Content of the article: "Paul Blart Mall Crawl"
Ok so I ran this dungeon crawl for my players a couple weeks ago, and they LOVED it. The idea is that it’s set in modern day, and everyone is just playing as a D&D-ified version of themselves, whatever race and class they want to be or feel like fit best with their personality. The prompt is this: It’s late November and you’re doing some gift shopping as a group. It’s getting kind of late so you think it might be time to wrap up, but when you go to leave, the doors are locked, and when you look around, the mall is suddenly very empty. Outside is a swirling black void. Their mission: escape the mall.
The mall itself has become the lair of a surprisingly chill Aboleth. I designed my version of the mall as a sort of mix between like four or five different malls in my county with some added extras. As the party looked for a way out they found that the stores were switching places. Entering some stores would teleport them to other places. Some notable places was a feytouched Cinnabon with icing that could put a player to sleep, a labyrinthine Sears where the Aboleth called home, a hot topic full of cursed funko pops, and a Rainforest Cafe complete with alligator put wherein a helpful NPC was chilling.
The fun of this is creating a dungeon full of familiar and exciting enemies, like swarms of Funkos with meenlock stats, or the angry ghost of Billy Mays residing in the As Seen in TV store. My players successfully slaughtered the Burger King and brought his head to the Aboleth. My players liked it so much that they wanted to come back, and the good thing about this mall is that it adapts and breathes, so you can add stuff at any point and they’re never gonna have time to fully explore everything. There’s an escape room in the mall I made, and my players want to go back and explore it for fun, seeing as they made peace with the Aboleth and were invited to come back and search his lair for whatever relics might be lying around.
Highly recommend setting a dungeon crawl in a living shopping mall if anyone is looking for some casual modular fun. And don’t forget to throw in a couple of food mascots for your party to enthusiastically slaughter! Never know when someone might want to bring Ronald McDonald to his knees.
- Mansion Lair Design Suggestions
- Help! The Artificer broke the party!
- Need advice with full party mind control.
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