1.6. SCHOLAR: this roughly 30-year-old natural philosopher has come to this district to find a Dragon Rose, which blooms briefly, only once each century, atop arcane ruins. He has been crisscrossing the region’s roads and woods for several weeks.On the highway: this agitated young man has just found and harvested a Dragon Rose in full bloom an hour’s hike off the main road. He knows he has only five days of bloom left to get the flower to a Stasis Glass at the Royal Academy – seven days’ journey away. His entire career hangs in the balance! The scholar will accost any competent-looking party, offering to pay them 1,000 gp each if they will help him hijack a fast coach and get him home on time (back home, he is easily good for the money).At a Tavern: if encountered indoors, the scholar has not yet been so lucky. Weary, obviously bored with tavern society, and low on traveling-funds, the scholar will approach any party of obvious adventurers and offer to sell the location of remote ruins he has found within a day’s journey into the woods.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Now Published! Hunters & Highwaymen: 30 NPCs + Story Hooks for Taverns, Highways, and the Deep, Dark Woods
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
This is just a little extended micro-setting campaign pitch, tying in to my discussion yesterday.
You are Road-Wardens in the Wulfmarch. By the Prince-Elector’s Law, this means:
- You have the right to bear arms openly.
- You have the right to ask any on the Prince’s highway their business and destination.
- You have both right and responsibility to interfere in any – and only –situations that threaten the innocent, that disrupt traffic along the highway, or that subvert the Laws of the Prince-Elector or the Empire.
- You answer only to the Prince-Elector and his agents – at least in theory…but power, in the real world, is complicated.
You are Outsiders in the Wulfmarch. By virtue of the ancient Wolf-Curse, this means:
- Most locals depend on you, but many of them dislike you.
- Many people just want to be left alone, and most of them deserve it.
- Some people want your help, and many of them deserve it.
- You might be able to make things better, if you don’t make them worse. Unfortunately, there are several definitions of ‘better’ around here.
- In these woods, there are wonders and horrors beyond your understanding.
|"Not to worry lads ... I'm sure them Road-Wardens ain't nigh..."|
Monday, November 23, 2020
In my spare time, I continue to type away at a growing list of interactive NPC encounters to add color to journeys along dark, forested highways, or to season the overnight stays at taverns along the route (as I recently described here). My list has more than doubled in size, and I'm envisioning a d4 x d6 or even d6 x d6 table of 36 encounters that I'll hope to have available...sometime soon.
Here are a pair of further examples (not yet edited much, I should note; these will need some trimming):
Cannoneer – a team of oxen has been pulling a heavy wheeled cannon, but their cargo is swathed in cloth that mostly obscures it. The cannon has been sent from the distant fief of an ally to the Von Liebegg family, who sense that a local war with their neighbors may be in the offing soon. However, one of the cannon’s heavy wheels has broken and the whole team is now standing idly by the roadside while a few armed men stand about chatting. Pacing back and forth anxiously is the lead drover, a well-dressed man whose face is lined with worry. As the PCs approach, he hails them and asks them if they know how long it should take someone to reach the next settlement and return, on foot (he has sent someone for help and is worried that they are taking too long). Looking about nervously, he tries to convince the PCs to stay to help guard their cargo ‘in case of bandits,’ but he also vigorously tries to prevent and PCs from approaching the cargo or identifying it.
At a tavern: the cannoneer and his men have stopped here for the night. The cannoneer-drover is inside eating and resting, but his men are outside with the animals, guarding the shrouded cannon. Several times an hour, the drover hurries outside to make sure that nobody has tried to interfere with the cargo. His men are getting thoroughly sick of this.
Kennelmeister – this dog trainer is leading his charges to the nearest settlement. PCs will first see a swarm of 14 dogs – some large and muscular, others merely small but vicious – charge down the road, baying at them. Moments later, a whistle will sound, the dogs will retreat, and the Kennelmeister will come into view around a corner in the road. He is a polite but no-nonsense man, quite willing to help anyone with legitimate pressing needs, but otherwise wanting to be left to his journey.
