Friday, July 3, 2009

Playing the Dungeon of Voorand - going off the deep end

Today I had something happen that I had thought would happen in one of the first sessions. Having read about megadungeons, I put in a chute down to the deepmost level of my whole dungeon. I put it on level one. I kind of expected the players to find it and be spooked fairly early, but they just avoided it! It looked like a big well where the orcs on level one cast their refuse, but I literally said "they throw down everything they don't want or eat there". I thought that would make someone think they might want what they didn't. That way they never got hold of that magic weapon I put in there for them to be able to fight in incorporeal undead. They managed without, go figure. Today they found it, finally.

For that deep level of the dungeon, I decided to steal an idea from Dave Arneson. That's a good source for stealing ideas! You can read of some of the early adventures in Blackmoor here. So, at the bottom of the dungeon there should be a dragon, right? I placed one down there, and it was sitting on a hoard of treasure in a sea of lava. Inhospitable, to say the least.

For those of my readers who have read the old rule books of D&D, might know that there are maps to be found as treasure. Since I started playing fantasy RPGs I don't think I've seen any, or at least very few, of those. I decided to toss one of those in a scroll case today. It will be fun to see what they do with that. Bring a saxophone to good players and they'll find a use for it. Talking about music instruments, we did have a new player today, who picked "Jazz Trombone" as his Talent. That shows the right attitude, I think. On the spot I invented the Annual Khazan Jazz Festival. Now we had a reason to party, and a nice setting for some fooling around and interpersonal action. Not every fantasy setting has its own Jazz Festival, I'm sure.

Good players also makes me want to highlight something else that happened tonight. When the players decided to go down the well to the roots of the volcano and the sea of lava, they did at all times make sure they had a clear line of retreat. Always make sure to have a line of retreat. Good old classic Gygax delving wisdom from the PHB.

Now the tavern our delving entrepreneur has built is almost finished. Whatever happens, hungry and tired delvers will have a way to get food and drink just outside the dungeon. Heartwarming, isn't it?

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