Saturday, November 20, 2010

Underworld's Underworld

A confluence of events has caused me to consider making a campaign dungeon of sorts for the Underworld setting.  First and foremost among these events has been my recent rereading of Empire of the Petal Throne.  M. A. R. Barker's discussion of how to construct an underworld for that setting has caused me to think about how one might map and stock such a beast in the land without a horizon.  I am especially intrigued by the number of Saturday Night Specials that might exist in such a place:  lost tombs, morlock villages, near-dead gods, etc.

Some changes might have to be made to my conception of the setting to account for a big-ass dungeon beneath a huge ruined pile.  Most notably I will probably have to ratchet up the amount of time that has transpired between Orontes's founding of the city and the present day.  Not too terribly difficult a task, but it may remove some of the wild west elements the setting had previously acquired.

I also must establish the overall nature of the campaign dungeon.  In a previous post  I hinted that their may be an extensive network of tunnels, caves, chambers, and catacombs beneath Ilion.  Perhaps the dungeon could be this series of tunnels.  Of course there are also countless ruin that lie in the steaming jungles, and it may be one of these lost cities that holds this endless labyrinth.  The location of the underworld will obviously change the contents of it rather drastically, so I must take great care in deciding where to place it.

My ultimate goal for this project would be a kind of spirtual successor to Sham's aborted Dismal Depths project.  I would present the dungeon sections in quick and dirty one page formats in much the same way he did.  One difference will be that I am probably going to use a number of dungeon geomorphs, particularly Risus Monkey's to create the various 30 x 30 sections.  This will most likely mean that the dungeon is a bit more packed than the Dismal Depths, but I doubt anyone will complain.  

I will also ditch the 2x2 section square format most One Page Dungeon megadungeons use.  Instead one level may be a 2x2 square, but the one beneath it has five sections in a cross pattern, and the one beneath that is composed of only three sections in a kind of pyramid shape.  This should make the dungeon a bit more unpredictable.

In the event that I decide to take up this project, I will contact the various organizations who I will be stealing geomorphs from and see if I can post the results on my blog for free.  I have not made any decisions yet, and since Nightwick Abbey is still my one true love the moments when I could work on these sections would be few and far between.


  1. Sounds like an interesting setting, but the real question. Will there be mole-people?

  2. I think it's a sweet idea and I look forward to seeing it. By all means, use my geomorphs. I'm thrilled that they are seeing action.