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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    So, I'm a sort-of-new-DM inhereting my group's lv 10 Eberron campaign. Our last DM has moved away and won't be able to join for every meeting. My primary RPG experience is with online, text-based games. I'm used to the idea of having things set up in advance, so I'm trying to get materials together for our next few games. Everyone in my group has a good time, but we've tended to spend a lot more time on the social, roleplaying types of stuff than we do on running combat, and while there are good fights, they don't offer a lot for variety. The group has well-optimised characters that are difficult to challenge without simply cranking up numbers, and the players themselves are all pretty bright and have a firm grasp of tactics - one is exmilitary and actually has some formal education on the subject. His character is very combat-oriented in build and he doesn't always have a lot to do outside of the fights. I want to run a dungeon crawl, not just to give him more time, but because our prior DM hardly ever ran more than one combat a day and so our party has rarely had to watch out for things like running out of spells.

    I've gone through Dungeonscape and some other books, but one thing I haven't been able to find regarding dungeon design is strategic layout. I have my own ideas, but because the aforementioned player has a good grasp on refined, real-world tactics, I want to try to get some background so that I don't miss anything obvious.

    I have my theme, antagonists, treasure, plot hooks, etc. all ready to go, but I need to come up with some floorplans by next Saturday.
    - Where do I put things like chokepoints?
    - We have PCs with search and trapfinding, but they don't always use it - how do I set up traps so that they really surprise the party?
    - What are some good configurations to make a dungeon easy to enter, but hard to exit when the enemy is pressing you back?
    - How can I get the party to really spend some time figuring things out in the dungeon without turning it into a fetch-quest or railroading them into a linear path?
    - How can I use the placement of things like walls and stationary effects like mud, antimagic, and hazards like fire and ledges to the advantage of the dungeon inhabitants?
    - What kind of formations are useful, and for what purposes?
    - What types of layout features make a dungeon interesting?


    Now, for the specifics. The core of our party is a warforged barbarian, a kalashtar psion built for blasting, and my half-elf druid with spontaneous spellcasting and a bucket full of non-druid spells. We also have an amnesiatic human paladin and a sorcerer/spellblade (I think that's the name of the class... I'm pretty sure it's not hexblade - low-level spells + full BAB) with some sort of evil-pale-human-ish race from the Book of Vile Darkness that join sometimes - when they're not at the table we just say that they're keeping each other busy. We also have a large suite of recurring NPCs that accompany us on occasion - a changeling rouge, shifter ranger, dwarven artificer, and some NPC-class sailor types, plus at least one windwright captain/mark of storm character that our DM neglected to stat out. (Our party operates a sort of mercenary/adventuring group.) At present, we've got the rouge along with the PCs, and have co-opted a wyvern and a second shifter ranger that we encountered during our current travels - the other NPCs aren't with us and won't be joining us for a while. We're parked at a monastery in Adar seeking the assistance of some high-level telepaths. There was a horrible accident involving Xen'drik artifacts and the DM rolling natural ones for the telepath that was helping us, so the party will have to give up and leave or travel to another settlement - in either case I plan to sidetrack them with some couatl ruins.

    So, that's about as much information as I can think of at the moment. If anyone needs clarification, just ask. Any help you could offer would be great.

    Thanks,
    ~Joe
    Last edited by seedjar; 2007-10-28 at 03:05 AM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    What I do when I plan a game is look at who will be there, and make sure there is something each one can contibute to the story. If that isn't there, the story/dungeon needs to change.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Thanks for the advice, but that much I already know. What I really need are things that don't just engage a character's class features. I want the players themselves to have to make difficult choices.

    For example, say the party heads down a long, narrow passage full of traps. Trap-sensing PCs manage to get everyone through unscathed, but the party is ambushed at the end of the tunnel. There are more baddies behind them than in front. Does the party continue in the same direction, taking the easier fight into unknown territory and possibly a dead end, or should they turn tail and engage the bulk of the enemies, at the same time attempting to avoid traps while rushed? This is the type of challenge that I want to present to my players.

    I don't want success in my game to be completely dependent on how my party rolls or what feats they take; I want my dungeons to require a bit of honest-to-goodness thought.

