Dungeon23 – Week 20

20 weeks! The time is flowing by, and somehow I’m keeping up with the Dungeon23 expectation. Some rooms are drawn very late in the evening, but so far I’ve managed to keep up the momentum.

This layer continues to be a develop into a work space for an international counter-terrorism group. This week we’re building the crucial living and workspaces for the ‘Magnus Ultores’, many of which are still around with nothing better to do than give the adventurers a hard time.

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Dungeon23 – Week 19

Sometimes it is okay for a room to be empty. I keep having to remind myself of this fact. In any good dungeon crawl, an empty room is highly likely. That empty space might add some flavour to the complex, offer a safe space or contain a hidden treasure… but it really doesn’t need to. In any structure, there’s a room that doesn’t get used that often.

When I first started on the MegaDungeon, I was fully aware that on busy days I could simply write “empty room” and move on. I’ve been finding this hard to do, however. I feel a compulsion to include at least something in every space.

This week’s rooms (and this layer) are significantly less populated than those previously mentioned. There’s still a little something in every space, but in this case the lack of presence here tells a grim story.

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Dungeon23 – Week 18

Politics at my gaming table isn’t expressly forbidden, but it is discouraged. If someone starts talking about real world issues during our dice-rolling escapism, they will be politely, lovingly (and somewhat jokingly) booed.

Fantasy politics on the other hand, now that’s a different thing. Learning the underhanded espionage and deep-rooted corruption of a pretend place is deeply interesting, and comes with no burdens. So long as the lore is not based on the real world with all the names changed…

With that in mind, Layer 5 of my megadungeon concerns pretend global terrorism.

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Dungeon23 – Week 15

‘Magic’ and ‘mad scientist’ have something in common. They are both great ways of handwaving away logic from your storytelling. How did the villain build their evil lair on a cloud? Because they used magic/they are a mad scientist! Why do they want to turn everyone into bunny rabbits They were corrupted by the magic/the scientist is mad, don’t ya know!

My issue (it’s not really a problem, but you know what I mean) is that the Megadungeon I’ve established has been more Science than Magic, and the ‘dungeon’/institute is based on very sane and sensible scientists.

So if I want to put a big monster into Layer 4 of the dungeon, that’s based on future science gone wrong, I have to put some careful thought into how they came to be

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Dungeon23 – Week 12

Laboratories are a great place for horror. So are hospitals, anywhere that’s clean and white and sterile makes for a great contrast with whatever gore you want to paint on the walls.

That is the basis of Layer 3 in the megadungeon. A pristine living area, whose residents constantly fight back against the growths that fill the neighbouring laboratories.

So last week I finally got to invent and draw the icky part of this two-tone dungeon layer.

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Dungeon23 – Week 11

If it wasn’t for the ever-present danger, the rooms I’ve been making this week would be rather cosy.

In direct defiance of the idea that every room in an adventure should be a threat, I’ve gone completely the other way and made the first half of layer 3 entirely habitable. Sure, if the adventurers again the residence it could quickly become a bloodbath, but if they play their cards right, the heroes will have a rather nice spot to rest.

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Dungeon 23 – Week 10

Beginning the third layer of my dungeon, I wondered whether the people living here should be evil. I’ve had two layers where you can be friends with those living there, but it’s a challenge… and whether or not it’s worth it is debateable.

I pulled back on having the next group be monstrous, because I wanted them to cooperate with those above. They have their own quirks, dangerous if treated the wrong way, but there’s common sense in them.

In the end, that has led to the general feel of this layer. It’s a world of two halves. In the north, the scientist crew lives in ordered, gleaming, clean rooms, dedicated to keeping the otherworldly growths constantly spewing from the overgrown laboratories in the south.

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Dungeon 23 – Week 9

Boss battles are not necessary for a good adventure, but they sure can ensure a great one. Having a big enemy every not and then to contend with raises the stakes, and also boosts the feeling that you are making great progress.

Layer one of my megadungeon doesn’t really have a major boss. The leader of the Principles is slightly stronger, but not by a great margin. The leader of the Tungsten Line is very much Boss material.

So far in this dungeon, negotiating with the clans within can prove fruitful. Whilst the rest of the Tungsten Line are semi-rational creatures, ‘The Tungsten Supervisor’ is not going to let any unauthorised personnel wander ‘his domain’. When the party have to contend with this strange creature, the rest of the clan will be more than happy to look the other way; they aren’t fans of their Supervisor either…

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Dungeon 23 – Week 8

Let’s make some robots!

I’ve not made too many creatures for my Megadungeon yet, because I haven’t landed on what game I want to run it in yet. I default to 5th Edition D&D, but I’ve also been introduced to Old School Essentials recently, and in the recent issues with WOTC, I’ve been giving Pathfinder the side-eye.

Having said that, building monsters is fun. To me anyway, and I’ve been looking at the robotic, colour-coded ‘Sentries’ in my notes and wondering what they would look like.

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Dungeon 23 – Week 7

Nobody poops in a Table Top RPG. Our characters eat and drink – in some games that’s how you heal – and we need to pay some attention to where the next meal is coming from. We have to think about what we’re wearing, at least in terms of armour. But we never need to care about where and when we poop.

Of course, we don’t really need to roleplay our bathroom breaks. I just found it odd the other day, when I was adding bathrooms to my mega dungeon, that I don’t remember the last time I saw a toilet on a battle map.

It’s not how I expected to break ground with my map making. But it does help to make the ‘dungeon’ feel like the clans can live and survive here, as well as allowing the party to have a toilet break without trekking all the way back to a bush outside…

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