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lacco36
2015-04-20, 02:40 PM
TL:DR (for more info see the spoilers):
How would you simulate a really large, but mostly empty dungeon (huge underground monastery/fortress of long-lost warrior order in size of smaller city) if you donít want to map it completely and need to go through it in 2 or 3 sessions?

Please, keep it non-system specific (the system is Riddle of Steel).
The setting is low-magic (ancient orders maybe knew magic, but itís not working anymore).

Backstory of one of PCs in my campaign calls for exploration of a huge (gigantic? collossal?) underground monastery/fortress of long-lost warrior order. Her ancestors were members. Think "Blades from TES:Skyrim meet Shaolin". The monastery has been abandoned long ago. Not really - the members just live outside it and make it seem unoccupied because of their enemies.

My players are not really happy with megadungeon-delving. They donít like mapping. They like the idea of dungeons, but maybe I canít just make them entertaining enough. And - recently we donít get to play very often due to various personal issues, so I need to make each session count.

An advice on how to simulate it and how to get the point Ąitís really hugeď across (cpt. Obvious already suggested Ątell themď Ė but are there any other possibilities?). Advice on descriptions will help, tips about interesting architectonic solutions, exploration mechanics, everything counts.

I have nearly a month, even more to prepare everything.

Maglubiyet
2015-04-20, 02:47 PM
Could you just use a randomly-generated dungeon map? There are several sites online that allow you to enter your parameters (size, entrances/exits, room shape, etc.)

Type "random dungeon map generator" into your favorite search engine.

Yora
2015-04-20, 02:52 PM
Like this. (http://theangrygm.com/abstract-dungeoneering/)

This (http://theangrygm.com/schrodinger-chekhov-samus/) is a somewhat more elaborate version.

lacco36
2015-04-20, 02:55 PM
Could you just use a randomly-generated dungeon map? There are several sites online that allow you to enter your parameters (size, entrances/exits, room shape, etc.)

Type "random dungeon map generator" into your favorite search engine.

As the random-generation of dungeons goes, I especially like what donjon has to offer.

But a randomly-generated dungeon map usually doesn't put across the "huge" quality. More like "ok, that's 70th room in a row, maybe this is larger then we thought". So I usually use the random generation only as a source of inspiration.

What I need is for them to feel that it is huge after first session and to go through it within 2-3 sessions without losing the feel.

Maybe I should have called the thread "how do you simulate the feel of a huge dungeon". :smallbiggrin:

Maglubiyet
2015-04-20, 03:00 PM
Like this. (http://theangrygm.com/abstract-dungeoneering/)

This (http://theangrygm.com/schrodinger-chekhov-samus/) is a somewhat more elaborate version.


This is a great approach, Yora! I like the zones/encounters idea.

Another thing that occurred to me, lacco, is simply handing the players the map. Maybe the PC's dug it up somewhere or hired someone to do a quick run-through and sketch the layout. They'll be able to see how big it is for themselves. There could be notations on the map that they can't decipher or are unclear, but will direct them to areas of interest.

lacco36
2015-04-20, 03:34 PM
Like this. (http://theangrygm.com/abstract-dungeoneering/)

This (http://theangrygm.com/schrodinger-chekhov-samus/) is a somewhat more elaborate version.

Thank you, that seems to be an elegant solution to my issue. I will have to read it thoroughly.


This is a great approach, Yora! I like the zones/encounters idea.

Another thing that occurred to me, lacco, is simply handing the players the map. Maybe the PC's dug it up somewhere or hired someone to do a quick run-through and sketch the layout. They'll be able to see how big it is for themselves. There could be notations on the map that they can't decipher or are unclear, but will direct them to areas of interest.

Hmm... giving them a map without notations/with a cypher would solve the mapping issue. And they could navigate freely (except for blocked/damaged/dangerous parts) and still have the feeling of large dungeon. And I already have an NPC that could provide a rough sketch of the area... ok, I will give it a thought. Thank you.

