Friday, April 29, 2011

Dungeon Potty Tricks - Or - Where's All That Crap Go?

Earlier this morning as I answered nature's call, I got to thinking about the disposal of waste in dungeons. It's not like most published dungeons include privies or bathroom stalls.

It's bad enough that most dungeons have no ecology whatsoever. Where's the food source? The water source? The removal of waste material?

It does explain the need for Gelatinous Cubes as your not-so-friendly sanitation department. Get in the way of this refuse processor and you yourself may find yourself being disposed. Imagine the mad mage that created the first Gelatinous Cube - his finest creation's sole purpose is to clean up dungeon refuse. How depressing is that?

Beyond all that, how does an adventurer get to doing "his business" while in a dungeon? Do you spike the door shut to give yourself some uninterrupted time? It's bad enough as a cop when you need to use a public restroom for anything but the basics - that gun belt has to hang somewhere. How does the plate mail clad adventurer with sword, shield and bow accomplish this feat?

Inquiring minds want to know ;)


  1. I'm assured that this last is actually the #1 question that school children ask when they get taken to see the collection of armour at the Wallace Collection (though perhaps it should really be the #2 question - but I digress) : how did knights go to the toilet in all that armour? Apart from the trivial answer (that they took the armour off first), I don't think we really know. So, this is the cutting edge of historical research here, clearly, and the happiness and mental well-being of thousands of British children depends on you finding an answer!

  2. Of course, the gelatinous cube explanation doesn't solve the problem, as then you've got to wonder what happens to the cube's waste--unless somehow it's gold pieces? ;)

  3. The gelatinous cube turns waste matter into fresh air (solving yet another dungeon issue). Don't ask about the science behind it, its magic! ;)

  4. The Dungeoneers Survival Guide states:

    '...any stray faeces end up as part of a smelemental golem.'

  5. Excrementals are always a nasty foe. When a dungeon reaches a critical mass of poo; an excremental is born. Obviously, dragon poo creates the most powerful excrementals. The lack of vital organs is a concern; as is the tendency for severed limbs to reform into tiny excrementals that stay animated as long as they maintain proximity to the main nasty.

  6. @GSV - Now THAT is some scary shit! ;)

  7. It's standard practice for my humanoid monsters to construct pit traps with dual use in mind - and frosting on the cake when I tell a player that they were also impaled by something in one of those traps. Kobold punji sticks!

  8. Isn't this also what Otyughs are for as well? Additional uses for excrement: Fuel for fire(once dried out), composting will actually generate some heat, and certain races may require that heat to keep eggs warm. Depending on whose product your using, in some cases you may end up with a building material(Osquips for instance, and I'd be curious to know about the leavings of rust monsters).

  9. Sir Robert Poopie-pants was mocked by all the other knights for failing to remove his armor in time. This thread reminds me to the Holy Grail comment about being the king. "Large Man with Dead Body: Who's that then?
    The Dead Collector: I dunno, must be a king.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Why?
    The Dead Collector: He hasn't got shit all over him. " Thanks for the fun post and comments.

  10. As one of my players said today, "there's no excretion in Lord of the Rings and that's good enough for me!"

    Privies work better as a point of interest when you want them there, than as a feature that has to be there (and forget about bathroom passes, I have a hard enough time remembering when torches should go out).

  11. Perhaps that's why Portable Holes were created? Although I don't know what you would do with them once full. Perhaps toss them into some dimensional doorway...


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