Monday, May 23, 2022

d100 – Why Is This Door Stuck?

Doors are so often stubbornly Stuck in Dungeons. What is it about those places that makes it so hard to hire a decent Doormaker? Having tried to hang a Door exactly once in my life and making a major mess of it, I suppose I sympathize.

Naturally, it’s seldom down to the artisans involved. With a more Mythic Underworld approach, in some of these frightening places every Door might require some Forcing for delvers and interlopers (while they are whisper quiet and open readily for Monsters of course). The Dungeon knows Her children and permits them to travel throughout freely as one of Her Dark Gifts. This creates a remarkably interesting pacing mechanism and can lead to tenser exploration. I tend to let a few of them swing freely, but still try to sprinkle in a few “Stuck” ones here and there. I do still quite like having them shut on their own, however. Drafty places those Dungeons.

One departure I like to make from that venerable “Open Doors” roll within the standard B/X procedure is that Failure doesn’t simply signal that additional attempts will be required. That re-throwing until we hit the necessary number is rather tedious. As an expedient, you’ll still generally get it unstuck in a Turn, but the “Open Doors” roll is really a way to do this quickly whilst preserving that element of Surprise for anything on the other side. Otherwise, you will be making quite the racket and triggering a check for Wandering Monsters, eager to investigate who might be ruining their Portals in addition to alerting anything on the other side to your presence to give it time to prepare. This may or may not be applicable for some of these conundrums 😊.

Some of these table entries might not be suitable for every Dungeon (without a little strategic shaving to make them fit, but feel free to choose another), and most assume a standard, appropriately thick Wooden Door. Primarily composed of stout planks of vertical or horizontal orientation that are carefully mortised and tenoned, occasionally interlaced with reinforcing boards that are threaded through the center of the wood in a perpendicular direction to help draw things together. Seasoning happens before planks can be pegged in place to prevent shrinking and swelling at a later point in time. Optionally adorned with formidable iron hardware (bands, strap hinges, or even plates for reinforcement) or handles, here are a Hundred things that might interfere with their function after installation:

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