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Dungeons and the System


Shortly after the year 20XX, portals connected to extra-dimensional dungeons appear in the most densely populated areas on Earth. Chaos ensues as dungeon monsters spill out in “dungeon breaks” from the portals, devastating the population.

Luckily, with the appearance of the portals, the “System” arrives as well. The System quantifies humans, monsters, equipment, and objects, and gives out handy magical abilities, allowing humans to fight back.


Dungeon Reset


With the help of the System and their technological prowess, humans exterminate the monsters that invaded the Earth. In order to prevent the monster breaks from happening again, humans must routinely go through the portals to clear out the dungeons. This is because dungeons that are left unattended will slowly spawn monsters inside, until a critical point, upon which the dungeon “breaks” and the monsters flood out onto Earth through the Portal.

What is special about the dungeons are that, following each “clear” of the dungeon by defeating the dungeon boss, and any foreign living beings exit, the System performs a “reset” on the dungeon. Following the reset, the System returns everything in the dungeon to the exact template state.

This reset makes it convenient for waste disposal, as any garbage or toxic waste left inside will be gone upon reset. It also makes it easy for Dungeon Hunters to commit murderous misdeeds, as any bodies and evidence inside the dungeon will disappear upon the reset, and be replaced with the initial state.


Question


The question is, what does the Dungeon/System/Third Party do to the bodies and objects to make them disappear upon a dungeon reset? Are there really no side effects to disposing of foreign objects inside? Are we feeding some Eldritch monstrosity with each Mars bar wrapper, unaware of our impending doom?

The criteria for the best answer is for logical plausibility in relation to the Dungeons and the System, as well as the efficiency of the process. An example of a good answer would have some sort of plausible motive as to why the third party would want to dispose of the bodies in such a way (or a reason as to why the phenomenon happens).

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close as opinion-based since there is no right answer to "what happens to the bodies." If the question asked "how does it dispose of the bodies" there would be objectively right or wrong answers depending on how well they achieve the desired result. Since it just asks "what happens" - that's entirely up to you. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 26 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra This is why I added the sentence, best answer is the most plausible and efficient way to dispose of the bodies. That is to say, given the context of a System and Dungeons, what is the most plausible and efficient way that they would handle bodies? $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 26 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ In a magic alternate universe dungeon with few predefined rules, I don't think any answer is much more plausible than another. I also think adding efficiency as a criteria isn't relevant to the core question of "what happens to them" $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 26 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra of course it does, if the System is sustainable and balanced by itself, it makes it more plausible. If there are reasons why the system would handle it in such a way, it is more plausible. If the efficiency of the method is high, it again adds to the plausibility. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 26 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra I do know that my criteria was more broadly worded, so as to limit answerers less, but I appreciate your feedback. I think you're right in that I can definitely word it better. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 26 at 5:25
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In this extra-dimensional space, everything is actually nothing but energy signatures. The opening of a portal solidifies those energy signatures into a templated design based on the plane of existence it connects to.

Leaving something behind in the dungeon when the portal deactivates after the "clear" causes that item to be converted into an energy signature itself which can be recycled in the extra-dimensional space.

Side effect: adding more energy to the system can easily cause more energy to be used in the current or subsequent dungeons. This can be rather slow as the original portals could be expected to be open for 1000 years and it allocates energy based on that timeline. so if you add 1000 energy to the system its a net gain of 1 energy per year to the available energy.

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    $\begingroup$ Good answer, so the System is recycling the energy and using it to recreate the templates. Thus, by piling in additional garbage, we could also be at risk of accelerating dungeon growth over time? $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Great answer. The time acceleration to dungeon break also introduces a nice penalty. $\endgroup$ – Jontia Feb 25 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ For example, if we consider powerful hunters to have even more mana/energy than normal monsters, hunter intrigues will actually speed up dungeon breaks and dungeon growth rates when clearing dungeons, instead of lowering them. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ I think this would be the most plausible answer, if the energy-signatures could be connected to the system. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 26 at 17:37
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Aged Out of Existence

A 'Dungeon Reset' dilates the time ratio between planes. In the human plane, thirty seconds pass. In dungeon time, over 1,000,000 years pass. Thus, anything in the dungeon is aged to dust.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, that’s an interesting answer. I would not want to be there for that. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Enthus3d Well, if the portal works, you'd be fine. If it doesn't, you'd die in about three days from starvation. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Feb 25 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ What if the process failed, and you mentally experience the million years in the thirty seconds before the body breaks down, because the dilation was not meant for living beings? Well, I guess the hope is the portal always functions. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Enthus3d That is a frankly horrifying concept and shouldn't happen. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Feb 25 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ That's true. I've been reading too many horror sci-fi novels recently, so my imagination is going in that direction. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 2:59
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Dungeons are living beings

Rooms and places Dungeons hunters explore inside of them are just organs.

The Reset itself is just a massive body purge started by the Dungeon itself using some kind of incredibly acid body fluid.

