Daggerfall:Dungeons

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Dungeons are an essential part of the game-play. Most quests demand the player to enter a dungeon and find a quest object within which can be an item, monster, or NPC. If one is to kill the quest object then this must be done as well.

At the start of the game, only Common Cemeteries and Privateer's Hold are known to the player's character and visible on the fast-travel map; all others must be discovered.

Dungeon location discovery may be done in one of three ways:

  1. Exploring the wilderness, which can take several days with no guarantee of success.
  2. By reading dungeon maps which can be:
    • Found on the bodies of fallen enemies or as loot in treasure piles.
    • Received as the reward for a completed quest (almost exclusively for the Fighters Guild).
    • Received as a guild promotion reward (see Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood).
  3. Being told of their locations in the course of quests, which is the most common way.

The process of finding a quest object in a dungeon is called dungeon crawling, since the location of a quest object is determined randomly and in most cases it is necessary to thoroughly search the dungeon-step-by-step. The only exceptions are objects in Main Quest Dungeons, in which the quest item is statically defined and therefore never changes.

Contents

[edit] Features

Dungeon interiors consist of one or more blocks defined in BLOCKS.BSA and referenced (per-dungeon) in MAPS.BSA, which are glued together to create the appropriate scene. Dungeons may have up to (and including) 32 of these blocks, each of which may have two passages connecting to other blocks in each of the four cardinal directions, hence the mating octupi term.

[edit] Dungeon Entrance/Exit

The dungeon's entrance/exit as it is shown within a dungeon

Regardless of its dimensions, all dungeons have only one entrance. Some dungeons like castles, keeps etc. have numerous entrances on the surface, but all these entrances on the surface will always lead to a single entrance inside the dungeon. Sometimes a dungeon has also more than one exit. One such dungeon which has numerous entrances on the surface, and in addition numerous exits inside the dungeon, is Palace Sentinel. The entrance and exit inside a dungeon are always the same location, if a second exit exits, the player will enter the dungeon at the entrance/exit location anyway. The second exit can therefore not be used as an entrance. The entrance/exit is displayed as green square on the dungeon's overview map and as a green tag on the detailed 2D/3D dungeon map. If a second exit exists, it is not visible on the map, thus it can only be found by exploring the dungeon.

[edit] Assembling of Dungeons

Schematic of a dungeon consisting of two internal blocks (purple) and border blocks in orange.

As stated above, a dungeon consists of up to 32 blocks, each of which may be connected to any (or all) of the four cardinally adjacent blocks since there are two connecting passages in each of the four cardinal directions, and thusly there are eight paths leading out of each block. While most dungeons may appear to be a random conglomerate of different modules, they were hard-coded in the release media and thus are never-changing. These were most likely generated via a pseudo-random program of some type, but Main Quest dungeons are an exception, because these were all hand-crafted.

While Main Quest dungeons may be of the biggest dungeons in the game, it has been commented by some that even the least of the random dungeons are logically too large for the majority of quests. It has also been voiced that because the number of blocks in the source material is limited, most dungeons lack diversity/variance and hence all dungeons tend to look like eachother.

[edit] Dungeon Blocks

Dungeons are built from blocks by assembling them together side-by-side on a 2D grid. Of these blocks there are two types of blocks: internal and border.

Internal blocks
These provide the meat of the dungeon where most rooms and corridors are placed. Every internal dungeon block has two door openings in each one of her fours sides, one above the other. Each door opening is used to link to a nearby internal block or to an external block.
Border blocks
These are used when it is necessary to close the side of an internal block. These are primarily composed of a single corridor which reflexively leads back to the same block of their origin. These are most often used to seal a dungeon's peripheral blocks, but could be used to create isolated areas within a dungeon. Border blocks do not contain any quest locations.

[edit] Quest Locations

Because Main Quest Dungeons are hand-crafted, the location of quest objects is always the same, hence it is possible to give a guidance how to find them.

The remaining dungeons pose a more difficult challenge since the location of quest objects is determined randomly from the dungeon's list of quest locations, depending on the dimension of the dungeon and the used modules. One or more treasure piles can be found at every quest location and the quest object will also be at one of these spots.

Regarding this facts, the only way to definitely find a quest object is to search the dungeon step by step. That process is called Dungeon Crawling. The spot where a quest object is located will remain the same until the quest is over, so repeated exiting and re-entering a dungeon will not alter this location but will respawn all other monsters and treasure piles.

