Monday, July 17, 2017

Dungeons = XP & 50 Dungeon Goals

I have read a post over at Basic Red about dungeons = xp. I think this is a great idea.

Personally I'm going to try out this method of advancement. Every dungeon has a level and you need equal to your level in “dungeon points” or whatever to level up. Get equal to your level in dungeon points = level up, this means you can bring along a level 1 new guy through a scary as hell level 10 dungeon and he'll be level 5 if he survives. (1+2+3+4 = 10).

Firstly, I see an issue in assigning the goals and difficulties of a dungeon. What level should a dungeon be considered? Is it based on a general average of the traps and monsters within?

The other problem is; what counts as 'doing' the dungeon? Is it defeating every single monster, or just a boss monster at the bottom? Collecting every last coin, 90%, or half of all the treasure? Is there some other metric? For this, I have a plan.

The Yellow Slab from [16]
Dungeon Goals
Every dungeon has a legend, feature, or rumor associated with it. This it the Dungeon's Goal or primary objective. For example if old man Smitty tells you about a magic blacksmith hammer that fell to the bottom of a cave infested with kobolds then your goal for this dungeon would be to grab that hammer and get back out. You can fight as many or as few of the kobolds as you want, and all the treasure you get is just extra. Don't get the hammer? No experience points.

This means the game still features the OSR style of get in and get out gameplay, with risk vs reward at sticking around and having to endure more traps and wandering monsters, but I think the idea of actually going into the dungeon for a purpose is great.

How dare I steal another person's rules without giving back. Here's some dungeon goals.

50 Dungeon Goals
For OSR Adventures

Level 1-3 Dungeons
[1] Tarva the Tart was a sultry lass who died in a goblin warren. It's a rite of passage for young adventurers in the area to touch her skull at the bottom of the warren.

[2] Local serf drops bag of grain nearby a local lake, local swamp creature steals it. Hopefully local murderers kill it and return it, locally.

[3] Priest claims his reliquary was stolen by an undead and taken into catacombs. The undead who stole it was the old priest who forgot to do some chores and was reanimated. He doesn't realize he's undead but is friendly and helpful. The other undead animated by his leaking negative energy are just murderous.

[4] The Falconry Tower to the west has been abandoned for years, but the view from the top is said to be incredible. The nutritious waste from the birds within it over the years, as well as the wild doves, have fed who knows what monsters that live in the bottom levels of the tower.

[5] Prized race horse escaped from stables, must be returned so it can be studded out. Was stolen by an ogre, who is presumably going to eat it.

[6] Lord requests return of his ring, stolen by wild animals. Several druids have taken up residence in the caves in the cliffs nearby his estate. They won't give it back unless he stops hunting foxes, and that's obviously not going to happen so you've got to get his jewelry back.

[7] Once yearly ritual has been neglected at local shrine for the past few years. You have to polish the mirror inside the shrine, but angry spirits have animated wooden men in the surrounding country.

[8] Painter has created a fictional world inside his painting, but doesn't want his ex-wife's visage in there any more. Enter the painted world and kill her painted copy. She's not a real person though, so it's not wrong to murder her right?

[9] Cavern birds lay eggs only once a year, and they are considered a delicacy. Return with at least six eggs; don't break them on the way back.

[10] Random wicker crafts, tufts of animal fur, and little string charms have been found floating down the river. Go behind the waterfall and stop whatever is littering.

Level 4-6 Dungeons
[11] Evil tyrant that once ruled this land has long since been defeated, but it is said local tomb of much more respected king was defaced during his reign; face of the tyrant king carved into the stone to mock his dead predecessor. Break the faces.

[12] Perverse wizard tower still stands after experiments caused angry mob to kill the mage. Go into the basement and destroy the foundations so the black tower can be crumbled to dust.

[13] Gigantic wooden treehouse holds the magic saw of the mad carpenter who built it. The treehouse is a dungeon, but you want the saw.

[14] Literal dungeon of local ruler hasn't been used at all in this time of peace. Prisoners who were forgotten down there have changed, become one with the chains and bricks. Local widow knows her husband isn't the same anymore, but wants a keepsake from him at the very least.

[15] Wise women in the swamp have devised method of collective dreaming. They want you all to enter the dream of a little girl who has been trapped in a nightmare for 4 years and wake her.

