Revisiting my sideways dungeon maps of late now party 6 levels better and mostly replaced. Need to ge a bit more personality and I realized ive been using undead lots for about 7 months so I think I need to return to Goblin Mine Zone. A few old ideas to do on list till too. Some new mid level tables for Redbrick needed.
Dungeon levels as geological layers 1 and 2 and 3
1st part I talk about geology of each layer in reference to a dungeon design but didn't describe the dungeon so i will here.16 levels summarized in brief.
2nd Part I described a modest 8 level dungeon but i will revise who and what lurking inside in more detail in the future.
3rd part Devil Hill is described briefly by dungeon but I need to fill out level by level at least where adventurers looking. More here soon as I prep for game and will have to deal with the Magic School, The Tomb of Xull and Tomb of Sir Aspeth.
I might use Vault of Ages later as a megadungeon campaign linking one and two to tell history of the Island.
Im running using old TSR geomorphs for caves and dungeons with my own tables and the old level 1-9 treasure and monster table book. Filling in levels and factions will help.
Part One Of the Vault of Ages
The vault is a site that has been buried and reconnected to new levels for millennia back to dawn of the world. Thus the deeper you go the different fossils, stone and building styles and art. Vaults of the ages is a type of dungeon layering style where geological epochs signify apocolyptic ages in cycles. Deeper you go more into history you dig up. Upper levels are of 3000 years of the empire (the third empire really). Then into prehistory and horrors of ancients.
Entry Level (From the Third Empire):
A new style of empire arose based on trade, repelling a growth in
goblinoids and a spate of evil cults mobilizing the people to unite.
Various kings elect one house to be in controls theoretically but
emperors have held more absolute power. New technology such as steel,
guns, advanced sail let the empire re dominate the known world again.
Kings and princes are mid tier aristocrats and common nobility today.
The current mad young emperor is having a difficult secession (civil
war). Adventurers are now being sent to dig up relics of the past for
the war effort.
This Dungeon was built 400 years ago as a hidden tomb for a
great Duke (and some say true heir). It was a glorious tomb with golden
and porcelain golems but these guardians even smashed were worth
millions so pirates spent decades destroying this layer and robbing it
dry. Their graffiti remains still and possibly their explosives sealed
some areas intact. Since then the place has been infested many times by
Currently several tribes try to make this their turf but
internal fighting makes it a war zone without much loot. Kobolds and
Goblins gangs live here and if lucky are recruited by deeper dungeon gangs.Hobgoblins fighting Orc's fight here with adventurers not being far behind. Walls are built plastered rock bricks with a huge scale earth mound on top. Remnants of painted empire history covered in crude humanoid and old pirate graffiti.
Second Level (Second Empire)
The second Empire arose to exterminate an attempt by the lich kings of old to
return, resulting in a reborn zealous new empire, dedicated to
destroying evil. It used iron and silver to slay evil. Eventually killed
all the evil it could reach then internally collapsed when it turned on
druids, wizards, sorcerers and other magicians.
This was a great tomb of a retired Emperor who built it in secret in last years of his life then murdered all the workers sealing them inside to be his slaves. H sealed many undead with him and guards his deathly court still while humanoids try to eat the undead into extermination. They may offer to pay human clerics to help.
Hobgoblins (purple) and orcs (green) fight for supremacy both abusing goblin and kobold labour. Strains of goblin and kobolds are different and influenced by superiors and have become same colour as masters. The old art here is in better condition and the undead and kobolds keep all in good repair. Mostly this floor is barracks and fortified areas vs each other, humans and undead.
Third Level & Fourth Levels (First Empire)
The Dawn Emperor spread civilization and saved humans from savagery and
ignorance. Bronze overcame stone everywhere. His citadels were
impenetrable. The Dynasty ended when serpent men infiltrate the royal
family and the empire is torn to the ground overnight.
This was a outpost established early in the Empire where it held the Island as a Penal colony from this dungeon fortress. Started as a Imperial Dungeoneering Corp Invasion of lower dungeons. Remnants of this are still in store rooms. The twin level are connected by many stairs. Conditions are good with humanoid art quality improved by competitiveness even modifying the first empire art. Many bronze age remnants still here.
The first layer is humanoids including orcs and hobgoblins each have a village and court with satellite kobold and goblin slaves. A band of bugbears came a few years and just eat everyone. Do hire out selves to other bosses as guards and mercenaries and assassins.
The lower level is a monster market where all factions meet to trade and make deals inthe lair of a venerable black dragon with his own black ork elite troops and kobold builders all bound to him by blood. There are also serpent men and degenerate serpent men human hybrids here making the humanoids wary. They come here to trade and loot mostly .
