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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Let's build an Epic Dungeon! Design Stage: Brainstorm!

    So, having looked at a lot of great ideas for dungeons, I thought, "What if a bunch of people got together to design an epic (Not necessarily in size) dungeon together?" So I decided to wait and see if anyone else would come up with the idea. Nobody has that I've noticed. And so, although I am hardly qualified to manage such a thing (If someone wants to take over management, fine by me. Good in fact.), I'd like to see it happen anyway. So, heavily inspired by Afroakuma's Vote-up-a-villain, Ertier's Vote-Up a PbP Game, and partially inspired by Shinizak's Let's make the next Tomb of Horrors and The World's Largest Dungeon, I present the Collaborative Dungeon Project!

    The basic idea is that first, we will vote on a number of essentials, such as level, themes, and size. After that, we hand most of the job over to our best willing homebrewers and dungeon designers, who can work up their ideas under the great supervising eye of the public. The public are also expected to supply ideas for them. More on that when we get there.


    Voting Stage 1: Edition Wars
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    {table=head]Edition|Votes
    3.5|13
    Pathfinder|3
    4th|2[/table]
    Vote Ended! Winner: 3.5


    Voting Stage 2: Dungeon Starting Level
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    {table=head]Level|Votes
    1-3|8
    4-6|0
    7-10|0
    11-14|0
    15-17|0
    18-20|0
    Epic|0[/table]
    Vote Ended! Winner: 1-3


    Voting Stage 3: Dungeon Ending Level
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    {table=head]Level|Votes
    1-3|0
    4-6|2
    7-10|0
    11-14|0
    15-17|0
    18-20|2
    Epic|6[/table]
    Vote Ended! Winner: Epic


    Voting Stage 4: Dungeon Difficulty
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    {table=head]Difficulty|Votes
    Epic|0
    Heroic|0
    Adventurous|3
    Gritty|5
    Dark|6
    Horror|5[/table]
    Vote Ended! Winner: Dark.


    Voting Stage 5: Dungeon Style
    You may place 2 votes for this stage. They may not both be for the same option.
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    {table=head]Style|Votes
    Traps and Puzzles|10
    Combat|1
    Humour|4
    Horror|11
    Epic Adventure|9
    Existential|3
    Other (Specify)|4[/table]
    Vote Ended!


    Voting Stage 6: Dungeon Theme
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    {table=head]Theme|Votes
    Necromancy|4
    Far Realms|3
    Monsters|0
    Wizards|2
    Underdark|2
    Abandoned Castle|4
    Underwater|0
    Other|3[/table]
    Vote Ended! Winner: Necromancy/Abandoned Castle.


    The initial voting stage is finished, and now we enter the dungeon design stage. That does not mean we are dropping the formalities (Or all of the voting), however.
    We are currently voting for the dungeon we will be using. All of the dungeons can be found on the Obsidian Portal page.

    Voting Stage: Dungeon
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    {table=head]Dungeon|Votes
    The Dread Castle Taravar|0
    Atroxia|0
    The Fortress of the Hill|0
    A Hellhold Asunder|5
    Castle Abomination|2
    A Prison without Bars|0[/table]

    Winning Dungeon: A Hellhold Asunder!

    We are currently in the Brainstorm stage:
    During this stage, all those with their heads brimming full of ideas (Who just havenít been able to contain them so far) can finally submit their monsters, puzzles, NPCs, and other ideas. When posting an idea, you must give a title in bold that is not likely to conflict with other titles. In addition to the title, you must also add a bold label that categorizes the idea under either Monster, Puzzle, NPC, or Other. There must be enough detail in any given idea so that it if a number of people were to recreate it, the results would all be almost exactly the same. You can post vague ideas if you like, but you cannot include a title, and all credit will go to whoever posts a fully detailed version of your idea. And please, the dungeon is A Hellhold Asunder, try to make the ideas fit in with it. For example if someone submits an idea that involves celestial protectors that doesnít have a damn good reason why, I will make them pay in blood.

    We have an Obsidian Portal page with info relating to the design stages.
    Last edited by Melamoto; 2010-02-13 at 04:52 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Djinn_in_Tonic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon

    First off, your avatar with its whip-cracking taskmaster appearance, is perfect for being a project head. Kudos to you.

    Secondly...what are we going for? Terribly epic, like the Tomb of Horrors? That I can do. Intensely action-packed? Incredibly intellectual, full of puzzles and secrets? In short, we'll need a bit of focus.

