« Week #460 - Tyrannosaurus Outsources His Gaming Homework to You! »

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Date: 05-21-2021
Word Limit: 4000
Words Written: 50,546

Judges (crits):
Week Archivist:

So I've been running a weekly super homebrewed, freeform D&D-like game for my partner and our two friends and we recently wrapped up a long, long, long campaign. They’ve now rolled new characters and we’ve starting fresh which is cool but I’m also mentally exhausted. Work is picking up. Covid still sucks. Yadda yadda yadda. Doesn’t matter. By the power of the blood throne, I am declaring this week:

You have 4,000 words to build me a “dungeon.” And I don’t mean a literal, dingy, underground crypt beneath a castle. I mean a self-contained adventure or encounter for me to put my players through. Goblin Punch’s Arthur K. says there are seven things a dungeon needs:

1. Something to Steal
2. Something to be Killed
3. Something to Kill You
4. Different Paths
5. Someone to Talk To
6. Something to Experiment With
7. Something the Players Probably Won't Find

You can read his post in its entirety here. Those seven things aren’t a requirement for the week but I thought they might be helpful to you. Of course, maybe you just want some examples. Here is one by Joe Fatula and two by Joseph Manola of increasing length and complexity:

The Trouble at Mudwater

The Tower of Broken Gears

The Rosefinch Khatun

I'm well aware that Thunderdome is a competition where we write stories. The challenge this week is writing a story for someone else to experience.

Things to Know about Your Setting
A hundred-ish years in the future is the apocalypse. This campaign is a hundred-ish years past that. The exact time frame is unimportant.

There's no magic but things were so advanced when the world ended that any remnant tech might as well be. This makes for fun loot and dangerous and dangerously misused technology. Actual in game example: a spray can that shoots almost instant drying cement instead of paint. It was meant for quick repairs to highways. My players stuck a regenerating raider boss to a wall.

Everything takes place in the Pacific Northwest. The land has been shattered into islands. Anything you write should be island or ocean based. But not tropical. Because Pacific Northwest.

Weaponry has mostly fallen back to melee and bows and arrows. Gunpowder is treasured. Weirder stuff even more so.

Monsters are fine. Mutants are fine. The end of the world came with a lot of genetic fuckery. It doesn't have to make sense. One player has a lobster claw for a leg.

You can include pictures if you want but they're neither expected nor required.

You don't have to stat anything out. You can tell me about a pre-war DJ whose brain is in a semi-immortal cat's body or a massively muscled warlord that uses a stop sign he pulled out of the ground as a mace. I don't need to know the mace is +2 or whatever.

Things to Know about Your Prompt
Signs up close Friday at midnight EST
Submissions close Sunday at midnight EST
You can use up to 4000 words.

19 Total Submissions, 3 Total Failures:

Failures who signed up but did not submit: