The Court of Ugly Recursive Patterns

I’m working on the second dungeon, for the fourth session of my current Maximum Recursion Depth campaign. I’ve got the general concept down and a skeleton of the dungeon itself, but struggling with some implementation details. I’ll probably come up with them on my own at some point today or tomorrow, but just figured I’d ask if anyone has ideas.

Basically, the party will reach a fork in the dungeon, and if they go one way they will encounter one sub-dungeon and then another, and if they go the other way, they’ll hit the same sub-dungeons in the opposite order, and they should be somewhat like reflections of each other, but also, the goal they’re trying to reach is not a literal place, but a parallax from the configuration of the sub-dungeons.

I just need to figure out how they get from one place to the other, and maybe some ideas for specific obstacles or events within those sub-dungeon environments to give them obvious things to do.

I’ve been running the game in two-session “arcs”, where the first is an Investigation and the second is the Court (the “dungeon”), so this doc includes two sessions but the part with the dungeon explicitly says session 4 and is in 18-point font.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


I got super busy with work and had to postpone the game for a while but we’re playing in a couple hours.

I also think I had developed some hangups; I wasn’t super happy with how Session 3 went, and was feeling a little stuck with Session 4, but I’ve completely reworked The Court of the Ugly Recursive Pattern and I’m a lot happier with it. I don’t think it’s as cleanly written as The Court of Those Who Succumb Prematurely to Crippling Expectation which I used almost exactly as-is, whereas I imagine in this case I’ll be having to do a lot more shuffling around on the fly, but still it seems more like a framework that I can work with than what I originally had written.

There’s a lot going on and I’ll almost certainly lose track of some things or do things a little differently than intended in the moment, but I’m ok with that, I think it’ll be engaging and they don’t necessarily know or care what my original intention was anyway.

I love how you name things from your notes!

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Thanks! I really enjoy coming up with those kinds of names and I think I’ve fallen into a general style that works well for my sensibilities. I found this inspiring.