View Full Version : Looking for help with dungeoncrawl [3.5e]

2009-12-29, 05:53 AM
Okay, so I've got what I think is sort of a cool idea for a dungeoncrawl: a persistent dungeoncrawl, which is to say that anything you do in the dungeon remains there for the people who come afterwards. For instance, if you slaughter all the kobolds in the dungeon, then no one else will face kobolds. If you make a rune circle, then that rune circle remains. If you die in a trap, then your body is still there.

Now the problem is is that I haven't run a dungeoncrawl in a long time. So, I need ideas and stuff like that. This dungeon is going to be huge (at least big enough to go from level 1 to level 20, though I'm probably going to multiply XP gain by x2 or even x3 or x4.

The story behind the dungeon is that this building just rose up out of the ocean. Legends tell of such a place, built by gods now long dead. It holds great treasure and power, but is also deadly beyond compare. The place only exists for a short time (though how short, the legends don't say) before it disappears, putting everything and everyone inside of it into a deep stasis [that's the justification for why all the opponents aren't constructs, undead, or immortals, though those will certainly show up].

So far, I've just been going through monster books finding interesting monsters to populate the dungeon with (I'm going to be trying to make the dungeon a "living" one i.e. if the orcs and goblins are fighting and somebody kills off the goblins, the orcs are going to move into Goblintown). Fiend Folio has some really cool stuff to use.

I'm also going to need to make some pretty cool traps. I've already gone through the Netbook of Traps a while ago.

I'm also thinking of some general threat things that could attack you at almost any level. Right now, I'm thinking of portal storms (random teleporters, which can also move monsters around), different densities of Shredstorms (MM3, pg. 153), and also changing the way that stuff like fireball works (I have the rules in my head, but it's basically just making it so that "long corridor" = "long fireball").

Anybody else got any input? Favorite traps? Favorite monsters? General advice? All that stuff is good.

2009-12-29, 01:58 PM
That's a might big order to fill. What format are you looking for? Is this for a 3.5 game or a 4e game or something else? You should list that in the title.


2009-12-29, 02:38 PM
Oh my, yes, it would be a big order if I wanted somebody to do the entire thing for me. Except, I don't. I just want any input at all, even if it's only a few sentences. Right now I'm suffering from the fact that I've got too many options to make a coherent whole.

As for edition, it's going to be 3.5e, but quite frankly, it doesn't matter all that much. I've been converting stuff from 2nd edition (for instance) - namely Undermountain stuff, since it's sort of similar - because it's the idea behind the traps and tricks that are important, rather than the stats.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, I might not want to make it just a single (enormous) building. I remember a friend of mine was going to run a "Kill the Underdark" campaign, and I could pull something similar i.e. the entrance is just to a huge underground complex. Make it a sort of Metroidvania dungeoncrawl with the hub being the entrance.

2009-12-29, 03:12 PM
If you want a bunch of cool traps I recommend looking at Kobold Quarterly's free articles. They've got some cool monsters there too.

If you can grab a copy of The Wurst of Grimtooth's Traps from Sword and Sorcery, you'll find wonderfully lethal traps there.

I recommend looking at a Dungeon as a ecological microcosm. Make sure that food sources are available for the monsters that need them--anything from edible fungus to fish-filled pools of water. Undead don't need to eat, but most monsters will have food requirements. Much of the competition between monsters will be for the limited food sources. Carrion eaters like gelatinous cubes will scavenge for the bits so you won't find as much filth as would be expected. After that, you can just pick up some cool and unexpected things. Maybe a gorgon leads the kobold raids on the territory held by minotaurs.


2009-12-29, 04:08 PM
I'll give Kobold Quarterly and the S&S book a check. Thanks.

And, yeah, dungeon ecology. Thinking about it, fungus just won't cut it. Sure, I can invoke "magic did it" and not explain anything, but I think I want a bit more. Daylight could work (still magic, but makes more sense). Create Food, also works, though most clerics wouldn't be powerful enough except to create enough for a small group rather than a tribe.

So, I'll need:
Level 1 Consumers (Herbivores)
Level 2 Consumers (Predators, mostly small and animal-like)
Level N Consumers (Dragons and huge things like that)

Also, I just remembered an old video game that I used to play. Combining that with the Underdark/Undermountain thing going on, I think I know how to set up the location.

2009-12-30, 01:08 PM
There could be small passages to the surface that colonies of bats and vermin use to reach the surface and hunt. Feeding on these colonies can form the food source for larger creatures that never go above ground.