Monday, November 23, 2015

Megadungeon Itch

I recently have been thinking about trying something I have never really done.  I am talking about Megadungeons.  I was reading this posting on megadungeons recently, and it got me thinking.

I have never really been a huge fan of Megadungeons.  The idea sort strikes me as being, well odd, but it is also such an iconic idea in D&D.
After a while I am I am wondering  how is it that these creatures don't kill each other? Or just freaking leave.

But on the other-hand I enjoy the Dungeon! board game a lot and that is essentially a mega-dungeon in board game form.

Now back in the day I did run the "comical" Castle Greyhawk module.  I will admit I had a lot of fun doing it, it was totally a tongue-in-cheek humor and fine for the time I ran it, it is not something I would ever pick up to run again. In the retrospect of the mega-dungeon article above and the now near mythical dungeons under Castle Greyhawk, it is really lacking.

So my curiosity is up and I am thinking of giving is a go.  Create some characters and have as a "it's rainy/cold out side, the kids want to play and I have nothing ready yet".   I like the idea of using something more akin to Basic/Expert.  So limiting it to 121t-14th level. Limit the dungeon itself to 13 levels too.   Plus something else in the article struck me as interesting.  People would come and go from the adventure when Gary was running it.  So if the boys have friends over they could drop in from one of the thousands of portals and then leave when needed.  I would imagine that dozens of groups of adventures would be there to clean out the dungeon or discover it's secrets.

Rules Systems
Looking for something with a real old-school vibe to it.
I like the idea of Dungeon Crawl Classics, to start out at 0-level, then move on. But I want something that feels more like the D&D of old.
Adventurer Conqueror King System is a great choice and some of the megadungeons use these rules.
This would also be a fun thing to do with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

Which Dungeon?
A very good question to be honest.  There are a lot of different ones out there but really I only have three contenders.
Top of my list is Castle of the Mad Archmage.  It might be as close as I will ever get to Castle Greyhawk and it is very complete.
Next is Dwimmermount which comes in Labyrinth Lord and Adventurer Conqueror King.
Finally Barrowmaze is another good contender.

Maybe this will be my new project for Christmas break with my kids.


Anders Kirstein said...

Megadungeons rule! Imo they are also very good in combination with lots of other "hooks" that leads elsewhere than the megadungeon, so the players can chose sometimes to go into the megadungeon and sometimes to go somewhere else.
I can totally recommend Rappan Athuk and Stonehell as hot contenders also :)

K-Slacker said...

Check out Stonehell too.

K-Slacker said...

Check out Stonehell too.

Greyhawk Grognard said...

I may be biased (ahem) but I should also point out that Castle of the Mad Archmage is specifically designed for that sort of episodic play. That's the reasons there are ways to get into the dungeon, and down to lower levels, quickly, so medium and higher level PCs don't have to waste time slogging through the upper levels to get to the things that are (now) interesting for them.

Pun Isaac said...

I've always liked the idea of megadungeons but have little experience with them. I have the first two volumes of Rappan Athuk. It seems fun. I recently ordered Stonehell Dungeon, though I've not had a chance to look through it. I will check out Castle of the Mad Archmage when I have the opportunity.

Tim Emrick said...
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Tim Emrick said...
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JB said...

Castle Gargantua is pretty cool.