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Saturday, January 30, 2010

MegaDungeon LEXI-1 Notes

Here are some notes on yesterday's megadungeon post (one-page dungeon PDF here.)
  • In keeping with an intent to improvise, the background is sketchy: someone was smuggling weapons made by enslaved dwarves; this is the entrance to the abandoned forge.
  • The map, as mentioned, is built around a leximorph based on the letters "LEXI"; since this would be all tunnels and an "I" is a rather bland addition to the dungeon structure, I placed it in a slightly unusual place: a gallery to the "L" corridor; after placing the letters, I filled in rooms around them as needed.
  • A second goal of this map was to practice mapping in Inkscape instead of my usual AutoREALM mapping; the doors, stairs and tapestries are purposefully drawn by hand, which is why they look a little ragged.
  • To suggest a story behind why the forge was abandoned without actually setting anything in stone, two of the special monster types are dwarven undead; one of the treasures is a magical hammer with a curse that affects humans.
  • The wandering monster list is short and mostly generic, as befits a first-level entryway to the rest of the dungeon; small centipedes, rats and bats will dominate the encounters and will be basically limitless, invading from above; but I've already planned ahead for another region on the first level and added goblin bands from the east.
  • I compared some of the simple monsters to published materials like Labyrinth Lord and AD&D, but I mostly improvise their stats, and added two variant jackals for diversity.
  • Since I wanted a ghost to fit the mood, but didn't want one of the bad-ass, age-you-40-years ghosts, my haunting dwarf spirits are weaker; they're still pretty dangerous if you stand and fight.
  • I added one variant monster not on the main list to two locations: the hoard crawler, which is really just a small centipede with different behavior; these may show up as wandering monsters in another region.
  • I also placed one human skeleton with a special treasure in the secret cache; it doesn't wander, and unless the party figures out how to get in, they don't need to deal with it.
  • I placed the magic hammer first, at one of the forges, and placed one set of dwarf skeletons and one haunting dwarf spirit each on separate sides of the region; the remaining rooms have random monster and treasure allocation.
  • I'm working on a low-treasure principle: silver piece instead of gold piece standard; this region of the level is treasure poor, because it's an easily accessible part of the dungeon; I expect most of the first-level treasure to be in the smuggler's quarters to the east or the mines to the north.
  • There are, however, a lot of salvageable items in this region; they aren't explicitly listed, but several of the "empty" rooms like 5 and 7 were former storage areas; rummaging through the debris may yield usable items.
All in all, it's a pretty simple but I think effective opening to the dungeon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the notes, its interesting to gain an insight into the thinking behind the choices you've made, good stuff.