One of the aspects that intrigues me about a Megadungeon is how they can feel so ‘lived in’. A standard dungeon might be completely barren of life – just ancient traps and treasures left behind – or it might still be occupied by a big bad monster or evil villain. If you greatly expand the limits of the rooms and landscape within, suddenly theirs room to add whole ecosystems, small pockets of civilisation, clans, potential allies and enemies.
I have an overall idea that several of the layers of my Dungeon23 creation will have humanoid groups living within. Remnants of a bygone age, or people seeking refuge from the calamities outside. As outlined in earlier blog posts, this ‘dungeon’ was a high-tech complex trying to save the world. Whilst it failed, and has since given way to the chaos, collapse and corruption, some pockets of the dungeon still support life.
If nothing else, offering a party potential companions/nemesis that are just trying to survive amongst the aging machinery and monstrous abominations, has the potential to create interesting scenarios and problems for the players to overcome. Unless they blast through human and monster alike without a second thought… that’s okay too.
The Plenty Project
This layer’s clan, the ‘Principles of Plenty’, occupy the northern rooms, behind a large, reinforced barricade. Whilst their population wanes and their surrounding rust and fray, the one thing that they don’t worry for is sustenance. This layer was designed exclusively for the purpose of preventing a prophesised pestilence – the northern rooms contain cutting edge food production, a.k.a. The Plenty Project.
The Principles of Plenty are not the original scientists and technicians. They are descendants of the crew that continued to work these machines as the complex expanded beneath, feeding everyone as the prophecy of a great famine came and went. A lot of the more precise knowledge about this technology is lost, but the Principles know how to work the basic functions, and repair them when they break down (which happens frequently).
Needless to say, the Principles are protective. Working these machines is akin to monks going about their practices of worship. Some of the rooms I made this week will be out of bounds to the characters, no matter how well they have ingratiated themselves with the clan. If the characters are civil, they will be allowed to rest, eat and aske questions of the clan’s leader. They will not be allowed into the production rooms.
If they party forces their way in, the clan members will fight to protect the ‘sanctity’ of their machines. The Principles know these rooms well, and how best to defend their complex when attacked. An aggressive party will experience heavy fire, choke points, hazardous chemicals, and even a couple of armoured vehicles.
Week 4 – 28 rooms complete
Week 4 is laid out thus:
22. Processing Chamber
– Conveyor belts and high tech machinery, designed for processing foodstuffs
– The machinery is rusted, dented, noisy and slow, but mostly operational.
3d6 clan members operate the system.
– 2 clan members guard the room from above in a makeshift balcony, each wielding high powered rifles.
23. Modification Chamber
– Assorted equipment designed to refine and enhance foodstuffs in order to produce high quality nutrition in large quantities
– All the equipment is now defunct. The room is hardly used due to the perpetual smell of rotted foods, industrial acid and decay.
– 2 black puddings lurk in the old vats, feeding on vermin and the occasional lone clan member
24. Record Room
– Aging back of computers, filing cabinets
– Accounts of the work carried out in this matter of the complex.
– Two swarms of spiders occupy the southern filling cabinets, attacking anything that tries to open the drawers.
25. Dining hall
– Once the main entrance to the complex
-Blast door is closed, wilted shut and reinforced
– clan have salvaged furniture and turned the space into a dining area
– 1d6 armed clan members and 3d4 noncombatants.
26. Food Store
– Once the guard post for the main entrance
– dry food in crates and sterile water in tanks
– Doors can still be closed and sealed. Door hatches allow creatures inside to use ranged attacks from cover.
27. West garage
– Despite heavy battle damage, attempts made to make this a useable space.
– Tables and chairs, board games and books on weapon racks.
– Two aging armoured vehicles protect the S entrance. Movement is limited, but the mounted guns work reasonably well.
28. South Bedroom
– One section has been sealed off due to structural damage
– Single beds and triple-layered bunk beds
– Most of the ancient equipment has been torn out and recycled
– 1d6+2 Clan members and 2d4+2 noncombatants
– Personal effects, diaries, etc. reveal details about the past of the complex
The random key word pulled from the table this week was ‘library’. This led me to create the record room, and to add extra ways that the adventurers can learn about the complex through books and diaries. Next time, I have to work out how the random word ‘song’ fits into the last corner of this layer, and the beginning of the next. Week 5 is where we hit the end of the month, so we’re going down into a new layer!
Want to read about my dungeon23 from the start? Here‘s where to start!
Please support this blog, if you can x
2 thoughts on “Dungeon23 – Week 4”
Your Principles of Plenty idea is very interesting. In particular, the thought of these folks going about their routines with an almost religious fervor feels very rich. Would be fun to see how a group would react to that.
Thank you ☺️
The challenge is going to variety – I’d like most layers to have some semi-rational peoples living in them, just got to make sure the clans all feel unique.