Exploring Dungeons and Ruins

Often times your travels will lead you to explore dungeons or ancient ruins. We will call these areas dungeons for simplicity. Dungeons are basically any area that is uncivilized, and often abandoned except for maybe bands of thieves, beasts of the wild, and perhaps even the living dead. These areas are referred to as dungeons for game use only, as exploring through them is an action commonly referred to as a dungeon crawl.

These dungeons all take place in area maps, so area movement is used. They are often littered with treasures and dangers such as traps, frail construction, and hostile enemies. The ultimate design and layout of the dungeon, as well as what it holds, is up to the GM, though many campaigns will come with pre-designed dungeon maps if the GM does not wish to create one himself. It is within the dungeons of the world that you are likely to spend most of your active play, therefore it is very important that you understand how to explore the dungeon. Also your character should be well prepared before venturing into one, as you never know how long you will be there or what you will encounter. The well prepared adventurer is likely to emerge from a dungeon with treasures, riches, and more powerful, while the under prepared adventurer will likely die there.

1. Movement in Dungeons

The first thing you will need to understand when exploring dungeons is moving within the dungeons. As stated before, dungeons take place on area maps, so area movement is used.

Moving, for example, sixty blocks or 360 feet in one hour may not seem very realistic to you, but it does keep things simple. If you try to make it too realistic, you will find that you spend no real-time at all in a dungeon and you may find yourself overburdened and confused with different rules and charts just to keep up with real-time exploration. You can look at it with the mind-set that you are looking around carefully as you move, and this could be best shown with you making perception checks before you move to see if you notice anything while walking.

1.1. Using Movement Abilities

Just like on the world map, you can make use of movement abilities.

  • Climbing: There are various situations in which you might need to climb, and the Climbing Ability has specializations to cover these. The specializations are: Mountain, Cliff, Tall Tree, and Flat Wall. There is no need for climbing ability for easy to climb trees and other areas that can be climbed without training. Each specialization grants you the ability to climb those difficult to climb situations at the EP cost of climbing. The EP cost depends on the difficulty of the climbing environment.

    • Simple Climb: 2 EP per block; movement decreased by 2

    • Average Climb: 4 EP per block; movement decreased by half

    • Hard Climb: 6 EP per block; movement decreased to 1

    • Challenging Climb: 8 EP per block; movement decreased to 1 every 2 hours

    • Nearly Impossible Climb: 10 EP per block; movement decreased to 1 every 3 hours

  • Swimming: As long as you are unarmored, you can swim. Everyone in Nor'Ova has basic swimming ability. If you are wearing armor, you will need the Swimming While Armored ability. Swimming does cost EP and can impact your world movement rate, depending upon the swimming environment.

    • Wading: You aren't really swimming as you can reach bottom. Your area movement is decreased by 2.
    • Gentle Waters: A still pond or a creek with barely any current, this water is easy to swim in. 1 EP per block, area movement decreased by 2.
    • Average Currents: a river with a steady current, 3 EP per block. If moving with current area movement increased by 2. If going against the current area movement decreased by half.
    • Rapids: heavy currents, 5 EP per block and Speed Checks may be required to keep swimming and not drown. If moving with current area movement increased by 4. If going against the current area movement decreased to 1.
  • Run: You can run over long distances. Every character can. You simply use 3 EP per block that you run, doubling your area movement rate. If you are running downhill, increase movement rate by an additional 10.

  • Racial Movement Abilities or Skills: You can use any racial movement skill such as fly or teleport. Their effect and cost is once per hour.

1.2. Dealing with Different Terrain

Of course you won’t always be walking across a flat floor throughout the entire dungeon. Occasionally you will encounter ladders, stairs, ropes, or other means of ascending or descending floors. Using the following table will help you to handle these challenges.

