Fungal Dungeons ARE Fungeons
With my system Nothing Ventured at a stage where I feel comfortable having people sit down and actually play with it, I wanted to create a dungeon which I could use to playtest. I could have used another dungeon someone else made, and just convert everything over to the standard of Nothing Ventured, but I didn't want to! Instead, I took the opportunity to practice making a dungeon myself!
The idea is inspired by a fungus called ophiocordyceps unilateralis. You may have actually heard of it by its other name - the ant zombie fungus. Basically, the spores of this fungus enter an ant, latch onto the ants brain, grow, and then take over its bodily functions to turn the ant into another spore producing host. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum, in a horrible transformation. So why not do that, but on a bigger scale?
Link to fungus:
Enter the Fungeon
Thus, the fungal dungeon was born!
I feel comfortable putting it out there because this is the Ultra Mega Alpha Stage and none of you will ever play this version of it. I'm playtesting it with some people IRL and they'll probably play a slightly updated version of this one I'm putting out now since our game isn't until Friday. After the playtest and some feedback, I'll be revising and expanding it.
And that's the plan, in a nutshell - playtest both my system and the dungeon, revise both as need be, expand the dungeon by a few rooms, playtest both again, and so on and so forth. Maybe after a few months it'll have 50+ rooms. But right now, I thought it'd be best to shoot for five - five is manageable.
Also, I used Dungeon Scrawl by Probably Train to make the dungeon, and edited a few things in Paint.
Below are the areas of my game I wish to test with this first round, in order of importance.
First and foremost, I want to test combat. There is going to be a LOT of combat, and that's the point this time around. I want to see how smooth combat runs, how quickly it runs, and how easy it is to work with and understand. Honestly, this was the main impetus for the entire project.
This is a dungeon after all. My hope is to test the current options given by the dungeon crawling rules, see which ones work and which ones don't, and what could be added/removed. This will test everything from counting torch light to communicating unique or inventive ideas.
The party I will be testing this with will only have two players, so hirelings will be used, which is great! Hirelings are an important aspect of my system, and I want the party to use hirelings to their fullest to see if my system holds up and where it needs revision.
Of course, carrying around all the stuff, losing resources, and trying to haul out any treasure is going to require inventory management. While not one of the focal points of this playtest, it will be used, and I look forward to seeing how well it works.
The amount of treasure in this 5-room dungeon is meant to provide enough gold for 4 level 1 characters to progress to level 2. This will only come once the dungeon is largely completed, so it will be a minor thing, but testing the leveling up system and the classes in general will be beneficial to my system especially.
That's All Folks!
A short post, I know, but this is something I've been working on in the background. The reason I began my "Mythos & Folklore" series was for this dungeon (which you can check out here and here). I kept the dwarves, but got rid of the orcs in favor of human nomads for (if you've read the orc post) obvious reasons.
O nameless void, if you have any wisdom or guidance to offer, I humbly ask for it! For your collective intelligence far outweighs my own! Also, this is only the second dungeon I've ever made, and the first one was never actually used...so it's probably got some rough spots here and there. All the more reason to playtest, right?