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General How Much Dungeon Crawling Do You Do?

How Much of Your Game Time is Dungeon Crawling?

  • None of very litte.

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • A small amount, no more than 10%.

    Votes: 9 16.4%
  • Some, no more than 25%

    Votes: 11 20.0%
  • A bit, up to 50%.

    Votes: 15 27.3%
  • A lot, up to 75%.

    Votes: 16 29.1%
  • Most or nearly all, up to 90%

    Votes: 2 3.6%
  • I don't like you or your poll.

    Votes: 1 1.8%

  • Total voters
    55

Reynard

Legend
In terms of time at the table (not necessarily "share of the story"), how much of your game time is spent exploring dungeons in D&D? We'll use "dungeon" in its broadest sense, to include any closed location where the primary goal of the PCs is to explore (probably in search of something) with dangers and wonders in their way. It would include a sunken pirate ship, but not a friendly fortress, for example.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Most or nearly all of the adventures in my D&D 5e campaigns are location-based as opposed to event-based. Though this requires more prep on my part, I find the game works better and it's easier to run these kinds of adventures.
 

MarkB

Legend
Probably in the region of 40% in the last campaign I ran. It was a broad mix of investigation, exploration and pursuit, with a number of locations interpersed that would reasonably meet the definition of "dungeon".
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
between 25 and 50%. I do a fair bit of city intrigue and wilderness journeys too. Both myself and my players like dungeon, changing it up is important.
 

Ringtail

World Traveller
It varies, sometimes we have dungeon focused sessions and sometimes it's mostly exploration and wilderness. When we do feature dungeons they tend to be somewhat short.

The exceptions being the big dungeon from Princes of the Apocalypse and the Tomb of Annihilation (though we wiped on this one pretty quick.)
 

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
I looove dungeons. Not necessarily "old timey jail" but also tombs, temples, mansions, vaults, outposts, forests, etc.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Traditional dungeons? Almost never. The idea that you could have a mix of monsters living in relatively close proximity all living in their own personal rooms and never venturing forth doesn't make sense to me.

But does a haunted house count? Using LMOP as an example, is Cragmaw Castle a dungeon because it's semi-ruins that are being used as a base of operations? Then maybe, now and then.

I try to have internal logical consistency to my campaign and I just don't think there are that many mad mages out there who are building bizarre complexes. But if there's a reason for a relatively recent ruin to be handy and occupied by the bad guys, sure they'll use it. Over time they'll do their best to rebuild defenses in most cases though, although it may be significantly lower quality than the original builders.

Nothing against personal preferences but when I look at most dungeon maps, all I can think is "Who would dig all those hallways for no reason? How do the denizens of this location avoid all those traps and not leave an obvious path around that pit?" In my current campaign even though the base of operations is on the edge of what could be a mega-dungeon of a ruined city that has numerous tunnels and rooms carved out, I've never done a dungeon crawl per se.

To me, a dungeon is almost like an NPC in the story but locations in my campaign are more for set dressing and potentially environmental hazards. Location is a backdrop, not the focus.
 

Reynard

Legend
But does a haunted house count? Using LMOP as an example, is Cragmaw Castle a dungeon because it's semi-ruins that are being used as a base of operations? Then maybe, now and then.
yes. The key components are a) site based, and b) exploration of hostile or at least unwelcoming territory. Of course there will be some fuzzy lines -- the airship the PCs have taken passage on probably isn't a dungeon even if some enemies or rivals are on it, but if the PCs wake up to discover the other passengers and crew have all been zombified and they have to get to the lifeboats before it crashes into a mountain or whatever, then it suddenly is a dungeon.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
yes. The key components are a) site based, and b) exploration of hostile or at least unwelcoming territory. Of course there will be some fuzzy lines -- the airship the PCs have taken passage on probably isn't a dungeon even if some enemies or rivals are on it, but if the PCs wake up to discover the other passengers and crew have all been zombified and they have to get to the lifeboats before it crashes into a mountain or whatever, then it suddenly is a dungeon.
Like I said, it depends on how you define "dungeon crawl". If being in a set location qualifies as a dungeon, then the local tavern and the street outside could be a dungeon.

