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King Atticus
2011-07-03, 03:33 PM
Firstly, if the guys in my group could not read this thread, just in case I use some of these ideas please.

So I'm putting together a dungeon crawl campaign for my group and I am a pretty inexperienced DM. The playgroung makes for a great resource so today I'm trolling for ideas. What are your favorite things to put into dungeons? Traps, puzzles, monsters, etc. and how did it work out for you? Whether you've used it as a DM or faced it as a player any ideas are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Yora
2011-07-03, 03:37 PM
Bottomless chasms! I love chasms. They can be spanned by a bridge, turn a corridor into a dead end, or you follow a narrow ledge along the side to get to another section of the dungeon. In either case, they are great.

SuperFerret
2011-07-03, 03:45 PM
I second the chasms. Really, any sort of hole in the ground makes for a ton of fun, be it a natural chasm or a well made pit trap. And they're great for adding all sorts of flavor.

Got a great ravine in the dungeon? Add a thin rickety bridge, a few enemy barbarian chargers and a bunch of archers and/or spellcasters and have fun. Or just have something big living at the bottom. Or both.

Got a pit trap? Fill it with snakes! Or a gelationous cube! Or water! Or acid! Or put it in the ceiling with a reverse gravity effect so they fall up! My favorite is the dual pit trap with a bait pit.

I also like water in my dungeons, even if it's just ankle high in some places, it adds to the ambiance.

Combat Reflexes
2011-07-03, 04:33 PM
No dungeon is complete without a narrow rope bridge over a raging (magma) river.

Another good feature are various traps that already have been triggered: an open pit (with some fresh corpses in it), a big block of stone blocking the hallway, a few dozen of darts on the ground next to holes in the wall, a guillotine blade that's already down, a boulder at the lower end of a narrow corridor... So many options.



Got a pit trap? Fill it with snakes! Or a gelationous cube! Or water! Or acid! Or put it in the ceiling with a reverse gravity effect so they fall up! My favorite is the dual pit trap with a bait pit.

Or (D. all of the above :smallbiggrin:

Kyouhen
2011-07-03, 04:41 PM
I got one from a session I was at last night. Fauna! Little random animals wandering around the dungeon, nothing dangerous. Rats, frogs, spiders, the things you would expect to show up in a poorly maintained dungeon.

Why is this now a feature I like? At last night's session the DM had a squad of toads that cast Banishment when they croaked. (We're in a dungeon on a different plane right now) He was looking for a way to make a trap that couldn't be found with True Sight or Detect Magic and couldn't be found via normal trapfinding methods.

His mistake was that this was the only place any frogs had been encountered, and we tossed a summoned trapmonkey down the path (the last one had vanished before we went around the corner) and promptly killed all the toads after the trapmonkey vanished. If you want to try a trap like that, make sure there are animals that actually aren't a threat wandering the dungeon. :smalltongue:

Ravens_cry
2011-07-03, 04:46 PM
I like dungeons that make sense and not simply be places to loot.For example, if you have a thousands year old tomb that none have entered, many traps of a mechanical nature just would not work any more, unless there is someone, or something, that is constantly maintaining things. Magic gives a lot of options here, but do not forget this aspect. If the place is lived in, no one will trap places they will constantly be traversing themselves, unless they, by nature, can avoid it. Like a pressure plate for a certain weight in cave home to a group of Kobolds.

SuperFerret
2011-07-03, 04:56 PM
Or (D. all of the above :smallbiggrin:

Of course. :smallbiggrin:

King Atticus
2011-07-03, 05:01 PM
I like dungeons that make sense and not simply be places to loot.For example, if you have a thousands year old tomb that none have entered, many traps of a mechanical nature just would not work any more, unless there is someone, or something, that is constantly maintaining things. Magic gives a lot of options here, but do not forget this aspect. If the place is lived in, no one will trap places they will constantly be traversing themselves, unless they, by nature, can avoid it. Like a pressure plate for a certain weight in cave home to a group of Kobolds.


I'm going to be using the Dungeon Lord (NPC PrC) from dungeonscape. It'll let me do some cool stuff like moving through the dungeon without setting off traps and opening and closing doors as free actions plus granting my minnions bonuses. I'm picturing some instances of some minnions ambushing the party then running away through doors that turn out to be trapped when the party tries to follow.

Mad Gene Vane
2011-07-03, 05:09 PM
Secret doors.

Lots of secret doors.

So many secret doors the Party takes 10 (or maybe 20) as they feel around the walls, as they move down the dungeon at an agonizingly slow pace trying to decide if they should sacrifice speed, to make sure they don't miss any secret doors or move at a normal pace; the consequences be damned about missing a secret chamber here or there with a clue inside it to unravel the entire plot of the Quest.

Inferno
2011-07-03, 07:43 PM
I'm a fan of spiked pit traps myself.

With poison... a timeless classic.

Jack_Simth
2011-07-03, 07:55 PM
Meaningless fluff features: Little animals that are quite harmless and scurry around the place... but have not-so-harmless predators. Graffiti on the walls. Random mundane objects placed every here and there.

A source of food for the hungry: be that a fruit bearing plant that sprouted in the middle of a Ring of Sustenance, an auto-reset trap of Create Food and Water, a river flowing through the area that the denizens fish, or what-have-you, it's always nice to see that there was some though put into "how do the creatures here survive?".