Any other thoughts/ideas?

mig el pig
2015-04-20, 03:48 PM
Any other thoughts/ideas?

Is it underground or inside a mountain? If it's latter you could have some parts of the ruin sticking out at various points in the mountain. It immediatly gives an impression it's size and you can easily have various entry points.

Couldn't find the name of a (ruined) castle I visited in southern France. But perhaps Casterly Rock from Game of Thrones can be an inspiration.

http://pic.jpgdump.com/26622.jpg

JAL_1138
2015-04-20, 03:53 PM
You could use one of the numerous maps from Undermountain, say one floor of it, and leave off 90% of the horrible death--I mean, uh, encounters.

lacco36
2015-04-20, 04:06 PM
Is it underground or inside a mountain? If it's latter you could have some parts of the ruin sticking out at various points in the mountain. It immediatly gives an impression it's size and you can easily have various entry points.

Couldn't find the name of a (ruined) castle I visited in southern France. But perhaps Casterly Rock from Game of Thrones can be an inspiration.

http://pic.jpgdump.com/26622.jpg

Just for clarification: it is inside a mountain. Part of monastery is visible at the mountaintop, but it should be reachable only from the dungeon (and from the other side of the mountain, what the players won't know - it will provide an entry point for the living order members).


You could use one of the numerous maps from Undermountain, say one floor of it, and leave off 90% of the horrible death--I mean, uh, encounters.

I would prefer the feeling "this dungeon is collossal" evoked for example by Moria as opposed to the feeling "this dungeon has lots of rooms" evoked by showing them a map from Undermountain I googled (I don't have the sourcebook).

Lord Torath
2015-04-20, 04:36 PM
What is the original purpose of the dungeon? Why did its builders build it? This can give lots of good ideas. It's an underground Temple? A few huge chapels with lots of smaller office/class rooms off to the sides. Monument to the fallen? Lots of tall statues of champions (of whatever sort) of the religion guarding mausoleums. Living quarters? Large meeting halls and kitchens with smaller living chambers.

Tell your players their torchlight doesn't reach all the way up the massive 20' diameter columns supporting the ceiling. You know, assuming they use torches or lanterns...

I also agree with giving them a floor plan of the dungeon (minus any secret/hidden rooms) and avoid the mapping issue. But don't be afraid to only give them a section of the map at a time...

Mark Hall
2015-04-20, 04:49 PM
A method I saw used for a labyrinth was to eschew actual mapping, and use a matching game. Laid out on an 8*8 grid, each "check" required a certain amount of time. Matches produced encounters, which could be good or bad. Because that was specifically a maze that we were supposed to get lost in, every so often, the DM would shuffle a row or column, undoing some of our "mapping".

You might use skill checks of some sort to provide an advantage... maybe they get to turn over 3 tiles per "turn", and keep two, or you might say a group without cartography skills can't keep notes about where various cards are.

It simulates immensity, consumes time and rations, but keep you from having to map anything you don't want to.

Nightcanon
2015-04-20, 05:43 PM
Just for clarification: it is inside a mountain. Part of monastery is visible at the mountaintop, but it should be reachable only from the dungeon (and from the other side of the mountain, what the players won't know - it will provide an entry point for the living order members).



I would prefer the feeling "this dungeon is collossal" evoked for example by Moria as opposed to the feeling "this dungeon has lots of rooms" evoked by showing them a map from Undermountain I googled (I don't have the sourcebook).

If you want the sense of scale of Moria, use the same tricks: even those who have not set foot in these halls tell tales heard from their grandfathers of a columned hallway over a mile long/ the Dome of the Underground Rain, which so vast that it has its own weather derived from the breath of those who meet there/ the Pillar of Light that froms a shaft of sunlight 500 feet from a window at the summit of the mountain iluminating the tomb of the founder at a certain time on a certain day. Design your dungeon around this, with a long processional hall which forms a convenient navigational 'you are here': walk North from wherever you enter and eventually you hit the hallway; turn right and you'll be heading east towards destination X.
I take it the point isn't to create a massive dungeon in which all rooms must be explored? Design it like a city- you wouldn't expect to visit every building just because it's there, or even go down every road, just that main ones.

