Marcel Schmelzer gave Dortmund the lead in the 37th minute with an unstoppable free-kick but Per Nilsson levelled six minutes into the second half.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who rested several of his regulars, saw his side come close to losing the game in the last minute before Sokratis Papastathopoulos nearly won it.
A draw between these two sides early last season contributed to Dortmund falling too far behind Bayern Munich to challenge for the title but with a two-point advantage over their rivals coming into the game, the Westphalians were hoping for a more positive outcome to extend their lead.
However, they almost fell behind in the 20th minute when Mike Frantz's shot looped onto the crossbar with Roman Weidenfeller close to getting his fingertips to the ball.
Dortmund struggled to get their usual game together with Klopp leaving the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nuri Sahin on the bench.
It was hardly surprising, therefore, that when they did take the lead, it came from a set-piece.
Full-back Schmelzer stepped up to the ball 25 yards from goal and, in the absence of Sahin and Lewandowski, boosted his claim to become the regular set-piece taker with a pin-point curling effort into the top right-hand corner.
Their lead lasted until five minutes into the second half when a free-kick struck Neven Subotic and fell for Nilsson to drill a shot past Weidenfeller, the ball grazing the Dortmund keeper's face on its way in.
Klopp sent on his crown jewels to try to snatch victory and Lewandowski wasted a great chance in the 77th minute when he shot straight at Rafael Schafer after Jonas Hofman's shot was blocked.
With the Westphalians taking more and more risks, a gap opened up for Alexander Esswein, who placed his shot over the angle of post and crossbar from the edge of the area.
And with the scheduled stoppage time over, a corner from the left was met by Papastathopoulos but he sent his header straight into the arms of Schafer.