Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. Random encounters, exploration, time tracking, all in one roll.
When you take 30 minutes to explore a dungeon, make an Exploration Roll: roll 1d20 + Exploration Bonus (usually INT/WIS bonus, or level for statless games) vs the current level’s Difficulty Class.
- If you roll >= 20, you achieve a breakthrough. This can mean major treasure, the stairs to the next level, revealing the boss location etc.
- If you roll > DC, you successfully explore. This can mean minor treasure, a place to rest, revealing the next area, or simply making progress.
- If you roll <= DC, you are hindered. Make a roll on the random encounter table, trigger a keyed encounter/trap, or sacrifice some resources.
- If you roll <= 1, you are now lost. It takes 1d4 successful Exploration Rolls to find your way again.
Ideally these rolls should come between interesting encounters, which are of course resolved moment to moment. The roll is used to simplify travelling between areas, counting torches etc.
Optionally, you can also use Dungeon Health to control progress through a dungeon. To do this, assign each level a number of Hit Die. The level’s DC = 10+HD. When the characters enter a level, roll to determine the level’s HP, and on every successful exploration roll ask the characters to roll 1d6+INT/WIS damage and subtract that from the HP pool.
You can key area advancements to certain HP gates i.e. when HP <10 the characters discover the Cavern of the Willows. When the pool reaches 0, the characters find the exit or the boss room.