Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Cruel D&D Idea: The Empty Dungeon
I haven’t posted a cruel D&D idea for a while now, so here is a simple one…
How come every time an adventuring party comes across a centuries-old dungeon, it always just so happens that they’re the first ones to finally rediscover it? I mean, that can work with some settings, but in most D&D worlds it’s a trope that the world is filled with adventuring parties, with those who survived to old age retiring and almost always becoming tavern owners or something along those lines.
So how about just for once, the party has a map to an important dungeon and when they get there… Someone else ransacked it first? All the monsters are dead along the way, all the traps are disabled. The loot is all gone. (I suppose a generous GM could always place some treasure that the previous raiding party didn’t find, but the group would still have to find it if they bother searching in the right places.)
Maybe at the end of the dungeon someone of the previous raiding party even painted on the wall “<Insert Name of Other Adventuring Group> was here!” or something along those lines. Or maybe there’s no clue at all as to who was there first.
Maybe the players will bother searching for those who got to that dungeon first or maybe they’ll move on to something else, but either way you’ll have reminded them that the setting is an ongoing world where things can change even if they are not around to change them.
A possible reaction is that they might hurry to the next dungeons in the future instead of thinking they can go whenever they feel ready, for better or worse.
As a final side-note, maybe the dungeon that was looted had that important artifact the party desperately needs and now they must track down those who got there first in order to find it…