    ~Joe
    Last edited by seedjar; 2007-10-27 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    If that is what you mean by choices, I wish your group good luck in the creation of their next characters. At the very least, the "choices" you give your players aren't going to come out anything how you want them to. Not without signifigant DM prodding.

    Give everybody a chance to shine. Not just "do something", but really shine, and your dungeon will be a success. The tough choices will happen along by themselves. When DM's try to put in "tough choices", they often fail or fall into conductor territory because the players will come up with option "C" more often than not. To pull it off, the DM really has to know what he's doing.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    That's precisely why I'm looking for an overview of this matter. We constantly come up with weird solutions to the challenges that come up. The last DM was running encounters at two to three EL higher than our party level, because most of us are really good at finding the easy way out. If the PCs do something unexpected, that's fine with me. If it turns out too easy, that's fine with me. If somebody dies, that's fine with me. (But not likely with our track record, especially since right now over half the party has decent-to-excellent healing abilities.) I want them to puzzle over the situation, take a few moments of thinking, "It's all over," and then find a way to tip the odds in their favor.

    If I just dump the characters in a room with a monster that seems beefy enough to hold them off for a while, it might keep them busy for several rounds, but they won't have to do anything too novel. We've got a routine for overcoming damage reduction, another for dealing with spell resistance, one for energy resistance/immunity. Dispellers and counterspellers have given us trouble in the past, but with the rouge and three full BAB types along for the ride, I'm not going to count on that working forever.

    What I'm really looking for is just an overview of different tactical situations. What kind of combat actions work best for enemies that ambush in large numbers? How can I design terrain to make it easy for low-level enemies to divide the party? If I knew what kind of situations were easy to overcome and which were genuinely deadly, I'd have more options to do things like split the party up, exhaust them and then drop them into combat, etc. I know that there is already some knowledge base about this somewhere - it's what all of those D&D miniatures scenarios are about. It just doesn't seem to be collected anywhere, or I'm searching for it with the wrong terms.

    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Create a shapeshifter dungeon. It's an excellent way to create a memorable adventure. The chars will be constantly harrassed and pushed, and every challenge will be harder because the dungeon will know your tricks, and you're trapped, until you find some way to inflict permanent damage to it.

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    One thing I thought would be fun would be an adventure where the PC's are shrunk down to a miniscule size, a rat suddenly becomes a large creature that is considerably difficult to take down, and the final boss is a cat.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    That's a good one, Bloody. I don't know if I can come up with a good reason to shrink the party for this upcoming game, but it does give me some interesting ideas. I had this idea a while ago for a random encounter where the party gets trapped in a kobold warren or the like - something that wouldn't seem too threatening offhand - but then bump their attack bonuses up just enough to be able to hit reliably, and come up with a backstory to the end that the kobolds being psychotic or cannibals or something. But shrinking the party would be a much better way to even the odds...
    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Create a shapeshifter dungeon. It's an excellent way to create a memorable adventure. The chars will be constantly harrassed and pushed, and every challenge will be harder because the dungeon will know your tricks, and you're trapped, until you find some way to inflict permanent damage to it.
    I like this one too - I saw it on the gaming page when I first found GitP... is there any more material out there on this kind of thing?

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    For the party getting shrunk, find the Titanic Template. It is around here somewhere, and would probably put a cat, rat, bat, or frog in the right size range to be a threat.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    I was thinking of just eyeballing the size penalty that would make our fighter's attack rolls interesting and then shrinking them down accordingly. Wouldn't that be easier than applying templates to anything they might encounter? Knowing my party they'd decide to go raid the BBEG's HQ all shrinky-dink style, so I'd prefer to just make them adjust their own rolls rather than have to mess with the stats I'm generating.
    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    I was thinking of just eyeballing the size penalty that would make our fighter's attack rolls interesting and then shrinking them down accordingly. Wouldn't that be easier than applying templates to anything they might encounter? Knowing my party they'd decide to go raid the BBEG's HQ all shrinky-dink style, so I'd prefer to just make them adjust their own rolls rather than have to mess with the stats I'm generating.
    ~Joe
    Hey, remember that AB goes UP when you get smaller, as well as AC. It is damage that goes down.
    Also, all the combat-grid related rules are fine for medium sized creatures, but if everybody is tiny or fine you'd be better revising them. Reach is crucial for some fighters and AoE spells are going to be crazy if everybody is smaller. Being Tiny is great for a caster.
    Last edited by Rad; 2007-10-28 at 03:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Give the bad guys some hostages. With this you can hit the players with all sorts of screw.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    I appreciate your offer, crow, but like I said, I already have all of that kind of stuff planned out. Hostage situations are interesting, and I'd like to run some hostage/escort scenarios because we haven't seen them in the game before, but now isn't really an appropriate time to do that. What I need is some help choosing how to arrange my rooms and passageways for the maximum benefit of the monsters and traps I'll be using.

