Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1223
How To Maintain Dungeons Attention-grabbing – 5 Methods
How do you make dungeon crawling perpetually attention-grabbing? This was a frequent tip request made in December’s Dungeon23 ballot.
I battle with this too, whether or not it’s an infinite sequence of rooms in a megadungeon, a sequence of 5 Room Dungeons, or simply a big dungeon degree.
Listed below are some recommendations on the best way to maintain dungeon crawls attention-grabbing, based mostly on my experiences thus far:
1. Create a Plot Arc
Create one core villain or mission for the occasion to pursue over the long-term. Whether or not it’s to flee alive, defeat the BBEG, or uncover a secret our villain guards, we have to give gamers a very good purpose to maintain crawling.
2. Study Learn how to Make Small Missions
One other phrase we might use right here is Stakes:
- What occurs if the characters lose?
- What in the event that they succeed?
- Who else could be affected by occasion loss or victory?
Right here’s a easy framework to create dungeon crawling Stakes:
- Or Else…
And listed here are 6 methods on the best way to increase Stakes to maintain your dungeon tales difficult.
What we need to do is flip gameplay right into a sequence of small and significant objectives, which in my lingo I name Missions.
For instance, we’ve got 4 gobbos in a room. The occasion kicks down the door, ready to kill and loot. We will rework this normal kind of encounter right into a Mission by introducing not less than one Stake:
- There are prisoners right here that have to be protected or saved
- The gobbos have key data the occasion would discover invaluable
- The occasion hears sounds of extra monsters coming…they should wrap this up quick
- Because the PCs cost in, a panicked goblin unintentionally begins a hearth that would simply unfold
- As the primary character enters they see one gobbo end setting a bomb to go off in three rounds
Change repetitive, one-dimensional encounters into dynamic conditions by turning them into small Missions.
3. Chunk Your Dungeon Into Factions
Including a social battle layer to dungeons helps rather a lot, and I hardly ever have a crawl now that doesn’t embrace not less than two sentient teams in battle. Including factions will enchantment to your roleplayers. It’s also possible to create attention-grabbing dilemmas and puzzles by having factions management or possess issues your occasion values.
In dungeon settings, I discover it greatest to have three factions, all impartial to the occasion at begin:
- What’s the theme of every faction?
- Who leads every faction?
- What’s every faction’s purpose aside from survival?
- What does every faction have that not less than one different factions desires?
Then I give every faction a territory to defend, passive defenses (traps and hazards), and energetic defenses (scouting events or solos, sentries, warning traps).
Lastly, I guarantee every faction has treasure or one thing very invaluable the occasion would need.
Extra faction suggestions:
4. Use Coloration Themes
A fast hack to make every degree or zone of a dungeon crawl attention-grabbing is to theme with colours.
Begin with a coloration:
- Emerald inexperienced
- Pale white
- Golden yellow
- Navy blue
- Flint gray
Then work out how this coloration manifests:
- Faction garb
- Building materials
- Setting situation
- Sort of treasure
- Texture of a relationship
The colour just isn’t our foremost purpose right here. As an alternative, we use it for inspiration to vary issues up and theme a dungeon space.
5. Create Mysteries
One other phrase for thriller is discovery. What secret does any given room, location, or dungeon zone have? Gamers love mysteries. And mysteries immediate curiosity to assist make crawls attention-grabbing.
I choose to interrupt my dungeons into 5 Room Dungeons. This makes design sooner and simpler as I can concentrate on one dungeon space at a time. This method additionally helps us drop in cool mysteries for the occasion to uncover.
Room V: Treasure & Revelation offers the proper place to drop in a twist or secret. Following Room V, we brainstorm clues to supply hints and construct up the thriller within the different 4 rooms.
We will even use the 5 Room dungeon mannequin to plot out our clues:
- Room I: A clue reveals the presence of the key or thriller
- Room II: Extra clues get characters speculating about what the thriller is
- Room III: A false path leads the occasion to a unsuitable conclusion concerning the thriller, or the thriller seems additional out of attain
- Room IV: The occasion faces the first battle offered by the thriller
- Room V: The thriller will get revealed although it would require some crafty to search out or perceive it
For instance: a mysterious noise could be heard on this space of the megadungeon:
- Room I: The PCs hear a faint sound of low moaning, however they can’t inform exactly what it’s or what’s inflicting it, however they will inform there’s a gentle rhythm to it.
- Room II: The sounds takes on extra definition. It’s like a creature respiratory. It appears to be louder when going through north. It’s interval is 5 seconds. There’s additionally a odor of brimstone now.
- Room III: An odd echo impact makes characters suppose the sound is coming from the unsuitable room (a monster lair).
- Room IV: The occasion faces a demon and minions however they aren’t the supply of the sound! They do block the way in which to it, nevertheless.
- Room V: The sound comes from a forge’s bellows. Demons and their slaves work tirelessly to create weapons and armor for evil factions. (Gold+ WoAs, take a look at 5RDZ#4: The Furnace of Natasibit-Chu.)
The important thing to GMing mysteries in dungeons is to place only one thriller into every zone, not one per room. Then have the zone drop clues and construct curiosity, drama, and curiosity within the thriller. This helps maintain gameplay compelling within the brief time period to your group.
Extra Dungeon Suggestions
Revisiting The Dungeon-Crawl: 29 Dungeon Suggestions!
6 D&D Dungeon Concepts to Make Dungeons and Rooms Extra Attention-grabbing
6 Suggestions On How To Tie Dungeon Encounters Collectively
Learn how to Create Conditions With 5 Room Dungeons
Beat Dungeon Slumps With Dungeon Sumps
How To Battle Dungeon Design Fatigue
Mad Lib 5 Room Dungeon Thought Generator For You
Assume About Encounters Like Recreation Tiles for Higher 5 Room Dungeon Design
Dungeon Themes and Suggestions
Different Dungeon Environments
Strive these 5 methods to maintain your dungeon crawls attention-grabbing. What do you do to make dungeons partaking and defeat their inherent repetitive nature?
Hit reply and let me know, or be part of the dialog right here at my discussion board or on the Roleplaying Suggestions Discord.