Friday, November 7, 2014

AW-Style Dungeon Stocking

Or hex-stocking or city-stocking or relationship-stocking.

Alternate title: Imperative Dungeon Stocking. 

These are like Apocalypse World GM moves but for physical spaces. They focus on what game function the area fulfills. 

This should let you improvise a dungeon or wilderness, provided you have some decent seed content in head or at hand. 

Roll or choose:
  1. Create mapping complexity 
  2. Offer toy or small reward, disguised, guarded, or not (usually not)
  3. Offer lore (used to overcome risks or guardians, oversupply to create red herrings)
  4. Offer reward, guarded or disguised
  5. Offer reward, unguarded and plain
  6. Offer risk, disguised or plain
Here's an example off the top of my head. Some of my players' favorite dungeons have been COMPLETELY IMPROVISED, and they had no idea I was doing it. I was "consulting my notes" by staring at a blank page. 

THE TEMPLE OF THE CRAB
Area 1: (1) create mapping complexity. They enter a long staircase from a sinkhole, and the staircase spirals down along the edge of the hole. There's a door every fifty feet or so until it hits bottom in a pool (area 2). I'll also use (3) here and say that halfway down there's a landing with a relief carving showing this very place with jaws emerging from area 2, then retreating for years and years once sated by a human sacrifice. If the players sacrifice someone, they can bypass the monster. 

Area 2: (4) reward, guarded. The crab god monster will eat them if they enter the pool unless sated with sacrifice. He guards an underwater treasury accessed via moon pool (area 3). 

Area 3: reward, unguarded. The treasure guarded by the crab god is here. A staircase leads down to area 4. 

Area 4: (6) risk, plain. Here are priest skeletons, 60 of them. They will animate if their rest is disturbed and go about collecting sacrifices. 

Etc.