Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Deathtrap Dungeon Makes No Sense

Baron Sukumvit decides to bring hard cash to the town of Fang by investing ridiculous amounts of money on building a dungeon called The Trial of Champions and running it as a snuff version of a fairground sideshow. He proves it's lethality by sending his personal guards into it and noting that they don't return. Success!

So year on year at the same time every year, suicidal adventurers turn up each after the acclaim of surviving The Trail of Champions (and the 10,000gp prize). Much money is put into the coffers of Fang as the population swells in order to witness.... well, what exactly?

A bunch of yahoos vanish into the Stygian depths. Everyone outside waits.

And waits.

And waits.

And then a few think "nah, they're all dead" and walk off home.

The others wait.

And then a few more get bored waiting for nothing to happen. Maybe somebodies arse goes to sleep or they think it might be an idea to go for a pint and drift off to the pub.

Some more people wait. For a while.

Maybe hours later somebody comes out. Maybe not. Maybe the successful adventurer crawls out of the dungeon only to find that everyone had lost faith in him and already gone home. How's that for an anti-climax?

Is it just me or does the plot of this much-loved gamebook make absolutely no sense?

We are going to spend millions of gold pieces on a dungeon THAT CAN'T BE SEEN and send adventurers into a life or death struggle THAT CAN'T BE SEEN and the audience is going to sit around wondering about events underground THAT CAN'T BE SEEN.

It's hardly great spectator sport is it?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Balconies, grilles, remote scrying? I dunno...

    According to Titan the good burghers of Fang treat the visiting adventurers as a seasonal windfall of money ("Last night in town lads..."), rather than as fodder for a spectator sport.

  3. I seem to remember something about the event being "televised" via magic scrying devices, but that may have been the sequel. I too have always thought it seemed a bit nonsensical to have a big spectator event which no one can watch, which may be why this one has never been one of my favourites.

  4. "According to Titan the good burghers of Fang treat the visiting adventurers as a seasonal windfall of money"

    Yes, I think that makes a lot of sense. Not only will treasure laden adventurers spend a lot of money, they are going to leave a good portion of their portable loot behind when they enter the dungeon. They all think that they will be the one who comes out the other end...

  5. "It's hardly great spectator sport is it?"

    I'd take it over Forumula One any day :)

  6. Crystal balls and I would watch Deathtrap Dungeon Reality Show rather than Big Brother anytime.