Sunday, February 20, 2011

Foray into Dungeon Building, Part 2

Of what I decided are the three essential parts to begin a dungeon (random tables, underlying ideas and a map), I'm probably the most fuzzy on underlying ideas.  I think that might be OK.  We'll see.

I know that I want to be creating what will eventually grow into a megadungeon.  I've got this idea, no doubt not original to me, of having a library on one level.  I know that I want the librarian to play chess with a giant spider on the level below it- I suppose I also know that I want the level below the library to be full of giant spiders.

I know I want the dungeon to be "run" by kobolds.  How do they do this?  Well, using an idea that was inspired by FrDave in this post: the kobolds have access to all levels of the dungeon, and they use that access to control the dungeon.  They don't control everything about every level- in fact, most levels are controlled by other factions, whether allied or belligerent towards the kobolds- but they can, with varying amounts of effort, get just about anywhere in the dungeon, and exert their power on just about anybody in the dungeon.  They can do this because each level of the dungeon has a teleport complex, which is where FrDave's room comes in.  Each level will have a hallway that goes off and ends in stairs- the very stairs that lead down to FrDave's celtic knot of rooms and corridors.  Each of the #3 rooms have levers in it that, as written have no function.  I figure they could work nicely as the controls to a teleporting elevator.  1st lever down, go down one level.  2nd lever down, go down two levels. 1st and 2nd lever up, go up three levels, and so on, using binary.  With four levers, that leaves room for a whopping 15 levels!  That'll be plenty of room for expansion!!

How do the kobolds keep this ability to teleport all over the dungeon to themselves?  Well, they have illusions all down the hallways that lead to the teleporting complex. The illusions are of dragons, and the farther you get down the hallway, the more intimidating they become: a few steps in, and you just see a dragon walking by the hallway in the distance- halfway through and the dragon is charging you, breathing fire, that kind of thing.  That keeps most everyone from figuring out what's down these hallways.  I figure that the few creatures that do find their way down the hallways and onto another level usually get killed pretty quickly by the kobolds.

I guess the only other idea I have about my dungeon is that I want it to be close to a cliff face, or, more precisely, on the side of a canyon or a huge cleft in the earth.  I figure that will provide another way to get into various levels of the dungeon: rappelling down the sides of the cliff face to one of the entrances.

I don't know a lot else about what I want my dungeon to be like.  I don't have a clue about who built the teleport complexes or how the kobolds came to be in control.  I guess I'll have to figure that out as I go along.

Also, A Paladin in Citadel had a great post on the Displacer Beast. So I'm definitely adding a Coeurl to the wandering monster tables of the first three levels, and probably a lair for it someplace too.

Next time, I'll talk about mapping, which is what kind of needs to be done before I can move forward with much else.


  1. I am glad to see someone using an idea of mine. Thanks! I'll be very interested to see how it works out in play...

  2. Thanks for the idea! It will be quite a while, most likely, before I've got enough mapping done to bring this dungeon out for gaming, but I'll be sure to post about it when that does happen.