Concept for an evil adventure by Crosshead
EVIL & GOOD
DragonGate is my return to creating bigger & richer dungeons. Not just in their design, but also in the stories I try to evoke with them. This map, which includes an animated section (as you can see above), was designed to be played from both sides. As an invader and a defender. From and evil and good vantage point.
I might one day do a full adventure module for it, but for now I'll just go over some of the ideas I had for playing this particular map and the ways one could approach DMing it.
Depending on your approach of the adventure, I think you can play this map in two directions. Starting from 1 (arriving through the DragonGate) and clearing the Dungeon all the way to the caves or coming from the caves and making your way to the gate. Each approach can be played for both alignments, but when I get to that part I'll stick with the more obvious route to take with each.
(1) The Dragongate itself is located in (2) the Hall of Worship, it's a gateway between this world/realm/location and another. On the left of it is (3) the Dining Hall, featuring a couple of loos and a kitchen area at the top. On the right is (6) the Dormitory with (4) an Armory and a higher ranking (5) Officer's Quarters (the place to be for the best loot of this dungeon) and (7) a bathing area that is connected with an underground sewage system to (15) the dungeons cells/jail.
(S) I wanted to include several of these little hidden gateways all over the dungeon and add several alternative options for moving from one place to the next. The way I would play out this heavy focus on hidden doorways is add a bunch of traps that are activated by similar mechanisms. In this instance I would use the torches, many of which can be rotated in place. Some opening doors, others activating traps and some that do nothing.
(8) in the Tomb for instance you'll find an alternative, an orb of souls, that can either drain the players and awake an undead or open the secret pathway that takes you to (10) the pantry of secrets. It's called that because it has two Secret entrances. One going left the other going right to (9) the Knight Corridor.
In the Corridor on the right I'd add opposing torches, one opening the secret path on the left and the other activating an animated armor.
In an evil adventure I'd play the map as a siege. Where creatures from Avernus, or some other hellscape, must find a way out of hell and try get to the realm of mortals (or somewhere else). The Dragon Gate would be guarded by good creatures and in their siege they might find themselves surrounded by NPC who are storming the walls.
Bombarded by Cannons, arrows and fire from the Dragon Statues, they'd have to find a way to get in to the fortress/dungeon and take the gate. As a boss battle at the end I'd introduce a Metallic Dragon making its way out and defending the portal to the realm beyond.
In an evil adventure I'd play the map as a tower defense. The players have been informed that the gates keeping creatures from escaping hell has been overrun and have been enlisted to drive them back out. They'd arrive through the gate in a fortress in total disarray, slowly recapturing each room as they make their way out.
Here you could end with a little endurance battle | tower defense play as the players must defend waves of enemies trying to invade the walls of the Dragon Fortress once again.