Friday, November 4, 2016

Using Random Dungeon Tables

I haven't had much to post about recently, which is a bummer.  Work has screwed up my online game sessions and the tabletop game has been progressing.  The memory recovery and gaining class as a level-up has been pretty successful, but I haven't been super-inspired recently.

The one thing I did do, however, was tweak out my random dungeon generator.  I've been spending ages on this ting, bringing in random tables from other places, cramming ideas together, tweaking values and percentages, and making it fit the place it is building - Dungeon Titanicus, the basis of the Dawn of Eradu campaign.

The generate creates a series of random rooms with random stuff and random monsters based on the specific dungeon level.  Loot is based loosely on the level as well.  These are not end-all be-all descriptions, but more along the lines of inspirational things.  The level already has a basic outline and concept - for example the Vault of Serpents is romaneque in architecture, crumbling, and set at a tilt; it is populated by the Cult of the Serpent and numerous snake-like things with the occasional faction elements from neighboring levels and some things from the region of the dungeon it is in. These inspirational descriptions are applied to an already numbered dungeon map.

An example of a randomly generated room (not from the final version for those who may be sneaking a peek):

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Area 1: Maze of Inscrutable Gloom - Observatory
Description: Vase with violets, red cake Sign: "Eat me"
Special: Feature
   Dungeon Pie (tart)
   Develop bat like sonar from this magic bat pie
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Translated into the notes for the game:

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Area 1: Observation Deck
  • Description: Vase with violets and red tart with a sign: "Eat me".  The end of a huge telescope juts through what appears to be a liquid mirror and it shows a far-off world where humans are playing chess.
  • Stuff: Dungeon Pie, savory bat filling. Eat it to gain Sonar
  When concentrating and using Sonar to "see" in the dark, Roll+WIS
  10+: get details like you can see normally
  7-9: get a vague impression
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or this:
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Area 7: Never Ending Lake of the Undercity - Morgue
Description: northern part of floor illusionary, covers snake pit, and 5 half-dissolved metal ladder rungs lie scattered across the room
Random Monster: Level Monster
   1 Ragged Medusae
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becomes:
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Area 7: Caustic Lake of Dreams
  • Description: The majority of the floor is an illusion - the illusion part of the floor has no dirt or grime (easily observed by anyone looking).  A metal ladder, the bottom half dissolved, is on the safe part of the floor.The floor drops 30' (1d12 damage) into 1' deep puddle of slightly causing Ragged Medusae drool (she has been asleep and dreaming here for ages).  Splashdown irritates a bunch of snakes swimming in the drool and likely awakens the Ragged Meduase.
  • Stuff: Ragged Medusae, asleep but easily awoken; irritable as she was having a nice dream
<add Ragged Meduae stat block>
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If the description doesn't work or I don't like it, I ignore it.  If I want to plop something specific down instead, I do.  But having this jumble of often only semi-sensible ideas can get the creative juices flowing. I love these tables and happily loot them from everywhere - the 1e DMG, D&D with Porn Stars, Elfmaids and Octopi, all of it!  

Thanks OSR and the internet!