Play report from the Dungeons of Torda, one of the more famous delves of Transylvania. Three levels, high verticality, questionable “non liner” elements. This will be picture heavy, so the rest beyond the intro will be hidden behind a <more> tag.
Torda (Romanian: Turda, German: Thorenburg) is a former salt mining town in the middle of Transylvania. Salt is wealth, salt is power; thus, the mines have been extremely important since the Romans, and became a significant source of wealth in mediaeval Hungary. The town was important enough to control all salt mining throughout Transylvania, becoming the seat of the Salt Chamber (later Salt Office), and hosting multiple national and regional diets. Here, in 1568, freedom of religion was declared for the first time in Europe, establishing the ground for the mostly peaceful co-existence of Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anti-Trinitarian (Unitarian) faiths, whose effects would indirectly also apply to Eastern Orthodoxy and Judaism. (The edict, while long-lasting, was neither perfect nor unlimited: Anabaptist refugees were welcomed with open arms, but the Székely Sabbatarians, who took religious innovation to the extent of converting to a form of Judaism, would face persecution, and remained an underground faith – their last remaining stronghold, Bözödújfalu, now lies in ruin beneath a water reservoir). But let's get back to the main adventure site.
Let us begin our descent…
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Does your dungeon have…
… a prominent entrance stairway?
…10 foot corridors?
…mysterious, walled-off side passages?
…steep, narrow stairwells leading down to a deeper level?
...wider, more prominently decorated stairs for the nobility? (With precious salt growing on it)
...carts of crystalline treasures, worth good gold if transport can be arranged?
...horse-powered freight elevators?
...vast chasms with galleries overlooking the lower level 172 steps down, lit by levitating crystals? (For later reference: note the black spot on the lower middle.)
...pool tables? (Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone of Games Workshop fame created dungeons which did!)
...a Ferris wheel? (Perhaps in a funhouse dungeon?)
...randomly generated treasure that feels oddly out of place in this dungeon?
...a gallery overlooking Dungeon Level Three: The Subterranean Lake? (Remember the black spot? That's a big hole overlooking Level 3 from above)
...more cramped stairwells?
...a bridge across an underground lake (trollege on the right)?
...bizarre subterranean structures that definitely look made by aliens?
...bizarre subterranean structures encrusted with valuable treasure?
...odd lights beckoning from 25’ below the lake surface? A Fourth Level? A trap? Aboleths?
...a place to observe gawking dungeon monsters on an upper level gallery?
...dungeon elevators next to long stairwells? (Note potential for 10d6 Hp falling damage)
...a third, secret way up?
* * *
Other things to do around the dungeon
Visit the Church of Law
Visit the Salt Chamber and consult the governor (note architect’s name – a family relation we were surprised to discover here!)
Embarking on a wilderness expedition!
The Torda Gap: definitely our adventure location.
The weather beaten trail winds ahead into the cliff racked climes of the bear-haunted land which dominates large portions of the empire...