Now that I've got the first level done, I've got a short list of mysteries. There are two categories of mysteries, mysteries about the Unnamed Megacorp that explored the dungeon 3,000 years ago, and mysteries about the megadungeon itself.
1. Why was the dungeon locked down?
2. What happened to the people left behind?
3. What happened to the Shining Trapezohedron?
1. What's with the silver skeletons?
2. Where is the Lazarus Room on the 2nd level?
3. Where is the Fountain on the 3rd level?
4. Where are the colored crystal skulls, and what do they do?
5. Where did the undead come from?
That's a lot of mysteries right there. I don't expect my players will find the clues about all these, but if they are diligent, they'll stumble across at least a few hints about these oddities. They still don't have a real good idea of the depth of this place, and these are supposed to lure them down further.
I've partially done with the second level map, and currently focusing on the lair of the Painted Men. I can draw maps two ways: just draw an interesting map, and throw stuff in later - or draw to a pre-set purpose. Right now I'm drawing to a pre-set purpose, which means some areas are more structured in an attempt to "make sense" (particularly, the former family quarters of the scientists), and others are drawn to accommodate set-piece encounters (such as the room with the giant geodesic-dome "big top" and the carnival midway).
Other major areas of the second level:
1. Fungus Gardens. I'm conceding a little to "dungeon realism" here, all these humanoids have to go somewhere to eat and get water. So some truly massive caves full of fungus. It's a pretty common dungeon element, though, so I'll mix it up a bit and try to make it a little more interesting.
2. The Tower. There's a tower. Built in a cave. Underground. It goes up to a visible peak. It also goes down. How far down, I don't know yet. Who lives in it, I don't know yet.
3. The Painted Men. Mentioned above. They should be interesting. They'll be Chaotic, because they're clowns, and all clowns are inherently evil. But they're also desperately yearning for a new audience, so they'll want to put on a show for the PCs, before killing and eating them. I'm thinking a big top, ferris wheel, carousel, log flume, sideshow freaks, rigged carnival games. Maybe a little clown car, that you stuff more people into by putting them through a wood chipper first. Maybe a roller coaster. They'll definitely have a carnival barker.
4. The Troglodytes. The manual says they're hateful and nasty. Sounds good to me! I like my lizard men to be aromatic.
5. Midget necromancers. Somebody had to make those undead wandering around the first level. It certainly wasn't the morlocks or screechmen, they eat the dead. They're midgets, because that guy from Twin Peaks freaked me out. I want all my garmonbozia!
6. The Lazarus Chamber. Once they hit the second level, I'll toss the players a bone and give them a way to raise the dead once or twice.
7. The Metal Tomb. I'm thinking a gigantic chromed statue of Lemmy, and appropriate tricks and traps, so that only the most worthy of players can enter the Metal Tomb and claim the prize within.
8. More clues about mysteries even deeper. Hints about the massive gold deposits that were found below, hints about the location of more crystal skulls of various colors. More goofy super-science machinery, this time partially operational
9. The Teaching Library. A hologram projector with many partially-playable lessons. Stuff about the accelerated evolution that occurs in the ASE, more hints on anomalies down below, some warnings about the horrors in the lower depths, that sort of thing.
10. I really ought to come up with a good name for the Megacorp. This will be a goal of the second level.
It should be a lot of fun to write up this level. I've been on hiatus over the Thanksgiving weekend, time to get back to work!