Fifth through to Eighth Level (Frozen Age)
Humans dwelled in caves and battled great beasts and rival humanoids in
the glacier covered world. The great sun temple was rebuilt and a second
great dawn ended this age and the power of the gods was with humanity
These levels are chilly and mostly compressed ice and glacial rubble dripping constantly.
The first is chilly ice passages with fur clad tribesmen hunting dungeon walrusses and each other. Cave folk from lower levels reguard them as equals and have more in common than surface folk.
The second more stoney caves covered in cave art and dripping with streams and flooded hidden chambers. Cave folk of various types such as cavemen, wendigo, ogres and snow apes and bugbears stalk the giant animals that roam here.
The third is more compressed glacial pebbles with muddy slushy passages. Undead from the age of necromancer kings try to kill living on their level.
The fourth is a family of giants with a herd of giant cave sheep and a pet wooly rhino. Vikings have a gate here and are always trying to kill and rob giants to earn a place in Valhalla.
Level Nine (Age of Sorrows)
Humanoids were free from monster slavery but many hid in dungeons to
survive this age of purging and cleansing. Driving back the primordial ones
turned the world into a desert. Humans who were free often became like
their former masters who preyed on others. Rival dynasties of
necromancers ruled the world. Mind mages formed kingdoms in the deserts
where primords could live not. Faith in the gods returned and the rain and
powers of life returned ending this age of black magic.
Human fleeing the collapsing monster empire built this with skills and magic learned from their masters. As time went on many left the great refuge but then returned and hid through the necromancer years. These albino people have a civilization decorated in the style of the monster gods. Undead patrols sometimes intrude here too. The people here are quite mad by modern standards.
Level Ten (Elder Age)
Horrors from the dawn of the primordial age returned and made mortals
their slaves. Serpent men, Bat Men, Mage-Spiders, Reptile Men, Mind
Flayers, Frogmen, Firenewts and Fish Men ruled civilization. Other alien
beings came and took slaves too, experimenting on life they found and
leaving evils. Magicians of mortal races: humans, demihumans and
goblinoids drove the primords back
to the dawn of time and a great rebellion destroyed the civilizations of
their servitor races.
This level was a Primord colony, a living alien eco system. Trolls seem happiest familiar creatures here, adapting to constantly the eating each other ecology well. Some elder god servitor races or some of their weapons or servants might live like shoggoths. Primords are well represented by mindflayers. Over the Aeons part of the upper level has dropped and fused with this one. This is where humans and monsters have battled since the dawn of time.
Elevenn and Twelve (Dawn Age)
A new generation of gods bring light, kill monsters, free the people and
lead them to their true homes. Gods and spirits and magical beings had
minglings and interacted often. Mortals appeared at end of the age
before death finished the age of the gods.
This place is full of artistic wonder carved relief and fabulous status and urns from a former pleasure palace of some minor gods. Part of the upper Primord level has dropped and merged with this level and remnants constructs and servants of the god fight the aliens still.
Thirteen and Fourteen (Primordial Age)
A great sea covered all, luminous albino aquatic life in deepest seas
and caves, first land rises, Tiamat and Apsu are rulers of this age.
Great Dragons and giants appeared and battled. A great glacial land mass
supported monster life. Goblinoids, demihumans, trolls appeared like
grubs in rotting remains of the great beasts. A new generation of gods
finally end this age
This coral level has fossils of strange beings and remains of columns of the dragons and giants who ruled those times. The first level built layer made by godlings on the twelfth layer to explore the greater depths. The second layer (fourteen) a dark vast cave with primordial sleeping dragons caressed by the under sea, awaiting to arise the next apocalypse.
Fifteen (Aoen of darkness)
Age of silent infinite darkness, some water and rock appearing mostly
desolate black rock metal and ash in later period. Some life formed and
dwell in the depths
Remnants of ancient trolls with civilizations intact dwell in a bunker overlooking a great dark cavern flooded partly where they feed. The troll king views this as sacred racial survival bunker. Some long to return to surface. Some chaos trolls and giants here too in caves, some asleep, other hunting.
Sixteen (Aeon of flame)
Age of burning metal, not much to see. Elementals and salamanders main life, no sentient beings.
Area was a landscape of elemental creatures with a functioning ecology. Then devils came building an entrance to hell and coming here to mine and torment souls. Part of their area extends up to the hellmouth and godling underworld guardians watch entrances to multiple underworlds. Many elementals serve devils but others hate them and could be encouraged to attack.
The Second Part related in sense they are time capsules of lands history only with different monsters. I think description on second article adequate for now.
Devil Hill most urgent at the moment.