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Old 08-20-2017, 07:22 AM   #21
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Depends on how one implements it. I was picturing more of an initial puzzle involving challenges without gear.
.
To be captured in DF- you lose a fight or fail a roll to avoid a trap

How else do you get captured? (other than because the GM says so)

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
I like to design interesting failure conditions (beyond TPK) in big adventures,

Thats great, but I'm stocking my mega dungeon. In my game the PCs will start/finish in town (almost every session). I just want more non combat/traps to fill the many many rooms. Monsters that want to capture the PCs is another combat encounter, just one with non lethal consequences.

Sure the PCs might be captured becauae they fail a roll, but that doesn't help me stock rooms x through y.

Last edited by lachimba; 08-20-2017 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:04 PM   #22
Dalin
 
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

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Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
I just want more non combat/traps to fill the many many rooms.
Ok, I see where you're coming from now.

I always enjoy dungeon rooms where something has already happened. Examples:

- remains of an earlier battle
- triggered but not reset trap (with, perhaps, gruesome remains)
- disabled trap
- defaced or reconsecrated shrine
- secret door left open or smashed open or otherwise marked
- abandoned watch post, guard room, etc.
- room through which something has obviously recently passed (trail of glowing slime, leftovers from lunch, smoldering embers from a cookfire, etc.)

The fun of these is that they add to the sense that the dungeon has a life of its own. There may, of course, also be clues to help delvers understand what they will be up against (particular foes, types of traps, etc.)

This brings me waaaaay back to one of my favorite Dragon Magazine articles (from issue #10) called "Let There Be A Method To Your Madness" by Richard Gilbert.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

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This brings me waaaaay back to one of my favorite Dragon Magazine articles (from issue #10) called "Let There Be A Method To Your Madness" by Richard Gilbert.
Oh yes, that one a classic worth rereading. Now where did I file that...?
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:12 PM   #24
thrash
 
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

A water-powered pipe organ, complete with sheet music. If anyone plays the organ, a few moments later there will appear an irate wizard of an unfamiliar but humanoid species, with absolutely enormous ears. The organ has a teeth-gratingly annoying overtone in a range too high for the PC's to hear (unless they, too, have Ultrahearing). She doesn't really want anything but to shut off the organ, shoo the PC's out, and lock the door again. If the door is broken, she will demand that they fix it or pay to have it fixed.
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:34 PM   #25
Dargaron
 
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

First question: do you want strictly non-combat encounters, or just encounters that are weighted towards non-combat solutions?

-A ghost is stuck in the dungeon. He/she has given up on dealing with his/her "unfinished business," and instead needs something to entertain him/her over the ages. Thus, the ghost offers a bargain to any adventurers he/she encounters: beat me in a challenge of riddles, and I'll tell you about the trap that killed me. Oh, and by the way, said trap is on the door you just came through.

-A fork in the road. There are scribbles on the wall (in blood, if you feel that adds to the creepiness), arguing with each other about which direction is best. The messages are written in multiple hands and seem to form coherent factions, although one or two seem to change their mind midway through the debate. Both sides imply there's a fairly nasty trap and/or a dead end down the other's chosen corridor.

-An obvious chest in an otherwise empty room, but there are piles of ash scattered around the chest, with bits of bone sticking out. There are also scorch marks around the chest, but no evidence of a trap...because there is no trap: a genre-savvy inhabitant figured the best way to stop people stealing his stash was to plant evidence of a trap that no one could find, thus, they'd leave the chest alone.
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:45 PM   #26
philosophyguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

This is a meta-response, but for generating encounters you should read The Angry GM's article on How to Build Awesome Encounters. The basic point is that you figure out the dramatic question, the conflict that makes it an obstacle, several decision points, and then worry about the mechanics.

GURPS makes the mechanics easy, so using the framework of dramatic question/conflict/decision points is helpful in developing an encounter from idea to game-worthy event.
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:04 PM   #27
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

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She doesn't really want anything but to shut off the organ, shoo the PC's out, and lock the door again. If the door is broken, she will demand that they fix it or pay to have it fixed.
"Pay me for the door-repair charge."

So on a related note:
- A monster who offers a bribe to the PCs for not killing him or telling other monsters about his secret hiding place.
- A monster who just sits in a doorway and grumbles...not exactly threatening, just blocking a path. He'll move if you offer him food.
- An old woman who sells healing potions and half-consumed healing potions which have been watered down (at 75% price).
- An old man who offers a magic sword, but only if you're a master of wielding it already (pick some specific and unusual sword like an estoc or a light falchion or something a Swashbuckler is unlikely to pick as his single specialty over the usual Edged Rapier, Late Katana, Longsword, and Thrusting Broadsword).
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Last edited by simply Nathan; 08-20-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #28
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

Dungeon maintenance or service area. DF equivalents of boilers, water pipes, sewage, HVAC, etc. Could provide a strategic advantage (gumming up the works, secret access, etc.) or unusual allies (maintenance gremlins). Probably involves magic and/or exotic beasties (e.g., elementals).
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:42 PM   #29
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

A pool of "water" that solidifies into quartz if removed.

An underground waterfall flowing over a stationary water wheel. One of the cogs of the wheel needs replacing. If it is restored to functionality a platform will begin moving up and down providing an elevator to the first level.

Another pool of water that has the upper torso of a naked woman emerge to say "An thou harm none in this place, drink freely."

A Trader from GURPS Aliens.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:30 PM   #30
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Default Re: brainstorming noncombat encounters for my mega dungeon

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First question: do you want strictly non-combat encounters, or just encounters that are weighted towards non-combat solutions?
The former.

My players almost always shout "parley" at combat encounters even when there is no chance of avoiding them.
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