Gamemasters‎ > ‎

Doors

 DOOR TYPES

DOOR TYPE

TYPICAL THICKNESS

HARDNESS

HIT POINTS

STUCK1

LOCKED1

Simple wooden

1 in.

5

10 hp

13

15

Good wooden

1-1/2 in.

5

15 hp

16

18

Strong wooden

2 in.

5

20 hp

23

25

Stone

4 in.

8

60 hp

28

28

Iron

2 in.

10

60 hp

28

28

Portcullis, wooden

3 in

5

30 hp

252

252

Portcullis, iron

2 in.

10

60 hp

252

252

Lock

15

30 hp

Hinge

10

30 hp

 1 This is the Strength DC to break open the door.
 2 This is the DC to lift the portcullis.  If trying to break open the portcullis, use the the DC for an iron or strong wooden door.

DOORS

Dungeon doors come in three basic types: wooden, stone, and iron. The break DC for a door depends on whether it is just stuck shut or if it is actually locked.

WOODEN DOOR

Constructed of thick planks nailed together, sometimes bound with iron for strength, wooden doors are the most common type of door.

STONE DOOR

Carved from solid blocks of stone, these heavy, unwieldy doors are often built so that they pivot when opened, although dwarves and other skilled artisans are able to fashion hinges strong enough to hold up a stone door. A secret door in a stone wall is usually a stone door.

IRON DOOR

Rusted but sturdy, iron doors in a dungeon are hinged like wooden doors. These doors are the toughest form of nonmagical door. They are usually locked or barred.

HINGES

Most doors have hinges, but sliding doors do not. Standard hinges are metal, joining one edge of the door to the doorframe or wall. PCs can take the hinges apart one at a time with DC 20 Disable Device checks (assuming the hinges are on their side of the door). Most have hardness 10 and 30 hit points. The break DC for a hinge is the same as for breaking down the door.

Typically found on stone doors, nested hinges are built into the wall and allow the door to swing open in either direction. PCs can’t get at the hinges to fool with them unless they break through the doorframe or wall.

Pivots are simple knobs jutting from the top and bottom of the door that fit into holes in the doorframe, allowing the door to spin. The advantages of pivots are that they can’t be dismantled like hinges and they’re simple to make. Secret doors in walls often turn on pivots, since the lack of hinges makes it easier to hide the door’s presence.

LOCKS

Dungeon doors are often locked. Locks are usually built into the door, either on the edge opposite the hinges or right in the middle of the door. Built-in locks either control an iron bar that juts out of the door and into the wall of its frame, or else a sliding iron bar or heavy wooden bar that rests behind the entire door. By contrast, padlocks are not built-in but usually run through two rings, one on the door and the other on the wall.

The Disable Device DC to pick a lock is usually between 20 and 30. Some locks are trapped, usually with a poison needle that extends out to stab the person’s finger. In an occupied dungeon, every locked door should have a key somewhere.

BREAKING DOORS

All but the weakest characters can eventually knock down a door with a heavy tool such as a warhammer or battleaxe. Attempts to literally chop down a door with a slashing or bludgeoning weapon use the hardness and hit points given in the Doors table.

Dungeons are often damp, and sometimes doors get stuck, particularly wooden doors. Assume that about 10% of wooden doors and 5% of non-wooden doors are stuck.

It takes a DC 25 Strength check to break through a door with a wooden bar, or DC 30 for an iron bar. Having a bar doesn’t change the door’s hardness or hit points (breaking the door leaves an open doorway with a bar across it).

Some doors are held shut by magic. It takes a knock spell, a dispel magic spell, or a successful Strength check to open such a door.

SECRET DOORS

Disguised as a bare patch of wall (or floor or ceiling), a bookcase, a fireplace, and so on, a secret door leads to a secret passage or room. Examining the area with a secret door finds it with a successful Perception check (DC 20 for a typical secret door to DC 30 for a well-hidden secret door).

Many secret doors require special methods of opening, such as hidden buttons or pressure plates. Secret doors can open like normal doors, or they might pivot, slide, sink, rise, or even lower like a drawbridge to permit access. Builders might put a secret door low near the floor or high in a wall, making it difficult to find or reach.

PORTCULLISES

These special doors consist of iron or thick, ironbound wooden shafts that descend from recesses in the ceilings above archways. Sometimes a portcullis has crossbars that create a grid, sometimes not. Typically raised by means of a winch, a portcullis can be dropped quickly, and the shafts end in spikes. Lifting a typical portcullis requires a DC 25 Strength check.