Mega Donjon

Got a request from my son for something other than Forbidden Jungle as a change of pace, and I’m trying to think of something fun. He says he’d like more dungeon-ish adventure, leaving the lion’s share of our wilderness gaming to the jungle. I also want something that would have a large number of potential areas, in case some of his buddies want to join in from time to time.

How about something like this:

Concentric Castle

Concentric Castle

The effect of more danger as the depth in levels increase could be approximated by making the outer, more easily-accessible sections similar to the upper levels of a dungeon and make things tougher the farther you penetrate. The barbican could be equivalent to the 1st level. The outer wall and towers roughly equal to the 2nd, the inner wall and towers equal to the 3rd, and so on.

I’m not quite sure about scale. The inner keep in this drawing appears to be four stories high, but I would probably increase the size of everything, making many of the outer towers and inner buildings full adventures in their own right.

Of course, the areas to be explored would not be limited to surface construction.

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10 Responses to Mega Donjon

  1. Timeshadows says:

    It is higher than that, as there are windows in two places on the same levels. I’d guess closer to 7 or 8.

  2. Welleran says:

    I’m thinking those windows on the corner sections might be in the stairwells, which would make that 4 levels (plus the roof).

    I toyed with some ideas snatched from Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood series that follow these lines (i.e. the mysterious wood from outside is only a mile or so across; travel is horizontal but the further one goes “in” the larger the place seems to grow). Mapping such a place is the tough part and something difficult to overcome. You could start with a large circle map, with the middle containing a small circle that was the edge of the wood (or whatever). As you go in (on this map starting in the center of the map), the place would get wider and wider. If you wanted the place to be finite, you would need to make a second circular map. When you reach the outside edge of the first circle, you jump to a corresponding point on the outside edge of the second circle then begin moving inward, eventually arriving at some center place (the heart or core of the “dungeon”).

    I’ve never used this idea but I think it would work and really mess up any PC chance of mapping it!

    I hope this makes some bit of sense – it would be a lot clearer mapped out on paper!

  3. bat says:

    I am trying to build something like that in Farmville with my Shamrock Castle. Wish me luck!

    • Kilgore says:

      Why don’t you have a barn raising or whatever crazy stuff you can do in that game.

      Most people I know would go “You play D&D? That’s weird. Grow up.” then turn around and send me a Facebook message telling me that they just got to Level 231 in Mafia Wars.

  4. badmike says:

    A setup like Forbidden City would work. A lost city/dungeon in the jungle thatis only a short wilderness journey away from, but has lots of adventuring opportunites.

    • Kilgore says:

      You’re right, and there are in fact a number of dungeon-type areas nearby already. In fact, the characters are in the middle of exploring a dungeon under a tower right now.

      He’s specifically looking for something outside the Forbidden Jungle. While I ponder the big concentric castle idea, I may send them through B1: In Search of the Unknown. I’ve never played that and have wanted to.

      My thinking is that after he goes through, it would be a perfect thing to hand over to him to try DMing with some of his buddies.

  5. bat says:

    Actually, the barn raisin’ is done, now it is a French Maison raising. I am only level 62 on Farmville, but I started in October of last year.

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  7. timmyd says:

    I love the idea of a city-based dungeon crawl, but as The Grognard pointed out in his post “Above-Ground Dungeons”, there are some problems with the paradigm.

    Perhaps a city that is vertical instead of horizontal would work… think of the Mayan ruins of Machu Pichu, with steep slopes and steppe farming.

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