[16] Strange yellow stone slab sits alone in a mineshaft. Surprise; touching the marble sucks whoever touched it into an alternate realm. The only way out is to sacrifice a heart to the demon of yellow marble within. Your only goal is to escape.

[17] The tomb of the nomad kings sits abrupt and jarring on the flat open prairie. The Great-Magician King of these people was the greatest and most bloodthirsty warlord of them all. His stone spirit-guardians defend him even in death. Retrieve his infamous horned helmet.

[18] Strange manuscript in local wizard college has instructions on how to enter a realm made of parchment and memories. Within this realm is the escaped spells, failed experiments, awry magic formulas, doodled war machines, and draft magical thesis all once a part of the college itself. Find the headmasters old love letter he never had the guts to send deep within this place.

[19] Brightwing city is a place where trained griffons walk the streets and act as mounts for its police. Its sewers are filled with reject hybrids and other horrors, thankfully all male. However it is said a female griffon was lost down there, and you cannot let it breed.

[20] Traveling circus had its big tent infected with dark magic, now it is bigger on the inside then the outside, and demons dance in the rings of the circus at night. The master of ceremonies has a cane that can banish them, but he needs you to retrieve it first.

Level 7-9 Dungeons
[21] Cloud city of storm giants overlooks mountain range. Bolts of lightning shatter rock below, but one of them was a dud and glows up in the mountains. Returning it to civilization would give us a weapon against those damn storm giants.

[22] Ogrefest is a three week long fighting, fucking, eating, and sleeping celebration in the local woods. Literal army of ogres are there, but they sleep the last three days. Get out local virginal princess before the ogres wake up and feed her to their king. Ogres only wake up if you touch them, only 1 in 10 ogres are smart enough to go touch other ogres to wake them up if they find intruders.

[23] The trodden forest is filled with good fairies who were forced to 'elect' an evil black fae queen. Now the forest bends to create hallways and rooms of roots and dirt, creatures driven by pain and enchantment stalk it. Dethrone the black queen to heal the forest.

[24] “Fire on the Sky” is the name of a famous and beautiful opal, which sank to the bottom of a seedy pirate bay. Nobody can get to it past the sharks. Retrieve the opal and be sang about in pirate song.

[25] Insane asylum stood vacant and dormant for many years until the old delusions, imaginary friends, and split personalities started to manifest in the real world. They desire human blood to become more real, but all sprout from the terrible diary written in the heart of that place. Return it to its now cured, eldery owner to end the curse.

[26] The Academy of Artifice has a kind and gentle clockwork owl at its heart, who sorts students into classes and keeps the peace. But it scratched out one final message before losing its tension; somebody has to go deep into the basement below and wind up its mainspring. One simple turn will keep the owl running for years on end, but that area is filled with the mad inventions and self aware, plotting machines.

[27] House of Tigers. Small zoo that holds several captured tigers. The empress knows one of them is a demigod and wants to make a coat from his pelt. The tiger will only reveal itself from the other animals if it believes the party will help it get free. Turn the tiger in, or help it escape.

[28] The people of the Oasis rely on their mystic pool for both water to drink and for its spiritual power, without which their magic of glasswork and genie-binding would be forfeit. Descend into the sand caves, find the ever-melting glacier and return with a single drop of purest water.

[29] The ancient bones of a dragon were used by the kobolds of the Eastling mountains as a perverse cathedral. Desecrate the alter with whatever you deem fit to stop their worship.

[30] Black Witch has stolen an entire grain crop from local village, will raise an army of crows and crow demons if not stopped. You can destroy the food, but the starving villagers would really prefer that you return it.

Level 10-12
[31] Scions of secret society has used clairvoyant powers to orchestrate accidents, assassins, and monster attacks to the Kingdom and give power to a ambitious prodigal son. Venture to their complex in the mountains and sever the golden strands of fate to stop this prophecy.

[32] Magician without peer tries to invent constant, powerful teleportation portal. Unintentionally opens portal to outer dark, screaming aberrants flood laboratory. Close portal before they create a beachhead into our world.

[33] Obelisk of the desert holds secret cure to sand plague. Broken pieces stolen by mummies, hidden in tombs. Smeared embalming fluid on traps causes mummy rot.

[34] Any infant bundled in the moonspun blanket is said to be fated to live a long, successful life and great power will come to them. This blanket is currently stored at the ruined bathhouse, its halls stalked by residents each cloaked in a magic blanket that exchanges their sanity and kindness for power and cruelty.

