On a Megadungeon Checklist

You ever want to write your own mega-dungeon, but get pressed for time and end up using someone else's bits and pieces? It seem too difficult to come up with dozens of different zones and be prepared for anywhere the players go? 

Well, here's a checklist of what is in a megadungeon! Just create small areas for each of these zones and then you're on your way!

On the way to the megadungeon.

A small fort or choke-point to serve as an introductory zone.
Several entrances, including
  • an entrance in a well
  • an entrance in a crypt
  • an entrance in a mountain or the side of a hill
  • an entrance in the bottom of an inn
  • an entrance from the sewers
  • an entrance in a temple
Each zone of the megadungeon is themed. Make sure you have all of these levels!
  • Fungus level
  • Crypt/catacomb level
  • Plant level
  • Wizard/Alchemist lab level
  • Small humanoid village level
  • Military humanoid level
  • Cave/Cavern area
  • "Themed" monster area (Trolls/Lizards, etc.)
  • the mine area
  • The contested area
  • The alien city
  • Temple area
  • The grand halls area
  • The water filled area with fish opponents.
  • The Lost World level
  • Temple of Orcus/Demegorgon
  • The Maze
  • Spider
  • Assorted Monster Lairs (Wyvern/Hydra)
  • A dead god or giant or other large human, where the level is an interior
  • A level with planar gates
  • The lava level
  • The entrance to hell
Add to the list below in the comments!


  1. Volcano entrance.
    Ancient hollow tree entrance.
    Under water entrance.
    Crazed Dwarven miner level.
    Abandoned level. (Abandoned why? Its filled with terrifying traps of course!)

  2. Underground "Mos Eisley" trading settlement.
    Machine level.
    High-tech level (remains of a precursor race)
    Mega-cave (outdoor adventure underground)

  3. - A boss or item chase or something similar that starts in the first levels and ends in the lowest ones and always lingers around in the heads of the players.

    - Part of the dungeon is part of another (demi) plane

    ..and I'll shamelessly steal this list, because one of my players just climbed on a throne above a mega dungeon and I yet have to design it.

  4. The wide-open-doors-entrance. If this doesn't scare your players, you are doing something wrong. ;)

  5. Fun list. Here are a couple of things to consider adding:
    - An island, either as a possible entrance/exit point, and/or as a subterranean locale.
    - A maze or labyrinth.
    - A potentially bottomless shaft to be crossed under duress (or perhaps set-up a few red herrings to make the players think that there is a Balrog on the loose).
    - A necromancer's lair, possibly abandoned.
    - A demon-haunted ruined site of great antiquity, rife with disgruntled shades and things eager to prey upon the mins of the weak.
    - A chapel, possibly tended by a hermit who may or may not be mad.
    - A series of magical fountains or pools.
    - Dragon Hoard...probably already well-looted, or is it just the false-front used to preserve the privacy of the real hoard?
    - Tunnels connecting to distant subterranean settlements, ghoul enclaves, obscure villages, non-human fortresses, or trading outposts leading downward to a great underground empire(s)...

  6. I guess I don't see megadungeons the same way. I think these are creative, but a good megadungeon is more than the sum of theparts.

    1. So you're saying you missed the sarcasm?

  7. the sarcasm seemed pretty obvious, but I think some of those are STILL fun ideas, no matter however overused they might be. I'm not so interested in megadungeons at this point, but I think it's all in execution. Someone clever could take all those tropes and make them awesome.

  8. Just because it's cliché, doesn't mean it's bad. ;)

  9. * Crawl zones.
    * vertically arranged zones for flying inhabitants
    * purple worm warrens filled with voracious hatchlings
    * neutral commercial zone, where factions have agreed not to fight


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...