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Secret Doors

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#1 jimc


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Posted 23 June 2014 - 06:56 PM

This isn't very specific to MW, but I would rather hang around these forums then start asking elsewhere. So, secret doors. I'm going to be running a Swords and Wizardry module "Tomb of the Iron God" that is full of these things. The problem is, there are no descriptions about what the doors look like, how to activate them etc.

Does anyone know of a resource that has several examples of the kinds of secret doors that would be in a dungeon/catacombs environment. I want to make it interesting but saying over and over again, "you notice that there is an area of the wall that is worn", or whatever etc...

On a side note, I am committed to running a monthly MW game at my local monthly meetup. My first game will be in July. So, at least 7 more people will be exposed to this game. I want to thank tooley1chris for the NPC generator and Monster Manual, and rleduc for the pre-generated characters. I'll be handing the latter out to my players for my first session, and the Monster Manual made this so much easier, since I was able to find all of the monsters from the module in the conversion and NPC generator.

#2 nclarke


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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:05 PM

Raging Swan does useful stuff. True it's mostly Pathfinder which sells of course but here's something that could help you out.

http://www.rpgnow.co...erm=secret door

Dungeon Dressing: Secret Doors presents:

One table providing detailed descriptions of a secret door’s characteristics.

One table presenting additional secret door features such as contents, hidden treasures, magical properties and more!

Four clever secret door-based traps (CRs 6-8).

#3 jimc


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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:04 PM

Thanks. That would pretty much be what I need :).

#4 Skunkape


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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:59 PM

Going to check out the PDF, thanks for posting nclarke.

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#5 threedeesix


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:34 PM

While not specific to the original post exactly. There is a pretty detailed write-up for finding and dealing with secret and concealed doors in BRP Classic Fantasy that may also be of some use. I have the authors permission to post them here in their entirety, were good friends.


Secret and Concealed Doors


When exploring the dungeon environment, the characters will be on the lookout for both secret and concealed doors. Secret doors are those that are designed to blend with the surroundings of the dungeon, while a concealed door is typically camouflaged by placing an object of some type, such as a mirror, dresser, or bookcase in front of it, though it is very common to conceal a trapdoor in the floor with a large rug. It is not out of the question to find a secret door behind such camouflage, increasing the odds of it going unnoticed.


Concealed Doors: Concealed doors are generally easier to find than secret doors, assuming the characters think to look for them, though both elves and half-elves possess a POW x 1% chance to notice a concealed door by merely passing within 3 meters of one. In this case, the character’s keen senses have noticed an anomaly rather than the actual concealed door, for example, a dresser pulled out just a little too much on one side, a rug flipped up on one corner or a mirror slightly askew. When actively searching for a concealed door the player needs only to tell the GM that he or she is looking behind a particular object to see if there is anything there. This will generally only take 1 combat round for items equal to half the characters STR in SIZ points or less, like a small rug or a mirror. For anything up to twice the characters STR in SIZ points, like a dresser or desk, this will take one minute. Anything larger than this will require an Effort roll and takes one full 5 minute turn.


Characters may work together to move large objects following the rules for Cooperative Skill Rolls in Basic Roleplaying page 172. Each additional character reduces the time required by one minute to a minimum of one minute. There is no roll required to find a door concealed behind an object unless it is a secret door, in this case follow the rules on secret doors below.


If moving an object to gain access to a concealed door, an amount of noise equal to the item’s SIZ will be made unless made of a soft material like a rug or blanket, if that optional rule is in use.


Secret Doors: The only chance a character has to spot a secret door is to actively search the area for one, it is impossible to just stumble across it. Therefore, players are required to tell the GM whenever they are searching an area, though they do not have to specify secret doors, as a successful roll will turn up a secret door if one is present, along with anything else a successful spot roll will reveal.


This typically requires one minute to totally search a 1-meter square area and if the characters are searching an entire room, the GM should just count the total area in meters to determine how long the search will take and require one roll per character for the area, rather than once per meter. This assumes each character is double checking where the others have already looked increasing the chance of success.


If time is of an issue, they may divide the area of the room between them; in this case the GM will ask each player which section of the room their character is searching to determine which character has the chance to find an actual secret door, if any. In either case, the GM should roll these dice for the players behind the GM screen so as to not give away whether there is an actual secret door there or not.


Sometimes finding a secret or concealed door is not as easy as just pulling out a dresser or spotting the secret door as some portals may only be opened if a hidden trigger of some type is first found. This could be anything from a loose brick that, when depressed, causes the bookcase to slide into the wall revealing a hidden chamber, to a torch sconce that, when pulled down, causes a section of the dungeon wall to swing away, revealing a descending stairwell beyond. The GM should use his own judgment in these cases, for example, he or she may rule that finding the correct brick to open the bookcase requires a Difficult Spot roll, while finding the torch sconce will require a player specifically telling the GM his or her character is actually pulling on it to see what happens. It is possible to find the lever or button without even finding the secret or concealed door. In this case, the door is automatically found when and if the trigger is activated.

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#6 seneschal


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:57 AM

"Put ... the candle ... back!"  :)



Despite the Difficulty rating, Bob Hope and Don Knotts always seemed to find the darned things.

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