Ascending or Descending Table




Walking up stairs

Walking up stairs to the floor above is slower than walking on a flat, level surface. The run skill can be used. Each floor traveled is counted as two movement blocks.

decrease your area movement rate by 10

Walking down stairs

Walking down stairs to the floor below is faster than walking on a flat, level surface. The run skill can be used. Each floor traveled is counted as two movement blocks.

increase your area movement rate by 10

Climbing up or down a rope

Climbing up or down rope to another floor is slow and time-consuming. This action requires the use of the climbing skill. Every 3 feet that is traveled up or down counts as a movement block.

decrease your area movement rate by ½

Climbing up or down a ladder

Climbing up or down a ladder is slow but not as slow as climbing up or down a rope. You do not need a climbing skill for this. Every 3 feet that is traveled up or down counts as a movement block.

decrease your area movement rate by 20

Scaling a rocky ledge up or down

Scaling a rocky ledge requires the use of the Climbing - Mountain Cliff ability and is a slow process. Every 3 feet that is traveled up or down counts as a movement block.

decrease your area movement rate by ¾

Climbing up or down vines or other plants

Climbing up or down vines is treated like climbing up or down ropes.

decrease your area movement rate by ½

Jumping down to a lower level

If you are able to jump down without injury to a lower level you will lose no time or movement. However you may be asked to make an agility check.

A failed agility check could cause you to lose the rest of your movement rate to rest and recover, depending upon the GM.

There are also other terrain obstacles that you may encounter in your dungeon exploration, such as the need to swim, or trying to walk over a ruble and debris covered walkway. The following table will help you handle these challenges.

 Dungeon Terrain Modifiers Table

Terrain Type


World Movement Modifiers


A layer of ice which covers the entire ground.

decrease your area movement rate by 20


Large areas of thick and soft mud which a traveler's feet could sink into.

decrease your area movement rate by 30


Sand that is at least 2 inches deep and covers the entire ground.

decrease your area movement rate by ½

Thick Underbrush

Bushes, ivy, and other plants that come up no higher than to your chest.

decrease your area movement rate by 30


Large holes in the floor that cover at least one movement block. Requires jumping over or finding a way to cross,amount of area blocks jumped over is deducted from your movement.

no change in movement rate

Rubble & Debris

Any amount of uneven material in the walkway that requires carefully stepping and walking on. You may need to make an agility check to see if you fall.

decrease your area movement rate by 20

Tight Spaces

Any tight space that you can still fit through but only by turning your body and walking sideways. This can also be used for sidestepping on edges.

decrease your area movement rate by ½

Crawl Spaces

Any space that requires you to crawl in order to travel through.

decrease your area movement rate by ½ when crawling on your hands and knees; decrease your area movement rate by ¾ when belly crawling

Weak Floor

Any floor that has the potential to break beneath your weight.

decrease your area movement rate by 20 with a required luck check with each step taken

Low Ceilings

Any area that requires you to walk for a good length while ducking to avoid head clearance.

decrease your area movement rate by 20


2. Searching for Traps

While exploring a dungeon you will want to search for traps. Searching for traps not only includes traps that are man-made, but also other dangerous obstacles, such as weak floors, unsteady rooms, and any other hard to see hazards that could really mess up your adventure.

In order to search for such traps, you will need to make a successful perception check. A perception check is using percentile dice to attempt to roll your character’s Perception % stat or lower. Anything higher than your character’s Perception % stat, and the check is a failure, which means you would not notice anything that is not already obvious. Of course what you notice and what is obvious is up to the GM, and the GM may decide to give you some extra leeway for more easily noticed things, while giving you a handicap for harder to notice things.

Perception checks can be done right before you make your movement for the hour. The GM may decide to let that perception check count for anything you observe in your movement, or may state that it only works for when you are standing still. You have as many tries as your GM allows for.

