I need ideas on a Dungeon Delving subsystem for my PbtA game

I would like players to create a “dungeon” through moves. Rooms, challenges, opportunities and so on.

It doesn’t have to be strict to an actual dungeon, it could be a codified way to represent a place or circumstance that is difficult to navigate.

I am aware of the Labyrinth move, and I really like it conceptually but I don’t know where to go from there.

I’m also interested in different subsystems instead. For example, I made a subsystem for creating locations based on Wanderhome’s natures and it seems pretty sound.

One of my friends have considered looking at it from a downtime perspective and I do see the potential there, but I don’t know where to go.

This is for my game fantasypunk.

Thank you!

1 Like

If I were wanting to make a thing that feels like true exploration with procedural generation, I would

2D6+0:
6– Monster lair, no treasure
7-9 Treasure, protected by odd=monster, even=trap
10+ Special dungeon feature (magic fountain, lava pillars, underworld merchant)

Difference between dice dictates size of room
Leftmost dice dictates light levels
Rightmost dice / 2 dictates doors from room (where? roll D6+4 and read as clock)

Treasure doesn’t have to mean gold, but something treasured: so it could be a defensible location, or a clue, or a key/tool. Ask players when it is found.

Ask another player for some set dressing as well.

1 Like

I like this! I should have specified I’m using a dice pool instead of 2d6.

What about something the players pick instead of random generators? That’s the vibe I’m going for, not a random generator, but collaborative, (procedural?) generation through conversation.

1 Like

You may want to check some ideas in Trophy Gold. For my game I went with an ICRPG’s idea and started to make a list of scenarios a GM can use and found out it’s somewhat short, if you stick to the more abstract concepts and simplify a lot. Like “the Guardian” scenario, where you will have an NPC guarding something and PCs can either fight it, find a way around, deceive it or talk their way through. There’s the “Waves of minions”, where PCs will fight a huge group of enemies and they can either try to last until X thing happens, flee or kill/destroy whatever is controlling them. Some can even have different solutions, but the thing that never changes is the challenge itself. Some of these can be mixed with other challenges too.

You can easily make players roll dice into a list like that and then use more of their input to flesh each challenge.

1 Like

Ironsworn Delve approaches the idea of dungeon delving as a series of interesting encounters, with wonders, dangers, threats etc, which are met based on how well a character rolls. A high roll means you find a wonder, a mixed roll means you encounter some interesting mixed with a threat, etc. You build up an exploration track to eventually locate the dungeon’s climax. Starbound, the sci-fi adaptation, expands out the idea.

1 Like

Sounds awesome! I’ll check it out.

I’ve also found out a game called & Venture Forth which has a very interesting system.

image

Text:

DUNGEON CRAWL
When you advance through the dungeon, roll with the following modifiers:
:diamonds: +1 if the party is well lit. Erase one torch or lantern charge.
:diamonds: +1 if a character skilled in Stealth scouts ahead for enemies and traps.
:diamonds: +1 if you have a heavily armored character on the rearguard.
:diamonds: -1 for each condition you don’t meet.
On a full success you advance to the next room. On a critical success you find extra treasure. On a partial successes you stumble upon a random encounter. On a miss you
step on a trap or are ambushed by a random encounter.
HIGHLIGHTS: Once you have cleared a room, you can ask the GM which highlights you find. You can only find one highlight per party member.
:diamonds: Loot. The GM will tell you if it’s locked or trapped.
:diamonds: Secret passage. The GM will tell you if it’s locked or trapped.
:diamonds: Hidden enemy or trap.
:diamonds: Quest related information/item.
All party members log +25xp.

Here’s the link for the game:

2 Likes