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11/08/2019 9:43 am  #1


Megadungeons?

Which ones are you partial to?

I think the layout and organization of Blue Medusa is awe inspiring, but Alice in Wonderland stuff just leaves me cold. Stonehell is evocative and interesting, but I got tired of the one page dungeon format after a while. Dwimmermount was soured by all of the travails getting the thing published. The Castle of the Mad Archmage is huge and evokes the spirit of Greyhawk, but it ended up leaving me cold. 

Barrowmaze remains my favorite. I love having dungeons filled with the undead. I am also partial to the various follow up Megadungeons that Mr. Gillespie has published.

What megadungeons have you all used?


Thanks,
VR/Scott
 

11/08/2019 2:33 pm  #2


Re: Megadungeons?

I generally stick to my own megadungeon, as developing it is great fun for me, and people seem to like playing in it.

I think it would be tough for me to run someone else's megadungeon, as I see them as a manifestation of the DM's take on D&D, and his/her personal sense of style - a very personal thing, and a bit of a unique experience.  I've perused all of those you mentioned, and based on what I just typed, you are probably not surprised that none inspired me to run them. (Matter of fact, I have an outright dislike for a few of them.)

However....

I picked up the PDF of Gunderhofen when Hawk released it.  Dunno if I'd ever run it, but the more I read of it, the more I like it.  It is certainly one I have considered running.

In addition, I will be running Gabor Lux's Castle Xyntillian at Gary Con, but that's only 3 levels, and doesn't fall into the megadungeon category.

 

11/08/2019 7:22 pm  #3


Re: Megadungeons?

I have been tinkering with mine for years, now. It lies within the confines of Mount Vhuurmithadon, which is all points north in Hyperborea. 


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

11/09/2019 4:53 am  #4


Re: Megadungeons?

revshafer wrote:

Barrowmaze remains my favorite. I love having dungeons filled with the undead.

It's the only one I own (Barrowmaze Complete), so also my favorite by default.


"Enough of this intolerable inanity! I propose that such loquacity passes beyond the scope of nuisance and over the verge of turpitude."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

11/09/2019 4:03 pm  #5


Re: Megadungeons?

I have Stonehell, Barrowmaze, Archaia, HighFell, Rappan Athuk, Anomalous Sub-surface Environment, and the new Tegel Manor.  All are good, but thus far we've only played Barrowmaze.  It was a lot of fun for awhile, but character deaths and repetitiveness took their toll and the group abandoned it after a few months. 

May still go back, but I've also integrated all of them into my home brew setting, wherein Hyperborea is essentially the North Pole region.  So there are campaign arcs and links that can bring people back into them. And while not technically a megadungeon, Matt Finch's Cyclopean Deeps is an amazing take on the Underdark that could easily be inserted into a campaign as Underborea.  In fact, that's one route of travel from our "regular" setting to Hyperborea.  Likewise, you could easily use Operation Unfathomable (which we have played) in conjunction with AS&SH.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

11/10/2019 4:12 pm  #6


Re: Megadungeons?

I've got the 1e and 2e versions of Undermountain, Tegel Manor (1e), Citadel of Fire, Caverns of Thracia, Badabaskar, 2e Ruins of Greyhawk, Stonehell, and at one time or another had Rappan Athuk, Barrowmaze, Dwimmermount, World's Largest Dungeon, and seemingly a zillion others.

If I were to write one, or run one again, I'd simply pull what I like, thematically, along with things I consider to be the best parts, with my own spin of course, and create something out of that. I don't know there's anything that's out there that aligns with everything I'd want to do, that I can just pull out and go with, as written. 
Except for whatever Ghul writes, of course. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png
 

 

11/10/2019 4:14 pm  #7


Re: Megadungeons?

revshafer wrote:

Which ones are you partial to?

