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[DnD 4E Ideas] PC Monsters Build Their Dungeon?

NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Critical Failures
Hello all. You know the regular gamut of DnD, the heroes go through the dungeon, slogging through the monsters and traps and thwarting the EBG at the end of it.

Well, I just got done with another playthrough of Overlord II and I'm curious about the 'other' side of this game. Sure it'd be an 'evil campaign', in a sense, but I want to try and have the players be the monsters and build their happy little dungeon.

Sure, it can start out that they evict some lesser monsters, and turn into something of a Keep Building game like Neverwinter Nights 2 towards the end. The players would have to manage resources and decide what to build for the next section of their dungeon (and possibly clean out the next new area they break into). There would even be a group of adventurers every so often that would attack their home to defend against. Eventually (like Overlord II) they would bring their hordes against their little section of the world and try to terrorize it.

My only thing is... I have *no* freaking idea where to start other than the 3.5 ed. book "Stronghold Builder's Guidebook".

Im wondering if there is even a campaign that has been made that I could look over to get an idea on where to start. Or mechanics that would make for simple but fun play. Im thinking skill challenges would be great for this (depending how they roll speeds or slows construction before the next wave of adventurers) but again, I dont know where to start or how to balance that.

I know this is a frakking huge idea to build, but if the community has any ideas, help, etc. I would greatly appreciate it.

~Ben

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    Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    So this would be a points of darkness campaign? :P

    Seriously there are several ideas i have, the first being to branch out to other systems for the design and development stages of the game such as GURPS or a d10 since they tend to be more streamlined and can be highly customizable to what you want for your players.

    I think the key is to make a list of the major things you want your villains to be able to do and look at costs and benefits to them both immediate and ongoing. If you have ever played Dungeon Keeper it could be good for inspiration too, with minions having a purpose while not directly fighting. They could train, research, make items, mine, farm (underground farmville! NOOOOO) (yes) and explore. Since your working from a points of light campaign you could start in an area the PCs know nothing about, like a blank page and start filling it in as they explore the world. Also there should be some sort of escalation system where enemy (good) settlements team up and forge alliance, against them. Also competing dungeons with their own loot?

    One interesting idea would also be to give the players some kind of dungeon goal, possible different ones for different PCs. Examples could be simply conquer opposing settlements, attain liche-hood, make the super awesome magic item #3 or open a cozy portal to the abyss. They might gain extra experience or benefits from meeting those goals.

    In terms of controlling minions you may want to give some sort of magic communication item, firmly stuck deep in the dungeon, which allows them to directly control their willing minions even from afar. This would allow them to deal with intrusions at a distance and give them incentive to hold out in this particular dungeon.

    You'll also have to seriously tweak the encounter systems value amounts, though there are probably others who can help you better then me.

    Lastly I played a RPG where I built a dwarven fortress inside an ice mountain. The GM included numerous areas with trapped monsters that I could engage at, generally, my own pace. Some of them were clearly beyond me at a starting point and gave the opportunity to grow and expand beyond just carving things out. Being a dwarven fortress we ignored the demons and monsters on the lower levels and built a thriving community on the top levels, venturing down to get loot and experience when we thought we could handle it. Since they wont be the first owners you can include secret passages and locked rooms that they can unlock later when they get stronger.

    Hope that helps to get the ball rolling.

    Void Slayer on
    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
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    NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dungeon Keeper was also a source I was pulling from, thanks for your ideas, Void.

    I know that there are supplement books (like the Stronghold Builder Guide I mentioned earlier) that talk about making the stronghold central to the campaign (like Void's Ice Mountain) but published campaigns and even campaigns built by regular joes like us, seem... missing...

    I've looked through a bunch of "adventure archive" sites, and none seem to have adventures close to what I am describing save Base of Operations but that adventure doesnt go into anything about how to build up the keep.

    NotoriusBEN on
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    Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Since its kind of a undeveloped concept FUDGE FUDGE might be appropriate, and its free.

    Just as a loose example you could have descriptive terms for each asset and have those translate to specifics in the D&D game. Better yet because the descriptive terms are themselves vague it would mean setting up the dungeon encounters would have more flexibility for design when the dungeon concept doesn't work well with D&D 4ED.

    That didn't sound right but I am not sure how to clarify.

    Lets see for a room you might have something like:
    Size: 1-7 tiny to cavernous
    Decore: 1-7 squalid to opulent
    Trappyness: 1-7 obvious bucket of water on a doorframe to hidden deathtrap (specify)
    Information: 1-7 scrap paper to well stocked library
    Sleeping quarters: straw mats to king sized mattress with down pillows
    Forge: rusty hammer to giant lava furnace with automated golem assistants

    Door 1:
    Lock: intricate (5)
    strength: Iron (6)
    Secret: obvious(1)

    When putting together the adventure scene each of these would have some kind of translation to the D&D system but gives you the flexibility as DM to include what you need. Also when outside the combat system its fast and easy to set up.

    Minion example:
    The Goblin Miners
    Size: numerous (5)
    Weapons: Low quality (2)
    Armor: Agile without armor(3)
    Discipline: fair (4)
    Mining: good (5)

    You could use a loose system like this to create the cost basis for different types of minions and servants.
    Although its quite different from D&D a looser system will allow you to add things easier and adjust faster.
    And I would avoid using the FUDGE rolling system, I just think that using this as a base then getting more specific would help.

    Void Slayer on
    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
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    DarianDarian Yellow Wizard The PitRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Might be worth getting in contact with the DM from this earlier campaign.

    Darian on
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    NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I am going to bump this thread just once and let it fade into obscurity.

    If the thread stays alive, cool. If not, thanks for your ideas, everyone.

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