October 4, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Design] Dungeon design pt.2

Last installment of this series has generated zero reactions, so I'm wondering if make sense to continue. Let's try with the episode 2 and wait for some comment, for now.

Last week I've left you with this dungeon sketch:

>click to enlarge<

I admit that everything is kinda confused if you are not in our mind, but let me explain.

I've divided the first floor of the dwarven stronghold into areas just to make clear to you what are representing.
The entrance is on the blue area and it's before the guardpost on purpose. Here the dwarf keeped all the minerals extracted from the mine.
The guardpost is not an alert and the kobolds do not expect an attack.
The forge is a dangerous area haunted by an old forge spirit even the kobolds avoids. In this area there's the main entrance to the mine and if the players use that entrance, they have to face the forge spirit but they can surprise the underground kobolds.
If they use the well in the green zone to enter the mine complex, they will face stronger and more prepared kobold encounters.

Let's now analize where will take place the fights.
Three combats in this level.
The red one is a warming up encounter with a group of minions and a pair of Kobold Fireguys.

The green one will be a more challenging encounter with Kobold Chainsawers and such.

The cyan one is the forge spirit encounter. And it will be tough.

First of all we need to design the first encounter and to test it. The in-scale map is the first thing to do.
Here's the first draft.

In the first encounter draft I've put 5 minions in the room from the start and 2 kobold fireguys and 2 kobold dragonshields ready to come as reinforcements on the second/third round.
Here we go with the complete map.

The first test has gone a little crappy. PCs stormed inside the room killing all the minions on the first round. Then the reinforcement come in, but dragonshields are a pain in the ass, cause they have a really high AC (for the first level) and one of them just slipped past the defenders directly in between the ranged damage dealers.
On the third round the warrior was down and one of the fireguys was still alive and free to attack the casters.
The main problem, besides all that, was that the combat was a little boring, mostly because the terrain is a flat stony ground.

Next episode: Encounter redesign with a new monster and a big crevasse.

Ok guys, go on with the comments if you want to see the episode III ^_^


  1. This is gettting interesting! Keep it coming! More!

  2. Looks good to me!

    One suggestion - if you want comments, open up your blog so you don't need a Blogger account to be able to comment. That's blocking off a huge part of your audience.

  3. Mmmm... it's a good suggestion... done.

    (My mistake in the first place...)

  4. I'm very curious about your battlemat. Is that a Paizo GameMastery Flip-Mat that you framed somehow? I would love to know how you framed it.

  5. Oooh, the battlemat!
    Is the base map from the D&D miniatures games (early editions) mounted on a 50x70 IKEA frame.

    (And you can also hang it on the wall!)