Thursday, November 21, 2013

My, my, Investigations CAN be mapped like a Dungeon

I haven't attended ALASS for awhile (stuff keeps coming up and I have no foam swords) and it's not Game Translation Day so I thought I'd instead share something I found today off a thread in the beautiful Through that thread I found a blog and on that blog I found a ... dungeon map for Cthulhu investigations. Check it out on Dreams in the Lich House. Read it yet? Seen the pretty pictures? Don't worry. I'll wait. Basically the premise is pretty much a bubble map but instead of bubbles you draw rooms and instead of lines you draw corridors. Somehow, oddly enough, I find this way more easy to comprehend and memories than I ever could with bubbles. I think it's because my brain comprehends the corridors as "You Can Go Here From Here" much better than it does lines. It's also neat because you can always use secret door symbols to represent clues / threads that are obscure or hard to reach and stair symbols to represent characters leaping to an overseas or interplanar destination. Anywho, food for thought. What do you guys think?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, very neat idea. I'd been doing something like this already with bubbles and lines but conceptually the dungeon map is easier plus the secret-door notation is very intuitive (if you're an old dnd player).

    The other thing that strikes me is it might fit the way I like Cthulhu i.e. where the players start off competent at their jobs but not yet competent as Mythos investigators so they fail investigations quite regularly early on but not necessarily in a permanent way (death, insanity) i.e. they just fail to figure out a clue and get stuck (but gain skills and abilities along the way).

    Now if there's only a single adventure that is not much fun but what this post has made me think of is the old dnd style mega-dungeon where the dungeon was separated into a goblin area, a spider area, a ghoul area etc.

    So the player's locality could be mapped as a mega-dungeon with a central entrance way and 6-7 potential investigations laid out around the center in a mega-dungeon format and the players could bounce around between them - even having some clues to one requiring stuff from the others e.g. one investigation requires translating something form Yuggoth language, the players might travel to various locations in the inner circle of the mega-dungeon - antiquarians, academics etc - in the process getting a clue to one of the other investigations which at some point leads to a brain in a jar that needs a Mi-Go power source which if they ever find can power up the head who can translate the original message.

    I'm liking that idea - friendly NPCs and info, libraries, Miskatonic Uni etc in the center of the mega-dungeon with six or seven paths out to separate investigations and some of them having the equivalent of the sort of switches you had to pull in a dungeon to open a door somewhere else.

    I had a similar idea before but not a method of laying it out in a way that wasn't too mind-bending - a mega-dungeon might be that method.


    The other point about wandering monsters also. I've been doing that except they are triggered i.e. if the players get past a certain point in an investigation the antagonists react in some way: sabotage, slander, direct attacks or even retreat i.e. they stop whatever they are doing and leave - perhaps to reappear somewhere else later.

    Neat idea - food for thought.