d100 Shades of Grey

What is a dungeon? Ostensibly it’s a form of prison, so there’s not much to “crawl” through, just a few cells and interconnecting halls. There’s also the implications of a torture chamber, hence the more modern usage of “dungeon” as demonstrated above.

How exactly did this shift to become a sizable and labyrinthine series of chambers? An underground complex full of monsters and traps.  It’s an odd evolution of the term. The concept of a dungeon has even spread beyond the subterranean structure into other types of building: a castle or manor home can also serve as the location of a “dungeon crawl”. It’s an entire narrative structure found only in roleplaying games, where you progress from encounter to encounter, from scene to scene, through a semi-linear route that generally increases in difficulty. It’s a genre convention mostly only found in roleplaying games.