Tuesday, September 27, 2011

30 DODND Day 12: Favourite Dungeon Type/Location

Ah the problems of flanking when you can't get past

I’ve always been partial to the classic dungeon style of an underground complex full of kobolds/goblins.  I feel that these dungeons usually contain a good mix of every kind of challenge.  There can be traps, fights, ambushes, all kinds of skill challenges, secret passages, lighting issues, and all manner of different ways to harass the party.  Sometimes in a forest, or some other dungeon locations, you cannot have all of these elements in the same dungeon. 
My favourite part of the complex, though, is the challenges it presents to tactics.  You have narrow passages for confined fighting, which is always tricky, though it often can give the advantage to the party.  You have small rooms, cluttered rooms, big rooms, rooms with strange architecture, with such a variety which just doesn’t make sense in other locations.  Having to fight in different conditions, on difficult terrain, is really good for inspiring tactics.  Parties so often start an encounter saying sticking together is the best plan, but inevitably within three rounds everyone is in a different corner of the room and the wizard is surrounded.  A dungeon crawl through a narrow cave complex or a crypt can force the party to learn or die.  Sometimes, the party doesn’t learn fast enough, and I’m fine with that.  Give a party an open playing field though, and despite being outnumbered, I find that too often they have too much rope to play with, and they’ll come up with something complicated to win easily.  Keep them on their toes, and then even a group of kobolds can be a challenge, as so many parties have found out too late.
Such joy!


  1. I would like to make an annoucement as well. This is my 100th post on the Sub-space Emmisary! I wasn't sure I'd manage to make it this far with any sort of consistency, but I like to think that I have. Thank you for reading! This all started just as a project for fun, and I have really enjoyed it, so I'd call that a success. I hope you've enjoyed it too.

  2. I agree, underground lairs are a lot of fun. Also, congratulations on the 100th post!