Saturday, March 12, 2011

Megadungeon Design: Honeycomb Hideouts

I've been fascinated with Megadungeons for a long time, reading all the great blog posts and forum threads on this adventure-site/play-style/philosophy and mulling over all the possibilities.  I have a megadungeon placed on the Lost Continent, in fact.  The party adventured there quite a bit and it was pretty rad, even.  But we've also encountered a sticky issue.

My players are not that excited about exploring just for the sake of exploring.

They like to have particular reasons for going into some deathtrap, for one thing.  They take their roleplaying pretty seriously--not in terms of making weird voices or wearing costumes, but in regards to making decisions in-character rather than as a player.  By that I mean, Brian wants to be able to come up with some reason why Shaan (a deadly, but soft-hearted, bounty hunter) would want to wander down into a dark place where demons eat kittens and wait for larger meals.  He doesn't need much reason, mind you, but something either he creates or I create.

One easy fix for this is the utilitastic Megadungeon Missions Table by Al over on Beyond the Black Gate.  I've used this several times to generate a seed for an adventure.  I'm lucky that my players follow hooks like a googler follows hot elven chicks.

So, partly in response to the style of adventuring we do, and partly because of how I like to draw maps, I'm experimenting with a new type of megadungeon: the honeycomb hideout.  This might not be new to others, but it's different than what I've done before.  Basically, it's a megadungeon made of numerous interconnected mini-dungeons.

Lo, verily I say unto thee...scanned, badly drawn dungeon maps will follow.