Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
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More Fourthcore Dungeon Thoughts

23 April 2012

Last time, I talked about Fourthcore and gave some initial thoughts on a dungeon idea. This post is a continuation with more thoughts. I’ll probably continue to do these as long as ideas keep coming to me. At some point, I’ll hopefully move to posts with content that others can use in their own Fourthcore adventures (like traps, monsters, and room layouts).

Some of these I shared on Twitter, but I’m reproducing them here for easier access later.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

I think the dungeon should be populated with immortal guardians (angels and the like). No undead here. (Let’s push the design envelope a bit, shall we?)

Another idea would be to keep score of how the players respond to challenges. As they progress, their actions change how the guardians respond to them. Maybe more guardians show up as they succeed (or fail but survive, I could go either way with it). Maybe the last room features a majordomo (the overlord) that the crusaders would either have to fight (if they barely make it through) or possibly bypass (if they’ve done well). I’m not sure if I like the idea of giving a good group a pass on the combat, maybe the fight occurs either way, but it’s tougher if the crusaders have done poorly.

Idea #2: What if the crusaders picked a vestige and the last room was a PvP battle royale? The winning crusader’s vestige is the god / primordial resurrected.

Idea #3: what if the god’s resurrection required a sacrifice of some kind? I’m fuzzy on how I would implement this, but I’d like for there to be a solution that didn’t require one of the players to die / kill a party member. Any suggestions are welcome.

Acid Wing

I haven’t had any more thoughts on this, but that’s okay, because I think the idea I detailed last time is awesome enough for now.

Lava Wing

I’m thinking one of the rooms should feature a slanted floor that leads down to a sealed exit. Solving a puzzle in the room would allow the crusaders to exit the chamber easily. Failing causes the room to begin to fill with lava. This would mean the exit would be all but covered by lava that causes insta-death within a round or two of the lava beginning to flow. A clever party would notice a second hidden exit that leads to a passage with some kind of fight in it.

So clever crusaders bypass the fight entirely by solving the puzzle and taking the primary exit. Not-so-clever crusaders end up finding the hidden exit and dealing with the fight. The rest end up dying in lava. Fun!

Void Wing

I have to make a correction here. Last time, I mentioned the elemental plane of void. That should have said Vacuum. Shame on me. I like the idea of void, but I need to come up with how this would work mechanically.

As always, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.


Sorcerer Blob said:

Very cool ideas.

I dig the lava room/trap and the vestige battle royale (as I told you on twitter!)

But, I have a suggestion for the battle royale (way too many characters to fit into a 140 character blurb)

So here it goes, the PCs each pick up a vestige after a series of trials, perhaps after having made it through the various wings listed above. Each vestige gives them some benefit or perk, as vestiges are wont to do. This gives them a boost throughout the rest of the dungeon and gives you free reign to crank up the difficulty a bit as they are getting other-worldly assistance.

So they make it through the dungeon, killing the overlord or whatever other obstacles they make it through. The last thing they encounter is an empty room (or filled with whatever, but the key here is no monsters.)

In the room their vestiges activate and the party finally understand the true meaning behind their gift; there can be only one. Battle royale commences.

TriskalJM said:

I’m really liking the PvP stuff, but I like my other ideas too. I guess I need to make a decision one way or the other fairly soon. I might have to split this out into two dungeons, one with PvP aspects and one without.

Sorcerer Blob said:

You could even make the PvP aspect a part of the same dungeon if the PCs fail too many challenges, etc.

TriskalJM said:

Ooo, now THIS idea I really like. It raises a few questions, though. If the purpose is to resurrect the god whose body is at the end, how would the vestiges work out? I can think of one or two options, but I need to work through it some more in my head.

Awesome suggestions.


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