One of the options for this lengthy creative project is to turn to random tables and generators for inspiration for what can be found in each room. I haven’t needed to do this (yet) because I have a reasonable grasp of what I want to do on this month’s layer. Yet, the original post about Dungeon23 came with a list of key-word prompts, and I’m inclined to use them. Not so much to inspire me when I’m stuck, but to see if I can add a twist to the idea I already have.
In week 1, the prompt picked for me from the list (my wife picked a number from 1 to 52) was ‘cut’. So some of the first seven rooms have doorways cut off from fallen debris, and there are strange lazer burns in the floor and ceiling that all suggest a great battle once surged on the land above , adding a layer of intrigued to the dungeon I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
In week 2, my random prompt was ‘idol’…
Layer 1 – The Famine Prophecy
As I mentioned last week, this mega dungeon was the grand attempt of civilization to outmanoeuvre the dark fate laid out by a series of increasingly apocalyptic prophecies. This was not a dungeon at its creation, but several tiers of laboratories, conference chambers, computer banks and bleeding-edge industry trying to expand and develop until an apocalypse finally slipped through.
This first layer was built to prevent “The Famine Prophecy”. The complex was tasked with mass producing foodstuffs on a huge scale.
In later weeks, I’ll be adding the grand production rooms, but in week 2 I worked on the residential quarter. These were the rooms where the scientists and technicians lived whilst they worked on this momentous task.
When the adventures arrive, this section is sealed from the outside. A long time ago, the constructs that served and protected this layer went haywire, treating everyone as a hostile, even other sentries. The residential zone was considered a lost cause and welded shut.
If the party chooses a cordial approach to the clan that lives on this layer, the so-called ‘Principles of Plenty’ will look kindly on them if they clear the remaining constructs from the residential sector.
Week 2 – 14 rooms complete
I’d already decided what was lurking in the residential sector, so when the prompt ‘idol’ was selected, I added a quirk: there is a chapel in this section and the idol on the altar acts as a control column for the sentries. Sadly, no one made it to the chapel when the sentries turned Terminator.
So, because of the prompt, the main construct lurking here is a deadly foe that low-level characters should flee from, but its possible to solve the issue non-violently.
With the residential area finished, I also committed to the ‘idol’ prompt by adding a shrine room on the way to the laboratories. One thing I need to do now is work out the pantheon for this shattered world.
Here’s how the rooms for week 2 play out:
– Rudimentary place of worship/meeting hall
– Stone altar and lecture, leather-bound chairs
– Room is remarkably intact, undamaged
– Shrine on altar to unknown god, appears nature based
9. Blasted Bed Chamber
– Once a grand room for a high ranking officer
– Blast damage, blackened, a violent attack in the past
– Bone fragments amongst the shrapnel of the bed chamber
– 1d6+2 Shadows of former clan members appear here if the party lingers.
10. Incinerated Canteen
– Extensive fire damage, charred humanoid remains
– Large sentry-construct blocks W corridor.
– Sentry is a challenging fight. Spends two rounds commanding creatures to halt, before unleashing a devastating fire attack every 3 rounds (regardless of attempts to surrender)
– The sentry bears markings similar to the icon on the shrine in Room 8. Can be used to command the sentry to stand down.
11. Charred Kitchen
– As with room 10, the kitchen is devastated by fire damage, and charred remains are everywhere.
– The construct in the corridor between 10 and 11 fills the width and height of the passage. Luring it out or retreating are the only ways to pass.
12. Rotten Guardroom
– Fungal growths have spread across the eastern walls and floor.
– Both constructs have been overtaken and ruined by the growth.
– Hazard: Erupting Spiked Fungus. When disturbed, these small growths release their barbs. The pressure is so great that anything within 30 feet must make a dex save. 1in4 chance that the barbs strike another Spiked Fungus, causing a chain reaction.
13. Shrine Room
– 3 statues stand on a stone plinth that spans the length of the E wall.
– Each figure seems to depict a different nature-based deity from another world (pantheon to be invented)
– Strangely, the fungal growth and Erupting Spikes have not grown across the plinth.
14. ‘clean room’
– once a decontamination room. Fungal growths cover almost every surface – Str check required to slide the encrusted doors open.
– bank of showers, floor drains, vents in the ceiling, lockers on the E wall.
– TRAP: first creature that enters the room triggers ‘decontamination’. The malfunctioning system spews a noxious mist into the room.
I can’t imagine I’ll get through all 365 rooms without turning to guides and tables for inspiration, but at the moment I know where I’m going, and the single word prompt adds an extra layer of depth/challenge. Currently, I’m building out the science sector, with ‘mask’ as my random prompt. More on that next week!
Want to read about my dungeon23 from the start? Click here!
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