Avoid paranoia-driven dungeoneering

In my blog, I write about those moments when being cautious doesn’t add to the fun, instead making the game boring, and how to avoid it.

Being cautious is fine, and the game expects players to be, but when this behavior becomes excessive, specially if there is not reason, the game can become boring. How do you avoid it?



The first adventure I ran for my new players was Death Frost Doom, which had some really nasty traps, but no invisible ones. All the traps require interaction to be set off. Players are lured in by curiosity and greed.

As a result my players are quick to explore rooms and never look for floor traps for example, but they do approach every strange object with great care and paranoia.

For me this balance is good (though a bit boring when there isn’t anything special about an object), because I like my players scared when in a dungeon.

I do wanna have a classic spike filled floor trap eventually, but this makes me wonder if it risks slowing down future games…


I suppose if the spikes pit trap is in a room, or even a dungeon, where spikes are visible in several places, like a motif (recurring element), the trap, while hidden, would make sense. “Oh, a hole with spikes. makes sense”.

I might not make sense to have that trap in a hallway, in an elegant mansion. Butlers and even the kids would constantly die. Kids on spikes is not nice.