Has anyone tried a mega dungeon kind of thing for DW?

Has anyone tried a mega dungeon kind of thing for DW?

Has anyone tried a mega dungeon kind of thing for DW? I really love the reading I’ve done for it and the freedom of players doing what they want. I do wonder though if the exactness of that format works with the looseness that DW wants.

12 thoughts on “Has anyone tried a mega dungeon kind of thing for DW?”

  1. I think if you use all the ‘Dungeon Moves’ as a regular response to a miss, plus have a rough idea of the factions involved in the mega dungeon, I think it’d be fine.

    Just follow the advice of converting modules in the rules (if its a published adventure) otherwise, just treat the whole dungeon as a front, with the various factions the dangers within.

  2. James, what do you consider a “megadungeon?”

    A huge chunk of my longest campaign involved the PCs exploring the supernaturally-overgrown remains of an ancient city. It played out pretty much rules-as-written, with a number of dangers/impending dooms marching right along.

  3. I think a good place to start when thinking about building a mega-dungeon Front is to be able to craft “random” dungeons easily; meaning dungeons without Grim Portents and Impending Dooms.  Just a dungeon players can mindlessly hack and slash through to find some loot.  A murder-hobo adventure as it were.  

    FRONT: Cursed Places

    Random Dungeon Level 1 (impulse: to draw in the weak-willed to lower levels)

    GM Moves

    Vomit forth a lesser monster

    Spread to an adjacent place

    Lure someone in

    Grow in intensity or depth

    Leave a lingering effect on an inhabitant or visitor

    Hide something from sight

    Offer power

    Dampen magic or increase its effects

    Confuse or obfuscate truth or direction

    Corrupt a natural law


    200-800 gp scattered throughout.

    a magic item with 1-3 holds that becomes non-magical after it is used.

    Fill the Characters’ lives with adventure and portray a fantastic world, and importantly Play to find out what happens: think of a few rooms, but leave most everything blank.  (ok.  a hallway has a blade trap, one room has a riddle explaining how the blade trap works, one room has a sarcophagus with a zombie in it that will awaken if the 50gp gem is removed from the dias).  The GM moves above will create the rest of the dungeon based on the characters moves.

    Let the player’s poor rolls (six and under, 7-9) fill in the missing space of the dungeon with the GM moves above.  Character rolls a 7 on spout lore when reading the riddle?  *vomit forth a monster* aka “wandering monster check”.  Player roll a 6 fighting the zombie?  pick another room and hide the treasure from sight.  Later, player rolls an 8 looking for that treasure?  *Confuse or obfuscate truth or direction* whoops!  Players are lost in this dungeon and don’t know which way the entrance is.  Ranger then rolls poorly finding the exit?  *lure someone in*…drop them in a pit trap down to level 2…

    Anyway, once you get the hang of improvising dungeons (not building them out from scratch on graph paper, but using the GM moves specific to the location front), all you need to do next is to then re-introduce Grim portents and Impending Dooms specific to each level of the dungeon (warring orc tribes on level 3, dwarves digging too deep and awakening a balrog on level 7 etc) and then a grand front and impending doom for the overarching dungeon (mad wizard, retrieve the amulet of Yendor, seal the portal to hell, etc).

  4. As long as you do not fall into the rut of describing passageways and rooms that are boring, filling them with meaningless decisions (are you going right or left?), and throwing monsters without meaning or method at them. Also leave out the gotcha-traps but place them where they would make sense, so that you don’t have an autokill the moment somebody doesn’t say “I look for traps”.

    If your megadungeon can survive the above caveats then DW would be perfect for it.

    Oh and lastly, why is the ballroom behind a secret door in the torture chamber?

  5. Cooper Walden Hmm good advice but not what excites me about a mega dungeon im afraid.

    One of the things that it seems to say is that the structure is kind of permanent but what is inside it monster wise and treasure wise every time you explore is different. Basically I want that player thing of them feeling like they are exploring and sometimes changing a real and living structure. I feel just making random dungeons and rooms would not go towards it.

  6. When you backtrack through an area and spot the changes, roll+WIS.

    On a 10+, choose 1.

    On a 7-9, choose 2.

    – A structure or mechanism is broken.

    – New creatures have taken hold.

    – Something has returned, badder than ever.

    – You notice a hidden door or mechanism you can’t believe you missed.

    – Something else I dunno

    Though you know, you could just describe new stuff happening.

  7. The real and living structure comes from the fronts, impending dooms and ominous signs. But I don’t mean to imply that the players can’t map the dungeon as they play. Sure, It becomes real and permanent once they experience it. What DW recommends is that it also be an adventure for the GM so she isn’t bored during the game. To accomplish this, DW recommends you let much of the dungeon generation occur as a result of player actions instead of as GM prep. leave blank spaces and all that.

    DW totally works on a traditional graph dungeon. ¯\(ツ)

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