With that in mind, I used the Labyrinth Lord rules together with some old 1/2e D&D references to come up with some quick and easy rules for keeping track of time, light, and movement inside a dungeon environment. The rules are intended to be used with D&D Next (I'll be using them with my PbP playtest), but are suitably generic that they can be dropped into most D&D compatible settings (though I do reference advantage and disadvantage in the lighting rules, to stay consistent with the playtest rules for blindness- you can easily enough sub your own penalties as appropriate). Credit to GX.Sigma at EN World for the original inspiration for these rules.
|Item||Bright Radius||Dim Radius1||Duration|
|Torch||20 foot sphere||40 foot sphere||1 hour|
|Lantern, Bullseye||60 foot cone||120 foot cone||6 hours/pint|
|Lantern, Hooded2||30 foot sphere||60 foot sphere||6 hours/pint|
1.This region is considered Lightly Obscured for stealth/perception purposes.
2. As an action, you can reduce the light range of a hooded lantern to 5’ of Lightly Obscured shadow.
|Light Level||Attack Penalty||Defense Penalty||Perception Penalty|
|Lightly Obscured||-1 to hit||-1 to AC||Disadvantage|
|Total Darkness||Disadvantage||Disadvantage||Auto-fail for sight-related checks; Disadvantage and a -4 penalty for attempts to ‘feel for’ something.|
Exploration Movement is cautious movement that occurs typically in unfamiliar settings or in potentially dangerous (but not difficult, in the rules sense) terrain. Exploration movement is slow enough that you have a chance (Perception check) to avoid ambushes or detect tripwires and traps, but is not nearly as thorough as stopping to search the area that you are in. At Exploration Movement speeds, you will typically notice significant landmarks (places where a trail or corridor branches or intersects, trail markings, signposts, etc.) without needing to check against Perception. At faster rates of movement, your chances of noticing ambushes or traps are significantly penalized, and you may need a Perception check to avoid missing a turn-off or other significant terrain features (but you generally won’t run off the edge of cliffs or anything like that). At running/galloping speeds, you have no chance to detect ambushes or traps, and may blunder into unseen hazards (drop-offs, hairpin turns, low tree branches or doorways, raised thresholds) without warning. Difficult terrain reduces the movement speeds below by half; dim lighting provides a 25% reduction in the Exploration Movement rate, and total darkness reduces it to ⅓ of the values given below.
|Base Move Rate||Exploration Movement/Min||Exploration Movement/Turn|
|20 ft./rnd||40 ft.||400 ft.|
|25 ft./rnd||50 ft.||500 ft.|
|30 ft./rnd||60 ft.||600 ft.|
|Check a 10’ x 10’ room for traps or secret doors1||1 turn|
|Search a 20’x20’ room2||1 turn|
|Short Rest||1 turn|
|Long Rest||8 hours (48 turns)|
|Listen for noise||1 round|
|Force a door||1 round|
|Search a 5’ square, piece of furniture, etc.3||1 round|
|Lock picking attempt4||1 minute|
|Attempt to jam or disable a trap5||1 minute|
1. This represents a very slow, methodical search. If traps are present, a Perception check will reveal the presence of the trap, and if that is failed a Dex check will avoid triggering the trap.
2. This is a faster search, generally made after the searcher is confident that traps are not present. If a trap was missed during the earlier search, it will be triggered on a failed Dex check (or according to the specific rules for that type of trap).
3. This search is mostly used during combat timekeeping to reflect rifling through a desk looking for a key, or trying to find the trigger for a trap door or switch-controlled door on a wall or floor. Obviously, there is some subjective territory in between a focused search of a single portion of a room and searching the entire room, but that’s what DMs are for.
4. This reflects a single attempt- successful or not- at opening a lock. Depending on the rule variation in use, multiple attempts at a single lock may be possible.
5. This represents a single attempt to render a trap permanently inert. At the player’s choice, the trap can be either permanently jammed/disabled or effectively destroyed. If the trap is temporarily disabled, it can be re-enabled with another successful Disable Trap attempt. Failed attempts at disabling or enabling a trap may trigger the trap, and multiple attempts may or not be allowed at the DM’s discretion. Destroying a trap outright (burning it, hitting it with an axe) may also be an option, though they may be more likely to trigger the trap in the process.
A PDF version of these rules is available here: D&D Exploration Quick Reference