When everything is cleaned, monsters start to spawn. They are part of the Dungeon the same way a cell is part of our own body. Due to its “DNA” the Dungeon always regenerates the same cells/monsters and your template is then respected.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, good answer. So the dungeons themselves are actually living organisms, slowing concentrating its energy as foolish hunters wander around inside. Perhaps every now and then we can have whole teams go 'missing', and everyone will just assume they were wiped by monsters, but really, they were captured by the dungeon. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could describe it like a venus flytrap, to give an analogy. The treasures and monsters are actually just bait for the delicious hunters... $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ Or maybe there is no dungeons but only one... And it is so big that whatever the thing can happens in its entrails leave it cold as stone... We are nothing more than bacteries for it and it is not even aware of our existence.. It's up to you now ;) $\endgroup$ – Freedomjail Feb 25 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Stainless steel objects wouldn't be significantly affected even by powerful acids, so they might be accumulating somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Feb 25 at 21:11
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The System is controlled, or is influenced by, a Necromancer of the highest order. The bodied are reanimated and the objects left behind sorted and made into useful equipment.

This explains why the bodies disappear, as well as left-over loot, and also provides an end-game Big Bad Evil* Guy

( * Doesn't have to be evil)

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  • $\begingroup$ Cool! So somewhere out there there’s a Big Mac wrapper golem and smartphone lich, as well as an army of vengeful zombie humans, all controlled by a Necromancer god, just waiting to invade the Earth. Sounds terrifying. Should we burn all the corpses, knowing this? $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 24 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ Ash golems. Also, who would know? You would have to game the System to do so. $\endgroup$ – Joe P Feb 24 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ good point, even if some poor hunter found out, he’d probably get turned into a zombie $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 24 at 23:16
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Gelatinous Cubes sweep the halls absorbing the organic and inorganic and dissolving the refuse before consuming itself

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    $\begingroup$ So this would happen right before the System resets the state of the dungeon? I am wondering though, what would these gelatinous cubes do with the waste? $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 24 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Or, to clarify, is there anything that would happen in the process of the cubes consuming themselves? $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 0:05
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The Dungeons are Virtual

The portals are actually a digitizer / printer and when a human steps through into a dungeon the system digitizes them and loads into the virtual world. When they leave the dungeon, it prints them a new body and reloads their mind into it.

The portal just prints and releases monsters to make the humans enter the dungeon and play the game.

The "System" is made by the same race who made the portals. They put the system on primitive planets for their public's amusement.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. Perhaps ‘growth’ in power in real life is achieved before or after each dungeon entry/exit as the digitizer updates the stats of the hunter? Good answer. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 25 at 22:07
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The Dungeon and the System are one entity. The Dungeon emerges first, then the System after. Humans do not know how it was created, but they do know it was not them. What is known is that as an extra-dimensional space, the Dungeon is not fully bound by the same logic and physics as the material world. It's time is controlled by the System, a logic created by the people that actually built it for the greatest game ever.

As such, the Dungeon's reset is controlled by the System. The System appears to collapse the pocket dimension and recreate it in a flash based on templates that the System holds. It is based on three triggers -- people outside entering, the defeat of the boss monster and people exiting. It waits for all people living to leave because it is a safeguard put into the System by those that created it to prevent death by reset by its creators.

Nobody quite knows how the Dungeon resets itself though as any probe or attempt to understand it from our end is quite logically destroyed in the process. Or at least we think it is destroyed. While we say it collapses and reforms in an instant, that is only because we are taking a guess based on what we can observe by looking at the front door.

Another proposed theory is that time is regressed in the Dungeon, as opposed to advanced. The templated beings in the dungeon regress from dead to alive again. We do not see the fallen rise because the Dungeon is old enough that the dead adventurers actually de-age out of existence during the reset.

Excess energy caused by dead adventurers or things left behind are converted for extra energy for the Dungeon/System pair. Former living beings run the risk of being converted into a template for a future iteration of the Dungeon. For foreign objects, it requires the conversion of a certain amount of them to make a new template of that object.

As for the extra energy? The System makes use of that for any number of things. Creation of new templates are one of them, as is granting the magic abilities to the humans and whatever else the System creates that is outside the Dungeon template. A third option is that it uses the energy and the extra templates it acquires in combination with its limited intelligence to adjust the Dungeon template to alter the challenge a bit and make use of new material.

A fourth, and possibly more terrifying option, is that it stores this excess energy to slowly create another copy of a Dungeon to either add to the world or to move to the next world. After all, this is a thing that is in control of an extra-dimensional dungeon -- moving itself to another dimension would be a logical next step. And it might even be doing it maliciously -- this could be an honestly unknown side effect of its creation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, very thorough. The regression idea is nice as well. $\endgroup$ – Enthus3d Feb 26 at 2:11
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. I was aiming for a bit of a VRMMO from another dimension vibe without actually stating it. $\endgroup$ – Haylen Mar 10 at 22:03

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