City, Dungeon, Dungeons & Dragons, Dwarves, Dyson Mega Delve, Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, Maps, Megadungeon, OSR, RPG
The various sections of the Dwarven City in the MegaDelve are named after the large halls that they are centred about. While the last map was the Marble Hall which is the main entrance into the abandoned city, today’s is its neighbour – the Hall of Bronze – named after the massive bronze statues of dwarven champions that decorate the great hall.
This is the most dense and honestly the least interesting map so far in the MegaDelve – focused primarily around dwarven living quarters, the Hall of Bronze and The Descent. The Descent is the large circular chamber over 80 feet across on the left side of the map. This chamber spans all three levels of the city, with stairs leading up and down to levels 1 and 3.
Now’s when I also have to admit that I haven’t figured out what faction controls this part of the delve. The entire content of the dwarven city remains in that state in my mind – I’m not sure what or who is living here currently, except that it’s not the obvious LotR goblin hordes…
What would you have living here?
Hmm. I had a dwarven city located beneath the main human city in my first D&D campaign, and I never did work out a sensible plan for their living quarters. Separate rooms for each family, or big communal halls? I waver between seeing dwarves as intensely private, taciturn and anti-social and as communists who do nothing but work, drink, and work.
I like the big circular chamber — recalls the really cyclopean architecture of Moria.
Oh, and I totally agree that dwarves would be doing a lot with bronze, even though it is considered inferior to iron for weapons. It doesn’t really rust or degrade over time once it forms a patina, and supposedly it could be made almost as strong as iron if you know the secret … I think I read once that the Chinese had really good bronze at one point. I imagine dwarves could figure out even stronger bronze recipes.
Derek Dees said:
Ghosts and automatons …… the honored dead and past tools guarding the home of their lost kin and masters.
James Mishler said:
Right now I am using your MegaDelve in my 5E campaign, set in an alternate Colonial Age, with Erathia (North America) having once been the home continent of Bael Turath, the empire of the Tieflings. Most of the races of Erathia are “new,” most being simply re-skinned variants of standard races with some odd bits thrown in…
The “goblin” race of Erathia is the Wretchlings, a poor-man’s version of the Tieflings, being the mostly bipedal inbred descendants of demon-kinds non-humanoid by-blows. Essentially, they are a weak form of Hordeling (a la 1E Monster Manual II), being chaotic in the extreme. I have a very primitive clan of them occupying the Rat-Folk and Cannibal Caves (the Goblin Caves being home to Bandits). I think I will place a more advanced culture of Wretchlings in the Dwarf City, perhaps ruled by an actual Tiefling Warlock… with shades of David Bowie’s Goblin King from Labyrinth.
Nagas or Medusas, a places that even the ogres may fear.
Greets from Spain 😉
Dwarven undead. This place is so scary none of the other denizens want to go near it. Adventurers should be forewarned and tread lightly here until they learn the secrets to keeping its powerful inhabitants at bay long enough to recover the great artifact hidden somewhere in it.
What do we know about it from the commentary so far? Mostly just that whatever is there doesn’t come out much. A population as large as a city with an intelligent civilization would easily be the dominant faction in all the areas describe so far, seems like. Also, dwarves are not known for abandoning their homes easily, so whatever it is likely pretty scary.
The map isn’t mostly wrecked, so whatever it was didn’t cause a lot of physical destruction on the way.
Tolkien already used a dragon on Erebor and a demon on Moria, so those are out.
Other D&D monsters badass enough to dominate a space like this, if they wanted to, could include: lich, beholder, demigod.
There’s another option that occurs to me, though: I was just watching some footage of an abandoned hospital in the Ukraine, near Chernobyl. It’s been uninhabitable for 30 years because it’s thoroughly contaminated. There are for instance piles of clothing from workers from the plant who had tried to contain the accident; the clothes were stripped off them and tossed in the basement and abandoned because they were too radioactive to deal with. It’s a thoroughly creepy place now, filled with invisible dangers that can’t be cleaned up or contained.
Ultimately delving too deep and releasing the Balrog is a metaphor for this kind of thing to begin with, but you could take a different twist on the metaphor with sorcerous or spiritual oozes or emanations. Plus a scattering of inhabitants who are immune and/or twisted by the contamination.
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