Jay R
2015-04-20, 08:49 PM
What I need is for them to feel that it is huge after first session and to go through it within 2-3 sessions without losing the feel.

This is done in presentation, not in design. Moria feels huge, before we ever see it, because of the legends surrounding it. What you want it backstory, not graphing.

They need to hear stories about the endless caverns, the limitless levels, and the enormous halls. You want the to feel the weight of its size, splendor and history before they ever reach its door.

lacco36
2015-04-21, 02:39 AM
What is the original purpose of the dungeon? Why did its builders build it? This can give lots of good ideas. It's an underground Temple? A few huge chapels with lots of smaller office/class rooms off to the sides. Monument to the fallen? Lots of tall statues of champions (of whatever sort) of the religion guarding mausoleums. Living quarters? Large meeting halls and kitchens with smaller living chambers.

Tell your players their torchlight doesn't reach all the way up the massive 20' diameter columns supporting the ceiling. You know, assuming they use torches or lanterns...

I also agree with giving them a floor plan of the dungeon (minus any secret/hidden rooms) and avoid the mapping issue. But don't be afraid to only give them a section of the map at a time...

The dungeon was originally a monastery/fortress of an ancient warrior order. The PCs will basically get in through "back door".

Thank you for the ideas (especially the monument to the fallen - didn't think of that one, but surely will add one... maybe a great wall with lots of names, dates and epitaphs). And yes, they use torches usually - and I will surely use the part with light.


A method I saw used for a labyrinth was to eschew actual mapping, and use a matching game. Laid out on an 8*8 grid, each "check" required a certain amount of time. Matches produced encounters, which could be good or bad. Because that was specifically a maze that we were supposed to get lost in, every so often, the DM would shuffle a row or column, undoing some of our "mapping".

You might use skill checks of some sort to provide an advantage... maybe they get to turn over 3 tiles per "turn", and keep two, or you might say a group without cartography skills can't keep notes about where various cards are.

It simulates immensity, consumes time and rations, but keep you from having to map anything you don't want to.

Thank you for the suggestion, I will surely use it when I have another dungeon for them, but in this case I would like them to focus on the immersive part, not to give them a new mechanic/minigame. But the idea is great and I will surely test it next time.


If you want the sense of scale of Moria, use the same tricks: even those who have not set foot in these halls tell tales heard from their grandfathers of a columned hallway over a mile long/ the Dome of the Underground Rain, which so vast that it has its own weather derived from the breath of those who meet there/ the Pillar of Light that froms a shaft of sunlight 500 feet from a window at the summit of the mountain iluminating the tomb of the founder at a certain time on a certain day. Design your dungeon around this, with a long processional hall which forms a convenient navigational 'you are here': walk North from wherever you enter and eventually you hit the hallway; turn right and you'll be heading east towards destination X.
I take it the point isn't to create a massive dungeon in which all rooms must be explored? Design it like a city- you wouldn't expect to visit every building just because it's there, or even go down every road, just that main ones.

Well, I think I need to re-read the travel through Moria :smallsmile:.

Yes, you understand the point perfectly. Also, it shouldn't be a typical "monster here, deathtrap there" dungeon. The goal is exploration and feeling of discovery - since the player whose character's ancestors lived in a place has her character built around the motif "searching for my long lost family". The feeling of immense, mostly empty and abandoned dungeon is first part - I need to hit her with the feeling that she can be proud of her ancestors on one side, that they are the first ones that walk the halls in a long time...and sadness that nobody from the original order is there (that she lost her family) on a second side. And finally, when they get to the last part of the dungeon - the monastery on top - she will find her "family" waiting for her there. That is the overal goal.

Luckily, the two players that will explore it don't speak English and don't frequent this forum :smallsmile:

And I like your point with designing as a city - I didn't look at it this way. And it helps a lot! Thank you.


