Does anyone have experience on improvising dungeons?

I'll be running a (largely narrative) campaign soon and it's likely that a dungeon will be involved at some point.

I feel comfortable about all the colonialism, politicking, backstabbing and losing illusions this campaigns revolves around, but I have never been into dungeoneering, so I'm a bit lost there.

Any hints?


@Yoric On improvising dungeons, it is well worth looking at The Perilous Wilds. It's made for but I highly recommend it for whatever you're playing. It has a system I've used successfully for running a dungeon without needing to create a 10ft-square-grid-based map beforehand.

@wandererbill @acodispo Thanks. Too many tables for my tastes, but I'll take a second look once I have time!

@Yoric @acodispo actually, everytime I run a dungeon, I think to myself, that I could have improvised the whole thing anyway, playergroups just take a lot of time ... and that's your time to extend the dungeon on the fly.

If in doubt just put some kind of lever into the next room. They'll take time to discuss if they want to try pull the lever, and if so, who's going to go first, if they are quick, describe some strange noise from below ... plenty of time to roll on some random tables ...

@wandererbill @acodispo At some point, it took the players 1h to decide to go down a flight of stairs.

To be fair, they were also discussing how to help wounded NPCs, trying to cope with the loss of much of their baggage, including light sources and water, etc.

But that was still pretty long :)

@Yoric @acodispo plenty time for the DM to make up some shit 😈

Did you ask the party to name a caller?

@Yoric @acodispo yes, like the players vote their caller who relays the final decisions of the party to the DM. That way, the players can first discuss amongst themselves (and meanwhile the DM roll up some new encounters).

I usually ask for a caller when there are more then say 6 players in the group. It's an old school thing, but it really can make a difference.

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