Now when I design a dungeon those are the 2 rules that keep it on track for me. As long as I can stay true to those 2 things, then I have made a dungeon. Easy enough right? I mean with that sort of curriculum just about anything can be a dungeon! Well, yes and no
Take this launching station & space elevator for example. It has quite a large a number of large spaces. You definitely wouldn’t feel that a 60 foot wide room would make for much of a dungeon & you would be totally right. The reason, or rather the narrative behind the creation of this particular dungeon map, is that the large open spaces are primarily for freight.
Having a large area filled with stacks upon stack of crates, pallets, barrels etc. get that large space feeling claustrophobic really quickly. The varying levels of height and possible straightaways in there begin instilling the essence of a dungeon. . . . FEAR!
How Scary is your Dungeon in your Dungeons and Dragons Game
Spiked pit traps to impale the wreck-less adventurer, sharp steel saw blades spinning out from a wall waist high to cut you an half and acid, bubbly bubbly acid . . . . poor Aeofel.
Those and much more can be found in one place and one place only. The dungeon! Dungeons across the scope or RPG’s everywhere & so are the plentiful pitfalls and traps that fill them. It may just be me but I’ve been feeling that dungeons are so much more than just a place to put simple “run of the mill” traps.
Even the more elaborate traps that fill dungeons are something that I just don’t connect with. To me it’s always fealt that the approach to dungeons was simply to have a place to put these pit traps, flying blades, giant rolling stone sphere’s and whatnot. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those traps, to a degree but they are overused & often, at least to me, the focus of the dungeon.
O.k., lets take a step back and look at some of the actual definitions for the word “dungeon”.
How do You Use Dungeons in Your Dungeons and Dragons Game
Loud footsteps echo through the stonework halls as you pursue the fleet goblin. The breath comes heavy and hot in your lungs as you round a corner and, without warning, there he is. A dead end! You have the jewel thief dead to rights. He throws his dagger to the ground with a clatter.
MARLENE (playing Warner, the paladin): “All right, give it up. You’re all out of options.”
JEFF (the Dungeon Master, voicing the goblin thief): The goblin cringes, then lets out a long breath, his eyes downcast. “Okay. Okay. I don’t have the Egret’s Emerald on me, though.” His eyes brighten slightly. “We can make a deal though. If I show you where the emerald is, I’ll leave town. I was just trying to get out from under the Guild anyway. Just don’t turn me in. They’ll kill me in jail.”
Do you Cooperate at Your Gaming Table