The Alexandrian

  • Treasure.
  • It’s where the bad guy we’re trying to stop is hiding out.
  • It’s where the bad thing we’re trying to stop is happening.
  • It’s where the thing we need has been hidden, lost, or secured.
  • It’s between where we are and where we need to be.

Legends & Labyrinths: Dungeon Encounter - Alex Drummond

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6 Responses to “Thought of the Day – Reasons to Go in the Dungeon”

  1. Max V says:

    It’s a way we can leave the place we do not want to be

  2. Confanity says:

    * We want to take possession of it for ourselves. (Better for small lairs than for megadungeons, obviously, but the expedition to retake Moria and reestablish the dwarven kingdom of old comes to mind.)

    * We were driven by social reasons: a dare; a traditional rite of passage or demonstration of courage; exile; some kind of penance; some kind of oath.

    * We need to escape something bad that’s happening above ground: a cataclysmic war or celestial event; a natural disaster; or even just an ominous prophecy about one of the above. (How about a campaign as ancestors of the Drow?)

  3. Rob says:

    A few of those have some intriguing variations if you approach them from the other direction, too:

    * It would be a great place to hide out
    * It’s where the thing we’re trying to start must begin
    * It’s where the thing needs to be hidden, secured, or destroyed

    I’m not sure what the other direction from “Treasure” would be: sabotage? destruction? donation and charity?
    The last one, because it’s an obstacle to another place, is also tricky to rework: It’s a trap for the enemies following us? It’s the hardest path and we need to prove our worth?

  4. Charles Saeger says:

    What, only one? Scattering many of these reasons in a dungeon makes for a basis for a mega dungeon. More games need to be built around the goals than they are now. Folks are always thinking about the challenges when writing adventures (“This will be a cool boss fight!”) instead of why anyone would endure those challenges.

  5. d47 says:

    High XP/sq. ft.
    Harder for players to go off the rails
    Mapping is fun
    Cause it’s in the name of the game

  6. Chrysophylax says:

    * We entered the dungeon by accident or enemy action, or found ourselves in the dungeon and don’t know why. We’re trying to get out.

    * We live in the dungeon.

    * We want to talk to or trade with the denizens.

    * We want to conquer the denizens and rule them or demand tribute.

    * We want to provoke the denizens into leaving the dungeon and rampaging.

    * We want to hunt the denizens for captives, food or valuable body-parts.

    * We want to practice for something else and the dungeon is convenient.

    * We care about the things we do in the dungeon, not the dungeon itself. For example, we may need to kill a certain number of people to satisfy our god or complete a ritual.

    * We’re being sent to our deaths or looking for death in battle.

    * We’re being sent into extreme danger to see whether we survive, possibly as gladiators. (I can imagine a setting where rich people keep teams of adventurers on retainer and send them on missions as a way of showing off.)

    * It’s a good place to do something we want to keep secret or do far away from other people. (For example, an abandoned tower might be a good place to do innocent but dangerous alchemy experiments.)

    * It’s a defensible location close to something else we care about.

    * We’re about do something dangerous and want a hide-out to run away to.

    * It’s close to our route of travel and we need to clear it out so that the caravan can pass safely.

    * We care about the physical structure of the dungeon and want to study, damage or repair it.

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