Friday, October 17, 2008

Megadungeon Mania

It seems that the “blognards” are all feeling the megadungeon vibe this week. Sham’s been cutting and pasting his notes here, here, and here. Jeff’s posted a retrospective of his Dungeon of Doom, and James has announced the back story of his megadungeon. Must be something in the air. Perhaps October is the time when a young man’s fancy turns to thought of dank, filthy holes, deep within the earth.

Since I’m still operating under a self-imposed media blackout, I’m keeping my cards close to my chest. I offered a little glimpse at what awaits down on level two on Wednesday, and my winning entry from one of the Grognard’s Challenges is available for public viewing. I really don’t want to show more than I should before any unwitting characters encounter things firsthand.

But being the good sport that I am, I will part with another little glimpse at what lurks beneath Mosshurn Keep. Below is the “boxed text” description I prepared in my notes back before I wised up and ditched boxed text. No game notes accompany it. I call it “The Play Set”:

An unexpected sight fills your eyes as you view the cavern before you. A rustic village done in miniature is laid out on the cavern floor. Rows of quarter-sized homes, each roughly twice the size of a man square and rising head-high, fill the right side of the cave. The double storied homes are of timber and plaster construction with tiny tiled roofs. Small doors and windows pierce the walls, showing gloom within. A wider house, perhaps twice the size of the others, is situated against the right-hand wall of the cavern.

On the left side of the cavern sits an ornate manor house, also constructed at ¼ scale. A low porch leads up to its miniature double doors. Arched windows adorn the façade and crenellated battlements line the edge of the roof. Directly to the left of the building, in the near left-hand corner of the cave lays a narrow, but long pool of water. The water ripples as small fish dart about beneath its surface.

The floor of the cavern is covered with fine brown sand, crisscrossed by pathways of crushed white gravel that form the village streets. The cavern ceiling rises high overhead. Flecked with chips of mica, it glitters like a night sky keeping watch over this sleeping village.
As to what might lay in store for the adventurers should they decide to explore this tiny village, I won’t say. Maybe a strange clan of Halflings who’ve shunned the surface world? Perhaps viscous cannibalistic children, escaped from a Tennessee William’s play? I’m not telling. But if there are any survivors, perhaps they will…


mr. scratch said...

Don't feel you must keep things secret on my account, sir. I imagine that I may be making a token appearance in the Realms Stochastic and it is well known that there could be a sign that said "Don't Step in the Pit Right Here, You Cloth-eared Lackwit!" and with my combination of poor dice rolling abilities and lack of role-playing skill I would be trap bait. This is why my characters always used to have back stories along the lines of "likes to garden" or "can, if pressed, make a decent ham sandwich" or "often forgets his hat."

Amityville Mike said...

I'm not too concerned with anyone using anything that might get posted here as metagame knowledge.

I prefer that the surprise of the initial encounters be genuine, however.

Think of it as Christmas Day were any one of the presents under the tree might require a save vs. poison or die. Much like my childhood memories of Yule...