Dungeon23: Part 1

I need to do a proper overview post I guess, but my plan for Dungeon23 broadly is to write a room a day, and make a weekly blog post recap of things. Here goes.

Instead of doing a single layer of the dungeon each month, I plan to spend one month doing the village near the dungeon and one month doing an overworld (probably hex) map. I have also decided to start at the very bottom of the dungeon which happens to be in the Abyss itself. Theoretically, this should make the other layers easier to create, since the "conflict engines" defined in the bottom of the dungeon are affecting all the other layers. Thus if I get stuck, I should be able to look at lowest layer and pull "consequences" of that reality into the current layer to get my creative process "unstuck". We shall see how that plays out as we progress.

I have also discovered that I cannot cannot cannot write up rooms in any sort of order. I have broad general concepts for sections in the dungeon, and I bounce between them as I go. Should it ever see the light of publishing (assuming there's any interest) it will definitely need major revisions. In large part because, by writing a room a day, I don't know what's relevant from tomorrow's room when writing up today's room. If goblins in tomorrow's room should rush into today's room if the PCs make a lot of noise, I won't know that until I decide to put goblins in that room tomorrow. Whew.

Here's the map of the current level: The top floor of the 27th Ivory Tower of the demon lord Graz'zt Argent Palace in the Abyss.


January 1: The true physical form of the demon lord Graz'zt hangs suspended, as if crucified, and wrapped in garnet hued poison-soul vines, high in the 27th Ivory Tower of his Argent Palace. The room has no floor, other than the undulating weavings of the perfumed vines, and opens directly on the steaming Abyssal plane hundreds of feet below. His favorite marilith concubines, Unhath and Reluhantis tend him devotedly and harvest the growths of crystallized malice that erupt from his flesh each day. Despite this apparent torpor, Graz'zt continues to stalk the Astral and Ethereal planes with ease, inserting himself into the reflections of vain minds.

January 2: Behind platinum bars a beautiful blue skinned devil sits patiently on a plush golden throne (feather details) reading a book. The runes of a powerful magic circle glow faintly on the floor. Bamfario, representative of Asmodeus, is here with a contract for Graz'zt. Been here for 1000 years so far. Puts salt between the bars to trick mortals into thinking they're "freeing" him. Committed to task.

January 3: Door to 1000 Worlds. Hall and room all black obsidian with a mirror finish. Dias in center. Empty bookshelves line the walls. Stained glass dome above. Magic circle on dias teleports to any known world. A book will appear on shelves before use. Primer on the target world.

January 4: Crystalline Roost. This large floating platform of mirrorer crystal is exceptionally jagged. It cracks and crumbles (musically) at all times. Any chunks larger than 3' in diameter fill with Abyssal void fire and transform into fire breathing crystal hell harpies (that sing beautifully). Graz'zt can see through their mirrored eyes.

January 5: Golden Adamantite Cage Sphere. A beautiful angel is trapped within this doorless cage and forced to sing at all times. The harpies often harmonize with her. If she doesn't Graz'zt makes it rain acid. Her divine immortality heals and regenerates her, but the pain is so great she's forgotten her name. It also rains acid here normally.

January 6: Conservatory of Torment. Black and White tile floor. Wicker furniture. Lush tropical carniverous plants. Piano. Four composers who sold their souls to Graz'zt dwell here and transcribe the angel's [5] songs. Each thinks he's the best, and hates the others. They're all quite good tbh. The succubus Lesamber, who got their souls, comes through to collect their sheet music and whip them regularly.

January 7: The Contract. This 30' x 40' room is almost completely filled with stacks of paper covered in miniscule print. It is the new contract from Asmodeus to allow Graz'zt to become a devil once more. Both doors are locked by chains made of souls, with a damned face that must be fed the blood of Graz'zt, Unhath, Reluhantis or Lesamber (who is serving as head lawyer in this negotiation for Graz'zt).

And there we have it. Perhaps I've leaned too heavily on my typical creative crutches: Plants, Music, & Monster girls. We'll see. I wonder what these shards of malice will grow into....


  1. The bottom up approach is a neat twist.

    Looking forward to see how this develops upward!

  2. Wonderful! Really loving the decadence and agony vibe you've evoked.


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