Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Piecing Together a Megadungeon

Like many RPG bloggers, I've lately been bitten by the megadungeon bug. As I mentioned earlier, my sandbox fantasy campaign is moving into adolescence, having hit a few important milestones recently. The story is now largely in the players' hands. With that in mind, I'm starting to think about a tentpole dungeon thematically tie together a lot of the threats they've faced so far in the wilderness.

The thing is, I've never designed a megadungeon, and right now I'm content to spend my free time actually playing our game, not necessarily creating stuff to put in it. My creative period was last summer, and it was grand. Now, I'm more excited about playing.

With that in mind, I'm going to start piecing together a multi-level megadungeon using various free dungeon levels available on the net. I'll fit these floors together as logically as possible, retaining the monsters and traps that "fit" with my overall idea (and there is one!), trimming off passageways and chambers where necessary and generally jettisoning the stuff that just ain't right.

The goal isn't to create a funhouse dungeon or a mishmash of rooms bereft of any logic, and I freely admit that I may have to take drastic liberties with the material. With any luck, though, I'll be able to string together at least a few floors to create a mysterious, scary dungeon to anchor a fairly large portion of my wilderness map.

I've got a lot of fodder to work with: Amityville Mike has been reliably cataloging his work on Stonehell; Jeff Rients offered up a wealth of information via Under Xylarthen's Tower; James M. started things off with The Ruined Monastery in Fight On #1.

Looking elsewhere, I hope to snag a level or two from Sham's Dim Expanses. Likewise, The Darkness Beneath (itself a collaborative dungeon) has been getting a lot of attention in the pages of Fight On! And Chgowiz's handywork will surely make an appearance via his nifty one-page dungeon adventures.

See what I did just then? I name-checked a bunch of prolific bloggers while casually informing them of my desire to take their creative works, pull them apart and reassemble the pieces in odd ways. I think that's the ethos of the old-school renaissance, and I flatter myself with the thought that they--and the other half-dozen gamers out there who will no doubt provide fodder for my megadungeon--would be pleased.

6 comments:

James Maliszewski said...

If you get enjoyment out of anything that I've written, then I am flattered indeed.

Best of luck to you!

Sham aka Dave said...

I think that's the ethos of the old-school renaissance, and I flatter myself with the thought that they--and the other half-dozen gamers out there who will no doubt provide fodder for my megadungeon--would be pleased.

And it's a good ethos. No need to flatter yourself, I am pleased when anyone uses something I put together...even if it is hacked and trimmed to fit. I know I did plenty of tailoring myself in the past, and will continue to do so.

Ameron said...

I recommend that you look for copies of Castle Greyhawk or anything in from the Dungeon World campaign setting. Both have that dungeon mish-mash feel to them. Both are from previous editions of D&D so if you’re like me and running 4e exclusively, then you’ll have a bit of homework on your hands while you convert the monsters. But I think Castle Greyhawk especially will be worth the effort. It’s a lot of fun.

Chgowiz said...

I'm a tinkerer. I took Sham's idea, James's inspiration, Mike's crazy ideas and came up with something. I look at B1/B2 and I'm writing a portion of my wife's solo campaign from it. I can tell you that BSG, Dragonlance, LotR, Thomas Covenant and a whole ton of various books inspired me for Dark Ages.

I'm glad to see someone tinker with my tinkerings, and I think that's truly the legacy that we have from those guys 30odd years ago.

Welcome to the madness. May I take your hat, sir?

Amityville Mike said...

That's what it's there for. Use it, abuse it, rip it to shreds, or build on it.

All I ask is that you have fun doing so.

Jeff Rients said...

Ditto what Mike said.