4 thoughts on “From Where Do Dungeons Come?”

  1. Hmmmm. I’m sure a large part of the appeal of dungeons to early designers was simply that the movements of the characters could be controlled and chanelled by solid walls, turning the underground into an adventure matrix.

    Dungeon mapping and exploration is just easier to manage. City and wilderness adventures are much harder to pull off when you’re a kid, I think.

    And I;m pretty sure I understood that, when I started playing at age 12. Going “down the dungeon” was entering into a place where we could have maybe 4 or 5 options of what to do, and many of the outcomes were going to pretty dangerous. Upstairs was “off-screen.”

  2. I’ve got to agree with sjmckenzie. As a Dungeon Master I could never handle the wide variety of possibilities in a town or city. You only had 1 night to come up with another days adventure, so you make a quick outdoor map, make a dungeon or two and fill it with stuff. A town had too many people and too many possibilities.

    Our group usually went to the nearest pub “The Green Griffon Inn”, asked the locals for rumors or someone looking for mercenaries, a quick pub brawl and get run out of town by the guards, and the adventure is under way.

    I clearly remember my first couple of adventures as a player. The dungeon was a scary place, and our DM was a master of description and suspense. It was great fun.

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