On Old Posts, Dungeon Entrances Revisited

A fantastic landscape by Elderscroller
I've gotten a lot of followers since the early days, so I'm going back through my back catalog, updating and drawing some attention to older overlooked posts. The following is my second post, made on August 4, 2010, at 9:57 PM. I'm expanding this entry to 100 options.

Just a quick introduction. I'm currently running a 'hex-crawl' or wilderness mega-dungeon. This was inspired by the 'west marches' over at ars ludi. It would be a west marches game, but my player base is small and consistent, so it ends up just being a sandbox.

One of the challenges of an environment like this is that you need a bunch of places for dungeons to be. So here's a list of where you might find dungeon entrances.

1 - Down a well
2 - Down a sink hole
3 - At the bottom of a cesspit
4 - Beneath a logan (a stone that pivots)
5 - In a vaulted crypt
6 - Down a staircase (any staircase, say perhaps in their own castle)
7 - Beneath a trapdoor in the floor (PC's could fall through)
8 - Through a magic portal (This can be a magic Gate, Arch, or Door)
9 - Teleport
10 - Beneath a sewer grate
11 - Behind a secret door in a cellar
12 - An underwater grotto
13 - A storm/sewer outlet
14 - Beyond a cave mouth
15 - Through a mine entrance
16 - Under a coffin in a grave (or underneath a graveyard, possibly leading to a necropolis)
17 - Down or up a tight chimney shaft
18 - Concealed by a statue
19 - Under a throne
20 - Behind huge doors
21 - Quicksand hides the entrance into the dungeon.
22 - Inside a giant monster shell (or inside a monster)
23 - Entrance revealed in certain conditions (light of the moon) or a natural arch (trees, weathered stone, etc) that  becomes a portal only at a certain time or only when the light of the moon or a certain star shines through it,
24 - Behind a waterfall
25 - Across a magic river
26 - A strange building that is not what it appears.
27 - At the top of a mountain
28 - Behind a revolving bookshelf
29 - A pole that leads underground
30 - A ladder standing in the middle of a field going seemingly nowhere, till it is used
31 - A magical painting (there could be a whole gallery)
32 - A small hatch in the ground (differing from a trap door, by the fact that it's probably raised like most hatches)
33 - A ship (marooned on shore, or perhaps in a place far removed from the water)
34 - Inside a hollowed out tree, entrance through hollow knot in a massive tree or perhaps by climbing down the roots
35 - Pitfall in an ornamental labyrinth
36 - A rent in the ground
37 - A magical portal in a field (differing from magic gates and arches by virtue of it being found in an unexpected place)
38 - A sarcophagus (it has a hidden stairwell instead of a body)
39 - A cave entrance underneath an overhanging cliff by the sea
40 - A perfectly round tunnel that has suddenly appeared.
41 - A large stone door that is protected by two massive golem-creatures attached to either side.
42 - A wall with 13 doors, only one of which leads inside the dungeon. Opening a door causes a curse or a trap
43 - Inside a cloud or fog or mist
44 - The door is made of several sigils scattered throughout various places. Once all sigils are collected they can be placed on the wall where the door will appear once every sigil is in it's right spot
45 - Hidden beneath an arena
46 - A normal looking cellar entrance
47 - A path underneath arched vegetation leads underground
48 - An incongruous bronze door in an otherwise ancient, ruined, supposedly haunted city
49 - A magic key, when used in conjunction with any normal door, leads to the dungeon
50 - A book (when read causes the dungeon to appear around the players)
51 - A skylight in a cathedral (either entering from the top or bottom)
51 - A hobo's box
52 - A slide, perhaps with an activation phrase (Such as 'Whee!')
53 - The skull of an ancient giant creature
54 - A puzzle that when completed becomes the entrance
55 - A cave that is only revealed when the tide is out
56 - A building that is partially buried underground, causing you to enter through the ceiling
57 - In a wine barrel
58 - The inside of a forge, kiln or oven
59 - A river that flows into the ground
60 - A mirror
61 - Inside of a safe
62 - An object that when exposed to an element (water, air, fire) creates an entrance.
63 - A ray of light or energy that creates a path into a dungeon
64 - Inside a menagerie or zoo.
65 - A cave in the shape of a skull, or dragon, or dinosaur
66 - A rocky path leading from the shore out into the ocean
67 - Inside a painting
68 - A giant beanstalk (David Brawley)
69 - An alchemical solution that when splashed on a flat surface opens the barrier between this world and the dungeon (David Brawley)
70 - Magic Mushrooms (David Brawley)
71 - A perfectly normal front door to a perfectly normal house (Chris Tregenza)
72 - Inside a bag of holding (Chris Tregenza)
73 - The mouth or anus of a massive creature (Chris Tregenza)
74 - Jumping from the correct window in a tower (Jose Carlos Domínguez)
75 - Across a bridge of moonlight/starlight/sunlight (Luka Rejec)
76 - Through a brass/copper/bone bottle filled with a magical potion (Luka Rejec)
77 - Up a glimmering stairway that rises from an ancient shrine when a virgin orc is sacrificed (Luka Rejec)
78 - A ship that sails along the straight road to the mountains of the dark moon. (Luka Rejec)
79 - A magical feather taken from the tail of the Hawk of Winds opens the gate (Luka Rejec)
80 - A silver ship or chariot ascends into the sky (Luka Rejec)
81 - A dream caused by eating a rare lotus (Luka Rejec)
82 - Through a fiery gate that appears when all seventy-six pages wrapped around the body of Makhteg the Mummified are read in order, while he is helpless, the gate consumes the body and remains open for 76 hours. (Luka Rejec)
83 - Behind a wall of solid rock, accessible via a 'Rock to Mud' spell (James Stuart)
84 - In the mind's eye (James Stuart)
85 - Over the rainbow in a cauldron of copper and electrum(James Stuart)
86 - An entrance drawn with magical chalk (James Stuart)
87 - Through a mouse hole (James Stuart)
88 - Via tornado (James Stuart)
89 - At the bottom of a whirlpool (James Stuart)
90 - Crossing a bridge of crows  (Jose Carlos Domínguez)
91 - A doorframe broken into 1d20 parts  (Jose Carlos Domínguez)
92 - Through any door after being cursed by the hag mother  (James Stuart)
93 - Killing yourself with the Runedagger of the Wandering Heart (Luka Rejec)
94 - By following the accursed wanderer for seven full moons (Luka Rejec)
95 - Through the gears of an ancient machine, long disused (Luka Rejec)
96 - Through the back of a gypsy wagon or tent (Dan Quilty)
97 - When two contentious statues join hands, a portal opens between them (Dan Quilty)
98 - After eating herbs, ritual cleansing and hours of meditation; you awaken near a fountain near the dungeon (Dan Quilty)
99 - Accessible only after a navigator consumes a mystical substance and folds space  (James Stuart)
100 - Inside a Djinn Bottle (Sasha Bilton)

