log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Sell me on a megadungeon

Eric V

Hero
So I guess you ended up making your choice (all of them! Good choice!) but if you were willing to do some system conversions I would have recommended Eyes of the Stone Thief in a heartbeat.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mercurius

Legend
My experiences in mega-dungeons have been... not so great. You get weary of it after a while.

Yeah, I hear you, but my sense is that is a factor of poor design and possibly implementation...there are a few qualities that a megadungeon requires to be compelling, and sometimes they aren't present, whether in the product itself or the DM's (understandable) challenges with putting it all together.

For instance, I think a huge component is lots of lore, tidbits of lost knowledge, a mystery to be solved, etc. Related to that, some kind of underlying theme that ties it all together; a backstory that makes the PCs want to understand what and why it exists - but forms more of a back-drop, rather than a railroaded meta-story that must be solved. Also, a diversity of challenges - not just yet another room filled with milling skeletons. Thirdly, not too many empty rooms. Some to allow rest, but nothing is more tedious than checking room after room for secret doors and traps and nothing's there.

As Gillespie and Runehammer discuss here, there's something deeply evocative about the idea of a megadungeon. The key is bringing that idea into reality. I love the idea of a seemingly endless maze of corridors, chambers and caverns, within which you never know what you'll encounter - be it traps, foes, treasure, or secrets of history. But again, the challenge is implementing it in such a way that the PCs want to keep coming back for more, which involves finding the right balance.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Yeah, I hear you, but my sense is that is a factor of poor design and possibly implementation...there are a few qualities that a megadungeon requires to be compelling, and sometimes they aren't present, whether in the product itself or the DM's (understandable) challenges with putting it all together.

For instance, I think a huge component is lots of lore, tidbits of lost knowledge, a mystery to be solved, etc. Related to that, some kind of underlying theme that ties it all together; a backstory that makes the PCs want to understand what and why it exists - but forms more of a back-drop, rather than a railroaded meta-story that must be solved. Also, a diversity of challenges - not just yet another room filled with milling skeletons. Thirdly, not too many empty rooms. Some to allow rest, but nothing is more tedious than checking room after room for secret doors and traps and nothing's there.

As Gillespie and Runehammer discuss here, there's something deeply evocative about the idea of a megadungeon. The key is bringing that idea into reality. I love the idea of a seemingly endless maze of corridors, chambers and caverns, within which you never know what you'll encounter - be it traps, foes, treasure, or secrets of history. But again, the challenge is implementing it in such a way that the PCs want to keep coming back for more, which involves finding the right balance.

Oh the idea is powerful, I don't know about it working for an entire campaign. Gates of firestorm speak had 4 different "zones", a few faction, a powerful story and a satisfying conclusion.

Some players are really into dungeoneering, and the megadungeon is clearly for them - but you have to make sure that all your players are on board.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Oh the idea is powerful, I don't know about it working for an entire campaign. Gates of firestorm speak had 4 different "zones", a few faction, a powerful story and a satisfying conclusion.

Some players are really into dungeoneering, and the megadungeon is clearly for them - but you have to make sure that all your players are on board.

Yes, true. This is why I want to provide one (or a few) as options within a larger sandbox environment.
 


Monayuris

Adventurer
Oh the idea is powerful, I don't know about it working for an entire campaign. Gates of firestorm speak had 4 different "zones", a few faction, a powerful story and a satisfying conclusion.

Some players are really into dungeoneering, and the megadungeon is clearly for them - but you have to make sure that all your players are on board.
I’ve had success with the mega-dungeon as tent pole concept.

The idea being that the mega-dungeon is the clear obvious activity on any given session, but there is a world beyond it.

If you want overland adventures there are other areas to explore. Likewise, if you want some political maneuvering or social interaction there are means to enjoy such.

But the mega-dungeon remains there to return to time and time again.

The key to pulling it off is to have hooks in the dungeon that lead outside and hooks outside that lead back in.

The dungeon becomes the focal point and default activity, but not the only thing to do.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top