... now with 35% more arrogance!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chamber Generation

The planetary generator dice map is getting a lot of good reviews, including here, so I'm working on improving it and the old ability-based dice map. I also decided to pull out and re-vamp a really-old dice map I made for stocking and describing rooms and chambers in a dungeon.

The basic concept is pretty old: I made a solo dungeon crawl RPG for a 1KM1KT challenge that used the spatial relationships between dice for mapping; I didn't use an actual dice map until v1.1; that map was a simple box divided into four triangles containing labels. But I quickly decided to improve the idea by using the space defined by the box as a representation of the room itself.

Here's the new version of this dice map. Roll at least 3d6 on this map and interpret the results based on which region they land in:
  • Exits (outer region): The room has at least one entrance. Any dice that land in the outer region represents additional exits from the room (1-3 = passageway; 4 = open/unlocked door; 5 = locked door; 6 = secret door.) The exact position of the dice indicates which wall the door is in.
  • Monsters (inner square): the basic die result may be interpreted as a roll on a custom six-item chart, or as an indicator of relative monster level.
  • Features (inner circle): Dice result indicate what type of interesting items are in the room (1-2 = box, barrel, or chest; 3 = idol, image, or statue; 4 = fountain; 5 = lamp or vase; 6 = stairs.)
The weird key words around the inner circle are basically the Random Random Table converted into dice map format; any dice that land in the two inner regions can be interpreted as a monster or feature with a name or descriptive quality that begins with one of letters in the indicated word. For monsters, the d6 result can interpreted as rough creature type (1-3 = ordinary beast or vermin; 4 = humanoid/intelligent; 5-6 = fantastic predator.)

You will notice that there's an additional phrase in each region printed in solid black. This is to interpret an additional die roll: a single d6, d10, d12, or d20. If this lands in the second ("monster") region, it indicates an additional room feature; otherwise, it indicates a trap. Traps in the outer square are trapped exits; traps in the inner circle are on features in the room or on the floor/ceiling if there are no features. Again, the name or description of the feature or trap begins with one of the indicated letters in the key word the die lands near.

There's a lot of other tricks you can use with this dice map, but I think this is plenty to think about for now.


  1. This is brilliant, but -

    Shouldn't 80% of rooms be empty?

  2. I dunno about 80% ... U&WA leaves only two-thirds of all rooms unoccupied (and 1 in 6 of those will have treasure.)

    But one of the tricks I alluded to would be to make one of the dice in the 3d6 a different color and interpret that die as a traditional stocking roll, or using Sham's single d6 stocking roll. Dice that indicate "monsters" in unoccupied rooms can be treated as features instead. There's no reason "unoccupied" has to mean "totally empty room".

  3. Sweet. This goes onto the testing pile!

  4. @Andreas: be sure to check out the updated version before testing. I think it will work better.