Saturday, August 17, 2013

13th Age: Living Dungeons and X-Crawl

One of the interesting concepts from 13th Age is the idea that some dungeons are alive, they are a gnawing, festering evil that grows from deep within the earth.  They burrow and squirm until they burst out of the landscape, seemingly waiting to be slain by heroes.

And another interesting OGL gem is X-Crawl, an extreme sport where you run dungeons for fame and profit.

Why not mix the the two settings?

What I envision are Living Dungeons that have been conquered and "farmed" to serve as set pieces for X-Crawl entertainment dweomercasts.  The X-Crawls can be used to keep a Living Dungeon in check, without totally destroying it, so it can be run again and again.

The broadcasts or dweomercasts would be filmed by using spherical, black ioun stones that would serve as "cameras" so the the X-Crawl events could be watched.  And with each participant given their own ioun stone, the items could even be enchanted to monitor and remove a contestant if true harm was about to befall them.  In fact, the orbiting ioun stones would leave no angle or scene of the daring contestants incapable of being recorded.

Further, I can see Icons such as the Emperor, Archmage and even the Prince of Shadows being involved in X-Crawls.

Every empire needs a distraction to entertain their citizens.  X-Crawls would be a great sport for the Emperor to support and encourage, while at the same time protecting empire's citizens from the threat of Living Dungeons.  Perhaps the Emperor's personal guards are all former X-Crawl champions?

What Archmage doesn't have an interest in studying and plumbing Living Dungeons for their secrets?  And not merely the loot such creatures use to lure new prey, but their physiology and even psychology?  How many new spells could be dreamt of by exploring such monstrosities?  And why exactly do the Dark Gods toil to unleash such strange and marvelous attackers?  All of these questions or more could be pondered by the Archmage.

And there is always a seedier side to sports and entertainment.  Wether it's a young hopeful willing to do anything for fame and fortune or someone to place and collect bets on all manner of X-Crawl statistics.  Odds are certainly in favor of the Prince of Shadows being at the center of such greed and graft.
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