In addition to pointing us to three "work in progress" screenshots of a hobgoblin bunker, The Rampant Coyote has posted a development update for his upcoming party-based RPG, Frayed Knights.
In the early days of the hobby, very few game masters (or game designers) thought too hard about the rhyme, reason, or ecology of their adventures and worlds. Why are the monsters segregated by difficulty level in this dungeon? What's with the weird, bizarre artifacts in the dungeon that nobody but the players actually try to use? How come these traps aren't set of by the gazillions of giant rats that seem to infest the dungeon? How do the lower levels of the dungeon stay ventilated? What do these monsters eat (besides adventurers and giant rats)? Why are there all these devices that serve no practical purpose to anybody but to vex the occasional treasure-hunting adventurer?
The creativity caught up with itself as players smartened up, and game masters were forced to evolve. After all, if you have an illusory dragon in one room - the hint to the deception being that the exits are all too small to accommodate the dragon's bulk - then you can't get away with sticking a real dragon in a similar room without some really good explanation. If you start using logic and some vague appeals to reason against the players, you need to be pretty consistent with its usage yourself.
So which is it going to be - no dragon, or jumping through hoops to justify its existence?
In many cases, Frayed Knights takes the latter approach. I think the wild contortions of logic and rationalization are part of the fun of the world. It's not necessarily that the world itself is over the top bizarre and comedic, but that the off-beat answers to the questions of "why" have a cumulative effect that keeps getting weirder and weirder. And then we have a group of explorers in this world for whom this is all pretty run-of-the-mill stuff.