Thursday, May 28, 2020

A to Z of Megadungeons

I've seen a couple of A to Z's lately and decided we needed one for megadungeons. So here, we go.

A is for Architect
Someone needs to build the megadungeon. So our list starts with architects.

B is for Boss
Who's in charge of a level, or the whole complex? Who runs the clan of goblins? Orcs? Trolls. The boss, that's who.

C is for Characters
You don't have a game without them.

D is for Demons, Devils, Dragons and Dinosaurs
Because all of the best monsters start with 'D.'

E is for Exploration
Out of the three pillars of role-playing, exploration is the most useful within a megadungeon.

F is for Fungi
No megadungeon is complete without some strange mushrooms for your characters to taste... or to taste your characters.

G is for Guardians
Treasures need protection. Guardians do just that.

H is for Help
In a megadungeon, its inevitable that a character or group gets in over their heads. Maybe another PC needs to help, or they find a sanctuary deep in the darkness. Either way, help is rare, and always welcome in a megadungeon.

I is for Ice
Megadungeons are composed of levels. Some levels may be overly hot, and others comprised of ice. Ice makes unique movement and tactical challenges.

J is for Jails
Even uncivilized monsters in the deep dark need a place to store prisoners. They also allow for interesting stories. Either breaking out or breaking in can be a great time.

K is for Knobs.
Megadungeons are full of doors. They all have knobs, knockers or some other opening device. These can be the small detail that make a session memorable, A golden knob, shaped in the form of a dragon's head is infinitely more entertaining than a plain brass one.

L is for Labyrinth
Does this one really need explaining? Megadungeons are labyrinths.

M is for Maps
No megadungeon is complete without maps. Lots and lots of maps.

N is for Names
Names are a small detail that pack a huge punch. Grazzalt the Defiler, The Demon's Maw, Lunax the Mad all invoke an immediate image in a person's head.

O is for Obliteration
Sometimes the PCs get obliterated, more often the monsters do. But, obliteration is always a good time.

P is for Puzzles
Whether its a rune puzzle, a word puzzle or a physical puzzle they're all fun and have a place in every megadungeon.

Q is for Quests
There's always room for a good quest.

R is for Ruins
Megadungeons are ancient places, they almost always have a ruin involve.

S is for Safety
In the megadungeon, safety is rare. But, when it is found, there is not better feeling.

T is for Treasure!
Money makes the world go round, and megadungeons hide a lot of money. Get rich, young adventurer or die trying.

U is for Undead
Who doesn't have undead in a megadungeon?

V is for Vaults.
Vaults hold treasure, They also might hold undead, lost lore, riddles or other grease to make the game go.

W is for Water
Water is great hazard to pit your PCs against. Water provides unique challenges and makes for a fun change of pace.

X is for X-Marks-The-Spot
X-Marks-The-Spot is a great trope for a megadungeon. Is it buried treasure? A hidden area? An apex predator? The only way to find out is to go to the X.

Y is for Years
If a group is lucky enough, they will journey through a megadungeon for years.

Z is for Zero
An old adage of megadungeons: "One third of the rooms should be empty." It's one that designers often forget. This allows for buffers between group and makes the environment feel less like a zoo.

This project has been harder than I expected. I hope you all enjoy it.