FOR GAMEMASTERS STAT BLOCKS & TABLE AIDS

Old-school Random Dungeon Generator

October 27th, 2011 2 Comments

You now have zero excuses for not spending time on your story. Not least of all because there are things like this at your disposal:

WotC’s Random Dungeon Generator v0.1.12 Beta

3.5 players and the older gaming vets have probably already seen this before, but for the 4e Generation who didn’t get into gaming until a couple of years ago (like myself), this is a wonderful little tool for creating an entire dungeon crawl adventure, or for just getting a story’s worth of floor plans for Building XYZ.

You can exert control over the map in terms of the room and hallway sizes, the prevalence of secret doors and portcullises, proportion and overall size. You can choose from which Monster Manuals to draw, and can set the appropriate level of the adventure and even choose from some themes (Generic, Crypt or Sewer). What I like best is the inclusion of intro text for each room, monster groups, traps, and adventure hooks, as sampled below:[divider]strong>ROOM: 16
This room is 10 x 10 feet (Tiny)

A glow escapes this room through its open doorways. The masonry between every stone emanates an unnatural orange radiance. Glancing quickly about the room, you note that each stone bears the carving of someone’s name.

DM Note: Consider putting the name of one of your party’s characters on the wall.

  • Doors
    – North 10 feet from west wall. Wood, strong, stuck.
    [2 in. thick; hardness 5; hp 20; break DC 23]
  • Monsters
    Kobold Warriors (3): hp 2, 5, 4.
    [Amount: 1d4+2, HD: 1d8 (4), CR: 1/4, Source: Monster Manual]
  • Features
    – Drum, Pipe (smoking pipe), Trophy, Box.
    [1d4 Minor Features]

[divider]I’ve been itching to run an old-school style dungeon crawl similar to our 2nd edition misadventure with Ebbs last year, in which we managed to defeat a Red Dragon with one turn left between us and a TPK. It was hard as fuck, and even though we almost all died, it was so satisfying at the end to have brought down the fearsome beast. And holy hell, breath attacks.

But this isn’t just useful for dungeon crawls. In lieu of picking up a pre-made module or subscribing to DDI, I might just lay down my own ideas, mysteries, and flavors over these foundations for a quick, easy, and convincing map in any setting, but especially those “neo-old-school” games such as WEGS or Old School Hack.

About the author

Katrina Ostrander is a twenty-something gamer chick, game master, and fiction editor working at Fantasy Flight Games. Her previous credits include work as a game developer on the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion roleplaying game lines. When she's not gaming (or working, which is practically same thing), she enjoys reading, writing, singing karaoke and trying craft beers.

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I would also suggest http://donjon.bin.sh/ as a great source of generators. They have a similar generator to the above for both d20 and 4e as well as a host of other generators and fun stuff.

    Absolutely. I’ve used his 2nd ed AD&D map generator before with my group–and managed to kill someone in the first room with it! But I didn’t quite realize the extent of the resources there, I’ll have to go back and see what else I can use. Thanks for pointing it back out to me!