Sunday, July 10, 2011

Time For A New Megadungeon

Alright, so it's been a couple of days since my last pst, and I've finally had a chance to cool down. I'm not completely sure what's going to happen with the blog, but the good new is that I've decided that I would definitely rather move to another hosting site than shut down.

In the mean time, I've realized that I need to create a new megadungeon. The first few levels of my current one have been explored so many times that I'm just getting a little tired of running the same surprises over and over again for different groups of players. Originally, I thought there would be something to salvage from the lower levels, but my taste has definitely changed in the past few years. Although the lost world  level, The Savage Realm of Kalgar the Scale Magician, looks pretty cool still, I've decided to start from a blank slate and work down from there.

Luckily, I have plenty of resources to work with.

Something I want to do differently though is integrate the dungeon into the world a bit more, something I left was seriously lacking with my previous endeavor. So, I decided to follow Scott of Huge Ruined Pile and the guy from Sword +1's  example and take a look at the Outdoor Survival map. For some reason, though, the mountain-infested desert in the northwest corner has always bugged the crap out of the me. I'm not even sure why. But I decided to give it a chance, drafted up the map in Hexographer, replaces the sink holes with castles,  pondered the result, and insultingly decided I want to go with something else.

Then I remembered, a blog a quite enjoyed during its all too short life span, Swords of Minaria. The map of  Minaria from the Divine Right board game (which I have never played and know almost nothing about) is incredibly evocative, and yet still very flexible. I mean, come on, a city named "Huts of the Scum" or a "The Invisible School of Thaumaturgy," how incredibly awesome is that? The map provides just enough detail to get my creative wheels churning and nothing more. It's perfect.

Honestly, looking through the map there are many great locations to turn into a megadungeon. A few I'm considering are The Stone Face near the Trollwood; the Shards of Lor between the Creeping Forest and the Tower of Zards; Stubstaff Keep near the Thorn Flats; Spires of the Sun near the Forbidden Oasis; and Alters of the Grey Staff in the Blasted Heath. Out of those, Stubbstaff Keep is the most centralized location. But I'd really like a mountainous location. On a second pass though, the Nithmere Mountains right between Immer and Zorn looks like another good spot. And The Sunken City Parros caught my eye. As you can see, there are almost too many evocative names on this map to choose just one.

Another idea I've been consider , instead of giving the megedungon a specific location, is to have an intrecut system of gate/portals into different sections of the megadungeon scattered throughout the land.

In the end, I think it will just depend on what type of megadungeon I come up with. Well I've got two hours every day this week before class to work. I'll see what I come up with and go from there. I just need to remember to bring my mapping gear to the library and I'll be ready to excavate.


  1. I found out about Divine Right a couple years ago and since then I've always wondered why Minaria doesn't get more love on the OSR blogs. Like you say, that map is just so incredibly evocative and a perfect springboard for the imagination. I've always found the Wilderness Survival map completely uninteresting and the repeated use of it somewhat slavish in its devotion to the LBBs.

  2. I think Divine Right is off the radar as it was not really a role playing game but more of a war game. That being said there were some amazing articles in Dragon Magazine that provide great background for it. The map is great and does seem like a great RPG setting now that you mention it.

  3. Waste of Vah-Ka-Ka... I could imagine that getting some laughs during the game.