Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Frayed Knights: Dungeon Creation Rules, Part 4

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 22, 2013

fk_duckydoomWow. I’ve been doing these little Dungeon Creation notes for a long time! Now, we are finally at the end of my little list of dungeon creation rules and guidelines for Frayed Knights. These began life as part of a design document (design principles), both to keep myself oriented as I’m developing content, and for those who may be assisting me. I copy (most) of them here so that you can know more about where Frayed Knights is going, and also because these ideas might be useful to any others who are crazy enough to try and make a full-fledged RPG of their own.

You can read part 1 of the dungeon creation rules here, part 2 can be found here, and part 3 can be viewed here.

You can read the general principles –  part 1 here, part 2 here,  part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 here.

And, as always, you can just read the entire category of Frayed Knights posts here.

These are my last three “rules” for making dungeons in Frayed Knights. These differ from my “principles” in that these are actually checklist items for making sure the dungeon designs are complete and offer the most enjoyable, Frayed Knights-flavored entertainment for the player.  I may have more by the time we finish this sequel. By comparison to some of the others, these are pretty straightforward. You may notice that #12 is actually a direct effort to solve a problem found in the first game, Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon. Part of the problem was the load times in the first game, but I also don’t want to have needless backtracking. The point is to make resource management across multiple encounters a challenge, but not a chore.

#11 Drama Stars

Flag possible drama star awards in your dungeon. Anytime something significant happens, or any time there is a random component in a result (for something non-trivial), these are good candidates for a drama star award.

The general rule-of-thumb is 1 point for a minor decision, 2 points for a major event, and 3 points for  a quest reward.

#12 Sleeping Areas

A large dungeon should contain at least one area where the party can sleep for full fatigue removal. This does not need to be unlimited – it may be an area that can only be used two or three times until it is discovered or otherwise no longer safe. This saves the player a boring trip back to town just for the sake of a full recovery, but it should be out of the way enough (past patrols and random encounter areas, etc.) that getting there and back again is a non-trivial chore and not something the player can do without thinking about it.

#13 – Role-Playing Encounters

Any dungeon of medium size or larger should have at least one encounter that involves dialog and some kind of choice on the part of the player. One choice option may end in combat (actually, all choices could end in combat). The dialog may not have to be with an NPC – it could simply be the party vocalizing the decision and options.  The thing here is that it should not be a right / wrong decision, or a “lawful stupid vs. chaotic psychopath” type of choice. It should be a choice between legitimate options, an approach to solve a problem that is more of a case of the player deciding on a course of action. All options should be justified (or at least amusing). Even though it is a comedy (or maybe especially because it is a comedy), moral or ethical quandaries work well here, allowing the player to decide what is the greater of two goods, or the lesser of two evils. Or it can simply be a case of letting the player decide how subtle or direct they want the Frayed Knights to be.


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