Imagine a tic tac toe board. One of the squares, selected randomly, is the location of a special feature in a zone (evil shrine, drawbridge, prisoner pit, king’s throne room, etc.) If using an RDG for random prep, number the squares clockwise from the top center and roll a d10 to place the special feature (9 or 0 both indicate the center square.) If you are generating a dungeon during play, roll a d10 as you enter each region; on a 1-2, it’s the special feature. All the other squares are random passageways. what kind depends on the zone structure type:
- Caverns: irregular tunnels that snake and fork, occasionally widening into caves
- Warrens/Maze: lots of twisty, narrow tunnels, with only the occasional room or wider area
- Tombs: maze with sporadic clusters of rooms
- Ruins: more frequent room clusters
- Fortified Area: mostly adjacent rooms connected by short passageways
However, to keep the patterns from becoming too stale, roll a d6 with pips at the same time as the d20. This represents (a) how many letters of the number’s name to use; and (b) the arrangement of the letters. Thus, one dot means only use the first letter; two or three dots means the first 2-3 letters, arranged horizontally, vertically or diagonally as indicated by the orientation of the dots on the d6; four or five dots means arrange the letters clockwise around a square or diamond, starting at the top and ending in the center (for a Five;) and six dots is a clockwise rectangle of six letters. The strokes of the letters are five-foot or ten-foot-wide corridors.
For mazes, each end-point that doesn’t touch another corridor potentially ends in a room. For tombs, they potentially end in room clusters (d6 with pips, dots represent location of rooms.) For ruins, each end-point and each juncture of two or more strokes potentially has a room cluster. Roll on the following table:
- Archway(s) with Room(s) beyond
- Door(s) with Room(s) behind
- Arrow Trap (at juncture only), otherwise passage continues to next area
- Falling Rubble, passage continues to next area
- Pool of Liquid
- Spike Trap (at juncture only), otherwise passage continues to next area
- Pit Trap, passage continues to next area
- Dead End
I’ll cover adding rooms in the next installment.
Written with StackEdit.