I think the layout and organization of Blue Medusa is awe inspiring, but Alice in Wonderland stuff just leaves me cold. Stonehell is evocative and interesting, but I got tired of the one page dungeon format after a while. Dwimmermount was soured by all of the travails getting the thing published. The Castle of the Mad Archmage is huge and evokes the spirit of Greyhawk, but it ended up leaving me cold. 

Barrowmaze remains my favorite. I love having dungeons filled with the undead. I am also partial to the various follow up Megadungeons that Mr. Gillespie has published.

What megadungeons have you all used?

You might want to consider looking at StoneHell. Michael Curtis did a nice job writing it, and there's lots of undead (it's a former prison). 

 

11/11/2019 1:41 pm  #8


Re: Megadungeons?

I placed Barrowmaze deep in my campaign's Lug Wasteland. I use Operation Unfathomable to represent Underborea around Yithorium. Rappan Athuk is somewhere around that orc city (I forget the name). B4 The Lost City is reskinned as The Lost City of Xuthas in the Diamond Desert. I use other published dungeons of course but those are the big ones I can recall. 

My own megadungeon exists beneath Khromarium, a legacy of the Elder Things who built the city millions of years, influenced by the snake-men, vhuurmi, and Hyperboreans who came later.

Ghul wrote:

I have been tinkering with mine for years, now. It lies within the confines of Mount Vhuurmithadon, which is all points north in Hyperborea. 

I hope that it could be published some day. It doesn't have to be the whole thing (although that would be awesome); I'd be happy with a few levels, ideas for more levels, and some evocative dungeon generator tables so DMs can make it their own.

Last edited by Brock Savage (11/11/2019 1:48 pm)

 

11/13/2019 1:38 am  #9


Re: Megadungeons?

I've run Barrowmaze, Rappan Athuk, and Dwimmermount. Each has their strengths and weaknesses (Barrowmaze has the slickest room descriptions at the cost of sameness; Rappan Athuk is the most wild, but the text is meandering and the editing is bad; Dwimmermount has the most internal consistency, but there's a lot of info that needs to be internalised to make use of that). I've written about my experience about them here: https://ynasmidgard.blogspot.com/2018/06/lessons-learnt-running-megadungeons.html

Based on reading alone, I find Anomalous Subsurface Environment and Castle Xyntillan the most fun (the latter also showcases a great style of presentation). The Darkness Beneath (the serialised megadungeon of Fight On!) is also a pretty good read, but also naturally varying in quality. The upcoming Arden Vul might be the best published megadungeon ever based on the preview material (periodically posted on MeWe) - but the proof of the pudding and all that.

 

11/13/2019 8:10 am  #10


Re: Megadungeons?

Barrowmaze is definitely #1 for me.  Gillespie's next two offerings were sadly just rushed money-grabs, trying to capitalize on the popularity of Barrowmaze.  Stay away.  I also really like The Lost City of Barakus, but not sure if it qualifies based on size as a megadungeon.  ASE 1 is great, ASE 2-3 not-so-much.  Caverns of Thracia and Dark Tower probably also fall into the not-quite-megadungeon status but are also great.  Cyclopean Deeps Vol II is fantastic, but Vol 1 is a bit weaker (both are not really "dungeonesque" either, they're more like D1-3).  The Black Monastery is along the lines of Tegal Manor except less whimsical and attempts to inject a little more horror ambiance (I like it much better, although I haven't seen the new release of Tegal Manor).  I've also never fully understood why The Temple of Elemental Evil doesn't seem to get some consideration as a megadungeon.  It was awe-inspiring when it first released.     

I'll definitely have to check out Castle Xyntillan and look forward to seeing more of Arden Vul as well.  The rest that have been mentioned that I didn't I personally found to be meh. 

Last edited by Derek_the_Hunter (11/13/2019 8:59 am)

 

11/13/2019 9:21 am  #11


Re: Megadungeons?

At the risk of spoiling it, the new Tegel Manor has a whole dungeon complex devoted to a cult of Tsathoggua that is worth buying it alone and is perfect for Hyperborea.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

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