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RuneQuest dungeons?

posted Feb 14, 2013 13:50:48 by DanTrue
Hey guys.

So far, all games I've run with MRQII/Legend and RQ6 have only had small dungeons (like single room tombs, three-room cave systems etc.) or have been more loosely described (like the Catacombs beneath Paris in Ex Cathedra from Deus Vult).

So, just to get an interesting discussion up and running. To what degree do you use dungeons in your RuneQuest/BRP games? I can imagine there were dungeons back in RQ3's days?
What makes these dungeons different from dungeons in other games? - other than the obvious ones (like not having a deadly encounter in every single room - I'm looking at you d&d!).
What do you like to see in your RuneQuest dungeons?
If you have experience running dungeons, what is your experience on the size? Initially one would think small dungeons are best, but do anyone have experience with mega-dungeons (Mines of Moria or Castle Greyhawk and Undermountain from d&d) - I've never run such dungeons, but they have a huge appeal with me.

And just to clarify: I mean dungeons in it's broadest sense.

Come one and come all :)

- Dan
[Last edited Feb 14, 2013 14:25:12]
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26 replies
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RudyBoe said Feb 25, 2013 20:31:58
For me, dungeons, ancient dungeons, are mainly an undead thing: the main inhabitants will be brainless zombies, skeletons, and the odd tomb with a few mummies,some gargoyles, some insects maybe, and so on. If the ruins are chaos infested, there's a bit more options for variety. A walktapi, a headhanger, they all make great 'boss monsters' (pardon my french) ;D I had my party confront a headhanger this Saturday and boy did they struggle :D

I will rarely put 'living opponents' in a dungeon. If a gang/tribe inhabits a ruin of some sort, they're gonna make sure it is defendable, so in cases like that I tend to go the cave route, possibly with some man made parts added. A few entries / exits, well defendable, and the inhabitants will be in the part that offers the best defensive possibilities. They will set up a defense, close off exits, have an escape route...

I abhor dungeons with 5 trollkin in one room, 2 scorpion men in the next, and 4 thugs in the next. There has to be a logic behind it. Why are they there, what are they doing. For an upcoming scenario I am working on a reed labyrinth with underwater area's, in the puzzle canal. Not spilling the beans since I've seen two of my players skulking around but there's a full story behind it.
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DanTrue said Feb 27, 2013 16:53:55
I am now the owner of Ruins of Glorantha :) looking forward to the read.

- Dan
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AnthonyClaes said Feb 27, 2013 17:03:18
Not spilling the beans since I've seen two of my players skulking around but there's a full story behind it.

damn and here i thought i could sniff some things for our next encounter :D

but as a GM in the making i agree with his point about dungeons.
nice zombies, with a headhanger as "boss" followed up with some skeletons that appeared in the next room.
zombies are animated into life, same as skeletons. the headhanger has enough MP and heads to do the damn thing. it was a nice dungeon :)

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DanTrue said Mar 12, 2013 16:48:57
Snakepipe Hollow has arrived :) Looking forward to the read.

- Dan
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Jefferiot said Mar 13, 2013 21:16:36
There is a rogue in my campaign. I heard, indirectly, that he hails from the Holy Lands. Supposedly, he and his pre-teen friends used to play "Elves and Dwarves" in "the local ruins." According to several of the stories, the ruins would seem to have dungeon levels that are part of the broken world machine and that still exhibit world creation magic. The rogue, himself, has told me about losing several childhood playmates at different times to traps below the surface world. I'm guessing the traps were set by dwarves of a previous age to keep sabateurs out of the works, but it's a no brainer that such tragedy could have inflamed a child's passion to become a mechanisms rogue when he grew up.

If we should believe anything that a rogue avatar says, the dungeons of the Gloranthan Holy Lands could be quite bizarre, by Earthling player standards. It may be worthwhile to send a few well-equipped, adult avatars to investigate the matter further.
[Last edited Mar 13, 2013 21:19:22]
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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AmazingOnionMan said Mar 16, 2013 13:54:29
Slightly on the side, the revised edition of BRP's Classic Fantasy will be using Legend.

