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26 Responses

  1. uhf says:

    Excellent work. No wonder it took so long to post.

    There was an AD&D adventure (2nd ed) called Reverse Dungeon, in which the adventurers take on the roles of monsters trying to defend their domain. Initially you take on the role of Goblins, and you know… try to live. The tribe is then attacked by invading adventurers.

    4th edition does almost all of this better with its excellent support of monster races and non-lethal traps.. You could be a heroic Bugbear Barbarian, on the up and up. You could be a Changeling Wizard pretending to be a Hobgoblin Shaman (your real goal is to spy for some Orcs). Or my favorite… a Half Orc Warlord… Human’s don’t want him, and the Goblin Chief is afraid he’ll take over. He’s a drunkard who berates his underlings into action, but mostly he’s just a coward.

    It gives the players lots of opportunity to role play bad guys as good guys. Is it a crime to steal food from the humans if you’re starving? Why are you starving? If your players bring food into the tribe… will the chief be mad that you’re getting popular? Do you need to clear out the local Kobold caves for territory?

    This is a day and an age when we portray Green Skins as evil. In fact dispatching Goblin women and children is often portrayed as a ‘good’ act. Changing the table around presents some real meaty role playing that will change your player’s perception of good and evil.

    Or… you could just ask yourself if Elves really do taste like chicken…

  2. satyre says:

    This is excellent stuff. The concept of surface races setting up garrisons in a dungeon is something of a holdover from the early days when you had to justify why elves were a random encounter but this is a neat setup.

    Might do a riff on this involving the Underdark, been ages since I’ve done something 4E. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. What a truly amazing idea. I can’t wait to see what else you do with it.

  4. Elton says:

    A fantasy concept of Fallout? This is when Sauron won the War of the Ring?

  5. Sully says:

    Just bloody brilliant. If I hadn’t just started a campaign that takes the Points of Light setting in the complete opposite direction (the sky) I would be stealing this outright.

  6. DanSanto says:

    Got a quick thought that popped to mind – why candles? Why not go with permanent magic lights – they’re pretty easy for magicians to make.

    Other than that, though, I really like it. I think I could incorporate this into an existing, more traditional world by having groups of good guys (other than dwarves) living in a section of a large dungeon. Great place to rest in the dungeon, and I can think of a million plot hooks just begging to be used!

  7. jdh417 says:

    Fascinating concept. It will need a proper endgame though to be an heroic fantasy, otherwise it’s too bleak. Tier 1 Survival/defense, Tier 2 Exploration of the lower and upper world, Tier 3 Reclamation-taking back the surface from the Big Bad.

  8. richard says:

    Brilliant, inspiring and thorough! I’m going to have to reread it to absorb it properly, but I really like what you’re doing here. The value of space, of breathable air, the expressions of wealth, are all great. Thank you.

  9. Guillaume says:

    I like this a lot.

    It reminds me a bit of the Darwath trilogy, by Barbara Hambly.

  10. Anarkeith says:

    Love it! Campaign-in-a-post, right there!

  11. TheHairyDM says:

    Wow, just wow. Consider this idea stolen.

  12. Simon says:

    Excellent idea for a campaign. I like it.

  13. Weem says:

    Very nice! If you linked this on Twitter, I missed it, but ended up running into it via Zite (app) on my iPad today and I’m glad I did ;)

    Well done!

  14. TheCrazyGM says:

    Fantastic! I would love to have this in pdf and prettyfied. ;) Hint, Hint.

  15. Tazz2060 says:

    Cool campaign idea. It reminds me of an article in Dragon # 267 “Alternate Underdarks: Bastion of Good”. It re-envisioned the world as being overrun by evil that conquered the surface, and the characters seek refuge in the underdark.

  16. Sean says:

    Wow – your best concept yet.

  17. Risus Monkey says:

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I had a similar idea years ago but it wasn’t nearly as well articulated. Bravo.

  18. I’ll use this, I think.

  19. MorganM says:

    This is truly amazing! I literally got shivers up my spine a couple times while reading this. Love the quotes thrown in here and there; they are so inspired and really give you an insight into the midset of those living in the Undungeon.

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