Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dungeon Dressing: Windows

Being underground, dungeon locations do not commonly include windows. Nevertheless, the humble window can be a significant and telling feature of the subterranean environment.

Dungeon windows are naturally of two types, exterior-facing or internal-facing. External windows may be encountered anywhere that a dungeon abuts a surface space, such as in a tower, ruin, pyramid, or mountain retreat. These can provide an excellent means of orienting your position in relation to the outside world, a source of light, or even a way in and out of the dungeon.

Internal windows are by no means rare, as there are any number of reasons to connect underground spaces in this way. Dark Elves in their great labyrinthine cities are known to relish the sounds of urban life, and their dwelling often include small windows that allow it to echo from room to room. Where there is a large cavern or hall, windows will open directly into it. Where there is no such great space, they will open onto major underground thoroughfares. Often these windows will be placed high up, or barred and trapped against assassins and thieves. By contrast, the various races of sentient fungus in their cavern villages do not use windows. The reason for this is unknown.

Light shafts, dimension doors, arrow slits, murder holes, and scrying devices are outside the scope of this article.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ben Lehman said...

There's also a possibility of a window into raw earth, which could be an indication that this section of the dungeon was once above ground, but now no longer, or an indication that things here see different sorts of light.

February 11, 2010 at 12:46 PM

 

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