    That said, I'd be willing to lend some homebrew muscle to a project like this, as well as some creative dungeon-planning and storytelling muscle...

    Ingredients

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    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I heartily support this endeavor.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I would be more than happy to support this epic undertaking. Unfortunately I can only post (ir)regularly M-F, 5AM-4PM (GMT-5).

    Building things makes me happy.
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-01-21 at 01:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    First off, your avatar with its whip-cracking taskmaster appearance, is perfect for being a project head. Kudos to you.
    He's a shift manager in tech support.

    Secondly...what are we going for? Terribly epic, like the Tomb of Horrors? That I can do. Intensely action-packed? Incredibly intellectual, full of puzzles and secrets? In short, we'll need a bit of focus.
    The dungeon is whatever the community wants it to be. Could be a mixture of all of them to make sure everyone is happy. It will be one of the vote topics later on. There could be rooms filled with horrible SoD traps, mighty puzzles of intrigue, or kobolds armed with chainsaws. Who knows?

    That said, I'd be willing to lend some homebrew muscle to a project like this, as well as some creative dungeon-planning and storytelling muscle...
    Your assistance is appreciated, and I hope there will be others like you as well. We'll probably end up using a lot of homebrew made on these forums, and help from homebrewers like you would make for a great dungeon.
    Last edited by Melamoto; 2010-01-21 at 01:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Adventure Proposal

    The City of Endless Thorns


    The City of Endless Thorns was once a vast metropolis, only recently rediscovered within a deep jungle. Now a desolate necropolis, it is full of the restless dead and strange wildlife, and is completely overgrown with vegetation, turning the once bustling streets into a labyrinth of often deadly plant life.

    An old legend tells tales that the city was build upon the ruins of a ancient Giant civilization, and that, hidden inside the city, is a path to the ruins of the subterranean kingdom these mighty creatures once inhabited.

    Alas, this is only part true. The City of Endless Thorns was never intended to support life, as an expedition will reveal. Its streets are twisted, its buildings devoid of normal amenities like food or bedding. What water there is looks filthy far beyond what mere centuries of plant growth could indicate...and, most interestingly, the city itself is laden with confusing pathways and deadly traps, almost as if one was never supposed to walk the streets...

    The city was designed as a means of imprisoning that which lurks below the surface. When ancient magic opened a breach to the Far Realms, and was not sufficient to seal it properly, the city was constructed to ensure that any monstrosity that emerged would swiftly meet its end. But the magical wards are failing, and the mundane traps and puzzles are not sufficient. The further towards the center of the city one goes, the more maddening the environment becomes: walls speak, plants rise and walk about, and the floor itself bleeds when trod upon...

    Can the PCs, upon discovering the threat, manage to shut the gate once more? And, further...is that the end? Or will the campaign continue as the seal eventually weakens once more, forcing the players into a more active role as they strive to end the otherworldly menace once and for all?

    Player levels: 1-5 would be best, as a city like this is easily circumvented with access to Fly spells and similar effects. Strange and unknowable things are also more devastating to lower level players.

    Other Possibilities: A brief excursion into the Far Realms for players 5+, where they must, after finding the gateway, step into it to seal it properly. This could require them returning later, after having surpassed level 10, for example...

    Ingredients

    2oz Djinn
    5oz Water
    1 Lime Wedge


    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    That looks awesome, and would be a great setting point for the dungeon. It all comes down to what people decide on, of course, but this will be a definite voting option and will receive my personal vote at the very least (I like the Far Realms and areas with an underlying theme of doom).
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    The best (worst) dungeon I've ever gone through as a player was the "Elevator Dungeon". We were all level 6, a Sorcerer, Druid, Paladin and a Monk.

    The basic 'hook' (which on topic, I think every good dungeon needs) was to split the party as quickly and disruptively as possible. There were pressure activated elevators scattered about, difficult to spot for a group that had no rogue... and they would send whoever stepped on them up or down some number of floors in the 4 level dungeon.

    Elevators worked once, then shut down until a reset which happened every 2 hours.

    There were large rooms with obsidian floors that belched skeletons if anyone entered the room, again resetting every 2 hours.

    It was an amazing (horrible) experience and by the end our group had mapped the whole dungeon on four pages of graph paper and had killed about 150 skeletons.

    Besides me wanting to tell an awesome (traumatic) story, I wanted to add that I think a good hook is essential in a dungeon.

