Megadungeon Mission Statement

Table of Contents

1 Goals of the Game

1.1 This game should be fair.

This first and foremost means that there should be a clue to be had somewhere as to what the nature of something is before you get killed by it. There are times when I have to deviate from the module for this, because it was originally concieved before fairness was a thing in roleplay games. I'm not trying to kill you, the dungeon's inhabitants are trying to kill you.

1.2 This game should be hard.

Players will sometimes fail extravagantly, with hopefully enough drama attached to keep it interesting. I want there to be a focus on characters that are actually survivable, that have overcome the odds to have awesome war stories. Even if those war stories are about running away from a water monster and gluing the door shut.

1.3 This game requires teamwork.

You're all in this together. Your goals should align with making the group have fun. This does not mean that your characters cannot have individual agendas, but you should never find yourself working against the party.

1.4 Most time should be spent crawling around in the dungeon or exploring the surrounding environment.

This is your only limitation. I don't want you all fucking off in the rest of Golarian and ignoring the content I'm trying to run for you. All the cool shit is right where you are. Some time can be spent in cities trying to track down equipment, but don't go hunting for quests out in the world.

1.5 This is a dynamic sandbox, I have created no narrative.

The party should determine their own goals and aspirations. The world around you will change with time, and these changes will be the result of the party's action or inaction.

2 Possible Problems plus Proposed Panacaeas

2.1 Not enough sense of accomplishment

I think this is because there's a lack of "plot" hooks. This could be a result of additional NPCs or surviving documents that the party finds describing what has/is transpiring in the region. I think having more personal problems to deal with might be the solution here.

2.2 Mapping is slow

I think that stopping the slow process of describing a map to you in painstaking detail for you to draw is probably in order. Either those descriptions need to be OK being vague and introducing a possibility of inaccuracy (I doubt you guys brought a tape measure anyway), or even going so far as to just drawing a node graph. Either way, almost all the players mentioned this being a problem, and no one said "I really like how we're doing this!". There is also a possibility of discarding maps entirely, but I feel like that actually takes away from player agency. I don't want you guys dying to failing survival checks because you can't find your way out all the time.

2.3 There is no way to offload gold efficiently

You guys can sell shit and amass a bunch of money, but then…cannot spend it…at least very much of it. Mail ordering takes a long time, and you guys are dungeon clearing at a breakneck pace. There's no guaranty you'll be alive by the time your mail order comes in. My proposed solution to this is that after selling a certain amount of gold worth of equipment, a merchant shows up in town, because they've heard of your deeds and thinks there's some good business to be done.

3 Open Questions

  1. How do we minimize distraction at the table?
  2. Is there interest in a West Marches format?