Thursday, December 19, 2013

Escape from the Gladiator Pits of the Yoblin Kings pt 2

So I'm about 20% of the way through Escape from the Gladiator Pits of the Yoblin Kings.

That's a completely bullshit statistic, by the way.  I have no idea how much work is ahead of me.  I plan on five sections:

Wartooth and Wallow, the yoblin towns (where the gladiator arena is).
The Rancid Ravine (thermal vents, bridges, scum farms, and the Hogwitch).
The Goblin Warrens (razed/collapsed by the yoblins = traps and goblin zombies).
The Cold Creek Coal Mine (formerly a demilitarized zone between goblins and humans).
Apple Creek, the human settlement = safety

They're all connected linearly, with the dungeon section [bracketed].
Humans - [Mine - Warrens - Ravine] - Yoblins

It's sort an inverted dungeon, since the party is starting on the bottom floor and trying to escape.  In some cases it might be to their advantage to push onwards and hope they reach the human town (where they will be greeted with blankets and cocoa) rather than go back to the yoblin town.

Ways to escape the yoblins:
- Escape out the Coal Mine and walk 20 miles to the human town (expected).
- Buy your freedom with loot from the Goblin Warrens.
- Fight through the yoblin gatehouse/palace and out the front door (closed for the winter).
- Sneak out the gatehouse/palace in the spring, after months of muddy gladiatorship.
- Climb 10,000 feet up the inside of Mt. Yakratuga's caldera (it's mostly vertical).

Note to self: make a table for gladiator plots in case the players just love being gladiators.

Note to self: make rules for climbing out of the caldera and encounters for the outside.

Note to self: throw in a yoblin inventor with a hot air balloon because fuck yeah.

I still have hope that it can be used as a reversible dungeon, where delvers can enter from the civilization-side entrance, as is traditional.

This is totally how dormant volcanoes work.

Honestly, I'm probably being way too ambitious.  That's okay.  I'll just bang at it until it resembles something playable.

The cities will be super generalized, just encounters, hooks, and a few notable buildings (Vornheim style).  The 3 dungeon sections will have about 150 locations, of which I have ~20 written (but not placed).

Here's the top of the Ravine, unkeyed.  The Giant's Highway leads east, back to the yoblin towns, and the doors to the Goblin Ruins are in the northwest (red arrows).  You can see some of the bridges here.

maybe you can't tell from the scale, but these rooms are HUGE

In the middle of the ravine, you can see more bridges.

most caverns on the middle floor are tighter

And at the bottom, you can see the Hogwitch's house. (She lives in a titan skull, but everyone just calls it a giant skull, since giants haven't been here for hundreds of years, and titans, millenia.)

the stalagmite-filled floor of the ravine has been flooded like a subterranean rice paddy

Aaaand stick 'em together. . .

lookit all the bridges!

There's 60 locations here that will need to be keyed.  I guess that's a lot for what isn't even in the "dungeon proper", but nearly all of it is skippable.  If the party knows where they are going or are completely incurious, they can get through into the goblin ruins in about 10 rooms.  If they hire some yoblins to repair the road (NW side of the ravine, top level), they can walk straight into the ruins and skip the ravine entirely.


  1. Don't worry about ambition - as long as you have an idea of where things go and some good descriptors for how things look and feel you can get by with notes on a map. Just roll out the adjectives and push on through.

  2. "Roll out the adjectives and push on through" sounds like a stirring wartime ditty.

    That adventure looks awesome. Players always love being gladiators.

  3. I'm really loving this series you've been working on. Thank you so much for putting them out.

    I added this post to the Best Reads of the Week series I've been running. You can check it out at the link below if you'd like: