The Nature of Dungeons:
-Every 24 hours a dungeon will recompose itself, usually at midnight. At this point the dungeon will regenerate all monsters and treasure, as well as its own internal and external structure. The room any non-dungeon creatures are located in is exempt from this and will be preserved, although it may be moved within the layout of the dungeon as the regeneration is typically random outside of individual rooms.
-Dungeons may be damaged and destroyed by whatever means would normally damage or destroy the material they are made of. Any foreign material which interferes with the reconstruction of a dungeon will be teleported out of the dungeon's way (either to the nearest convenient internal space or somewhere outside.) All corpses of dungeon-spawned creatures within a dungeon will vanish at this point. Dead adventurers will be teleported outside, assuming any body remains.
-The creatures that live in dungeons are non-sentient. While some may appear to speak and even be human, it has been noted that they will not deviate from a specific set of lines and actions (generally screaming and attacking whatever they see.)
-Dungeon-spawned creatures prefer to remain within a certain proximity of their dungeon (this varies by creature, but is generally not more than an hour's travel outside of the boundary of the dungeon.) Creatures removed from this area will seek to return to it as quickly as possible. Living creatures outside the boundaries of a dungeon when it regenerates will disintegrate, leaving behind no trace of their existence (or loot.)
-Dungeons are magical in nature, but the materials they are composed of are not. While disrupting a dungeon's magic may interfere with its ability to recompose itself (but would be very difficult,) once created its material structure and inhabitants are fully 'real' and cannot be disrupted by means of anti-magic spells (unless the creature or item is magical in nature, of course.)
-Loot from dungeons is generally random, comprised of limited amounts of precious metal/gems, but more often random items dependent on the level of challenge presented by the dungeon. Loot is generally found in chests, but occasionally drops from monsters. The quality and quantity of loot items is directly related to the difficulty of a dungeon. Going further into a harder dungeon will yield better rewards. Typically the best items are obtained from a 'boss' monster which serves as a final challenge.
The Happy Pony Fields (Wuss Level Dungeon)
-Common Monsters: Killer Ponies, Gummy-Slimes, tribal gummybears, candyfloss birds
-Boss: A giant pony of particularly bad temperament.
-Loot: Very poor (Everyday items rendered in unconventional materials common, ex: Knives made of paper, leather or cloth. Candy/sweet themed items common. Chocolate shields and at least one chocolate hammer. Chocolate is generally not of good quality.)
The primary purpose of venturing into this dungeon is to supply Dramaville's sweets shops.
-Estimated time to complete a run: A couple of hours.
-Difficulty: Should not be attempted by small children or the infirm, or those suffering from diabetes.
-Notes: An odd example of an entirely candy-based ecosystem, the Happy Pony Fields has become well known for its licorice grass, streams of fruit punch, syrup bogs and an entire forest of trees made of pure sugar. Its fauna is of a similar nature, the most common (after the eponymous ponies) being a species of gummy bear (roughly knee height,) known to wield spears fashioned from the sugar trees, with chips of hard toffee serving as points. While dreadfully ineffective against humans, they are quite effective at bringing down the tribal gummy's prey, the large and generally docile gummy-slimes.
The ponies are, of course, the main feature of the dungeon and inhabit the grassy plain which fills the southern half. Their coloration varies from offensively pink to painfully blue, and they have become infamous for their ill temper. Curiously, while they are vicious and prone to bite even their fellow ponies (and are absolutely brutal in their raids on the gummy bear villages,) it has been found that the only way to engage the 'boss' of the dungeon is to question aloud the value of friendship while in the midst of the hills. This will send the whole array of candy ponies into a berserk rage, after which the final fight will occur.
The primary danger of this dungeon, besides contracting heart disease, comes if one accidentally sets it on fire, as it has been known to burn quite fiercely once a blaze gets going. It is also not advised to visit the dungeon on rainy days, as one tends to get extremely sticky in the process, and at least one person has drowned as a result of the forest melting during an especially strong downpour.
The Grassy Field (Easy Level Dungeon)
-Common Monsters: Moderately sized rats, basic slimes, goblins, bandits
-Boss: Both a 'bandit king' and a 'boss goblin' have been observed.
-Loot: Low quality, often consisting of basic melee weapons (swords, axes, etc.,) in common materials with poor to regular craftsmanship. Almost no magical items.
-Estimated time to complete a run: 1-2 days (mostly due to the large area of the dungeon)
-Difficulty: A well equipped party of regular humans will have little trouble with this dungeon provided they are careful.
-Notes: Seemingly ripped from the opening areas of a thousand late 80s/early 90s JRPGs, this rolling field is rife with a variety of monsters taken from that same setting. The field itself is pleasant enough when no monsters are present, and exhibits the curious property of a persistent spring weather climate all year round. This makes it popular even with veteran adventurers who want to escape the rainy winter season.
The more dangerous of the common monsters here are the goblins and bandits, which seem to act as two warring factions. They have been observed to engage each other if no adventurers are present. These encounters notably do not produce any loot unless an adventurer intervenes in them. While neither group is especially dangerous to a prepared party of even stock standard humans in a stand-up fight, both have exhibited a certain level of base cunning, and will set up ambushes and traps. Note that the 'bandit' moniker is chosen based on appearance rather than practice, as is typical with humanoid monsters produced by dungeons, they seem incapable of communicating beyond a few basic phrases ('kill them!' and 'get them!' being common exclamations,) and have shown no interest in bargaining, money, or goods.
The bandits favor bows and arrows, as well as swinging at their targets from positions hidden in trees (these are generally not well prepared and can be spotted by an observant adventurer,) with knives held between their teeth. The goblins on the other hand are more keen on melee fighting, and will launch their ambushes from spider holes (again, often ill concealed,) or convenient foliage.
The dungeon's 'boss' battles manifest in the form of a large camp, either the home of the 'bandit king' or the 'boss goblin.' It is noted that the more basic varieties of these creatures behave with increased intelligence in proximity to their 'boss' variant and will attack with greater eagerness and vigor around them. They will also typically appear in greater numbers in the vicinity of the camps. These battles can be difficult due to sheer numbers, as well as the relative toughness of the main foes involved.
The Forest of Magic (Variable Level Dungeon)
-Common monsters: Bandits, ogres, wolves of varying size, a variety of fungoid monsters as one enters the deeper areas of the forest.
-Boss: Outer forest boss: Ettin, Inner forest boss: The Shroom King
-Loot: The outer areas of the forest yield modest quality loot, including a few weak magical items. The inner forest, being much more difficult, yields a number of interesting magical items and is known for its variety of magical mushrooms.
-Estimated time to complete a run: 2-10 days depending on route
-Difficulty: The outer forest, with its generally mundane threats, is a good place for adventurers of middling skill to test their abilities without much risk. The bandit camps occasionally manifest low level mages of little cunning, who chiefly resort to throwing fireballs at whatever moves.
The inner forest is more dangerous and insidious in its threats. The fungal monsters of this region possess a variety of hallucination inducing spores, which have been shown to cause adventurers to go berserk, or even begin worshiping the mushrooms of the area until they are forcibly removed from the forest. Field cures for these conditions are difficult to come by and tend to be expensive.
Besides these threats, various animals infected with fungal growths will appear in the area, much more aggressive and stronger than those in the outer forest.
The ettin who 'rules' the outer forest is a tough challenge, its second head being a magic user of sorts, which both heals itself and casts offensive spells. It is noted that the two heads do not get along well, and a time-tested strategy for dealing with this particular boss is to get him into a fight with himself. This does typically involve learning the names of the heads and some particular item of tension between them, which appears to be random with every newly generated ettin.
The Shroom King of the inner forest is, as with its domain, a more subtle challenge. Appearing initially as a giant mushroom, it will attempt to lure the party in by remaining immobile, then issuing forth a massive spore cloud, aiming to poison the adventurers and set them fighting each other. Should this fail, it will call in fungoid creatures from throughout the forest to its aide.
The Cave of the Killer Bunny (Hard Level Dungeon)
-Common monsters: Killer rabbits, giant bats, blind lizard-things, various giant cave-fauna, CHUDs.
-Boss: The Black Beast of Aaaaaaaaaaargh
-Loot: The cave is a popular destination for the collection of mid-tier magical items and quality weapons. Several of its monsters also provide valuable alchemical ingredients, making it a common questing location.
-Estimated time to complete a run: 1-2 weeks
-Difficulty: The Cave of the Killer Bunny provides some unique challenges, being situated mostly underground and with few light sources, adventurers must be well provisioned before venturing down here, lest they be caught in the dark and twisting passages without a means of navigating back to the surface. It is notable that the passages of the cave randomize themselves each day, rendering mapping impossible.
The dungeon acquired its name from the 'guardians' of its primary entrance, a group of seemingly normal rabbits which may actually be attached to the Forest of Magic. However, an early adventurer noted some similarities between these creatures and one featured in a famous movie scene from his home world, and the name seems to have stuck. The rabbits are not especially tough, but are very fast. Explosives and area effect magic seem to be the best way to deal with them. Avoid close quarters battles.
The cave proper is home to a host of dangerous and deadly creatures which tend to operate from ambush, striking from holes and shadows against unwary adventurers.
The most famous of these are the odd albino bat-mole-people generally referred to in adventurer parlance as 'CHUDs' (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.) Where this acronym comes from is another mystery entirely. Regardless, they possess a variety of weapons and most of those are poisoned. Striking from ambush and employing diversionary assaults of various wildlife, their ambushes are deadly for the unprepared.
