Doors, Am I Right?

Posted on June 15, 2017

Every week I play in a 5e campaign on Roll20 with a bunch of friends all over the country. This is not a story about that campaign. This is a story about two weeks ago, when our DM said, “Guys, I am so swamped, I won't be able to prep for this week.”

Did we cancel? No.

Did we stage an epic battle royale with our characters to see who's the most badass? No. (Next time, and my money's on our Warlock. Or my Bard, as a dark horse candidate.)

The answer? I volunteered to run a one-shot with either our current characters or new ones.

Most of the group came up with new characters, and I pulled the world's simplest dungeon crawl out of nowhere—literally several rooms connected by a spiral staircase, populated by monsters I thought were cool, all strung on a story premise just strong enough to stick if you didn't think about it much.

The first room after the first staircase featured a mostly-hidden door blocking the next stretch of staircase leading down, which also meant the way to the party's goal was blocked as well. The door, I decided, would be unlocked by throwing levers in dead-end rooms to the left and right, guarded by undeads of some sort or other.

The party fought through one group of undead to find (mostly by accident) and throw one lever, then the party's Monk with her Slippers of Spider Climb crept past the other group of undeads to throw the other lever.

The party faced with a now-glowing door in the main room. I knew it to be unlocked, just closed. This was where the party started seriously thinking.

They tried to read the 'glowing runes' on the door. I said, “They're just swirly patterns, not writing.”

They searched it very carefully for keyholes. Nope. They searched it very carefully for hinges they could take apart. Nope. The Sorcerer tried a knock spell. Loud noise... and nope.

The Monk tried politely asking the door to open, in several different languages. Nope. One of the Warlocks tried shining more light on it in case there was secret writing. Nope.

I'd been laughing to myself for nearly a full half hour when the Cleric (a brand-new D&D player) offered, very hesitantly, "I... push the door open?"

The door, of course, opened immediately in the face of that simple action, and I laughed until I hyperventilated.

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