This is done in presentation, not in design. Moria feels huge, before we ever see it, because of the legends surrounding it. What you want it backstory, not graphing.

They need to hear stories about the endless caverns, the limitless levels, and the enormous halls. You want the to feel the weight of its size, splendor and history before they ever reach its door.

I partially agree - most is done in presentation. But I think also design and even the mechanics can help a bit.
I wanted to avoid giving all the backstory (I find it unnecessary mostly), but this is why they don't know much about it:

Several hundreds of years ago, a great battle happened. On one side, a magic user called Xanar - a most powerful one, wielding the Shard of the gods lead the armies of light. On the other side, the Nine were leading an army of darkness. Nine consisted of most depraved warriors and wizards that wanted to plunge the world into darknes. They amassed a large army in country called Orgrimmar and were preparing for attack.
The armies met in Orgrimmar. They fought...and Xanar was wounded. And he unleashed the power of the Shard and in one movement, Xanar destroyed the Nine and their army. And the whole country - it became only a wasteland.
One of the Nine was a warrior of an ancient order. He lead the order to the battle. Their fortress, high on a mountain, was abandoned since they suffered the defeat. And path to it was through the magically destroyed land - a suicide.
And that is the story. Or is it?

Not really. Xanar was the usurper. The Nine wanted to free countries from his opression - he used the Shard to manipulate minds, enslave people, threaten them. So they amassed the army in one of the last free lands. And they stopped him, for a terrible cost. The part of the order, which survived, returned and continued their work in secrecy - they wouldn't stand a chance in another battle.

So basically - the PC is direct heir of the warrior that lead them to battle. And they have been watching her for some time. The country is now only a wilderness, since several hundreds of years passed. And the order tried to remove most of records about it. That's the story - in short. So no, they left only few clues which people could follow - no stories, no legends. And in the imperium they are considered as traitors and thoroughly evil - and worship of the Nine is basically punished by creative death :smallsmile:

TL:DR backstory - the order actively removes all traces except for small clues and recruits only directly. So no legends - the players will be the first ones that are not order members that will enter the dungeon and live to speak about it. The last clue - the location of entrance - will be given to them by a member of the order since they deemed them worthy.

Gravitron5000
2015-04-21, 08:50 AM
I would map out the dungeon/temple/city, and separate it into sectors. Each sector is an area that can be 'discovered' in 2-6 hours. This allows you to provide a map of each section as the party explores it and track the time each section takes to explore. It also allows some selection by the party in where they want to explore next.

For each sector, you can provide a brief description of the area, and more detail on any set pieces that you want to use to provide a sense of scale. This would allow you to skip over all the 'I poke the statue' descriptions of the process of exploration.

Lastly, I would add in any encounter locations that allow more direct interaction with portions of the city. The rickety rope bridge that leads to an unexplored sector, the vault that holds records of the battle and history of the temple, and so on.

Flickerdart
2015-04-21, 09:21 AM
Dungeons have many floors - and if it's a ruin, there's a chance that the entrances to those floors have collapsed. A description of a massive bridge or balcony from which you can see the rest of the dungeon stretching down (and possibly up, and also to the sides) into the darkness is a pretty good way of getting the idea across without any work on your part.

Storm_Of_Snow
2015-04-21, 11:20 AM
My thoughts:

Make the entry area tight and restrictive, but behind that is a large marshalling/ cargo handling area with standardised warehousing. Beyond that, the dungeon is built on a cube pattern, with ramps, stairs, lift shafts or whatever at regular intervals, so you only need to draw one level - maybe with a note that, say, on levels 3 to 5, area 4 is replaced with a massive geological flaw, or an underground lake accessed from level 6.

Living quarters are identically constructed, so you only need to draw a map for one and recycle it as needed. Same for warehouses, store rooms, maintenance areas and the like. Only certain areas need to be drawn specifically, such as the ruler's chambers, the treasury and so on. Throw in a set list of contents with randomly determined additions, and you should be able to detail unique dwellings long after the players have decided to stop breaking into places and get on with the adventure.

