Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Friday, 29 January 2016

Dungeon Mastery: generating dungeons...

Oddly enough I design maps, whether campaign maps, villages, or dungeons, in various ways myself.

Random Dungeons

  • Method A: begin with the entrance corridor. Roll 1d6. Results of 1-5 are dead end rooms accessible off the corridor. 5 or 6 is a choke (a room with another exit to a new region of the dungeon). Roll up rooms connected to this hallway area until a six result occurs - you then start with a new hallway region beyond the choke. The five result choke is simply an alternate choke (allowing some minor choke networking associated with the hallway region) to result six which is a major region separator.
  • Method B: decide the number of rooms in the dungeon. Roll 1d6 for each to determine the degree of interconnectivity (1-6 directions of connection: north, south, East, West, up, down). Connect rooms with upward links to those with downward links, East to west, north's to Souths.
  • Method C: roll 3d6 to determine dungeon room position in x,y,z axis and then number them. Then determine the interconnectivity of you might have cave 1 linked to cave 20 directly by a narrow Crawl way that slides down from dungeon level 1 from dungeon level 5.

All three call for a basic network of Encounter connectivity which is then developed further.

I then apply a theme to it. If it's caves the walls are rough and there will be little to no stonework. Links are more likely to be vertical.

Random Villages

  1. Hand full of d6s.
  2. Roll on paper.
  3. Location is Hut.
  4. Number is family members.
  5. Draw a map.
  6. Note NPC's by name.

What do you prefer?


  1. That village idea is pretty cool! The random Dungeons, I've used the back of the 1e DMG once, and found it to be more entertaining to prep, than it was to be functional. I typically will just draw my dungeons, if I use them. They never get maga-big, that isn't what my table really likes to do, I mean, we do do it, but my games are pretty episodic, and I hate leaving a party down in a dungeon at the end of the night. I think that B does sound interesting and easy to prep, while A is good in a pinch.

    Overall, great article!

  2. Then perhaps what you are looking for is something I worked on with a bunch of other gamers back five years or so...
    The cleaves are a random dungeon (a card deck). Accessible by a failed Dimension Door which dumps you into the dungeon interdimensional space from any d&d universe. So you enter and must make your way through some of the dungeon chambers to a marketplace where travellers congregate and exit by paying the Lich who owns the market for a key (any magical object from a world that didn't arrive with you). Raiders scour the cleaves for newbies and strip them naked, selling any potential 'keys' they carry to the Lich.