Summer Gygax 75 Challenge: WEEK 3

Our summer series continues with Week 3 of Ray Otus’s work book, The Gygax 75 Challenge. This week covers “The Dungeon,” so designing content for an adventure in your new campaign world.

If you want to follow from the beginning, you can find the other weeks here:

The challenge is based on an old article by Gary Gygax about how to create a setting and get it ready for actual play with your home group in roughly 5 steps. This thread is for posting notebook photos, text in bullet points, links to markdown, etc. The informal accountability group on the NSR Discord server started the process on June 1st, 2022, so Week 3 covers progress from roughly June 15 - June 22.

If you haven’t started yet, no need to worry – some of us started a little earlier, some a little later than others. The important part is to keep a steady pace without burning out or losing your initial spark of creativity!


Week 3: the Dungeon

This week was pretty difficult as I’ve never actually designed a dungeon before, but I had fun with it.

The Ziggurat of Zamor

A jet-black pyramid rises ominously out of the scrubland.

Rooms and exits by level: 9 (2), 7 (2), 11 (2)

Themes (budget): Blades (4), Ooze (3), Decay (5)

11 Monsters: Surgical drones stalk the halls of the main floor, deranged by hundreds of years of isolation. Cleaning bots follow behind, intent on “decontamination”. The second floor is patrolled by crimson and pale oozes consuming psi-rats and giant centipedes that have worked their way in to feed on the nutrient rich paste produces here. A central pool houses massive electric eels. A krynth stalks the second and third levels. On the third level a mind-wraith waits imprisoned in the Casket of the Ancients. Four Tech-thralls wait inactive to do the wraiths bidding. Massive beetles consume the fungi overrunning the third level and cordyceps infested humanoids wander aimlessly.

6 features: A massive organ processor sits in one of the rooms on the first floor. Drones will attempt to subdue PC’s and bring them for harvesting. Broken tubing pumps anesthesic gas into one of the hallways. Massive vats of boiling nutrient paste cover a large swath of the floor of the second level. Narrow walkways provide a way across. In the pool lies a mysterious pool of liquid silver that seems to beckon to the players. The Casket of the Ancients (a supercomputer) occupies the central room of the third floor. One of the doors out of this room is sealed with a strange, mirror like screen.

3 Wondrous Items: A Blade of Division is embedded in the wall of the processing room. An Amulet of Wraith Binding lies behind the mirror door. The Krynth has a Living Whip wrapped tight around it’s throat.

Wandering Monsters:
D8 Psi-rats
D10 Omen bats
D6 tech-cultists
D4 Tech-thralls
D2 Blade wraiths
Fungal Shambles
D6 spore hounds
Strangling mushroom
Rogue AI
D10 Tsuurik Zealots
Mortally wounded Krynth

(Apparently I can only put 1 image in a given post so I’ll just do the first level and reply with the others)

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Week 3 was weird for me. I got a lot done but I wouldn’t say I’m finished. I kind of went down a rabbit hole and made it harder than it needed to be. But even so, I only spent maybe 6 hours on it. Anyway, here are a few screenshots of what I’m up to in Obsidian. I also talk about it on my podcast.

I basically finished a level, plus made up the monsters, treasures, etc. for the other levels.

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 12.23.45 PM

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 12.25.51 PM

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