Jump to content
IcarusSC

Where should Endless Paths (the mega dungeon) draw its inspiration from?

Recommended Posts

Being completely left field - I'm going to say Ocean House from V:tM~B, not in terms of appearance but in terms of ambience. I want proof that an isometric game could scare me, something which not one has achieved so far. Od Nua was mad, his home should give a disturbing insight into his troubled mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright so, personal opinions ahead.

 

As a huge horror fan I'm personally hoping that the Endless Paths will have a horror theme around them, subtle at first, but growing more prevalent and more terrifying the deeper one goes.

Also there should be an air of mystery around the place that gets cleverly unveiled the deeper one goes through things like item description stories, found diaries, ghosts acting out their last moments etc.

For example the place could have been an old excavation area where the archaeologists and miners all mysteriously disappeared, and everyone who has gone to investigate has never returned. As you go down through the levels, which start off looking like relatively normal "stone passageway" type dungeons, they become increasingly bizarre and sinister, with fragments of what happened there being revealed the more you progress through the environment, items, logbooks etc.

 

Obsidian have stated that they quite like the idea of the monolithic stone presence that the artist of the Endless Paths concept art for the KS drew.

This artifact/creature could be linked with the mystery of the place, and to discover what it is and what it's purpose is is to unveil the mystery of the Endless Paths.

 

Another thing that would be fantastic would be to make the player question reality, make him wonder if the Endless Paths are playing tricks on his mind and if the catacombs are in fact sentient and malevolent.

 

Another cool thing would be to hit the player with the unexpected.

For example he comes across a plain clinically white room where all of the areas before that were eldritch and oppressive.

In the room are several bloodless corpses neatly arranged in a row. What is the significance of this room? Who knows?

 

 

The place itself needs to look frightening and unique. Caves and stone corridors are boring.

 

otto_rapp_art.jpg

  • Like 3

When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that was an interesting read. And I agree.

 

I'd enjoy it if the the nature of the dungeon changes per level. With a labyrinth in there, a cult of survivors who lost access to the surface trying to make a living. I also like the idea that "once upon a time this place had a function other than what it is currently used for" As you progress you learn more and more about the nature of the dungeon. I'd enjoy it if this was done visually, and not (just) through text.

 

As for what the nature of the dungeon is, well, that could be anything. Ancient passageways that connect places on the surface, the prison of a dead god, and ancient fortress submerged by cataclysm, a prison, a place to conduct dangerous experiments where the fallout could be contained (psychotic hallucinations in the place where containment failed!) a mine for an ever so valuable mineral (but they dug too deeply and too greedily) a temple, or all of the above.

and that's just the unoriginal ones.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that dungeons too often are ye olde tombs that are now home to lost ones or it was over run by corrupted shadows/demons. Why can't we have a highly organised dwarven drugs operation in a clean professional zone.... Maybe I've been watching too much Breaking Bad though.

Edited by Kore
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would really enjoy it if Endless Paths is an Eye of the Beholder homage with perhaps a few references to that most awesome of dungeon crawls. A few suggestions for references that could work without getting stupid:

 

Having a "hidden bonus" on each level. The original Eye of the Beholder game had these, where, say, if you put a bunch of rations in a room marked "pantry", they'd get upgraded to iron rations. Or if you put all the kenku eggs in the "Nest", you get an impressive magical halberd.

 

Have the levels be connected by magical teleportation gates that require specific items to activate.

 

I think stuff like that would be cool but also subtle enough that it wouldn't be baffling or annoying to people who don't "get" the reference.

 

Also there should be tons of puzzles and interesting secrets. TONS. The levels should be interconnected in a very convoluted way.

 

And KEYS.

Edited by PsychoBlonde
  • Like 2

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever they do, please, dear god please, no freaking dark elves! The last thing I want to see is a masturbatorial DnD SnM fetish kingdom. The underdark was freaking annoying in that respect... hated every second of it.


Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever they do, please, dear god please, no freaking dark elves! The last thing I want to see is a masturbatorial DnD SnM fetish kingdom. The underdark was freaking annoying in that respect... hated every second of it.

 

There are many different kinds of dark elves, not just Drow. They don't have to look like gothy bondage aficionados covered in Spikes of Villainy™.

While I do prefer my dark elves to be cruel and tyrannical (as opposed to just being subterranean elfs like the Dökkálfar, or the elves who never who never saw the Light of Valinor like the Moriquendi), I've always disliked the short, black-skinned and white-haired variety that D&D introduced. If there will be a dark elven subrace in P.E., I hope it won't be another Drow-clone.

 

Not sure if you're talking about BG2 or Hordes of the Underdark, but I loved the Underdark in BG2. One of my favorite parts.

Edited by Agelastos

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played a moderate number of CRPGs and PnP RPGs, and in all that time, only one dungeon complex has ever really stood out to me: Watcher's Keep. It was the megadungeon added to Baldur's Gate 2 with the Throne of Bhall expansion, and it was incredible: tough fights and good loot, sure, but even Diablo has that stuff.

 

What made it awesome were the unique moments that the dungeon contained (the amazing Zork throwback, the hall of statues, the ghosts, the seal guardians, the laboratories, the guy in the cage, the machine of Lum the Mad, the sneaky priests that guarded it, and ... of course ... the Demogorgon). I've never experienced a dungeon like it.

 

If the designers can capture the feel of Watcher's Keep -- a series of amazing RPG experiences (puzzles, characters, tactics, moral choices, mystery, treasure, danger), loosely connected -- I'll be delighted.

 

How about you? Any amazing dungeons in your past that Endless Paths should be inspired by? Pen and paper are good, too! I'm not asking about mechanics so much as about feel.

All those things were great. But as far as dungeon levels/layouts go, Watcher's Keep was horribly designed. I pray that Obsidian doesn't take a cue from it. It was a theme circus. It didn't feel like a dungeon at all.

 

Here's how every level but one went:

 

1) Enter at the center

2) Go in a circle from room to room

3) Unlock the foozle in the center fight and fight him

4) Exit the level

 

Additionally, even those "good", "memorable" moments seemed slapped together, totally unrelated to both each other and the dungeon's supposed theme.

 

They took a famous, heavily lore-defined Artifact (Machine of Lum the Mad) and put it in a dungeon supposedly built by Helmites to house one of Helm's opponents. Say what? There's a dragon in one of the rooms of level 3 lol. A demilich in the other. Githyanki in another, and mind flayers in another. There's no explanantion for the Petrified characters in level 1, Nor the fire giants in level 2.

 

Basically nothing made sense. It's not hard to take a structure and fill it with every single "awesome" Idea you can think up. But that doesn't make for a good dungeon. a Good dungeon has a driving story behind it. A mystery. Something that keeps your attention from level to level. Not 100 stories, 100 themes, and 100 tiny little challenges to satisfy the ADD

Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very much on the side of the horror folks. I think a great dungeon idea would be one that starts off as something kind of twisted, and increasingly grows into something unearthly, disturbing, and even somewhat horrifying. I mean, and there's tons of ways to play this.

 

Here's why I think it would be cool:

1) Lovecraftian horror is probably not going to be a major theme of the game or of many similar games, and it probably shouldn't be, so having a place dedicated to it can allow it as a sub-theme, and also allow the players to participate in something really unique and memorable. A big but normal dungeon is probably not going to be as compelling, as it will just be a regular dungeon but really big. Players have seen a ton of regular dungeons, and often the other big dungeons they'll cite will be just another regular dungeon.

