Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Reversed Pyramid

A discouraging opening room for a megadungeon

Such a dungeon was not my intention.  I had originally conceived the image above a couple of days ago - a set of stepped descents into a central pit (all the stairways go down, suggested by the shading I've added to those images), like a pyramid in reverse, then some doors that would lead into side dungeons at each level.

It was only after fabricating the above image that I realized - once I started to add doors - that it would be easy to add as many as fifty doors into this template and expand an immense dungeon that goes outwards in all directions.  As this is deep under ground (the entrance way is at the base of a mountain that sits upon a stoney desert plain), there's no real limit to how far the dungeon can spread.

I don't like this sort of dungeon.  So now that I've made this thing, I don't know what I'll do with it.  Perhaps all the doors are just closets.

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Doug said...

In the right world, this looks like a way to transport oneself to another plane of existence, or a parallel world. Follow the correct sequence of stairs, open a door, and walk into a new world. Of course, that would require more work so that the players just didn't go into the particular world that the DM wants, but there may be legends and hints that indicate which path is required.

Or, I might have been reading too much weird fiction and be stuck with the idea that accidentally opening a doorway to a vampire/predator world would be a very bad thing.

Jonathon said...

Perhaps all the doors are not closets but cells, and this is a prison representing the circles of Hell (or some such thing) metaphorically. Least-favored prisoners, or the most important, get he cells at the bottom of the structure.

As an additional wrinkle, the same number and quality of guards on each tier would be increasingly effective as the amount of ground they need to control (or patrol, in the case of invasion or breakout) shrinks.

Alexis Smolensk said...


A prison is just what I made it to be. The players, last Saturday, fought a 200 hit point gelatinous cube that poured out of a door they opened until it was 50 feet across, that could attack as many people as it could reach; took the party quite a while to kill it; two characters died as they were paralyzed and then buried by the creature.