Mystery Dungeons for cataclysm


Well considering the fact that you’ve already accepted the overall concept of a reality-tear and presented a suggestion for it, the fact that you cannot exit through the same portal you just hopped through shouldn’t be that big of an issue. In addition, labs already have a ton of crazy extra-dimensional stuff going on. You can enter one and have a shoggoth- a massive Eldritch monstrosity- psychically scream at you until you either nuke it or leave. Extra-dimensional Nether inhabitants and giant mutated monsters are all over, but that one part of this concept is what’s simply too unrealistic?

Also who said anything about the possible escape-thing being magic?


Um…what? 0_o

You don’t think being trapped isn’t an issue? If you walk inside you house and you cannot get out for some reason…that is a problem.

Rhyme and reason mate. You can follow Lord of the Rings because it has a flow of logic start to conclusion rules. But CS Lewis just didn’t have any rules and wrote whatever malarky popped into his head and was all “Yup, talking polar bear…because I felt like that”.

Suspension of disbelief like a movie. Rules and an order to them make more sense to people than a random talking beaver or whatever.


I don’t even know what you’re on about anymore man. It’s a tear in reality leading to a randomly assembled series of rooms and corridors that has a number of floors to it, and that entry can close on you at any point and leave you stranded or possibly even outright kill you. Walking into this isn’t quite the same as walking in and out of your front door. Hell, I was considering suggesting that you’d need some special equipment to enter them in the first place.


Special equipment is a good idea. Kevin already came up with this idea though. Power Armor kinda stuff or STALKER suit.

Nobody did anything with it though.

I was explaining how different authors have different methods of making something believable when it is fictional. The ordering of rules. Cause and effect.

Tolkiens Lord of the Rings compared to his friend CS Lewis books. Tolkien wrote about magic but gave it rules and an order to follow backwards to make it more believable than Lewis’ inane and arbitrary ramblings about talking animals and random crap.

In other words. Give something a history and it makes more sense than random.

So…give portals rules. A history. Give them “why”. If you walk up to a portal…why this or that and pretend it DOES exist.


Nah, that sucks. The whole game is a great big “But what if physics just wasn’t? What then?” so applying that logic to something inherently illogical doesn’t work. I say let the portals be entered and exited at will, but make a special condition, perhaps removing a special item, that destabilises them and causes them to be reset.


Just to break things down for clarity:
Portal based: works
Varying difficulties: sure
Fully random layouts: I assume you mean, “no two areas are the same”, if so yes.
Hidden/locked rooms: yes depending on theme, though dda players are going to expect to be able to subvert this sometimes with e.g. explosives.
Biomes: yes
Static monster population: yes, though note my “or appear accoring to some logic” in the previous comment. Trifids and fungaloids could be growing reinforcements in a special room or from a boss creature, nether creatures could be making new tears and sending reinforcements through them, etc.
Freely return to previous floors: yes, and should include exiting the area entirely.
Description indicates difficulty: yes this needs to happen, particularly if some of them have extra hostile environments (requiring breathing apparatus or environmental protection).

Definitely this, it’s a very thematic way of handling the issue for dda. You should also start getting signs that the portal is getting unstable to warn you to get back out. Ideally we’d have some kind of progression where when portals are introduced, a number of short-lived ones spawn that illustrate to the player that they have a risk of closing on them.

Basically the placement should be logical, you shouldn’t just encounter piles of good stuff at random, there should be some logic to what appears where, some examples.
Corpse of a human with gear on it. This should be rare but can range frm meh to very good (e.g. full power armor).
Items harvestable from enemies.
Alien tech/artifacts.
Items collected from Earth (can be random with some very good stuff mixed in like minireactors).

  • Interesting side note, collector aliens could be searching out certain things, like books, fissile materials, rare earths, etc.

In short, I think the best option is to have a small amount of very high end loot, it’s hard to come up with a rationale for there being a lot of conventional loot the player wants, it mostly needs to be exotic.

We’re not reworking how artifacts are generated to make them unusually good. The whole point is finding artifacts with benefits you want and down sides you can tolerate. There cold be some non-artifact alien tech though, that operates on its own logic and has minimal downsides.

This kind of thing needs to be made thematic, perhaps you can acquire an item in a lab that extends the duration of the tear, or re-opens a recently closed one. Both of these would only make sense to operate from the source of the original tear though.


