Dungeon23, a declaration of intent

With the camaraderie of several members of the Roll For Topic community, I’m planning to undertake the #Dungeon23 project:

Megadungeon for 2023. 12 levels. 365 rooms. One room a day. Keep it all in a journal.

Sean McCoy, #Dungeon23

We’ll see how far I get with it–after all, the state of this here blog shows the effectiveness of my commitment to personal writing projects (You knew I’d sneak in some self-deprecation, didn’t you? Well there it was.)–but assuming I do any significant chunk I’ll expect to share it here. My intent is to go for the “City23” substrain, as that’s what’s most immediately useful to my current game.

I’ve been running a table of Old-School Essentials for the last 6 months, set in the Grey Box Forgotten Realms (AD&D, 1987), which was my first roleplaying game setting and which I have no small amount of nostalgia for. Inspired by a read of Forbidden Lands, I’d decided that regional instability around the opening of long-closed territory would make for a good game, and the Retreat of the elves from Cormanthor forest in that era’s Realms fit the bill.

While the concept of Myth Drannor, an ancient cosmopolitan city at the heart of the elven forest, long since abandoned and overrun by demons, is an interesting idea, I’ve always been lukewarm on the official treatments of it. And, the very-magical city in the isolationist elven forest with struggling factions of good and evil uses some good old tropes that don’t have to be limited to the Realms–it could be in Golarion’s Kyonin, or Tolkein’s Lothlorian, or wherever. So while I plan to use what I create in my current Realms-set game, I’ll be shooting for something flexible and non-canon-specific.

(I also admit I’ve been looking wistfully at Ptolus and thinking a lot about Doskvol and that building a ruined city as my Dungeon23 is a way to channel that city-crawl energy in a direction useful to my current game.)

So that’s my goal: use the Dungeon23 “room”-a-day to build out a ruined city, shrouded and off-limits to the outside world for centuries but just recently opened as an “opportunity” by the departure of the elven court. I expect some combination of my players and Team RfT to hold me to it.

And, on that last point, I am thankful to the community that has built up around the Roll For Topic podcast for being a lovely corner of the internet the past few years. I know a number of them are simmering on some version of Dungeon23 as well, and I’ll attempt to link to any that end up public-facing.

About Me

Michigander, parent of twins, urban planner, role-playing game nerd.


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