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Old 02-17-2018, 05:45 PM   #1
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

So, supposing I was going to write a free adventure and put it out there for free, what level of depth would be of interest? I guess I'm asking if people would be more interested in vingettees, places of interest, or something in a more full narrative adventure format?

I've got a map and some notes for a bit of a setting, I'd have done more if the DF campaign had stuck. I need to be a bit more prepared but it might be coming back so I'm doing some adventure writing type work anyhow.

I'm also looking at putting together some geomorphic tiles, they'll probably be square cut, cutting out hexes to interlock is a pain, though I'm thinking 1/8" craft foam as a backing would make it easier though not cheaper.

I had one player make his character the king of a major nation with an elite guard ally group. Now to some that would be a problem, but I just figure it means I have to turn his castle into the dungeon. Good luck fighting your way out of there man. :D

So, I'm leaning to a castle as the dungeon adventure.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
robertsconley
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

I am game for anything as long as it is interesting situation. By interesting I mean that the situation arise out of what the NPCs (including monsters) are doing or not doing.

For example what of what made the old White Plume interesting to me was the fact it was centered around retrieving three items stolen by a wizard. There was a reason to be there. And the fact there are three items to fihe meant there was method to the design of the dungeon. And the items were memorable.

Otherwise White Plume would have been a puzzle dungeon. I will grant you that the background was thin but it was just enough in my book. In contrast the Ghost Tower of Inverness was just over the other side of the line. There was no reason to be there other than get XP and find treasure.

But the adventure I find most enjoyable are those that arise out of the interactions between NPCs. The locale is just one of the details. I find if the situation is interesting enough even the most bog standard dungeon with a 10 by 10 room with a orc guarding a chest can be compelling.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:18 PM   #3
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

The orc's name is Neddy and he likes playing simple hand games along the lines of rock, paper, scissors. The boss has ordered him to guard the room as punishment for slacking off and he's bored and lonely. The only words of common he knows are "kill", "run", "eat", "drink", and "help" but he has gesture skill at 12 which is generally useful when speaking to orcs. Neddy doesn't want to fight but bringing back a dead adventurer or two might get him back in the boss's good graces.

Neddy, orc guard
Attributes
ST: 12 [20];
DX; 10
IQ: 9 [-20];
HT: 10
HP: 12 [4]; Per:11 [5]; Will 11 [5];

Advantages:
Night Vision 5 [5].

Disadvantages:
Laziness [-10];
Social Stigma (Orc) [-10];
Likes Hand Games [-1].

Skills:
Area Knowledge (Dungeon) 10 [2]; Brawling 12 [4]; Climbing 11 [4]; Games (Orc Hand Games) 10 [4]; Gesture 12 [8]; Hiking 12 [2]; Short Sword 10 [2]; Spear 12 [4]; Spear Throwing 12 [4]; Swimming 12 [1].

Equipment:
Spear (1d+4 Impaling), Leather Torso (DR 2), Dented Pot Helm (DR3), Cheap Short Sword , Medium Shield (+2 DB)

The room is not actually empty. The bosses know that there is a cache and a secret door that leads directly out of the dungeon here. Neddy has no idea that there's a sack of 100 gold pieces, a wallet containing a week's rations, a wine skin, and a pair of daggers hidden under a loose stone in the right corner of the room. The secret door is a wooden panel covered with painted plaster stonework that meshes almost seamlessly with the wall. A slight breeze from a crack in the corner of the secret door will make torches flicker if they are within one hex of it.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:10 PM   #4
robertsconley
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

Exactly. Maybe a little more concise but other than that it works for me.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:18 PM   #5
Anthony
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

If the point of the dungeon crawl is the dungeon crawl, I expect interestingly designed fights where each one has its own little trick or unique feature. However, I do prefer to have a better excuse for a dungeon crawl than "there's loot in that hole in the ground, got get it".
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:31 AM   #6
corwyn
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If the point of the dungeon crawl is the dungeon crawl, I expect interestingly designed fights where each one has its own little trick or unique feature. However, I do prefer to have a better excuse for a dungeon crawl than "there's loot in that hole in the ground, got get it".
I definitely agree; Even in DF, most players these days want some motivation other than "get more loot/xp".

I'd even be okay with something *gasp* not in a dungeon, or not completely in a dungeon. Adventures/campaigns like Red Hand of Doom or, for a gurps angle, Mordag's Little Finger (one of my favourite fantasy adventures of all time - just enough complexity to make it interesting, and not really a dungeon to be found).
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:02 AM   #7
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

Well, in this case it would be a dungeon because it's for Dungeon Fantasy. Probably a shorter one as I don't do so well at finishing huge, expansive projects without some oversight and encouragement. I find too ambitious equals never finished.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:42 PM   #8
Ulairi
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

I tend to buildout dungeons there are a simple “floor” but I can repurpose as needed for my games. If you have ever read any of the Palladium Fantasy books they come with dozens of maps, that are functionally dungeons, even if they aren’t underground. I like them because they all tend to be one or two pages and can be used in a lot of different ways.

I think when it comes to you building a dungeon to post, like what Robert said: an interesting McGuffin and buildout the dungeon around the McGuffin. If the point is to steal the golden idol then give us a reason to be there, why the idol would be in this dungeon, and have is make some level of sense of why the idol would be where it is in the dungeon.

I also am a fan of crypt diving for treasure as something for players to do as well. My group doesn’t play DFRPG as a game that is about killing things and Greyhawking the bodies. I just use it as a simpler OSR style way to play GURPS. I have used the box set for wilderness adventures, city adventures, etc.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:16 PM   #9
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by corwyn View Post
Even in DF, most players these days want some motivation other than "get more loot/xp".
I'll suggest that, in fact, the goal of dungeon fantasy remains "get more loot/xp," but the entertainment value has never been just "kill the monster and take its stuff." That's a bit of a myth of what classic dungeoneering is like. The value has always been in the interesting situations and characters the players would get to engage in.

If you have a series of rooms in which the party simply slaughters all the monsters from the manuals in alphabetical order and takes all their treasure, you won't have nearly as much fun as when you suddenly encounter a little old hermit guarding a golden tree whose fruits glow with a pale light, and who gives you a riddle explaining the purpose of the tree. Can you figure out the riddle? Do you try eating the fruit? Do you kill the old man? Is he really just an old man? These are the sorts of encounters players will remember.

So what I want in a dungeon is plenty of interesting things to see and do, where "kill the monster" is usually the last resort, because you have failed at everything else.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:39 PM   #10
zuljita
 
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Default Re: What Do You Want In A Dungeon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
So what I want in a dungeon is plenty of interesting things to see and do, where "kill the monster" is usually the last resort, because you have failed at everything else.
I'll disagree with that part in particular but only by degree. From what I've seen in play there's a fair number of players who want to be able to default to killing the monster about 75% of the time.

In general, what I'd want from a dungeon supplement is for it to make sure to offer a non-combat way for most templates to shine. Realistically, this means going through the adventurers book and saying "when do I give the Thief his moment of awesome?" for each of the templates. I'd also hope to see the dungeon not require any one profession to show up.

Interesting and varied fights are important too. You can do a whole dungeon with nothing but Orcs, but if each fight with the Orcs is in a noticeably different environment, where the tactical considerations change substantially, it can still work.
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