So I titted around for ages trying to build a method by which the players could build a dungeon home for SAVAGES. But I couldn’t even remember how Microscope worked and so I fell back on the old ‘dungeon poker’ method.
Let’s see if I can fit the rules onto a sheet of A4.
Get paper, (A3 would be good so people can get sloppy) and something to draw with (coloured markers would be good, or pencils as you can rub them off). Gather all the SAVAGES players round in a circle with the map in the middle.
Tell them a dungeon needs two things, at least one way in or out, and a place hardest to reach. Everything else is up to them.
Deal out cards as if for poker (the five-cards each kind).
Everyone plays a hand of poker. The highest hand goes first. They get the map. The cards they play decide what they can draw.
Kings are magic. Magic areas, weapons, any kind of magic you want.
Queens are treasure. This can be any treasure you want.
Jacks are traps.
Aces are secret rooms and secret doors.
Jokers are whatever the holder wants them to be.
Each Number Card is either a room, a corridor linking that many rooms or that many HD of monsters.
HD from different suites of cards cannot be combined in the same monster or the same type of monster. Monsters from cards with different colours are always potentially-opposed factions.
The player with the best hand draws their stuff on. Then the second best, and so on.
Cards are set aside when a hand is played. When everyone has played a hand, deal again and play again. Do this until the pack runs out or the dungeon is done. If the pack runs out but everyone agrees the dungeon is not done, shuffle the pack and keep going.
You can add to peoples stuff, if someone leaves a room empty then you ca put something in it. If they have a door and you have a Jack, you can make it secret, but you can’t reverse or override anything anyone else has done.
Play as characters.
Before you start the players can decide they are going to be ‘characters’. These are generally not literal embodied individuals, they are the forces which would shape a dungeon.
Here is a slightly crappy d12 list.
1. Will of the Dwarf Lords
2. Emissions of the Black Mire
3. Scrapings of the Dragon Grizule
4. Memories of the Awful Dead
5. Faith of the Deep Elves
6. Wrath of the Barrow Lords
7. Workings of the Goblin King
8. Tombs of the Cyclopean Things
9. Worship of the Outer Ones
10. Architects of the Sunken City
11. Fear of the Bandit Lord
12. Dreams of the Tectonic Elementals
So while they are drawing rooms and deciding what to put in, each player tries to think about what their particular ‘part’ would have done. What kind of treasures they would have accumulated, how they would have created corridors and rooms, what traps they would have built and what monsters would remain.
So the Will of the Dwarf Lords would have left behind straight, planned corridors and rooms. Simple refined gold and worked gems as treasure, the traps would be big stone blocks that fall and the monsters would be Dwarven ghosts and skeletons and golems.
That way the whole thing kind of makes sense, or at least the Same themes repeat.
Players can bet
This adds extra complexity, and I am not sure what they would bet on. Plus the player with the biggest hand already kind-of wins. Probably you could fit in some kind of nega-win power-exchange story game stuff in here if you want to.