7 Tips If You Want To Go Dungeon Crawling

Legend of Zelda

It’s not the easiest way to make a living, especially since you never know if someone has come before you.  Yet, people still take on the hobby known as dungeon crawling.  For those who don’t know, this is the exploring of a location that is maze-like, possibly abandoned, and filled with danger.  Ruins are a common type of ‘dungeon’ because they can hold long forgotten treasures.  It isn’t even money that draws people into this type of adventure since you can uncover lost knowledge.  So, what are some things to consider if you march into the deadly unknown?

  1. Try to make the situation as ‘known’ as possible.  If you’ve heard about this location then somebody else has.  The treasure and traps have waiting years for visitors, so another day isn’t going to make a difference.  All you have to do is ask around any neighboring villages or check out a library that may hold books on the area.  It might not be much, but every scrap of information can increase your chance of surviving whatever is lurking inside.
  2. Check out the entrance for signs of previous visitors.  Footprints and discarded torch flint are fairly common.  If you find very deep prints and tracks then it could mean that the area has already been pilfered.  This exploration doesn’t end at the entrance either because you can search for abandoned gear as you travel.  Some of these can give you a warning about potential danger depending on their condition.
  3. Do NOT put the healer at the front of the group.  Even if this is a paladin and they are determined to take the lead, you don’t want to put that person at ultimate risk.  All you need is one lethal trap and you’re all in trouble.  Best to put someone in the lead who can either disarm traps or at least sense them.  If the paladin continues complaining then tell him or her that you need someone with their power to watch the rear.  Just feed the ego before they get killed.
  4. Bring extra torches because you never know when you will need a new one.  It can burn out or get dropped or you can fall into water.  Aside from torches, you should also bring extra flint and steel in case you have to spend a few days in the dungeon.  Staying on the equipment subject, you should not forget: rope, rations, water, boots, weapons, and medicine to handle poison.  Ancient civilizations loooove poison.
  5. If something looks suspicious then assume it is a trap.  Also assume that everything within a five foot radius is a trap too.  You never know if something has been made obvious to lead you into the real danger.  Throw stones at the suspicious spots from a safe distance and be ready to run.  Another thing that helps here is to have your caster summon anything that can set it off.  This way you don’t need to carry all those heavy rocks and you don’t have to depend on your aim and strength to set it off.  Nothing more embarrassing than bouncing a stone off a disguised switch that you trigger by stepping on it later.
  6. Every person should have one empty sack to fill with treasure.  How silly will you all feel if you get to the hoard and you can only grab one handful each?  Plan for success and stay positive.
  7. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the monsters that you can wander into.  Bring weapons, magic, bait, and whatever you can think of that might be useful against an ancient beast.  Ask around to see if people know what might be down there even if it’s just a legend.  Bringing someone who studied monster lore is helpful, especially if they can identify the potential dangers from marks and scat.  Much like the traps, you can only do so much before entering the dungeon.  Oh, you might not want to cough or sneeze while in there.  That’s just asking for an ambush.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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29 Responses to 7 Tips If You Want To Go Dungeon Crawling

  1. “Um, excuse me, but do signs of previous visitors include these skulls over here?”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. L. Marie says:

    Ha ha! Great tips! Dungeon crawling seems par for the course in adventure stories. 😁 And I have to laugh at what coldhandboyack mentioned, because I had the same thought.

    In Pokémon, Prince of Persia, Harvest Moon, and Rune Factory (and of course, many other games; just referring to the ones I’ve played), I looked forward to dungeon crawling for the treasure and also the good boss fights. 😀


  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    In case you need these tips sometime 😎


  4. noelleg44 says:

    With all those caveats, Charles, I think I will avoid dungeon crawling this season and maybe every season…monsters? I’m a chicken heart.


  5. Excellent, Charles. Several LOL moments


  6. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from the Legends of Windemere blog with 7 Tips If You Want To Go Dungeon Crawling


  7. This is giving me such good ideas for later in my current campaign! The locals spread false rumors about what’s in the dungeon, and go back later to loot fallen adventurers.


  8. Pingback: 7 Tips If You Want To Go Dungeon Crawling – Where Genres Collide

  9. You forgot to mention how imperative it is to first visit the local tavern. Your entire party will be conveniently waiting.

    Also, I realize that, yes, anything COULD be a trap and we’re suspending a little reality here -but still always wonder how or why the last being who guarded the dungeon rigged things with acid that still worked yet only managed a few hundred goblins as defensive ‘soldiers.’


    • Wasn’t sure about the tavern. Played some games where you didn’t go there. Probably because the person running it had an issue with alcohol. That was always weird.

      I assume magically preserved acid. That or sealed in a way that it was basically frozen in time like you hear happens to ancient bacteria. That can get pricey. As far as goblins go, they’re a great investment. They breed like rabbits and eat just about anything. It’s a very self sufficient defensive system.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sure that’s good advice, Charles but unless I lose my mind in the near future I doubt I’ll use it. I’m far from being an Indiana Jones. It was fun to read about though. Happy Holidays and New Year 2019. 🙂 — Suzanne


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