Sargasso of Dungeons

There is a place in the multiverse that steals bits from other dimensions. A building here, a castle there, a cave system from other there.  These all get mashed together in  lightless universe, and covered with the dirt of a thousand worlds to form a system of underground rooms, buildings and passages. A giant dungeon with no rhyme or reason, populated with the stolen creatures of a thousand worlds. Food is scares, giving rise to new ecological niches as creatures from different worlds learn to devour one another. Fungus flourishes on the  abundant moisture stolen from a thousand seas, and filtered through huge amounts of dirt and rock until it is pure. Some evolve to subsist solely on the radiation that suffuses this realm, possibly the same force that draws parts of other realms to it.

All this combines to make a weird realm, filled with dead ends, nonsense passages, a cacophony of architectural styles and a deadly array of creatures. As one travels from the edges to the centre of this realm things grow more deadly, as only the strongest creatures have survived over the millenia, whereas the outer edges are new arrivals, still adapting to their underground existence.

I got this idea while reading The Dungeon Alphabet, one of my DM’s purchases. It is ok, though not as good as it was made out to be, but I was reading it thinking of how stupid any dungeon made using it would be. There would be no REASON for there to be an alter in the middle of the dungeon, and you could have two totally different architectural styles right next to one another. At the same time I’d like a game where I can make maps galore, use excel to track the value of every item, loot every random mundane item and whatnot. I’m not a big combat person, but I like exploring and discovering and that is an element that is lost in most games today, with battlemaps and detailed plots and time limits on adventures. I think that is part of why I like The Long Stairs, since things found in that setting don’t have to make sense.

In this setting I can use any monster, treasure, anything, just stick them together. On one area you are in an old mouldering tower, the next a natural caver, and the third a Greek temple, and so on. You could have giant areas where entire cultures live, and lost civilizations. If you want to get really wacky the radiation of this realm prevents anything from starving to death, but always leaves you hungry, thus why so many monsters will kill and eat you. I’ve wanted to run a game with all the cool monsters and treasure and whatnot from Dragon magazine and all the D&D books I have, but I never get to as they don’t thematically fit, or they never get to high enough level.
I’m considering picking a game and drawing up a map, going to or rpol or such and just starting, any number of players, you don’t have to work with the party and if you die, you die. I’m bad enough at keeping my game going though that I suspect it wouldn’t work. Anyway, what do you think? Too muchkiny? Am I over thinking things?

Oh and I know I said I’d write about the book I read last time, but I didn’t strike while the iron was hot and haven’t been quite as inspired. Soon, soon I say. No one guessed who it was anyway so not many of you can care.

Until next time, Stay Geeky


Edit 1 year later: I was looking up this post as I might run a game of this finally, and noticed I had spelled Sargasso wrong in the title. Opps.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Long Stairs – I’ll have to check that out.


  2. […] #8: Dungeonworld/The Sargasso of Dungeons: Really I can’t think of much to add to this, except that I’d probably use […]

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