2) It will provide a legitimate excuse for creativity. So, a problem many people are citing with Watcher's keep is that it seems like a jumble of cool ideas without much sense. Well, a dungeon so bizarre that sense has legitimately left it CAN accommodate all sorts of madnesses without being odd or wrong. It doesn't have to make perfect sense, and it can actually be made better if it fails to in certain areas. It's a dungeon of magical realism where reality and fantasy and the breakdown of reality all end up being very real. This can also justify the size very easily, because otherwise who the heck will have dug this all out and why? Why the puzzles? Why the massive statue? Etc. This gives answers in some sense.

3) It could provide for an interesting development of one of the unifying themes of the world, the theme of souls. As much as such a place is a perversion of the normal order, it could also ultimately be tied into the normal order if desired as well, and if it is, then it would develop some uniqueness to this world's vision, and perhaps even provide a tie in to notions of psychological trauma.(which, I don't feel are as developed in other worlds, even though the issue is very real and part of a mature and complete world. I mean, sure you'll have a ghost lamenting occasionally, and undead, and cases where some item is enchanted by sadness, but it could be made so much better and cooler and more real than say just say Ingress in PS:T who is traumatized so you have to do a quest to help her and then forget about her)

4) Something would be good to have as a unifying theme to the dungeon. I'm sure there's tons of ideas, but I think this is a pretty good one to consider. While I may like the dungeon, I usually don't like the theme of "some really rich group or really rich guy decided to build an epic dungeon", because it seems pretty ad hoc to me.

5) Given that this game is going to aim somewhat for depth, I think this could allow for a lot of depth without excluding people who don't see it on every level. It's very strongly a psychological theme that many people can appreciate, so, a lot of references on that level can be thrown in for the players who loved PS:T, but dungeon-lovers would enjoy that it's a dungeon.

 

Obviously, whatever Obsidian does will be great. However, I do think that something spectacularly magical and a breakdown or knot in reality would be useful, even if separated from horror. (The dungeon is part of a knot in reality, where great magical forces are centered, causing a breakdown where spiritual beings enter normal reality with some degree of freedom, so lots of strangenesses reside there.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been a number of good ideas here, but I feel like gglorious's, above, is the best one yet. It provides for some good (and appropriate!) thematic unity while still being open to tons of variety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4) Something would be good to have as a unifying theme to the dungeon. I'm sure there's tons of ideas, but I think this is a pretty good one to consider. While I may like the dungeon, I usually don't like the theme of "some really rich group or really rich guy decided to build an epic dungeon", because it seems pretty ad hoc to me.

 

The only good dungeon of this kind that I've ever seen was Monte Cook's Banewarrens. Personally, I prefer setups more like the idea behind Eye of the Beholder, where you have multiple groups building structures or making use of naturally-occurring structures in the same area that interconnect in various different ways.

 

In general, I'm not a huge fan of dungeons just because they have huge logical inconsistencies. If nobody can get in or out, where do all these monsters come from? What do they eat? How do they avoid killing themselves in the death traps sprinkled about the place? It's like you wandered into an Evil Monster Convention. Granted, that might be a pretty amusing idea.

  • Like 2

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, I'm not a huge fan of dungeons just because they have huge logical inconsistencies. If nobody can get in or out, where do all these monsters come from? What do they eat? How do they avoid killing themselves in the death traps sprinkled about the place? It's like you wandered into an Evil Monster Convention. Granted, that might be a pretty amusing idea.

This.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but there IS a dungeon, right? So the question isn't "Should we have one?" but "What should it be like?"

Believable?

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but there IS a dungeon, right? So the question isn't "Should we have one?" but "What should it be like?"

Believable?

 

As in completely devoid of monsters or anything even remotely supernatural? How avant-garde. I like it!

 

Edit: Nevermind me. I haven't slept in... forever.

Edited by Agelastos

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely not part of the horror crowd, not for 15 dungeon levels straight, I get miserable just thinking about having to wade through 15 levels of depression.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do people assume - the deeper you go the older the dungeon gets? That to me geographically makes no sense what so ever.

