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Thursday, March 27, 2014

An Infinite Dungeon: The YouTube RPG Brigade Megadungeon Project

So I get weird ideas to try to get a bunch of strangers to work on RPG stuff together.  My latest idea was to have a bunch of people make a level of a dungeon on a standard sheet of graph paper and then put out videos about those levels.  I figured that this way people years from now (if YouTube is still a thing) could still make a level of a dungeon for the project.  I was thinking about a deck of playing cards where each card represented a level of the megadungeon.  The viewers of the videos can pick and choose which levels they want to include (provided people actually participate in making the videos) and stack them up any way that they want to.  For some reason someone shuffling a bunch of dungeon levels is a cool mental image for me.  Shuffle.  Shuffle.  :)

Here is the first video that started off this project.

Here is the playlist for all of the videos that I know about for the project so far.  I will add more to the playlist as they come in.

Here are the details that I typed up for the project.  It occurs to me now that if people want to participate with their blogs that that would be cool too.  So if you feel like making a random dungeon level that connects to another level above and to another level below in some fashion, by all means doodle one up. 

Here is the megadungeon level I've been working on for this project, and I plan on making other levels as well.

1) You draw up a fairly large level of a dungeon, you know, on graph paper. Let's stick to standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper size. That is your level of the dungeon.

2) Number your rooms and hallways. If you have related rooms feel free to use letters too, like 1a, 1b, 1c, etc.

3) Make a Key for your level of the dungeon with the symbols you are going to use in it. That way we know what all your little squiggles on the map mean. Also detail what is in each of the numbered rooms but do so in a system-less manner. Feel free to use common monster names, spell names, etc. but don't stress too much about system or edition or whatever. If you make up your own creatures tell us about them. Just describe what is there in words.

4) Make 1 (or several) Wandering Monster Tables for your level of the dungeon. If you have very distinct different areas on your level it might be good to have different tables for instance. Your table can be as large as you like. To keep it consistent maybe we should all design the table to be rolled on with a D20. If you want certain creatures to show up more often give that creature's spot in the table more numbers that are associated with it. So at max the Wandering Monster Table will have 20 creatures listed in it.

5) You fill only 1/3rd of the rooms with creatures. The theme of exploration should be emphasized and there won't be monsters in every room. Put a bunch of strange / creepy / weird / fantastical / supernatural stuff in the rest of the rooms. Also, some rooms will just be "empty" but there might be some unique description of the way that room looks.

6) Keep in mind that this is a supernatural underworld where normal physics need not apply. This place is corrupt, a blight on the face of the world (and in the world), and there is a reason that evil and chaotic things tend to make this place their home. They feed off of that power, and thrive on it.

7) Think of your level as a whole. Are there any politics between factions in your level of the dungeon? Are there any level wide strange effects that you should tell us about, etc. Do most of the inhabitants worship a strange god or gods or other things? This might be considered Dungeon Ecology.

8) Put some treasure in, some items of antiquity and/or power, etc. If you want to be stingy, be stingy. If you want to be Monty Haul, be Monty Haul. Have fun with the placement of such things. I would think most of us would be in the stingy to medium level of treasure range though.

9) Your level of the dungeon connects randomly to a level above and below your level. These other levels are created by someone else in the YouTube RPG Brigade.

10) Make a video (or a blog post) about your level of the dungeon and share it with the rest of us.

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