This page provides general information on what to expect when exploring dungeons. Here, dungeons is being used as a general term to refer to the underground sections of all the various places in the game: Nordic ruins, forts, caves, mines, etc. Some of the information is also relevant to any place where you are likely to encounter random creatures and/or loot.
 Types Of Dungeons
Most dungeons have a simialr layout to other dungeons of that kind ,you can often expect dungeons to delve deeper into the underground rather than surface. Many dungeons also include a quick escape route at the very end after you've dealt with the final challenge [if there is one], sometimes there will be a little corridor connecting onto a door that can only be opened from one side so you have to go through the entire dungeon first.
Occupants in dungeons vary greatly depending on your level and what kind of dungeon it it ,for example in Nordic ruins you can expect to see alot of Draugr whereas in an fort you might see more bandits. Not all occupants are hostile however ,occasionally there may be fellow adventurers ,or NPC's with a specific purpose. For the most part expect hostility though.
Generally, most inhabitants of a single cave or ruin will be friendly towards each other (so they team up on the player's character instead of just fighting against each other). This is accomplished by using Factions. If the faction currently likes the player they will not bother you ,but if you do something to anger them [like stealing or killing someone] they will attack. All of them.
Most dungeons have some sort of Traps somewhere inside , sometimes they are obvious ,sometimes they are not. Generally if something seems like its just too easy [walking through a long empty hallway devoid of enemies] there could be a trap somewhere. Many of these traps can be used against your enemies ,like luring them into the path of a battering ram or leading them through flame spouts. Traps of a particular sort are generally associated with a specific type of dungeon ,i.e. swinging blades are often found in Nordic ruins.
Generally loot refers to any and all items that have value or worth. Loot may include [but is not limited to] armor and weapons ,scrolls ,gold and books. Some items you come across may be enchanted or magical in nature. Even rarer are Artifacts powerful items that are unique in the world. Loot can usually be found in chests ,but may reside in barrels ,sacks ,coffins ,or other containers ,of course it may just laying around on the floor or a pedestal. Occupants of the dungeon often have loot of some kind , whether it's their armor or weapons or some gold floating in their pockets.
There are many different strategies going through dungeons ,not limited to what is listed below.
Sometimes the best way through is to simply run through the entire dungeon grab the loot and get out ASAP. Light armor or no armor at all will allow you to move faster ,and only a few attacks to clear enemies are necessary. The problem with this strategy is that you gain very little experience becuase you will generally be running by everything that gets you experience.
If you sneak by you might not have to deal with the occupants and still get some loot, although sneak attacks often do damage multipliers. Sneaking even has perks that ensure you do not set off pressure plates for traps. Sneaking will sometimes take longer though because you walk much slower.
Currently working on this page as a sandbox ,to post everything at once since the page does not yet exist. If you have any ideas please feel free to post them on the discussion page I'm going to try and base it off of the Oblivion Dungeons.