    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    - Where do I put things like chokepoints?
    If you had a single hallway, leading to a room that had multiple hallways to choose after that, the room would be the chokepoint. A chokepoint is a location that cannot be bypassed, otherwise it isn't a true chokepoint. Place accordingly. As an aside, chokepoints don't offer the "tough choice" you want to make your players face, as the only "choice" is usually to leave without facing it.

    - We have PCs with search and trapfinding, but they don't always use it - how do I set up traps so that they really surprise the party?
    Use traps that synergize with one another. A good example is two portcullis traps situated at either end of a hallway. Once the party passes the first portcullis and proceeds some distance into the hallway, then they tigger it. The portculli some distance ahead of them and behind them slam shut, causing them no damage. But then, the hallway is one giant (or series of) pit trap(s), which are activated by the portculli closing. Party falls.

    - What are some good configurations to make a dungeon easy to enter, but hard to exit when the enemy is pressing you back?
    Give the enemies that respond to the incursion levers that they can use to activate countermeasures. (As soon as the alarm sounds, the poor goblin at the back of the dungeon starts pulling levers which lower giant stone blocks into minor passages, which forces the characters <and responders> to use major passages leading to major junctions which are set up for use as choke points.) This works great with the portculli-pit trap combo above.

    - How can I get the party to really spend some time figuring things out in the dungeon without turning it into a fetch-quest or railroading them into a linear path?
    Make it into an infiltration mission. The players need to get in and infiltrate the bad guy's lair and find out from whom he takes his orders. It requires some investigation, snooping, breaking and entering, and if things go bad, a non-stop fight for survival to try and get out of there. The players shouldn't be strong enough to "clean out" the whole dungeon by themselves, otherwise they will.

    - How can I use the placement of things like walls and stationary effects like mud, antimagic, and hazards like fire and ledges to the advantage of the dungeon inhabitants?
    By limiting the mobility of the players, but allowing the bad guys to use it as an advantage, duh. Walls can be riddled with arrow slits, enemies can use a muddy mire as a moat in front of their fighting positions to slow the players from reaching them (peppering them as they approach), antimagic is just cheap, fire can be used for some great traps (instead of room filling with water, it fills with oil. After the players escape, the enemy fires flaming arrows at them), ledges can be used as chokepoints where enemies can harass them with arrow fire as they try to cross.

    - What kind of formations are useful, and for what purposes?
    Two lines of bad guys with longspears can cause trouble for players without reach, but if you plug bad guys into formations, they will get sestroyed by the wizard. Don't do it unless you want your cool bad guys to get kiled by DM stoopid. Better to just make sure your bad guys communicate with eachother and work in conjunction with one another.

    - What types of layout features make a dungeon interesting?[/B]
    Build it in a strange place and use that to your advantage. Use the natural environment in novel ways. (A sewer dungeon that fills a trapped room with sewage instead of plain old water is flavorful. Even worse would be a volcano dungeon with such a room. A forge built near the edge of an ancient lava flow is all sorts of interesting, and provides danger if a fight goes down).
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    How mobile is the party? If the party can, say, teleport half the world away, this changes the nature of the challenges involved.

    In order to have more than one encounter per day, you need some kind of time pressure -- more than that, you need some kind of time pressure that the players know about. Because the players, lacking time pressure, will "I rope trick" or "I retreat and take a break" whenever they are running low on resources. To be polite, the time pressure should be learned about before it is "too late" for the casters to start rationing spells and resources.

    "Trapping" players is harder than you might think.

    Are there any reoccuring BBEG? Do the players value anything other than themselves? Do they owe allegiance to anyone?

