I agree - megadungeon as practiced tends to run counter to the maxim of magic & monsters are rare in wRPGs. My thought is that it stems more from some of the basic presuppositions rather than the rules or the specific scenarios.

Take "B2 Keep on the Borderlands" for example. There's a definite location, but without any binding to a specific location (until Mystara came out, but that's it's own weirdness). Most of the time, it gets run as: rush in, kill monsters, take their stuff. A more classically weird take would be that the party goes to the Keep for a reason completely unrelated to the Caves of Chaos. Something will hook the party to explore and interact with the Caves area - my favorite is that while staying at the Keep overnight, the part cleric/magic-user has a vivid nightmare/goes sleepwalking/has a vision of the Caves... with something of theirs being lost there in the dream that is also missing in the wake-world. I also run the monster tribes as having their own motivations and petty squabbles with the other tribes, to be discovered and used to advantage by the party... if they choose to not run in sword first. The presence & concentration of so many "monsters" is also well handled as treating them as devolved, enchanted, cursed or subhumans, living as outsiders to the civilized lands of Man.

My personal megadungeon du jour is something in the works for Chicago EN World GameDay. Basically, I'm taking a number of modules, scattering them around the Isle of Man circa 1819, stirring with the existing fairy lore of the island and a touch of twisted Arthurian myth as part of the plot-arc glue. I've been scattering clues that the Fae have Something Nasty contained on the island. Combined with the actual history of smuggling and semi-public freemasonry and you get some great story hooks that help explain events as caused by a) the Fae, b) "freemasonic magic" gone awry (or right) or c)pirates using superstition as cover for their activities (aka The Scooby Solution). A background blog/commonplace book/set of APs and rules lives at http://fourtowers.tumblr.com/ . However, it's not using LotFP for anything other than inspiration and a couple of rules basics (notably encumbrance).

Well, except for "The Grinding Gear" being the intro to the campaign and Richrom as an NPC of Note in future events...
Update: AP is up - http://fourtowers.tumblr.com/post/35373 … -xxviii-ap


(216 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Greetings from about as close to Lake Geneva as you can get  while still being in Illinois!
My name's Eoin (most easily pronounced "Keith" by most Americans) and I've been roleplaying for quite some time. I'm a second generation geek - dad was a wargamer. He was intrigued by this new game he saw at GenCon that looked remarkably interesting, not that he'd read any of MAR Barker's books... and promptly got frustrated with it. Being an imaginative and impressionable kid, I loved it.e
My school gaming group (oddly looking like the intersection of the school chess club and the latin club) was all about the Red Box with occasional forays into the AD&D material for doing power-fantasy games like the stupid preteen guys we were. I dug out brown-book Blackmoor for our group and was soundly rebuffed for being too weird and not letting them hack & slash their way through it. Part of the beauty of that anecdote is that all of us have gigs in the gaming industry as adults.
When WW came out, I tried to write my own fantasy hack of the system, then rebuilt it in Fudge. Then I found that LARPing wasn't always boffer, and then found jeepen LARPs... and worked with trying to do gritty, horrific low-fantasy as a basis for "you can do what you can do" style gaming. When I was done with school and started being a journeyman chef and moving every few months to work under someone, I started working with virtual tables and play-by-Wiki style games.
Throughout all of this, I was disappointed in not finding anything in a game that felt like it worked my imagination as much as those books in Appendix N right out of the box. So far, LotFP is coming closest... but I believe Grindhouse might come closer.