Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Megadungeon Best Practices XIX

Yesterday's Megadungeon "best practices" prompted a comment from Darnizhaan that was worth expansion into a blog post:

Use Multi-Level Structures

It's a megadungeon, so put in some mega structures that impinge upon multiple levels, such as:

- chasms

- waterways (and waterfalls between such)

- giant staircases

- huge caverns (top is effectively on one level, bottom on another)

- rooms with mezzanines and multi-level access

- towers, pyramids, and ziggurats within large caverns/rooms/etc.

Embrace the size of the dungeon and show it off with multi-level structures.

This is where your side view and top-down view both come in handy for placement.


Corollary: Don't accidentally impinge

Make sure you aren't accidentally having pits impinge on open areas on a lower level, staircases that bypass a level but are blocked (or opened to) by an intervening level, and so on. Using large structures and multi-level connections, and pits down to deeper levels, is a great way to take advantage of the megadungeon . . . but do it on purpose rather than by unhappy, oops-my-map-is-wrong mistake.

Thanks again to Darnizhaan for bringing these up!


  1. I've mentioned in the past that mine has an entire aircraft carrier in it (the HMS Queen Elizabeth to be precise).

    Stealing a page from (E)'s AtE Farming Examples thread, I'm adding in thermal sinks from the mountains above my megadungeon... long tubes half filled with water that run from lakes above all the way to the 'bottom' that are occasionally breached in between.

    1. That's fantastic. I do have a haunted pirate ship in mine

    2. I like them both.

      One of my players has postulated that Felltower's world is Earth in the far, far future, so it's possible to find ancient technological levels deep in Felltower. I won't confirm or deny that specifically for risk of spoiling his fun.

  2. Those are some good points. I've already got three large multi-level structures drawn and am planning a few more. I like the idea of rooms with terraces overlooking lower levels and such. I hadn't thought of that.

    Actually, it'd be pretty cool to expore various ideas for transitioning between levels and zones. I know people go a little nuts over Dark Souls, but one thing I think they really did nail were the transitions. Go down a tower, fall through a pit, climb down some ruins, get sucked into a painting, etc. What sort of megadungeon level/zone transitions have you used?

    Also, how do you use architecture and space to give different areas a different feel? I've been big on using tight versus open to help with that, lately.

    1. All of that is worth another post when I have time!


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