Not your Grandfather's Megadungeon

I recently posted on Mastodon a call for interested players in a play-by-post (PBP) game. Not surprisingly, I got asked for more information. Hence this post…

The setting

As the title of this post might suggest, the setting is a dungeon. Standard D&D-type fantasy dungeon. With magic, fantasy races and lots of blood-thirsty monsters. I’m taking inspiration from the concept of the Mythic Underworld and Stonehell Dungeon and turning it up to 11.

You can see the basic concept in the start of Simona Hert’s story. I want each character to start off in the dungeon for some reason or another. Simona arrived from Bladesage but that will not be a requirement for every character. If a player has a favourite setting and wants to create a character from there, then that is both possible and exciting.

The system

We will be using Risus. Characters will be made with 10 dice for cliches, will get 6 lucky dice and will be expected to have a (short) tale and a hook. For more information see this post, under “Risus Conventions” and “Other Conventions”.

I will be avoiding using die rolls as much as possible. If there’s a logical narrative outcome to a situation then that is what’s going to happen. Dice are used when there isn’t or I just can’t figure it out. An unless I can find some sort of dice bot that integrates well, I’ll just be asking players to roll dice and tell me the results.

The set-up

Having seen some nice setups for online gaming I was tempted to set up a Discord server but have been persuaded against that idea. I’d much rather use federated services anyway.

So I’ll be using XMPP. I’ll likely set up multiple channels for different uses (in-character, out-of-character, private chats etc). We’ll also have the option of directly communicating through email, SMS or DMs on Mastodon or whatever where necessary. For now, I’ve set up a starter channel just named Risus PBP General Discussion (direct XMPP link here).

I envision posts happening most days. They won’t be huge, so each player’s work shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes. I haven’t thought it all the way through, but I am imagining having each player create a small list of default behavious. If for some reason you can’t reply within the normal time (say 24 hours) of being asked a question then I will reserve the right to make actions for your character using the defaults as the basis for my choices. Or just leave your character out for the time being if that makes more sense. Like I said, I haven’t thought this out properly!

As “scenes” of the game play out, I will copy-and-paste or lightly edit them and post them here for general consumption. One of these days I may add comment functionality here and that could be another method communication.

Safety tools

I’m personally not very familiar with safety tools in RPGs. But I have heard and read a lot about them recently and think it’s better to have them and not use them than the other way around.

I’m open to other suggestions but this is what I think we should use:


As I mentioned above, I want to get the “story” of this game up on this blog. There will be text that any and/or all of us have written, and as a rule I like to share everything here with a Creative Commons licence. This can be discussed further, but I would imagine that anyone playing will consent to that. The “attribution” to your contribution the story can be to your IRL name or a handle or a webpage or whatever you prefer.

Your move…

Let me know if you are interesting in joining in. If I’ve sent you to this page then you should already have a method of contacting me. If you’ve simply come across this post for some reason, connect to me on Mastodon through the post linked at the top of the page.

26 Sep 2021 | Updated 2021-09-26 | < Previous