At a tavern: the din of over a dozen canines barking from the rear of the tavern is fierce and astonishing. The innkeeper has rented barn-shelter and food scraps for the night to the Kennelmeister, who will diligently sleep with his dogs. But the noise is terrible. The harried innkeeper quietly approaches the party and asks them to ‘make the Kennelmeister move along’ (the innkeeper intends to keep the dog-trainer’s money, and will even share half of it with the PCs if they help him). Obviously, the PCs are free to help the Kennelmeister instead if they wish.
While working on these, I've been torn between keeping them pretty generic, and thus useful for many settings, or letting them reflect a specific setting. I've decided to flesh them out a bit with a micro-setting, envisioning something very compact that could accompany the list - something to ground the encounters and give them real color, but nothing so specific that it couldn't be modified easily for someone else's table.
In fact, I think a fun approach would be a short guide to a 'Highwaycrawl.' Offer up a very short micro-setting with a pointcrawl map of highway segments, settlements, and taverns - along with some known wilderness trails. Give some system-neutral procedures for generating encounters along the road. Then - here's the key pitch - set up the party as newly-hired Road Wardens tasked with keeping the roads safe and open, so they have a real reason to move around encountering these folks. Finally, keep the map open and vague enough to allow GMs to dump their favored dungeons onto the map if desired.
For the micro-setting, I decided to embrace an old idea of mine from one of my first blog posts: build a campaign around PCs who are unusually mobile, and provide story hooks directly relating to the ways that other people depend on or want to exploit that mobility. Here, however, I'm not looking at a really big setting (a faux-Bronze Age Mediterranean) but a relatively tiny setting (one dark, forested Duchy on the edge of a late-medieval Empire).
Here's the postage-stamp version of the micro-setting idea. Does it sound like a fun place to game?
The Wulfmarch should be prosperous, given its silver mine and location along an important trade-route, but the locals are held back by an ancient curse: when the men of the Wolf-Horde failed to seize the region eight centuries ago, the dying Wolf Khan swore that if he couldn't have the land, then no-one would. Today, any native-born man, woman or child out after dark in these woods is hunted by the terrible Ghost Wolves, dire beasts that come and go like shadows, but whose terrible fangs are all too corporeal. As a result, the people of the Wulfmarch huddle closely together in central, walled settlements near the highway, and refuse to take any journey without a secure haven within a day's easy walk or ride.
Thanks to extensive sub-infeudation by the Prince-Elector's vassals, the Duchy is now a patchwork of petty noble holdings. Most of these lords don't even live here; they send non-native agents to exploit the lands and take away the profits to other estates up north. The Miners' Guild, staffed by Outsiders, pays well enough to maintain almost total control over the region's silver production, which rarely enriches any native-born household. Because of the Wolf-Curse, even the Wardens who keep open the highway must be Outsiders, capable of chasing quarries or investigating problems...that might keep them out after dark.
And there are certainly problems for the Wardens to investigate. The petty lords are caught in an escalating web of insults and feuding; the common folk (some say) have had nearly enough, and begin to talk openly of revolt; and - here and there - even the respectable suggest that a few prayers or sacrifices offered to the Ghost Wolves might be an acceptable price for safety...But the price is high. Some Wolf Cultists (the wise shudder to say) became the beastmen who roam the woods...while others, who so far have only sold their humanity on the inside, might be willing to open the gates that protect isolated settlements from the hungry darkness...
I've got a few design motifs in mind here:
+ For some reason, lately I've been thinking a lot about Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I've always had a thing for Warhammer's Old World - but I'm less into the level of grimdark often associated with it. I really like the mundane, darkly humorous setting, but I'd like it even more with a bit more room for hope (keep in mind that GW officially blew up the entire setting, eventually...).
+ One of my favorite blogs is Joseph Manola's Against the Wicked City. One of his classic posts has provided inspiration for me here. I'm trying to write a little setting - and rich character encounters to match - that provide a truly gritty stage, but one in which "love matters" - people are valuable, even when they're awful, and there just might be a way to fight for a better status quo. To quote ATWC directly:
Let me put it like this: the Wicked City represents a failure state. It is meant to communicate an idea of what can happen when, under conditions of extreme social stress, the failure of human beings to love one another reaches epidemic proportions. ... The symptom of this inhumanity, this failure to love, is dehumanisation ... so to be against the Wicked City is to be against all that, against this miserable grinding system of oppression which keeps turning people into literal and figurative monsters. In a more traditional fantasy game the assumption would be to make a long list of all the bad people, and then kill them ... You can totally play it like that if you want to ... I've tried to keep open the possibility of approaching these as social problems, requiring social solutions.