In other words, I don't think of (as one random example from my wife's campaign) pursuing the bad guys down to the sewers made it a dungeon crawl, it was just that we were tracking the bad guys and that's where they went. Now if we had heard rumors that there were treasures in the sewers of an abandoned village and those sewers were filled with a variety of monsters, traps and hazards then it would qualify as a dungeon crawl.
 

aco175

Hero
I voted with up to 75%. I see the broad sense of a dungeon bring most placed that get explored and have possible combats. Places like the inn's basement or an abandoned woodland cottage count.
 

Until recently, I was running Tomb of Annihilation, which at the end is 100% dungeon crawl. My other campaign is city-based and I've not done a proper dungeon in it months. Probably because that's all I was doing with the other group, and I needed something different.
 

Reynard

Legend
Like I said, it depends on how you define "dungeon crawl". If being in a set location qualifies as a dungeon, then the local tavern and the street outside could be a dungeon.

In other words, I don't think of (as one random example from my wife's campaign) pursuing the bad guys down to the sewers made it a dungeon crawl, it was just that we were tracking the bad guys and that's where they went. Now if we had heard rumors that there were treasures in the sewers of an abandoned village and those sewers were filled with a variety of monsters, traps and hazards then it would qualify as a dungeon crawl.
You are being more specific in the definition than I would be, but that's okay. Some folks would be even more specific than you are, with words like "megadungeon" and "10 foot pole" coming up.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I voted with up to 75%. I see the broad sense of a dungeon bring most placed that get explored and have possible combats. Places like the inn's basement or an abandoned woodland cottage count.
Then just about anything that takes place in a physical location counts as a "dungeon crawl" and the words become kind of meaningless. It also probably wouldn't qualify based on wikipedia's definition

A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinth environment (a "dungeon"), battling various monsters, avoiding traps, solving puzzles, and looting any treasure they may find.[1] Video games which predominantly feature dungeon crawl elements are considered to be a genre.[1]
 

Mallus

Hero
Since our current campaign is Labyrinth Lord, we do a lot of dungeon crawling. Though in our last session we barely made it to the magic door of the dungeon because of random encounters which very nearly killed us (okay one was planned, I think...).
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I'd say very little.

I landed on 10%. The thing is, even if there is a 'dungeon' they are usually pretty small. 4-6 rooms, if that.
 

J-H

Explorer
Sample size too small for me. I ran a ~25-session Castle Dracula campaign (find it on DM's Guild, it's 5e Castlevania!) that was pretty much all dungeon-crawl. The first four areas are outside the castle, but are still semi-confined by terrain.

Current campaign I'm a player in (2 sessions in) is overland travel.

The hexcrawl-ish thing I'm making to take the party from level 13-epic is overworld-centric, but will include at 8-12 dungeons as well as a few more 2-4 room areas. No idea how it'll really play out.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I voted up to 75% when you include things like ruins, an enemy fortress installation mission, even "confined area" explorations.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Did you read the OP? Makes you want to think that any 'closed' location is a dungeon.
Yeah, I rejected that "broadest definition" in my first post because it would mean that practically any time you aren't outside you're in a dungeon. Need to find your shoes first thing in the morning after a bender? Dungeon crawl. Asking in the tavern for "Nine Fingers Malone"? Dungeon crawl.

It loses meaning if you do that. The last time I ran something I would consider a dungeon crawl was a couple of years ago when I did a haunted house for Halloween.
 

Reynard

Legend
Yeah, I rejected that "broadest definition" in my first post because it would mean that practically any time you aren't outside you're in a dungeon. Need to find your shoes first thing in the morning after a bender? Dungeon crawl. Asking in the tavern for "Nine Fingers Malone"? Dungeon crawl.
That's not at all what I proposed.
 

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