D is for Dungeon, and Delve, Decent, and Danger.
I love a good dungeon. The old dnd experience tucked away in the back of my skull remembers with glee the slow reveal of a huge dungeon map (Undermountain, Menzoberenzan, Queen of the Demon Web, etc). Each 10 ft square added a new set of challenges, columns, traps, and randomly generated monsters. Hand drawn maps that wrapped onto 3 different grids, using a variable scale, with cheetos fingerprints.
I recently grabbed a map from Dave’s Mapper as an attempt to use a random dungeon and was pleased by the experience. It does not remove the need to populate each room, or decide where the traps go, but it does allow the generation of oddly connected dungeon crawls.
I also used a map created by Jon from Fantastic Maps – a cave in which a set of Diabolists lived. It really helped me to have a map to work against for the encounters.
A contained space, which can be “cleared” and has a finite time needed, and nice constrained scope. A dungeon area could certainly be limitless, but most are purpose specific. The characters get in, go crazy with powers, and get out to rest and sell the loot. It is the same buzz as a good raid in an mmo, and I think it is still great fun to this day.
Now to get back to smashing crates, drinking the tepid water pools, and robbing the goblins of all their Wands of Magic Missles.
Part of the Blogging A to Z initiative, is to create an A-Z list of some sort, and I’m posting what ever random thoughts pop into my head for each letter of the alphabet.