Purpose for the Darkness (March 2017 RPG Blog Carnival)

Last time I offered a few ideas on a single dark room in the dungeon, but that got me thinking even further. What are the questions we should ask about those dark places to help inspire more thoughts about their denizens and the encounters our PCs might face in them? Even if we just take a single room of the dungeon in isolation and discount the rest of the complex, we can ask some simple questions to get those creative juices flowing.

Let’s take another look at that “dark” room and see what else we can glean. (Need a reminder? Check out the last post here.)


How was the room created? By hand? Through natural processes? Did a Purple Worm create a giant network of tunnels? Was a small army of goblins or kobolds tortured until they created the perfect underworld lair right under the noses of their enemies? Was there a dungeon designer cackling with glee as he built the malicious mechanisms through which his enemies might be slaughtered and rendered inert?


What purpose did it serve for anyone who was living there? Beyond how it was created, it’s interesting to ponder the goal for that particular space. Why would someone build such a room? Was it a “safe” room built as a fallback position in case of attack? Was it a training room? Or perhaps like the “Danger Room” from the X-Men comics, built to test and hone skills in the dark? Could that sensory deprivation chamber be used as a refuge? Or was it just there and acted as a place to store some stuff?


And then consider the time factor. Is it occupied right now when the PCs stumble in there? When was the last time it was occupied? And why? Can you imagine walking into that mechanized trap only to discover that you weren’t alone and the last invaders were already there, pierced and dripping blood on the floor from their corpses? It raises all sorts of questions about those other invaders (who were they? why were they there?) but also about the denizens of the dungeon… When would the cleaning crew stop by to hose down the mess?

Told you I had some weird thoughts going through my head. 🙂

Your turn…

What do YOU have lurking in the dark? Let’s shed a little light this month, shall we? Please leave a link, and perhaps a brief introduction, for your submission for the March Carnival in the comments on the kickoff post. Looking forward to seeing what folks can come up with! (The kickoff post was here.)

A big thanks goes out to Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips for hosting the RPG Blog Carnival Archive and keeping us all on track every month!

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