For those not in the know, it is basicly a d100 loveletter to D&D.
I thought the original was very well put together, and if the author manage to get this new one as good, or even better, it will be very interesting.
Classic Fantasy's takes on the D&D-tropes of classes, alignment, magic, monstres and dungeoncrawling are inspired. IMO and all that.
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Jefferiot said Mar 16, 2013 21:04:51
Things are not what they seem, perhaps thanks in part to what may lurk in the underground. I hope to wake up the surface world to the importance of the humble dungeon crawl.

Did you know that Thanatari agents inside the Lunar government have been highlighting the false flag events of their own making to bring down sanctions on the adventure arm of the Lightbringer pantheon? Now that the Lunar pantheon is cracking down, more and more, on the Orlanthi, the Thanatari are expanding their operations unperturbed by "those brain-dead dungeon crawls."

I fear Thanatari will soon have full operations underfloor at both the Pavis and the Lunar halls of government. When they do, they shall surely divide the partisans whenever they need a weak Pavis or to unify them whenever they need a strong Pavis. As usual, this service will become available to the highest bidder.

The sale of government to the highest bidder isn't only a danger to the people of Pavis. It's like this everwhere the lowly dungeon crawl has faded into disuse--across untold numbers of worlds. The sanctions against dungeon crawls come in many guises, even seeming sometimes at first to be voluntary.

We need more dungeon crawls, people. This lowly device is the only assurance we have that our government hasn't become just another commodity.
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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ismurray said Mar 17, 2013 16:47:58
I heartily recommend The Black Broo of Dyskund by Ken Rolston, later repackaged for RQ3 as Dyskund Caverns in the Shadows of the Borderland scenario pack. You feel like you're in real cavern, not the creation of Mad Archmage Prang, and the horror of the subterranean world mounts well before you meet its denizens. Another non-Gloranthan classic dungeon with a similar realistic underground feel is Paul/Janelle Jacquays' Hellpits of Nightfang, set in an around a series of sinkholes. Then there's the already mentioned Balastor's Barracks. In all three of these the correct reaction of any party venturing down should be "I want to get out of here FAST" rather than kicking down the next door to see what's inside (not that there's not a place for that in RPG-land, but I'll use a different rule set for that).

To my mind dungeon complexes have a place in Glorantha or any other RQ world, but given the nature of RQ combat they should scare the living daylights out of any sensible player, and going down into them would need a very specific overriding community/cult/mythic reason to do so, rather than a search for loot. But of course, once a party has proved itself adept at killing the Thanatari/finding the lost tomb/recovering the axe, they might get a reputation as being good at that sort of thing and find themselves volunteered for the next dungeon crawl...
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Jefferiot said Mar 17, 2013 22:31:55
<quote author="ismurray"> . . . rather than kicking down the next door to see what's inside (not that there's not a place for that in RPG-land, but I'll use a different rule set for that). </quote>

A long time ago, far-far way, I saw several of my PCs set their spears versus one of my doors, when . . . roll . . . a dwarf happened by. He asked them, "How the %#*@ do you kick down a door with a phalanx?"

"We think the %#*@ing door is a mimick," snarled a PC to my wandering monster. "They kick harder than warhorses." "Aye, that they can", grimaced the random encounter sympathetically.

Why would they even suspect my door is a mimick? <emote trait1="blinking" trait2="innocently"/>

In my defense, no PC has ever been kicked by dungeon security hardware of any kind while spelunking in my Glorantha campaign.
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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DanTrue said Mar 18, 2013 05:57:12
A long time ago, far-far way, I saw several of my PCs set their spears versus one of my doors, when . . . roll . . . a dwarf happened by. He asked them, "How the %#*@ do you kick down a door with a phalanx?"

"We think the %#*@ing door is a mimick," snarled a PC to my wandering monster. "They kick harder than warhorses." "Aye, that they can", grimaced the random encounter sympathetically.


A tale worthy of the 'Tales from the Table': http://tabletitans.com/tales/

@ismurray: I'll definately take a look at these, thanks!

- Dan
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Jefferiot said Mar 19, 2013 07:15:13
A tale worthy of the 'Tales from the Table': http://tabletitans.com/tales/


@DanTrue: Thanks for the link. I am very much enjoying the read. :)
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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