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Art is always a good thing to include on hallways
& make it about an upcoming room

There is a nice blog post here that I discovered in KNOCK! Vol. 1 about not making corridors featureless expanses. This matching with my own philosophy about not fighting in "white rooms" that are 30' x 30'. Or trying to create actionable empty rooms.

From the post:

Almost every time the players turn a corner something interesting should happen.  This doesn't have to be a fight, just something interesting.  Dungeons should not only be places of danger, but places of wonder.

The below list is just something I have been thinking about while keying a ~50 room dungeon I drew by hand using 2d6, a random roller, and graph paper. But I do want to liven up some of the hallways: (1) so they are interesting, but (2) so they might provide a reason to be carrying 50' of rope with a grappling hook or having party thieves.

Nothing super inventive here, but helps to keep me honest about the inclusion of things. I'll maybe try to do a Dreamland's version later.

For every hallway 60'+ roll 1d20 on the table below is what is going to trouble the players:

01 | Ceiling is covered in green slime (1-3) or floor is covered in brown mold (4-6)
02 | The glint of coins can be seen floating in mid-air (1-3 whatever PCs think it is, it's NOT a gelatinous cube; 4-6 whatever PCs think it is, it IS a gelatinous cube)
03 | The maw of the earth has opened up a 30' gap
04 | Pit trap (1-3) or Pit trap with rusted spikes (4-6, save vs Poison)
05 | Grave Wind- torches are automatically blown out (can't light in the hallway)
06 | Filled with giant crystals; thieves & halflings hide easily; dwarves want to mine it (save vs. Paralysis)
07 | Caved in (1-3 can't be cleared; 4-6 slowly crawled through 1 by 1)
08 | Alter is built into the wall (1 lawful 2-3 elemental 4-5 neutral 6 chaotic)
09 | Magic sconces light with a mysterious green flame all chaotic creatures turn invisible
10 | It is flooded to the (1-3) knees (4-5) waist (6) chest
11 | A small fountain (1-4 brackish water; 5 clean water; 6 potion)
12 | Sound echos really well (roll an additional encounter check)
13+ Unique tile patterns (helps provide a landmark for navigation)

Again super quick with stuff I was thinking about while folding laundry. Some of these options might be covered in room stocking, but maybe you'll be inspired by a few. And if so, add them in the comments!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you on both accounts! And appreciate the read.

  2. A lot of good ideas. Some random thoughts sparked by this.
    1. Corridor is magically dark (like darkness spell), but people show up as auras that vary depending on alignment (at least lawful vs neutral vs chaotic), species (dwarf, human), and status of ‘death/undeath’. Also magic items. Thieves can’t hide in shadows. Invisibility doesn’t work.
    2. Corridor is magically silent. Or, has background ‘white noise’ or something like that which makes it easy for anyone to move stealthily.
    3. Corridor has carvings along the wall. Perhaps still painted, so illumination will reveal various scenes. This needs a bit more thought as the scenes could convey some useful information about the setting, the purpose of the corridor/the rooms being connected.
    4. Corridor has alcoves along one side. a) cells, with iron cell doors/barred, b) as (a), but they’re solid doors of wood & bound in iron, c) more like undoored rooms with bunk beds, a ‘barracks’.
    5. The corridor is unnaturally cold, and dark. It contains slow moving undead that can be avoided by slow, quiet movements.
    6. The corridor is unnaturally hot and humid. It obscures infravision or similar. It is hard to traverse, especially if wearing armour and/or heavy clothing. Everyone smells strongly of natural body odour after traversing, and their clothes are drenched with sweat.

    I seem to have run out of ideas. Hopefully these sorta fit in or at least add something to the work.

    1. I especially like #2 because that would also mean spell-casting would not work, which makes for a temporary but interesting environment if there is an encounter

      And #4 because it could also be a grabby undead skeleton environment or #6 because of the armor effect.