The quest locations of a certain dungeon-module are always the same, so if one has explored a lot of dungeons during their adventures one may remember where these locations are, thusly making the exploration slightly easier. One can also use a Cheat to cycle through the various quest locations of a dungeon.

[edit] Dungeon Maps

Standard dungeon automap display, 2D map circled. The position of the player is shown within this layout as a red dot and the exit as a blue dot (not visible in the screenshot because the red dot overlaps with the blue dot).

Two types of dungeon maps are available within a dungeon. The dungeon overview map (2D) gives an approximate two dimensional overview of the dungeon's layout, with the player's location shown as a red square. The more detailed map (3D) displays the player's location as a red arrow and shows details of the explored areas (e.g., corridors and rooms) as they are seen through the characters eyes, complete with all textures and other details. As one explores the larger dungeons the detailed map may become increasingly confusing, but one may click an area of this map to disable display of that area. When one leaves a dungeon all map information is lost; the map is reset to its initial, unexplored state.

[edit] Dungeon Types

Dungeon Type Possible Encounters
Animals Monsters Humanoids Orcs Lycanthropes Atronachs Undead Daedra
Barbarian Stronghold Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Centaur Archer
Barbarian
Rogue
Sorceror
Warrior
Wereboar
Werewolf
Vampire
Vampire Ancient
Ancient Lich
Coven Giant Bat Imp
Nymph
Harpy
Battlemage
Mage
Nightblade
Sorcerer
Spellsword
Fire Atronach
Flesh Atronach
Iron Atronach
Lesser Daedra
Fire Daedra
Frost Daedra
Daedra Seducer
Daedra Lord
Crypt Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Skeleton Warrior
Zombie
Ghost
Mummy
Wraith
Vampire
Vampire Ancient
Lich
Desecrated Temple Giant Bat Imp
Harpy
Gargoyle
Dragonling
Healer
Monk
Sorcerer
Orc Shaman Skeleton Warrior
Mummy
Wraith
Lesser Daedra
Fire Daedra
Frost Daedra
Daedra Seducer
Daedra Lord
Dragon's Den Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Centaur
Nymph
Harpy
Gargoyle
Battlemage
Burglar
Knight
Mage
Nightblade
Sorcerer
Thief
Werewolf Vampire
Ancient Lich
Daedra Lord
Giant Stronghold Rat
Grizzly Bear
Sabretooth Tiger
Giant Scorpion
Giant
Dragonling
Orc
Orc Sergeant
Orc Shaman
Orc Warlord
Wereboar Lesser Daedra
Fire Daedra
Frost Daedra
Harpy Nest Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Harpy Burglar
Nightblade
Rogue
Warrior
Orc Shaman Skeleton Warrior
Vampire
Daedra Seducer
Daedra Lord
Human Stronghold Rat
Giant Bat
Grizzly Bear
Centaur Archer
Barbarian
Knight
Nightblade
Rogue
Spellsword
Warrior
Orc Shaman
Orc Warlord
Wraith
Vampire
Laboratory Imp
Gargoyle
Battlemage
Mage
Sorcerer
Fire Atronach
Flesh Atronach
Ice Atronach
Iron Atronach
Zombie
Lich
Ancient Lich
Lesser Daedra
Mine Rat
Giant Bat
Grizzly Bear
Spider
Giant Nightblade
Thief
Warrior
Orc
Orc Sergeant
Ice Atronach
Iron Atronach
Skeleton Warrior
Vampire
Vampire Ancient
Fire Daedra
Natural Cave Rat
Giant Bat
Grizzly Bear
Sabretooth Tiger
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Harpy
Giant
Dragonling
Barbarian
Monk
Warrior
Orc
Orc Shaman
Werewolf
Wereboar
Ghost
Lich
Orc Stronghold Rat
Giant Bat
Grizzly Bear
Sabretooth Tiger
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Giant Orc
Orc Sergeant
Orc Shaman
Orc Warlord
Skeleton Warrior Lesser Daedra
Prison Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Assassin
Barbarian
Bard
Burglar
Nightblade
Thief
Flesh Atronach
Iron Atronach
Skeleton Warrior
Zombie
Ghost
Wraith
Ruined Castle Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Giant Knight
Warrior
Orc
Orc Sergeant
Werewolf
Wereboar
Skeleton Warrior
Zombie
Ghost
Wraith
Lich
Vampire Ancient
Ancient Lich
Scorpion Nest
(found only in Hammerfell)
Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Imp
Gargoyle
Healer
Nightblade
Thief
Skeleton Warrior
Zombie
Ghost
Wraith
Lesser Daedra
Daedra Seducer
Daedra Lord
Spider Nest Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Giant Scorpion
Spriggan
Harpy
Assassin
Ranger
Rogue
Thief
Skeleton Warrior
Ghost
Mummy
Wraith
Lich
Vampire Haunt Rat
Giant Bat
Spider
Nightblade Werewolf Skeleton Warrior
Ghost
Mummy
Wraith
Vampire
Vampire Ancient
Volcanic Caves Giant Bat
Sabretooth Tiger
Giant Scorpion
Imp
Harpy
Giant
Barbarian
Mage
Wereboar Fire Atronach
Iron Atronach
Ghost
Wraith
Ancient Lich
Lesser Daedra
Fire Daedra
Daedra Lord

