100 Dungeon Entrances

Happy Year of the Dungeon, nerds! If you’re attempting the Dungeon23 challenge and Jacquaysing your dungeon with the cool kids, then you likely need quite a few entrances for your dungeon. I hope the one hundred listed below can prodive inspiration. Note that some of the examples below may not function well as primary entrances. Instead, they may best serve as access points to remote or secret areas for parties willing to incur greater risk or engage in creative problem-solving.

  1. Within a tower that houses an elaborate astronomical clock, a secret door opens for three minutes on the third hour of every third day.
  2. An association of spies guards an entrance to the dungeon. They will grant access in exchange for a coveted secret.
  3. A vertical shaft leads forty feet straight up through soft clay slick with running water.
  4. A bronze statue of a massive fish, mouth agape, emerges from a river. Ladder rungs within the statue lead down through the stonework cylinder that supports it.
  5. When rapped three times, an enchanted door knocker teleports everyone within earshot into the dungeon.
  6. A copper hatch is set into the underside of one arch of a stone bridge built across a swift river.
  7. The ivory key that unlocks a way into the dungeon cannot be moved by anyone who has spilled blood. It’s in the possession of a cabal of assassins.
  8. Enterprising goblins have tunneled up from within the dungeon through the floor of a granary.
  9. A door in the form of a massive clock face begins ticking when someone passes through it. Anyone who enters this way is teleported out of the dungeon 4d3–3 hours later. (Roll separately for each individual).
  10. A block of ice obstructs an entrance to the dungeon, a deadly monster frozen within.
  11. A door in the form of a large magic mouth becomes passable when laughing. The door particularly enjoys knock-knock jokes.
  12. The dungeon is built into a colossal iceberg that drifts haphazardly across an icy sea.
  13. Tough vines grow in a dense lattice across an entrance to the dungeon. They regrow rapidly if cut or burned—but not if eaten.
  14. The mother-of-pearl key that unlocks a way into the dungeon rests at the bottom of a clear pool. It disintegrates immediately when exposed to air but reforms within the pool moments later.
  15. Anyone who passes through an upside-down arch experiences gravity in reverse until they exit the dungeon.
  16. An entrance lies within a barrow sealed by a marble slab, a plank of ash, and a sheet of lead.
  17. A granite obelisk stands at the center of a busy square. A door on one side of the obelisk exists only when no one can see it.
  18. Clumsy masonry in the cellar of an old house seals off an entrance.
  19. An electrified copper tube leads into the dungeon.
  20. Anyone who hears the chime of an enchanted grandfather clock is teleported to the exact point they occupied three days ago.
  21. An entrance lies buried in the rubble of a collapsed warehouse.
  22. An ancient order of monks guard an entrance to the dungeon. They will grant access in exchange for a barrel of wine of a vintage they’ve never tasted.
  23. A mural depicts, among other things, a closed door. If the mural is painted over so that the door appears open, an entrance materializes.
  24. A magnificent gold door can only be opened by someone who has no desire for wealth.
  25. A barn-sized tortoise wanders through a savanna, devouring trees in a single bite. A door hangs within a freestanding arch atop its shell.
  26. A false chimney leads into the dungeon from the roof of a historic manor.
  27. A gang of smugglers makes frequent use of a dungeon entrance within their den.
  28. The glass key that unlocks a way into the dungeon hangs around the neck of one goose amid a large flock.
  29. A witch guards an entrance to the dungeon. She will grant access in exchange for the return of her daughter, stolen at birth eleven years past.
  30. On a small rock island at the center of a subterranean lake, a wide stairway spirals down along the edge of a pit.
  31. Anyone who reads page 216 of Myths and Records of a Lost Underworld is teleported into the dungeon. Only scholars admitted to the Esoteric Order of Scrupulous Pendants are allowed access to the library in which the book is kept.
  32. In a duke’s garden, a topiary statue of a badger conceals an earthen tunnel.
  33. An enchanted entrance prevents passage by anyone carrying more than the clothes on their back.
  34. Wherever an enchanted tapestry hangs, a gold-ornamented cherry wood door appears in the wall behind it.
  35. The skeleton key that unlocks a way into the dungeon is buried in the grave of a deceased adventurer.
  36. An entrance to the dungeon only opens when doing so would greatly inconvenience someone.