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    For starters I'd put the dungeon at some planar nexus and have Gatekeepers outside that state that they are trying to keep it sealed, so don't use any planar or dimensional effects in there. Set up the first layer as a concentric onion where you have to reach various control rooms to rotate the rings to get access to the next ring. Set up the party with a researcher that has unlocked half the top layer and make sure they understand the process, how to throw levers, push appropriate buttons and how the rings rotate. After the first layer, the expert bows out as too dangerous. In the center of the rings, would be a passage to the next layer or perhaps a central shaft that leads all the way down. Perhaps put a mysterious energy nexus held in stasis in the middle of shaft.

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Don't forget to think through the "why" of the dungeon, and something of its history.

    Something that started off as a natural cave complex or a mine can be very random; something carved out of the ground by an intelligent creature for a specific reason will have an order to it based on it's purpose; while an area designed primarily for long-term habitation by an underground race will have a lot of random bits (unless it's a Lawful society, in which case, it'll be rather well organized).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    OK, so I cut a lot of the following info out of my initial post, but now suggestions are getting more specific so I'll give you some details:

    The core of our party is a warforged barbarian, a kalashtar psion built for blasting, and my half-elf Greensinger druid with spontaneous spellcasting and a bucket full of non-druid spells (works a lot like a sorcerer/wizard without all the cool evocations.) We also have an amnesiatic human paladin and a sorcerer/spellblade (I think that's the name of the class... I'm pretty sure it's not hexblade - low-level spells + full BAB) with some sort of evil-pale-human-ish race from the Book of Vile Darkness that join sometimes - when they're not at the table we just say that they're keeping each other busy. We also have a large suite of recurring NPCs that accompany us on occasion - a changeling rouge, shifter ranger, dwarven artificer, and some NPC-class sailor types, plus at least one windwright captain/mark of storm character that our DM neglected to stat out. (Our party operates a sort of mercenary/adventuring group.) The NPC-classed sailors don't do much fighting and probably aren't level 10, even with NPC classes. I can see them getting into a barfight when we pull into port, but that's it.

    At present, we've got the rouge along with the PCs, and have co-opted a wyvern and a second shifter ranger that we encountered during our current travels - the other NPCs aren't with us and won't be joining us for a while. There may or may not be a confused, aloof level 18 human warblade along for the ride, but I'm hoping the party doesn't catch up with him before they come across the ruins. (It's actually an elf but it's in a human body... see below.) We're parked at a monastery in Adar (big mountains, magically shielded from outside interference, teleportation/communication spells with more than a hundred feet of range or so fail inside) seeking the assistance of some high-level telepaths. There was a horrible accident involving Xen'drik artifacts and the DM rolling natural ones for the telepath that was helping us, so the party will have to give up and leave or travel to another settlement - in either case I plan to sidetrack them with some couatl ruins.

    My monster theme for this dungeon is yuan-ti (actually shulassakar - feathery good yuan-ti that worship couatls - I'll use yuan-ti because more people are familiar and they're mechanically the same) vs. abberritions/outsiders. I want the party to come to a cave complex on top of some buried couatl/dragon ruins, guarded by yuan-ti. Traps and roaming guard parties should make it obvious that this is a significant place to be (also got some vauge divination hints last game that can nudge them this way,) but I'm going to place misleadingly low numbers of guards to give the PCs a little false sense of security. The yuan-ti will hopefully prompt the party to prepare for more conventional fights - we spend a lot of time fighting monsters with class levels - while the real challenge are the abberritions/outsiders coming up from the bottom of the ruins. Once/if the party makes it to the ruins, I want to make them the odd man out in a battle between the abberritions and yuan-ti (in larger numbers than before, as they were preoccupied with this upwelling of ancient evil and less worried about a few lost adventurers.) If the party plays their cards right, the yuan-ti will be friendly by the end of the battle, but not before having to deal with attacks from both sides for a good while. If the party decides that they want to take stuff from the ruins, the yuan-ti will definitely need some strong persuasion before they let the PCs get away with it. I plan to place some items the party needs (probably spells/ancient texts) down there to add some diplomatic conflict to the fighting.

