Node-Based Megadungeon: Fungoid Cavern

Fungoid Cavern

Scenario Role

Meta: Relatively safe centralized navigation area between areas of the upper megadungeon.

Theme

Overgrown region of fungus, slimes, oozes, and other non-plant vegetation.

Threat

  • Does not pose much of a threat to the rest of dungeon, most of the space is inhospitable to the creatures here.
  • Areas of this region are dangerous to intruders unless they know how to deal with the conditions and creatures present.
  • Materials found here may be used to dangerous effect elsewhere, including outside the megadungeon itself.  This makes the region an attractive resource to exploit.

Reward

  • Various vegetation-based materials that have medicinal, hallucinogenic, or poisonous properties.
  • Passage to different areas of the megadungeon.

Relationships

  • The Abandoned Tower and Clockwork Hell are connected via the Maintenance Tunnel.
  • The Dwarven Safehold has access the Maintenance Tunnel and uses it to reach Clockwork Hell.
  • The goblins of the Goblin Warrenknow two routes into the Fungoid Cavern.
    • When traveling with wolves from the Wolf Den they use the Maintenance Tunnel (accessed via the Dwarven Safehold’s ‘greeting area’), Madness Delve and Cave of Visions to  reach the cavern proper; the wolves don’t that well.
    • When traveling without the wolves they tend to use the lesser-known Shambler’s Gate path; they know how to easily avoid the shamblers.
  • The Grotto of Genesis is accessible to the Pit of the Misshapen, who sometimes visit in search of something better.

Description and Identification

Description

The cavern is filled with strange fluorescences from the ground, walls, and ceiling.  Some occurs naturally from the growths present, other light comes from crystalline structures found in places.  Whether these crystalline structures carry light from the outer world or some other source is unknown.

Almost every surface here teems with mold, fungus, or other simple vegetation.  There is a constant musty smell that varies from relatively dry and pleasant to remarkably unpleasant (particularly in the Grotto of Genesis.  In places the air itself seems to make people drowsy or put them to sleep (possibly permanently, at least until they become the base for yet more growth), in others they cause people to see visions and delusions.

Signature

Things are musty, moldy, slimy to the touch.  Proper cleaning (boiling water or antiseptics of some sort) may be required to prevent recurring growth.

Location

Below the Abandoned Tower, roughly adjacent to the Clockwork Hell and Dwarven Safehold, above the Pit of the Misshapen.

Mechanics

No actual mechanics yet, but I’ll include notes for later.

  • Maintenance Tunnel: Originally constructed with the (now) Abandoned Tower to provide an alternate route into Clockwork Hell in case the primary route is obstructed.
  • Shambler’s Gate: A cave with narrow openings at each end occupied by shamblers, mobile plant-based creatures that make it dangerous to pass through.
  • Fresh Water Spring: As it says, a spring of fresh water that will wend its way through the Fungoid Cavern.
  • Madness Delve: An area with fungoids whose spores can cause delusions and insanity if breathed or ingested too much.
  • Lichen Cave: A relatively dry and innocuous area where lichens and other non-hazardous fungoids grow.
  • Cave of Visions: An area with fungoids whose spores cause hallucination, sometimes with beneficial (divination or oracular) effects.
  • Sleeping Forest: An area of tall mushrooms whose spores cause drowsiness in many creatures.  Those who succumb and sleep here may never wake, and may become the host for new ‘trees’.
  • Mound of Identity: As semi-sentient fungoids grow they congregate and climb this mound.  Typically by the time they reach the upper slopes of this area they have some self-awareness and awaken as distinct creatures.
  • Ring of Inception: An unusually fertile area of the Fungoid Cavern where new fungoids come into being and begin to grow, with successive generations working their way out until they reach the Mound of Identity.
  • Grotto of Genesis: An immensely fertile area (fueled/fertilized by ‘organic refuse’ disposed of by the Clockwork Hell, and Misshapen that fail to pass safely) that roils with decay and rapid growth of new fungoids, some of which may be viable enough to reach the Mound of Identity and become self-aware.  Those who reach the Ring of Inception tend to raise havoc until the semi-sentient fungoids defeat them and use them to fuel their own grown, or are consumed by the creature from the Grotto.

Fungoid Cavern

No related content found.

6 Comments

    • To be honest I hadn’t really considered them as actual ‘factions’ so much as having different origins. I was imagining that until the ascend the Mound they don’t really count as self-aware creatures. One set might be more aggressive than the other, but I think none of them have a particular attachment to specific fungoids until they are self-aware. The self-aware fungoids probably want to ensure the Ring and the Grotto remain intact and viable since that is where most of the come from and the colony might die out without these areas, but the ‘individual fungoids’, such as they are, probably are not particular important to them.

        • Probably just surviving. They don’t have a lot of higher intellect, I think. Though I suppose I could lean on myconids, make them relatively pacifist (once they become self-aware, until then they are only potential people). I just don’t see them aiming to spread their spores over the land to gain lordship over all.

  1. Pingback: Node-Based Megadungeon Design | Keith Davies — In My Campaign - Keith's thoughts on RPG design and play.

  2. Pingback: Fractal Game Design | Keith Davies — In My Campaign - Keith's thoughts on RPG design and play.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *