The First Random Dungeon Tournament Drop Table
Okay, so I couldn't get the whole drop-table random dungeon construction idea out of my head all weekend after running together a quickie prototype.
So, I learned how to use Illustrator so that I could build up a final version:
You can download a printable PDF of this same table here.
As a reminder, here's how I'm using it:
- The table doesn't determine which room goes where. I'm leaving that up to myself so that I can put rooms in appropriate places. For instance, so I don't put an auditorium in a teeny room. Instead, I'm writing down the descriptions for each room as they're rolled, then attaching them to the key later.
- The type of room is determined by the square the die land on (Barracks, Bedroom, Kitchen, etc...).
- I'm using the usual 7 polyhedrals, but one could certainly use different sets of dice to produce different sets of results.
- The tables are weighted so that the rarer things happen at bigger numbers, so a set of polyhedrals should have a mix, whereas a set of d6s should create a fairly mundane dungeon.
- For a truly epic dungeon, I could even have the dice explode.
- Each room has its own d4 table for 'extras'. These are things like decorative elements, NPCs, stuff you can do things with, those sorts of things. This is determined by which of the four quadrants of the square the die lands in.
- If the die lands between two quadrants, both extras are in the room.
- If the die lands in the gutter, that 'extra' has a chance to give the party a chance at something beneficial, like extra treasure or healing or something of that nature.
- On a one, there's a room trap. Roll on the trap tables.
- On the max number for that die type, there's a quest. Roll on the quest tables.
- For anything in-between, there's a 'you find something' table to roll on.
- There's also a global 'complications' table. Things like the room being upside down or under water or ransacked, or even pristine. That's determined by the number on the die.
- I want to only use each of these rooms once, so as I roll, I highlight used rooms. When I roll again, if I land on those rooms they get an additional 'extra', trap, quest, or what-have-you.
In the final version, I changed up the spacing a little bit so I could make the squares more like rectangles than squares. I also added the numbers to each tile and didn't put them in the same order every time, just to add a touch more randomness.
The rooms are all along a particular theme for the story the dungeon is telling. I'll need to make another one like this when I'm done with the first one for the final dungeon, but that shouldn't be that hard after getting it all set up.
This drop table is saving me from having to roll on all of these tables for each room (and I can do about 7 per drop table, so... math):
- Description of the room (name).
- Whether or not there are any extra goodies in the room.
- Whether or not the room is trapped.
- Whether or not there's a quest in this room.
- Whether or not the extra in the room 'does something'.
- What complications exist in the room.
In the event that the room is trapped, and/or has a quest and/or does something, extra rolls will have to be made, but those don't happen on every room.
I've been working out how I want to release this when it's done. I think what I'll do is bundle up the tables for the tournament along with a couple of extra tables, then add to it some form-fillable PDFs and worksheets to build out your own tables using the same system.
I'll be tackling room doors next, then loot. Both of those tables will look quite a bit different than this one as I won't need even chances, so I've got some idea for using neat shapes to accomplish what I'm looking for.
Now, I really should stop playing with these things and get back to the zillion other things I've gotta write...