  37. A hatch leads into the dungeon from a steam vent jutting from a factory. Scalding steam fills the vent except during the wee hours of the morning.
  38. A sealed hatch lies at the bottom of a toxic pool.
  39. The removable heads of four marble statues are interchangeable. Placing each head on the correct body opens a secret trapdoor. An old poem holds the necessary clues.
  40. Forty thieves guard an entrance to the dungeon. They will happily relocate if more suitable living quarters are made available.
  41. A stair descends from the bottom of a false stone coffin within a crypt.
  42. A door in the form of a large magic mouth answers yes or no questions. It will open long enough to become passable only to admit pastries, cakes, and other sweets.
  43. In an abandoned marble quarry, the removal of stone has uncovered a tunnel.
  44. Surrounded by a barren plateau, a dark stone tower rises to a stunning height. Sparse windows dot its imposing walls, and a single door hangs sixty feet above the plateau.
  45. The ceramic key that unlocks a way into the dungeon has been swallowed by a manticore.
  46. A well-known entrance lies within the ossuary beneath an austere temple. Only anointed clerics devoted to a deity of death are permitted entry.
  47. An entrance lies at the back of a massive cliff ledge behind a gryphon’s nest.
  48. The dungeon may be reached through the mouth of a skull carved from stone. An ominous inscription warns that whoever entered this way most recently will die if they exit the dungeon.
  49. A cylindrical outlet leads from the side of a canal and up into a half-submerged chamber.
  50. When locked, a large enchanted trunk teleports its contents into another identical trunk. This process does not work in reverse.
  51. From a jail cell beneath an abandoned frontier fort, a prisoner’s escape tunnel descends until it meets a larger, far more ancient passage.
  52. An open archway grants access to the dungeon. After a group enters, a stone slab descends, sealing off the exit for one hour per member of the group.
  53. An exclusive adventurers’ society guards an entrance into the dungeon. They will grant access in exchange for a taxidermied owlbear to adorn their parlor.
  54. An entrance within a sprawling hedge maze can only be found by someone who doesn’t know where it is.
  55. The bronze plaque on the base of a statue may be pried away to reveal a narrow shaft.
  56. A gang of belligerent but gullible goblins guard an entrance to the dungeon. They will grant access in exchange for a talking dog.
  57. A vertical shaft into the dungeon narrows towards the bottom. A gelatinous cube has become lodged halfway down.
  58. Any waterfall in the vicinity of the dungeon has an entrance behind it.
  59. The spectral key that unlocks a way into the dungeon can only be touched by ghosts.
  60. A hatch opens in a pipe organ when a sequence of discordant notes is played.
  61. A five-mile hike through a lava tube leads to a glossy obsidian slab set into its wall.
  62. A hand-sized door is hidden within a castle. When an effigy is placed within the door, the person whom the effigy represents is teleported into the dungeon.
  63. An entrance is hidden within a museum exhibit—through a false sarcophagus, behind a tapestry, within a chest.
  64. There is an unremarkable locked door in the back wall of a forgotten scroll repository within the city’s hall of records.
  65. At the peak of a ziggurat built on frigid tundra, an immense block of ice seals off a stairwell that descends into the ziggurat’s core.
  66. The dungeon may be accessed via a sea cave at low tide.
  67. Anyone who sets foot within a circle of toadstools is teleported into the dungeon.
  68. A door into the dungeon turns anyone who opens it into stone. Highly visible engravings on the door’s surface warn of this curse in numerous languages.
  69. A stairway spirals around the edge of a non-functional well built to house holy rites. At the bottom lies a door into the dungeon.
  70. A golem guards an entrance into the dungeon. It will grant access if parchment inscribed with precise instructions by a wizard is placed into its mouth.
  71. The ornate key that unlocks a way into the dungeon will be sold at auction.
  72. A narrow bridge across a deep crevasse leads to the dungeon. Anyone who inhales the vapors rising from the crevasse falls asleep.
  73. A section of the tiled bottom of an active fountain can be pried open, draining the fountain into a narrow shaft.
  74. A gang of kidnappers is rumored to hold their victims within the dungeon while awaiting ransom payments. The location of their safehouse is unknown, but the gang always abducts high-profile patrons from discreet brothels.
  75. An entrance to the dungeon lies within territory disputed by two rival factions. Access may be earned by doing a favor for each faction without the other knowing.
