Doyle mentally shrugs and thinks [show dungeon type options]. This is enough for the system and a gigantic screen with a scrollbar appears. They both look it over, but 99 percent of the options are grayed out. Options like Dragon Bone Mountain and Sun Orbital. All of them have various requirements which lock them off. Such things as already having the bones of a dragon large enough to be a mountain or your starting location being in close orbit to a sun. With this amount of nonsense Ally suggests they put some filters on it. Doyle agrees and sets it to [remove locked options]
After a moment, all the locked options are gone but the list is still many pages long. Much too much to sort through, and Doyle had to admit to himself he was never good at choosing from so many choices. For the next couple minutes he brainstorms some more filters with Ally. In the end they add on the restrictions of [remove options that humans can’t survive in], [remove options with a religious theme], [remove options any intergalactic organization is bent on destroying], and [remove limited options]. Sure, they lost some things like anything lava based, devil themed, and all undead options, but Doyle wasn’t particularly sad about that. The few interesting ones like solid clouds were not worth sorting through the others. Of course the number of options left still shocked him, but Ally had an excellent suggestion.
Instead of trying to filter something else, they both just read over the list and handpicked options they didn’t like the sound of. Stuff like Sludge Swamp and Searing Desert hit the cutting room floor with this step. After a couple rounds of this, it left them with a much more concise list to go over.
Description: Basic caves and caverns setup with stairs leading ever deeper. Even terrain meant to look worked will be rough. At deeper levels, the option for underground lakes and ravines will open up.
Changes: Everything is cheaper depending on how generic it is to appear in a dungeon
Description: Instead of claustrophobic corridors, the dungeon is made of enormous fields of tall grass. There is a false sky that at deeper levels will be higher up and more realistic.
Changes: Remove underground structures, Earlier unlocks for all surface based monsters and traps, Surface buildings available right away, Skew random rewards toward surface and sky themed options
Dwarven Mountain Home
Description: While similar to the Basic Dungeon every surface is smoothed and rooms are precise rectangles and squares. It will generate ornate carvings in special rooms and along oft traveled hallways. These carvings will be based upon what has happened. At deeper levels, underground lakes and ravines still appear as well as magma chambers and massive caverns which come with a special mushroom based environment.
Changes: Creating spaces costs more, Dwarven equipment becomes available without having examined them before, Dwarven traps will replace the generic equivalents, Earlier unlocks for all engineering based structures
Description: As Basic Dungeon but all monsters are animal based.
Changes: Complete removal of sapient monsters, Only worked terrain available are those dug out by animals, Object creation restricted to things directly related to animals, Much earlier unlocks for all animals, Ecosystem will naturally fill in, Animals evolve into a wider selection of creatures
Description: Based around a central location in which semi-sapient monsters have built a base. The surrounding terrain has little effect and can vary greatly. While the monsters will form patrols, most will gather at the base. Deeper floors will have sub camps develop around the main one.
Changes: Limit monster selection to semi-sapient monsters and those tamed by them as work and war beasts, Semi-sapient monsters develop a culture right from the start, non-sapient monsters may only be summoned if a handler type monsters exists, Semi-sapient monsters rank up easier to fill in the base command structure though after those spots are filled it becomes much harder, Crafting structures manned by monsters will cause newly summoned monsters to be better equipped
Abandoned Space Station
Description: Everything is made of metal and artificial materials. The environment will cater to whatever party has entered the earliest and is still in the dungeon. High levels of technology, either science and/or magic based, will be everywhere.
Changes: Limit monster selection to robots, All traps are mechanical, Costs of everything is much higher than average, Advanced technology unlocked from the start, Holes in outer dungeon walls open up to a void and airlocks will slam shut as the room evacuates, Basic dungeon structures unable to be removed from dungeon
Infested Space Station
Description: As Abandoned Space Station but a single selected species of invasive monsters will have invaded it. Depending on the selected monster, organic structures may be available.
Changes: Limit monster selection to robots and a single species of monster, All traps are mechanical or bio based, Advanced technology unlocked from the start, Holes in outer dungeon walls open up to a void and airlocks will slam shut as the room evacuates, Non-bio based dungeon structures unable to be removed from dungeon
Description: A city that has been abandoned, either recently or ages ago. From floor to floor it can vary whether it is a burned out husk or a pristine city, though not within the same floor. This type of terrain has a high degree of verticality.