A History to the place: How did this place come to be? What has happened in the long-time it's been in existence? Places need to have history, don't you know.

Bhaakon
2011-07-03, 08:06 PM
knee-deep coatings of bat guano, spotted with quicksand-like pits of guano and mean little scavenging insects that will immediately begin gnawing on any exposed flesh that comes in contact with said guano.

Dragonsoul
2011-07-03, 08:18 PM
I'm a fan of spiked pit traps myself.

With poison... a timeless classic.

or pools of acid, with acid breathing sharks, or octopi:smallwink:

Larpus
2011-07-03, 10:37 PM
I think that my fav thing in dungeons is the "impending doom room" as in the room right before some big dangerous enemy (or the first few steps of the room with the big dangerous enemy) where you can see the bodies of the fallen adventures that attempted the dungeon before the current group.

Jack_Simth
2011-07-03, 10:42 PM
I think that my fav thing in dungeons is the "impending doom room" as in the room right before some big dangerous enemy (or the first few steps of the room with the big dangerous enemy) where you can see the bodies of the fallen adventures that attempted the dungeon before the current group.

Ooh, that reminds me: Animate Dread Warrior in a spellbook left lying around. I knew I forgot something!

slaydemons
2011-07-03, 10:43 PM
my personal favorite thing in a dungeon is a room with an illusion treasure make it a simply couple of chests guarded by already aware of mobs, and when they try to get into the chest (or close to it) boom the entire floor falls out into a chasm then closes behind them >:3

Divide by Zero
2011-07-03, 11:12 PM
Goddamn bats.

big teej
2011-07-03, 11:38 PM
Firstly, if the guys in my group could not read this thread, just in case I use some of these ideas please.

So I'm putting together a dungeon crawl campaign for my group and I am a pretty inexperienced DM. The playgroung makes for a great resource so today I'm trolling for ideas. What are your favorite things to put into dungeons? Traps, puzzles, monsters, etc. and how did it work out for you? Whether you've used it as a DM or faced it as a player any ideas are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

traps - symbols of x (I'm not a huge trap person) whenever I don't use "symbol" traps. I favor "logic" or "creativity" traps than something the rogue (AND ONLY THE ROGUE) has to roll for.

monsters - Kythons! love those buggers.

puzzles -I've yet to use a puzzle, so I can't contribute yet.

NecroRick
2011-07-04, 12:57 AM
Solid gold bathtubs. Plush rugs. A big ugly throne made of the skulls of your enemies. A completely different throne for day to day use, because lets face it you're not going to sit on that other damned monstrosity except for ceremonial purposes.

A couple of rooms or whole section set aside as diplomatic quarters in case other races send an envoy. It's not going to be at the back of the dungeon (you don't want them to know _all_ your secrets, they might be spies!) - but you also want to make a good impression, so it has to be something comfortable.

A crafting/professional/trade area. Gotta fit into the economy somehow!

Decorations art/carvings/etchings on the walls.

Wooden beams holding up/reinforcing the ceiling in tunnels.

Guardrooms with copies of this:

http://www.comedycorner.org/43.html

(or similar lists, especially the guard related stuff) posted on the noticeboard

The failed results of my... err... I mean the bad guys experiments on crossbreeding magical animals.

A portal to the Far Realm, because everyone needs a holiday destination wherre they can kick back and relax for a couple of weeks a year.

If it's a high level dungeon and even the regular troops have enhanced weapons and armour, there shall be a sweatshop with Artificers chained to their workbenches (even if it isn't Eberron. _Especially_ if it isn't Eberron).

A means to extend the life of said Artificers. A means to level drain them (gotta abuse that crafting pool you know), and a means for them to regain xp somehow (optional)... after all, why should the players have all the fun rorting the system?

Ravens_cry
2011-07-04, 01:05 AM
I'm going to be using the Dungeon Lord (NPC PrC) from dungeonscape. It'll let me do some cool stuff like moving through the dungeon without setting off traps and opening and closing doors as free actions plus granting my minnions bonuses. I'm picturing some instances of some minnions ambushing the party then running away through doors that turn out to be trapped when the party tries to follow.
That is a good possibility, but if you are using it constantly, it feels a bit cheap and just slows down the game, because now the players are going to check everything for traps.
Another idea for lived in "dungeons" by living thing is to. include store rooms for odinary food and drink. Oh, and include middens, even just a bucket or a hole in the ground if you do. The book was not lying, everybody poops. If it is a tribe, maybe an area for females and young, probably hidden away from other areas with a possible secret entrance to outside.

Doughnut Master
2011-07-04, 01:14 AM
Ways for the PCs to be clever. For instance, if the guardians use a system of secret passages to travel around, some detective work and a bit of brains can turn that bit of information into a strategic advantage. But using that information incorrectly could land you in a room full of well prepared bad guys.

WinWin
2011-07-04, 01:51 AM
Murder holes, arrow slits, improvised pallisades from furniture and burning heaps of trash to provide concealing smoke. All these things can increase the longevity of otherwise weak intelligent monsters.

An ooze trapped in a barrel; only used it once, but some of my players are still paranoid about opening things.

Some people have already mentioned chasms. I'll add to that and suggest using a rickety bridge. Great place for combat.