Five Room Dungeon

Five Room Dungeons are a type of adventure which includes a mythic story structure in the rooms. This includes Entrance (and guardian), Puzzle or rpg challenge, Trick or setback, Showdown or climax and Reward / Revelation / Plot Twist. There is a full description on Roleplaying Tips.

tools for - fantasy dungeon


the Fortress of Lunar Dragons


First Area. The entrance is via carved steps. The entrance requires a special key or item to open
Area 2. A complex mechanism of moving sections that blocks their path
Area 3. A powerful guardian guards the entrance
Showdown. The lair is trapped and the enemy leader can move around without setting traps off. There is a statue to a dark power. The enemy leader demands to know who the group are and why they are disturbing them
Finally. The enemy leader returns to fight them as an intelligent magic item.

the Forlorn Quarry of Hardguard


First Area. The entrance is a sinkhole. A group of creatures have made their lair at the entrance
Area 2. A mad NPC is trapped here. If they helped they provide vital information
Area 3. There is a one-way exit here back to the main entrance (teleporter/chute/fast-flowing river/one-way door)
Showdown. The enemy leader is weaker than expected and an underling is revealed as the big threat. There is a large pool of water. Afterwards prisoners thank the characters for freeing them
Finally. They find out the enemy leader was related to the group in some way.

the Garden of Charheim


First Area. The entrance is a naturally concealed cave. A group of guardians guard the entrance
Area 2. A magical puzzle that must be solved to avoid setting off an alarm
Area 3. There is a dangerous trap here. If triggered it also forewarns the Showdown challenge.
Showdown. The lair is trapped and the enemy leader can move around without setting traps off. A large fire is burning away. Halfway through the enemy leader tries to come to an agreement
Finally. A prophecy comes true, just not in the way they expected.

the Lake of the Ruined Warlock


First Area. The entrance is a fountain down into an underground river. There are multiple entrances and only one of them leads to the true dungeon
Area 2. An rival or servant of the inhabitants willing to help them for the right price
Area 3. Appears unguarded but a hidden ambush awaits
Showdown. The enemy leader has a pet, a trap and a magic item all following the same theme. Mirrors or chains line the walls. The enemy leader tries to stall the characters because a device is powering up
Finally. Several minions also try to leave with parts of the treasure.

Nightshade Barrow


First Area. The entrance is over a rope bridge. The entrance is only open periodically
Area 2. A magical puzzle that if solved can give a special blessing or reward
Area 3. The entrance is guarded by a group of creatures who can sound an alarm
Showdown. The enemy leader tries to settle things in an unusual way such as a deal. There is an altar to a dark power. Afterwards prisoners are offer to reward characters if they release them
Finally. The inhabitants were guarding some sort of magical portal.

the Aerie of the Enchanted Lich


First Area. The entrance is a sinkhole. A group of guardians about to be relieved by others
Area 2. Appears unguarded but a hidden ambush awaits
Area 3. Dangerous debris from a collapse covers a trap
Showdown. The enemy leader awaits them in a defensive chamber. Careful characters will find preparations are not ready. There is a covered pit with a dangerous liquid within. Afterwards prisoners are angry with the characters for some reason
Finally. There is another guardian in the hoard.

Earthskull Labyrinth


First Area. The entrance is a chimney. The "entrance" is fake and leads to a monster lair. The real entrance is hidden nearby
Area 2. A creature which can give token required for easy entry further on
Area 3. Hostages or prisoners who demand/plead to be taken back immediately (for good reason)
Showdown. The enemy leader has unusual magic power. A large cage or mechanical device dominates one corner. The enemy leader starts off peaceful but becomes more and more angry as they talk
Finally. There is another guardian in the treasure container.

Deepstone Catacombs


First Area. The entrance is an animal cave. One or more sentries are on watch, part of a larger group off in a side chamber
Area 2. A magical puzzle floor tiles
Area 3. A famous site has been found, but it's actually a fake or decoy
Showdown. The enemy leader has a champion that fights the characters first. A series of steps lead to a raised platform. Afterwards other minions offer to show hidden treasure if shown mercy
Finally. Bonus treasure is uncovered that leads elsewhere. a deed to some land.

Greyguard Valley


First Area. The entrance is in the basement of a mansion. The entrance is easy for inhabitants to pass through but not others
Area 2. A complex mechanism of moving sections that blocks their path
Area 3. A group of hostile inhabitants with the same weaknesses as the Showdown challenge
Showdown. The enemy leader has a pet, a trap and a magic item all following the same theme. There is a large pool of water. Halfway through the enemy leader tries to stall for time so they can escape
Finally. More opponents ambush them as they are weakened from the Showdown.

the Fallen Chambers of Saltway


First Area. The entrance is a mineshaft . The entrance has a physical challenge to overcome to gain entry
Area 2. An NPC they know but not expected here - maybe as a prisoner
Area 3. A powerful guardian guards the entrance
Showdown. The enemy leader has a champion that fights the characters first. A large summoning circle dominates the room. Afterwards surviving minions beg for mercy
Finally. More opponents ambush them as they are weakened from the Showdown.