Q. What is True Dungeon?

Founded in 2003, True Dungeon is a life-size, immersive, role-playing experience played in a walk-through dungeon environment. It combines elements of escape rooms, haunted houses, and its rules are very loosely based on the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Individual players test their gaming skills in an adventure where they battle monsters, solve puzzles, and overcome mental and physical tests of skill. Players do battle (via a shuffleboard-style combat board) with animatronic monsters and costumed actors. We provide thrilling two-hour immersive adventures for thousands of gamers all across the country.

Not a LARP, True Dungeon instead focuses on problem solving, teamwork, and tactics while providing exciting sets and interactive props. Players may find themselves creeping down a dark passageway and entering a long-forgotten crypt. After dispatching a lurking guardian, the players may have to solve a cryptic puzzle or find a secret door in order to gain a wondrous treasure chest. But this might hold a shocking surprise if not opened with care.

It takes about two hours to explore the dungeon, and teams of ten players need only bring their imagination and quick wit. No prior D&D or gaming experience is needed. In fact, a party with an array of different experience levels usually does well. This is a perfect vehicle to let some non-D&D gamers experience the fun and thrills of dungeoneering.


Q. When and where is True Dungeon?

You can check out our upcoming events here.


Q. How did True Dungeon get its start?

It all began with Jeff and a cool stick. Read the whole story here


Q. Okay... nice story... but what is the philosophy behind True Dungeon?

The decision was made early on that since we were given a big enough budget to make an actual walkthrough dungeon, we needed to do as much as we could to immerse the players into our 3D dungeon. We wanted players to experience some of those classic D&D moments that before only their characters got to enjoy. For instance, we thought, "What about rogues? Wouldn't be cool if the player with the rogue character actually got to feel what it was like to disarm an actual trap—instead of just rolling a d20? Wouldn't it be so cool if the rogue got to feel their pulse pound and their palms sweat as they carefully manipulated a device with THEIR hands—knowing full well that failure to disarm the trap might result in missed treasure or a missed clue to help your friends succeed."

With True Dungeon, we seek to immerse players within the old-fashion D&D module and let them feel what the stress of combat can do to their coordination, how hard it must be for wizards to remember all those mystical teachings, how difficult it must be for clerics to know all the tenets of their faith, and how invaluable it can be for a bard to recall the meaning on an ancient glyph.

True Dungeon's goal is to transport you into another world for a couple hours. There you find out how well YOU stack up against the adventure. You find out how well you respond to the challenges that are laid before you, while experiencing some of the classic D&D moments from your past.


Q. How do I get tickets for True Dungeon?

Tickets for most of our shows can be purchased at td.events. Tickets for the Gen Con show can only be obtained at gencon.com. Gamehole Con tickets are purchased at gameholecon.com.

WARNING: True Dungeon tickets at Gen Con sell out VERY fast... and the process can be a little crazy. To get Gen Con tickets, you must be logged in and ready to buy your tickets at the exact time tickets are available to get tickets that first day. A few days later a handful of tickets may become available as people refund TD tickets that they grabbed but no longer need.


Q. How much does it cost to play True Dungeon and what do you get with the ticket?

During the 2023 adventuring season, tickets at most non-Gen Con shows were $68, or $78 for Gamehole Con. At Gen Con, where we have the time and volunteers to really crank up the quality, a ticket for Darkhold Keep was $98 and the very special Tomb of Terror-20th Anniversary Adventure ticket was $108. But we also had a shorter adventure--with the same high quality--for $58. These prices include your admission to the event, a pack of ten random Treasure Tokens, a limited-edition Treasure Token, a limited-edition Survivor button (if your character survives), and at least three Treasure Chips that can be exchanged for draws from the Treasure generators. And yes... at first glance a ticket seems pretty expensive, but thousands of gamers scramble every year to get tickets at that price so the value is shared by many happy gamers. There is nothing like True Dungeon in the entire world, and it is a very expensive event to present with hundreds of volunteers who require convention badges, hotel rooms, and food & beverages. Plus, animatronic monsters like dragons and giants are not cheap! The event sells out quickly every year so the organizers know they could charge much more for the event, but they have always tried to keep the cost as low as possible.


