I mit forgående indlæg diskuterede jeg kort undere i naturen, og hvorledes underfulde verdener i rollespil kan være en del af oplevelsen i sig selv. Med rod i dette vil jeg føre emnet ind på de smukke skatte, der er at finde i huler.
Det har relevans, fordi udforskningen af huler er så centrale i D&D og andre fantasy-rollespil, og fordi det er endnu mere centralt i Fastaval HelCons dungeons, hvor spillernes karakterer ligefrem får XP for at bevidne undere. Spillerne har således en interesse i, at deres karakterer finder forundelige ting.
Så derfor overlader jeg nu ordet til Tolkien:
‘And, Legolas, when the torches are kindled and men walk on the sandy floors under the echoing domes, ah! then, Legolas, gems and crystals and veins of precious ore glint in the polished walls; and the light glows through folded marbles, shell-like, translucent as the living hands of Queen Galadriel. There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, Legolas, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces! Still lakes mirror them: a glimmering world looks up from dark pools covered with clear glass; cities, such as the mind of Durin could scarce have imagined in his sleep, stretch on through avenues and pillared courts, on into the dark recesses where no light can come. And plink! a silver drop falls, and the round wrinkles in the glass make all the towers bend and waver like weeds and corals in a grotto of the sea. Then evening comes: they fade and twinkle out; the torches pass on into another chamber and another dream. There is chamber after chamber, Legolas; hall opening out of hall, dome after dome, stair beyond stair; and still the winding paths lead on into the mountains’ heart. Caves! The Caverns of Helm’s Deep! Happy was the chance that drove me there! It makes me weep to leave them.’
‘Then I will wish you this fortune for your comfort, Gimli,’ said the Elf, ‘that you may come safe from war and return to see them again. But do not tell all your kindred! There seems little left for them to do, from your account. Maybe the men of this land are wise to say little: one family of busy dwarves with hammer and chisel might mar more than they made.’
‘No, you do not understand,’ said Gimli. ‘No dwarf could be unmoved by such loveliness. None of Durin’s race would mine those caves for stones or ore, not if diamonds and gold could be got there. Do you cut down groves of blossoming trees in the spring-time for firewood? We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap – a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day – so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock. And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lamps as once shone in Khazad-dum; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest, we would let the night return.’
‘You move me, Gimli,’ said Legolas. ‘I have never heard you speak like this before. Almost you make me regret that I have not seen these caves. Come! Let us make this bargain – if we both return safe out of the perils that await us, we will journey for a while together. You shall visit Fangorn with me, and then I will come with you to see Helm’s Deep.’
‘That would not be the way of return that I should choose,’ said Gimli. ‘But I will endure Fangorn, if I have your promise to come back to the caves and share their wonder with me.’
‘You have my promise,’ said Legolas. ‘But alas! Now we must leave behind both cave and wood for a while: See! We are coming to the end of the trees. How far is it to Isengard, Gandalf?’
(Tolkien; De to tårne)
Når der designes dungeons til Fastaval HelCon må det forunderlige, det smukke og det fantastiske gerne medregnes i spiloplevelsen. Det er ikke scener med fælder, gåder eller monstre, men scener med naturskønne oplevelser – og det må gerne være scener med fortryllende effekter (såsom den legendariske magiske kilde, hvor man skal rulle 1t6 hver gang, der drikkes af den for at opnå en effekt).
Og så forunderlig ser en grotte af is ud.
Hvad er underfuldt og fascinerende (i en dungeon)? Hvordan vil du beskrive det? Hvordan vil du som spilleder formidle fornemmelsen af under til spillerne? (og hvorledes vil du som forfatter give spilleder værktøjer til dette?)