+ In the moments when I tolerate my delusions of grandeur, I would like my little list of interactive encounters to be really well-suited for something like that. There are plenty of monsters to kill, but there is also a whole horde of grubby people just trying to live their lives, often at each others' expense, and maybe the PCs' efforts can do something to make it all a little brighter. Or, you know, just go kill monsters.
Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
To keep at something fun between bouts of grading papers, I've also been typing up a list of NPCs with complications, the sort you might encounter along a lonely highway through a dark forest or in the warm firelight of a country tavern along just such a road. These are loosely intended to suit a late medieval or early modern European-ish setting - anything from WFRP's Old World to many D&D campaigns. I suppose I am imagining a "Hunters, Highwaymen, and Horrors" kind of setting. A party of Road Warden PCs tasked with keeping the roads open would be perfect for these encounters. :-)
This list is also inspired by my recent positive experiences rolling up (urban) NPC contacts on The Nocturnal Table, though I am of course shifting the action out-of-town here, and a bit more Brothers-Grimm/WFRP than traditional Sword-and-Sorcery.
If these seem useful, let me know if a longer list like this would see much use. This is potentially just the first batch ... as I've lots more to grade. :-)
WHO DO YOU MEET ALONG THE BORDER HIGHWAY THROUGH THE GRIMWALD?
Roll 1d12 (for now), then consult the table below. Expanded details follow. Repeat encounters with the same person are allowable, and may lead to unexpected twists.
4 Nun, solitary
9 Robber Chief
12 Swordsman, fuming
1 - Crossbowman – this skilled crossbowman sports a jaunty yellow-feathered cap and carries a large, well-crafted crossbow.
On the highway: He is traveling on foot. If one of the PCs is carrying a crossbow, he will approach and challenge the PC to a contest of marksmanship. He wagers a beautiful gold brooch worth 100 gp, and will begin the contest if the PC stakes something of equal value. If the PC refuses, the crossbowman will mock them for timidity before moving on.
At a tavern: the crossbowman will approach inside a tavern and challenge using the same conditions as noted for the highway (the proposed shooting contest is to happen outside, unless the participants have clearly had too much to drink.
2 - Drover – this pleasant-faced, stout fellow is walking alongside a team of four oxen pulling a wagon laden with cheap cargo. One of the oxen can speak, and will greet the party politely as they pass. If engaged in conversation, the ox (with its owner's bemused permission) will claim to have been an old lord of a great merchant house, now cursed to bear the form of a beast. The ox, however, has no desire to be ‘cured,’ as he finds his new body pleasantly healthy and strong, and his new life far less stressful than his old endeavors. The drover, however, is less content, and will mention that the ox knows the location of his (former) family treasures…the drover will happily sell this knowledge to the party, and the ox, equally bemused in his turn, will happily oblige his drover.
3 - ‘Recruiter’ – the bailiff of a military ‘recruiting’ venture, accompanied by 2d8 guards (Lvl 1 Fighters), is running a press gang to conscript troops for a pending low-level border war among noble families. Will try to ‘recruit’ the PCs by force, if the press-gang outnumbers them 2-to-1.
At a tavern: the bailiff and party enter the tavern, look around, and try to clear it out of any 'recruits' who look like they'll come easily. Unfortunate 'volunteers' will beg the PCs for help, if the PCs aren't already involved.
|"Right lads...just sign or make your mark there...|
no no, that's quite alright...no need to be conscious when you sign..."
4 - Nun - young, traveling alone, and looking anxious. She is on her way to the bishop’s see to report her Mother Superior as a Dark Cultist. She suspects that They are on the road looking for her. If the PCs look remotely trustworthy, she will ask for the party’s protection.
5 - Nuns - an old Mother Superior traveling with 3 lower-ranking Sisters. They are looking for a nun from their convent who has gone missing.
On the highway: They will approach and ask tearfully whether the PCs have seen the missing woman.
At a tavern: the Sisters will enter the tavern hesitantly, moving from table to table and quietly inquiring about the missing nun. They will leave quickly once they have asked all patrons. The Mother Superior will take a long, comprehending look at the nearest gambling-match on her way out.