[edit] Overview of Dungeon Locations

Region Crypt Orc Stronghold Human Stronghold Prison Desecrated Temple Mine Natural Cave Coven Vampire Haunt Laboratory Harpy Nest Ruined Castle Spider Nest Giant Stronghold Dragon's Den Barbarian Stronghold Volcanic Caves Scorpion Nest Cemetery
Alik'r 23 3 6 1 26 11 14 3 1 1 0 12 0 5 3 1 0 21 21
Dragontail Mountains 20 12 13 1 1 85 48 7 5 9 3 8 5 11 2 3 29 0 48
Dwynnen 15 0 9 13 19 0 2 7 16 10 2 23 6 1 4 3 0 0 21
Isle of Balfiera 7 0 0 0 8 0 2 1 3 0 6 8 1 0 0 0 2 0 11
Dak'fron 11 3 6 7 7 11 14 1 0 3 4 9 2 5 16 2 2 22 4
Wrothgarian Mountains 25 66 0 3 3 175 127 7 25 16 4 13 11 22 4 15 55 0 114
Daggerfall 23 0 2 21 0 0 13 13 21 21 2 24 9 18 20 9 0 0 72
Glenpoint 16 0 4 3 13 3 6 11 29 16 0 8 1 2 0 0 0 0 29
Betony 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Sentinel 2 0 2 4 8 6 20 12 7 7 6 11 0 0 0 0 0 11 15
Anticlere 14 0 13 4 13 7 16 16 12 3 4 12 3 4 0 4 0 0 48
Lainlyn 3 0 8 10 8 4 2 5 1 1 5 2 2 1 0 0 0 4 17
Wayrest 6 12 8 10 16 14 4 19 14 9 7 16 3 5 0 3 1 0 40
Orsinium Area 4 24 0 0 7 6 4 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 4 0 4
High Rock sea coast 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Northmoor 3 0 2 0 6 0 0 10 4 2 12 5 2 3 0 3 0 0 27
Menevia 3 2 0 1 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 16
Alcaire 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 2 4 4 5 4 4 5 0 3 0 0 5
Koegria 1 2 0 2 0 0 4 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 6
Bhoriane 4 1 2 0 3 4 3 4 2 1 0 3 1 2 0 2 0 0 13
Kambria 6 5 8 9 2 7 7 5 5 7 0 10 3 5 0 3 0 0 17
Phrygias 1 7 3 1 3 0 2 0 0 6 0 5 2 2 0 1 0 0 8
Urvaius 1 7 6 6 6 3 4 1 3 1 0 8 2 2 0 3 0 0 11
Ykalon 7 6 6 5 5 3 14 6 8 10 0 11 16 8 0 10 0 0 22
Daenia 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 1 6 2 0 5 1 1 0 6 0 0 14
Shalgora 4 2 3 1 5 5 4 5 5 4 0 3 4 2 0 2 0 0 3
Abibon-Gora 2 3 1 2 7 2 3 1 4 5 11 2 1 3 0 3 0 6 9
Kairou 3 1 0 3 1 3 1 1 1 1 6 1 3 1 0 0 0 2 3
Pothago 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Myrkwasa 2 0 4 1 2 0 2 0 1 3 2 1 3 4 0 3 0 3 5
Ayasofya 4 2 1 5 1 1 2 0 3 0 9 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 15
Tigonus 4 5 4 2 4 5 5 3 5 2 12 1 4 2 0 4 0 11 10
Kozanset 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1
Satakalaam 1 0 1 3 0 3 5 2 0 1 0 1 3 2 0 3 0 5 10
Totambu 16 21 16 6 24 11 8 11 12 14 0 18 16 19 0 10 0 14 23
Mournoth 8 5 3 8 5 1 4 4 2 7 0 3 1 5 0 7 0 5 26
Ephesus 2 4 2 2 2 4 6 3 3 2 0 4 3 2 0 3 3 7 11
Santaki 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 7
Antiphyllos 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Bergama 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Gavaudon 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 2
Tulune 3 0 4 3 2 0 0 2 2 4 1 4 4 0 0 1 0 0 8
Glenumbra Moors 1 0 2 3 4 0 2 2 2 2 0 2 5 2 0 2 0 0 8
Ilessan Hills 16 5 12 13 14 2 12 18 11 10 0 18 18 14 0 12 0 0 42
Cybiades 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 273 206 161 161 236 387 366 192 223 190 104 265 144 163 49 127 96 115 774
4232

