Monday, October 30, 2023

Into the Megadungeon, Halloween Special Episode 07 "Literally Possessed by a Demon"

 In this special Halloween episode, I interview Miranda Elkins about her long-running Nightwick Abbey campaign--a dungeon literally possessed by a demon! We talk about the secrets of successful restocking, the importance of theme to an adventure location, and how to use geomorphs to craft your dungeon map. We also talk about how to run a horror themed dungeon by externalizing psychology and making metaphors literal. Without further ado, I present the episode on your platform of choice:

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Spotify here.

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Apple Podcasts here.

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Podcast Addict here.

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Overcast here.

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Pocket Casts here.

Episode 07 “Literally Possessed by a Demon” on Google Podcasts here.

You can read a transcript of the interview here

Reader’s Notes

In Places Deep: The Blog

Miranda is the author of a very long-running, wonderful blog In Places Deep. You can check it out here. Here are some helpful things from the blog, as well as posts we mention in the episode:

  • You can find a post with an overview of Nightwick Abbey here.

  • You can find Miranda’s post about the importance of theme in megadungeon creation that I refer to here.

  • You can find Miranda’s fantastic post about the GM as a Shuteye here.

In Places Deep: The Patreon

But the best news of all is that if you want full access to the complete geomorphs of the first three levels of Nightwick Abbey, along with the bestiary of hellish creatures, Miranda’s stocking procedures, and so much more, Patreon is the place to go. You literally can find everything you need to run a Nightwick Abbey today here.

Nightwick Abbey: Appendix N

Miranda first wrote about the Appendix N for Nightwick Abbey here.

Rose Red

She refers in the episode to the miniseries Rose Red, which was an inspiration for the living, changing character of the abbey. She’s written about that here. In the Halloween spirit, check out the trailer:

Van Helsing and Hammer Horror

Miranda also refers to the influence of Van Helsing on Dave Arneson and the cleric class of OD&D. James Maliszewski (of Episode 01 fame) wrote about that influence here. Here is a glorious trailer of The Horror of Dracula with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing:

As Above So Below

Finally, Miranda when discussing the way horror externalizes our psychology, including rendering our anxieties and fears incarnate, she refers to the movie As Above so Below not as the world’s best movie, but as a clear example of what she’s talking about:

A Gentle Reminder in Closing

I hope you, dear friends of the podcast, have a Happy Halloween! Remember that the only proper response if a little goblin asks you “trick or treat” on this cursed holiday is to reply with genuine fear in your voice “TREAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD,. PLEASE, A TREAT!” along with a generous helping of the most select candies.

Art by Gus L

1 comment:

  1. This was the other episode from this series I was most looking forward to, and I am not surprised you were too hah. Reading Miranda's megadungeon post on her blog, along with the excellent session reports from Nightwick by Warren is what really got me thinking about starting a Megadungeon-focused campaign myself.

    The geomorph nature of Nightwick is really quite fascinating to me, especially as someone who still struggles quite badly to actually draw the maps for dungeons, it is a lot more easier for me to imagine just using existing geomorphs or even drawing a few myself, than painstakingly drawing a 50+ room level of a dungeon.