–I have an idea as to help explain why certain things are in various places. As these portals come into being, they gather matter from nearby (which may-or-may-not actually happen in the ‘real’ world.). This would explain as to why you find seemingly random objects around. You should also account for the placement of the portal. If a portal was in a generic forest, it would have gathered matter from inside the forest. This means you’d find basic items a lot of the time like sticks or various flowers and other natural wildlife. Due to strange nature of this place, even without sunlight entire trees still seem to grow inside at times.
–What type of ‘buildings,’ monsters and the like nearby also should be taken into account. This helps explain why there are entire spider nests inside: because it took matter (including the spiders themselves) inside of it. If you find one inside a city, there’ll be things from inside the houses, banks, grocery stores, and other things inside of it. You could even find bits of streets on the ground inside. Cities would often focus around having various zombies inside. In terms of the ‘biome’ in there, you could actually find chunks of various buildings lining the walls. This is something that you should always take into account when choosing to go into a portal or not, since a portal that spawned in a bare field is going to lack anything useful for the most part. On the bright side, it’ll also lack much danger.
–“The ground starts to rumble under you” Could be one thing the games says to hint at the portal collapsing. “You fall over as large tremors shake the surround structure.”
–‘secret’ rooms could should be visible, yet not perfectly obvious. For example, a particular wall could look just very slightly different than the rest, and have a special description: “This wall seems strangely fragile. Perhaps something is on the other side.” Or perhaps in a forested area, mini-forests could sneakily hide loot on the other side. Or, you know, triffids perhaps.
–No. No escape orb. CDDA doesn’t involve magic in the base game. I have magic in my ROA mod because for the ropic of the mod it makes sense: It often adds illogical and weird items. And frankly adds nothing even close to what could be considered actual canon to the game. You’re talking about potentially adding this to the base game, so no. Don’t have escape orbs.


It wouldn’t be an escape orb, it would probably be more like a targeted teleporter, maybe keyed to a particular location so you can get out instantly. Or a modified portal generator that stabilises the portal so it can’t collapse with you in it.


Okay, that would make more sense.


Yeah I wasn’t suggesting to just straight up add an item called “Escape Orb” and leave it at that. In an earlier reply I suggested it be something found in labs that would serve the purpose of getting you out of a Mystery Dungeon, which would kind of imply it would have something reasonably technological about it. I’m still newer to the game so I’m not totally certain on all the stuff that can be found in labs, but I know they’ve got teleporters and contained otherworldly monsters, so it stands to reason they could have some device for stabilizing portals or tears in reality if they could capture things from other dimensions.


So in this revised state, is it something you’d consider having officially supported in the game?


Yes, I think it can be adjusted to the point where it fits in the game.


–Yay! I’m very happy about that! Of course, ingame let’s not call them ‘mystery dungeons,’ since that name doesn’t fit that well into the CDDA theme.
–It’s been mentioned that to create buildings you need some sort of text editor to be able to view it properly. Do you know of one that is free and works really well?


I think Wordpad and/or Notepad++ both work fine for Json. Use Vim if neither of those work.


Pretty much what Kevin’s contention seems in line with what I meant. But I didn’t like the Escape orb idea until Dark suggested with a teleporter. The Labs already have teleporters yeah? So how about we bum the film “They Live” wrist watch teleporter idea? Something small as such at any rate. The item would be a small version or the walk on ones with limited usage and energy. Labs would have them from their research and they are rare because they were in test phases. A few lab zombies could rare drop as well as a few soldiers in rare drops, due too having the unlucky task of entering a multi-dimensional portal and seeing what is what on the other side.

I think MD world spaces should benefit from those ideas of the world space collapsing and giving clues.
lvl1: You detect a tremor (your spidey senses are tingling? lol)
lvl2: A minor quake
lvl3: The world space seems rather unstable and visual vibration cues are detected!
lvl4: “I have a bad feeling about this”



Something I’m reminded of reading through this thread is Wormholes from EVE: Online. Rather than closing the entrance and you being stuck/killed it might close on the “real world” side and reopen elsewhere. You could still get warnings about the impending closure, just without a permanent setback to your character. You will still be able to get out, but might never see your “home” again.


–Hmm, interesting idea. I like that quite a lot. And of course, inventory room and carry weight are important to think about when going into a portal; you can’t bring everything. Your idea would make it so the player could lose their entire death-mobile rather than simply dying from the world imploding, which I think would be a much better idea. It provides a good drive for the player.
–Your comment suddenly gave me an idea for a new scenario (If we go along with my idea of the portals ‘absorbing’ matter). It’s more-or-less the prison or lab start, but instead the player spawns inside a mystery dungeon.


How about Master of Magic portals?


You kinda need to provide an explanation of them for people to be able to comment on the idea.


Portals go to another plain or MD(Multi Dimension). You can send troops through and back via a portal. Not unlike the look of our fair game we have. I suppose I mean it more of the similarities to Cat with tiles and just a visual reference to how it could look and feel.

Adding in my Levels of MD collapse if that aspect is added to the MDs. Plenty of reference though showing in game play on youtube.