[edit] Dungeon Block Details

The majority of each of the models defined in BLOCKS.BSA appears to be defined in four variations: one flooded (denoted by W in the source material) and three dry (denoted N in the source material). One model (the double moats) has only two (flooded) variations because the moats are never dry. Three models (the stone arch bridge grotto, the tower of crossroads, and the checker board cellar room) never flood; they have only the usual three dry variations.

RDB Description
(Special) Main Quest Blocks
S0000000…006 Mantellan Crux
S0000020…022 Stronghold of Orsinium
S0000040…043 Palace Sentinel
S0000060…071 Shedungent
S0000080…082 Castle Wayrest
S0000100…101 Woodborne Hall
S0000120…121 Castle Llugwych
S0000140…141 Lysandus' Tomb
S0000160…161 Castle Daggerfall
S0000180…181 Direnni Tower
S0000200…205 Scourg Barrow
S0000999 Privateer's Hold
Mausoleum blocks
M* Cemetery
Border Blocks
B* Border blocks
(Normal) Dry Blocks
N0000000 Big stairs
N0000001 Big stairs
N0000002 Big stairs w/ red brick teleporter, blocking statue
N0000003 Hollow pyramid, short lever opens trapdoor teleport
N0000004 Hollow pyramid, turnwheel in upper mini-maze, skull fountain teleport
N0000005 Hollow pyramid, trapdoor over teleport exit
N0000006 Two towers with catwalks
N0000007 Two towers with catwalks
N0000008 Two towers with catwalks
N0000009 Caves, arched ramp grotto
N0000010 Caves, arched ramp grotto, treasure pile moves stone
N0000011 Caves, arched ramp grotto
N0000012 The stone arch bridge grotto [1]
N0000013 The stone arch bridge grotto [1]
N0000014 The stone arch bridge grotto, root teleporters [1]
N0000015 Wooden suspension bridge grotto, torch moves wall
N0000016 Wooden suspension bridge grotto, opened wall
N0000017 Wooden suspension bridge grotto, torch moves wall, teleporter
N0000018 Room of tapestries, small surroundings, teleporting treasure pile/brazier
N0000019 Room of tapestries, large surroundings, brazier teleporter
N0000020 Room of tapestries, large surroundings, brazier teleporter
N0000021 Flying J: no unlocking brazier in the rafters
N0000022 Flying J with unlocking brazier in the rafters
N0000023 Flying J with unlocking brazier in the rafters
N0000024 Royal audience hall, stone catwalk
N0000025 Royal audience hall, stone catwalk
N0000026 Royal audience hall, stone catwalk
N0000027 Skull teleporter scenario
N0000028 Skull teleporter scenario
N0000029 Skull teleporter scenario
N0000030 Caves, stone in crossroad
N0000031 Caves, stone in crossroad
N0000032 Caves, stone in crossroad
N0000033 Basement eight door room
N0000034 Basement eight door room
N0000035 Basement eight door room
N0000036 Red brick teleporter maze
N0000037 Red brick teleporter maze
N0000038 Red brick teleporter maze
N0000039 The tower of crossroads [1]
N0000040 The tower of crossroads [1]
N0000041 The tower of crossroads [1]
N0000042 The cellar 12-columned/checker board room [1]
N0000043 The cellar 12-columned/checker board room [1]
N0000044 The cellar 12-columned/checker board room [1]
N0000045 One floor meander, (magic) locked room in basement, often w/ 3 levers
N0000046 One floor meander, (magic) locked room in basement, often w/ 3 levers
N0000047 One floor meander, (magic) locked room in basement, often w/ 3 levers
N0000048 Long attic zig-zag, foe inside packing crate
N0000049 Long attic zig-zag, foe inside packing crate
N0000050 Long attic zig-zag, foe inside packing crate
N0000051 Attic eight door room/three floor elevator
N0000052 Attic eight door room/three floor elevator
N0000053 Attic eight door room/three floor elevator
N0000054 Caged doorway
N0000055 Caged doorway
N0000056 Caged doorway