2.1. Disarming and Setting Traps

To disarm traps you must have the right ability and describe how you are going to do so. The disarming trap abilities don't do the work for you, but they give you the knowledge to be able to disarm traps. The abilities you need are: Identify Traps (skill), Basic Traps Knowlege, Better Traps Knowledge, Complex Traps Knowledge, Advanced Traps Knowledge, and Magic Traps Knowledge.

You can also set traps in Legends of Nor'Ova. You will need the above listed abilities depending upon the complexity of the trap you wish to set. You will also need the Trap Setting skill. If you have all that and the material to set a trap, plan it out with your GM. Your GM will decide the difficulty of the trap based on your explanation, and how long it will take you to set the trap.

3. Searching for Hidden Treasure

While exploring the dungeon, you may find yourself, for example, in a small room filled with drawers, pots, or other places that things could be hidden in. This will almost always be small things, like lose coins, notes, or perhaps items needed to progress in the dungeon like keys and other clues. The GM may come up with any method to let you search this room, but here is a simple, common method.

When you enter the room, tell the GM where you are searching. The GM may desire for you to make a Luck check. Making a luck check is done the same way as making a perception check. Depending on the GM, a successful luck check could mean you found something, but it could also mean that when you reached your hand in that dark jar some bug didn’t bite you and poison you. What you find, if you find anything at all, is up to the GM, as is how long it took you. You may want to refer to the Stat Check Difficulty Table here.

4. Resting While in Dungeons

You may find yourself needing to rest for the night (rest for a full cycle) while in a dungeon. This could be because you have spent so much time in a dungeon already that you have spent your first two cycles of the day, and are still in the dungeon, or because you were traveling the world map without a tent and it started to rain so you ducked real quick into a dungeon, or any other reason really.

Resting in a dungeon is not that much unlike resting out in the world map. You will recover 10% of your full HP, SA, and EP stats . You use your full stats to determine by how many points your current HP, SA, and EP are restored by. You can increase this percentage by using various camping gear, such as sleeping bags and tents. You will also need to remove from your inventory spent rations and water for the day. What may be different is that you may not be able to use a tent, dependent upon your surroundings, you may not find any material to make a camp fire, and you will likely not experience any weather problems.

The GM will want to check to see if you get disturbed during your rest, and may decide to check for each hour of your rest cycle. Remember, if you get pulled into a battle or your rest cycle gets disturbed, you will not get any of the restorative effects from resting. The GM may also decide that you suffer the penalty for not resting a full cycle, as described by your race. If you decide not to camp for a movement cycle, and continue on with moving, you will need to apply any penalties that your race gives you.

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  • mythus
    mythus  3 weeks ago

    we can use the link i just shared to post and test and make sure everything works for us. We'll be usiing that link until everything is moved over. after that it will just be legendsofnorova.net

  • mythus
  • mythus
    mythus  3 weeks ago

    i notice that no one else has responded to the post

  • mythus
    mythus  4 weeks ago

    no not yet, however, yesterday we had thanksgiving at the kids birth mom's family. today shelly's mom is over with shelly doing thanksgiving prep, and so on. friday will be the last day of our thanksgiving with our famiily feast. I had to finish the upstairs rooms, the floorboards, light switches, and such.

  • DreamWriter05
    DreamWriter05  4 weeks ago

    It's not Thanksgiving yet.

  • mythus
  • mythus
    mythus  4 weeks ago

    sorry guys, been very busy with thanksgiving prep at home

  • Gryphon
    Gryphon  1 month ago

    That’s okay , I’ve got my hands working on making some polymer clay more pliable. I use FIMO and some colors are stiffer in nature than others. I’m working on my flowers of hope, since I’ve got the day off from work.

  • DreamWriter05
    DreamWriter05  1 month ago

    @Gryphon I'll post for Ruby soon. Just need to fuel up first. Be looking for a post either tonight or sometime tomorrow. :D

  • Gryphon
    Gryphon  1 month ago

    Ouch. Stupid bugs. Knowing you Mythus you’ll squash them. Where’s a can of raid when you need it?

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