The Trouble With Doors

Posted on April 19, 2017

I put together a fairly simple dungeon for my little brothers to play at Thanksgiving. They, being young and fearless, rolled up characters that focused more on backstory than ability. So there was a large and stupid Barbarian, a small Rogue that loved to quarrel, and a Ranger who was actually a fisherman and would fish in any body of water he came upon (no matter how small, regardless of whether or not there were fish).

They managed to get through the first few rooms of the dungeon without killing each other or driving me crazy. Then they came to a door. The door was wooden, and it was stuck—requiring a strength check of 15 to open. I figured with a combined effort between two of the characters this would be a simple obstacle to pass.

First the Rogue, thinking it was locked, pulled out his lockpicks and set to work. However the door did not have a lock, and could not be locked or unlocked.

The Ranger/fisherman tried to fish by casting his net at the door.

The Barbarian finally told his friends to step back, and pushed on the door. I smiled thinking they've got it for sure now. He rolled a nat 1.

I let him try several more times, but he never rolled more than an 8. The group got so frustrated with the door that they doused it with lantern oil and set it on fire. Then, the Barbarian thinking that the fire wouldn't be enough, picked up the Rogue and used him as a battering ram on the burning door.

Unfortunately, the group was in an underground dungeon with little ventilation, and died from asphyxiation and burns all because they couldn't figure out how to push open a door.

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