Heroic Explorations: Dungeon Keepers

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The tradition of the Dungeon Keepers is an ancient one, at least as old as Adventuring itself, grown out of the tendencies for communities to grow around serving the needs of Adventurers.

The Role of the Keeper

Dungeon Keepers’ ultimate goal is to maximize the income Adventurers spread around their communities. Generally this entails:

Attracting Adventurers to the Site

The simplest way to attract adventurers is to simply send word to the local Adventurers’ Guild. The Guildmaster will generally work with the Keeper to make sure that the company sends Adventurers suited to the task. Skilled, but not so capable that they clear the site in one trip. The more they have to come up to heal and resupply, the more the town makes off of them, but if it’s too dangerous and they don’t make it out, nobody gets rich.

Dungeon Evaluation

Vital to this process is the ability to accurately assess a given dungeon’s danger level. Different Keepers have developed different processes for this, from careful and systemic checklists of observable qualities, to subconscious ‘gut feelings’ developed over long careers. They evaluate potential adventurers in much the same way.

Boomtown Management

Once a Dungeon Keeper knows a dungeon’s relative danger, he can estimate, roughly, how long it’ll take Adventurers to clean it out. More powerful Adventurers may handle the dungeon more quickly, but they’ll also have more coin to throw around. This lets the Keeper manage the Boomtown’s population and makeup, so that there’s enough commerce to go around.

The Keeper also does what he or she can to maintain order within the boomtown itself.

The New School: Dungeon Cultivation

Those are the traditional duties of the Keeper, but in recent years a new philosophy of Dungeon Keeper has been evolving, one that takes a more hands on approach in making sure that a Dungeon experience is suited to the Adventurers who meet it.

These Keepers go so far as to enter the Dungeons to make whatever small changes are necessary, replenishing them with guardian creatures and traps.

In extreme cases this becomes a form of Dungeon tourism, where wealthy and terminally bored aristocrats can pay for the “Adventurer” experience. They fight trained beasts, contend wih dangerous-seeming but non-lethal traps, and find specially placed trinkets, often with the assistance of a professional adventurer as guide.

Needless to say, professional adventurers and more traditional Dungeon Keepers alike don’t look upon the practice very kindly.

Michael Coorlim

Michael Coorlim is a teller of strange stories for stranger people. He collects them, the oddballs. The mystics and fire-spinners, the sages and tricksters. He curates their tales, combines their elements and lets them rattle around inside his rock-tumbler skull until they gleam, then spills them loose onto the page for like-minded readers to enjoy.
Michael Coorlim

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