Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

88

By definition, nothing's going to happen in an empty room (though see below). There are no hidden doors to find, no puzzles to solve, no enemies to fight. So what's their purpose? Bringing the dungeon to life While all the orcs may sit around in a guard room waiting for PCs to show up, where do they sleep, what do they eat, what happens to their trash? ...


24

Three ideas for you: Secret nuclear bunkers (we have loads of them in the UK, e.g. Scotland’s Secret Bunker) Every major city sits on top of miles of tunnel networks like, metro tunnels, sewerage system and mysterious tunnels to no where... There are also many underground cities that could be abandoned in your postapocalyptic future. Edit I failed to ...


19

Do you know the room is empty? (Of course you do.) Do your players know? How do they know? Is the room totally smooth material without a single crack or joint? That would be most unusual, and hence interesting. Dungeons are typically uneven and roughly hewn, run-down by poor climate, and probably not entirely clean. Is there as much as a piece of rotting ...


15

I created a mega-dungeon in an arcology for a sci-fi game once. The bottom layers were sewers, maintenance tunnels, etc, and largely un-used, even in the arco's heyday, and this was long past it. The fun part was that unlike most dungeons, the progression was UP towards the goal, not down.


12

Clues and Map scraps. First they need a clue to point them in the right general direction. That's fairly easily accomplished by the usual methods, whatever works in your game. Next: if the party finds, buys, is given a partial map (mapscrap), that gives them the essential tool to go find the objective (macguffin). But don't think in terms of classic maps, ...


11

One of the most brilliant analysis of dungeons was written by Melan and can be found on Enworld here. He develops a technique of analyzing how various dungeon flows by using line diagrams. He uses it to analyze several newer and older dungeons including some classics. To summarize, dungeons that are laid out where their encounter proceed in a linear ...


10

I believe that a megadungeon is one in which the campaign is intended to focus around. So it is not just a huge dungeon, but one where the game's buy-in is the idea that the players will be traversing the dungeon for pretty much the entirety of their careers. Otherwise I don't think there are many defining features. Some megadungeons seem to try to present ...


10

If I were you I'd go for one of these options: a) The Megadungeon is a city. Either someone decided that building underground was a sensible move due to unfavourable conditions on the surface (ice age? magic fallout? a desert world like in Dune?), or your party is a group of outsiders among a race of underground dwellers (Dwarfs, basically - have you ...


10

Not yet mentioned: out of control nanobots endlessly building an enormous structure for purposes unknown. This can be as large or as small as you want. It can even be so large as to be the cause of the apocalypse.


10

Build a dungeon that goes up instead of down, in an abandoned skyscraper. Clog the fire escape stairs so that the players must wind their way through, looking for ways to get to the top where the creature they are hunting lairs. Traps natural and unnatural would be abundant. Holes in ceilings allow players to traverse levels, and make good use of rogue ...


9

Any human-build and by the time of the game play mostly abandoned or "re-purposed" structure in a hazardous environment works well. It leaves the player characters with only few ingress and egress points, which can also be limited as to how big the equipment carried through them can be and at which times they are usable at all. If the dangerous environment ...


9

The underground, high-tech laboratory complex where the cause of the apocalypse originated. You can fit a lot of details into that theme that reinforce your group's connection to the history of the setting. Parts of the complex will still be working; parts will be in ruin; evidence of the apocalypse's genesis will be available in some locations, allowing ...


8

Give them a map or turn-by-turn directions, but make them slightly unreliable. Maybe an old adventurer tells them the story of the tome he dropped in the pit in the lower level: "If you go down to the crossroads--you know the one I'm talking about, right?--it's the right passage, which you take for a while till it hits the kobold warrens. On the other side ...


8

No, but there is some excellent support to roll your own Theoretical discussion There is little official support (discussion), however with the rise of fourthcore, there is homebrew mechanical support for one. There is a recommendation to use masterplan as the basis, and some important options to consider: Will the Dungeon be fully mapped (like the ...


8

If at all possible I would go with a system that you are familiar with. Running something like this is stressful enough on its own, and introducing a set of rules you don't know well will slow things down and add extra complications. I would get rid of the idea of using XP individually, and level up all characters at the same time. You could also have ...


