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Old 08-18-2017, 06:39 AM   #1
lachimba
 
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Default brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

I'm looking for more non combat encounters for my mega dungeon.

Not really traps either, unless its complex puzzle traps versus "pressure plate releases gas"

Any idea are useful. Its a megadungeon after all, sooner or later I will use everything.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:53 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

A 3-D labyrinth with switches that change the direction of gravity for the all or part of the tunnels.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Got food? Got healing? Got weapons? It's a big dungeon - maybe you packed enough rations for only one month, or your cleric ended up on the wrong end of a longsword, or you had to get rid of your longsword quickly. If that's the case, then welcome to the Delver's Shoppe! We realized it's much more profitable - and safer - to sell to the people taking chances than it is for us to take those chances ourselves, so we set up shop on level 33. Replenish your food supplies (hope you like mushrooms), get yourselves patched up (at a reasonable markup), and replace any weapons you might have broken or lost (replacement weapons looted from only the finest bodies).
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Chase: perhaps there's a creature that steals something from a PC, or a horse bolts away, or an ally is captured.

Recover the gear: the party loses a signature item (e.g., fell through a crack during an earthquake) and the group needs to explore and retrieve the item.

Puzzles: a part of the dungeon has a puzzle that the PCs must solve in order to advance. Logic puzzles and riddles both work, in different ways.

Stealth: the party needs to sneak into and out of an area without being detected, possibly while doing recon or sabotage.

Stop the ritual: the PCs must disrupt a ritual before awful things happen.

Escort mission: the PCs must keep an NPC safe through a travel sequence.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Herbivores: Dungeon beast encounters center around predators (often apex predators) and scavengers. What do these eat when there aren't juicy adventurers presenting themselves? Miniature cattle! Bunnies! Goats! Finding twenty basically harmless creatures grazing on manavore fungus or spreading out through a Continual Light cave full of grass could be the animal equivalent of the Dread Gazebo, as the PCs keep expecting the hidden teeth to come out.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:42 AM   #6
ericthered
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Traversal Obstacles: places that are hard to get to. The trick with this is magic can make this trivially easy. They're probably best combined with anti-magic zones. The classically involves lots of climbing, jumping, swimming, and rope throwing.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:05 AM   #7
simply Nathan
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

An elven damsel chained to a wall.

"I think I've been waiting centuries for someone to rescue me, but it's hard to keep track of time down here."

She has Lockpicking-15 and Escape-12, and has escaped and been recaptured a few times (starting with those skills at default).
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

A very large Dwarven mining crew. Friendly and professional, they're here to punch a nice big tunnel through the middle of the dungeon.

But, as you know, those dwarven toilets empty themselves, and consequentially something has got to go somewhere.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
Got food?
A different take: A series of farm caverns tended by the serf equivalent of a semi-dominant "evil" humanoid species. As long as the players don't start killing all the farmers, they'll gladly trade food for anything. An infinite food source if the players aren't kill-crazy. Maybe the PCs have to regularly "liberate" the farms from different factions of dungeon dweller masters.

There's always the classic magic fountain. Do you drink? Do you force/trick a fellow player to drink first?

Insanely intricate valuable glass statue too big to move through openings, and essentially worthless if broken into pieces. Some players love to waste time figuring out how to take home the dumbest things.

A room illusioned-up to look like the exit, complete with a view of the actual outside doorway (used by a long-dead dweller to observe the dungeon entrance).

A Scooby-Doo hallway where all the doors are portals that lead only to other doors in the hallway. Another great PC time waster as they try to discover "the one door that leads somewhere" If it's a curved hallway, it may take a long time before they discover the truth.

A room covered in torches with a Minecraft style tree inside. Cubical sections, grows incredibly fast from branch cuttings (if placed in a cube of dirt), etc.

An abandoned prison (an actual dungeon!), with acceptable cots for sleeping.

Dead adventurers scattered here and there... from old age. Sometimes covered in a cairn by former party members, sometimes out in the open. If they're communicated with via necromancy/divination, they ask to be reburied topside.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:58 PM   #10
simply Nathan
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
There's always the classic magic fountain. Do you drink? Do you force/trick a fellow player to drink first?
Heck no! I got those five points from Curious for a reason. :3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
Insanely intricate valuable glass statue too big to move through openings, and essentially worthless if broken into pieces. Some players love to waste time figuring out how to take home the dumbest things.
One campaign anecdote I've heard time and again from an oldschool dungeoneer I know was that he had a super stingy dungeon master who refused to let the players get even the smallest treasure without it being utterly laborious (he was surprised when the players skinned the wolves, as he was not expecting them to find a way to monetize such encounters). After much complaints about insufficient money, he decided to tease these players by putting a huge gold altar in the bottom of a dungeon, with the altar itself being wider than the halls and doors. Rather than cut it to pieces and sell those, the player engineered getting it out of the dungeon and all the way to the temple of his god.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
A Scooby-Doo hallway where all the doors are portals that lead only to other doors in the hallway. Another great PC time waster as they try to discover "the one door that leads somewhere" If it's a curved hallway, it may take a long time before they discover the truth.
I love this idea so much.
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