Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Making Dungeons

 I am proceeding with my #dungeon24 plans. I completed my January level and you can download it here.

It's entirely randomly generated, and a good portion of the month went to working out my process.

My original plan was to use the random dungeon generation from OSRIC, swap in the dungeon encounter tables from the Adventures Dark & Deep Random Terrain and Encounter Generator with its lovely d1000 tables and the simply massive Adventures Dark & Deep Bestiary and be off to the races.

Then I hit a snag. Because AD&D clones like what I'm using (both OSRIC and Adventures Dark & Deep) have very large numbers in the Number Appearing entry. So for one encounter, I rolled up an army of 200 dwarves intended to populate a 20x20 foot room.

So I had to add a couple of steps to my process.

Clones of older version of D&D, such as B/X clones Labyrinth Lord and Old School Essentials, tend to have different, smaller Number Appearing values. That's likely because those values were intended specifically for populating a dungeon, while the AD&D values were intended for wilderness encounters (at least according to my research).

Even then, I could wind up with maybe too many monsters. Which leads to my next step: The Lair %. While it could be read as the percentage chance that a monster is in its designated lair, I decided to read it as the portion of monsters that actually stick to their lair. So I had reduced my 200 dwarves to about 20 thanks to Labyrinth Lord numbers, but with a Lair % of 50%, that meant that only about 10 dwarves are hanging out in their lair at any given time. The rest of them could be used to generate my random encounter tables.

But the AD&D Bestiary doesn't include Lair %'s in its monster stats. That's listed in the OSRIC bestiary section.

It might be that I'm shooting myself in the foot by using Adventures Dark & Deep so centrally, since I wind up needing monsters that line up in 3 different sources for my process to work. But OSRIC and AD&D are what I've run and played the most, so I'd like to stay in my comfort zone when working on something so ambitious.

One of the other things I was doing that was part of my process from the start was making an initial reaction roll for each encounter. The idea here is to 1) create more variety of encounter by ensuring that not every encounter is a simple fight and 2) to assist with creating backstory and interest in the dungeon. A Hostile dwarf has a reason for being that way, just as a Friendly dwarf does. Unfortunately, I haven't delved deeply into that aspect, with the other issues I had to address.

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