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Old 06-30-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
Irish Wolf
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Earth, mostly
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

I've used three dungeon-types for hack-n-slash.

In the first, the area is known for producing "adventurers", and the local equivalent to the Chamber of Commerce keeps a dungeon stocked with minor treasures and non-intelligent monsters. They're all in there because they were put there, and a party has to wait their turn to go in. (Also, it's understood that a certain percentage of apprentice adventurers who go in aren't coming out...) This, of course, is clearly intended for beginning adventurers - no self-respecting 6th-level Fighter is going to be caught dead (or undead) in the place.

The second is an abandoned wizard's keep, dating from the Chaos Wars. Creatures are lured in by the fact that as long as you live within those walls, you are provided with food and shelter (the wizard didn't want to maintain a staff, but also didn't want to be bothered with cooking or cleaning, so the place maintains itself magically). Then you show up, looking for the wizard's old Macguffin of Plot-Propelling, and on we go.

The third was actually a wizard's college before the Chaos Wars. In recent centuries, however, part have been co-opted by a blue dragon and its minions, while another part has been claimed by a tribe of orcs. There's an uneasy truce between the two sides; the orcs have the numbers, while the dragon has the power, and neither one has the ability to both access and use some of the old stuff lying around. (And since much of it was made by students, it's not all useful; I was inspired by the chart of Useless Magical Items in Murphy's Rules.) It also happens to be located in a mountain pass that the party needs to cross...

None of them are plot-dependent, and can be dropped in just anywhere - they don't even need a plot, if all you're looking for is quick hack-n-slash with minimal worldbuilding.
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