Maptacular Monday: Necrodwarf Oracle

I drew this in my wallet moleskine while waiting somewhere for something. (It’s been a while.) I stocked this originally as a shrine under a temple. I was aiming for basic functionality.

  1. Entryway to receive guests and visitors and impress them.
  2. Shrine with a statue of a famous saint.
  3. Standard chapel, with an altar up front, pews, benches in back.
  4. Enh. Intersection. Probably something defensive.
  5. How the faithful come and go, a staircase up into a temple.
  6. Mess hall and bar.
  7. Kitchen area, larder to the north.
  8. General recreation and living space for acolytes and servants.
  9. Sleeping area for servants.

Also of note; the doors south of 4 and west of 7 could be barred, so in case something went desperately wrong, those in the temple could mount a defense or at least buy time for reinforcements to come.

With that rather pedestrian “original intent” style designation complete, to assist those who would dress the setting as a ruin that could be stocked with monsters, I figured I’d take a second crack at it using the highly-entertaining DungeonWords by the fun-flinging Risus Monkey. If a result was not sufficiently amusing, I would add a second random word. The results seemed to flow together super-well without any tinkering!

  1. “Furnace, Sanctuary.” Sure, I had been working intensively on my (ignored) necrodwarf rules at the time, but… they just seemed to fit better and better as the generation process continued. This chapter of necrodwarves showcased their religion to show how as others forged from fire and metal, they forged from unholy energies and meat. This could be a fabulous creepshow of a decorated foyer emphasizing the forge that churns out undead.
  2. “Entombed.” The founder of their particular chapter, his corpse in a thin stone statue, ready to burst out should their dark god animate him to return to lead his people.
  3. “Epitaph, Soulless.” The walls over the back benches have runes that substitute for the souls of those enemies claimed by the necrodwarves. (There’s more of that in 6). The religious gatherings here exhort the faithful on the greed of other gods, and the rightful claim of the God of Death on all that exists, and how the efforts of the Faithful are just a tithe on what is due… Plus they sacrifice people on the altar on special occasions or slow nights. And put their souls in jars.
  4. “Ice.” Since the God of Death is also the God of the Void (deep space beyond the atmosphere) the door is trapped with a glyph where, when the door is barred, those who interact with it from the north without exerting the power of the God of Death are hit by a brutal ice attack that engulfs most of the tunnel.
  5. “Fire Pit.” Sure, in keeping with the forge theme. The pillar in the middle of the room transmogrified to a fire pit, whose chilly blue light and radiant chill greet those who descend to the domain of the God of Death.
  6. “Platforms, Jars.” I let this one roll around for a bit, then turned the tables into bookshelves, and the chair backs into ladders. Tall shelves, lined with jars holding the souls of those sacrificed on the altar in 3. Not only is this fantastically creepy, but now we have a possible objective or sub-objective for the party; rescue one or more important souls, or just free the collection for the temple of a good god to release these poor souls to their next stage.
  7. “Remains.” To the north, “Stirges.” I swear I randomized these. Anyway, the remains from sacrifices in 3 are animated in this laboratory (no, it is no longer a kitchen.) Also, the necrodwarves are experimenting with using stirge beaks as fangs in their undead, to draw blood, or packing stirge in the torso so the ruptured undead gush out a surprise attack upon dying. ‘Cause that’s just nasty. And hilarious. An always-irresistible combination!
  8. “Lodestone.” This is where my whole concept of the complex began to shift. Something crucial had to be in 9. Because in 8, those who come in are subjected to a powerful magnetic pull; the entire east wall was converted to a magnet. Metal armor, weapons, etc. would be drawn to it and stuck there; even if people could get past that to 9, they’d be without their usual level of arms and armor.
    • Maybe the toughest defenders of the compound, whether dwarven, undead, or animal, would function without metal stuff for just this reason.
    • Maybe a badge of office is the toughest foes use bone equipment instead of metal equipment–but only the toughest, so as not to leave non-metal gear laying on fallen defenders to help attackers.
  9. “Oracle.” Perfect. The necrodwarves have a powerful oracle here, who gives them strange tidings with inexplicable fact and fate woven through them. The main purpose of the expedition becomes clear–win through to the oracle, to either assassinate the seer, or find out some unknowable fact through persuasion or force.

Consider this an advertisement for DungeonWords! This particular roll-up was startlingly thematic, and showcased some aspects of the necrodwarves that I didn’t think of until I was making sense of the random words.

If you use this map, I’d love to hear about it. Happy Halloween!

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5 Responses to Maptacular Monday: Necrodwarf Oracle

  1. Risus Monkey says:

    That is too awesome for words. If I end up running OSH this weekend then I may be ripping this wholesale.

  2. fictivite says:

    Great! I was deliberately vague and system neutral in the stocking, but I’m sure you can get around that easily enough. Thanks for the Dungeon Words, they spiced the setting up.

  3. Zeke says:

    Nice work! I’ll like to try the idea of necrodwarves someday, also i’ve been using DungeonWords too, it’s amazing what you can do with just a few words 🙂
    Btw, amazing job you are doing around here 😉

  4. Pingback: I am a practicing game designer. | Fictive Fantasies

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