Roleplaying Ideas Publication #1223

How To Maintain Dungeons Fascinating – 5 Methods

How do you make dungeon crawling perpetually fascinating? This was a frequent tip request made in December’s Dungeon23 ballot.

I battle with this too, whether or not it’s an limitless collection of rooms in a megadungeon, a collection of 5 Room Dungeons, or simply a big dungeon stage.

Listed below are some recommendations on how one can maintain dungeon crawls fascinating, based mostly on my experiences thus far:

1. Create a Plot Arc

Create one core villain or mission for the social gathering to pursue over the long-term. Whether or not it’s to flee alive, defeat the BBEG, or uncover a secret our villain guards, we have to give gamers purpose to maintain crawling.

2. Study How you can Make Small Missions

One other phrase we may use right here is Stakes:

  • What occurs if the characters lose?
  • What in the event that they succeed?
  • Who else can be affected by social gathering loss or victory?

Right here’s a easy framework to create dungeon crawling Stakes:

  1. Consequence
  2. Stake
  3. Or Else…

And listed here are 6 methods on how one can elevate Stakes to maintain your dungeon tales difficult.

What we need to do is flip gameplay right into a collection of small and significant targets, which in my lingo I name Missions.

For instance, we’ve got 4 gobbos in a room. The social gathering kicks down the door, ready to kill and loot. We will remodel this normal sort of encounter right into a Mission by introducing at the very least one Stake:

  • There are prisoners right here that should be protected or saved
  • The gobbos have key info the social gathering would discover useful
  • The social gathering hears sounds of extra monsters coming…they should wrap this up quick
  • Because the PCs cost in, a panicked goblin by accident begins a hearth that would simply unfold
  • As the primary character enters they see one gobbo end setting a bomb to go off in three rounds

Change repetitive, one-dimensional encounters into dynamic conditions by turning them into small Missions.

3. Chunk Your Dungeon Into Factions

Including a social battle layer to dungeons helps loads, and I hardly ever have a crawl now that doesn’t embody at the very least two sentient teams in battle. Including factions will attraction to your roleplayers. You too can create fascinating dilemmas and puzzles by having factions management or possess issues your social gathering values.

In dungeon settings, I discover it greatest to have three factions, all impartial to the social gathering at begin:

  • What’s the theme of every faction?
  • Who leads every faction?
  • What’s every faction’s objective aside from survival?
  • What does every faction have that at the very least one different factions desires?

Then I give every faction a territory to defend, passive defenses (traps and hazards), and energetic defenses (scouting events or solos, sentries, warning traps).

Lastly, I guarantee every faction has treasure or one thing very useful the social gathering would need.

Extra faction suggestions:

4. Use Shade Themes

A fast hack to make every stage or zone of a dungeon crawl fascinating is to theme with colours.

Begin with a colour:

  • Crimson
  • Emerald inexperienced
  • Pale white
  • Golden yellow
  • Navy blue
  • Flint gray

Then work out how this colour manifests:

  • Faction garb
  • Development materials
  • Atmosphere situation
  • Kind of treasure
  • Lighting
  • Texture of a relationship

The colour will not be our primary objective right here. As an alternative, we use it for inspiration to vary issues up and theme a dungeon space.

5. Create Mysteries

One other phrase for thriller is discovery. What secret does any given room, location, or dungeon zone have? Gamers love mysteries. And mysteries immediate curiosity to assist make crawls fascinating.

I favor to interrupt my dungeons into 5 Room Dungeons. This makes design sooner and simpler as I can concentrate on one dungeon space at a time. This method additionally helps us drop in cool mysteries for the social gathering to uncover.

Room V: Treasure & Revelation gives the proper place to drop in a twist or secret. Following Room V, we brainstorm clues to offer hints and construct up the thriller within the different 4 rooms.

We will even use the 5 Room dungeon mannequin to plot out our clues:

  1. Room I: A clue reveals the presence of the key or thriller
  2. Room II: Extra clues get characters speculating about what the thriller is
  3. Room III: A false path leads the social gathering to a flawed conclusion concerning the thriller, or the thriller seems additional out of attain
  4. Room IV: The social gathering faces the first battle offered by the thriller
  5. Room V: The thriller will get revealed although it’d require some crafty to search out or perceive it

For instance: a mysterious noise may be heard on this space of the megadungeon:

  1. Room I: The PCs hear a faint sound of low moaning, however they can not inform exactly what it’s or what’s inflicting it, however they’ll inform there’s a gradual rhythm to it.
  2. Room II: The sounds takes on extra definition. It’s like a creature respiratory. It appears to be louder when going through north. It’s interval is 5 seconds. There’s additionally a odor of brimstone now.
  3. Room III: An odd echo impact makes characters assume the sound is coming from the flawed room (a monster lair).
  4. Room IV: The social gathering faces a demon and minions however they don’t seem to be the supply of the sound! They do block the way in which to it, nevertheless.
  5. Room V: The sound comes from a forge’s bellows. Demons and their slaves work tirelessly to create weapons and armor for evil factions. (Gold+ WoAs, try 5RDZ#4: The Furnace of Natasibit-Chu.)

The important thing to GMing mysteries in dungeons is to place only one thriller into every zone, not one per room. Then have the zone drop clues and construct curiosity, drama, and curiosity within the thriller. This helps maintain gameplay compelling within the quick time period in your group.

Extra Dungeon Ideas

Revisiting The Dungeon-Crawl: 29 Dungeon Ideas!

6 D&D Dungeon Concepts to Make Dungeons and Rooms Extra Fascinating

6 Ideas On How To Tie Dungeon Encounters Collectively

Quick 5 Room Dungeons

How you can Create Conditions With 5 Room Dungeons

Beat Dungeon Slumps With Dungeon Sumps

How To Battle Dungeon Design Fatigue

5 Room Dungeon Spawn Factors

Mad Lib 5 Room Dungeon Concept Generator For You

Assume About Encounters Like Recreation Tiles for Higher 5 Room Dungeon Design

Dungeon Themes and Ideas

Various Dungeon Environments

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Attempt these 5 methods to maintain your dungeon crawls fascinating. What do you do to make dungeons participating and defeat their inherent repetitive nature?

Hit reply and let me know, or be a part of the dialog right here at my discussion board or on the Roleplaying Ideas Discord.


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