... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Examining Doors

Time to continue my thoughts about doors, I suppose, and work them into the new chamber generator process. Keep in mind that we already know the door's location and status, based on the location of the d6 and its value:
  • 1: door is ajar
  • 2: door is easy to open
  • 3-4: door is jammed
  • 5+: door is locked
If the result is a broken door, doorway, or non-door (sealed off exit,) we don't use the door status; instead, the spot pattern on a standard d6 is an image of what the exit leads to:
  • 1* = 20 foot corridor dead ends
  • 2 = 60 feet of corridor; roll 1d6 for next location
  • 3* = 60 feet of corridor
  • 4-5* = room
  • 6* = elongated room
The asterisks indicate that you roll 3d6 again on the Chamber Generator for the new destination; just remember that all rooms and all dice results with a spot in the middle get the full treatment.

For each door, roll a d12 on the map. We can even leave the d6s where they are (that's why I switched dice type.) We're rolling for the kind of door, using the table from the previous post. Where the dice land indicates the first letter of a descriptive feature: what the door is made of, what color or shape it is, what symbol is etched on it. You can vary your interpretation based on dungeon themes; in a ruined palace, you might interpret the letter as a heraldic animal that flanks either side of the door: for example, (C)ockatrice, (D)ragon, (T)iger, (F)erret, (L)ion, (S)erpent, (M)erman, (H)ippocampus, (G)riffon, (R)abbit.

Any type of exit other than an empty doorway requires another roll to tell you what the door is for or why it has been blocked, broken, or hidden. I've arranged this as a follow-up roll, since the most important information you need is the description of the room and the exits from the room; while you are describing the room, you can clear the dice from the Chamber Generator dice map and make follow-up rolls for each door to determine its purpose.

Isolating and Preventative/Privacy Doors screen out a particular type of event, such as bright light, noise, heat or cold; roll 1d6 on the dice map and interpret where the die lands as the first letter of the event, and the die result as a generic scale (1 = tiny nuisances, 2-5 = typical annoyances, 6 = major unpleasantries.)

A Defensive Door protects against a particular object, creature, or phenomena. Roll a d10 or d20 and convert the last digit of the die result into the first letter of the monster's name; interpret the location of the die as the first letter of a descriptive modifier, if desired ("fire giant" instead of just "giant", for example.) If the die lands in the center circle, it's a thing instead of a creature (flood doors to defend against water, for example.)

Similarly, a Blocking or Containing Door prevents access to a creature or object. Instead of rolling just a d10/d20, though, you also roll 2d6 for a reaction roll, to see how the door's architects or current inhabitants feel about what's being kept on the other side of the door. Hostile reactions indicate that the area behind the door is meant to contain something dangerous; Friendly reactions indicate that the door is meant to block outsiders from something valuable. Reaction rolls are used for other doors as well:
  • Fake, Hidden, or Redirecting Door: How do the architects or inhabitants feel about people using the door?
  • Virtual Door: How did the architects want people to feel about them?
  • Secret Door: How do the door's users expect to feel when they use it? (Hostile = afraid and running for their life; Friendly = on their way to a secret rendezvous)
  • Non-Door or Broken Door: How did the people blocking or breaking down the door feel at the time? (Hostile = afraid of something chasing them; Friendly = eager to protect or reach something valuable.)
The letters indicated by the position of the reaction roll dice can be used for further elaboration, if desired.


  1. Thinking about the function of doors is good. Would be nice to put all this info on the side of the map itself...

  2. That's more or less the plan: an 11 x 8 1/2 sheet with the square dice map in the center and short tables around. Not sure how many tables I'll be able to fit in the margins. Explanations and examples would have to go in a support document.

    I picked the layout specifically so it could be placed in the center of a saddle-stitched digest-size book, making it easy to photocopy.

  3. I'm really loving this so far. :)