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D&D General Adventurers Go Left?

Adventurers Go Left?

  • Turn left to victory

    Votes: 15 50.0%
  • Right you are. Go right.

    Votes: 9 30.0%
  • I did not sign up for this. Turn back.

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • Destroy the stone in front of you. Go forwards.

    Votes: 4 13.3%

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I remember an episode of the old (live action) Batman TV show where he found his way out of a maze by always keeping the wall on his right...so go right.


My current players are fond of implementing the right hand rule in situations like this, which I think is ridiculous because it all but guarantees you'll traverse the entire maze, and it doesn't actually guarantee you'll traverse a dungeon.

But I have for some time been having the growing feeling that these sorts of left/right choices are probably the most boring sorts of choices that you can present a party.


When my wife and I played LFR, we noticed that a lot of mod writers will assume the party goes right. So we always went left, missing the worst encounters in several mods.


I strongly internalized the "always go left" rule from many many hours playing Daggerfall, with its enormous algorithmically generated 3D dungeons, where if you weren't systematic in your exploration you were guaranteed to get hopelessly lost.

This is much less relevant in D&D, but it's imprinted too deeply on my brain. I just DMed White Plume Mountain, where the module is written in a way that seems to assume the party will go right first, and it just seems wrong.


Barring some sort of pressure of time (or resources, or otherwise), the optimum route to clear out the dungeon is to be nice and systematic. So always go left.

(Of course, always go right would work just as well, as long as whatever is chosen is done consistently. But I've always done "go left", so... Oh, and @Seramus is right about the handedness issue.)

And of course, as a DM, it is of course incumbent on me to make sure that such systematic approaches aren't optimal - either because of traps designed to move the party against their will, invisible teleporters or other weirdness, or simply by applying one of those pressures I mentioned at the outset.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Imagine your adventuring party goes down a stone corridor in some dungeon. You reach an intersection where one corridor snakes to the left. The other corridor sharply turns to the right. Both feature sconces of torches at regular intervals.
Where everything is equally enigmatic and dangerous what do you do?
Without any information it's a meaningless choice.

As a player, I try to find out more information. If nothing, go randomly.

As a DM, I make sure there's something to make it meaningful.

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