The Undermountain megadungeon shows the influence of architecture from throughout the known world. This relatively small detail from the massive map of Level 1 may look familiar to veterans of the Quasqueton dungeon in B1: In Search of the Unknown.
I’m working on a megadungeon to put underneath a major city. And this thing is gonna be HUGE. Like, almost a city on its own.
I’m calling it “The Undercity” and tagging all of its sub-dungeons as such.
“The Deepest Dungeon Of Them All” – For centuries dwarves and wizards carved the Underhalls below Mount Waterdeep, even before the founding of the city against the foothills. Now only the constant incursions of adventurers keep the evil inhabitants of the Undermountain in check. (Box and book cover art by Brom for The Ruins of Undermountain box set, TSR, 1991.)
Megadungeon building (with repeats) - experiment using the IA geomorph graphics files which will be ncluded in the new 25mm/Large scale geomorph set. - Layout: picstitch on iPad. (Own art: property of Billiam Babble / Inked Adventures 2013 )
I'm starting a campaign soon based on dungeon crawls and hack-n-slash fun times and I'm looking for inspiration, do you have any cool dungeon stories you'd like to share?
One of the deadliest feeling dungeon adventures I ever played actually wasn’t a Pathfinder or D&D game, it was Dungeons Crawl Classics game. The big reason for this is that in DCC, your characters don’t start out as 1st-level adventurers, they start out as 0-level commonfolk. And you get three or four of them. You need that many because the dungeons are still built to be lethal and the characters are in NO WAY equipped to handle them.
The resulting adventure involved hapless villager after hapless village being slaughtered as they suicidially invaded the sanctum of the Frog God. It was a total bloodbath, but also a great time! As we all lost characters we taped them to our conference room’s whiteboard next to a huge cartoon Frog God idol. It was a total blast.
It was also a great lesson for running and designing dungeons. It’s one thing to make a dungeon brutal in your notes, its another thing to force it home to your PCs. You can make them feel it with tons of perils and save vs consequences traps, but that gets old and tedious fast. But you can also show them. Give the PCs torchbearers, henchmen, tagalogs, and rivals and proceed to make gory examples of them before anyone gets too attached. Make sure your dungeon has clear evidence of past explorers and their failures. You can even use monsters. There’s no reason every monster needs to have perfectly memorized the position of every trap in a dungeon. Have a goblin spot your PCs from the opposite end of a hall and charge them, only to have it set off and messily perish to just one of three or four traps lining the hall. You can make your PCs dread your dungeon by giving them brutal reasons to dread it… all without ever laying a finger on them.
I tried this recently in my level of the upcoming Emerald Spire Superdungeon. (Spoiler!) My level, the Magma Vault, features a band of elite Hellknight soldiers who got that far through the dungeon and there were wiped out. The first half of the level is littered with their weapons, journals, and corpses. It doesn’t prove to be much more than dungeon dressing, but it does make the PCs wonder, if these bad-asses got wiped out, what hope do we have?
Good luck with your dungeon design, and putting the fear of god into your PCs!
Entrances and exits to geomorph tile based dungeons can be a rare thing. I’m including a few experimental “Access” tiles in my first hand drawn geomorphs pack. Hopefully they might just fix a few of the issues thrown up by exit-less one-level megadungeons -which can be built in minutes using square geomorph style tiles. I’ll be bringing out the downloadble low priced PDF first (RPGNow/DTRPG) and then releasing a more richly textured version as a pre-printed deck through theGameCrafter. At least that’s the plan. 60+ unique designs, each with a mirror copy (and/or multiples or corridors etc) - the exact number of cards is still in flux. PDF price should be around the $5 mark at launch. I’m bursting to finish this and share it with you all.:)
Decided to randomly throw together (almost) all the tiles. So maybe lava next to water doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this is the Elemental Plane of Dungeons, deal with it.
Despite not doing any post-editing on the map, it almost completely avoided any isolated, unreachable rooms. …Except for the entrance near the upper right corner. I guess if you come at it from the wrong direction, you get a really short delve.