    A couple of ideas:
    Traps bonanza, but big obvious things like regularly timed crushers and sliding walls of spikes. Or boulders that roll by at consistent intervals. And then have the party fight in a room with all of those. High maintenance combat, but potentially really fun.

    The beholders's dungeon, think Telvanni buildings from Morrowind. Magic required to move about the dungeon, big cylinders to fly between levels, etc. For extra fun put a dispelling screen at the top of one of the cylinders.

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I second the motion for chainsaw-wielding kobolds.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I have been thinking about special dungeon traits, but depending on the size of the dungeon, a single one may not be enough, and it will get boring if it goes on for too long. Your ideas are good though, and I've taken a look at the trap one myself. It certainly makes for interesting combat, which requires a lot of tactical manoeuvring to win.
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I love the idea of the City of Thorns. I had a background in Sci-Fi before getting more interested in fantasy settings, so anything from the Far Realms makes me happy. The city kind of reminds me of the Labyrinth and being near a gate to the far realms would make it even more confusing.
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    Lawful Neutral Human Cleric (2nd Level)

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    Strength- 12
    Dexterity- 13
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I second the motion for chainsaw-wielding kobolds.
    It will be made of pure AWESOME!
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Lets play with gravity in the dungeon, the characters are stuck on the floor while their enemies are free to float and fly around blasting the characters into oblivion and back. Also, in one room there is no gravity, just one big sphere of destruction or whatever it is called.
    Or a kobold with a gun that shoots spheres of ultimate destruction, we had a thread about that a while ago.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerkid View Post
    Lets play with gravity in the dungeon, the characters are stuck on the floor while their enemies are free to float and fly around blasting the characters into oblivion and back. Also, in one room there is no gravity, just one big sphere of destruction or whatever it is called.
    Or a kobold with a gun that shoots spheres of ultimate destruction, we had a thread about that a while ago.
    I love gravity based puzzles. You could go for an MC Escher room with subjective gravity playing a major role, i.e. you walk up the sideways stairs, you climb up floors, etc. There could also be another use of gravity, with an adaptation of Penny Arcade's Free Falling combat rules.

    A lot of crazy ideas can start to make sense as you get closer to the far realms.
    Last edited by Melamoto; 2010-01-21 at 02:35 PM.
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    One way to use the gravity is in a dungeon that is 4 dimensional. You can do it virtually, and can cause some interesting fun if your guys love mapping.

    I have had an idea of a tesseract of a dungeon. But I don't really know how to describe it in a way that I can type. I'll try later.

    Edit: If you can picture a tesseract, it will help. but if not, I'll try to describe it.

    Imagine a cube floating in space. Now attach a cube to each face of the original cube. After that, stretch the cubes so that each cube becomes the face of a larger cube. This is just a 3D visualization, as each is actually a full cube.

    But I'll try later to show where I'm going with this.
    Last edited by clockworkmonk; 2010-01-21 at 02:57 PM.
    reminding myself of things:

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    We're heading into hypergeometry here. This is the sort of thing that forces a San check for characters...sounds good to me. I'll be starting up the voting soon, once this thread has generated considerable enough interest that there will be plenty of voters, and that many of our forum's greatest don't miss it.
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Adventure Proposal

    The City of Endless Thorns


    ...Stuff...
    You are truly awesome...you went "Far Realm" on their asses...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    You are truly awesome...you went "Far Realm" on their asses...
    Why thanks!

    I just love the idea of a dungeon where the challenge isn't really in tricky mechanical/magical puzzles or strange, out-of-place combat locals, but rather drawn from things like old and sporadic magical wards gone awry, strange, incomprehensible things, and the like. While I support the gravity puzzles and construction things mentioned by other posters, I think that, as an overall dungeon, it would be a mish-mash of random elements, and lack the unifying (and, in the case of the City of Thorns, frightening and unnerving) theme of what I feel a dungeon should be.

    Hence why my idea comes off as a sort of sales pitch rather than dungeon element ideas.

    Ingredients

    2oz Djinn
    5oz Water
    1 Lime Wedge


    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Hey, I've got a pretty important question (before I start working on this stuff). What system are we building for?

    EDIT: @Djinn: I have also added some of your homebrew Paragon Paths to my campaign world...me likey!
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-01-21 at 04:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Well, what I'm suggesting would not really make a full dungeon, more of an extended puzzle. I think it would fit well with a place that's magic gone mad.

