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233 votes
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What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?

Note: This isn’t an answer specific to dnd-5e but, instead, explains why the maps for the older adventures updated by Tales from the Yawning Portal have those really long corridors. In other words, ...
Hey I Can Chan's user avatar
144 votes
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How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

Show them the missing key The unwritten assumption about doors in an RPG is that they are meant to be opened. As long as the players think that there is a hidden way to open that door, they will ...
Surpriser's user avatar
  • 1,888
113 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

As you've noticed, pretty much the entire history of gaming has taught players that a locked door is a puzzle and there will be a solution available somewhere nearby - maybe not immediately, but in ...
G_B's user avatar
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97 votes

How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

Your players are not choosing to fight from doorway choke points. You are. "Yeah, you have 4 undead zombies, 2 living suits of armor, and a weakened Lich looking at you once you open the door. Roll ...
krb's user avatar
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88 votes

What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?

The goal is usually to block sound traveling and reinforcements arriving too quickly. If there are no long hallways, everything is so close together that if you shout once, you have the entire ...
Erik's user avatar
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88 votes
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How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

Talk to the players. The party isn't doing anything wrong per se. Proper use of choke-points is in fact good tactics, especially if they don't have a strong need to move in and surround the enemy. (...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
58 votes
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How can I help my players make meaningful choice during dungeon navigation?

As a GM, the solutions are all about providing more information: Sounds and Trails When they examine their choices, give them hints what lies down each passage. A part of the dungeon in use by kobolds ...
AlienAtSystem's user avatar
56 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

It's not a bad idea to put an inscription on it, but my personal favorite is a talking face, then you can roleplay telling them to piss-off. If they attack the door, have it scream, and do psychic ...
AshRandom's user avatar
  • 4,423
54 votes

How do I handle a player exploring the entire dungeon with his familiar?

Take the warlock 'aside', and either narrate the dungeon to him or show him a map of features. If the warlock wants to tell the party what he saw then that's up to him. I've regularly done this one-on-...
Pod's user avatar
  • 659
45 votes

For the Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure, how is a room's ceiling height determined?

Width is the Shorter Side According to 5e's lead designer: "Unless the rules explicitly expand, narrow, or completely redefine a word, that word retains the meaning it has in idiomatic English". What ...
Matt Vincent's user avatar
44 votes
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How do I handle a player exploring the entire dungeon with his familiar?

Having an invisible Imp floating through a dungeon is quite an investment for a Warlock character, and have the obvious effect of allowing what you describe. There are other "overpowered", ...
Kotrin's user avatar
  • 464
38 votes

How do I handle a player exploring the entire dungeon with his familiar?

Hand the party a map You know this is going to happen: prepare a map of everywhere the imp can go before the session and hand it to the party when they get to the dungeon. I’ve done this for all sorts ...
Dale M's user avatar
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35 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

Disclaimer about sending mixed messages to players Building up intrigue about the door, so that it has a payoff later in the story, works in many game and storytelling contexts. But it doesn't always ...
MikeQ's user avatar
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31 votes
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Would non-magical equipment from a dead adventurer be usable after X years in a dungeon?

Adventuring equipment requires maintenance to remain usable. D&D's rules don't really cover the rate at which things decay. The Player's Handbook p.157-158, "Lifestyle Expenses" does ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
30 votes
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Handling party progression in a dungeon

Passive checks are your friend First, you can probably replace nearly all of your checks with passive perception (PHB 175): A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve ...
Icyfire's user avatar
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24 votes

How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

Your players are tacticians I have some players like this, and I reward them with an inspiration if they find a creative way to do anything, including solving puzzle and defeating encounter. But I ...
Vylix's user avatar
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21 votes

What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?

This issue was addressed in the original release of Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. The Empty Spaces We find these relevant passages in Book 3 - Underworld and & Wilderness Adventures. Page 6 ...
RS Conley's user avatar
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21 votes
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Where did this dungeon come from that was spiral shaped and contained a statue of Dagon?

The Jade Temple in Secrets of the Sokol Keep in AL season 1 (DDEX 1-2) You can find "Secrets of Sokol Keep" here on DMsGuild. Part 3: The Jade Temple (starting on p. 17) describes the dungeon you're ...
Deeps's user avatar
  • 5,907
20 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

The door opens, quite easily (there was a simple lock and trap that any competent thief of your party's level could deal with) onto a dusty empty quite normal chamber. Well, not quite empty. There ...
arp's user avatar
  • 490
18 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

Give them very few ways to interact with it. First, make it a sliding door. It's much harder to imagine brute-forcing a sliding door open. Even more so if it descends vertically into a groove in the ...
Mark Wells's user avatar
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18 votes
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How can I make theater-of-the-mind dungeon-crawling/location exploration fun and engaging?

Exploring is fun! For me, dungeon crawling is not about choices, it is about thriller, mystery, and discovering new stuff. It is not about choosing between Door A or Door B for a goat or a car, it is ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 37.1k
18 votes

How to make Arcane Eye and our game style fit better together?

Let your DM declare the dungeon scouted and then improvise scouting information on demand Just because your characters now know the entire layout of the dungeon doesn't mean that you need to. If your ...
Ryan C. Thompson's user avatar
17 votes
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How many horrifying visages can affect a PC?

I'll deal with the simplest question first - Horrifying Visage is listed under the Ghost's Actions section, so it requires an action to use. While under the effects of Time Stop, this is impossible ...
Miniman's user avatar
  • 145k
17 votes

How can I help my players make meaningful choice during dungeon navigation?

Use a dungeon with an interesting map If the map has several levels, hidden entrances, ways to see into other rooms without easy access, stairways, or simply loops, players can use their map (that ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 10.3k
15 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

I had a very similar door in a game I was running a few years ago. I had the door locked and barred on this side. The build up to finding the door had scary stuff happening as a consequence of ...
Tim B's user avatar
  • 7,109
15 votes

How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

Talk to the players They might see using a clever strategy as good play, or they might be bored with the situation. Discuss solutions. Sometimes camping should work Against mindless enemies the ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 10.3k
14 votes
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How should I handle TPK's and retrying in a dungeon crawl?

First of all, Tomb of horrors is not particularly sadistic. As long as your players are used to their characters risking death, and have encountered traps before, and know what they are getting into, ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 10.3k
14 votes

How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

In addition to the great answers already here, there's another, pretty simple option: Just give the players a reason to want to get into the room, and make the opponents the ones wanting to keep them ...
cfc's user avatar
  • 251
13 votes

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

The right door needs the right key. If you feel like it's pulling back the curtain too much to outright tell the PCs they don't know how to open a door and should come back later, then just being coy ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 41.1k
13 votes

How do I handle a player exploring the entire dungeon with his familiar?

Start doing planning sessions Disclaimer: I haven't tried this for your exact situation, but have tried several elements of it individually to address players interested in heavy roleplaying with ...
Pyrotechnical's user avatar

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