Friday, November 9, 2012

The Tomb of King Mrutarka

So I'm using a very old Jakalla underworld map from Professor Barker that he designed in the 1970s for the birthday game I'm running in a couple weekends. One of the features of this dungeon are several 'specials' -- areas that make a cohesive whole, such as the Temple of Hru'u that I've used on numerous adventures over the years. Between the Specials, are areas that consist of random rooms and corridors, especially corridors with a single pencil line of wall between them. Those pencil line walls are at most a foot thick, and I feel that the weight of the roof would collapse them. I often feel that someone could simply crash through them, like they were made of plaster board.

So, I've been modifying the map, filling in some unnecessary corridors and wiping out whole areas in order to put in my own take on what is between the specials. So last night I came to this big blank spot on my map and wondered what should go in there. I decided that this section of the Underworld had too many ancient temples and not enough tombs. I decided that I needed to design a tomb to plop into that space.

I took my inspiration for this design from Johnn Four, a smart fellow who has been writing a fabulous newsletter and blog on GMing called Roleplaying Tips for the last 11 years. He came up with an idea for the Five Room Dungeon, dungeon being any small place of adventure, not necessarily an actual dungeon. Each dungeon features five rooms -- the Entrance with Guardian, the Puzzle, the Trick or Setback, the Climax, and the Reward/Revelation/Plot Twist. These rooms are also units of adventure design, not limited to actual rooms. He ran a contest and published a set of 88 five-room dungeons.

So my tomb has five rooms, unless you count corridors and little secret rooms here and there. King Mrutarka was a 'king' during the Time of No Kings, about 2500 years prior to the founding of the current Second Imperium. That's all I'm going to reveal, since some of my players are reading this blog.