Dungeon Crawling

Exploration Turns

When exploring a dungeon or other dangerous environment divided into rooms, time is tracked in 10 minute Exploration Turns.

It takes the party a Turn to explore a new room, examine the current room, or perform some other action.

This represents the party traveling slowly and carefully. While moving this way, the party is automatically on the lookout for hidden dangers such as enemies, traps, and secrets.

Traps and Secrets

Hidden dangers should be telegraphed while exploring, with indicators or tells that there might be something hidden here (but not necessarily what is hidden). Brighter Worlds’ characters are assumed to be competent explorers and are unlikely to stumble into a trap without prior warning. The fun is seeing how players interact with secrets, not finding out if they know they exist at all.

In the case where the party is rushing or deliberately not being careful, they will not necessarily see a warning of hidden dangers. Moving fast trades speed for risk, and the party might trigger traps without being aware of their presence.


Encounters are randomized individuals, groups, or events within a location that the party interacts with. Usually this means rolling on the Encounter Table for whatever location the party is currently exploring. These vary significantly in form and function from module to module. If there isn’t an Encounter Table, take a look at the immediate surroundings and the local environment to see what might be going on. Remember the Encounters do not necessarily involve combat, and the denizens or other visitors in a location are not necessarily hostile (see Reaction Rolls).

Encounter Roll

When the party enters a room, spends a Turn within a room, or makes a significant amount of noise roll a d6:

1: Encounter

2-3: Signs of an Encounter

4-6: Nothing

Encounter means things are happening immediately. Minimal time to prepare or react. Signs of an Encounter means there’s an Encounter on the way, or happening nearby. Let the party learn of it before its fully upon them. They could hear it coming, hear what’s going on nearby, or see signs of it recently passing by. Regardless, it gives the party information and a chance to plan or prepare to engage on their own terms.

This is also an opportunity to show the party what the environment is like when they’re not directly interacting with it. The daily life of dungeon denizens.

Encounter Rolls are used to add decision points to the exploration. Choosing to take your time, carefully examine rooms, or go the long way around risks additional Encounters.