Changes: Buildings can be marked as flimsy which makes them easier to collapse, Sewers are available as separate floors that directly follow a city floor, Mutated monsters are cheaper and unlock sooner, Normal monsters are more likely to evolve into a Mutant}
And it goes on and on like that. They might have cut a lot out but there are still just under 60 distinct dungeon types to choose from. Besides that there are some basic types like the space station which just had modifiers added. If counted, they would inflate the number well beyond a hundred to choose from.
Ally and Doyle debate what to go with for a while. At first Ally had wanted one of the more exotic options but Doyle talked her down from it. Space stations are cool, but the costs are too great, especially for a world new to the system. Who knows how many people will explore a dungeon when things are still in flux. Plus he had a very good point that his entrance is a portal. Whatever type they choose, it will be set dressing. If he was a space station dungeon, he wouldn’t be literally floating out in space.
What was at the core of their choice was variety. While a dungeon can use other types, it is very hard to do. So instead of something like a cityscape which was always just one city after another, they chose a mod of the basic dungeon type.
Description: While similar to a basic dungeon the deeper a floor is the stranger the options become. Giant caverns, ancient ruins, mushroom forests, regular forests adapted to be underground, and more can be used once deep enough.
Changes: Rare and strange monsters are weighted in random draws, Monsters that evolve and rank up are more likely to end up with less common options, Areas of the dungeon can become stranger over time}
Ally claps, “that is a good one and it should provide fun some options later on while still having a vanilla start. For a world new to the system, it should be the best at attracting people. A simple corridor and room based floor is easier to deal with. Now don’t tell him I said this but Flisle took so long to grow not just because of the cost of his floors. Rather, unless a race has some innate flight ability, his dungeon is terrifying. Only high level adventurers would trek through him and a sub ten floor dungeon didn’t attract them.”
“Anyway, next up is to choose our starting monsters. Should just be the common spread as it sounds like things only get strange after the first few floors. Also, when it comes to monsters, there are a few things to be aware of. First is that you only choose monsters that are an actual threat. While horned rabbits could stab a child they won’t be on the list. Instead, when you pick a monster, you also receive the patterns for some of their supporting ecology. For instance, if you get a wolf then you might receive the pattern for a horned rabbit and clover. It is not enough to make a real ecology but provides the start of it.”
“After your starting monsters, you get a new choice of monsters when you reach a certain number of floors. This however is not the primary way to gain new patterns. Instead, you can gather them from the animals and plants that may enter your dungeon alive and don’t make it out. That method will dry up as well, especially if your entrance is somewhere more populated.”
“Though I should mention, yes system I see the note on the quest screen, is you cannot spawn sapient creatures sorta? Anyway, all the mystical energies make it a lot easier to judge if a creature is actually a person or just an animal or thing. It boils down to if it has a soul or not. The only beings out there that manage to call it into question are some of the AIs. Especially since when an AI advances enough it can gain a soul, so what do you call the AI just moments before it gains a soul? How about a day before it gets it a soul? Quite the blurry line for them.”
“Back to dungeon spawns. In general they do not have a soul no matter how clever they seem. Goblins are a good example of this. They can create vast empires if an infestation isn’t taken care of. If you look closely, it is all the same thing over and over. Their so-called society is very strict, not because of a totalitarian leaning. Instead, they are on a very basic level subservient to higher rank goblinoids. Sure, sometimes a high level goblin can evolve into having a soul, but that is rare.”
“With all that I said you only sorta couldn’t have sapient creatures. You have three ways to gain monsters with a soul. Either a contract to bring a sapient into the fold. A monster lives long enough to be recognized and gain a name from the system. Most common is to make a boss monster. That first one on the other hand is the least common way to gain a monster with a soul. It is important though, because that is the only way to have any of the classic sapient races join you. Humans and other similar races require a soul to live and so a dungeon is unable to ever spawn them.”
“The one way that you can’t get a monster with a soul is evolution. Out in the wild, like I mentioned with the goblins, monsters can evolve into having a soul. To gain a soul during evolution, there needs to be a soul nearby to get mixed in. In dungeons, the souls of dead adventurers are drawn out and unable to stick around. Since you can’t create souls, this puts a damper on gaining monsters that are able to take initiative instead of just following orders.”
“The only reason your bosses and named monsters can get a soul is that when one is created, your dungeon sends out a lure. That lure pulls in a soul which will match the monster. After all, it would suck to create a giant-sized boss monster only to have the soul of a pacifist mouse take up residence. That and the other upside is because your dungeon hooked the soul you gain the ability to re-summon them. In fact, if you do it quickly enough the memories impressed on the soul won’t have faded much. This can end up a problem if a boss becomes too powerful for the floor it is on but this doesn’t happen often. Even with their combat experience a low level body is still low level. Named monsters can of course just move to a new floor.”