Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My History with the Ring Vaults

Let me tell you a story about the Ring Vaults and a genesis of over a decade.

I first started using the Ring Vaults as a dungeon around the early-2000s but I didn't write about them until Issue 0 of my 'zine One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Campaign Design 'zine in 2007 (based upon a game I ran the year before).

I remember having been reading the Harry Potter series and really enjoying Gringotts Wizarding Bank and the goblins that ran it. The descriptions of a series of tunnels and rooms, containing treasures and creatures and traps to guard those treasures touched a nerve - what could be more dungeon-like, even if it was a stable business at the same time?

So I robbed the bank from the books. And I wanted to keep the surprise, because everyone else was reading Harry Potter, too. But how to do that? It took me a while and I went through a couple of names and the idea sank and surfaced in my thoughts as I figured it out.

So I first presented the Ring Vaults with a stone block out front a ruined building that housed the entrance to the dungeon. The block was weathered, worn and chipped in places and read:

T H E   _ R I N G _ _ _ _   V A U L T S

I think a few people got it.

And then after a few years of publishing the 1001+1 Nights 'zine, I started my Switching to Guns 'zine, with stuff about the Ashford Valley. And made a comment or two about the dungeons beneath.

But it wasn't until the Diocese of the Elven Wood post, during the April 2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge, that the dungeon beneath the Ashford Valley started mixing with my mega-dungeon.

I wrote quite a bit on the Ashford Valley in STG, the STG page (including some extras) and my other blog Asshat Paladins but most of those adventures were on the surface of the Valley, hinting vaguely at dungeons filled with Morlocks below.

And so we are at 2012 and with the advent of the year and seeing such sites as Dungeonaday.com close it's doors, Wizards announcing D&D Next and Grognardia fund via Kickstart Dwimmermount (yes, I'm one of the backers).

So I thought "mega-dungeons - I can do that!"

And so the two separate settings, the Ring Vaults and the Ashford Valley, mixed it up in my head.

We'll see where this takes us.


  1. I must say that I am very much looking forward to where you are going with this! Best of luck and I look forward to reading more about the "Ring Vaults". :)

  2. Thanks, Jim.

    I just posted my first map and there are 55 levels outlined - I figure that would make an interesting mega-dungeon.


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