Dungeons as player-built structures


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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I don't know if this has been addressed, but I figured I'd tap the knowledge base to point me in the right direction :)

There has been talk about player-built structures, settlements and kingdoms. Could an enterprising player construct a dungeon? With all the talk about killing and levels of bounties, I would think perhaps a trap-filled maze with a well-publicized reward at the center would be fun for some to make and others to try and beat. Since the 'adventurers' were putting themselves in danger I assume they wouldn't have the normal bounty/death curse recourse, a dangerous dungeon could be a lucrative source of loot from unwary victims without resorting to banditry

In regards to denizens, could a dungeon-building player recruit monstrous allies? Perhaps a 'if you build it they will come' kind of situation? I was just thinking how the 'owner' could stay neutral to the denizens and maybe have a living complex at the heart of things.

Has there been any discussion of this?

Goblin Squad Member

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Patrick Curtin wrote:
Has there been any discussion of this?

Not so much that a new thread isn't worthwhile. I don't believe the devs have ever responded directly. I get the impression it's probably something that would be cool, but is probably not a high priority yet.

Goblin Squad Member

I just think it might be cool to even just take take over a dungeon and set yourself up as its overlord and and recruit monsters to live in a defend your dungeon.

Seems like a perfectly acceptable way for a person whos reputation is so low that they are completely rejected by society to still have a place in the game.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Can I make my own dungeons?
This is one of our most-requested features and its something we absolutely want to do. However before we can enable you to do that we have a lot of foundation work to do on the basic game and its systems. We won't have user-created content in Beta or Release.

^ From the Kickstarter FAQ, that's the most we've gotten in relation to dungeon creation, as far as I know.

Goblin Squad Member

Hark wrote:

I just think it might be cool to even just take take over a dungeon and set yourself up as its overlord and and recruit monsters to live in a defend your dungeon.

Seems like a perfectly acceptable way for a person whos reputation is so low that they are completely rejected by society to still have a place in the game.

It seemed that way to me as well Hark. I mean, if you are into challenges, perhaps someone who was concentrating on a Necromancer could make hordes of skeletal minions and the LG adventurers could get a kick out of trying to take him down. Maybe the rules of threading would be relaxed so the Necromancer could have a shot at some good loot (or maybe there's a toll at the entry to get in, to defray the costs)

It would be interesting, and a subtler 'PvP' than we have seen discussed.

Goblin Squad Member

It would certainly be a pretty neat mechanic. Especially if it was set up so that other players could come in and take it over (maybe it has a Dungeon Heart like in Dungeon Keeper). Guilds could even rearrange and customize them so that they could have an addtional safe-haven out in the wilderness, or a secret hide-away to store their ill-gotten gains if they were bandits or thieves.

Scarab Sages Goblinworks Executive Founder

I hope that we could eventually setup structures with traps and minions out in the wild as little player created dungeons.

I just keep envisioning some crazy wizard going out into the wilds of the River Kingdom and building his own Wizard tower, which at some point he may abandon (or not :D) and other players could come and adventure in it once they actually found out about it.

Goblin Squad Member

So I guess you make a dungeon, stock it full of monsters then challenge others to come and kill them?

I read somewhere that monsters once killed stay dead, and dungeons stay depopulated, so it'd be a once of thing I guess unless you go and get more monsters from somewhere.

Heh being a monster catcher could become an in game profession?! :-D

Daniel.

Goblin Squad Member

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Imagine trying to capture a Beholder or some such! Hmm if someone tried to Gank you on the way back, you could always let it out of the bag, then start running! ;-)

Daniel.

Goblin Squad Member

One idea I've been chewing on that's a bit easier to implement is "newbie" dungeons inside player settlements as a buildable structure. ie: Sewers under the castle.

That would help settlements to "train" up their own from level 1.

Goblin Squad Member

That's an interesting idea, avari3. I like the thought of being able to give new players a relatively safe place to start out other than just the NPC Settlements.

Goblin Squad Member

Hey you're the new adventurer? It's slime duty for you!

It's a good way for a player to feel a part of a community/settlement on day 1.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Perhaps what they can do is provide a high-level dungeon construction setup. It could work like this:

For each level of the dungeon (down or up depending on the style)

- Choose your style (sewers, cavern, ruin, lab, etc.)

- Choose difficulty level (New, 6 mo., 2 yrs, etc.)

- Choose monster type (magical beasts, outsiders, monstrous humanoids, etc. Might be limited a bit by difficulty and style.)

After that, a (perhaps random generated) dungeon is built for you.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd rather have content be found in the wilderness rather than in a settlement. Allowing many different types of content inside a settlement doesn't do much to encourage international player interaction.

