Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dungeon vs. building clearing

This video has it all, move silently, find traps, pick locks (pick them apart with saws and explosives that is), fireballs and magic missiles. All you ever wanted in a dungeon crawl, but at the much faster pace of modern combat. So what separates a dungeon crawl from a building clearing? Both sound awfully familiar. You go room by room clearing things. So what's different?

Last Friday I playtested the first building raid and it was exciting. Not as fast as I was expecting, I felt that both players and myself as GM still had that dungeon crawl spirit in us. Some things were painfully slow compared to real building clearing. There's one distinctive feature in modern combat games vs dungeon crawls. The building is alive and its inhabitants do not want you there!!!

Most dungeons are static in the sense that room after room and passage after passage things are discovered, dealt with and left behind. In last Friday's building the soldiers in the area did not want the party messing with their dungeon. They began regrouping, organizing, moving around and firing back.

That hardly happens in dungeons. When was the last time you saw the goblins come out and protect the rats your party was attacking? Much less so for just 2000 cp. I won't generalize as there are many dungeons out there that have some form of dynamics. None the less a great deal many are lots of rooms with isolated ecosystems living on their own and waiting to get slaughtered when the party arrives.

Have you crawled through a dungeon you really felt alive and changing with every room you cleared? Did it feel like the thing really didn't want you nor your party in it?

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