Building the Megadungeon
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    Building the Megadungeon

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    Last edited by Raven Crowking; Sunday, 17th July, 2011 at 12:56 PM.

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    ° Block kitsune9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking View Post
    So, in addition to working on the RCFG Player's Guide and Big Book of Monsters, I have also started work on a megadungeon to be used with that ruleset. However, the basic ideas of any setting stuff transcend rules to a great degree, and I was thinking of posting some of my processes here while I am working, for whatever interest it might have, and for whatever comments it might generate.

    First off, prior to setting pen to paper, I know that I want the megadungeon to contain both "Name" places and "Name" creatures - things that the players can use to mark their PCs' progress through the whole.

    It is far more interesting to encounter an interesting location or being that you have heard many rumours about than it is to encounter the same without any buildup. So, I first devised a list of place-names to use, which can be mentioned in rumour, scrawled messages, etc. The goal is to give the players locations to search for, and to allow them the satisfaction of locating some area that they have long desired to find.

    At this point, I don't know what these locations actually are, although the names themselves are suggestive in some cases.

    The Amber Courtyard
    The Banditĺs Roost
    The Black Hall
    The Burning Dome
    The Cerulean Well
    The Chamber of the Bronze Throne
    The Cistern of the Dun Waters
    The Cloudy Vault of Whispering Leopards
    The Copper Pool
    The Crimson Catacombs
    The Crypt of Red Markings
    The Crypt of Sleeping Dogs
    The Dripping Garden
    The Ebony Grotto
    The Green Lake
    The Groaning Arch
    The Hall of the Bitter Banquet
    The Library of Bones
    The Moving Pool of Xar Yggar
    The Perfumed Machine of Sparkling Crystal
    The Pool of Shadowed Vermin
    The Restful Chapel of St. Helmbright the Vigilant
    The River of Uncertain Dreams
    The Scarlet Gallery
    The Sea of Ivory Stones
    The Smoking Shrine of Ly Valle
    The Sour Temple
    The Spinning Chapel
    The Tapestry of Winds
    The Tawny Altar of St. McCoy
    The Verdant Caverns
    The Vermillion-Handed Idol of Destiny
    The Wandering Library
    The Waterfall of Fearful Whispers
    The Yellow Fountain

    The Banditĺs Roost will obviously be a place where bandits gather. The idea of a roost makes me want this place to span several levels, with criss-crossing rafters and hidey holes in the walls.

    The Dripping Garden makes me think of a damp, misty place where plants are growing in a sort of hanging garden. Perhaps there is also green slime, oozes, and giant slugs?

    The Moving Pool of Xar Yggar is a teleportational device, perhaps leading to other planes, or other regions of the campaign milieu.

    The Perfumed Machine of Sparkling Crystal is probably an artifact, now malfunctioning, created my a madman. Perhaps I'll name him Mull.

    The Restful Chapel of St. Helmbright the Vigilant should be a safe place for adventurers to hole up and rest.

    The Sea of Ivory Stones suggests a beach of water-smoothed bones.

    The Verdant Caverns is a series of locations with plant-based monsters.

    The Wandering Library should appear on the Wandering Encounters tables. Its location literally moves, and it may well move while the PCs are within, depositing them on a different level altogether........ Yet within its mouldering tomes can be found much knowledge of use to adventuring types. The books change location with the Library, so those who "borrow" one discover that they don't have it for long. For this reason, perhaps, there is a kind of truce in the library......Perhaps even a Librarian who enforces the peace?


    RC
    I like the Wandering Library idea. That's pretty cool.

  3. #3
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    That's a cool way to handle things, RC.

    Are you going to detail how you generate megadungeons in RCFG? I think that would be a good idea, taking people through the process that you yourself use.

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    I Defended The Walls!

    ° Block jmucchiello


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    Since at this stage you don't know what these things are this advice may be premature but you should eliminate some of the "The"s and replace then with proper nouns. IOW, It's not The Copper Pool, it's Allinar's Copper Pool. Just looking at all those The's was bothersome.

    Oh, and one other thing. The name of a place might have nothing to do with its current occupants. The Bandit's Roost might be an area that was once used by the local thieves guild until the dragon moved in. The bandits are 500 years dead but the name stuck since the dragon uses the nickname "Bandit" because he thinks it's funny.
    Last edited by jmucchiello; Friday, 24th July, 2009 at 10:15 PM. Reason: bandit!

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    Last edited by Raven Crowking; Sunday, 17th July, 2011 at 12:56 PM.

  6. #6
    That's a fine way to start. I am ever turning out "brainstorm" lists. Apart from their use when sitting down to map a new level or sub-level, or re-stock an old one, they come in handy for improvisation on those occasions when players take a corridor or staircase off the existing maps. One could have the way blocked ("under construction", if that's appropriate), but I find such sessions an interesting variation.

    Puns always creep in here and there. For instance, I have a really big, randomly appearing table always bearing a plate of temptingly fresh dinner rolls.

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    I love the names. They are very evocative. I also like the idea of including the names in rumors that the characters would pick up while out and about. I think things like that really build the scene and keep things interesting for for the player. I'm not sure if it is your intent, but it feels pretty old school to me and I like it.

  8. #8
    I like this approach. There is something in it the reminds me of old fairy-tales or myths where the hero goes looking for a "Name Monster" or a "Name Treasure" rather than just bashing random monsters for gold*. It also reminds me of old computer games where the dungeon/setting had themed levels and themed areas rather than necessarily fitting everything into the same whole.

    * Not that I dislike bashing monsters and taking their gold per se - it's very, very fun, after all . But doing something unique once in a while would also be a lot of fun.

  9. #9
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    Last edited by Raven Crowking; Sunday, 17th July, 2011 at 12:57 PM.

  10. #10
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