This data has been compiled from raw/objects/item_trapcomp.txt)