Dungeon23 – Week 5

We’re going deeper underground.

The end of January means the completion of the first layer of the Megadungeon, and the beginning of the next. So I needed to make sure that the first was rounded off at 31 rooms, and I needed to think ahead to what the next layer should be.

What I’ve found curious about this self-imposed project is how the ideas flow steadily. I came up with an overall idea for the whole megadungeon from the start, but I didn’t really know how I wanted the whole of Layer 1 to look until it was half-formed. As I started on Layer 2, I had even less of an idea of how it should look. Nevertheless, day by day, the mental image is developing. I don’t think I would have created the same dungeon if I’d sat down to build it in one go.

A new layer in my mega dungeon means a new time period, a new Prophecy leading to its creation, a new clan living within its halls, and new threats for the party to face.

The Prophecy Cascade

Each Layer of this dungeon was formed with the intention of preventing an apocalyptic or catastrophic event, as I’ve mentioned before. What I’d yet to decide, was what the other prophecies past the first layer actually were.

I was keen to avoid making each prophecy more extravagant or barmy that the next, but I did want each new apocalypse to need a brand new solution. That way, the old layers of the dungeon could be used to help solve the problem, but new rooms would need to be added to deal with this cascade of prophecies.

To help me decide on prophecies that made sense, were unique and were also increasingly challenging , I went a bit more geeky and turned to my teacher knowledge. I used Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

This is meant to illustrate how we have an order/priority of requirements to function (We can’t appreciate and develop our relationship needs if we are not fed and watered, etc) but it applied nicely as a template for my ever-complicating prophecies.

So the first prophecies would affect physiological needs and from then on the prophecy and the prevention would become harder to tackle as they affected more elaborate needs of the planet/people.

It’s a nerdy, overblown way of coming up with the idea for the themes of my dungeon layers, but the result is unique theme for each layer and what they will be like:

  • Layer 1 – The Famine Prophecy ✓
  • Layer 2 – The Ice Prophecy
  • Layer 3 – The Plague Prophecy
  • Layer 4 – The Ash Prophecy
  • Layer 5 – The Terror Prophecy
  • Layer 6 – The Shadow Prophecy
  • Layer 7 – The Anarchy Prophecy
  • Layer 8 – The Precog Prophecy
  • Layer 9 – The Vanity Prophecy
  • Layer 10 – The Mutant Prophecy
  • Layer 11 – The Invasion Prophecy
  • Layer 12 – The Celestial Prophecy

So the concern behind the creation of layer 1 was the psyiological need of ‘food’, and the reason for the second layer was ‘warmth’. Specifically, the prophecy warned of a sudden and dramatic fall of the planet’s temperature. Layer 2 was designed to mass produce an assortment of technology that would allow civilisation to survive this adverse climate.

Week 5 – 35 rooms complete

The completed Layer 1 looks like this:

And Layer 2 looked like this by the end of Week 5:

The rooms of Week 5 look like this:

29. N bedroom
– single, bunk and triple bunk beds made of salvaged materials
– most of the original production equipment has been removed, three of the vats have been repurposed as baths.
– 1d6 clan members, 1d4+2 noncombatants, and one veteran.
– The veteran has frequently traveled to the layer below, and has a key to operate the lift in 31.

30. Master Bedroom
– Well maintained and furnished room laid out for one person – Clan Leader.
– The leader is a Precognitive Mage, a distant descendant of the Prophet that received the Famine Prophecy.
– Various treasures, trinkets and valuable tech, including a small sound system.
– Music marks most sound from outside, but if the leader is alerted, they fight to the death to protect the clan and machinery.

31. Cargo Lift
– Initially a conference chamber for the original project.
– Converted to an industrial elevator when the 2nd layer of the complex was added.
– Key required to operate the elevator.
– 2 automated turrets fire on anyone tampering with the controls (25% chance to malfunction)

32. Cargo Lift, lower platform
– Industrial elevator connects to Layer 1
– 2 turrets and 2 guard droids protect this entrance, only attacking if aggression is witnessed anywhere on this layer (treating the targets with hostility from then on).
– being seen to tamper with any equipment on this layer will also cause the guard drops throughout to become hostile.

33. Admin Office
– Originally used to handle arrivals, resource management, etc.
– Music crackles through the sound system on a loop.
– Years of disuse, files and stationary in disarray.
– a box labelled ‘defective’ fell of a desk some time ago. The faulty ‘Micro Droids’ sealed inside now occupy the room, attacking as a swarm.

34. Cubicles
– Partitioned desks and long-dormant computer terminals.
– two electrical traps hidden under floor tiles, trigger when anyone without ID badges passes over them (recharge 10 minutes)

35. Hidden sentry posts
– Two small rooms used to guard the former entrance from behind cover.
– Automated turrets fire on anyone in room 5 without ID badges (120 degree field of view)
– Doors into out sentry posts are locked.

In Summary

My random key word for the week was ‘song’. Fairly easy to add, with the inclusion of discordant, crackly music over the speakers adding to the creepiness of this place, as well as the portable music player the group can find as treasure from the Master bedroom. ‘Gold’ is the next word, and seen as gold is a good conductor, expected to see some electrical traps soon!

Want to read about my dungeon23 from the start? Here‘s where to start!

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Author: Rufus Scott

I am a long term Gamer, a full-time History Teacher and a part-time geek. I enjoy writing about the positive aspects of gaming, especially when it comes to education. My posts are sometimes nostalgic, occasionally irrelevant, largely meant to provoke further discussion. I'll sometimes punctuate these whimsical ramblings with a random comment on gaming and/or teaching.

4 thoughts on “Dungeon23 – Week 5”

  1. Looks like you’re still coming along nicely. I’ve been reading along since the beginning but don’t believe that you have mentioned (or perhaps it’s just slipped my mind). Do you have a particular game system in mind as you write this?

    1. Keeping my options open at the moment. D&D 5th edition is my default, but that’s been somewhat soured by recent events. I know my way around Mutant and Old School Essentials too, so maybe those systems.

      Do you have a recommendation for a system for a sci-fi dungeon crawl?

      1. Oh, I was just curious. I haven’t played a SF game for 30 years. We had a Space Hero campaign for a couple years in the early 90s set in the Battlestar Galactica world. Prior to that I suppose it would have been Star Frontiers in the 80s.

        Since your project still feels like a dungeon crawl at it’s heart, I could see 5e working or maybe I’d pick up a .pdf of whatever the most popular version of Gamma World was.

        Have a great weekend!

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