Q. Can you give anything more specific about your rules?

When you attack a monster in a True Dungeon adventure, you don't roll a d20. Rather, you are given a target on something akin to a shuffleboard and a puck to hold your weapon token. Your nerves get tested as the puck you slide must come to rest within certain areas of the shuffleboard in order to hit the monster. It's a really cool way to resolve combat because all attacks are made before any hits are determined. It is possible to bump a team member's puck out of a non-hit area and into a hit area--or vice versa! This simulates the chaos of battle, and how combatants can affect each other's attack. Damage is determined by determining which side of the player's weapon token is nearest a marker on the combat board. It makes for some very exciting combats. 

Every character class has a special, real world test that they must perform in order to do their jobs. Fighters have the job of being smart and accurate on the combat table, rangers must be able to slide two discs at once effectively, clerics must be able to recall which spell focus item is best for a spell or turning, wizards must be able to recall where a plane of existence is the located to best power a particular spell, rogues must have good nerves and steady hands to pick locks and to disarm traps, and bards will have the chance to recall the meaning of ancient glyphs to gain valuable information about how to deafeat the monster.

Please download the free Player's Handbook HERE for more details.


Q. So how cool is this walk through dungeon you have made?

It is pretty darn cool--especially when you consider this is an all-volunteer effort, and that we have very little time to set up the event onsite. We work on the event's sets and props all year long, so we are pretty proud of the immersive environment we provide--given the amount of time we have to set it all up at Gen Con Indy. Also, please keep in mind that a tremendous amount of labor was donated by many people to bring you this event, so please thank your coach, DMs, and other volunteers you encounter when you get the chance.

Check out this Intro video that gives you an idea of what you can expect.


Q. Is this a popular thing?

You bet!! We are surprised and humbled every year by the increasingly awesome responses from our players. The very first True Dungeon in 2003 played host to around 400 players in an 8,000 square foot space... and during the 2018-2019 adventuring season over 15,000 adventurers met our diabolical puzzles and faced our menacing monsters at our various conventions.


Q. Are there any prizes?

At the conclusion of their adventure, all players receive at least three Treasure Chips, a token that's only available by playing that adventure, as well as Player Experience Points. In addition, if your character survived the dungeon, you get a survivor button to show off your prowess to everyone at the convention.


Q. Got any advice?


  • Use the restroom just before your event starts. If you have to leave for any reason, including needing to use the restroom, you will not be able to return to your adventure and you will not get a refund. Our saying is..."If you gotta 'go'... you gotta go."  We simply do not have the personnel to escort players out and in through the backstage areas--which are dark and can be dangerous.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! You will be standing up for a long period of time.
  • Arrive at least 15-30 minutes ahead of your start time to fill out paperwork, get to know your team members, and trade tokens to ensure everyone has equipment their character can benefit from.


Q. How difficult will the True Dungeon module be?

Pretty tough. While not in the league with the classic character-killer "The Tomb of Horrors", we fashion very challenging adventures. It is quite possible for your character to die before you reach the end of the adventure. We want it to be an accomplishment if a team makes it all the way through the dungeon, so you have something to brag about if you get through. There are various difficulty levels, from Non-Lethal to Epic. If your party agrees by unanimous vote to play on a more difficult mode, the challenges you face will be harder--possibly quite a bit harder--but you get more XP if you manage to survive on anything higher than Normal difficulty!  Make your choice wisely.


Q. What happens if my character dies?

There are some tokens that can revive a dead character, but they are fairly rare. But if your character dies and cannot be resurrected, well... they're dead. Your character may continue on as a ghost so you can at least observe the rest of the dungeon, but you are unable to speak to or help the party with combat or puzzles unless, of course, one of them has the ability to speak to the dead. No refunds are given if your character dies, so be careful!


Q. What is this about signing a waiver?

All participants are required to sign a liability waiver in order to play in True Dungeon. Nothing horrible will happen to you, but you might get a mild electric shock, get squirted with some water, be very startled, hear loud sounds, or have your brains scrambled by a difficult puzzle.


Q. What characters are used?

There are 12 different character classes to chose from. Each party consists of ten players from the following 12 classes:  barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, dwarf fighter, elf wizard, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, and wizard. More info can be found here.


Q. What is this about Player Experience Points and ratings?

This part is pretty cool. Depending on how far you make it through the module, YOU will earn Experience Points for yourself… not your character. As you go up player levels, you get certain benefits like access to a special forum section at 5th level. More info can be found here.