Saturday, October 15, 2022

See It Descend Into - Premise & Classes

See It Descend Into is a megadungeon campaign I am, in theory, going to write and run.




The players are citizens of a nation undergoing colonization by the foreign Pentarchy, and attempt to recover and record archaeological information of the ancient stepwell-palace known as the Inverted Pyramid before the Pentarchy sends their own teams to strip it of anything of value and send it back to their capital to rot in a warehouse.

The Inverted Pyramid is filled with writing in the now-lost Dead Language, and decorated with murals, sculptures, and other artwork. XP comes not from the value of treasures looted from the Pyramid, but instead from analysis, with bonuses for taking photographs, translating inscriptions, and recording the context of the artifact. 

the stepwell Chand Baori, in Rajasthan


See It Descend Into is using a GLOG variation too generic to post here, and so far 4 classes - a Fighter (quite overtuned, as an experiment in hyper-specialized classes), an Explorer (a form of Thief entirely about trap management), a Quartermaster (general-purpose support class), and the Translator I posted last year.

One mechanical note is the prevalence of a damaged keyword - items can be damaged through strenuous or nonstandard uses (beating a door down with a crowbar, etc). Once damaged, they can be used once more before they break, but can be repaired in town or by Quartermasters.

The Fighter (stolen from deus ex parabola and Vayra)

The Fighter A: Subclass, Expertise, +1 to hit and damage B: Extra Attack, +1 to hit and damage C: Subclass II, +1 to hit and damage D: Extra Attack, +1 to hit and damage Δ: A Heavy, Iron Hand Subclass Choose between The Foreign Method and The Native Method. Gain its first bonus now, and its second at template C. The Foreign Method An altered form of the Pentarchy’s martial practices, taken up by rebels in the places that would not be Provinces. 1: You can damage a weapon to reroll its damage dice. 2: Stolen power from the Pentarchy’s divine bureaucracy lets you name a single specific action (attacking with swords, walking East) Illegal during combat. Everyone understands this declaration, even if they do not speak your, or any, language. You must immediately make a free attack against anyone committing an Illegal act - these attacks ignore maximum ranges. If you commit an Illegal act, you die instantly. The Native Method Once common, now rarely mastered in a world dominated by firearms and switchblades. With a few changes of your own, however, it still holds on. 1: You may fill up to [templates] inventory slots with muscle (+1 STR), sinew (+1 DEX) or fat (1 point of damage reduction), through a day of focused effort per slot filled, emptied, or changed. 2: You can take 1d4 damage and burn away one of your filled slots to: leap 20’ horizontally, make a pair of unarmed attacks immediately after another attack, throw a grappled target ten feet, and perform other feats. Expertise Whenever you hit someone with an attack, you can attempt a combat maneuver against them for free. Δ: A Heavy, Iron Hand Kill two foes with a single strike. All damage dice on all your weapons explode on their highest result. 1d6 wayward students will soon approach you, pledging their service in exchange for your teachings.

The Explorer (stolen from deus ex parabola and Michael)

A: Skilled, Click

B: Stay Away

C: Under Tension

D: Experienced

Δ: Steady Hands


Given a few minutes, you have a [templates]-in-6 chance to succeed at any of your Skills (any 2 of Climb Sheer Surfaces, Hear Noises, Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, and Pick Locks), in addition to normal resolution rules. 


If you set off a trap, you get to act before it goes off, but before it reveals what it does. Guessing a safe option (ducking under the hammer trap) protects you, guessing the wrong option (ducking into the spike pit) does not. Shoving another party member in the path of the trap is always an option.

Stay Away

You can invert your Skills, letting you roll to Render Walls Impassible, Move Silently, See in the Dark, Hear Noises, and Sabotage Doors.

Under Tension

If you already know there is a trap before you set it off (finding the pressure plate, but not knowing what it will do), you can make a Save - on a success, it doesn’t go off, but you know exactly what it would’ve done if it had. On a failure, you can still react with Click.


Choose another 2 skills out of the earlier list or these: Leaping Gaps, Running Away, Attacking Someone Who Can’t See You, Intuiting Thoughts, and Finding a Friend. These do not invert.

Δ: Steady Hands

Kill an enemy with a trap you built.

Once you have determined the presence of a trap, either using Under Tension or good gameplay, you can spend an Exploration Turn to completely extract it, so you can set it up elsewhere.

A stepwell in Karnataka

The Quartermaster (stolen from Skerples, Lexi, and Lexi again.)

A: Evaluate, Boarding School Education, +1 Inventory Slot

B: Prominence, Smithing, +1 Inventory Slot

C: Hidden Market, +1 Inventory Slot 

D: Craftsman, +1 Inventory Slot

Δ: Baron


You know the market value of any mundane item on sight. Unique items like ancient pottery require an Intelligence check to evaluate, and some magical items cannot be evaluated.

Boarding School Education

You know the language of the Pentarchy, letting you easily communicate with guards, foreign merchants, and colonial officials. You gain either +1 or +INT bonus, whichever is higher, to reaction rolls with these groups - they are delighted to see their “””civilizing influence”””.


When you meet someone, you can choose to be the most prominent person in the group or the least obvious person in the group. This doesn’t give you a mechanical bonus to stealth.


You can repair a simple item, including melee weapons, for free during a Rest.

Hidden Market

Items the colonial government has deemed illegal (firearms, drugs, etc.) can still be found and purchased. Roll 1d6 - on a 6, you find exactly what you want. On a 3-5, the item has an issue or condition (works poorly, the original owner wants it back, it’s twice as expensive, etc). On a 1-2, you find nothing.


You can repair up to three items during a Rest, including complex objects like firearms. 

Simple items repaired and upgraded by you get a bonus that lasts a day: armor gets +1 AC, weapons get +1 on attack rolls, lamps last an extra Turn, et cetera.

Δ: Baron

Invest 2,000 Notes into a piece of property to turn it into a successful business of your own.

Gain your choice of 100 Notes or a hireling (up to 3 at a time) each day. Expect insincere invitations to formal events, patronizing interviews from Pentarchy journalists, and near-constant attempts to buy your business out from under you for 1,000 Notes.

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