Spoken only in legends and even then in hushed whispers, PochÃ¢??Agoura is a name that sends children scurrying into their parents beds. Most people do not believe the old legends that the Dread Walker once subjected the entire world to an endless dark, a mindless machine of destruction that corrupted all in his path. But you see there is always a little fact in legends and myths and this is no different.
Ages past the Woodking fell into a deep and terrible slumber, and from the fever of his dreams and nightmares the wooden dungeon of Limberlost grew.
Nestled between the towering cliffs of the Zorian plateau, lies a vast cavity that is wide enough to swallow an adult bull elephant with enough space to spare for a small herd of draft horses on either side. There you will find gold, an abundance of it. But what is that you say? That the natives tell you that it is a place of death and home to hideous monster that will devour you? Ignore the savages. They only seek to protect what they are too indolent to grab for themselves.
-A Khanate offical assuring a bunch of miners.
In a prison without walls, without guards, and without law; what kind criminal would choose death over a prison such as this?
One destined to go to Hellgate Prison.
As with any eco system, there is a pattern of life and death. Unfortunately when there is death, there is often trapped emotions, suffering, and other things that “complicate” the process of transition. Add to this mix the presence of magic and gods and the chances of complications multiply. These complications are known to the mortals as Ghosts, Spectres, and various forms of material Undead.
Dungeons, should make sense, in an ecological way. However, to have life, you need to have a physical place to use them. This expands upon the ecological dungeon, giving it a framework to exist in.
We have all seen articles on how Dungeons don’t work. I’ve seen such articles before. But this time, an idea struck me: Why not do a dungeon that really works? Where creatures live their lives in harmony; just the right ecological way?
Many games draw moral lines in bold colors, where the real world is not so easy to categorize. Suppose that the player characters are faced with an overwhelming foe? Even unsavory allies such as orcish barbarians may be better than no allies at all. More disturbing, these allies may be honestly friendly to the PCs when all is done, overcoming barriers of race and religion. Will the PCs remain friendly with the bloodthirsty humanoid tribesmen when their mutual foes are defeated? Some would expect the tribes to betray them, but after the characters have honestly won their respect, even orcs may not be all bad.