Wednesday, December 8, 2021

d100 - So You Didn't Make It Out Of The Dungeon...

When it comes to Dungeons, I tend to prefer the more Mythic Underworld approach. Dungeons are terrifying places, where the normal rules of reality can be upended on a whim and are wont to defy the players’ expectations. Dungeons are an organism, and They are quick to mobilize Their immune systems to deal with any foreign bodies.

Sleeping in a Dungeon isn’t recommended. These are already liminal spaces, just like that fluttery moment before you drift off, and falling asleep here provides an easy means of ingress for the Dungeon’s Agenda. This is to say nothing of the fact that it’s bound to be fraught with fitful stops and starts and ultimately unrestful in the first place: with Wandering Monsters keeping everyone on edge and resources dwindling stressfully and steadily over the course of these longer blocks of time. If you must attempt sleep whilst still in the Dungeon, take great care.

Even worse for me though is the mere thought of becoming Lost within a Dungeon. The longer you remain and manage to survive, the more you open yourself up to the changes that They can exert on reality. Like it or not, you can become a part of these spaces the longer you spend in Them.

So, here’s a d100 Table for what happens when someone doesn’t make it out right away. I suppose some of these might also fit the bill for other kinds of Calamitous Curses and such with a skosh of reskinning. I tend to make it clear that all is not lost however, for there should always be provisions or a method to overcome these, especially if this might be tied to further adventures.

CW: For mild body horror, some intimations of mental illness/PTSD, and just general awfulness. Planning forays accordingly might just help one avoid these horrid fates.


  1. Oh wow these are spectacular and freaky! Huge fan of this, looking forward to finding an opportunity to use it. I don't usually punish people for ending sessions while in the dungeon, since real life can get in the way, but perhaps if the last torch goes out, they have no choice but to watch in horror...

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback and kind words! Let me know if you end up finding a situation to utilize this table and how it turns out :) For some games, I definitely like to stress that we need to start and end in a safe place or Haven, so I keep my eye on the clock for a reminder or so as the session begins to approach the deadline, but sometimes the temptation to keep exploring is too strong. I think a way to temper this would be to make these results only possible consequences, rather than a guarantee.

    2. Yeah that makes sense. You could always roll twice and let them decide what they do to survive, or just make it a hard choice of some other kind.

  2. I honestly think it would be more fun to role-play these out than apply them retroactively- they're so evocative! Maybe if the players go too deep, or it gets to dark or they get too hungry or they get lost (oh dear) they can no longer go out the way they came in. The dungeon shifts around them to swallow them. So now I roll for one of these ways instead, or maybe a couple and place them in different parts of the dungeon! Anyway, thank you for putting this together, it's cool!

    1. Thank you! I completely agree that these could just serve as potential fodder/inspiration for interesting situations to place in the path of the player characters! I always hope that all my tables find some kind of use, even if it's not what I initially intended or outlined :). It's definitely a bit of a blow to agency to just inflict these things without known stakes...but some could make for some very interesting things to navigate creatively as part of the game :)




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