Delving Into What's Unexplored
Descending into a dungeon is no easy feat in any Table Top Role Playing Game. It takes teamwork. It takes communication. It takes a party to delve deep into the unknown. This idea of the nature of unity is a major theme in our upcoming musical "Here There Be Dragons" (premiering at The Player's Theatre in June 2022). I am traditionally a Dungeon Master in the D&D games I play and thus am the keeper of dungeons, a tester of unity, and a herald of support for my players. I personally believe that a dungeon must be motivated by story in a game which is evident in the musical as well. Now, as to not spoil the plot of the musical, it's time to delve into what a dungeon can look like in a Table Top RPG with an original dungeon I made myself:
Spire of the Fallen City
The City of Skyloft was built by a great technological civilization, the Kainox Kingdom, over 1500 years ago by a people who fled to the sky out of hatred for the wars of the Earth.
In this time, Skyloft was a pinnacle of the civilization's technology, dominating the skies in a hegemony of other aerial kingdoms. Unlike these other kingdoms, which relied on rotors, Skyloft maintained its airborne state by way of the element Galaxium. For a time, the kingdom prospered. However, after the civilization reached too high an altitude, the Kainoxian’s lost their vitality, and the population gradually declined, until they died out as a result of a strange disease that broke out abruptly around 1000 years ago. The ancient Theran cosmologist Baku is said to have made note of this history in his lost geography “The Stars Above” and renowned story weaver Silas Kryr wrote of the Kingdom of Kainox in his widely distributed children’s fiction “The Gear Cathedral”.
Legend has it that some of the Kainoxian’s, including the royal family and some of their subjects, abandoned the city at this time, hid themselves and lived on, but the details of this are unclear. Skyloft was deserted, left only to the care of robots that waited for the return of their king. Over the years, the territory crumbled. The power of the Galaxium Core that made the city fly was eventually sapped. The City of Skyloft fell to the earth creating a crater. The city itself has been lost time. Lost to memory. Become simply a legend. A children’s fairy tale even. Some say there is something that lingers in the dark of the caverns in the mountains. Something that hopes to one day raise the city from its tomb. Something in the mountains wants its city back.
L1A Tower Base
A large opening at the base of the spire. Populated with Galaxium Soldiers/Bruisers/Spies. Connects to Watch Tower Entrance (Key Locked), Adjacent Room, Recharge Station, Ramp 1
L1B Watch Tower Entrance
(Key Locked) Contains evacuation plans from the Kainox with “—> 3” written on the corner of the Captain of the Watches notebook and the notes on how the Galaxium Power Core works. Connects to Defense Ramparts
L1C Adjecent Room
Empty room except for scrawling on the walls reading ERPEV DZDB. Connects to Ammunition Chamber (Puzzle Locked).
L1D Ammunition Chamber
(Puzzle Locked) Speak the command word “Bombs Away” and the door slides open. Inside is a whole mess of bombs including an
L1E Recharge Station
Inside Galaxium Soldiers and recharge here, this room is currently empty.
L1F Stasis Chamber
Inside a Retriever Horde is in static, disturbing it causes them to activate and attack. “—>2” is written on the wall of this chamber.
L1G Ramp 1
A ramp that leads up the Spire. Connects to Scanner Room, Power Core Base (Magically Locked), and Ramp 2. At the door to the Power Core Base is written “UMA MGA”
L1H Scanner Room
At the first landing is the scanner room where Galaxium Soldiers scan the Long Dark for Galaxium deposits.
L1I Power Core Base
(Puzzle Locked) Speak the Command word “Sky Key”. The base of the reforged power core, it’s almost ready to launch. It glows profusely. There is a protective energy wall surrounding the core.
L1J Ramp 2
Leads up to Level 2.
L2A Ramp 3
Connects to the Power Core Level 2 (Puzzle Locked, “UMA MGA”) and Hallway.
L2B Power Core Level 2
(Puzzle Locked) Energy is building, there is a protective energy wall surrounding the core.
Connects to Production Hall and Ramp Part 4.
L2D Production Hall
Production Center for Robotics. An Ancient Retriever Prime is here, doesn’t attack unless provoked or will if the party has Galaxium on them.
L2E Ramp 4
Leads to Level 3
L3A 1-3 Power Core Level 3
(Puzzle Locked, “UMA MGA”) Galaxium protected by a Galaxium Dragon. Connects to Navigation Deck.
L3B Chamber of the Ancient Gear
Contains all the history and fall of the Kainox Kingdom. Connects to Power Core Level 3 (Puzzle Locked, “UMA MGA”)
L3C Navigation Deck
Contains the Wheel of Wind and Water (allows vehicles to fly) as well as a globe with the entire map of the planet on it.
Dungeons are inherently a team based task. Yes, you can do a one player dungeon and RPG video games are traditionally one player doing the dungeon crawl. I believe though that a dungeon is not about puzzles, monsters, or loot. A dungeon is a test, a challenge to the unity and communication skills of a party. This is what we delve into when we go to the unexplored. In the best version of a dungeon I believe we are descending deep, deep into creating more lasting friendships.
Delve Into The Unexplored
Build Connections That Last
See With More Than Just Your Eyes