13 thoughts on “Dungeons”

  1. about 5%-10%. I ran a City based game for several sessions and it morphed into a travelogue game for a total of 26 sessions so far. Very much plot driven, so occasionally, the “dungeon” makes an appearance… but more often, battles on islands, and in the streets and on airship decks.

    The last episode I ran, the evil cult was using some dwarven runes as a base of operations… so, we did use a “dungeon”, but even then, the approach was more like special forces, hit, move, hit again… than actual room to room exploration.

  2. dungeons and location based adventures literally is 100% of all rpgs, unless you consider f’ing about in the tavern the whole session with no desire to do anything outside hang out and drink.

    Dungeons are places you go to find conflict, location based adventures are areas that have conflict for the party to encounter.

  3. Thanks! I ought to have defined what I meant better.

    I was using “location-based adventure” as a synonym for “dungeon”: A somewhat bounded, dangerous environment that offers the players some choices of in what areas to explore.

    Some or most elements might come from your prep or unfold in play—having it all planned out isn’t the necessary feature.

    By contrast, here are some other kinds of adventure that happen in my Dungeon World games: Wilderness exploration, navigating social or political intrigues or other power relationships, neither of which have the boundedness of dungeon-like environments.

    A session when the decide to “save the burning village from invaders” may have a strong sense of location. But the environment rarely offers the sense of exploring and unknown dangerous area with a mix of random-access areas and choke points that I mean by “dungeon”.

    Does that make sense?

  4. Deep Six Delver Alright so you mean rather then an abandon’ed tower or a cave system, you mean the “dungeon” is a swamp, or corrupted forest.

    Very little, I prefer more open exploration, rather then confining a party to a single area. Unless they are going to that area with a specific goal, such as kill the Beholder in the cave or stop the Wizard in his tower.

  5. My first Dungeon World campaign was at least 75% dungeon exploration, even with the realization of world-changing grim portents.

    My current campaign has had almost no exploration of bounded environments, unless you count the mountain pass from Michael Prescott’s Three Faces Pass adventure starter. But even that felt a lot more open-ended than what I would call a dungeon.

    I suppose it could have more bounded—and “dungeon-like”—if the party hadn’t brought enough rations.

    I guess that’s the other element of boundedness: an environment which forces you to make hard choices about sharply limited resources.

    If they hadn’t brought so many provisions and raided enemy camps for more, they wouldn’t have been able to Make Camp, and their entire journey would have either been long forced marches with little exploration, or else running out of provisions and dying in the wilderness. That could have been more “dungeon-like”.

  6. I’m going to guess 40%, although I’m not at all confident that’s the right answer. Despite the fact that almost every adventur location the players go to is one of my published ones, there’s a lot of time travelling and talking to NPCs in settlements (which, after all, establishes the pretext for the forays in the first place).

  7. Our campaign is 17 sessions long, and we’ve spent three of them in two dungeons, plus an online interlude in another. The rest of the time has been overland travel, islands, a village, the arctic, a citadel, a tavern, a city, a temple, a seaport, the ocean, a forest, a lake, another temple, another port, another ocean, a ruin, a desert, and the astral plane. My prep is getting less and less, and I think the game will get better for it.

  8. Dungeons, Settlements and Travel each occupy about a third of our game play time. Prep? I read sage words of wisdom once with respect to Dungeon World: “No one cares about your stinking prep.” Everything emerges at the table. What we do when not gaming is create better forms, sheets, and blanks, and create write-ups/artwork from what happened last time.

  9. 75%. It´s called Dungeon World ffs (and I´m only half kidding).

    If hexcrawls or political machinations were the focus of the sessions I would rather play a different system (Freebooters and Urban Shadows).

  10. For my group, about 10-20% of the time is spent in dungeons. Mostly because no matter how big the neon signs in front of the entrance of dungeons, my players always seem to go chase after some butterfly or mystery or wanting to ‘talk to that guy first’. By the time they get around to the dungeon, everyone inside died of old age (or impending doom happened and it came out after them :P)

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