Old School informed GURPS Dungeon Fantasy gaming. Basically killing owlbears and taking their stuff, but with 3d6.
I love tall ceilings as a DM:1 - Lighting. Lanterns do not light ceilings unless significantly tipped which is not advise for even the best of //oil// lanterns. Magic lighting needs to be slowly repositioned leaving time for shenanigans either above or below while those areas are in darkness. And torches are just rubbish at lighting in general, leaving empty dark voids above to instill fear with.2 - Room for 3D battles. Either with flyer/climbers or using ledges/etc for attackers to be on.My favorite dungeons while feature areas where the PCs are on 'platforms', ledges, walkways, floors, etc where there is an expense above and dropoffs below (like your GFS), where the PCs have to worry about possible attacks from below and above while they are moving across the areas. I'm surprised you've only ever had them attacked on the stairs in response to their own actions (IE when retreating under attack brought them to the stairs).
I'm curious why you'd say that magical lighting sources need to be slowly re-positioned.In my games, the most common light sources are max-brightness Continual Light spells on stones worn on the neck; they broadcast a fairly large area of light.Also in my games, the PCs are the most extensive users of flight. High ceilings are a net positive for them - they'll use Levitation and Walk on Air to engage in melee from a higher position with 2-hex weapons, use missile spells, or use missile weapons. Flying opponents are not as common as flying PCs.Also, you've missed a lot of attacks on stairs if you think it's only when the PCs retreat that it has happened.
"I'm curious why you'd say that magical lighting sources need to be slowly re-positioned."I keep forgetting the spell allows Move 5. I house ruled it a million years ago to "on the Wizard or Move 1"... and I tend to forget what the actual spells says. But even at Move 5, it's a candle's light, so a large room with rather tall ceiling will take some time."In my games, the most common light sources are max-brightness Continual Light spells on stones worn on the neck; they broadcast a fairly large area of light."Mine like to have MAX BRIGHT light stones in pouches, but wear min or torch light stones for 'stealth' purposes."Flying opponents are not as common as flying PCs."Inversely I have the opposite. Usually by the time the Wizard bothers to pick up Flight either the game is winding down or they die shortly thereafter."Also, you've missed a lot of attacks on stairs if you think it's only when the PCs retreat that it has happened."Probably. I mean, I've been reading their adventures for what? 6 years now (my reading, you've been running for just over 8 I think). Figure I've forgotten plenty.
They've been assaulted on the stairs often enough that they're paranoid about the big, open staircases. Puddings, oozes, traps on the stairs, and speeding blades leap to mind as problems they've confronted while taking them down or up.
"I tend to make dungeons with lower ceilings, but here we are."What sort of average height would you be willing to share?I've always liked using ceiling height as a way to make an area feel cramped or open.
10-12' in hallways and "tall" rooms might go up to 25'. Usually they're also 10-12' or so.
Do you run bonuses/penalties for different heights? It's not nearly as lopsided as flying overhead and stabbing faces with a 2 yard spear, but even with a 10 ft. Ceiling, you could pick up a 3 to 4 foot height advantage. Might not be worth the FP/combat time though. But as risk adverse in combat as your group seems, I'd be surprised if they didn't squeeze that out when they dont havè a better use for the FP.
We use the simplified rules for relative height from the DFRPG. They always leverage height for an advantage.