Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Dungeon Dunnys






























Len Lakofka went mental at a thread I had on toilets in dungeons. I say it is realism, others say "Dunna Wanna Know" or "nobody wants to think about toilets in dnd". A dunny is Strayan for toilet or bog house, shit house, crapper, loo etc. Im sure orcs have exciting names for them. I did some tables on them in my redbrick dungeon book. Here is some options for historic lavatories. What do your dungeons have? Where do the monsters empty their chamber pots, or are dungeons a euphemism for open sewer? I like to think magic solves lots of these problems. Nightmen or Gong farmers would gather excrement from cities and sell to farmers, the richer the poop the more the value. Many streets would be ankle deep in shit with seasonal variations. There were times the river through London was a barley moving sewer and the city reeked from miles away. Concentration camps smelled bad. Plus all the animal waste. No wonder slave operated palanquins were so good. I found a real bronze age palace map with on suite large toilet rooms for royalty. If you don't want a fancy sewer use pigs, China thrived on them. A local swamp can help. As long as the rich don't drain it for land then find it actually had a handy function. At least have a chamber pot or a pig sty in every few rooms or a latrine pit. At least in DnD some monsters probably eat the stuff or breed  in it. I like giant dungeon dung beetles who roll around huge balls of poop that fill the corridoor and run you down. Perhaps a cult take care of this stuff? Let your creativity flow. Everybody poops, except possibly elves. 

9 comments:

  1. Hey, the whole premise of the otyugh and neo-otyugh in AD&D was that they ate up the monster doo. Tell ol' Len his dungeons are literally full of shit.

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    1. i meant to name those critters but couldnt be bothered checking spelling

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    2. Speaking of critters, the Fantasy Trip reissue is full of octopi and octopi art, and one player designed some cool sculpts for 3D printers.

      https://scontent-sjc3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/58032983_2226076114094505_8734240360659681280_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_eui2=AeGFuJB6DCqd0Wu6BCyWNvB-Jyvdk7dd9Zrxz9p9q8qomQp70T5wwOolasnYNk5L7CdER33cmH2oO47o4LPf2CbcLfn8ramTP0rE1_h3VFqj8Q&_nc_ht=scontent-sjc3-1.xx&oh=0aedd751095e2b32e0fd622c66f1d3fa&oe=5D3FD946

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  2. One of the best uses I ever saw for a portable hole was as a port-a-potty by one of the players in my campaign. Trapped some greenslime, used as needed and burnt it out now and again.

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    1. for the very rich
      a sphere of inhalation would be awesome
      its why wizards become liches to stop wearing nappies

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  3. Bah. I have no time for people who don't want things like this. Garderobes can be important tools for the players to solve problems. Consider the classic story of the assassin who waited in the midden until his target sat down to do his business, then shoved a spear right up to accomplish his mission. How could the players do that without a midden in which to wait?

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    1. Middenmurk! That's one of the 1st blogs I happily stumbled over in 2009! http://middenmurk.blogspot.com/
      Admittedly, not too much directly about middens, but there is plenty of grotty, gritty, "Dung Ages" aesthetic among the old posts.

      But, yeah, a midden dungeon would be a great idea! Karl Stjernberg might be a really good illustrator!

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  4. The necessary facilities are indeed a rich, fertile heap of compost to mine for ideas in adventures, RPG-wise or narrative fiction. Fritz Leiber in The Swords of Lankhmar has the Gray Mouser shrink magically to rat size and infiltrate the rat city of Lankhmar Below masked as an elderly rat noble he murders. There are baskets that collect rat dung in municipal public privies and public privies which drop waste into the Hlal River directly below. The Gray Mouser does a good job of disposing of the rat noble's body parts in the water privy, if I remember right, but half-rat/half-human femme fatale Hisvet finds him out because of his human-type feces in the public basket privy he had used before encountering the rat noble. I thought it was clever and logical to have these plot points revolve (swirling around the bowl) around the culture and mechanics of solving the municipal "necessaries" problem.

    I like your Roman privy illos above. I enjoyed reading a book recently with a bit about the "Interceptors" who had to collect urine from pots in Ancient Rome's public privies and take it to people who would whiten aristocrats' togas with it, and to others (especially people from what is now Spain) who would whiten their teeth with it! I imagine characters acting as Interceptors could gather a lot of rumors gossiped about in the privies, find murder weapons ditched in urine vats, hide murder weapons in urine vats, assassinate people in the privies as Faoladh said, etc.


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