20 Poorly Hidden Secret Dungeon Doors

Adventurers always tend to find secret nooks and crannies while they search for hidden treasure. Sometimes these rooms and passages are hard to spot; other times they are easier to find.

Artwork by Claudio Pozas, copyright Expeditious Retreat Press, used with permission.

Artwork by Claudio Pozas, copyright Expeditious Retreat Press, used with permission.


Use the table below to generate details of the easily found secret doors the PCs discover while searching the dungeon.

  1. Caked with dust and filled with cracks, this one-way mirror is now a bit less one way, revealing the doorway behind it.
  2. The end of this thirty-foot hallway appears to be a dead end. Air flows easily beneath the door (DC 15 Perception spots).
  3. If it weren’t for the boot propping open this well-hidden door, it would close flush with the wall.
  4. A large stone door lies in pieces on the ground. In the room beyond it, an otherwise well-hidden door is likewise riven with cracks. A faint light shines through the cracks.
  5. Four goblins lie dead atop this unlocked trapdoor. Blood runs along and through the seams around the door’s outline, making it easy to spot (DC 10 Perception notices).
  6. The wood of this trapdoor is extremely squeaky, when stepped on. That it’s both older than the surrounding wood and beginning to mould does nothing to help hide it (DC 20 Perception spots).
  7. Books and scattered pages litter the base of this half-destroyed shelf-door. Once opened with the classic book-on-shelf method, now the door needs only a few shoves to fall completely to pieces.
  8. There’s a sword lodged in the face of this large sliding door. The hinges make a racket whenever something so much as touches the blade.
  9. Surrounded by ruined prying implements, the message on this otherwise perfectly sealed door reads, “Hidden doesn’t begin to describe this piece of…” The message ends in a fresh bloodstain.
  10. The pungent scent of spilled alcohol emanates from beyond this large, decaying stone secret door (DC 20 Perception notices).
  11. This passageway “hides” behind a failing illusory wall (DC 16 Perception spots, DC 16 Will disbelieves). The faltering magic cycles through various stone types, many the effect easy to spot of the wall is observed for more than a minute at any one time.
  12. This revolving door’s tracks squeal whenever anything touches them. There’s also the strong, lingering scent of rust (DC 20 Perception spots) lingering in the air.
  13. Someone attempted to conceal this low hole in the wall with stones, bones and a large hunk of unworked iron ore. Air whistles through the cracks and disturbs the dirt around the rubble (DC 15 Perception spots).
  14. Still in perfect condition, this heavy iron door is on an old ghost’s way through the dungeon. Unconcerned with, or unaware of, the PCs’ presence, he still even uses the handle as he comes and goes.
  15. This passage would be hard to see if the wall in front of it weren’t riddled with rat holes. The hall beyond stinks of their leavings (DC 12 Perception).
  16. Fog creeps around the edges of this door’s frame, seeping from somewhere beyond. If opened, the fog billows out of the door before dissipating.
  17. Set behind a hearth, this door blends in perfectly with the wall until someone lights a fire. Then, the discrepancy between the wall and the door become apparent as the airflow pulls smoke through the gap around the door (DC 15 Perception spots).
  18. Covered in claw marks and pierced by splintered holes, this door leads to a rock wall. If anything touches this “rock” it disintegrates into dust on contact.
  19. This old trap door sits above an underground waterway, and the sound of running water makes its way up through the cracks with ease (DC 20 Perception hears).
  20. Sitting in the centre of the ceiling, this door is unremarkable in every other way except it weighs almost five hundred pounds. Consequently, it has begun to sag—its hinges unable to cope with its immense weight.

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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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John Schutt started his roleplaying career in the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, transitioning to Pathfinder on its release in 2009, and has been playing or running games ever since. A native of Indiana and currently based in Boston, he wrote for the RPG blog Nevermet Press back in 2008, and worked for Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design for Halls of the Mountain King. John currently works to develop a spiritual successor to Nevermet, writing system-neutral content for as many genres as he can wrap his head around.

A poet by training nothing is more exciting to John than strange details or novel ways to look at an established idea. From the dungeon built beside a salt mine to the lord’s mansion where all the corners are rounded to maintain the acoustics, if it makes a player say, “Neat” or “This isn’t good,” John’s all for it.


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