N0000057 Flying H, zig-zag shaft [2]
N0000058 Flying H, zig-zag shaft [2]
N0000059 Flying H, zig-zag shaft [2]
N0000060 Three U's, short elevator shaft in rafters
N0000061 Three U's, short elevator shaft in rafters
N0000062 Three U's, short elevator shaft in rafters
N0000063 Flying Y: stem is a ramp leading down
N0000064 Flying Y: stem is a ramp leading down
N0000065 Flying Y: stem is a ramp leading down
N0000066 Double spirals [3]
N0000067 Double spirals [3]
N0000068 Double spirals [3]
N0000069 Y in the rafters
N0000070 Y in the rafters
N0000071 Y in the rafters
N0000072 Rafter windowed corridors
N0000073 Rafter windowed corridors
N0000074 Rafter windowed corridors
N0000075 Rafter circle of rooms
N0000076 Rafter circle of rooms
N0000077 Rafter circle of rooms
N0000078 X/H ground floor
N0000079 X/H ground floor
N0000080 X/H ground floor
N0000081 Pig sty [4]
N0000082 Pig sty [4]
N0000083 Pig sty [4]
N0000084 Spaghetti maze
N0000085 Spaghetti maze
N0000086 Spaghetti maze
N0000087 Double ovals (gray stone sewers)
N0000088 Double ovals (gray stone sewers)
N0000089 Double ovals (gray stone sewers)
N0000090 Big barn [5]
N0000091 Big barn [5]
N0000092 Big barn [5]
(Wet) Flooded Blocks
W0000000 Flooded caves, stone in crossroad
W0000001 Flooded big stairs
W0000002 Flooded basement eight door room
W0000003 Flooded hollow pyramid
W0000004 Flooded red brick teleporter maze
W0000005 Flooded two towers
W0000006 The double moats/windowed corridor
W0000007 The double moats/windowed corridor
W0000008 Flooded caves, arched ramp grotto
W0000009 Flooded Y in the rafters
W0000010 Flooded rafter windowed corridors
W0000011 Flooded rafter circle of rooms
W0000012 Flooded X/H ground floor
W0000013 Flooded royal audience hall, stone catwalk
W0000014 Flooded flying H, zig-zag shaft [2]
W0000015 Flooded three U's, short elevator shaft in rafters
W0000016 Flooded flying Y: stem is a ramp leading down
W0000017 Flooded double spirals [3]
W0000018 Flooded flying J
W0000019 Flooded long attic zig-zag
W0000020 Flooded attic eight door room/three floor elevator
W0000021 Flooded caged door
W0000022 Flooded pig sty [4]
W0000023 Flooded wooden suspension bridge grotto
W0000024 Flooded one floor meander
W0000025 Flooded room of tapestries
W0000026 Flooded skull teleporter scenario
W0000027 Flooded spaghetti maze
W0000028 Flooded double ovals
W0000029 Flooded big barn

The gaps in sequence for the specials are perfectly normal. There are no special settings left unaccounted.

The specials usually provide a unique setting for the dungeon entrance and for the location of a quest object inside the dungeon. The rest of the interior is drawn from stock pieces in b*.rdb, n*.rdb, and w*.rdb. A couple, Privateer's Hold, Scourg Burrow, and Shedungent rework common settings with different treasure drops/foes.

[edit] Place

[edit] Castles

[edit] Dungeons

[edit] Ruins

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Never floods.
  2. ^ a b c d The pieces of the "H" are corridors, with the eastern arms ramping to upper levels, usually with a small room bridging the crosspiece of the "H".
  3. ^ a b c d Clockwise and anticlockwise square ramps winding around the perimeter of the block.
  4. ^ a b c d There always seems to be a caged pig in a connecting room in the lower levels of this straight forward block.
  5. ^ a b c The one with a high open area and a naked elevator platform that rises up through empty air to a single shaft in the roof. It also has a tricky combination of levers, turnwheels, shafts, and sliding walls to open a grate blocking access to the pinnacle rooms.

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