Megadungeon Part 2: Or “WTF is going on down there?”

In my first post, I outlined the system I will be using to construct my megadungeon. This week I started rolling dice, and this is what my system generated:

The dungeon has four levels. I was hoping for more, but hey, the dice are the dice.

Level 1 has 27 rooms.

Level 2 has 31 rooms.

Level 3 has 68 rooms.

Level 4 has 98 (!) rooms.

Grand total: 224 rooms. Not a huge megadungeon by any means, but certainly not a 5-room dungeon.

In addition, five eras have passed since the original dungeon was established.

So, the first thing I need to establish is the setting for this dungeon. I like the idea of it being in a crater located in open grasslands. Beats the usual settings, and crater = outer space.

ERA 1

To figure out the original inhabitants I roll on the Wilderness Encounter table on page 60 of Delving Deeper, and I end up with goblins. Sigh. We’ll make this work.

The initial motivation of the goblins was to use the dungeon as a refuge during the first era. Maybe these goblins established level one of the dungeon on the surface. I’m going to say they were goblin heretics driven from their underground lair elsewhere. Far from home, they found the crater, lowered themselves into it and built a village of sorts.

ERA 2

I roll up Men and Wolves as the next inhabitants. I like the idea of a large tribe of Paleolithic nomads using wolves to drive the goblins out of the village. The goblins, who were already mining and digging, retreat underground – where they settle on level 3 and discover level 4 (which will be the location of whatever created the crater in the first place). I also roll that the goblins adapt to their new location – they develop echolocation on top of their dark vision.

The humans and wolves occupy the surface (level 1) and the mines the goblins dug on level 2. Hundreds of years pass and the goblins slip away into legend. This would be a good time for a nearby settlement to enter the picture. More about that in a future post.

ERA 3

I roll Men again and a Mature Dragon. Wow. Okay, since this is OD&D I’m going to turn those men into Cyborgs because fuck yeah. As for the dragon…it’s now an alien dragon and level 4 is a starship that crashed into the game world a million (why not) years ago and created the massive crater.

Back to those goblins: I’m going to say they were assimilated into cyborg society. Meanwhile the humans and wolves die off on level 1 and 2 – probably because of the cyborg/goblin coalition.

ERA 4

All goblins move down to level 4 leaving level 3 empty. Another round of humans show up and occupy level 2 for military purposes – maybe they’re digging for cyborg weapons. Meanwhile kobolds move into level 1 and establish a village. Hmm. We’re going to have to figure out a reason they aren’t at each other’s throats. I’m going to say it’s because level 1 is now cut off from level 2 (explosions during era 3) and level 2 has its own entrance points. On level 4 weirdo cyborg culture continues.

ERA 5

The kobolds split and are replaced by gnomes who have moved in for military purposes. On level 2 the humans have adapted to their environment: they are now cannibal barbarians driven insane by the things they uncovered during the previous era. The gnomes are capturing them to use as subjects for magical experimentation. Level 3 is now occupied by Iron Living Statues…we’ll say they are guardians built to protect level 4.

Rolling for connections between levels I get:

Level 1: 4

Level 2: 3

Level 3: 5

Level 4: 6

That will make a satisfyingly complex web of entrances, exits and transitions.

I like this history. The remnants from each era will create a really cool atmosphere.

Next time: What’s in all those rooms? What roams the hallways? And just what the hell is a cyborg goblin anyway?