Saturday, 15 April 2017

One Man And His Dice #6: The Bigger Picture

When we last left Erik, he had just had his first (if brief) combat encounter of the adventure, striking the Giant Rat that he encountered dead with the first and final sundering blow of his axe. Taking in his new surroundings he did find a couple of interesting features in this simple yet well stocked larder. However, not being anywhere near desperately hungry enough to want to try something from the smorgasbord of Orcish cuisine on offer, or to risk attracting unwanted company by smashing open the locked box he had just found; Erik thought it best to press on through the only other exit in this room.

Before he does however, and we rejoin the adventure I want to take a brief moment to discuss a couple of the decisions that I took at this juncture, with regards to the overall adventures direction.

It was at this point that I started to consider the purpose of the dungeon that I'd be raiding. Who built it, and why? It would be easy to have the band of Orcs set up base in this set of caves, just so as they had a roof over their head as they raided the local area. Simple, but not very compelling in my mind. So I got to thinking. What else could be happening here?

It was then that I hit upon the idea of the Orcs being sent here by an imposing greater force to secure the cave for their arrival, or perhaps to retrieve something. Orcs do after all tend to be toward the lower ranks of the monstrous hierarchy, and it's totally conceivable that they'd knuckle under if someone of significant enough power told them to do so. With that imposing force probably having demonstrated their power by horrifically killing the head of the tribe, or by some other equally blunt display of force.

So there was something here that someone of power wanted.. Not something likely to be hidden in a bunch caves I thought, so toying with this notion I decided that beyond the door Erik was about to open was a dungeon of great craftsmanship. A place that someone in a time long since past had gone to a lot of trouble to hide. They'd built it into natural caves, in a remote area of woodland, ensuring no one knew of its location.

At this point however, I am quite happy to leave the exact nature of what they hid away from the world as a blank. Allowing this element of the adventure to take shape as the dungeon is generated around it, with the only certainty being that whatever this thing turns out to be, it will be a major plot point that drives the story forward long after this dungeon is cleared of the Orcish infestation.

That's really all the detail that I need at this point in time too. I now have an idea as to who built the dungeon, and why the Orcs have taken up residence here, along with a few additional ideas that I can use to shape the adventure as it plays out.

I think I'll leave it there for now, but please join me for the next One Man And His Dice installment; where we will return to Erik's adventure, and the wonders that now lay waiting to be discovered in in our newly imagined dungeonscape.

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