Borrow an idea from computer games - you can seal areas off with unstable rockfalls, destroyed bridges and the like. It gives the impression of a massive space, but if the PCs can't get there, they can't explore.

Have pumping stations and pipes/ducting (metal and/or stone) to bring fresh water and air to parts of the dungeon that don't have good access to them, and take waste water and stale/polluted air out again. And power them however you want - chimney effect driving fans, water wheels, slave/criminal labour treadmills or whatever.

lacco36
2015-04-21, 02:09 PM
I would map out the dungeon/temple/city, and separate it into sectors. Each sector is an area that can be 'discovered' in 2-6 hours. This allows you to provide a map of each section as the party explores it and track the time each section takes to explore. It also allows some selection by the party in where they want to explore next.
For each sector, you can provide a brief description of the area, and more detail on any set pieces that you want to use to provide a sense of scale. This would allow you to skip over all the 'I poke the statue' descriptions of the process of exploration.
Lastly, I would add in any encounter locations that allow more direct interaction with portions of the city. The rickety rope bridge that leads to an unexplored sector, the vault that holds records of the battle and history of the temple, and so on.

This approach sounds similar to the one from the link Yora provided. I think I will use something like this, maybe slightly modified (larger effect of decision about direction, more possible transitions between zones).
As for the encounter locations, if possible, I will use the rickety rope bridge Ė I think a variety of transition methods will be useful (rope bridge, stone bridge, stairway, pipes, arches, secret door...).


Dungeons have many floors - and if it's a ruin, there's a chance that the entrances to those floors have collapsed. A description of a massive bridge or balcony from which you can see the rest of the dungeon stretching down (and possibly up, and also to the sides) into the darkness is a pretty good way of getting the idea across without any work on your part.
I think I will go with the massive bridge and a balcony right over it giving just enough light from outside to let them see it. Thank you.


My thoughts:
Make the entry area tight and restrictive, but behind that is a large marshalling/ cargo handling area with standardised warehousing. Beyond that, the dungeon is built on a cube pattern, with ramps, stairs, lift shafts or whatever at regular intervals, so you only need to draw one level - maybe with a note that, say, on levels 3 to 5, area 4 is replaced with a massive geological flaw, or an underground lake accessed from level 6.
Living quarters are identically constructed, so you only need to draw a map for one and recycle it as needed. Same for warehouses, store rooms, maintenance areas and the like. Only certain areas need to be drawn specifically, such as the ruler's chambers, the treasury and so on. Throw in a set list of contents with randomly determined additions, and you should be able to detail unique dwellings long after the players have decided to stop breaking into places and get on with the adventure.
The first point Ė the entry area the players will most likely use will be a passage behind a waterfall. Basically Ė emergency/secret exit. No idea what I will put inside then, but maybe I will take your suggestion. Storage or living area seems fine. Or Ė maybe do it in the reverse way... a cementery/tomb?
As for the map drawing, I want to avoid it as much as possible. The list of contents with random additions will be used.


Borrow an idea from computer games - you can seal areas off with unstable rockfalls, destroyed bridges and the like. It gives the impression of a massive space, but if the PCs can't get there, they can't explore.
I try to use this sparingly since the ĄI try to jump over to the other side!ď incident, but I use it.


Have pumping stations and pipes/ducting (metal and/or stone) to bring fresh water and air to parts of the dungeon that don't have good access to them, and take waste water and stale/polluted air out again. And power them however you want - chimney effect driving fans, water wheels, slave/criminal labour treadmills or whatever.
This is something I didnít think of! Thank you. I will use these mainly for transition between areas, but pipes/aqueducts are something I often forget.
As for the power Ė I will go with natural energy. If there is anything else, itís off, because the lower monastery is abandoned :smallsmile: - so one less issue to worry about.

Again, thank you all for your ideas.

