Monday, September 10, 2012

A Bit of Dungeoncraft

While browsing The Welsh Piper for hex map templates this morning, I came across this chart for generating ruins. Being the curious sort I am, I decided to give it a try, and got the following results:

Type: Castle (14 levels)
Ruin: Angry God(s)
Interest: Plunder
Major Domo: Fighter1, Demon, Fighter2
Minions: Humanoids (F1)
Animals (F1)
Bandits (F2)
Animals (F2)
Worms (Dn)
Weird* (Dn)

Pretty slick, no? One thing I like about charts like these, is when elements come together to help tie to a theme. What we see is that we have a castle that was ruined by an Angry God. Why was it ruined? Well, we see that one of the main nemesi is a demon, and that its minions are worms and something weird. The 14 levels help too. I COULD build a tall castle, but where's the fun in that? Assuming 2 levels for towers, 3 'main' levels, 1 level for the dungeon and 2 for the catacombs, that leaves 6 levels. What lies beneath the catacombs, that could refer to a demon? Why not an old temple? Suppose that in expanding the royal catacombs, the builders unearthed the entrance to an ancient temple complex, and in exploring, awoke the demon originally worshiped in Pre-Stygian times. The reigning monarchs fell back into old worships, a pall fell across the land, and the dominant deity decided enough was enough.

Now, for the fighters, suppose that Fighter 2, with his band of bandits (a mercenary crew?), went a-lootin' and dug up ol' squirmy?

The thread continues from there, spinning out a dungeon that could occupy a stalwart group of adventurers for many a session. I think I'm going to have to write this out and torment entertain my players...

So there you have it! Pop by the Piper, give the chart a roll, and see what you get. Be sure to post creations you like in the comments below!

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