That said, I do think it would be cool to have brand-new-out-of-the-box players be able to join a player settlement right away (to join their friends, people they have spoken with outside of the game, etc).

I like the idea of having a 'sewers' dungeon area. Perhaps settlements would get some benefit from investing in the 'sewers' infrastructure. Once built, entry-level difficulty NPCs would spawn inside the sewers. As more of those NPCs are defeated, the benefit the sewers provides is slightly increased and the players get a small amount of basic materials useful for crafting or settlement building.

This is a little different than going out into the areas immediately bordering the settlement in that it directly affects the settlement in a small way and the player doesn't have to go search for a dungeon that has spawned and isn't already claimed.

I also imagine that the benefits of it will not be so great that settlements set up 'sewer duty' schedules. There may be better personal rewards from taking the time to go find a nearby dungeon, and the personal and community benefits of powerful settlement members clearing high-level dungeons is far greater.

Only have 10-15 minutes before you have to go to work? Climb down into the sewers for a quick bit of PvE that happens to also benefit your community.

Goblin Squad Member

My thought is that the developer should devise a system whereby a player's construction, be it Keep or hovel, should revert to the game environment if the player is absent from it for an extended lenght of time. An AI routine that gradually makes it fall into disrepair, attract mice, then beasts, then if the lair is remote and significant, monsters. The hovel might harbor a small treasure for the finding, or a large castle perhaps all the collected loot left by the former player might await the crafty theif who stole her way inside.

Monster denizens might overpopulate over time if left undisturbed, until the lair became a dangerous center of havoc being wreaked upon the surrounding countryside.

The clever player with plenty of time and resources might even consider building such a monument to his evil wiles in such a manner as it really would be building a dungeon worthy of the hardiest adventurers, and that if he just left it alone on completion it would eventually become populated with the most fiendish of creatures.

And, for the adventurer long upon some forgotton shore, the worst he might expect upon his return is to have to tidy up a bit, secure a good mouser, and repair a door or some shingles.

Goblinworks Founder

I would love to have the option to place a secret sewer entrance to a Thieve's Guild in a settlement. Be able to craft and place traps and secret doors, and go out and capture a gelatinous cube and Otyugh to guard it.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I'm having flashbacks to Tilverton and Fire Knives now.

Goblin Squad Member

What Elth said. If you are doing an assassins guild or a theives guild you should have a sewer hide out.

It would also be nice if you could create a 'theives highway' in the larger settlements to help you avoid the guards.


I hope player-constructed dungeons are both a long way off and subject to stringent quality checking before being made live. Very few players are cut out to be level designers, despite what they may think and you will always run into people who construct utterly impossible dungeons.

Goblin Squad Member

Any capability that allows the player base to flat out make more content for themselves is good idea.

I can see this being a possible MTX either directly, or as part of modules you may run; it seems something I would definitely pay for and a pay wall would discourage people who wouldn't be very committed.

Goblin Squad Member

A system like this adds much to a game, but needs to have some mechanism to prevent exploitation. As long as they have a way of preventing players from creating dungeons that they fill with monsters who are trapped in pits and unable to fight back against a player with ranged attacks and filling the dungeon to the rafters with gold, then this would be a lot of fun.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
A system like this adds much to a game, but needs to have some mechanism to prevent exploitation. As long as they have a way of preventing players from creating dungeons that they fill with monsters who are trapped in pits and unable to fight back against a player with ranged attacks and filling the dungeon to the rafters with gold, then this would be a lot of fun.

This is the main reason I suggest a higher level randomized style creation. It allows the player some control over the style of dungeon while preventing them from poorly designing one. Since it certainly will leave some wanting, perhaps also provide a more in depth system that requires dev team QC before they admit the module/dungeon into the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Another benefit of randomness is that it allows even the content creators to be occasionally surprised.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

City of Heroes had something like this in it's Architect system. You got to pick the map, set up some objectives, and if you wanted, custom design the enemy group found in the map. It brought some of the best storylines in the game, but was constantly being tweaked to find the right balance as people figured out how to exploit the system.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Dario Tashavan wrote:
City of Heroes had something like this in it's Architect system. You got to pick the map, set up some objectives, and if you wanted, custom design the enemy group found in the map. It brought some of the best storylines in the game, but was constantly being tweaked to find the right balance as people figured out how to exploit the system.

Yeah, that's my concern with player-created 'dungeons'. What's to stop someone from putting in obstacles that can be easily bypassed by someone who knows what is necessary?

