Monday, July 11, 2011

XDMC 29 - Design a Haunt!

It's that time again for the next Expert Dungeon Master's Competition! This time around we have #29

EXPERT DUNGEON MASTER COMPETITION #29 - DESIGN A HAUNT


Taken from the Competition Page:

The topic for this competition is Haunt. Fear and terror are staples of the fantasy genre, but it is not easy to create a locale that can terrify the larger-than-life heroes your players control. Creating a truly terrifying location requires the work of an Expert DM! This competition asks you to create an encounter location designed to strike fear into the hearts of heroes.

Required Elements

In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:

  • Name: Name your haunt.
  • Lore: Describe what is commonly known about the haunt. The haunt's reputation must be such that even heroes may believe themselves to be in mortal danger within.
  • Lure: Describe one or more ways an adventuring party may be lured to the haunt.
  • Lair: Describe what the heroes will find in the haunt. You may, but need not, include stat blocks for any NPCs, items, terrain, or other objects or effects in the haunt.


If you do not include a required element, you will receive a score of zero in Themes. Please note that a significant portion of your score in Creativity and Themes will be based on how scary you make the haunt's reputation and/or location.

Optional Elements

Your story must include at least three of the following optional elements:

  • Can Nothing Stop It?: The haunt threatens the world outside its walls (i.e., it begins expanding uncontrollably) unless the heroes accomplish a task described in the entry.
  • The Curse is Broken!: The haunt can become a haven to the heroes, or a resident of the haunt can become a companion to the party, if a task described in the entry is completed.
  • Guys? Where Are You?: One feature of the haunt is designed to split the party.
  • It's Alive!: The haunt's interior physically changes at least twice while the heroes are within it.
  • It's Not Human!: The haunt has one or more residents, but none are of the humanoid type.
  • It All Started When...: Surpassing one or more obstacles becomes easier if the heroes learn the haunt's history, as described in the entry.
  • Looks Fine to Me: To the outside world, the haunt appears completely mundane.
  • What Have You Done?!: The haunt rewards characters who interfere with or harm one another.
  • We're Trapped!: Once inside the haunt, the characters cannot leave until accomplishing a difficult task described in the entry, and which does not require combat.
  • What's That Doing Here?: The haunt has one or more residents, but none are of the aberrant or shadow origin, or of the undead or shapechanger subtype.
  • You Startled Me!: The players are asked to roll initiative checks against something that intends their characters no harm.
  • You Were Dead... I Saw the Body!: The heroes must defeat some aspect or resident of the haunt twice or more.

Sounds like a lot of fun.  This might be a really good way for me to get back into the blog again now that my schedule has cleared up a bit.  I'll be trying to pull this off, maybe with the help of my wifey who is actually making an effort to get involved in my hobby once again.  I wish you all the best! Good luck!!

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