6 - Mystic – this young man wears recent bruises instead of clothes; his garments were taken from him by bandits down the road. His face is radiant with joy at finally being parted from his last material attachments.
On the highway: the happy young man offers to bless the party (he heals 1 PC to full HP or removes 1 poison/disease – once only). He will not accept financial payment, but will accept food, if it is offered. For modesty's sake, he will also accept a new set of undergarments, after thinking about it for a while.
At a tavern: the naked mystic can be seen picking through the food refuse-pile behind the tavern. If approached in a friendly way, he will respond as above.
7 - Preacher – this robed, mendicant preacher is moving from town to town and village to village, preaching a message about the dangerous rise of hidden Dark Cultists, the injustice of the nobles, and the worthy dignity of the common folk. His rhetoric has become more radical of late, and the writ of authorization he carries, signed by the local bishop, technically has been revoked.
At a tavern: the Preacher enters, stands on a table or upon the bar, and begins a sermon calling on those Who Have (inside the tavern) to donate to those Who Have Not (in or near the tavern). If in doubt, the PCs qualify as those Who Have. The preacher refuses to accept any donations himself.
8 - Puppeteers – troupe of 1d4 puppet entertainers with a garishly-painted (red and blue) covered wagon that doubles as a small puppet-show-theater.
On the highway: the puppeteers are chatting happily with each other and barely notice the PCs. As their wagon rolls past, the PCs see a small puppet’s head poke out from the wagon and turn – as if watching them closely - as they pass.
At a tavern: the puppeteers have brought their show inside the tavern. As the PCs enter the tavern, they see the puppet-show conclude with a farcical romance about a young hero who dies horribly, leaving behind a lost treasure and a lonely maiden (the maid closes with a dramatic speech about ‘future heroes who must right these wrongs'). As the puppeteers wrap up their show and leave the tavern, one of them passes by the party’s table. His eyes momentarily go blank, his jaw goes slack, and then he whispers, “But who is the puppet, and who the master?” quietly to a PC. Then they depart the tavern, as if nothing had happened.
9 - Robber Chief – this once-beautiful woman’s face is hard and scarred. She wears trousers and a loose, belted jacket that does not fully conceal the glint of an iron cuirass about her torso. She is quite visibly armed with several long knives and a short sword, and she caps off her ensemble with a very wide-brimmed blood-red hat. She was separated from her crew in a recent job that went wrong, and is now making her way back to their cavern-lair a day’s walk from here. The woman is a very experienced fighter and a hardened rogue, and should not be trifled with.
On the highway: if the PCs look particularly shifty, she may try to recruit them into her band. Otherwise, she will stare at the PCs rudely but yell at them to ‘keep their eyes to themselves’ if they try to communicate.
At a tavern: the PCs become aware of this fellow tavern-‘patroness’ when she stands up from the bar, noisily finishes her (third) tankard of ale, points vaguely toward the PCs, tells the bartender “they said they’d pay for it, thanks,” and turns and walks toward the exit.
10 - Scholar – this roughly 30-year-old natural philosopher has come to this district to find a Dragon Rose, which blooms briefly, only once each century, atop arcane ruins. He has been criss-crossing the region’s roads and woods for several weeks.
At a Tavern: Weary, obviously bored with tavern society, and running low on traveling-funds, the scholar will approach any party of obvious adventurers and offer to sell the location of several remote ruins he has found within a day’s journey into the woods.
On the highway: this incredibly agitated young man has just found and harvested a Dragon Rose in full bloom an hour’s hike off the main road. He knows he has only five days of bloom left to get the flower to a Stasis Glass at the Royal Academy – seven days’ journey away. His entire career hangs in the balance. The scholar will accost any competent-looking party, offering to pay them 1,000 gp each if they will help him hijack a fast coach and get him home on time (back home, he is easily good for the money).
11 - 'Swordsman' - apparently…this thinly-built, clean-shaven young fellow has fine, elegant features, and wears an ornate cuirass and a sword - but seems to handle both uncomfortably. In fact, this ‘lad’ is the young widow Jenna von Radstein, on her way to try to kill her husband’s murderer. Roll again on this table to identify the murderer (or, at least, the suspect…).
On the highway: 50% chance von Radstein, if accosted, may ask the PCs to help her quest for vengeance.
