There are those who think that “you’re not playing right” if you don’t use dungeon turns. Of course, there is no one right way to play, and you should feel free to ignore them! There are, however, different styles of play and different preferences, and it’s fun to experiment.
I never used dungeon turns in the old days. We had plenty of wonderful sessions without them. You don’t need them.
Last year, though, I decided to try them. Along with the dungeon turn came random wandering monsters and tighter resource management.
I wrote about it here (it’s a bit long) and assessed my experience with them. There was some interesting feedback, too, in the comments to that post.
The summary is that dungeon turns make the game more structured and a lot more like a board game. That can be fun, and it’s worth a try. But the main thing I’d suggest is that the dungeon turns are not really meaningful without time-related side-effects such as
- torches/lanterns running out on the clock (with a player keeping track of them)
- random hazards triggered by passage of time (or random monsters–note I don’t say wandering monsters anymore because you can have wandering monsters not linked to a clock–hence the emphasis on random)
- the need to rest or face a penalty (not to mention eating meals during longer excursions)
- players able to choose to proceed at varying rates depending on how cautiously they go
As someone who has enjoyed both ways of playing, I encourage you to try it. I also suggest that some dungeon scenarios (like the Barrowmaze that we are using) are more suited to dungeon turns than others. I don’t think my players would now enjoy a session of the Barrowmaze without the dungeon turns and the procedures that go with them, because it’s been part of their experience of the place.
Oh, to answer one of the original questions, I use home rules (that are not D&D at all), but the dungeon procedures are modeled closely on Moldvay’s Basic D&D.
If you try it, let us know how it goes for you!