... now with 35% more arrogance!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Underworld Quarters

I explained previously how to use the sketchbox dice tool to create random underground layouts with just a few dice rolls. But that's a very basic technique; I left out how to use the quarter information in the rings to add more detail.

Without using quarters, all dice are assumed to represent the common quarter -- in other words, mostly nondescript rooms repurposed as lairs or storage, or currently empty. If you use the information in the rings, rolling as you would for a settlement, you can add:
  • Noble Areas: throne rooms, treasure vaults, dining halls, other rooms designed to display wealth and power. This does not mean that the wealth is still present, or that it is easily transportable; it only defines the previous function of the rooms.
  • Focal (Specialty) Areas: If you define in advance what the location was originally built for, any Focal districts will have equipment left over (or currently in use) from previous activities. Thus, if you are rolling a random mine, Focal areas will include smelters, stops for mine carts, mining supply rooms filled with rope and pickaxes.
  • Craft Areas: Miscellaneous workshops for other tasks. Equipment might still be viable, even if the area is mostly ruins; if the location wasn't abandoned or was taken over by new occupants, the areas may still be in use for their intended purpose.
Thus, the quarter information defines a more structured area than the bare random roll. You can create quarter-specific monster lists, using the layout defined by the roll to determine what monsters dominate which areas. Assume that the number of d6s rolled equals the dungeon level, for the deepest part of the dungeon. Use an equal number of dark d4s and light d4s to set elevations, and reduce the dungeon level of the higher elevations. Use these numbers with the level-based wandering monster tables to determine the typical power level of creatures living in each district or quarter.

What kind of monster will depend on the conditions in that district, of course. I'll cover that topic in a future post.

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