D&D General (+) What Should Go in a D&D Book About Dungeons?

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
The thread in the One D&D forum about "bringing back dungeon exploration to D&D" got me imagining...wishing for, really...a supplement specifically for DMs who want to emphasize good old fashioned dungeons. I wouldn't care if it's official WotC or 3rd Party. I'd probably buy it in a heartbeat without even reading the table of contents, but it's also fun to think about what might be in that table of contents?

Ideas? (And this is a '+' thread because if you want to pooh-pooh the idea of 'bringing back dungeons' the other thread is a fine place for such cynicism.)

My off-the-top-of-my-head ideas:
  • A system for keeping track of time, with rules and suggestions for how to use that to add pressure
  • Other ideas for keeping the tension and pressure up (without counting torches)
    • E.g. Rests: ways to make rests something players are less eager to take (ties into the time thing)
  • Rules for mapping, backtracking, and getting lost (i.e., if you want to map carefully, it consumes more time!)
  • Traps!
    • I really don't like WotC's take on traps; I would want @iserith...or The Angry DM...to write this chapter
    • I imagine this chapter containing both guidance on how to design and DM traps that aren't just empty dice rolls, and also a whole trove of fleshed out traps based on that guidance
  • Puzzles! (Similar to traps)
    • This wouldn't necessarily have to be the sorts of puzzles designed by evil geniuses (who apparently have phobias about good old fashioned keys); it could just refer to anything the party has to figure out. "There's a rope bridge spanning the chasm, but the ropes look rotted and most of the planks are missing..."
  • Secret Doors! (Similar to traps)
  • Random tables for fleshing out dungeons.
    • Not (necessarily) to generate a whole dungeon, but for when you are just filling in details or looking for inspiration)
  • A whole chapter on light and darkness, full of juicy guidance on how to use both to terrify your players most effectively
  • New monsters?
  • New subclasses? (Honestly not my favorite)
  • Links to a playlist of thematic music
  • General guidance on how to design and run dungeons
    • Issues of realism (why are the monsters here? what do they eat? etc.) and whether your players will actually care
 
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jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
Rules for smothering to death because you're burning torches in an environment with little to no ventilation. I've done a fair amount of spelunking in my time and even something putting out smoke as small as a cigarette can gobble up good, breathable, air in an environment with restricted airflow. Most dungeons in fantasy games simply don't account for this.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Rules for smothering to death because you're burning torches in an environment with little to no ventilation. I've done a fair amount of spelunking in my time and even something putting out smoke as small as a cigarette can gobble up good, breathable, air in an environment with restricted airflow. Most dungeons in fantasy games simply don't account for this.

And don't forget methane vents!
 



Tutara

Adventurer
I’d like a simple, elegant generator to procedurally create basic dungeons on the fly.

Need a bandit cave? Place down 4 playing cards to represent a 4 room dungeon in a ground plan of your choosing, flip them over when the party enters each room and reference the book to find out what is in them as you go.

Spades are a trap, hearts are a social encounter, diamonds are loot, clubs are hostile monsters? Something like that.
 




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