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D&D 3E
dungeon suggestions 
13th-Apr-2006 04:07 pm
I'm creating a large dungeon for a 3rd level party in a custom campaign setting. The dungeon is the ex-lair of a Black Dragon (old, not sure which category, but old), which has been reinhabited by various dungeon denizen. The dungeon should be quite large, with at least 5000xp available -- this will likely take several gaming sessions to clear.

Does anyone have any good dungeon ideas that have been successful? I'm looking for interesting traps, encounter setups, loot, map pieces, anything really. I'm sure I can create such a dungeon, but I want to make it really interesting, so I thought I'd open it up and see what you guys suggest. Anything from EL 2 to EL 6 is good... maybe more if there's a smart way to defeat it at lower levels.
13th-Apr-2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
There's one trap that I fell in love with the moment I read about it, years ago, taken from dndadventures.com.

The trap that isn't a trap:

Premise- There's a trap door with what seems to be a pull ring on it, built into the floor (which can be placed in a hallway, room, anywhere really). This door is not trapped, not locked, but cannot be opened by any means. PC's tend to tug and pull on the ring until they turn blue in the face.

Reality- This isn't a trap. The "pull ring" is really a door knocker (that doubles as a pull ring when once again closing the door). The "trap door" is actually a feeding hatch for a semi-sentient house pet (make this whatever you like, as long as it's large sized) that belonged to the previous owner of the dungeon. Upon feeding time, the owner would place the food on the door, knock, and the monster within would open the latch from the other side, allowing the door to swing inwards and the food to drop down.

=) While this isn't a trap, and therefore doesn't merit any trap exp, it's a good start to an encounter (especially since trying to open the "door" is probably going to awaken whatever is inside the room below and make it think it's feeding time) with something that's large size other than a typical "I kick in the door and fight the Ogres on the other side."

The blast about this is that this isn't a trap, and therefore things such as Trapfinding or Disable Device don't work upon it. (Unless you're trying to make it so the door can't be opened from below...but then you would have to figure out that the "pull ring" is really a door knocker ;D)

If nothing else, this is great for a laugh. It's kind of like watching a guy tug on a door that clearly says "Push." ~.^
14th-Apr-2006 01:39 am (UTC)
I actually just gave this one to a friend of mine to use and got it originally out of FFG's Traps and Trechery Volume 1 which is the trap coin.

If you have treasure, you can have this buried under a stack of coins, it is flat on the groud and sparkles quite nicely. As soon as someone picks up the coin, the seal is broken and a denizen that was trapped underneath the coin is set free. (The book calls for an efreet but you can have anything magically sealed away)

The other one that was pretty nice is the acid cylinder from the ceiling. DC 20 Reflex to avoid the trap, another DC 20 to try and get out. A pressure activated plate is on the ground, somoene walks up to it and steps on it, releasing the cylinder. The acid was kept in place by the stone (make it magically preserved) as it has no real bottom, thus trapping the person inside. If they are fast enough, they could swim out of it or if there are people outside, with a combined STR of 30ish, they can tip the acid cylinder over. If you make it very weak acid (something that still stings but doesn't dissolve), you can have a little fun with that too...
14th-Apr-2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
The only risk with traps is after the PCs get burned by one, expect them to take the rest of the dungeon quite seriously and waste plenty of time searching everything that could remotely be trapped.
15th-Apr-2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
I'd suggest:
  • A mix of tunnel sizes - some dragon-scale, some smaller (or even small). Did any races serve the dragon? Did anyone live here before the dragon?
  • Major use of water - pools, water-filled tunnels, secret chambers and lairs. Black dragons can breathe water naturally, so they can hide/sleep/move through water. Pitch-black underwater makes for a good ambush point.
  • Weird plants, grown by an old black dragon. some mobile, some weird, some used by current inhabitants as guards or pets. There are lots of good plant monters.
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