    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    That's the stuff I'm looking for, Crow. Thanks. Have you ever seen that kind of stuff codified in any way? I know lots of the general ideas are in the DMG and such, but I feel like it's a really skimpy treatment of the possibilities, and there isn't much exploration of the various strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

    I like your portcullis trap idea, but just trapping them in the room seems a little too gentle. What if I had a room with obvious pitfalls that weren't too hard to get over, but then trapped the final platform? I'm thinking I could combine this with the idea of traps that spring on the party's retreat - somehow make a mechanism that opens the path in and closes the path out, so that when the party goes to leave the dungeon their presence traps them in that room. I know antimagic is kind of lame, but considering this is one in a series of several ancient couatl/draconic ruins, I figure that nullifying magic would probably be of the dungeon builders' perogative. Can you think of a way I could use it without just telling my party, "So, yeah, you know all that stuff you lug around and paid out the ear for? Useless."

    In response to Yakk's BBEG question, no, not really. Our last DM had a peculiar aversion to made-up names and so he never named the baddies, and as they didn't have names and were often just played straight out of the core rulebook their classes came from, no recurring characters have really emerged as of yet. The party is out to get the Quori, but we're also getting grief from the Blood of Vol and some other Khorvairan influences on account of several of the PCs are rather good troublemakers. At the moment, though, we're not within reach of any of them. We kind of owe some allegience to Breland, Zilargo and the Trust, but they don't constrain us tightly and our arrangement isn't written in stone. My druid is tight with the fey court and an occasional representative among other druids, but again, it doesn't ask much of me. We do have a paladin but he got bonked in the head and doesn't remember much about the Silver Flame, except that he digs it. Our kalashtar is, of course, loyal to the cause of his race, but he's a pushover and does what we tell him to, since we're targets of the Quori by association with him anyways and want more or less the same thing.

    ~Joe
    Last edited by seedjar; 2007-10-28 at 06:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    So a number of problems.

    Your characters just happen upon something. That means they have no reason to enter it, and no sense of urgency.

    Having proper motivation on the part of your players is important. I mean, wouldn't the characters feel perfectly justified in simply flying by this location? They might not even realize that it is your intended destination, and rather think of it as a random encounter they choose to miss.

    You don't give a sign that this is going to be a long crawl, so your characters won't be conserving resources.

    There is no urgency communicated, so your characters have no reason not to pull out and "refuel" their spells.

    ...

    The next is the plot of your dungeon. "Cool monsters and cool stuff" is not a plot: why are the monsters there? What would happen, in theory, if the players did not arrive and interfere? What are some possibilities about the results of their interference? What cool plot hooks does this create? Is there any iconic bad guys you can introduce? What images do you want the party to take away from this adventure? What emotions do you want them to feel?

    ...

    Another question to ask: what is your social contract with your players. What do they expect the game to be? If you are changing this, you might want to introduce the changes slowly -- ie, if they are used to single encounters, try doing a 3 or 4 encounters-a-day fight outside of your dungeon adventure, so they get the hint that they should start conserving resources.

    ...

    Some tricks:
    Dungeons are flow-charts more than they are layouts, especially when intelligent beings are in them. When an intelligent organized force sees something unexpected, the first thing they do is report it back to their organization -- and once such a report goes through, behavior changes significantly.

    Have a bunch of pregenerated encounters as well as set-piece locations.

    The neat thing about encounters is that they can be used in a different location.

    ...

    How many fights, and how many rest periods, are you going to fit in? How will you make the rest periods seem natural? How much time is going to progress?

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    OK, like I said in my first post, I already have the story and details all worked out. There are good reasons that we need to get things done - things are about to go to hell in a handbasket just the way they are after our last game, and I haven't even taken over yet. I also have my monsters stated out for reference, and I'm in the process of building various EL-appropriate groups for them to appear in. What I'm having trouble doing is actually sketching my floorplans, so that I have something concrete to go back to should the party want to backtrack after I've run out of dungeon tiles.
    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    If you want to give them tough choices, you should make some non EL-appropriate encounters for them to face also.
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    Well, yeah, I was figuring on preparing a good spread, especially since I want it to seem like things are going to be easy to start. I'll have some heavy hitters to really rattle them, and a few significant-but-weaker alternatives in case I really devastate them unintentionally.
    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    This article raises some very good points you might find useful in general.

