View Full Version : Anyone ever used this as a storyline?

2013-06-16, 12:01 PM
"Professional dungeon cleaners, no maze too big, no crypt too small!" Basically, your party are a work crew working for the cleaner guild. Its a sad fact of life that empty areas seem to breed monsters, and to keep them from flooding the countryside, the Cleaners Guild has take it upon themselves to cull the various areas. Everything from run down castles in the woods, to vast underground catacombs, to a graveyard full of relatively small crypts. The way the party decides where to go is they check the bulletin board for various "jobs" available, clearly marked by danger level in some way that makes sense IC.

Its more of a sandbox setup than most, as there doesnt have to be an overarching storyline to follow other than doing your job, but you have to admit, that sounds like an interesting career path. You can use this as an interesting set of choosing your dungeon grind, depending on what you want to fight, (the board constantly changes as time passes) and you get to keep what you loot. And you very easily COULD create a storyline for it. Rival guild putting up false combat ratings to try and eliminate the competition, a sudden upsurge in monster population in the dungeons in a certain area creating a mystery to solve, things like that.

2013-06-16, 02:58 PM
I guess they'd be nicknamed something like "Cavebusters" for their specialty in dungeon work.

The main questgiver could easily fit into the "da Chief (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DaChief)" archetype, scolding the PCs for their shenanigans... but usually keeping them on the force if they're successful.

The company dealing with logistics like finding clients means the players can focus on dungeon-crawling, if that's what they're really interested in. The nature of their work means they can be easily swapped to different environments, enemy types, new restrictions and difficulties, etc, without needing to alter the overarching plot much.

EDIT: Now that I think of it, just getting to the quest location can present a challenge in itself, whether the party needs to traverse dangerous cliffs, jungles, seas, mountains, tundra, deserts, cities, or even dungeons just to get there.

2013-06-16, 03:04 PM
Honestly, this sounds like the game mechanics of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Not that it's bad, mind you. You can still have interesting stories with that.

Personally, I probably wouldn't enjoy it too much, as I enjoy roleplaying more than dungeon crawls, but that's personal preference.

Jay R
2013-06-16, 06:06 PM
From 1989 to 1991, Marvel comics published a comic called "Damage Control", about the clean-up crew in New York City who handled the messes left after super-hero battles (and wound up facing many of the bad guys themselves because of it).

2013-06-16, 07:13 PM
Never used that hook before. Not too bad an idea.
I did one have a king stage a dungeon. His son wanted t do a dungeon crawl for the prestige so the PCs were hired to be his body guards in a fabricated dungeon full of "almost" dangerous traps and "near" challenging monsters. It was quite hilarious and focused a lot of the Role Playing of the party trying to give this prince a decent time on his crawl.

2013-06-17, 12:31 AM
It reminds me sort of the Pathfinder Society, except more of a business than a guild. I like it. Do you mind if me and a friend use the idea?

2013-06-17, 12:38 AM
It's basically a formalized idea of your classic old-school D&D campaign. There's a wilderness map (hexes!) littered with dungeons and other adventure locations, and probably a table of rumors to roll on and follow up on into adventure.

I think the "organization" of it goes a bit further than I like, but that's a matter of taste; after all, I like adventuring companies with charters (like pirate ship crews of the Golden Age of Piracy had) that you sign.

Really, my Undermountain campaign structure comes pretty close: companies of adventurers hang around the taverns of Waterdeep, and once they blow their loot, they start listening for rumors for the next big score, either in Undermountain or out in the wilderness of the Savage North.

And getting to the adventure location absolutely should be a challenge: after all, even in OD&D, adventuring was half dungeon, half wilderness. Hexcrawls is where it's at.

2013-06-17, 02:34 AM
I ran an episodic E6 campaign where all the Pcs worked for "MacGuffin's Recovery Service. They got jobs from the (retired) Captain Dugan MacGuffin. Yeah, it was pretty over the top but it worked great.

2013-06-17, 06:12 AM
It reminds me sort of the Pathfinder Society, except more of a business than a guild. I like it. Do you mind if me and a friend use the idea?

Go for it. It was a basic idea that just hit me as an interesting one. Basically, whatever kingdom it gets set in decides that sitting back and hoping a team of murder hobos adventurers will wander through and take on a mission to clear out the local monster breeding areas is risky and unreliable, so they permanently hire on a few teams of various sorts and kind of setup a bounty hunter program for them. "Go clear out "x" castle ruins. All intel points towards a wannabe bandit lord and his men in residence, rumors of the lord having a couple ogres under his control as bodyguards are unconfirmed" As time passes it becomes a formalized guild like any other and your team is either already an employee of the guild, or looking to join.

The way I see it, it could easily be either sandboxy or a campaign. Only difference is discovering some sort of overarching threat on one of the dungeon clears