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Playing With: Ruins for Ruins' Sake
Basic Trope: Ruins that make no sense as buildings.
  • Straight: A dungeon that has many dead ends and seems to have served no valid purpose.
  • Exaggerated: A dungeon that has so many dead ends, Alien Geometries, and ludicrous Death Traps that would make using it for anything would be nigh impossible.
  • Downplayed: A dungeon has many puzzles and tricks. The owner was noted as being mad but intelligent, and enjoyed puzzles.
  • Justified: We're told that the ruins were made as part of an "interactive entertainment experience".
  • Inverted: The ruins make perfect sense to the audience, but are discovered After the End by a different species.
  • Subverted: Under the dust, the ruins are a Super Multi-Purpose Room filled with Lost Technology just waiting to be activated.
  • Double Subverted: Under the dust, there is what seems to be a Super Multi-Purpose Room filled with Lost Technology just waiting to be activated. It's really all just a very shiny Red Herring, though.
  • Parodied:
    • "It says here 'And ye shall dig a maze in the earth, that adventurers may venture therein and wonder Who Builds This Stuff Anyway?' I think that's supposed to be us."
    • The ruins turn out to have been built pre-ruined, just because a nice set of ruins is good for the area's ambiance.
  • Zig Zagged: Under the dust, the ruins are full of Lost Technology, but it's all broken down, so it's only purpose is to lure adventuring parties to the monsters who set up shop there, but the Gadgeteer Genius is able to repair some of the machinery, but the computer systems that run it are based on old dungeon-crawling RPGs... (continue zigzags ad nauseam)
  • Averted: The ruins make perfect sense; they look like a ruined watchtowers, sewers, citadels, temples, or whatever.
  • Enforced: "OK, and we need another dungeon here. It's just for a Fetch Quest, so don't worry too much about it."
  • Lampshaded: "What was this building for, anyway?" "I dunno."
  • Invoked: "We'll need some tough adventurers to help us on the road ahead. Let's put up some fake ruins and hire whoever discovers them."
  • Exploited: The Precursors set up fake temples with fake gods for outsiders and pillagers. Thus they'd risk life and limb to grab their silly little pyrite idols and wooden totems while leaving their real, better hidden, and far grander ones alone.
  • Defied: "You've been playing too many video games. Ruins always served a purpose of some kind when they were built. If you examine the placement of the pillars here..." (some time later) "...which, when all put together, clearly suggests it's a Precursor temple to Crystal Dragon Jesus."
  • Discussed: "You've been playing too many video games. Ruins always served a purpose of some kind when they were built; we're just having a hard time figuring out what this building was used for."
  • Conversed: "It's fine as a video game level... but seriously, who'd actually build something like this?"
  • Deconstructed: As it turns out, the ruins make perfect sense: They were built to attract adventurers thousands of years after their building, so the monster living inside can have some nice dietary supplements on an occasional basis.
  • Reconstructed: Same as above, except the monster was a good guy all along and designed the dungeon to attract the Chosen One.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The ruins make no sense as buildings because they were never buildings to begin with. They look like ruins to disguise that their origins are much more recent, and they're currently in use by someone with big, nasty plans.

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