r/Ultrakill • u/Redavatar101 • Mar 28 '23
How would one make a Prime Sanctum in D&D Need help
I am going for a dungeon similar to P-2, how would that work?
Mar 28 '23
What edition? I could crank out something for 3.5/pathfinder pretty easily.
u/Redavatar101 Mar 28 '23
Mar 28 '23
Well I cant help you much with that, I personally dont like 5th at all.
u/Redavatar101 Mar 28 '23
Why not? Genuinely curious as a 5e enjoyer
Mar 28 '23
Coming from 3.5 and DMing it for years (and years), which is super crunchy and customizable, playing 5e feels like being clubbed in the head and shoved into a two lane road. Not like 3.5 is perfect, hell no, but 5e is clearly designed to be more streamlined and cookie cuttered. Sure you can still homebrew, but you're absolutely more confined. Multiclassing especially got cannonballed. Mechanical expression of a character just never really lands in my mind.
Now, for most players and DM's thats obviously fine given the success of the edition. But for a long time player I routinely find myself running into issues with it. Its easier to just flex some rule in 3.5 to get players what they need for their build. Granted, if you're running a table of fuckin munchkins theyre gonna break the game pretty quickly, so as a DM you have to be aware of what everyone is planning.
Keep in mind though Im at the point that I homebrew so much that people think im kinda crazy. Theres a method to the madness, I promise.
u/BobertTheGuy Maurice enthusiast Mar 30 '23
So by "Prime Sanctum" I assume you mean you want to make the dungeon a "Kill a few prelude enemies" > "Fight a prison boss" > "Once the prison is destroyed, phase 2 is the boss inside" sort of format. With that in mind, here's what I think should be important:
-The players should know what they're getting into. They should know they're breaking someone out of prison, and they should know the goal is for that person to end up dead by the time they walk out. The point of all these prelude enemies and prison boss stuff is to be an appetizer to show that this guy is so powerful they had to make the prison a monstrous boss fight all on its own. If the boss fight comes as a surprise, it isn't gonna have any of that buildup. Additionally, if the party fights a bunch of goons with the intention of freeing someone, they're probably gonna be a bit disappointed if it turns out they have to kill them.
-By extension, it should be clear why this guy isn't already dead. If someone went through all the effort of imprisoning this guy that needs to die, why didn't they just kill them when they had the chance? I don't know much about D&D monsters, let alone your particular setting, so crafting a reasoning for this is an exercise for the writer. Maybe the guy's immortal except for a particular weapon that the party just discovered, or something like that.
-More of a footnote, but I think it'd be wise to include a reason as to why they're bothering breaking this guy out of prison in the first place just to kill them, as well as what all the prelude goons are doing fighting the party over it instead of cooperating. If the boss can just be left in prison indefinitely, it probably wouldn't be worth the risk of breaking them out in the first place.
Maybe the prisoner is slowly corrupting everything around them even while in prison, causing the guards (and maybe even the prison itself) to become a thrall to their command, and the party needs to clear them out before the corruption spreads?
Maybe the prisoner is politically or strategically relevant to an organization that wants them dead, and hired the party to get rid of them before they serve their time or break out? (This scenario comes with the possibility of a diplomatic ending, for better or for worse depending on what you're going for)
Maybe the prisoner is relevant to a specific character's revenge backstory, and they want them dead enough to break into prison to do it? (Maybe there'll even be some character development along the way)
There's a lot you can do with it, but it all depends on your setting and what kind of style you're going for and what your players want. Maybe throw some stealth or social elements into it, like the possibility of sneaking into the prison instead of brute force through however many goons.
If you want, you can even "borrow" Ultrakill's story beat of the prisoner breaking out of prison themselves once they're given the opportunity in the middle of the fight. Have your magic prison or whatever have all these crazy attacks, legendary resistances, the whole shebang, get the party dug in for a real climactic boss fight - then, a few rounds in, have the prisoner yell something along the lines of "This prison can't hold me!" and shatter it from within.
Besides being Really Cool, this immediately sets the expectation that this guy is wildly powerful, and all these prison measures were entirely justified - even underprepared. Great way to make the villain seem immediately threatening. Only downside is that you better be ready to follow through with it! If the encounter is poorly-balanced and the party just curb stomps the guy, it ends up that much more anticlimactic. The party is presumably very worn down by this point after fighting through however many goons and whatever they unloaded into the prison boss, so hopefully this isn't an issue, but keep the possibility in mind. Maybe prepare a secret second phase that you only trigger if the boss gets annihilated by the party with pumped-up stats and abilities, just in case. I dunno, I'm not your dad.
I keep throwing around the phrase "prison boss" and it occurred to me I should probably talk about that as well: Of course, in Ultrakill the prison is, itself, a living entity and boss on its own, and you literally have to kill it to break the prisoner out. In D&D, maybe instead you can use some magical automata or otherwise magically-protected barrier that the party has to outdamage or solve some puzzles or something to open. If you wanna be
boring more traditional, you might just have the warden of the prison or something be the prison boss instead. Note that the prison boss is going to be directly before the actual main boss fight, though, so you better make sure they're not too similar, and fighting the prison itself is simply Way Cool.
Okay jeez I was reviewing the comment before sending it and I realized I made a whole essay, sorry about the wall of text.
TL;DR make it clear why they have to kill this prisoner guy and what they get out of it, and make sure the prisoner is set up as a proper threat
u/Redavatar101 Mar 30 '23
Im either thinking of either Strahd Prime or Promotheus Prime, so this is great! Ty
Apr 01 '23
Accidently makes an entire essay. This man D&D's
u/sneakyturtleoof Mar 28 '23
Not sure but i think u should add gay sex to ur campaign