7

p.marino's answer covered how to include a megadungeon in a setting fairly well, so I'll talk a bit about how to make a megadungeon a larger part of your setting, maybe even the entire setting. More specifically, I'll focus on questions you should ask yourself about your megadungeon to help you build the story around it. Once you've decided on the answers ...


7

First, as this is a very recent post, I recommend Sly Flourish's "Making Awesome Dungeons" as well as the classic 5 room dungeon concept. 5 room dungeons are perfectly adaptable to megadungeons: recursively create 5 room dungeons until you have "way too many" rooms. Tool-wise, use Masterplan to create the adventure framework and PyMapper with resources ...


7

Empty of threat, but there can be plenty of other things to make it interesting: Maybe it's just a smell (pleasant or not) the corpse/bones of a past adventurer (looted) some small inconsequential animals that flee (spiders or normal sized rats) There could also be something potentially useful: Maybe there's a pool of water that could be made potable ...


6

The dungeon has multiple, interconnected levels or zones The further you go the more dangerous it gets An entire campaign can take place in and around the mega-dungeon Past mega-dungeons include World's Largest Dungeon, Monte Cook's Dungeon a Day, and Dungeon Crawl Classics #50 (the boxed set).


6

The simplest method is the in media res mode: "You finally arrived at the rubble pile beneath the opening, rubble which is relatively fresh. This seems to be the place the patrol mentioned. Now, it falls to you to explore and pacify it. As you look, you notice that the air inside is fresh..." The second is to have a map of the major central area, the "safe" ...


6

in a futuristic/postapocalyptic setting, how can I thematically create a megadungeon? If you want a strong running theme for the whole thing, I would suggest looking at some real world examples of massive areas ruled by a theme. How and if the original theme survives the apocalypse is up to you. It is possible the area is re-discovered and the theme ...


5

A malfunctioning teleport system Pick a range of options already suggested by the other answers and link them with a semi-functioning, broken down portal (teleport) system, possibly built by the military, by aliens, by artificial intelligence(s), or even an evil combination of these. Make sure getting out without using portals and following certain routes ...


5

There are two easy ways, one narrative and one dungeon-structural. The easy narrative method is to skip the "finding the interesting place" part of the game with a quick narration. Something like: You enter the Grey Portal and quickly make your way through the echoing, dripping tunnels. Cries of surprised terror and threatening growls pierce the silence ...


5

One aspect of a mega-dungeon is the lack of overriding, campaign driving plot. A mega-dungeon just "is", has been there long before the party, and will continue to be there long after the party is gone (at least thats the vibe the DM should give). No one party could ever map it, even if they devoted all their time to it, and it should never have a linear ...


5

I would suggest playing an old version of D&D (AD&D 1 or earlier) or some retroclone. Several of the problems you outline are nonissues when playing D&D in the old school way. As mentioned, old D&D. It is simple, people can create their characters with little prior information (just roll 3d6 in order and select character class; either let ...


5

Make a list of room types for the kind of area you are mapping, for example barracks, storeroom, larder, kitchen. For ruins, you can go by what the ruins used to be. These can be in a greater state of decay, such as an armory with the rusted remains of swords and axes. Empty rooms will not appear empty. They will have a room type from your list and ...


5

Potential Tactical Space If you're playing a game with lots of empty dungeon rooms, then you should consider all of those potential combat zones. And you should consider making them have tactical value in some way that maybe players or smart monsters might try to move the fight into a location better suited for them. Narrow bridges, chokepoints, places ...


4

To add what Ry St said the term originated to describe the revival of the style of the earliest campaigns that revolved around the Blackmoor Dungeons (Arneson), Greyhawk Dungeons (Gygax), and El Raja Key (Kuntz). Like Ry St describes they were large interconnected levels that got tougher the deeper you went. Ironically if you read the stories of the time, ...


4

The ruined city of Parlainth is a megadungeon for Earthdawn. It is detailed in the campaign set, Parlainth: The Forgotten City, by Robin D. Laws. In addition to the campaign set, Parlainth Adventures is a collection of 4 adventures set in the ruins for low level characters.


4

Consider creating non hostile encounters that act as information brokers in the dungeon. (There's a very good example in Dungeonscape for D&D3.5 of a roper that controls a crossroads in the dungeon, but instead of just attacking people moving through he actas a sort of information broker). A "goblin guide", an NPC-monster, or something like a talking ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible