[D&D] Dungeon Building

DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
edited September 2006 in Critical Failures
AKA "Help the procrastinating DM have a good game tomorrow"

I have the concept down for this dungeon I have in mind. Basically the entrance hall will have a large console with sliding tiles representing 15 rooms. Rearanging the tiles and pulling the level will change the physical arrangement of the rooms in the dungeon. (Like in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow on the DS). The problem is, I'm having trouble coming up with stuff to put into all 15 rooms. I have the standard Iron Defenders, Homonculus, a living spell or two thrown in for good measure, and a Furvitive Filcher to steal some of the PCs shineys. In addition, there will be a few bonus rooms that they can access if they can answer some riddles (One will give them access to a Secure Shelter for worry-free resting, another will unlock a map with more information about the dungeon, etc.) and I think the final Boss will be a Flesh Golem. (I have 7 level 3-4 PCs).

So basically, I'm just looking for more monsters that House Cannith might have left lying around an old installation in Cyre prior to the Day of Mourning.

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Posts

  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited September 2006
    When I create a dungeon, I consider how it will support life. If it's a complex of bare, scrubbed stone chambers, only include constructs and magical creatures, since anything else would starve. If you have rooms with plants or other food sources, then in the areas around them you can include monsters that live off the food provided. If you include a natural way in and out of the dungeon (just a tunnel, a broken wall, an underground river, or an open door), you can include pretty much any monster you want that might have wandered in.
    I don't restrict myself to having "final bosses" and the like in dungeons - it seems formulaic and unrealistic to me. If I have a powerful enemy, I might have it roaming around the dungeon, requiring the party to evade it or risk destruction. Or I might place it at a vital point, but half way through the dungeon rather than waiting at the very end, so the party doesn't know where it might pop up. Or I frequently forgo the creature altogether. That's personal, though - you feel free to do whatever you want.

    Aroused Bull on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    When I create a dungeon, I consider how it will support life. If it's a complex of bare, scrubbed stone chambers, only include constructs and magical creatures, since anything else would starve. If you have rooms with plants or other food sources, then in the areas around them you can include monsters that live off the food provided. If you include a natural way in and out of the dungeon (just a tunnel, a broken wall, an underground river, or an open door), you can include pretty much any monster you want that might have wandered in.
    I don't restrict myself to having "final bosses" and the like in dungeons - it seems formulaic and unrealistic to me. If I have a powerful enemy, I might have it roaming around the dungeon, requiring the party to evade it or risk destruction. Or I might place it at a vital point, but half way through the dungeon rather than waiting at the very end, so the party doesn't know where it might pop up. Or I frequently forgo the creature altogether. That's personal, though - you feel free to do whatever you want.

    I'd agree about final bosses, but in this case they are there to retrieve a powerful dingus that the creators did not want falling into the wrong hands. The golem would not venture far from said dingus.

    DeVryGuy on
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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Is it a small dingus? You could sow it up inside the golem, and then have it retreat from the party when the combat goes against it, so that they actually have to catch it to obtain their goal (though it being a golem I suppose that wouldn't be too hard).
    I'm just throwing out ideas.

    Aroused Bull on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Is it a small dingus? You could sow it up inside the golem, and then have it retreat from the party when the combat goes against it, so that they actually have to catch it to obtain their goal (though it being a golem I suppose that wouldn't be too hard).
    I'm just throwing out ideas.

    Hey, that's not a bad idea. *wheels turning*

    DeVryGuy on
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  • Mongrel IdiotMongrel Idiot Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    (though it being a golem I suppose that wouldn't be too hard).
    I'm just throwing out ideas.
    Just mod that fucker to have a faster speed but weaker attacks. Or make the final room have easily climable walls and have the monkey-esque golem leap and climb around the party, tearing out chunks of stone and hurling it at them.

    Fuck, that sounds AWESOME.

    Mongrel Idiot on
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    AKA "Help the procrastinating DM have a good game tomorrow"

    I have the concept down for this dungeon I have in mind. Basically the entrance hall will have a large console with sliding tiles representing 15 rooms. Rearanging the tiles and pulling the level will change the physical arrangement of the rooms in the dungeon. (Like in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow on the DS). The problem is, I'm having trouble coming up with stuff to put into all 15 rooms. I have the standard Iron Defenders, Homonculus, a living spell or two thrown in for good measure, and a Furvitive Filcher to steal some of the PCs shineys. In addition, there will be a few bonus rooms that they can access if they can answer some riddles (One will give them access to a Secure Shelter for worry-free resting, another will unlock a map with more information about the dungeon, etc.) and I think the final Boss will be a Flesh Golem. (I have 7 level 3-4 PCs).

    So basically, I'm just looking for more monsters that House Cannith might have left lying around an old installation in Cyre prior to the Day of Mourning.

    Bound Elementals.

    Warforged.

    Warforged Titans/Chargers.


    Warforged are probably the best idea. The treaty didnt happen until after the last war, and CyrebBlew up during that war, so Warforged tasked with defending the station might be still there (Think, the last knight from the "Last Crusade"), not knowing about the treaty eternally fulfilling their duty.(only for a few years though)

    This can provide a combat encounter, or a RP encounter. Your players might think they are agents of the Lord of the Blades even. Some pretty interesting idea's about around that which could provide a recurring character(some of the WF go and join the Lord)

    As a combat encounter, make them lower level than the PC's but make excellent use of battlefield control tactics(aid another, trips, non-lethal damage, readied actions etc, bull rush, overrun the fighter to get to the caster)

    As a bonus, the possibility of adamantine armor provides them a little extra heft that keeps them alive longer.

    Goumindong on
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  • PkmoutlPkmoutl Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    The occasional Skeleton or even a Wraith or a couple of Ghouls might do well, especially if there had been previous ventures into the dungeon.

    That's one thing I always try to consider in my adventures is whether or not there had been previous forays into the area. I had one that was on an island that was pretty much deserted for over 500 years due to a magical catastrophe tied to an artifact (guess what the party had to retrieve) that had since been locked up and lost when the survivors of this catastrophe left the island forever.

    In another adventure, the artifact (the party was basically working for a Loremaster who was studying certain artifacts related to this world's history) was in a well-known place, and dozens upon dozens of would-be adventurers had gone in. Former adventurers make two good things:

    1. Monster Chow. If you have a monster in there, it usually has to eat something. If you have a steady stream of armored yahoos going in an area every couple of weeks, that's usually enough to keep them there.

    2. Undead. Nothing says "I hate this place" more than a former adventurer whose soul couldn't rest.

    So in the two above, I had a different scenario altogether. Most of the encounters in the first one were either some kind of magical guardian-type or a relatively high-end Undead that could survive being locked in a vault for 500+ years. I also used a lot of ingenious traps for that one. Never underestimate the use of traps. Especially elaborate ones. Yes, a Rogue can disarm a trap in most cases, but if the trap is made of several different devices that work together, then they can't necessarily disarm said "trap" in one roll. And there are some traps that just can't be disarmed without screwing the party in some way, shape or form.

    In the second adventure, though, undead wandering monsters were as common as assholes in a public toilet. I had skeletons and ghouls crawling out of just about every crack in the wall that I could, just because the place had been trekked through so many times.

    As far as the "Final Boss" idea goes, I generally try to stay away from it, as I generally find that sort of thing cliche and silly. Every encounter the party has should be dangerous, and I'm more likely to use the elaborate trap in conjunction with a monster of some kind to "guard" the precious target item.

    Also, use a bit of logic in how you set your dungeons up. I can't tell you how many times I've been in an underground adventure, gone through the 7'x3' door and run into a huge dragon. Okay, how did he get down here? How does he get out? Where does he get his food from? How about things like air? Dragons have to breathe, right?

    Pkmoutl on
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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Remember, oozes and slimes are a dungeon's garbage disposal - I tend to think of 'em as very large, dangerous maggots. If there's ever been other living junk down there, there's a good chance that you'll run into an ooze or two.

    Salvation122 on
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited September 2006
    This is less applicable in your situation, but just to add to the general pool of advice: when furnishing dungeons, consider what they might have been originally. Most dungeons weren't built specifically to be a big hole in the ground filled with monsters - sure, some of them are just a series of traps guarding a goal, but some of them are ruined temple complexes, or old monasteries, or secret hideouts. If you think about the kind of things you might find in such a complex, you can get a picture of how it should be layed out. For example, an old hideout might have stairs leading up to a high lookout window to the outside, but it probably wouldn't have an enormous pillared hall filled with statues. Some people seem to just construct their dungeon any old how.

    Aroused Bull on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    OK, here is what you do...

    Step 1: Watch "The Goonies".

    Step 2: Design Dungeon.

    Goumindong on
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  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Step 1: Play Dwarf Fortress

    Step 2: There's step two?

    DeepQantas on
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  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    A thought: Living Summon Monster II. Every time it hits you a pack of wolves appear O.o

    DeVryGuy on
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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Making a dungeon based on what it's used to be is seconded. I also like to throw PC's of course, and make them suspicious of things. Scrolls / books are great for giving background info, but watch out for those Sepia Snake Sigils.

    One random idea that just crossed my mind is to have series of levers/pulleys etcet in the dungeon, with no clear indication of what they do, until some starts pulling them and it ends up being a defense system, flooding the outside entrance with water, and maybe because of old age, slowly flooding the entire cave too.

    In general a trap or two can be fun if you have a rogue, since he can either botch it or really shine, either way is fun.

    SanderJK on
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  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Hmmm another random idea. I'm thinking some normal beasts (since there just aren't enough contstructs to fill 15 rooms in the SRD) could be worked in with a new magic item. Basically a sustaining spoon but for animals to make it a sustaining trough.

    Now just have to think of what sort of baddies House Cannith might have been using in magic item experimentation.

    DeVryGuy on
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  • MM Registered User
    edited September 2006
    I haven't played much D&D since high school and even then I liked basic better then 2nd ed. Eventually I got over myself and started rolling up dugeons. You'll either have to find some tables or make them yourself but stock the special rooms then for all the rest just roll on a table to find out if there's a monster/treasure/trap and then again to figure out what type. A little boring unless you tweak stuff but alot easier than making up someting cool in every room.

    M on
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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited September 2006
    You don't need something cool in every room, but I find it easier to make up dungeons out of whole cloth then use the generators. Although if I want a quick trap or idea I might skim through them for inspiration.

    Aroused Bull on
  • TrenogTrenog Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
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  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    A book I once thumbed through at a friend's house was, uh... I forget the name, to be honest. It was "Grimtooth's Traps", but I don't remember which one it was. Basically it was some of the most insideous traps you'd ever think up. Things like a 12" wide tunnel capped by a metal lid, when you lift the lid, it causes a primitive pully-based generator to electrocute the lid temporarily. Not enough to do any real damage, but certainly enough to make you drop the lid (presumably, on one's feet).

    Mostly nonleathal, just extremely annoying and timeconsuming.

    http://secure1.white-wolf.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=633 <-- here's his latest book. 200 traps by the original author. Including "the dungeon of doom", a fully populated dungeon with nothing but traps...

    The idea of a dungeon filled with *absolutely no creatures*, just traps, traps, traps, and the occasional bit of loot, just enough to keep the PCs digging deeper... hm.... Evil... Especially for a group of hack and slash munchkins...

    A few other trap books:
    http://www.amazon.com/Traps-Treachery-Rulebook-Legends-System/dp/1589940202

    Another one, although I hear this one is abysmal (only 4 traps, really):
    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Challenges-Dungeon-Dungeons-Accessory/dp/0786926570


    If I were doing a dungeon to protect some special artifact, it'd be completely empty except for a 3 or 4 levels full of dead ends, shifting walls, and more traps than you could shake a stick at. Make a couple of them magical in nature so the rogue can't ruin your fun, and awaaaaay you go!

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  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Is my interpretation of Knock correct in assuming that it undoes two locks with one spellcast?

    DeVryGuy on
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  • TenueiTenuei Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Magnets. Give one room (or a whole dungeon) a magnetic field that exerts a strong pull on all appropriate metal objects. Slow the movement rate of all PCs wearing metal armor, give them a hit penalty and lower their attacks per round when using metal weapons, decrease the AC of their metal shields, &c. They can find a way to deactivate the field and remove these penalties, but doing so just might free a rusty old Iron Golem being held immobile elsewhere in the dungeon.

    Or put a magnet in the roof that keeps a bunch of pointy weapons suspended against the ceiling... until the party steps on a touchplate that deactivates it, triggering a rain of swords. Toss in a rust monster if you're feeling particularly evil.

    There are lots of fun things to with magnets, especially if they're magic magnets that don't have to obey the laws of nature.

    Tenuei on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Is my interpretation of Knock correct in assuming that it undoes two locks with one spellcast?

    It unlocks as many locks are on the container/door to be opened.

    Goumindong on
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  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Goumindong wrote:
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Is my interpretation of Knock correct in assuming that it undoes two locks with one spellcast?

    It unlocks as many locks are on the container/door to be opened.

    My thought is based on this:
    Each spell can undo as many as two means of preventing egress.

    So I'm just wondering if it's completely pointless to lock something past 3rd level unless its abnormally huge.

    DeVryGuy on
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  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited September 2006
    I picked up two packs of the new Dungeon Tiles from Wizards of the Coast. They're very cool and reasonably priced and there are more sets coming in November and again in January. As long as you have a mat or something to put them on to keep them from getting bumped around too much, they're very easy to quickly lay out on-the-fly dungeons with.

    DMAC on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Goumindong wrote:
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Is my interpretation of Knock correct in assuming that it undoes two locks with one spellcast?

    It unlocks as many locks are on the container/door to be opened.

    My thought is based on this:
    Each spell can undo as many as two means of preventing egress.

    So I'm just wondering if it's completely pointless to lock something past 3rd level unless its abnormally huge.

    only one door, if there are two locks on it, it unlocks two locks.

    Goumindong on
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