Deep beneath the Nevada deserts, there is a top-secret government installation. Not even the President is fully aware of everything that occurs down in the place commonly referred to as "The Dungeon." All those who need to know anything know one thing for sure: it produces miracles.
In 1963, a nuclear test beneath the ground did something unexpected; it knocked a hole in reality. Immediately, they sealed the site, covering the hole with ninety tons of steel and titanium, because the world it connected to was, unquestionably, strange. Someone - or something - built tunnels, chambers, traps, lairs... but also filled it with wonders and treasures- including objects and devices which could quite simply, do the impossible.
It's variously called The Basement, Downstairs, and for those who hide behind terminology, the "Subterrestial Operational Theater". In the late 70's, one of the young computer boffins working on the project called it "Gygaxland". By the 90's, everyone was just calling it "The Dungeon" despite the term being officially verboten.
The Dungeon can't be mapped, as the paths and corridors shift and change, over time; maps grow useless. Likewise, its inhabitants can't be brought to the surface, as they wither and die in hours or days. But the tools, magical and marvelous... those remain intact. As did men who... changed, down below.
Compromised agents were first studied (for "studied," read "vivisected"), but some proved somewhat stable psychologically, and demonstrated an intuitive understanding for the Dungeon and its ways. The NATIVE SONS program sought to use these hybrids as trackers and guides in the hostile new frontier, and teams accompanied by them showed dramatically higher success and lower mortality rates. The hybrids are stuck between upstairs and downstairs though- if they spend too much time in either world, they'll start to degenerate or sicken, go mad, or transform into something worse. They need
to delve to survive.
The secret proliferation of subterestial technology (dungeon devices, monster tech, or ‘magic items’) has flowed out through the military industrial complexes and intelligence communities of the nations controlling Dungeon access- scrying bowls guide missile strikes, rings of invisibility hide black-ops wetworkers, and in a top secret lab adjoining Los Alamos, a team is working to unlock the secrets of a gnarled staff of ancient wood which in the hands of a panicked soldier, incinerated hundreds of attacking subterrestials.
The world is getting stranger.
Welcome to Project: Long Stair, an idea shown to me many, many months ago, that has sat, brooding, in the back of my mind, constantly, awaiting a chance to spring forth. Some of you may be familiar with my Dungeons of Doom games; while this is similar in a number of ways, which may be one reason it resonates so strongly with me, this would be a decidedly darker and more realistic game. I'm looking to form a small party or two, of highly trained soldiers and agents, willing to brave the depths of the Dungeon. Unlike most of my games, safety and survival would not be ensured; The Dungeon is cruel and lethal, and I intend to draw on the best works of the great dungeonmasters of old, particularly those of the man who inspires this place, Gygax himself.
Since I want a very lightweight, flexible system for this, we'll be using the RISUS
system, although skills will be kept serious and realistic. As you represent the best, the brightest, and the most skilled of the United States Armed Forces, or members of highly skilled organizations for the purpose of security, you will be well above the 'average' person. Characters will be built using "Advanced Option 4" which allows you to change the size of dice associated with your skills by spending additional points. You will have a budget of 100 points, for character creation. I will also allow players to be members of the Native Sons program, in that they are not entirely human, and may have monstrous abilities, to compliment them, although no more than one in every three characters may be such. (In a group if 3, only one may have it. 4-6, 2 may have it, 7-9, 3, and so on.) I might also suggest having multiple characters in mind.
As far as sexual content, I doubt there will be an immense amount, and I sincerely doubt most of it will be pleasant, but I'm likely to include it, particularly for defeated characters. I'm planning to be fairly picky about who I let play in this, as well; I want people who will post consistently and can write competently, so please post interest before submitting a character sheet, as I'll likely ignore the latter until I ask for them.
If you have any questions or comments, please, feel free to share, I'm always eager to answer questions.