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.

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1) Movement in Dungeons

The first thing you will need to understand when exploring dungeons is moving within the dungeons.

Movement isn't done in how many feet you can cover in a certain amount of time. Instead, movement in dungeons is part of how many actions can you carry out in an hour. If they only thing you do is walk from one room to the next, you can obviously cover a lot more ground than if you were to actually interact with things, search, and so forth.

Here is a simple set of examples:

  • Each time you stop in movement, that range of movement is an adventure action.
  • Each time you turn to go in another direction, that is an adventure action.
  • Each time you open or close a door, that is an adventure action.
  • Each time you stop and talk (more than saying a simple word or sentence), that is an adventure action.
  • Each time you use a skill that is an adventure action.
  • Each time you retry a failed stat check, that is an adventure action.
  • Each flight of stairs is an adventure action.

I think you get the picture right? Everything you do is counted as an adventure action. When you run out of adventure actions, the hour is up for you.

1.1) Individual and Party Adventure Actions

When you are moving about or doing things separate of your group, you must count your own adventure actions. Your use of adventure actions will only go against the party adventure actions if everyone has stopped to wait on you. However if they haven't, you are acting on your own. When you run out of adventure actions you cannot do anything more, even walk, until the hour has passed for everyone.

If you are all working as a group, stopping to wait on each other and so forth, you will all go on the adventure actions of the person who has the least. Once those adventure actions are used up, it is a new hour and those actions replenish.

1.2) 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; adventure actions decreased by 1 per climb/floor

    • Average Climb: 4 EP per block; adventure actions decreased by 2 per climb/floor

    • Hard Climb: 6 EP per block; adventure actions decreased by 5 per climb/floor

    • Challenging Climb: 8 EP per block; adventure actions decreased by 10 per climb/floor

    • Nearly Impossible Climb: 10 EP per block; adventure actions decreased by 20 per climb/floor

  • 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. Normal adventure action usage.
    • Gentle Waters: A still pond or a creek with barely any current, this water is easy to swim in. 1 EP per block, adventure actions decreased by 2 per swim.
    • Average Currents: a river with a steady current, 3 EP per block. If moving with current no adventure actions are used. If going against the current adventure actions decreased by 5 per swim.
    • Rapids: heavy currents, 5 EP per block and Speed Checks may be required to keep swimming and not drown. If moving with current adventure actions are not reduced but increased by 1 per swim. If going against the current area adventure actions decreased by 10 per swim.
  • Run: You can run over long distances. Every character can. You simply use 5 EP per run, allowing you to move, stop, and move in a single run.

  • 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.

1.3) 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 1 adventure action

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.

You can travel 2 floors per adventure action

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 6 feet that is traveled up or down counts as an adventure action

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 10 feet that is traveled up or down counts as an adventure action

Scaling a rocky ledge up or down

Scaling a rocky ledge requires the use of the Skillful Climbing - Mountain Cliff ability and is a slow process.

Every 4 feet that is traveled up or down counts as an adventure action

Climbing up or down vines or other plants

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

Every 6 feet that is traveled up or down counts as an adventure action

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 actions to rest and recover, depending upon the GM. Otherwise it is counted as part of your overall movement.

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


Adventure Actions Modifiers


A layer of ice which covers the entire ground.

Double adventure actions


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

Double adventure actions


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

Double adventure actions

Thick Underbrush

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

3 adventure actions per movement


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 extra cost

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.

Double adventure actions

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.

3 adventure actions

Crawl Spaces

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

3 adventure actions when crawling on your hands and knees; 4 adventure actions when belly crawling

Weak Floor

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

Double adventure actions

Low Ceilings

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

no extra cost

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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.

You can also set traps in Legends of Nor'Ova.  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.

Here are the skills for dealing with traps:

Skill Stat Cost Description Level Effects Cost to Acquire
Ignore Traps 10 SA

Gives you a +10 to Luck that traps won't work on you. Let's say you accidentally set off a trap. With this skill, you have a chance that the trap simply won't work. You got lucky and ignored the trap. This skill takes effect over Trap Setting, so even if someone used Trap Setting with this skill you could still have the trap not work against you. 

Level 1: +10 to Luck; 10 SA
Level 2: +20 to Luck; 20 SA
Level 3: +30 to Luck; 30 SA
Level 4: +40 to Luck; 40 SA

This is a Tier 4 skill

Level 1: 100/200
Level 2: 125/250
Level 3: 150/300
Level 4: 175/350

Trap Knowledge 5 SA

Grants you knowledge of how traps work, giving you a +10 to Luck to disarm them. Because of this skill you understand traps better, this makes it more likely that you can disarm them without any issues thus the bonus. You still need to play out how you do so.

Level 1: +10 to Luck to disarm traps safely; 5 SA
Level 2: +20 to Luck to disarm traps safely; 10 SA
Level 3: +30 to Luck to disarm traps safely; 15 SA
Level 4: +40 to Luck to disarm traps safely; 20 SA

This is a Tier 1 skill

Level 1: 25/50
Level 2: 50/100
Level 3: 75/150
Level 4: 100/200

Trap Setting 5 SA

Gives you +10 to Luck that your trap will work. Just because you set a trap doesn't mean that it will work or that the target will be caught by it. With this skill, you increase your odds that the trap will function as intended and that the target will be affected or caught by it. This is largely used out of battle, as you wouldn't have time to set a trap in battle, however, if you set the trap before battle and the trap is in the battle field, this skill's effect still plays out. You need to have the materials for the trap at hand, design the trap, and describe it and your intended effects.

Level 1: +10 to Luck; 5 SA
Level 2: +20 to Luck; 10 SA
Level 3: +30 to Luck; 15 SA
Level 4: +40 to Luck; 20 SA

This is a Tier 2 skill

Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 75/150
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 125/250

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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.

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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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Submitted by mythus on Sat, 12/24/2022 - 09:29