Goblin Squad Member

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While risks relating to player created content are obvious, there would seem to be some means to mitigate those risks without excessive involvement from the developers (beyond putting in place all the tools needed to create/manage such content). At least the following might work to some extent:

* require all player created content to pass a "quality gate" (e.g. a 3/4 majority vote of a peer group consisting of a limited group of volunteer testers) before it being made available to the public
* put in an "exploit alarm" timer, which immediately locks the content in case the minimum completion time (set by the creator/peer group/game developer) is broken
* scale the rewards to the (e.g. theoretical minimum) completion time
* have a rating system in place where each player running through the content (for the first time) gets to vote (possibly for different categories like difficulty, fun, story, overall) and either make that rating visible to the playerbase and/or lock the content based on too low a rating

Goblinworks Founder

Hypothetical speaking here. Assume players can create a dungeon/lair and recruit monsters and place treasure and traps in a similar fashion to STO or the upcoming NWN foundry. As long as the treasure placed actually comes from the player, there really isn't a way to exploit it.

Progression is time based skills is it not? So experience is not a motivator.
If treasure placement came from the designers own inventory or stash of unwanted items then it's win-win for everyone. There's no real motivator for exploiting by either the designer or player.

The above example isn't what I had in mind from the original post though. I interpreted it as more of an alternate "player housing" kind of thing

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

In these various models, what's the motivation to create the place? Would it just bring in business as players resupply at your nearby town?

Goblin Squad Member

There might be that. There might also be an innate desire to build for some, and for others it might be just the mischief of it all.

Plus it might be that if I build a lair and the creatures that come to populate it grow too abundant, it might provide a method for weakening the infrastructure of my enemy.

Yet this brings up a point of question: Would the construction of monster infested dungeons be a perk only for the evil aligned?

If our crafters are setting up resource gathering constructions that tame neutral wildlands and weaken evil-aligned hexes, shouldn't the evil and neutral have something similar they could do?

Goblinworks Founder

Motivations for building a dungeon could vary widely. Personally, I would love to play a Thief or Adventurer that has a secret hideout inside a city or settlement, so I would enjoy having a sewer entrance with a few traps to throw people off my scent.

My other motivator would be from a GM point of view, I think it would be great to play a character thats sole goal in life is a monster collector. It would be great to support adventurers by hiring them to go out and capture live monsters for me to place inside a dungeon that I design. Then filling it with traps, puzzles, secret doors and placing some treasure that I don't have use for as a reward for those that can beat it.

In the later case, it would be a long term goal for when I have treasure and money. It would stimulate the economy by providing work for adventurers, trap makers and masons and circulating treasure that I no longer have use for.

It's a pipe-dream really, I don't expect it but it is something that would be really great for a sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

Players might not want to create something like this without some sort of reward (especially if they are laying out all the cash risk) so I would think there'd be a couple ways a budding dungeon master (lol) could be recompensed for their time/effort:

  • Any player entering forgos their 'locked/threaded' status. Perhaps there could be a sliding scale on this, allowing a few less threads, or none if the dungeon is rated 'insanely hard'. If they fail, then the dungeon's owner gets to loot their corpse retaliation/curse free.
  • If people are squeamish about risking gear, perhaps there could be an entrance toll. A doorway with a slot where each player has to deposit a pre-determined amount of coin to enter.

In this way, the poorly-made/death trap/cheap reward dungeons would soon be ignored, and a balance could be struck between adventurers looting a dungeon master's goodies and vice/versa.

Goblin Squad Member

Patrick Curtin wrote:

Players might not want to create something like this without some sort of reward (especially if they are laying out all the cash risk) so I would think there'd be a couple ways a budding dungeon master (lol) could be recompensed for their time/effort:

  • Any player entering forgos their 'locked/threaded' status. Perhaps there could be a sliding scale on this, allowing a few less threads, or none if the dungeon is rated 'insanely hard'. If they fail, then the dungeon's owner gets to loot their corpse retaliation/curse free.
  • If people are squeamish about risking gear, perhaps there could be an entrance toll. A doorway with a slot where each player has to deposit a pre-determined amount of coin to enter.

In this way, the poorly-made/death trap/cheap reward dungeons would soon be ignored, and a balance could be struck between adventurers looting a dungeon master's goodies and vice/versa.

I'd say the loot dropped by foolhardy adventurers should remain where their bodies fell rather than simply reverting to the dungeon builder. If it is his or her dungeon they should have to risk the dungeon hazards themselves to retrieve it, and following parties, as well as the fallen on their corpse runs, should be able to pick the items up when they arrive at the spot.


Being wrote:

There might be that. There might also be an innate desire to build for some, and for others it might be just the mischief of it all.

Plus it might be that if I build a lair and the creatures that come to populate it grow too abundant, it might provide a method for weakening the infrastructure of my enemy.

Yet this brings up a point of question: Would the construction of monster infested dungeons be a perk only for the evil aligned?

If our crafters are setting up resource gathering constructions that tame neutral wildlands and weaken evil-aligned hexes, shouldn't the evil and neutral have something similar they could do?