Leave it to the internet to take things a step too far towards awesome. Here are even more entrances.

1 - Transported by being buried in a coffin (Sasha Bilton)
2 - At the base of a glacier (Sasha Bilton)
3 - Through the maw of a petrified worm (Sasha Bilton)
4 - A rope that hangs from magical darkness (Sasha Bilton)
5 - A tower that appears to have burrowed in the ground (Sasha Bilton)
6 - Requires drinking a potion of gaseous form (Sasha Bilton)
7 - At the base of a giant mushroom. (Sasha Bilton)
8 - Through a giant beavers nest (Sasha Bilton)
9 - At the end of a covered bridge (Sasha Bilton)
10 - Through the eye of a giants needle (Sasha Bilton)
11 - Underneath the roots of a tree (Scrap Princess)
12 - Through the face of a clock tower (Scrap Princess)
13 - A magic tattoo of a door on a madman's back (Scrap Princess)
14 - Being cooked and eaten by the eternal shaman (Luka Rejec)
15 - On an island that can only be found by those that have been there  (Jose Carlos Domínguez)
16 - A confusing experience or montage my find yourself at the entrance (Richard G)
17 - Flung by a catapult (Richard G)
18 - At a moment of extremis, with the outcome of the dungeon determining the outcome of the event (Richard G)
19 - In an anthill underneath a fig leaf (Richard G)
20 - Stepping outside of a building will lead you in the dungeon (Richard G)
21 - In the clouds (Richard G)
22 - In a trash gyre in the ocean (Richard G)
23 - Through the back of an Iron Maiden (Carmon Clemons)
24 - Underneath a Church Altar (Carmon Clemons)
25 - False door in a bordello closet (Ash Law)
26 - False bottom in a treasure chest  (Ash Law)
27 - Through a portal in the bottom of a tankard  (Ash Law)
28 - Giant unused nautilus shell (Scrap Princess)
29 - A green upright pipe (Scrap Princess)
30 - A bleeding wound in the side of a hill (Scrap Princess)
31 - Secret door concealed inside a painting (Scrap Princess)
32 - In the shadow of a mute orphan (Scrap Princess)
33 - In the shadow of a statue of a ruler of a ruined city (Scrap Princess)
34 - In the shadow of an obscene sculpture (Scrap Princess)
35 - A patch of ground illuminated by a cursed light house (Scrap Princess)
36 - A fairy circle  (David Brawley)
37 - Under a troll bridge, inhabited by a troll  (David Brawley)
38 - Taking a magic red pill
39 - Committing six acts and taking a lock of hair from each partner, mixing it with the blood of a unicorn and anointing a magical statue. The statue then comes to life and has its way with her, and the orgasm of the character opens a portal to the dungeon.  (Luka Rejec)

Just. . . what is that? I don't even. . .

40 - Inside a snow globe (Stefan Poag)
41 - A comfortable chair or bed that you fall asleep in and wake somewhere else (Stefan Poag)
42 - In the bottom of a barrel (Stefan Poag)
43 - In the inside of an ant burrow (Stefan Poag)
44 - Inside the walls of a giant's house (Stefan Poag)
45 - Jump into the silver flames that engulf the ghost of a tragic zepplin as it crashes burning into the ground. It repeats every year on the anniversary of the disaster. (Patrick Stuart)
46 - Beat a deadly creature in single combat. Flay it. Tattoo a door on its skin. The hit dice of the creature are the number of people that may enter the dungeon (Patrick Stuart)
47 - Grow a maze of golden grain. At the height of summer, go to the center, set fire to the grain. If you can escape the labyrinth without burning to death, then you escape into the dungeon. (Patrick Stuart)
48 - Go back in time to find the artist of a famous painting which shows adventurers about to enter a fictional dungeon. Persuade him to use you as the models. Return to your own time. The first time you lock eyes with your representation in the painting you are transported inside and must beat the dungeon to escape. (Patrick Stuart)
49 - The dungeon is the city, but when you wear a badge you are no longer acknowledged by anyone and have to navigate between the unspace between the parts of an familiar town.  (Patrick Stuart)
50 - Inside a magical monster cage. (Richard G)


  1. I struggled to make up a table of six. Damn you.

  2. Nice.
    It would be awesome if you would make "What's behind the corner" as well.


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