Empty Spaces in a Dungeon

A dungeon should be a series of interesting choices, and anything that doesn’t contribute to that should be minimized. A purely empty room doesn’t contribute anything, so if you feel you need them for verisimilitude or on the off chance they’ll provide tactical options in case a fight or chase happens nearby you should spend the least amount of time possible describing them and let the players move through them quickly to the next interesting bit. Similarly, rooms filled with trash or red herrings are just tests of the player’s patience: can you bore them ’til they skip over something relevant isn’t a game you should be playing (imo). Dungeons become much more interesting if every place you stop to describe something at least contains some clue as to what might be nearby or something that might be useful elsewhere in the dungeon. Let them fast-forward through everything that’s just blank or has zero-information choices like left or right down identical blank corridors.

The one exception I can think of is sometimes moving through¬†empty rooms can build tension, but that only works if you establish that the fact you’ve dropped into turn-by-turn describing empty areas means that something is about to go down. If you deliberately do the opposite so the players won’t “meta-game” that they’re about to encounter something significant you lose that opportunity. ¬†If you’re playing a D&D-like, you’ve already got surprise rolls to determine if the characters have let their guard down, you don’t need to inflict tedium on the players until they make sub-optimal decisions.