    Anyways, more details about what I had in mind.

    The basic idea is that gravity would always be relative to the party, and you could be in any of the 7 cubes that make up the tesseract. every room in the tesseract would have doors on all but one side, including the top and bottom. as you walk through the doors, the best way I can describe it is that the whole cube shifts so that gravity remains down relative to you as you entered the room. but with certain movements, it would be possible to go straight forever, while going up one level will change your relative position as you are now in the center cube, and there are doors on all 6 sides.

    I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but there it is.
    reminding myself of things:

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I assumed 3.5, but it's really whatever gets voted for. I'll make it a choice between 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4e. I know almost nothing of 4e, and know nothing of Pathfinder I don't already know from 3.5, so that would be my vote personally.
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    Djinn_in_Tonic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Hey, I've got a pretty important question (before I start working on this stuff). What system are we building for?

    EDIT: @Djinn: I have also added some of your homebrew Paragon Paths to my campaign world...me likey!
    I hope 3.5, although my 4e homebrew could use a little polishing...

    Speaking of which, let me know how those Paragon Paths work out for you, won't you? The balance may be a bit off, and input would be GREAT!

    Ingredients

    2oz Djinn
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    1 Lime Wedge


    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    This is an awesome idea, and I fully support it. 3.5 please, imo.

    What level range are you gearing it toward?

    WLD is for 1-20, so if you're competing with that in size, you'll need either a similar level range, modified xp gain, or more likely, both(even WLD has low xp gain).
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by clockworkmonk View Post
    Well, what I'm suggesting would not really make a full dungeon, more of an extended puzzle. I think it would fit well with a place that's magic gone mad.

    Anyways, more details about what I had in mind.

    The basic idea is that gravity would always be relative to the party, and you could be in any of the 7 cubes that make up the tesseract. every room in the tesseract would have doors on all but one side, including the top and bottom. as you walk through the doors, the best way I can describe it is that the whole cube shifts so that gravity remains down relative to you as you entered the room. but with certain movements, it would be possible to go straight forever, while going up one level will change your relative position as you are now in the center cube, and there are doors on all 6 sides.

    I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but there it is.
    I get what you're saying, and it seems to fit perfectly with the idea of raw magic and the far realms. Trapped inside a Hypercube. I'd also imagine there would be enemies who knew exactly how to travel through it the same way we'd know how to move around any 3D space. It could appear, attack, and then disappear before anyone knew what had happened. It would really just be moving, but moving in the 4th dimension, so it would look as if it was just teleporting at will.
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    This is an awesome idea, and I fully support it. 3.5 please, imo.

    What level range are you gearing it toward?

    WLD is for 1-20, so if you're competing with that in size, you'll need either a similar level range, modified xp gain, or more likely, both(even WLD has low xp gain).
    Level range will be decided by vote. Starting level and ending levels will be decided by vote, which will also help determine the size, so votes on size will be relative. This could only be a 1 level long dungeon, or it could try to 1-up WLD and go 1 to epic.
    Give me any character, and I will give you a freeform conversion.

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Maybe make "The City of Endless Thorns," and make it Undermountain-like, where it can support nearly any level party.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Melamoto View Post
    Level range will be decided by vote. Starting level and ending levels will be decided by vote, which will also help determine the size, so votes on size will be relative. This could only be a 1 level long dungeon, or it could try to 1-up WLD and go 1 to epic.
    1 to epic, I'd say.

    I'm planning to do the same with the Endless Dungeon, and that currently only goes to what, level 6? It doesn't even touch WLD in size though....yet. It will, oh it will.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    1 to epic, I'd say.

    I'm planning to do the same with the Endless Dungeon, and that currently only goes to what, level 6? It doesn't even touch WLD in size though....yet. It will, oh it will.
    If 1 to epic wins the vote, then everyone who voted for it should help with the production of the dungeon. To make such a dungeon would take the effort of many, many great men to create.

    Also, I'll be putting the edition vote up in an hour or 2.
    Last edited by Melamoto; 2010-01-21 at 04:56 PM.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    I already have more ideas than I can possibly fit in TED, so I wouldn't mind chucking it a bit of work into this.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let's build an Epic Dungeon!

    All I'm gonna' say is that we need some kind of dragon in here. Ooh! Maybe -two- dragons, and they're both Xorvintaal dragons at that! And let's see if we can't fit some interesting Non-Combat NPCs in here as well.
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