Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Dungeon Bank

I find that I am increasingly tilting toward being a "zero-prep" DM, or at least one who prepares very minimally for games. To this end, I picked up the 2019 One Page Dungeon Contest compilation from DriveThru for a paltry sum of three dollars. Reskin (or not), shuffle around, sprinkle liberally into my version of the millions spheres for Troika!, or use them as a pick up game of White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game* at a moment's notice. 

I am presently plodding through the dungeons over my meager lunch break, for my own edification and certainly not because I have a Troika! game in six hours that I have done zero preparation for. 

Some of the dungeons are novel. Some are mini-games into themselves, with mechanics and everything. Some are pretty traditional. Some are fucking hipster bullshit. Some are actually unplayable. They aren't all fantasy, which works out really well with my Troika! game and how I envision the setting. Some of the sci-fi dungeons will do nicely without really needing that much alteration. 

What I'm doing is building a dungeon bank. I'm really terrible at mapping. My brain just isn't good at laying things out spatially like that. Having a dungeon bank allows me to have strange and deadly places ready to go. I used to do this with Wizardawn  back in the days of my dearly departed and fondly remembered Stars Without Number campaign. The players were always ending up in bunkers, space stations, alien ruins, etc. and I found that I needed a repository of maps, lest the players end up exploring the exact same building, reskinned into infinity. (Looking at you, Mass Effect 1.) 

At present, I plan to simply create a folder on my Guugle Drive and upload the PDFs I buy, perhaps with some typed up notes for reskinning purposes. I might also print a selection of them and stick them in an honest-to-gods physical folder. 

Well, I should get back to my dungeon evaluation. Time's a-wastin'. 











*Haha I wish. My home group won't touch anything that resembles old D&D because they are lame. 

7 comments:

  1. I'm reading through them all right now too, doing a series reviewing every one of them. Which ones are you enjoying so far? I'm curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Current favorites:

      -Giant mechanical whale that is crashing and on fire

      -Dead Bird Island

      -Frozen Citadel

      -Tomb of the Broken King

      Those are the ones I can think of right off the top of my dome.

      Delete
  2. May I humbly suggest my own Mike's Dungeons, for sale on drivethrurpg for $3.90 (PDF) or $19.50 (print + PDF). You can preview the entire thing for free. It is a 78-level megadungeon. Each level is one map and one page description. No prep or prior study required. You can easily run it on the fly. :)

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