    Also, a note on chokepoints: beware not to overuse them. It's been suggested above that chokepoints should not be bypassable at all, full stop. I wouldn't follow that piece of advice, personally. Sure, there should be places which are only approachable through one route, but be careful not to overuse them. Chokepoints should be very difficult to bypass, not always downright impossible. Maybe the bypass to the front entrance of the orc fortress lies halfway back through the dungeon and on the far side of the goblin settlement that just happens to have an old forgotten secret passage, but it should be still there. By providing (as I said above, possibly distant and hard-to-find) bypass routes, you encourage your players to explore thoroughly, think laterally and try to find multiple solutions to problems, which is good. If you force them to charge into battle against a reinforced position half a dozen times during the adventure, you're discouraging them from the above and teaching them that trying to be clever and inventive is pointless because they're always forced into the predetermined course of action. Always remember that you should be rewarding thinking, creativity and thoroughness.
    "I had thought - I had been told - that a 'funny' thing is a thing of goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing. I grok it is a bravery... and a sharing... against pain and sorrow and defeat."

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    I spoke hastily in regards to the Non-EL appropriate encounters. They have to be used just right. Otherwise a too-high encounter (at least in my experience) will lead to a TPK, rather than the intended purpose of forcing the players to look for better otpions. It could be that my players are just stupid though.

    One way that works alright though is if you give them a tough encounter, that isn't unbeatable. Then after they squeak through, face them off against twice as many. ("Wait, there's 10 of them this time!?") Finding that "tough" encounter is the rub though.

    As to the chokepoint issue. It is important to make sure there is a reason behind the dungeon's design, rather than an arbitrary "player boon", when bypassing chokepoints.

    A dungeon designed with the express purpose of being an underground fortress is unlikely to have a bypass. It was designed that way. If the dungeon served some other purpose before, or was a natural cave complex which was converted, then yes, a difficult bypass is appropriate.
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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post

    As to the chokepoint issue. It is important to make sure there is a reason behind the dungeon's design, rather than an arbitrary "player boon", when bypassing chokepoints.
    Agree on this point - "a mad wizard did it" can work now and again, but you can only play that card so many times. However, I maintain that even a consciously designed fortress is likely to have several points of approach which are viable for a small group of heroes. Such locations are designed to keep out entire armies, but a small number of powerful individuals might be able to utilise other routes of ingress. Old secret entrances might exist, predating the place's current owners and thus unknown to them. In an underground complex surrounded by bedrock water wells are probably replenished through natural subterranean waterways which might be navigable with appropriate magics. Many castles - above OR below ground - often have at least one small secret exit for the ruler to escape through if the place cannot be defended any longer (think the secret door in the movie version of The Two Towers, only not located right next to the front gate. Oh, and while we're at it, the culvert there is another alternative entrance point). Aboveground, a castles huddling a cliffside might be entered by good climbers, and digging tunnels was a historical siege technique.
    As you can see, even purposefully designed fortifications have numerous potential entry points, just not for large-scale assaults.


    [/QUOTE]
    "I had thought - I had been told - that a 'funny' thing is a thing of goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing. I grok it is a bravery... and a sharing... against pain and sorrow and defeat."

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    Your points are well taken. As for choke points, I wasn't going to eliminate alternate routes altogether. Our barbarian has a habit of charging into enemies just for fun, though, and it's almost gotten the party into serious trouble before, so I'm planning to exploit that in my design of the yuan-ti portion of dungeon complex, adding several narrowings throughout the encampment that will hinder the rest of the party's ability to offer aid should our barbarian charge in prematurely.
    As for the high-level encounters, I figured I would use those for combats of definite length. There's a different between fighting something that's 3+ ELs above you to the death, and fighting the same monster for just three rounds. I'll have some events planned in my adventure flow to make sure the party has the option of changing strategies if necessary.
    ~Joe

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    Thanks for the link, Premier. My browser wouldn't load it this morning, but now that I've had a chance to skim it, it looks very useful.
    ~Joe

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    Default Re: Dungeon Building Advice - Any Links?

    For those of you that expressed an interest in our game, I'm posting a run-down of it here:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62886
    ~Joe

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