At a tavern: 50% chance the widow approaches the PCs and asks for their help finding the murderer; otherwise, the widow thinks the killer is here at the tavern and will attempt a very public retribution on her own. 70% chance she has identified the correct killer.
12 - Swordsman, fuming – this advanced student of a Fencing-Master is quite good at fighting (mid-level Fighter) but is smarting after a recent training-bout that ended in defeat by a rival. He is carrying a letter from his Fencing-Master to a colleague, but he is so insecure and troubled that he will stop to challenge a PC to a first-blood duel at the slightest provocation – even if he has to engineer that provocation himself.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Can you run a CO-OP, Shared-GM Urban Mystery Adventure that doesn't go full 'narrative gaming'? Procedures and a Play Report
|Some tools of the trade|
- The Nocturnal Table. Awesomeness.- Ironsworn: just a few Oracle tables, but they were quite helpful.- Scarlet Heroes: quite a few of the oracles and random tables from the solo-play section.
- A debt comes due: the Water Cobras (a bizarre schismatic terrorist group that splintered off from the Fallen Star Cult) have just called in a massive financial debt from the Ribbonguard, the (possibly undead) enforcers who make sure the city stays loyal to its distant Priest-King. We all agreed that this was a pretty bold move.- Old wounds reopen: during our previous game session, the Inquisitors (good guys...most days) attacked the Fallen Star Cult right as the PCs were running an op against the Cult, as well. Apparently the feud between those two factions has reignited and is now running hot.- Someone is captured: one of the beetle-men of the Old Guard (they claim they are the old Queen's governor and garrison, but transformed into humanoid beetles since the conquest; most people don't believe the city could be that weird) has been caught by the Ribbonguard, and is scheduled for execution later this week.
- The victim's ex-wife, rumored to be a covert supporter of the corrup noble House running the city.- The victim's superior - the Provincial Governor.- The victim's subordinate, who moonlighted as a pickpocket, and had gotten in hot water after trying to steal something from the Lapis Eye faction.- Finally, the victim's grandfather, who was a jaded physician, rumored to have once been kicked out of the Necropolis Gatekeeper's faction for doing something too heinous for even them to tolerate.
When someone risks a Lore roll and fails, Roll 1d6.1-2: Dead end. Look for clues somewhere else.3-4: Plot twist! Roll on the Ironsworn Major Plot Twist Oracle table.5-6: Too much Heat! All this snooping drew the wrong sort of attention. You're attacked; roll on the Scarlet Heroes Foe/Threat tables to find out who attacks.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Monday, October 5, 2020
(Good grief, who writes these blog post titles?)
As I noted recently, I’ve been thinking about a streamlined way to handle megadungeons or large dungeons, in which play occurs almost entirely on geomorphs, “Dungeon Areas” where the dungeon’s dangers and rewards are focused - and the rest of the giant dungeon is referenced only abstractly as “Flux Space,” rather than mapping it concretely.
Last night, via Zoom, I ran a short dungeon crawl into just one geomorph (the top one pictured below). It was fun! Though…I did kill off two player characters and the third fled the geomorph Dungeon Area in terror at the end…
Speaking of leaving the Dungeon Area: in different ways two reader-commenters on my previous post raised the important question of how to link between and describe movement between the Dungeon Areas. This post is just a brief sort-of-answer to note some possibilities and also apply some things I’ve noticed in thinking it through.
First, it’s worth highlighting that all of the standard ‘elements of good dungeon design’ should still be involved as much as possible, but mostly inasmuch as they can apply to each single, geomorph-sized Dungeon Area. That is to say that the best geomorphs for this process will be relatively “Jacquayed” geomorphs, tiles in which most of the spaces mutually interconnect in looping ways. In fact, since many geomorphs are made with the big multi-tile dungeon in mind rather than as stand-alones, one might need to whip up new geomorphs specifically for this kind of application (you can see below some recent rough samples that I made for fun this weekend, and used in play last night).
|Alas, farewell to the character who was picked up, |
lofted airborne, and then eaten by harpies in that stalactite chamber...