Demidos
2015-05-01, 09:05 PM
An alternate ecosystem, animals that have gone extinct or vanished from the world above, chambers so vast they have trees and forests growing in them...indoors. Or if theres no light, perhaps massive fungi forests.

Frozen_Feet
2015-05-02, 12:51 PM
When I have a really big place such an abandoned city to worry about, I place only a few landmarkers on an actual map and then draw the rest using some random generation method or another. Vornheim has good charts for a thing like this.

Now, when you say "go through it in 2 or 3 sessions", what, exactly, do you mean? Literally going through it, or doing something specific there-in? If there's a clear path they choose to follow, without spending time for mapping, you can clear arbitrary distances in little real time. Like, "you walk down this road/tunnel for eight hours straight. You pass by hundreds of alleyways and houses cut to the rock, but your lighting doesn't reach far enough to tell what lies in the dark. Finally, the path starts to narrow down, and you realize you're nearing the other edge of the city".

lacco36
2015-05-02, 03:46 PM
New replies! Thank you both!


An alternate ecosystem, animals that have gone extinct or vanished from the world above, chambers so vast they have trees and forests growing in them...indoors. Or if theres no light, perhaps massive fungi forests.

I was thinking about putting a small mushroom forest/farm inside, but I'm not sure about it.

The alternate ecosystem idea sounds intriguing - and I will surely use it in future. However, I have done some preparations already and it wouldn't fit properly. Still, thank you!


When I have a really big place such an abandoned city to worry about, I place only a few landmarkers on an actual map and then draw the rest using some random generation method or another. Vornheim has good charts for a thing like this.

Now, when you say "go through it in 2 or 3 sessions", what, exactly, do you mean? Literally going through it, or doing something specific there-in? If there's a clear path they choose to follow, without spending time for mapping, you can clear arbitrary distances in little real time. Like, "you walk down this road/tunnel for eight hours straight. You pass by hundreds of alleyways and houses cut to the rock, but your lighting doesn't reach far enough to tell what lies in the dark. Finally, the path starts to narrow down, and you realize you're nearing the other edge of the city".

As stated, I'm no fan of mapping - I prefer flowcharts if necessary. The method I am trying out now is the one suggested by Yora.

I am not familiar with Vornheim, but I'll check it out.

When I say "go through it in 2 or 3 sessions" I mean, that the "critical path" should be something I can easily cram into 1.5 sessions, but since this should be an exploration, they should be able to get to the main points of interest (Hall of Heroes - tablet with all hero names/genealogy; Merdyff's Solar - letter "to descendants"; Upper Monastery - the family) during up to 3 sessions (each up to 3 hours).

There should be possibility for them to get lost, to explore and to have enough decision points (which way to go, which path to take, how long to explore). They will also have to check their time (both because of food/water issues, tiredness and because there will be another group, which goes after them).

And this brings me to another question - how do your players usually measure time in dungeon?

So to answer your question - there shouldn't be one clear path. Though I will borrow parts of the description you used if you agree :smallsmile:

BTW, a question for the forumites - is it customary to post the result of one's work for others to use/critique? Or just a short summary of play?

Frozen_Feet
2015-05-02, 05:43 PM
When I say "go through it in 2 or 3 sessions" I mean, that the "critical path" should be something I can easily cram into 1.5 sessions, but since this should be an exploration, they should be able to get to the main points of interest (Hall of Heroes - tablet with all hero names/genealogy; Merdyff's Solar - letter "to descendants"; Upper Monastery - the family) during up to 3 sessions (each up to 3 hours).

It is very hard to reliably estimate how much real time an exploration-based campaign will take. If there are no proactive enemies to seek the players out or events to lead them to the right places, there is no upper limit.


And this brings me to another question - how do your players usually measure time in dungeon?

