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Designing dungeons for multiple excursions

GlaziusF

First Post
Definitely referring to the leave and come back.

I'm not a fan of "respawning" monsters, without a reason (ie, there will likely always be orcs roaming the wastelands, but if you kill all the goblins in the ruined fort, there likely won't be any the next time you pass).

In my current case, I'm roughing out a campaign that takes place over a minimally sized peninsula. It's only been recently (several centuries) populated, although there are some hints of earlier use, if not outright habitation. I want a few dungeons around, but not too many, and there's going to be a bit of a scavenger hunt going on over several adventures, and I want the players to be able to return to previously visited dungeons to search out new areas - so I need to be able to hint at these "later" areas, but somehow obstruct their immediate investigation.

Keying off of some magical or non-obvious lock is probably a good way to do this. Put an "obvious dressing feature", like cave paintings or a mural, in your early dungeons. It'll be nice for thematic continuity, making it seem like your dungeons are just monsters moving into the remnants of the Ancient Lost Civilization.

Then, to kick off the scavenger hunt, have your players witness either the "activation" of one of those murals or the aftermath thereof. Maybe it's just a well-hidden door, maybe it's a magical portal that needs special ink to link several of the images together.
 

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JDJblatherings

First Post
I'm not a fan of "respawning" monsters, without a reason (ie, there will likely always be orcs roaming the wastelands, but if you kill all the goblins in the ruined fort, there likely won't be any the next time you pass).

All the goblins are killed off so rats and other vermin turn up to feed on the goblin remains, some predators are attracted to the area because of this; the players go back because they find a map to a treasure in that ruined fort they cleared out last time. Maybe some wererats move in or possibly a necromancer moves in and animates the remains.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Another way to do this is to have a creature that can't be defeated by the party at present and requires them to either become more powerful or gain some special weapon that can be used against said creature. Possibly a Dragon or Golem guardian that they need a dragonslaying weapon to kill or a special "key" to deactivate. Alternatively there are incorporeal undead that can't be harmed by the PC's and require a ritual of some sort to lay them to rest.
 

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