[35] Written on mastadon parchment, inked in a potent prehistoric creature, wrapped up as a scroll in the deepest, darkest dungeon of the once greatest library in the entire world is a literal, real, first hand account of the invention of the common tongue and first alliance of men.

[36] Velvet Sand is a special substance that can be used by trained alchemists to create lossless, perpetual motion machines. Some velvet sand is known to be far beyond the black swamp, deep beyond the purple mountain ranges with their flying vipers. The velvet sand you could find would only be enough for a single grindstone, but would be able to help feed an entire city.

[37] Lord among Rogues dumps all failed apprentices, ex-lovers, dangerous rivals, and humiliated lawmen onto forgotten island of exiles. Tiny camp with driftwood walls on the shore is as best as they can do despite desperate attempt at survival; dark lair at center of island houses horrors that creep out every night.

[38] Ambulatory Wizard spellbook contains the spell Awakening, allowing intelligence to be brought to the low animal, mineral, and plant based minds of the world. The book itself is gathering follows using its own spell, an animated caravan hiding within the deep woods.

[39] Ideological dissidents of local ruler have tunneled from the dungeon prison cells into several armories and secret cellars, collected artifacts and killed several important members. From the prison-turned stronghold, they can now strike anywhere at any time. Steal their leaders' dowsing rods to blind them and prevent them from escaping the law.

[40] Party has accidentally broken into manor of a vain dead noble woman. Her portrait is said to contain her soul, which must hang in a gallery of fine arts for random malicious attacks against young beautiful girls in the area to stop.

Level 13-15 Dungeons
[41] The Polecat, famous flagship of the explorer Malachai is said to be waiting in a dusty cave of a landmass he discovered. The ship itself is the treasure, capable of outrunning almost any other ship on the high sea.

[42] Thaumaturgical Starlight, artificial divinity. One sip gives the drinker a connection to the cosmos little different from the quasi-omnipresent and omniscient viewpoint of the Gods. You can only find it in the most extremely concentrated bottles of 'Bottled Dungeon'.

[43] The patriarch of the church lives to a ripe old age of 444 unless assassinated early, and this one was wily. You must bring his still smiling corpse to its rightful slab in the belly of the catacombs beneath the Church of Ruined Gods- the flotsam of sacrificial blood and aimless angels of divinities useless and pointless will hinder your quest.

[44] Beyond the forest is a desert. Beyond the desert is a prairie. Beyond the prairie is a swamp. At the middle of the swamp is a hole in the ground. At the bottom of the hole in the ground is a sleeping giant, that once begat the first human. Wake it up so it, and all will know its pride to see what it's weakest child has accomplished.

[45] The sun has refused to rise above the horizon for three days now, causing twilight gloom and a deathly chill to spread into the land. Head to the far east, find its home, and return it to its rightful throne in the sky.

[46] Sword of the Hollow Man. It's power is to improve and amplify the natural power, magnetism of its wielder. Those who wish to conquer with the sword would lay waste to their enemies. Those who wish to protect the realm would be able to turn back a dragon army with it. The last owner's one wish was to die in a hole so deep, dark, and so horrible that nobody would ever be able to claim the sword and abuse its powers ever again.

[47] Angel bureaucrats made a filing error, purest soul in the world had negative sin value, accidental overflow meant instant eternal damnation. Proud demon lord shows off glowing soul on his mantle. Go to hell and climb his tower to fix this mistake.

[48] Huge sloped mountain range is actually a giant war machine, buried after countless years of deactivation. Travel through the mega dungeon in the mountain side and remove its key, or turn its key three times to destroy an empire.

[49] Every soul ever lost in the woods belongs to the scarlet doe. The silent lake where she is sighted once in a generation has a stairway in the water, leading down to the cold and sad place she keeps them. The souls clamor for freedom, as they cannot leave for the afterlife until someone smashes the twigs and leaves they have been bound to.

[50] The black temple has an alter, suspended above a lake of lava, that requires a blood sacrifice once every hundred years to feed a dark god who is said to destroy the world if not sated. The walls of the black temple eat light and laugh in the face of bravery against its horrors. It relishes screams and suffering, and its walls shift to confound you. He has not been free for a very long time, he wants you to fail.

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