I’ve been batting around this idea for a campaign for a while now, but due to lack of players and time, I don’t think its going to happen in the near future. As such, I’m going to write it up here and get some feedback and whatnot. I have stolen from a number of sources, most obviously a rather bad book by the name of: XCrawl: Adventures in the Extreme Dungeon Crawl League, followed by the gladiatorial games of the Roman Empire and some Dragon magazine articles.
Basic concept: Brave adventures explore artificial dungeons stocked with deadly traps and monsters for the amusement of a televised audience.
Edit: It seems some people don’t get this concept: You play a character in a modern setting who goes into dungeons for money or fame or whatever and all the while your exploits are broadcast out to millions of viewers. Have you seen the trailer for Death Race (Or even the movie?) Like that but based on D&D instead of Autoduel. Your modern day Gladiators, who may or may not survive each entry into the dungeon. When you hack a troll apart millions cheer, and if the troll eats you…well, your family might get royalties when they release the DVD of your adventures.
Right, so the same concept of XCrawl, –I did say I was stealing from it. However, I’m not going to put a zillion pages of useless background into this post, as XCrawl did. I also have a couple different ideas on how to implement this idea, something XCrawl only gave a passing nod too. Honestly, I don’t think the XCrawl book is work buying as it spends most of its pages on a world setting and very few on actual rules and ideas for dungeon crawling. It does have some good ideas (A dungeon scoring system, mojo points, Dungeon Jockeys) which I’ll leave for you to uncover, but really, I think someone was being paid by the page…which is why they outlined an entire setting…then destroyed it and rebuilt it, with the original setting conveyed through a magic sword. Anyway, here is what I think you can do with the same basic idea.
These dungeons could be straight out of D&D with stone walls & torches or they could be plywood and spraypaint. They could be a converted office building that’s still furnished so you have kobolds hiding in cubical farms. The important part is you have modern day people risking their necks in a dungeon as fans watch it on pay-per-view. I’ll outline various ways of doing this in subsequent posts. I’m not sure what else to say about this without going into implementations, so I will leave this here for now.
It should be noted this is different from the as of yet unnamed ‘My Work/Nova’s World’ setting I detailed previously.
In this first post I will outline a dark form of this setting, and latter on I will write up a lighter interpretation. I’m also thinking of a version of them closer to a Gladiatorial type event. I might even backport this to a Roman fantasy style setting. Anyway, as always comments are both welcome and appreciated, and until next time Stay Geeky!
P.S. I just realized I forgot my tagline on my last two posts! *sigh*
Edit: Added a better description based on @ExplodingDragon’s comments on twitter.