  76. A door in the form of a large magic mouth becomes passable when speaking at length. The mouth seldom speaks but cannot resist correcting people.
  77. The massive head of a hyena has been carved into the base of a rocky bluff. Beyond its bared teeth, a tunnel descends beneath the earth.
  78. Each person who passes through a smoke-filled archway appears within a different room on one level of the dungeon.
  79. Inside one of several greenhouses within the Royal Botanical Garden lies a partially overgrown hatch, an oxidized copper ring at its center.
  80. Miners have uncovered a way into the dungeon. They are on strike and will grant access to the dungeon to anyone who can help them secure better working conditions.
  81. The password required to open an entrance to the dungeon is known only to an illiterate ascetic who has taken a vow of silence.
  82. A mad wizard guards an entrance to the dungeon. She will grant access to anyone who samples one of her experimental concoctions.
  83. If asked for a “Sphere of Inebriation,” the bartender at the Tavern of Thracia will serve a pricy cocktail that will teleport the imbiber into the dungeon—albeit a little drunk.
  84. When it catches the light of the full moon, a silver mirror becomes a portal into the dungeon.
  85. A brass door is veiled by a curtain of water that spills over a small dam.
  86. The dry moat of a castle houses a half dozen bears. Within one den, a narrow crevice leads to the dungeon.
  87. Enchanted brambles bristling with daggerlike thorns cover an entrance to the dungeon. They do not burn, and severing a stalk causes additional stalks to sprout from the severed ends.
  88. The silver key that unlocks a way into the dungeon hangs around the neck of a princess. She will grant it to the participant in an upcoming tourney who wins her favor.
  89. A poisonous shelf fungus has grown over a door set into the side of an oak.
  90. A half mile down a subterranean river, a cleft in the cavern wall leads to the dungeon. The river becomes impassable after heavy rain.
  91. An arched entry into the dungeon has been disguised behind a massive false wine barrel.
  92. Anyone who enters a sixty-foot-long passage into the dungeon turns to stone until they exit the passage.
  93. A djinn guards an entrance to the dungeon. The djinn will grant access in exchange for a coin from the pool of a magnificent fountain. The fountain is guarded at all times and inhabited by a dozen alligators.
  94. Anyone who enters an enchanted cabinet from the surface world will find that the doors open into the dungeon. Likewise, one may enter the cabinet from the dungeon to return to the surface.
  95. A chimera guards an entrance into the dungeon. Each of its heads has differing tastes. The chimera will grant access if presented with a gift that appeals to all three.
  96. A rival adventuring party has the key that unlocks a door to the dungeon. They entered the dungeon three days ago, locked the door behind them, and haven’t been seen since.
  97. Recreating the chaotic scene depicted in a wall mosaic causes the mosaic to ascend into the ceiling, uncovering an entrance to the dungeon. The scene features a juggler on stilts, a child riding a pig, and twin sisters bathing in wine.
  98. The mushrooms growing in and around the dungeon entrance release toxic spores when disturbed. They will shuffle out of the way if asked politely.
  99. A hag guards an entrance to the dungeon. She grants access to anyone who accepts her curse by naming a companion, who must also enter the dungeon. If the named person dies before both exit the dungeon, then so does the person who named them.
  100. When presented with a suitable treat, a silver-furred cat will lead the way to an inconspicuous wooden door. Though the door may never be found twice in the same spot, it always leads to the same point in the dungeon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. The Hex Brawler

    Very nice first entry of your new blog. Best of journeys!


    1. Dododecahedron

      Thanks for the kind words!


  2. benlaurence2

    I love this post! So many great ideas.


    1. Dododecahedron

      I appreciate the comment! My group has been enjoying Downtime in Zyan


  3. talaraska

    Love this! This is exactly the type of thing I enjoy reading. Lots of good stuff to spark ideas. Good job!


    1. Dododecahedron

      Thank you! I’m glad you got something out of it


  4. hellahexi

    This makes me very happy. A hell of a start.


    1. Dododecahedron

      Cheers! Glad you enjoyed it


  5. Benton

    “When rapped three times, an enchanted door knocker teleports everyone within earshot into the dungeon.” Be a bit of a hassle if this were in the middle of a busy street, I must say

    Liked by 1 person

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: