Work continues on The Dismal Depths One-Page Dungeon series. I've been adding information to the dungeon between room ideas and maps, to the point that Level 2 is still in the "done but needs to be mapped" stage. It's close, and I hope to make the make Levels 2A-2D available all at once, and do the same with Levels 3A-3D. Those will comprise The Upper Levels, and then I will get serious about finishing all four three-level sections. The Dark Domain, originally slated to be simply Levels 10A-10D has been extended down to Level 12 in my notes and sketches.
As you can see I work rather slowly and normally like to create in large chunks. Unfortunately with the many projects I have going at once, this means I often set things aside and they gather dust a little bit longer than expected. Well, good news, I dove back into The Dismal Depths yesterday.
In addition to the entirely homebrewed Bestiary, I am currently putting together an entirely homebrewed Dismal Depths Treasury. I am planning on dozens of new magic items. Rather than dispose of the OD&D magic item base, the Treasury will work as a supplement. I'll likely alter the standard OD&D Magic Items table to include a Dismal Magic result and accompanying table. While I plan to manually place one instance of each of the new items, and no more, referees might enjoy seeing them on such a table as well.
I am also including a handful of homebrewed Artifact type items in the Treasury. They will most certainly be in the clutches of the more nefarious denizens of The Dark Domain, and not found on any random tables. There will also be a dozen or so Tech Devices described in the Treasury, but seperate from the magic items. Laser Swords, Dart Guns, Acid Grenades, that sort of thing. Nothing that would upset the game balance, more or less simply magic items turned into an alternate form.
Along the way I am adding new rules for these magic items. For example, all magic Weapons, including Swords, throw two dice for damage, using the highest. All magic Armor ignores any damage roll of "1". All magic Shields have a deflect chance of Xin12. That sort of thing.
One of my ideas which greatly appeals to my design sensibilities embraces the observation of OD&D maps I made in one of the Cover to Cover posts, that is: It’s as if the deciphering of a treasure map generates the treasure listed, along with its guardian.
Over a year ago I had an idea to create a series of mini-dungeons called Ixmorin's Ill-fated. There are five such mini-dungeons. Each is a series of rooms designed to protect an Artifact, the five magical pieces that make up Ixmorin's Ill-fated Set. The idea is that each small collection of rooms could be placed anywhere in the campaign world. My original idea was that within each mini-dungeon was a clue to the location of the next.
I've also been kicking around ideas for special sublevels within The Dismal Depths, so far these are simply names of places such as Gavagan's Bar, The Glittering Sands, The Snow Globe, The Donjon, Franken Labs and The Dome of Perpetual Indulgence.
Here's where the ideas all collide. I'll be making a guide for how to utilize maps in the Treasury, and including special, specific Sublevel Maps on the table. When a map is determined to be in a treasure trove, there is a chance that it will be Ixmorin's Ill-fated Map #3, for example. This will allow the player characters to then cast Read Languages on the map, once discovered, and decipher the location. The referee would then decide where the as to until then secret entrance to Ixmorin's Dungeon #3 is located. Using the One-Page for that mini-dungeon and dropping it anywhere in The Dismal Depths for the characters to go to and enter that secret "bonus" sublevel.
Anyway, just taking a break from dungeon design to float a few ideas for the project here at the blog.
~Sham, Quixotic Referee