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 17

This week, as I approach the fifth month and fifth level of my Megadungeon, I’ve been thinking about death.

Specifically, whether or not anyone is still alive in this dungeon from when it was a properly functioning, high-tech facility. I already decided there would be friendlier NPCs mixed in with the monsters, to offer aid and drop nuggets of lore as the adventurers explore.

Now though, I’ve come to the decision that as the heroes delve deeper, they will see and hear from those responsible for this place. Old and wrinkly at first, in the first/older levels, but increasingly more spritely the more we descend.

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Dungeon23 – Week 16

It can be quite morbid, sometimes, creating a dungeon. This week I decided hundreds of refugees and dozens of engineers were either eaten by a giant worm or taken over by its parasitic offspring. Now, the halls of this institute are abandoned, and the half-starved, worm-infested drones lie in wait for new food and hosts to come stumbling through their lair…

…so how was your week?

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Dungeon23 – Week 14

“How would you prevent a super volcano from erupting?”

This was the question I posed on the internet last week. That’s what planning or creating for any TTRPG does to you. Whether you are writing law or drawing maps, you find yourself researching the wildest, most obscure, niche ideas and concepts.

The best part is that, no matter how odd the query, someone on the internet has the answer, or had the same random thought. In this case, NASA had an answer for me too; they are already plotting to stop a volcano themselves.

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Dungeon23 – Week 13

91 Rooms. 3 Layers.

The time is flying by, and I’ve managed to keep up the momentum. I’ve had a few last-minute, near-misses, but so far the rooms have all be done on the right day.

This week, I only had one decision to make. I knew what I wanted for the last few rooms, but I still needed a boss for this level. I wanted something hiding behind the deadly growths in the laboratory, that had to be beaten in order to progress.

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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 2

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’…

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Dungeon23 – Week 1

I was seeing a lot of cool dungeon ideas online over the last few months, more than usual, with the hashtag #Dungeon23. I appreciated the creativity, but I did not think of google what this meant.

Then, just before Christmas, a friend introduced me to Dungeon23 and what the exercise was. Here is the original post, which explains the very simple concept:

A little bit of dungeon designing, every day, for a year. I was on board immediately. Some people are well into their ‘Megadungeons’ at this point, but I decided to what until the 1st to begin, alongside the friend who clued me in.

I’m onto room number 10 today, below is what my Dungeon looked like by the end of Day 7:

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