And now I begin imagining Halaster Blackcloak, the Mad Mage of Under mountain building his super dungeon.

Goblin Squad Member

Who among us has not discovered under the light of our torches the skeleton of a fallen adventurer and found treasure there? This mechanic seems feasable, but in practice it would present some problems.

I can just imagine a mischievous player engineering his death over and over to fill the town square with a preposterous number of skeletal remains.

Perhaps the skeleton only remains persistent if it is a container for valuable loot?


Being wrote:

Who among us has not discovered under the light of our torches the skeleton of a fallen adventurer and found treasure there? This mechanic seems feasable, but in practice it would present some problems.

I can just imagine a mischievous player engineering his death over and over to fill the town square with a preposterous number of skeletal remains.

Perhaps the skeleton only remains persistent if it is a container for valuable loot?

LOL, I have actually seen gold sellers in World Of Warcraft spell out their website URL with their player corpses.

Goblinworks Founder

Being wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:

Players might not want to create something like this without some sort of reward (especially if they are laying out all the cash risk) so I would think there'd be a couple ways a budding dungeon master (lol) could be recompensed for their time/effort:

  • Any player entering forgos their 'locked/threaded' status. Perhaps there could be a sliding scale on this, allowing a few less threads, or none if the dungeon is rated 'insanely hard'. If they fail, then the dungeon's owner gets to loot their corpse retaliation/curse free.
  • If people are squeamish about risking gear, perhaps there could be an entrance toll. A doorway with a slot where each player has to deposit a pre-determined amount of coin to enter.

In this way, the poorly-made/death trap/cheap reward dungeons would soon be ignored, and a balance could be struck between adventurers looting a dungeon master's goodies and vice/versa.

I'd say the loot dropped by foolhardy adventurers should remain where their bodies fell rather than simply reverting to the dungeon builder. If it is his or her dungeon they should have to risk the dungeon hazards themselves to retrieve it, and following parties, as well as the fallen on their corpse runs, should be able to pick the items up when they arrive at the spot.

This.

The price of entry is the risk of adding your inventory to the dungeon.
The reward is the loot you may find on the husks of the defeated and the reward placed by the dungeon master. Alternatively there could be a contract (quest) to clear the dungeon and the reward identified in the contract. This contractual reward would be granted to the first person that completes it and would be in addition to the rewards found on the husks of the fallen.

Goblin Squad Member

I should think it someday might seem less far-fetched to place the required tools in our hands to give dungeon/hex building a go, given certain conditions.

I am confident there are not a few of us here who built scenarios in the Neverwinter Nights or Elder Scrolls toolsets, and some few of us have crafted D&D and AD&D dungeon runs for our players, so we may have the necessary skill sets.

Goblinworks would have to be able to examine and probably polish the assets, but it might be workable if we do not inundate them with so much material that they cannot do the necessary things for the sake of this fantasy of ours.

We would have to be able to accept rejection as mature adults.

Possibly a brief written outline submission with a notation assigning copyrights to GW...

But I dream. It would be too much work for most people. It is a severe labor to build an area, to place all the objects so that great boulders are on the ground rather than atop a bush or tree. To set pathing correctly, and to script encounters would be more than most could realistically approach, let alone finish. That is why they are professionals.

Perhaps were the bar set high enough...

Goblin Squad Member

Not that I'm in the habit of plugging MMOs other than PFO on PFO's forums, but...

Are you aware of Neverwinter? Especially, The Foundry?

Goblin Squad Member

I was never really that into building my own scenarios, or playing through player-made content, so it doesn't appeal to me as far as playing it. However, I'm absolutely thrilled to see the tools to create this stuff gradually getting down to the users' hands. I am very much looking forward to the day when making MMOs is a cottage industry, where a 13 year old kid with a dream can build an MMO during a summer...

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Not that I'm in the habit of plugging MMOs other than PFO on PFO's forums, but...

Are you aware of Neverwinter? Especially, The Foundry?

Yes.

Something like the Foundry or the Aurora toolset would be needed to make it a right reality, but we should wish to avoid burdening the devs. There are rather more of us than them. There would have to be an acceptible way to seek project approval and ultimately inclusion. It would all have to be reasonable to GW, and we should probably expect to assign copyrights to GW.

Not for release, and likely far down the road... other hand couldn't it be an included feature of whatever the player construction system will be?

Goblinworks Founder

Nihimon wrote:

Not that I'm in the habit of plugging MMOs other than PFO on PFO's forums, but...

Are you aware of Neverwinter? Especially, The Foundry?

I'm aware of neverwinter but two things about neverwinter don't gel with me, 4e ruleset and a primarily gear based themepark. PFOs skill based rules and sandbox themepark hybrid set in golarion are what draws me to this game.

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