 

Unless were dealing with a subterranean race that started of X amount of floors underground (mole people) wouldn't the older stuff be at the top, with the simple, old, decrepit stuff at the top and the more modern expansions built under or more spreading out from the origin.

 

So you start of as a dungeon under a very ancient castle, under the dungeons were the crypts for said race.

 

Said race is killed of by a more technologically advanced race, who expand the castle to implement Golem Factories under the crypts...

 

They go crazy and kill off the inhabitants...

 

Centuries later a wizard group take over - disarm the golems and expand the castle again with new magic / alchemy labs etc...

 

They get killed by barbarians who let the place fall to ruin..

 

They get killed by some ebil necromancer who wants the magic secrets - expands the magic labs and accidently opens a portal to hell.. demons infest the lower levels...

 

A really evil demon makes his lair there and spawns a great beast of the deeps who kills them..... his presence gives off magic - which reactive the crazy golems - dark monsters move into other levels etc....

 

So the deeper you get the more modern/complex things get.


Juneau & Alphecca Daley currently tearing up Tyria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do people assume - the deeper you go the older the dungeon gets? That to me geographically makes no sense what so ever.

 

Unless were dealing with a subterranean race that started of X amount of floors underground (mole people) wouldn't the older stuff be at the top, with the simple, old, decrepit stuff at the top and the more modern expansions built under or more spreading out from the origin.

What?

 

Go ahead, build me a skyscraper. Create the top floors first, then work your way down to the ground. Build the underground parking garage levels last. Don't worry, Concrete defies gravity, and Foundations are a myth.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What?

 

Go ahead, build me a skyscraper. Create the top floors first, then work your way down to the ground. Build the underground parking garage levels last, but again, start with the upper one, then work your way down. Don't worry, cement defies gravity, and Foundations are a myth.

Uh... what? The endless paths are underground, like a lot of dungeons. You start from the surface, whether you go up or down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, unless you're Dwarven.

 

Huge underground complexes don't start at the surface. Workers dig and dig for whole lifetimes, THEN they lay the foundations at the bottom, and then start building levels upward.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not strictly a dungeon per se, but I thought Constantine's mansion in the "The Sword" mission from Thief was fantastic. EDIT: And also, Vendigroth from Arcanum.

Edited by Rostere

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What?

 

Go ahead, build me a skyscraper. Create the top floors first, then work your way down to the ground. Build the underground parking garage levels last. Don't worry, Concrete defies gravity, and Foundations are a myth.

 

We're building down though, not up? So unless they randomly dug down 15 floors worth of depth and built one room - then someone else at a later date came along and built something on top of that - it doesn't make sense to me. You would assume someone built down x amount of levels and then someone else came along and expanded/dug further down.

 

edit - having read your follow up post - I can see your point, though I stand by my point. If someone built down, then someone were to expand upon it the newer stuff would be further down. I suppose it depends on the engineering ^^

Edited by Juneau

Juneau & Alphecca Daley currently tearing up Tyria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely not part of the horror crowd, not for 15 dungeon levels straight, I get miserable just thinking about having to wade through 15 levels of depression.

Okay then how about a dungeon that goes through the entire spectrum of emotions.

 

Starting with empathy on the first level...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...all the way down to despair.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, unless you're Dwarven.

 

Huge underground complexes don't start at the surface. Workers dig and dig for whole lifetimes, THEN they lay the foundations at the bottom, and then start building levels upward.

Really? Not that bottom-up isn't viable, still, it's not the only one. And they dig for whole lifetimes? What is this, the dark ages?

 

Doesn't matter anyway; you still start digging from the surface, not the bottom.

 

Unless you are a troll living underground! :cat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay then how about a dungeon that goes through the entire spectrum of emotions.

 

Starting with empathy on the first level...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...all the way down to despair.

 

would be viable, if we were fond of or proficient at things like emotions. Which we aren't, as you can tell by the romance threads

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...