This is the last level we still need written. It will be in issue 15. It can be fairly simple if you want it to, or more complex. It is basically a citadel full of armored dinosaur-riding trolls.
I thought we could use this thread to brainstorm and/or recruit an author. Busman did a lot of good concept work on this level but I'm not sure he's up to finishing it. But maybe he will participate in the discussion.
I will have some more information to kick off the discussion soon, but if someone is interested in taking the level (with a couple of months to write it), feel free to pipe up! This will be the last chance to contribute a DB level (although sublevels for Level 8 are still open after that), so if you wanted to do that now is your big chance.
How much information on the Dark Trolls is given in other installments of The Darkness Beneath? I know that would be the big issue for me, since I only have a few FO issues, and I know at least one of the installments I actually have has Dark Troll details. I'd be loathe to attempt it myself because I'd worry about conflicts with material I haven't seen.
I can assist in drafting the fortification map. I'd need to know the general number of trolls/steeds garrisoned and the rough shape of their cavern. Being underground, I imagine the gatehouses would be of chief concern, with a center yard peeled open like the forge-pits of Isengard. Or, it could be one giant, honeycombed keep from ground to roof. An open plan sounds a bit better if lots of cavalry and caravans pass through the citadel.
There are a lot of Dark Trolls in Level 8 (issue 12), and a lot of implied culture. I imagined them sort of like Roman occupiers
There's also a reference in FO #2 (Upper Caves.) I can't remember if there's a reference in the palace of illusions, but it connects to the level. I don't have the lower caves issue, so I don't know if there's any dark troll material there.
Post by Ynas Midgard on May 2, 2012 15:30:35 GMT -6
If my memory serves well, (1) there is an elevator from the Palace of Illusions, (2) there is a secret entrance from the Lower Caves known by the deserted creations of the Puppeteer [as I find artificial men and their creation utterly horrific, he is a favourite of mine], (3) and the big gate in the Lower Caves guarded by light ballistae and trolls in plate armour.
Depending on their civilization, in their citadel could be: - a pit where captured intruders or slaves fight terrifying monsters - a powerful but cursed artifact which they have to guard - breeding caves for their dinosaurs and other beast pets - a couple of extraplanar entities, who were summoned to build and maintain this subterranean citadel; they might be helpful to their savers or planning their own escape - a court of the trolls with weird customs.
I know these are way too vague ideas, but I'm not sure what concept work has been done for this level.
In terms of Dark Troll information, I would say level 8 as mentioned and also level 5, The Lower Caves has a lot of information (in issue 6). The Troll Highway touches levels 1 and 2 as well (issues 2 and 5) so there was some stuff there as well.
I would feel very comfortable with Lee drafting a map and then having others pitch in to fill it out, esp. if Lee didn't mind making a few minor changes here and there as we devloped the level. What do you think, labsenpai?
Here is a rough design for the citadel, with an emphasis on cyclopean ramparts (20 ft thick foundations) that trolls would build. My input will just be structural details of the place itself. Area 1 shows the cave column the main keep is wrapped around. Area 2 is a deep moat made by allowing huge rock worms to eat looping trenches around the bases of cut stalagmites. Area 3 is an arena for lethal entertainment (?) Area 4 is the on-ramp for the highway circuit (vaulted along the cavern wall to bridge the front moat).
There will be 2 level plans for the whole citadel, plus 2 more floors for the taller keep, and 1 hex-size showing the entire cavern
Dave's stuff is great and he'd be welcome back any time. I think if I was going to do anything to get him out of retirement issue 12 would have been it though. He'll come back when he wants to...in the meantime we get to enjoy what he did when he was around!
If you're still looking for a writer, let me know. I have sufficient time (for once) and, ironically enough, was gearing up to write a sub-level for my own megadungeon that had a Troll king living ina fortress! Sounds like I could leverage this for both. My email is welleran(at)aol.com