Saturday, October 24, 2009

Megadungeons....

Are just plain ol' boring to me.  The last long term dungeon I played was Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.  I couldn't stand having my character stuck in a hole in the ground for the best 8 or so levels of his life, rather than walking around the world, doing his own thing.  Granted, I've been called a control freak in RL, and my characters seem to have that trait as well, but to just hang around in a hole in the ground killing shit and taking their stuff ad nauseum is just a waste of time to me.

It's like the difference between the old video game Gauntlet and the newest MMORPG's.  The freedom to do what you want to do, and not be tied to a place to go kill shit and take their stuff.

If you like it, more power to you.  It's just not to my tastes.  I like being above ground, shaping my own character's destiny in the world around him.

3 comments:

  1. I'm neither for 'em nor 'agin 'em.

    I like dungeon crawls. They make it a lot easier on the DM, since when you get to a T-intersection, the players only have 4 options: left, right, back, or sit there.

    With wilderness adventures, you've got 360 degrees, plus up. With City adventures, youve got a city full of npcs to bring to life.

    DOn't mind me. I'm just complaining 'cause i'm a mediocre DM.

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  2. sounds to me like you have nearly played in a good dungeon. There should be the same freedom of movement in a properly constructed megadungeon that you have outside; the first rule of megadungeon construction is to allow for both lateral and vertical movement with meaningful choices presented to the PCs at every turn. If the dungeon is a linear crawl from point A to the big baddie at point B, it sucks. If you can dive all the way down to the bottom level and pit your puny first level wits against a demon prince, it is great fun!

    Likewise, the "killing things and taking their loot" is another common failure in dungeon design. It gets old fast, no matter if you are above ground or below. It is up to the DM to create interesting situations, interesting NPCs, power factions to play off each other, a dynamic environment that changes in response to the party...

    I guess what I am saying is a megadungeon is pretty much the exact same thing as a wilderness adventure, it is just underground instead of aboveground.

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  3. I haven't played one in a long time (it was Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil about six or so years ago), but I remember liking it. Granted, that was basically my first campaign, so I wasn't really looking for anything too sophisticated. My biggest problem with it was that we spent so much time in the massive dungeonscape that when we went into town (ah Verbobonc, I barely knew ye), no one knew who we were even though we were like 15th level. I think eventually I had some of my lower-level followers (my character had Leadership) go spread the word about our exploits :P

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