Comments on 2012-11-17 How To Build A Dungeon

There was also some interesting opposition to the idea that such a how to build a dungeon post might be useful to beginners. Zak Smith said: “What should someone read before making their first dungeon? Not that many things. Very few things. This will avoid intimidating them or deceiving them into thinking the task is hard or requires a great deal of specialized knowledge. What should someone read after making and running a few dungeons? Everything. All things. An OSR worth of things.”

AlexSchroeder 2012-11-18 09:01 UTC

How do you handle the day-to-day bits of dungeoneering at your table? Like: how do you handle lighting, food & drink? Do you have rules for camping, guard duty, healing, i.e., undergrounds? How much effort goes into keeping track of encumbrance or calculating movement speed? And do you do random encounters in dungeons and how elaborate are your procedures for that? And how do your groups react and adapt, how does it affect play?

I ask because I remember from my dungeoneering times that when I tried to follow more of the rules for dungeon adventures (this is was D&D Red Box and AD&D 2nd), I felt like doing quite a lot of bookkeeping. My group camped when they need to heal or to refresh their spell list. Leaving a dungeon for boring reasons like dwindling provisions was not uncommon.

Some of this may not be particular to underground adventuring and a lot was probably due to my lack of experiences and insight into GMing. Still I feel like the wilderness leaves more space to negotiate with the world (and its rules) than then constraint environment of a dungeon. So, to take up Zak’s comment: Maybe designing a dungeon is easy, but playing a dungeon well is not straight-forward, or at least it does not follow directly from the classic game text as I read it.

Or maybe I just did it wrong and nobody else encountered those issues?

– Lior 2012-11-18 20:42 UTC

Good questions, all of them. I should write “How To Run A Dungeon”. :)

AlexSchroeder 2012-11-19 13:14 UTC

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