Recently I saw some discussion about the idea of natural light in a dungeon, which I honestly thought was hilarious. Unless there’s some sort of natural lighting by way of lava, bio luminescence, or somebody or something living there, the darkness usually doesn’t defeat itself by producing light. The cave doesn’t care if it’s dark. The dungeon beneath the castle doesn’t usually get built with the lighting needs of its eventual tenants in mind. And those hidden temples carved beneath mountains usually have crazy cultists available to handle lighting for their strange ceremonies.
But it got me wondering. Let’s put a room in the dungeon where light is used as a lure. What happens then? So I started pondering a few things.
Let’s look at a few options for why it’s there.
- It simply *is* there. The PCs enter the room and find no natural light, only whatever lighting they bring with them.
- Maybe a room is lit and as soon as the PCs enter, they spring a trap. The doors close and lock behind, the lights go out, and creatures attack from the darkness. There’s no need to automatically unlock the trap because whatever the creatures are can simply re-open the door when they’re done killing the PCs…
- Maybe the room looks innocent enough and is lit, but it’s an automated trap. The PCs enter, spring the trap, the doors close and lock behind, and the lights go out. From the floor, ceiling, and walls, suddenly spikes shoot at random intervals. Eventually, after a set amount of time, the trap resets, the spikes retract, the doors unlock and open, and the lights come back on. It’s possible the denizens of the dungeon set it up to eliminate any stupid invaders into their home or maybe even used it to tenderize a potential meal before they go in to clean it up…
- Perhaps the room was built as a waterless sensory deprivation chamber for the dungeon. It’s quite possible that the rest of the dungeon was quite loud during construction or maybe the evil army is making a ton of noise while they construct weapons for the upcoming war. The room might be a temporary refuge from the noise of the rest of the complex and nothing else. The doors close and lock behind the visitor, sealing them off from the clamor outside for just a little while before the doors open again and they can go back to their insanity.
Some of those are odd thoughts, I know. My brain is full of things like that. But sometimes the reasons behind a particular room can offer some intriguing possibilities to explore. All that from one little dark room in a dungeon. Crazy.
What do YOU have lurking in the dark? Let’s shed a little light this month, shall we? Please leave a link, and perhaps a brief introduction, for your submission for the March Carnival in the comments on the kickoff post. Looking forward to seeing what folks can come up with! (The kickoff post was here.)
A big thanks goes out to Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips for hosting the RPG Blog Carnival Archive and keeping us all on track every month!