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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Building the Megadungeon...

So, I will be starting a new section of posts here over the next few weeks.  Yes yes, I know.  I have posted much in a long while.  Screw you too.  But it's time to put some ideas down on digital paper for the world to see.  So what am I doing?  Building a megadungeon!

Minor story segway time!
For the past 2 months, I have been running a Pathfinder game for some friends and family.  All of them newbies.  While this is fine and dandy, most of them are foreign to role-playing and crafting characters (unlike us geeks in the D&D field).  So they've become the fightery fighters of fightingness, or FFF as I will refer to them from here on out.  There is only a half caster in the group, a magus (who's archtypes has diminished his spellcasting even further...), so they're kinda very screwed in the future.  I will indeed punish them for that by killing at least one of them during the megadungeon.

Right, the reason I segway'd - since my players don't care much for story or role-playing, I'm building them a megadungeon so they can explore and kill and loot all they want.  I have a few more weeks of buffer time to work with, between crappy work scheduling, a few more seasons of their current adventure, and my friend running for a few seasons for me.
(end segway)

So, I am recording the whole ordeal of making this dungeon for the world to see.  Mostly because this will get interesting.  As well as try to record how my players roll with the whole thing.

So, the first step was research and concepts.
Since this was my first foray into the megadungeon, I searched the internets for advice.  This link gave me a great deal of info for the whole thing.  Thank the gods for the internet.  Meanwhile, I scoured Pathfinder books for ideas to cement the whole thing into the world.  I have a great deal of flexibility here, given that my players haven't read anything into the world (lazy bastards) or they don't care (ie, my wife).  Eventually, I came across the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, and used that as a stepping stone.  For those who never played it/read it, it details the rise of one particular Runelord (ancient Super-Evil Mega-Wizards), but also suggests others return to the world.

The concept was simple enough - a mountain with a tower on top.  Eventually, I explaned the idea to making the tower go through the whole mountain, making it a hub of sorts for the various sections.  The players would start out by clearing out mines full of orcs, but then stumble upon the tower's hub at the end of the mines.  The door into the tower already opened by the orcs (as they came from another end of the tower hub).  Throw in some awesome plotting and scheming by a wizard or two, some ulterior motives, and a possible cataclysm ending, and this might just turn out epicly.

Taking the advice I found, I drew up a side view sketch of the whole dungeon.  We have the mountain contain everything, with the tower right down the middle.  Then I added various locations: the mines, the Crypt (gotta have undead somewhere), the Forgotten City (for those mindflayers and other fuckers that can fuck up your day), the Underground Lake (gotta have some water here), and the Pit (for the demons and other crazy monsters).  There is also the Orc tribe camp, which connects via a set of tunnels to the tower hub.  Speaking of the tower, that is also divied up - the Summit at the top, the Spiral below, the Tower Climb next (right around where the mountain peak is), the Cathedral (just above the main Hub), the Tower Hub (where most of the connecting areas meet up), the Tower Base (which connects to the Pit and the Lake), and the Cage (which can be only accessed by going through the Pit, and you have to be very high level for that shit).

To keep things easy to understand for myself, I created a small 3D sketch of where thing where in relation to the tower.  I will scan this page and post it later when I get to a scanner...

I like to believe I'm decent at making an over-arcing plot.  So I created a basic job to bring the players in - a wizard in charge of a mining business hires the players to clear the orcs out.  After the boss orc, party FFF (or what's left of them after that fight) discover the door to the Hub.  Hopefully, at this point, they head back to town to get some answers from their employer, who then explains that the miners dug up the door, but left it untouched (in fear of any nasties that'd come out of it).  The wizard will offer more gold to secure the Hub, hoping to prevent any more monsters from coming up from the woodwork.  Of course, the party being the money grubbing fighters that they are, will dig deeper into the tower and it's related dungeons and kill off major monsters, guardians of the Tower....  And I will stop there in case my players find this post.

Mythic or Not?
At this point of my plots and schemes, I discovered the Pathfinder book, Mythic Adventures.  It's pretty cool stuff, and I am tempted to use it with my players.  They need all the power they can get during this thing.  Unless someone re-rolls a real mage.  Gotta kill someone soon...

Next time...?  I dunno what I will duscuss next.  Encounters?

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