10 Suspiciously Detailed Dungeon Double Doors

PCs are a suspicious and paranoid bunch. And with good reasons. In the depths of a dungeon, it’s not necessarily only the monsters that can kill them.

By Matt Morrow

By Matt Morrow


Wise adventurers pay careful attention to their surroundings. Sights, sounds and smells can all provide a hint—or warning—about what lies beyond.

Use the table below, to generate details of the double doors the PCs encounter during their dungeon exploration.

  1. Scorch marks mar these stout wooden doors. Some of the planking at the base of the doors seems particularly blackened.
  2. These fine double doors stand snuggly in the doorway. Small carvings of writhing serpents decorate the door’s hinges.
  3. A small shuttered viewing port—protected by an ornate iron grill—pierces the left-hand side door at roughly human head height.
  4. Torch sconces flank this pair of iron-banded double doors. Each contains a fresh, unburnt torch. The beaten iron bands run horizontally across the door. A keyhole pierces one of the iron bands on the right hand door, but bizarrely it is set at shoulder height.
  5. The wood of these doors is so old it is practically black and its thick hinges are red with rust. The door’s lock, however, is clearly new; no rust mars its surface.
  6. These double doors have an ornate over-sized iron knocker in the shape of a glowering man’s face. The man’s face looks out at the person in front of the door.
  7. This double door’s hinges are nested—hidden in the wall—allowing the door to open inwards or outwards. The door itself is of stout oaken planks bound with thick iron bands for strength.
  8. These wide, but squat, double doors are of carefully carved stone. Intricate carvings of a mountain range decorate the doors themselves. The doors are incredibly heavy, but fit the gap perfectly.
  9. The iron bands of these double doors are rusty and pitted. In several places, the iron nails used to secure them in place are missing.
  10. A heavy iron portcullis stands immediately in front of these plain, but obviously sturdy, double doors. Scraps of metal—fragments of armour, shards from blades and so on—are tied to the portcullis (perhaps in decoration). If the portcullis is raised the clattering of metal alerts everyone and everything in the vicinity.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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