Monday, September 20, 2010

Sinking Dungeon

How about a dank temple complex that is slowly sinking into the muck.  The players would need to know it was sinking and there would need to be something in the dungeon valuable enough that they would care.  Maybe there are a series of big brass gates that take a long time to ratchet open, each revealing treasure.  But the water level in the dungeon is rising each trip the party returns to open a few more gates.  Until, finally, it becomes the Submerged Dungeon and the party knows there are several unopened gates still there, under the foul water.

The rate of sinking would need to be determined.  I'd want it simple (as always), maybe half a foot a day.  If the ceilings are ~8 feet tall that gives the party 16 days to explore before complete submergence.  Although, those last couple feet might be just as bad as total submergence.  I envision a whole new wandering monster table once you get about half way.  It would be interesting to see the first inhabitants trying to get out during the submerging process, too: goblins on rafts, swimming ghouls, etc.


  1. Sounds like a cool idea. I had a similar idea many years ago (never got round to playing it) in which a temple was tilted onto its side after an earthquake/landslide and then submerged by a cataclysmic flood. The party would have to negotiate a dungeon where up, down and along had changed places and manage to breathe underwater for as long as it took to get in and out.

  2. Fantastic idea. I totally need to remember this when I finally get back to running dungeon crawls.

  3. BRILLIANT. So much so, in fcat, that I'mma steeeeeeeallll it.

  4. Tides could also be a factor. At high tide certain areas would be flooded.

  5. idea stolen.

    Tides could also be a factor. At high tide certain areas would be flooded.

    also stolen. :P

  6. Thanks, all.

    @Daddy G: Great minds think alike, I've just these past few days been thinking about how to map the alabaster tower in a fallen version: bottomless fountain becomes waterfall and river, etc.

    @Grim: Tides could work well if they were fast enough and an area was big enough that you risk getting caught in it. I imagine otherwise it would get a hand wave: "we'll wait till the tide is out."

    But I a sunken city that appears in a mud plain as the tide rolls out would be fun if the party has to hurry in and out before the water comes streaming back. Maybe a few hours? You could set a timer real time, or give them a stack of poker chips and call them in as hours pass. Thanks!

  7. Worm-barnacle-clam monsters now have a home.