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Old 06-30-2019, 09:45 PM   #8
Michael Thayne
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Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
A plus side to dungeons is that it removes questions in the PC's minds about what to do next.

As a contrast, in our last couple of city adventures we've apparently "missed" pretty much all of the "real opportunities". The DM explained post-session that if we had dived into that portal the city mortuary was using to dispose of corpses through it wouldn't have taken us to some random location in the Plane of Elemental Fire as we supposed but rather it would have taken us right to the City of Brass where large treasures and much xp awaited.

If you are confident in both your ability to present all the information the PCs need and in your player's ability to pick up those important clues then you can let plausability and logic rule.

If not, you need to show your PCs a railroad train _and_ make it truly obvious that it is going the way they want to go. Players only complain about railroading when riding the train makes no sense.
I'm not sure if this is really true. "Get from point A to point B through the monster-filled wilderness" is a pretty straightforward task. The portal thing seems like a problem that could've come up in a dungeon, if you'd put the portal in a dungeon.

For people who like running dungeons with a veneer of plausibility, I'm curious what justifications you come up with for making sure the dungeon functions as a series of discrete encounters, rather than a few big ones. I just tried to write a simple dungeon adventure by making a list of monsters I thought would "play well" together (basically constructs / demons / undead plus some good old dungeon mold), but I couldn't resist the urge to group most of them into two main groups of monsters, while deciding the rest had been confined by their masters in ways that would make it easy for smart PCs to bypass them.

One option, I guess, is just to grab your RPG's system for stealth, hearing stuff, or whatever and let the dice determine whether any given group of monsters hear what's going on in the next room or not. If they do, the PCs can only take the monsters on "one group at a time" if they can kill the baddies very quickly...
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