Brick by Brick: Doors

“The huge oval door before you is made of an old, weathered black stone and you can see it’s partially covered in what might have been blood at one time. A cursory glance at the lock by an experienced rogue quickly reveals that both the door and locking mechanism are of solid construction. Someone didn’t want anyone to get into this place.”

Because of the gore mired in the lock, anyone attempting to unlock the door with or without the key will need to do some careful cleaning before attempting to do so. It’s a moderate difficulty to clean the lock without damaging it. And an easy difficulty with the actual key or moderate difficulty to pick the lock with a set of lock picks.

This is just a single door created with this approach. What can you come up with?


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Every dungeon has doors. Each door has a story. More than that, every door offers a transition from one thing to the next. Some transitions are easy (no door at all or it’s unlocked). Some transitions are hard (locked or trapped). Some turn out to be dead ends (blocked or jammed).

Cool DoorDo you ever find yourself designing a dungeon or scenario and wondering what to do with the doors? Aren’t they important? Most buildings have them. Yet as a game master, except for a few special occasions, I can hardly remember spending more than a second or two on any door. If it opens, shuts, and locks, that was typically good enough for me.

But what about those cases where you want something unique but don’t have any inspiration?

That’s where Brick by Brick: Doors comes in. Whether you walk through every single step in the book or just pick one, you roll a few dice and can see where they lead you.

From beginning to end, we work through various stages or questions of design. Pick and choose which pages to use depending on what you’re after. You might go through all of them while designing a particular door for a dungeon if it’s a particularly important one, or you might just pick one or two to add a bit of color or uniqueness where you’d like it to appear.

Just remember… Your door has a story to tell!


  • The Roll for Initiative Podcast guys did a great job diving into Brick by Brick: Doors inVolume 3, Issue 139. Be sure to give it a listen! (Thanks again for the great review guys!)
  • Chris Lotspeich @ Gamer-XP reviewed Brick by Brick: Doors as part of a double-review. “A glance at this, a few rolls on the table, and any GM will be well on their way to making a door that is anything but boring.” Thanks Chris!