There are two kinds of “Explore” adventures. In the first kind, the PCs are acting independently of any employer by simply heading off to an interesting site in search of fun and profit. In the second, the PCs are hired to explore a site: either to produce a of map part of it, or to find a safe route through to the other side. If your adventure has a Reward, it’s of the second kind.
This is probably the most basic type of Dungeon Fantasy adventure: the PCs hear of an interesting ruin, cavern, ancient temple, or similar, and decide to check it out. If you embark upon an “Explore” adventure of this kind, you have no Employer, and therefore get no Reward for your exploration – except the loot you plan to carry home from the dungeon, of course!
An expedition of this kind can only be counted as successful once it has explored a number of levels of the Dungeon equal to Peril/2, rounding up. For this purpose, a level counts as “explored” if the party has entered at least Perilx2 areas in it.
The party’s initial Goal is therefore likely to be the “Stairs Down.” Remember that taking the stairs down increase the Peril by one!
Exploring dungeons for fun is good, but it’s even better if you can find someone willing to pay you for it! Sometimes it’s possible to find a wealthy sponsor who is willing to fund an expedition for the purposes of filling in blank spaces on a map, finding a safe route, blazing a trail, or similar.
If you can find such a sponsor, you get a Reward if the expedition achieves the sponsor’s aim. To determine that aim, roll on the table below.
|Sponsored Exploration: Table of Sponsor Goals
Roll 1d. (Need a die roller?)
1-3: To produce a good map of a significant portion of a dungeon. To do this, you will need to have someone serve as a full-time mapper, as per Dungeon Fantasy 2, p6; and you will also have to reach your Goal, which here signifies the point at which you can respectably say you’ve explored enough of the dungeon to make a passable map. The mapper will need to make a successful Cartography roll at a penalty equal to Peril. Success creates a map worthy of the Reward; critical success means you’ve got a great map: add an extra +2 to your roll on the “So How About That Reward?” Table. Failure spoils the map, which means forfeiting a Reward; critical failure produces a seriously misleading map that soon gets someone killed, the narrative effects of which are up to you.
4-6: To find a route through the dungeon to the other side. This involves reaching the Goal on a level of the dungeon deeper and more perilous than that by which you entered. A typical party will choose “The Stairs Down” as their goal on the first level of the dungeon, and then, once they’ve found and descended those stairs, change their goal to “The Route Through.”