While tinkering and toiling with the Nifelhel version of the Dungeon’God concept, I was struggling with the starting point for the characters. I had some vague idea that they where Thawed that suddenly waked up to their destiny, but it never sat well with me, it lacked … something. It caused me to wander away from it for a while.
But a couple of days ago when I was sitting and reading the fabulous “5th edition funnel” I realised, that this was how people and heroes was introduced into the world!
Dungeon’God was fishing them out of the limbo where the abandoned population of Nifelhel went, resurrects them with the absolute minima of functionality and equipment. Then have them run the gauntlet of a Dungeon to create som conflict-power that Dungeon’God subsist on. The terms forced upon them to gain their freedom and life renewed was either to find keys hidden away in a weird dungeon complex or be the last surviving of five.
My thought is that with, say, five players, there are twentyfive zero-levels characters that are divided between them. Either randomly or by drafting, or something in between, this becomes the players “team”. When a character is killed all remainder team members may raise a physical stat (evil yes) but as the dungeon proceeds witteling them down there will probably be assymetric deaths, one player may lose more of the team than other players. To adress that the player with more characters must than another player, must chose one character to be transferred. The up side is that the gifting player may raise one non-physical ability one step in all the remaining characters. Lastly, if the player has more than one character left when the five keys are found and used, the key wielding character may raise Cha with one point per remaining character, and the remaining characters becomes the henchmen of that character.
The continuation of that campaign would be something “OSR-standard” sandboxy thing for level 1 to 9. Focusing on bringing back the world of Nifelhel by carrying it piece by piece from the depth of the Dungeons. The world would be formed by decisions made by the players, what magic to release, what creatures to bring with them, what spirits to assist and what practices to support. Also above ground there would be numerous other adventure parties forming factions and pusing their own agenda. One important thing would be to rescue others from graves, creating more population (and possible henchmen).
And THEN at level 10, it turns into an application of Kevin Crawfords fantastic Godbound. Not only influencing the world but becoming the worlds actual creator (or one of them at least). Here the players will face old enemies and new dilemmas, and perhaps the great question it self, what to do with the Dungeon’God and the contract made with him by the old gods.
An epic journey!
But I think I start with the funnel …