Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quick Mini-Dungeon Generator Tables

We've all been in the DM chair when we're put into a spot we haven't quite planned out.  It could be a random encounter, or a part of a dungeon we haven't yet mapped out.  I created this basic mini-dungeon generator system to make a small dungeon with 3-8 rooms on the fly.  It takes about 5 minutes to roll one up.  I've tested it out a few times and it works fine for me.

First just grab a scratch piece of paper.  You're just going to be sketching the layout quickly.  After all, this is on the fly, and you don't want to hold the game up for 30 minutes drawing out a dungeon map.  Odds are, you already have an idea of what may be in the dungeon (i.e you rolled for Orcs in a random encounter, etc.) for stocking purposes.  For this generator you'll need a d4, d6, and a d8. Here's how it works. 

Roll 1d6+2 for the number of rooms in the dungeon

Traps are equal to 1d3+ 1/2 number of total rooms rounded up (example: roll a 1 on a d3 with a dungeon with 5 rooms total. 1+3=4 total traps)
Tricks are equal to 1 + 1/4 number of total rooms rounded up (example: 1 base trick in a dungeon with 6 rooms total. 1 + 1 for rooms = 2 tricks total)
Secret/concealed doors/passages are equal to 1/3 number of total rooms rounded up (6 rooms = 2 secret doors/passages)

If using a secret passage roll 2d* where * is the die most appropriate to the number of rooms (i.e. d4, d6, d8.)  The numbers on each die are the rooms connected by the passage.  If 2 of same number are rolled, re-roll 1d* for the other room.

Roll 1d4 for dungeon type (if you don't already know...most of the time you'll know this, but if not...)
1. ruin
2. tomb
3. cavernous
4. arcane - built for a mysterious purpose.  Perhaps by a long dead wizard to store his sundries, or a mad lord for his own brutal entertainment

Roll 1d6 to determine room type for each room
1. T-shaped
2. Circular
3. Square
4. Rectangle
5. Octagonal
6. Re-roll twice and combine results. Re-roll any further 6s

Roll 1d6 to determine how each room connects to the other starting with 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc.
1. Straight passage north/south
2. L-shaped passage north/south
3. Straight passage east/west
4. L-shaped passage east/west
5. Stairs going up/down
6. Connects directly to next room

Roll 1d6 to determine if Entrance/Exit to room/passage is:
1. Door unlocked
2. Door locked
3. Open
4. Archway
5. Door locked and trapped
6. Door unlocked and trapped

Once the base linear dungeon is created, connect some of the rooms together in some fashion so you're not railroading.  Once you have the layout sketched, you'll see this is easily accomplished most of the time.  Next, I'll be coming up with a random trap/trick table you can use quickly to place those in the dungeon, but on the fly, you can use simple ones like pit, dart, skythe traps, etc.  This system should give you a quick and usable dungeon in just about 5 minutes.