Ok, great, but how to connect and travel between the different geomorphic nodes? Some options:
POINTCRAWLING vs ABSTRACT CONNECTORS
Pointcrawling is an immediate and strong contender. Make yourself a node-network chart and you’re off to the races (a recent commenter suggests using the London tube map :-) ). A fixed network map has the signal advantage that it boosts player agency based on knowledge of the game’s concrete ‘reality’ - though (again), player agency can still be important in this system, but pushed as much as possible into the realm of the primary ‘adventuring space,’ the dungeon geomorphs…
Normally, I really love point crawls for designing campaign and adventure spaces. They strike a very nice sweet spot between abstract and concrete. There are much more abstract options available, too - the “depth crawl” has been making the rounds very recently in the blogosphere as one semi-abstract way to handle movement between dungeon areas. Another way is spelled out in The Perilous Wilds…in a nutshell, one has a table of themed dungeon areas, a minority of which are unique. When players travel between dungeon areas, you keep rolling to generate new areas from this table, and once all of the “unique” areas have been found, the dungeon has been fully explored. (In some ways, the whole idea that I’m chewing on could be conceived as an attempt to combine the fast, abstract dungeon design from Perilous Wilds with the concrete spatial reality provided by small maps and geomorphs).
When I first started thinking about all this, I initially thought right away that point crawl network maps would be more pleasing than the abstract options - and particularly much more realistic.
But then I got to thinking, and I realized that if you’re working with a truly mega megadungeon, the abstract methods aren’t actually necessarily less realistic. It just depends what kind of network you’re dealing with.
In network theory, some networks are “decentralized” - they are connected by many disparate connections between network nodes; they have, essentially, no or few chokepoints. A network that is less decentralized does have more chokepoints, more nodes that control the flow of traffic across the network. The more decentralized a network is, the easier it is for traffic to flow uncontrolled; the less decentralized the network, the easier it is for specific nodes to wield influence over the entire network.
Now, let’s think of a megadungeon as a network of nodes, areas, connected by the various paths one might take around the megadungeon.
A Pointcrawl is a particularly realistic way to model a megadungeon only if you want that megadungeon to include some chokepoints. Think, again, of the Bridge of Khazad-Dum in Moria: a pretty dramatic chokepoint. Hold - or destroy - that bridge, and you’ll sway the flow of traffic across much of the dwarven city.
However, think about the other parts of Moria - the endless, winding corridors, the dim unseen neighborhoods that we can only guess at, down all the myriad paths not taken by the Fellowship during their journey beneath the mountains. How to model those areas?
Well, if we accept that a megadungeon as a whole is and should be heavily “Jacquayed” for easy navigation, then modeling that megadungeon using abstract navigation instead of a pointcrawl is not actually any less realistic! If a megadungeon is a decentralized network, there should be many ways for a traveling party to wander around obstacles, and find a slightly different route from Point A to Point D, perhaps even bypassing Points B and C entirely.
I used to think about abstract dungeon-area navigation methods as mechanically helpful due to their simplicity, but displeasingly unrealistic. I’ve realized, instead, that they can be quite realistic if the dungeon being modeled forms a decentralized network - if, in OSR gamer terms, it is heavily Jacquayed.
So, what method do I prefer for the time being for this little project of mine?
Hmm. Hmmm. To really answer that, I need to chew on this some more. While I’m chewing, however, I might as well write with my mouth open, and spill a few more thoughts.
One option: compromise. Hybrid. Go ahead and assign (say) a single “chokepoint” Area - our Bridge of Khazad-Dum analogue - and treat it as a middle-point for the dungeon. All other areas are either West or East of that chokepoint. You can move abstractly among any of the Areas on your side of the chokepoint, but to switch from West to East you MUST clear and pass through the chokepoint Area.
Parties won’t spend much game-time in the Flux Space, apart from a few exceptions:
+ what if the PCs are chased out of an Area and still pursued? I’d suggest that they make an escape/flight roll…and if they fail, you simply generate a new Dungeon Area immediately and grab a new geomorph (one that hadn’t existed as a designated ‘Area’ yet) in which they fight out the next rounds of the pursuit combat.
+ a number of games include travel montage rules for overland travel. These could be modified for use in the megadungeon Flux Space. Give the players a quick sense of the kind of areas they’re traversing, and perhaps even some clues as to what might await in the next Dungeon Area they find.
Well, these last few posts have been ramble-fests in a very busy time, but I’m enjoying this new (for me) direction in thinking about dungeons. Thanks for reading.