The boss of the cave, the infamous Black Beast, is in fact a large, blind dragon-worm. The creature tunnels through rock with ease and strikes from a variety of angles employing an acidic breath attack which seems to be its main method of tunneling as well.
The Tower of Kazen (High Level Dungeon)
-Common Monsters: Undead in various forms, gargoyles, elementals on the higher levels. Weaker monsters noted in sub-levels.
-Boss: Greater Basilisk
-Loot: Good quality items, with a notable profusion of magical items.
-Estimated time to complete a run: 4-7 days (depending on route taken)
-Difficulty: The Tower of Kazen is notable for being, effectively, two dungeons in one. Traveling upward through its 80 floors one will encounter an array of increasingly tough monsters. If one travels down one will encounter the 64 known levels of basements, although it is believed that there will be 80 of these as well. The lower levels, rather than featuring especially difficult monsters, are known to house increasingly deadly and inventive traps.
-Notes: The Tower appears to be modeled on a wizard's residence, its confusing array of corridors (which seem to go on for much further than its outer appearance would allow for,) connect an array of arcane laboratories, mystic libraries, and dilapidated but gaudy bedrooms, dining areas and storage rooms. The contents of these rooms are invariably aged beyond any usefulness, with books falling to pieces as they are opened and magical instruments crumbling to dust at a touch.
Adventurer lore holds that the tower was the residence of the wizard that created all dungeons, but no proof of this has been found.
The basilisk makes its roost on the top level of the tower, which is open to the sky and seems to have equipment for making stellar observations. The creature is notably difficult to kill permanently, its tough outer hide reflecting most magical attacks while being remarkably resilient to physical ones as well. Targeting the eyes and mouth appear to be the most successful methods for dispatching the beast.
This presents something of a paradox, however, as these two 'vulnerabilities' are also the beast's primary means of attack. Its deadly poison breath inflicts paralysis with a single breath, leaving victims stuck in place. At the same time, making eye contact with the creature will result in rapid petrification. Both of these conditions can be 'cured' by the simple expedient of removing the afflicted individual from the dungeon. Be extremely careful while moving petrified individuals as breakages are reportedly very painful.
The sub-levels provide an interesting alternative, with only a few quite weak monsters present. These are contrasted by the deadly traps of the levels below, ranging from fall-away floors to cunning mimics to poison arrows to walls filled with snakes.
(a variety of trap generators can be found online for people who want to check this area out.)
No individual has progressed past the 63rd basement and returned. Adventurers who have made it to the 63rd floor describe a number of the traps as 'unfair' and 'broken,' even to the point of seeming to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals attempting the trek. Efforts to bypass them via tunneling have generally encountered large resivoirs of lava, acidic fluid, or pockets filled with various unpleasant creatures (a particularly interesting account describes a 'tsunami of centipedes' emerging from one such mining attempt.)
Again, adventurer lore holds that the 80th basement is home to the wizard/lich/mummy that built the tower, and that defeating him will grant amazing powers, vast treasure, etc.
The Sunken Temple of Bel Shamharoth, etc.
-Common monsters: Mad cultists, weird fungus things, tentacled horrors, various indescribable things.
-Boss: Bel-Shamharoth the Soul Render
-Loot: Highest quality magic items, masterfully crafted treasures.
-Estimated time to complete a run: 2-3 days
-Difficulty: The initial challenge of the temple is simply getting inside, as it is located deep underwater. Utilizing teleportation magic is ill-advised as it tends to result in multiple incarnations of the adventurers fighting each other.
On entering the upper levels of the temple, the chief threat comes from the creatures dubbed 'cultists.' Primarily humanoid in appearance, most manifest a variety of mutations ranging from claws to tentacles to extra heads, to mouths in entirely the wrong place. Often these are initially disguised by ominous purple and black robes. These creatures are very difficult to kill, and typically have skilled spellcasters among their numbers. They seem to be lead by creatures described as "something not entirely unlike a horse, a slime mold, and a partially decomposed human being." These are particularly talented at magic, while also possessing great physical abilities. Engage with caution.
The lower levels are inhabited by a group of beings loosely categorized as the "Spawn of Bel-Shamharoth," generally amorphous creatures having all manner of mouths, psuedopods, claws, etc. Despite their ungainly and often asymmetrical appearance, they are deadly combatants and very difficult to put down permanently by any means save total bodily destruction.
The final boss is the Soul Render itself, a massive being which dwells in a pit on the final floor of the temple. It seems to fill not only the pit, but also the walls of the room and will attack adventurers with tentacles and sanity-blasting psychic attacks. Any person or thing dragged into the pit at the center of the room is immediately destroyed, seemingly irrevocably.
Use extreme caution and prepare well before entering this dungeon. Even among talented parties the return rate is low.