They don't. Seriously, it's incredibly rare for players to be smart enough to do this. This isn't the same as saying they don't have the tools for it - plenty carry torches or lanterns, so running out of lighting would serve as a comparison point, and their characters eventually become tired or hungry. They just don't pay attention.

lacco36
2015-05-03, 02:04 PM
It is very hard to reliably estimate how much real time an exploration-based campaign will take. If there are no proactive enemies to seek the players out or events to lead them to the right places, there is no upper limit.

They don't. Seriously, it's incredibly rare for players to be smart enough to do this. This isn't the same as saying they don't have the tools for it - plenty carry torches or lanterns, so running out of lighting would serve as a comparison point, and their characters eventually become tired or hungry. They just don't pay attention.

Luckily I know my players quite well - so the estimation of real time it takes is not an issue. And - this is not a campaign, only a set of sessions.

I think I'll play with the sense of time a bit. I'm counting on them to run out of light, become tired and hungry - basically their first choice will be - explore or try to cover as much ground as possible? At firstt they will have lot of time (no visible enemies at first, lots of resources) and then they will find out there is a group of opponents on their tracks.
Maybe I will allow them to see the passing of time through local devices (sundial?) or provide windows/balconies.

veti
2015-05-03, 04:22 PM
I agree with the "don't map" school of planning. Present it as you would an aboveground city: the players enter along a main street, which has dozens of doors and corridors running off it in all directions as far as their light source can see.

If you want to be player-friendly, give them a map that's based on a real (large, sprawling, old-world) city - London would be a good choice, or Rome, or Prague, or a mix of all three. You can find them on Google Maps, then redraw them to leave out the more modern features (ring roads, stations), and put in your own names for districts/suburbs.

Anxe
2015-05-03, 05:35 PM
I have a similar dungeon setup for later in my campaign that my players haven't run into yet. They navigate to different areas using skill checks. So if they want to go to the library they make a skill check and their result dictates how long it takes them to get there.
EDIT: After reading a description of Riddle of Steel's rules, this seems perfect for that system.

My favorite part of the system I designed was the rules for people at the back of the party losing track of the people in the front and then getting lost in the maze.

You've got plenty of other good suggestions here, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

lacco36
2015-05-05, 02:05 AM
I agree with the "don't map" school of planning. Present it as you would an aboveground city: the players enter along a main street, which has dozens of doors and corridors running off it in all directions as far as their light source can see.

If you want to be player-friendly, give them a map that's based on a real (large, sprawling, old-world) city - London would be a good choice, or Rome, or Prague, or a mix of all three. You can find them on Google Maps, then redraw them to leave out the more modern features (ring roads, stations), and put in your own names for districts/suburbs.

Great idea, thanks! My next dungeon will be our home city camouflaged as necropolis! :smallsmile: We'll see how soon they find out!


I have a similar dungeon setup for later in my campaign that my players haven't run into yet. They navigate to different areas using skill checks. So if they want to go to the library they make a skill check and their result dictates how long it takes them to get there.
EDIT: After reading a description of Riddle of Steel's rules, this seems perfect for that system.

My favorite part of the system I designed was the rules for people at the back of the party losing track of the people in the front and then getting lost in the maze.

You've got plenty of other good suggestions here, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

Your two cents are gratefully accepted :smallsmile:
I'm going to give them possibility to choose/influence their way through skill checks (e.g. "research" check for navigation in library, tactics/battle check for navigation through training grounds). And for one PC I have several flashbacks from her ancestor's life.

However, I see only one possibility for them to lose track of each other, since there will be only two of them... there will be one part where this may happen ("Dark Halls" - unfinished part which connects several levels, with no light access, sort of maze). Thank you for the suggestion, if they give me an opportunity, it will be used.

Again I would like to ask - is it customary to post the result of one's work for others to use/critique? Or just a short summary of play?

I am doing my preparations on my computer for this one (an excel sheet with database and resulting word file generated through "correspondence") so it's quite easy to post it. Does someone want to review it/use it?

Anxe
2015-05-05, 09:13 AM
Can't hurt to post the results! I always love reading the stories of how it goes. I probably won't get much out of a posted excel sheet, but others might.