D&D 5E Megadungeon delving as a campaign’s core; is it compatible with modern play?


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Mad_Jack

Legend
"Ick" in the door?

Yep, sounds like D&D played by 8-year-olds. :)

Technically, if you're a black dragonborn, "ick"ing in the door (or the lock) is a perfectly valid way to get through it, lol... :p


Gotta come out sometime, and it could be that the longer you wait, the worse it becomes.

Yeah... The PCs might want to come out and Do Something once they see the monsters start stacking up firewood around the outside of the hut, piling up large stones all over it or rolling up with wheelbarrows full of bricks and mortar...
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Gotta come out sometime, and it could be that the longer you wait, the worse it becomes.
Exactly. I still roll my random encounter checks. If a sentient creature comes upon it, it'll likely check it out. I may wait around for a while and then wander off. Party feels good about their protective hut. Until a little later, the creature comes back with companions. Curiosity builds and more and more denizen show up. At fifth level are even low second tier, this can be terrifying.

The next time this happens, after the first creature discovers it, they are much more likely to drop the hut and try to sneak away after the creature wanders off, or try to quickly surprise and kill that creature and find a safer place to try to get their long rest again.

I don't prevent them from using it. Most times it works out, unless they pick a very poor spot with lots of traffic. But there should always be a chance of things going wrong.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Now I want to make up an encounter with a multi-generational micro-society that has come up inside a Tiny Hut that has been cast via ritual in perpetuity - never able to leave because more and more monsters make their home in the area, who have developed a religious belief system that one day the opaque pimple shall burst and the gods will award them with the tasty treats within! :LOL:
Actually that's brilliant. Even if not taken that far.

It would be fun to have an encounter where a wizard is alone in a his Tiny Hut, and has been stuck there for months or years. Perhaps the rest of his party died and he cast the spell to protect himself, only to have his hiding spot discovered and the enemies just set up an encampment around it. Perhaps the wizard has a relic his party had stolen giving the enemies further reason to continue their vigil for such a long time. I would have the enemies be something like Hobgoblins that have high discipline but not easy access to higher level magic. I'm totally going to throw this in as an encounter.
 

Mad_Jack

Legend
Actually that's brilliant. Even if not taken that far.

It would be fun to have an encounter where a wizard is alone in a his Tiny Hut, and has been stuck there for months or years. Perhaps the rest of his party died and he cast the spell to protect himself, only to have his hiding spot discovered and the enemies just set up an encampment around it. Perhaps the wizard has a relic his party had stolen giving the enemies further reason to continue their vigil for such a long time. I would have the enemies be something like Hobgoblins that have high discipline but not easy access to higher level magic. I'm totally going to throw this in as an encounter.

Also works great for most undead short of a liche - patience is a virtue, after all... :p
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Funny, out of all the mega dungeons I've run in 5E, not once, in 7 years, has any player taken or used LTH. Maybe rope trick once or twice. As far as I'm concerned, all these concerns about LTH etc are whiteroom theory problems that don't exist in my games. And if they ever do, I'm well aware of all the counter measures to them. (Maybe that's why my players don't use them, because they know I'm smart enough to counter tem as needed.)
My experience is the opposite. Part of it may be because the dungeon is so huge it is no small feat to travel out of it. Even now that the party is at high levels, teleporting out means that things could be much worse when they come back and they may have to "start over" in clearing out an area or completing their current objective.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Plus finding a safe place to short rest (perhaps in a chamber behind a secret door) becomes yet another exploration challenge.

This seems, to me, to bring up the Coco Chanel moment....

The question in the OP was about making megadungeons compatible with modern play. Given that folks have limited time at the table, the typical old megadungeon play must be edited down to allow space for the modern play moments to happen.

Which megadungeony concerns do we set aside, then?
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
This seems, to me, to bring up the Coco Chanel moment....

The question in the OP was about making megadungeons compatible with modern play. Given that folks have limited time at the table, the typical old megadungeon play must be edited down to allow space for the modern play moments to happen.

Which megadungeony concerns do we set aside, then?

Can you explain what you mean by "modern play" here?

Limited time at any given session doesn't preclude serialized play.
 

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