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April 30th, 2020, 19:22
Felipe Pepe tries to answer the question "What makes a good (C)RPG dungeon?":

What makes a good RPG dungeon?

A look at 11 great video game dungeons



I don't want to dwell much on this, so I'll just use D&D's definition from the 3rd Edition Dungeon Master Guide:

THE DUNGEON AS ADVENTURE SETTING
The term "dungeon" is a loose one. A dungeon is usually underground, but an aboveground site can be a dungeon as well. Some DMs apply the term to virtually any adventure site. For this discussion, a dungeon is an enclosed, defined space made up of encounter areas connected in some fashion.

I like that, and it works well for both tabletop RPGs and computer & console RPGs (which I'll hereby just call "CRPGs"). But what's a good dungeon?

It may sound obvious, but a good dungeon in a CRPG must fit its game. For example, I enjoy the massive spaghetti-from-hell dungeons of Daggerfall:

[…]
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April 30th, 2020, 21:34
A great article, @felipepepe!

I'd like to add a personal favorite here, the starting dungeon from Wizardry VIII
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April 30th, 2020, 21:56
A really nice article!

I think he misses one aspect which I really like in dungeons, it is if the dungeon have a story to tell. Maybe remains of an ancient civilization for example.
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April 30th, 2020, 22:33
I like dungeons with scarce resources, no teleport out and no shops.
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May 1st, 2020, 04:17
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I like dungeons with scarce resources, no teleport out and no shops.
Welcome to the dungeon called Covid-19 then.
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May 1st, 2020, 04:42
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
A really nice article!

I think he misses one aspect which I really like in dungeons, it is if the dungeon have a story to tell. Maybe remains of an ancient civilization for example.
That's the most important facet in my opinion. Few dungeons - or even entire games - are as good as Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast. The story and lore of the Tower was revealed so perfectly.

…and looks like Felipe specifically mentioned BG:TotSC
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May 1st, 2020, 12:30
A great article, and I've played through many of these dungeons. I am currently playing Pathfinder:Kingmaker- Below the Stolen Lands, and its lead me to this very question. Its a roguelike, so it obviously is going to be missing some of the best features of a hand laid out dungeon. Still there are some things I think a good dungeon should have between combat, which is going to be the core of most dungeons.

*Changes of scenery- The dungeon should look different at different points.
*New elements now and again. Whatever they are, they are there to give the player a sense of surprise now and again.
*Different forms of interaction- Whether a story, traps, puzzles or what not, they should give the player a break from combat and at best aren't to repetitive.
*Rewarding exploration- You should have the feel you get something from exploring every nook and cranny of a dungeon. It doesn't have to be a gameplay reward like extra treasure either. It can be a story snippet, an optional boss battle, or some cool easter egg.
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May 1st, 2020, 14:10
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
A really nice article!

I think he misses one aspect which I really like in dungeons, it is if the dungeon have a story to tell. Maybe remains of an ancient civilization for example.
Aren't Vault 11, The Glow and Durag's Tower like that?
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May 1st, 2020, 15:21
Yeah, I thought you covered that point. For me, it's definitely one of the most important. A dungeon needs a sense of history, a story behind it. It needs texture and mood, and a feeling of being haunted by the past.

I think a great dungeon should be rather like a real world ruin or cave complex. It should be fascinating and compelling to explore, even if it contained nothing more than its history.
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May 1st, 2020, 16:07
Handcuffs, chains, spiky leather jumpuits… Oh, sorry, wrong dungeon…
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May 2nd, 2020, 12:47
If it is not crowdfunded, it can not be good.
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May 3rd, 2020, 21:07
Originally Posted by felipepepe View Post
Aren't Vault 11, The Glow and Durag's Tower like that?
Yes, they are not bad in that respect, I just thought that aspect deserved a bit more focus and mentioning in the article. As I guess without it dungeons even with good combat would feel pretty dull at least to me.
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May 3rd, 2020, 22:54
Ravenloft Stone prophet (and the original Ravenloft) have some really great dungeons. You have to use the ingame map extensively to figure out where all the hidden areas are and there is a good mix of hidden buttons, puzzles and combat.
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May 4th, 2020, 01:59
Originally Posted by Winterfart View Post
Handcuffs, chains, spiky leather jumpuits… Oh, sorry, wrong dungeon…
And don't you forget the Iron Maiden in them. Yeah, both kinds of Iron Maiden
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